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When you visit the city of Seattle for Business or plesure
The 520 hell commute: stop it!7 years ago
I’m currently stuck on the Eastside because a boat fell off a trailer on I-90 west bound and blocked traffic. That happened two hours ago and it’s still a mess out there. Looks like they are blocking some lanes so as to pull the boat out of the median. This sucks.
So, what have people been doing lately to fix our transportation problems? I don’t think streetcars are going to help the situation out on the freeways. Anyone? 7 years ago
Joni Earl, CEO of Sound Transit, will be available for a small group discussion (first come first serve) with interested folks on Monday, February 13th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm) at the Elliot Bay Bookstore Café (it’s downstairs). Might be an interesting opportunity to talk about transit in Seattle and the greater region.
If you are interested, sign up here. 8 years ago
First, aquire a bicycle. You can find a fine used machine for under $200. Second, aquire a cellphone, install a nice mini web browser (Opera Mini works great) and add this web link to your bookmarks:
Or go to:
type in “tripplanner.metrokc.gov”
click “no images” and select “go”
click on the little link “trip planner” halfway down the page. It goes to the above address.
Now, wherever you are in the city, all you need to do is pop out your cell phone, enter your location and your destination, and that page will tell you what to do. You can no longer feign ignorance of the public transit system.
Use your bicycle when you can. Use the bus when you have to. 8 years ago
Gary Manca’s link to the writer who proposed Bus Rapid Transit is very cogent.
Let’s face it. Seattle can’t build a Skytrain or a MAX for the same amount of money as YVR and PDX, respectively, did (adjusting for inflation) because of our goofy, complex geography.. which creates this side effect of the city being so immediately pretty and quaint that we so love.
We can’t just pave the water with cement. This is my main beef with people who just say “Shuh! just BUILD it.” You try it, then. If we can’t stop people from expressing frustration at a drawbridge going up, how are we going to solve building road-free transit cheaply? Adjacent bodies of water make that a bit difficult. Portland has one river. Vancouver has a “false creek.” Both cities are generally flat in the urban centers. Seattle has many hills everywhere in its urban centers.
“But look what San Francisco did!”
San Francisco’s BART only runs on a sliver of the city itself
- the least hill-y parts. Granted, it took a lot of money to make it go underwater, underneath the Oakland/Bay bridge - I won’t deny that feat. But the rest of BART runs throughout the Bay Area to the East Bay and further on, you guessed it, flat areas.
Seattle lacks much flat areas in its urban centers.. in fact, the flattest areas are outside the main urban centers here.
Am I saying that the monorail budget costs were justified? Heck no! On the other hand, it’s naive to think that any large rapid-transit project in Seattle is just a piece of financial cake you can get from K-mart.
However, this was all a bit of a digression to my main point, which is: while there’s always room for improvement, and while there are many projects underway that have temporarily closed certain thoroughfares like the downtown bus tunnel, there has been fixing of the transportation “problem” in town. Between Sound Transit, Community Transit, and King County Metro, there have been a lot of positive changes to the bus system. Buses run more often, and they are running smarter routes than ever before.
I can’t stress enough that America has this fixation on “bus” being a dirty word, and that buses can never be “real” public transit. Having been able to traverse Seattle
- to even out-of-the-way places - using the Seattle bus authorities, I have to laugh at the people who forgo buses because they’re not some form of magical public transit that looks really neat.
My other main point is: a monorail would be more a city development rather than a solution to a transportation problem. I supported the Monorail, fully knowing that it wouldn’t have solved any transportation issues—at least right away. However, a well-planned monorail, with hopes of a feasable budget would have made for a great city development that would have improved the morale and economy of the city. So, for those latter reasons alone, it’s too bad the project died.
