On the Bus with Tammy Morales

Councilmember Morales’s commute informs her transit proposals.

Comments

1

my house to nearest bank branch: 12 minutes by car.
by transit: 2 busses and 1 hour 15 minutes.
not even an exaggeration.
pretty similar trip times for the grocery and other usual errands.

2

@1 This may come as a shock to you, but your individual consumer choices and how we plan our metropolitan transportation system to maximize mobility in as fair a way as possible are two entirely different things.

3

Saint Edward State Park is a transit desert. Metro considered running a bus on Juanita drive, but changed their mind after pressure to keep things the same. The East Side in general has poor transit, but that area is really bad. There are apartments there, and the college not too far away, but they don't bother running a bus along the street.

Seattle does better than the East Side (and the rest of the county) because it pays for extra service. As a result, we were one of the few cities to see a substantial increase in transit ridership prior to the pandemic. Now, of course, the numbers are way down. As people get out more, it will recover, but it will struggle because funding for Seattle was cut (you can thank Durkan and Pedersen for that).

Link has improved things in the north end, and we'll see further improvement with Lynnwood Link and East Link. These will substantially improve things in the suburbs, while making some minor improvement in the city. The city, as well as the area as a whole will be largely dependent on buses for the foreseeable future (even after the ridiculously expensive, and poorly planned ST3). Whether those buses are funded properly or not is anyone's guess.

4

They would be better off burning the cash to provide heat for the homeless. SDOT is a fucking shit-show. They are tasked with wasting gazillions of our tax dollars. All these people have their heads so far up their asses, it's a wonder they can see a bus schedule, let alone make their way to work on one.

5

@2: While that is certainly true, @1's comment does underscore the difficulties that many Seattle residents face when it comes to getting around using public transit. For many trips, I have very good and convenient options where I live (3 minutes from a good bus, 10 minutes walk to a light rail station). Many others aren't so fortunate. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep prioritizing transit, but it's also good to remember that it's not going to work equally well for everybody.

@1: I wonder how long it would take to ride an ebike from your house to bank or store. Probably more time than driving, but perhaps fast enough to replace some car trips.

If a significant number of people replaced even a few utilitarian car trips a week with ebike trips, it would have a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

6

@2 no shit, I was just re-iterating the point made by the council persons in the story that people choose to drive because it is far and away more convinient, not because we are dicks who love burning dem greenhouse gasses.

7

Are you stepping around more tents than you did two years ago?

8

Polly agrees with the forgoing comment, the real feel is more tents as politicians shovel more money into these recreational transit projects which are a money tree for the construction and engineering companies, yet deliver little if any real lifestyle improvements for commuters.

The Saint Edwards Park example is a typical transit oasis, that is to say a perfectly wonderful place that people need to get to, yet can only get there by automobile if time is any consideration at all.

Renton is another place that suffers from transit neglect, because the only way to get into town is grab an express bus that may or may not show up, depending on if the driver has a hangover or it breaks down, or take a bus and make two transfers until you get to the Tukwila Light Rail Station.

Or you could take a bus and make two transfers and grab a Sounder Train from the Tukwila Station.

Timing is everything. If you work at unusual shift times it will take even longer to get to work.

We appreciate the desire of Councilmember Zahilay to model King County after the New York area transit system, which is very highly evolved over many generations, however build costs as opposed to real gains should be considered here.

With certainty, these boutique transit projects that line the pockets of politicians with campaign donations from construction companies and unions serve the interests of special interest groups, nevertheless they neglect the needs of the commuter-voters, who need to get to work by 8 or 9 am.

Seattle is laid-out in such a way that mass transit solutions are cost-prohibitive and difficult, to say the least.

Also, Seattle proper was built-out back in the forties and fifties, so we have people commuting from Bellingham and Enumclaw, and points even further away.

At any rate, good-government groups should professionally audit this bloated ST3 budget mess and call the Board of Directors on the carpet for these maniacal cost-overruns the taxpayers are being punished with.

It is nice to see politicians actually utilizing this transit monster and taxpayer nose-bleeder they helped create, yet seldom ride.

Politicians are always fascinated with peripheral considerations that burn money and have supposedly good optics, like these transit boondoggles that few taxpayers actually use.

Why not pump some of these precious taxpayer resources into addressing the homeless crisis, with displaced people, the Native Americans of the post-industrial era if you will, forced to camp in gardens and on street corners?

So, what’s it going to be, trendy Seattle--tents or transit?