But as for a monorail fixing any transportation problems? That was just stuff made of dreams. 8 years ago
I was more or less OK with paying the monorail tax back when there was a monorail project, but now it seems cruel. I’m paying an extra $289 for my car tabs this year just to pay down the debt accrued by the monorail project. Of the rest of the total, $62 is going to Sound Transit, and $43.75 is for the vehicle registration (thanks to that miserable wretch, Tim Eyeman.)
Is that screwed up or what? 8 years ago
But I’m not personally that concerned with transportation in Seattle. It works great for me as I walk, bike or take cabs most the time. Rock on, Seattle! 8 years ago
I think we just need some good ol’ fashioned volcano churnin’ to keep the Seattle population at bay!
Rumble, mighty mountain, rumble!
(For the fine folks in Tacoma, Orting, Spanaway, etc., I’m kidding. “LAHAR HAR HAR”? Please put the guns away. I love you guys. Thank you)
Well, either that or we need another economic crash.
(KIDDING!... AGAIN!) 8 years ago
I started becoming ambivalent about this goal as I spent time thinking about it and concluded that 1. there aren’t that many bad problems with traffic IN Seattle. Most of them involve suburban commuters coming in and out of the city. And 2. the traffic is really a testimony to the attractions of the city. The real “problem” is the lack of options to getting stuck in traffic at certain times, but to be honest, living and working in Seattle, I rarely have a real problem with traffic.
Finally, with the defeat of the monorail, I feel like the voters have spoken and said, basically, they care more about low taxes than congestion. So who cares. I still love Seattle, but I hate our politics. 8 years ago
A couple of issues that I have been chewing on…..
First, I am curious to see how much peoples’ interest in this issue wanes now that we don’t have an upcoming election. The problem is still there, and I would argue that we need a solution now more than ever. I think the only way that is going to happen is a consistent pressure and interest in this problem.
Second, the loss of the Monorail and the rejection of 912 appears to lend greater strength to the more-highway proponents over the mass transit proponents. The next big test will be the regional transportation package which will combine both. I don’t know if it will include Sound Transit money (for the Seattle/Northgate route), although I imagine it will.
Third, where will the money from the Monorail go? I will be surprised if they simply stop the tax. I anticipate an initiative that will shift it to the viaduct-tunnel.
Fourth, they are projecting that the population of Washington will increase by over 500,000 people in the next five years. That is the equivalent to adding a second City of Seattle in a five year period. If you figure 3/4 of those people will work full time jobs and half of the working people will work in Seattle or on the Eastside (I think that is a conservative estimate), my question is where do we put all these people? For those who think the answer is downtown high-rise condos, it is important to note that if all of the proposed towers in Seattle and Bellevue breakground and are built in the next five years, they will only add about 13,000 housing units (or about 5% of the total housing needed to absorb the 500,000 people moving in). If you think traffic is bad now, do you want to guess what will happen in five years when we add an additional 8% to the state population (mostly moving to Pierce and Snohomish counties, but commuting to Seattle and the Eastside)? 8 years ago
As a caveat, I received this in an email from some Monorail backer, but I do think that it is worth reading nonetheless.
24th October 2005
Seattle Monorail Project—When Political Will Won’t
By Angus Leslie Melville
If you want a groundbreaking project to go ahead, then one of the most important ingredients in the recipe has to be political goodwill. And that is precisely where one of the US’s most interesting transport projects on the table right now falls down – writes Angus Leslie Melville.
The focus of the international transport industry is turned squarely on the US and expectations are high for project finance as well as numerous bond-financed design/build projects.
Seattle monorail is one of the few projects that you can pick out from the line-up of usual suspects where it is conspicuously failing to make it off the drawing board despite strong local support.
And the one thing that is acting as the biggest stumbling block is a fundamental lack of support from the mayor’s office.
It has already passed four public votes-
each one with increasing majorities in its favour. It has a fully approved environmental impact study, the land has been acquired and right-of-way secured. So that’s all green light-go.
Now add into the equation that there is real need for an alternative, separate transport system to deal with mounting congestion problems.
The need to finance the alternative transport system is made all the more important with a petrol tax referendum in November that will most likely see the repeal of tax on fuel. And the city has no other source of funding other than `gas tax’ for transport improvement projects in the city.
You would imagine the metropolitan authority would be backing the project to the hilt, and you would think there would be serious concern over the cloud this puts on future large infrastructure projects in Seattle and Washington. After all, with Cascadia Monorail Company lined up to construct the 14-mile DBOM Green Line to enhance travel between downtown Seattle and its surrounding communities, the city has the opportunity for a near-term groundbreaking on one of the most exciting projects in the market today.
Led by Fluor, this consortium of more than 20 urban mass transit firms includes Hitachi, Mitsui, Alcatel, HDR Engineering, Howard S. Wright Construction, Hoffman Construction, RCI Construction Group, Atkinson Construction, as well as other Seattle and Washington state contractors and consultants.
That’s a lot of private sector goodwill-
which is not being matched by the public sector. On the financial side, there is in place a revenue stream that is dedicated to the monorail project from the motor vehicle excise tax, which-to go elsewhere—would require a change to legislation.
To improve its chances of one day providing a new public transport system in Seattle, the agency responsible for the project has shortened the route, thereby bringing the price down.
But the crunch date for the project is 8 November when yet another ballot is being staged. If it passes again, it is going to leave the mayor in an awkward position as it is the only major transport project likely to go ahead in the near future—especially if the gas tax is repealed as well.
The project is financeable—the markets have said that they will sell the bonds as they can sell against he guaranteed index revenue stream which cannot be retired by legislation until the debt has been paid off. The debt is non-recourse so in addition to a major transportation improvement the city also accrues the benefits of sales taxes, increased property values and the improved ability to attract and maintain businesses without incurring any of the risk of having to pay back the debt.
One of the issues that seems to be holding up the project and causing the mayor’s office headaches is the tenor of deals. Word coming from the city’s administration is that 30-40 year debt is too long and the mayor does not want to burden the tax payer 30 years down the line.
while it outwardly appears to be a noble gesture-is not the way other cities view financing their transport projects these days. And when you compare these tenors with the 99-year concession for Chicago Skybridge, the length of the Seattle project rather pales into insignificance.
Most US cities and states have recognised their cash shortfall and are either paying long-term through tax-exempt bonds or longer concessions.
The project is ready to go, the contract is fully negotiated. All that has to be done is to renegotiate the contract to take into account the shortening of the alignment. If it fails the vote in November it is dead. But if it passes, it will be ready to move forward in January.
You will travel a long way before you find a transport project in the US that has more going for it than Seattle Monorail-
but it needs the political will to get behind it. And if they need a case study of an urban transport system where project finance has worked to stiffen their resolve-all they need do is look north to the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver.
There appears no rational reason why the city would not support this project.
Are we missing something? Or is there a sinister plot at play for the city to engineer the cancellation of the project so that it can steal the motor vehicle excise tax to start paying for roads that it otherwise cannot afford?
Angus Leslie Melville
Infrastructure Journal 8 years ago
A good hour of informative talk radio (and some highway backed bickering) about the monorail. 8 years ago
I’m trying to make Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) a reality: it’s a new mode of transit that could actually work in a city like Seattle that needs more than buses but doesn’t want to become Manhattan.
I haven’t had a chance to read all this but wanted to flag this series of articles, interviews related to transit in today’s PI. 8 years ago
I’m a college educated newspaper reader and I couldn’t make heads or tails of this Seattle Times article on the Monorail:
A crowded monorail may still fall short of rider goal
- One problem is it doesn’t seem to state what the objective ridership goal is. Can you find the numbers stated in the article?
- Is the article saying a 2 train monorail won’t be able to hit those ridership numbers, or just that the trains will be full?
- Is the article saying we need to subsidize transit to hit ridership goals?
- Why not charge more for the monorail (since it will be crowded) than we do for buses (which are not)?
- Is the conclusion of the design commission that we need more money for a bigger monorail, or that the monorail shouldn’t be built, as it will be too crowded?
I’m confused. It seems like the moral of the story is the monorail will be such a success it will be highly utilized, but perhaps not as highly utilized as if it was twice as big (which seems obvious). However, the editorial slant of the Seattle Times and the political agenda of the Seattle bureaucrats make this story hard to tease out.
I challenge you, read this article and tell me what it says to you! 8 years ago
Signs of life for the monorail:
- a kind P-I column from Susan Paynter
- the 43rd District Democrats voted 33-16 to support the shorter plan
- the 36th District Democrats voted 15-1 in favor
- a heck of an idea from the City Comforts blog – get the Monorail board to promise to resign en masse should the shorter line be approved, thus ridding the board of appointed members and opening the board to elected representatives (throw in commitments from incompetent staff to resign as well and you have yourself a deal!) 8 years ago
Take a listen to the first 30 minutes of this Weekday show with Richard McIver and Dwight Pelz. That’s your choice folks – two people who basically argue that we have all the vision we need as far as transportation goes – we just need to stay the course. 2 monorail haters who don’t even deign to explain to voters why we don’t get what we voted for, but instead will get what our elected officials see fit to provide. 5 separate transit authorities operating in the city, and not a single one of them controlled by the city. That is regional planning for you – no accountability – no solutions – no mass transit. No problem?
I’ll vote for Pelz just because I think it is disgusting that folks try and serve more than 2 terms on the city council. Richard McIver deserves a break from the travails of public service – and a chance to reflect on the intentions of the voters. And I hope Pelz reaps a whirlwind for his anti-urban regionalism next time he runs. 8 years ago
I like to try and practice “lateral thinking” when I encounter a problem. It seems obvious to me that the commonly held position on how to solve a problem is almost never right, since if it was, the problem would likely already be solved. So I’m a big believer of trying to see a problem from a different perspective, rather than recycling the received wisdom.
So over the last few weeks of thinking about transit in Seattle, I’ve been challenging myself to think: “Is there really a problem with transportation in Seattle and if so, what is it?”
This isn’t a rant – I’ll just share my mental experiences so far:
1. Like many problems, when I focused on it for a bit, I found I didn’t really think it was that bad of a problem. For all the expense of the solutions, I’m starting to think the problem is being overblown. In a lot of cases, doing nothing may be a better solution than doing something expensive and ineffective.
2. Walking and cycling are really nice ways to get around. It would be even nicer if you could walk and ride on paths without cars going past. Why not take every 4th street in Seattle neighborhoods and close it to traffic, reclaim the street as a pedestrian/cyclist boulevard. And how about getting more sidewalks in the city, once you look, it is amazing how many parts of town lack sidewalks.
3. Isn’t the problem too many cars? Shouldn’t any solution basically look to eliminate the use of cars by single drivers as a means of getting around the city. I think a lot of good ideas could come from gypsy cab services that pick up multiple passengers, bus stops that tell you when the next bus is coming, and entertainment and perks on transit (free newspapers in the morning, a cocktail and stand up comedy on the way home). What if all the flexcars were jaguars?
4. People have unreasonable expectations. How long should it take to get from Seward Park to Ballard? It’s over 10 miles. Is it reasonable to want to get there faster than 20 miles per hour? No. So plan on a half hour trip.
5. Going to a farmer’s market rules.
Try the experiment of cataloging your traffic woes. My bet is that the problem isn’t as bad as a lot of the rhetoric around the problem. 8 years ago
better yet, offer up more choices than the existing systems we have currently. Mark is dead on in by saying that it takes less time to get from someplace in Seattle to get to another place outside the city by car than by the numerous buses needed to make the same trip. With a system like that, why would someone take a bus (which is essentially the only option)? I also believe it’s silly that it often takes longer to move about in Seattle (by car or bus) than it does to get to the Eastside at certain times. Both of these are unacceptable for the growth and vibrancy of this region in my opinion.
Ultimately, I’m just for mass transit. Any kind that works realistically for the people in the region—who have families, jobs, places to be… you know, lives. It needs to be relevant within the scope of our lives.
recapping a few thoughts i’ve seen…
well, one topic that seemed to be a flash point was the 18th amendment to the state constitution that prevents gas tax money from being spent on projects outside roads. don’t like it? maybe some folks will start pushing for a change?
another topic was that whole I-912 bit. regardless of viewpoint, seems like a great goal on which to organize.
i also saw a thread that mentioned something about tax codes, incentives and the like…perhaps that has some legs?
there are countless others, and forgive me if i missed some. there have been a flury of comments and posts afterall. we could go back and forth arguing one stat or another…fact of the matter is, we’re all here in this online and offline space. what are we all going to do about it so our grandkids don’t have the same discussion?
oh, and there’s nothing wrong with learning, listening and all for those who want to do that. indeed, i’d like to act with information and all…this is much more a cyclical thing than anything else. learn some, do some, learn some more, do some more… 8 years ago
Hi, my name is Carrick and I’m a suburban commuter.
Kidding aside, I do feel I’m part of the problem and not the solution (yet). I commute by car from Seattle to Bellevue on I-90. I have been doing so for years. First it was because of economic opportunity (a job) but now it’s more due to inertia (though it’s still because of the job, too). I-90 is but one part of the vast network of expensive, dangerous, and hostile freeways connecting our region, enabling hundreds of thousands of motorists like me to commute outside our neighborhoods and cities to our places of work. Our work has moved to the suburbs over the decades since WWII because of massive road building, cheap land, cheap and plentiful gasoline, and the good old American Dream.
The last thing I want is a regional transportation system. Connecting Seattle to the suburbs via transit isn’t going to solve anything. It simply replaces concrete with rail (or whatever). Sprawl will continue apace. I would think that the guy commuting from Marysville to Factoria would much rather find a job closer to home than trade his car for a seat on a commuter train (and for a commute like that you’re never going to get rapid transit; we’re talking commuter rail like I used to take from the Hudson Valley into NYC.) If we continue to support sprawl with regional systems, that guy in Marysville may never be able to work close to home because his potential employers can set up shop somewhere else. What we need are:
- Tax, land, and transportation incentives for businesses to stay/move to Seattle
- A rapid transit system the moves workers around the city efficiently and effectively
- A focus on building and maintaining local infrastructure, including roads for moving goods, because in the not-so-distant future everything will be local. I’m talking about gasoline and the lack thereof forcing us to live and work locally.
Bellevue, Redmond, Renton are their own cities at this point. They can build their own local transit systems. We’ll link them up with commuter rail if we have to.
Rant: Why should I be ok with my tax dollars going toward making sure Microsofties can get from Wallingford to Redmond in under 30 minutes when it takes me longer to get from my house in South Seattle to my mom’s house in Ballard, a trip taking place within the Seattle city limits?
Lastly, name one single successful transportation system in this country that effectively services an entire region? 8 years ago
The Puget Sound Regional Council is holding a public comment period on a few different transit projects here through October.
Loosely related, the site also references I-912 which would gut funding for already approved transit projects in the region. Unformtunately in light of the monorail financing plan, there are those who would seem to link the dire financial situation of the monorail as another example of poor fiscal management, adding fuel to the fire of those who would prefer to destroy vital infrastructure for the region. Hopefully people understand that we cannot stop the necessary improvements to our region and they will vote down I-912 this fall. 8 years ago
The city council just joined the mayor in pulling the plug on the monorail. It was a unanimous vote.
Does it matter to voters that 4 public votes said “build the monorail” and the city council did little to nothing to make it so. The City was charging the monorail fees for the use of Seattle Center as well as millions in sales tax, while funding Sound Transit to the tune of $50 Million.
“I think it’s a sad day for not just the monorail supporters, but for all mass transit supporters in the city,” Councilman Nick Licata told The Associated Press. “I would have loved to see the monorail succeed.” He just wasn’t willing to fight for it – and caved into the forces of regionalism. Licata said he hopes a regional transit authority can be formed to pay for some other mass transportation project.
“It was a great dream, but the facts are in, and it’s time to stop the squandering of millions on pie-in-the-sky projections. It’s over,” Councilman Richard McIver said in a statement the council released after the vote. 8 years ago
Here’s how I see the interplay of Seattle’s traffic woes and the surrounding region. Cities are built through human action, dedication, and human ingenuity. Great cities require great effort. Cities literally defy nature. We carve out these cities from their natural surroundings. Walls have forever demarcated the boundaries of cities, and even without walls, our cities have edges where the human effort dissipates and the built city stops. But at the edges of the city, human habitation continues. There have always been those who live outside the city walls: shut out in slums, separated by vocation, removed by culture. The city attracts people with it’s economic, cultural, and defensive benefits. The wall separates those who gain access to those benefits and those who are excluded.
In the modern city, suburbs have grown up around cities as a means to enjoy the economic or cultural benefits of the city without contributing to the tax base. Land use laws in suburbs effectively protect against city “problems” (like density, multi-family housing, crowded schools, mass transit), but the suburbs remain close enough to the urban core to get access to jobs, culture, and human conviviality.
The only great transportation solution for any city is a urban transportation system. Any regional transportation system that dissipates the benefits of the city outside its borders will only further the dissipation of the city’s greatness. Seattle should build a transportation solution for Seattlites. The choked roads in and out of the city are a tribute to the attractions of Seattle. Gridlock outside the city gives commuters the time to contemplate why they live and work where they do. The transportation system we build within Seattle should be a monument to our city’s character and ambitions, not another way to allow suburbs to siphon the dynamism of Seattle.
Great cities have always stood apart from their surroundings and endowed their citizens with gifts that set them apart from other cities. We do not need to solve the region’s transportation problems to solve Seattle’s transportation problems. We need Seattlites to use all our creativity and ingenuity to solve them for ourselves. It’s the only way we’ll find a great solution. Is it any surprise that those lining up against the monorail are preaching solutions that focus on regionalism or look to the state legislature as the ultimate determiner of what sort of transportation the city ought to have? We’ve seen this before – it’s how we got 2 stadiums built side by side through regional fiat over the objections of our city’s voters.
Until Seattle stands on its own, mentally, fiscally, aesthetically, we’ll be enervated with mediocrity and governed from afar. 8 years ago
While it’s important to be an informed voter and to hold elected officials accountable, I think it’s equally important to remember that the only part of the transportation problem that I have control over is my own actions and choices. This means making fewer car trips per day, using public transportation more often, walking where feasible, and perhaps restructuring my life so as to be less dependant on an automobile, including finding work closer to home. I was reminded of this this morning as I found myself stuck in gridlock on Rainier Ave. 8 years ago
The Mayor has threatened to put an advisory ballot on the ballot because he does not have the authority to place a referendum that will kill the system. The Monorail Agency was created as a parallel group, with a board of directors that is heavily chosen by the City Council, the Mayor, and the elected board members. The only direct power that the City or the Mayor has over the Monorail is the granting of the right of way.
The reason that the City Council and Mayor are pushing the Monorail agency to place an initiative on the ballot, is that they are the only ones who can put forth an initiative that is binding.
The original Monorail referendum has a clause that allows the monorail to be overturned, but requires a much higher threshold than a normal referendum. That is why the last referendum tried to hamstring the monorail by denying them the right of way use, rather than directly overturning it. They couldn’t sum up the signatures to get an overturning of the monorail on the ballot.
I suspect that if the Monorail agency took the City to court for refusing to issue the right of way permits, that the City would likely lose. When an issue has been approved by ballot, it is awfully hard for a Mayor or City Council to subjectively decide not to withhold the permits.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The more time goes by, the less angry the public becomes about the initial contract fiasco and the more apprehensive they become about $3 per gallon gas prices (and little alternative transportation options). 8 years ago
Mayor Nickels has tried to present himself as a guy who can make the tough decisions. Well, in pulling support of the monorail, and then calling for an advisory ballot initiative he is passing the buck
- big time. If he really did not support it, there would be no need to call for an advisory vote. You can’t really build it if there are no right aways, afterall. By calling for the voters to decide, the Mayor seems to be hiding from responsibility - that he doesn’t want to be seen as the guy who killed the monorail.
Alternatively, if you really did support it, I saw a lot of creative solutions mentioned such as replacing the viaduct with a monorail, doing an east west, circular sort of thing, or diverting money from the S. Lake Union street cars, etc…Did any of these come to the table?
C’mon Mr. Mayor, where are these so-called tough decisions?
oh, don’t forget to vote in today’s primary :-) 8 years ago
The P-I called the Mayor’s bluff on his temper tantrum, canceling the right of way and demanding a 5th revote. Has anyone enquired whether the Mayor has legal authority to cancel the right of way agreements?
I think the Mayor has dug himself a real hole here. If the monorail declines the invitation to revote the whole package, it will be interesting to see how his office chooses to proceed. 8 years ago
I was reading an article about the monorail today, and while looking at the attached map, I found myself thinking – why not run this sucker along the alignment taken up today by the viaduct. Has anyone looked at that option? 8 years ago
Read more at 2045seattle.org
September 19th, 2005
to: Mayor Greg Nickels
Where were you?
On Friday, you said with great emotion that you have been “a strong supporter of building a modern monorail system”, that you “voted in favor of this project four times” and that it was “one of the most disappointing days” in your service as Mayor. So, when we gathered on Saturday with the board of the Seattle Monorail Project, we expected to see you there. Why weren’t you at the table making sure you will vote for the monorail a fifth time? Why weren’t you at the table making sure that this will not only be a project you will approve of and vote yes for, but will fight for every day between now and November? If you want to end the turf battles, you need to spend every day between now and Thursday working with the board so that when the new plan is presented to the public, it has your stamp of approval all over it.
We must admit that we were impressed by what we felt was your boldest move on Friday. You set a new standard for transit projects in the city of Seattle, that any viable transit project in Seattle must answer the following four questions.
Can the project finish building what it starts?
Is the project financially viable now and in the future?
Is the estimated financing cost an acceptable price to pay?
And does this protect the tax payers of Seattle from undue risk?
From this point on, the citizens of Seattle will hold you to this standard for every transportation project within city limits. From the Light Rail extension to the South Lake Union Trolley, we expect that each and every one of these questions will be answered appropriately and promptly and if they are not, that they will be held to the same standard and have their Transit Way Agreements revoked. Perhaps you should put advisory measures for each of these projects on the ballot so the public can have a say in the future of their city.
We have one final concern for you Mayor Nickels. As members of 2045 Seattle, we look at the city around us and wonder what legacy we will leave in forty years. The Seattle Monorail Project is the only transportation project that is actually adding capacity to our city. How many more years will we have to wait while you commission yet another study? While you are once again analyzing our transit problems, we are suffering through them every day. How many more children will suffer from asthma? How much more polluted will Elliott Bay get? How many more years will we spend stuck in traffic instead of home with our friends and families? And we can’t help but wonder, what do you drive and what sort of milage does it get?
What Seattle needs now is a leader who will fight for what over 63% of the people so clearly said they wanted less than a year ago, who will respect our votes and build this monorail before traffic gets any worse and certainly before our viaduct comes crashing down. We’ve talked and studied this to death. Independent analysis has already been done. Construction teams are ready to go. The need is now and it is great. As our mayor, we look forward to seeing you at the table working and fighting to build our monorail.
2045 Seattle 8 years ago