U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area
 [Register]
Seattle area Seattle and King County Suburbs
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
 
 
Old 11-30-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
7,348 posts, read 5,216,517 times
Reputation: 4401
So does that monorail thingy they built for the Seattle World's Fair not really do anything today?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-30-2011, 12:51 PM
 
253 posts, read 272,380 times
Reputation: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
I will forever be grateful (and more than just a little surprised) that my hometown of Atlanta had the vision and foresight to plan, approve and fund construction of the MARTA subway system starting back in the early '70s. It took 30 years to get it to where it is today, now the 7th-largest transit system in the nation with nearly a half million daily riders. But there's no doubt that it absolutely transformed the city and made it what it is today. Next year, voters in Metro Atlanta will go to the polls to consider a penny sales tax addition that would raise $8 billion over 10 years and effectively finish the system as it was originallly proposed -- adding another 25 miles or so of track and tying it into a light rail / streetcar system that's already under construction. I could not imagine starting any of this from scratch in this day and time however. It seems as if the opportunity to build heavy rail transit really sailed by in the '70s and '80s. But I do wish Seattle luck.
Our loss was your gain. The Federal Funds that went to start MARTA were originally allocated to the Seattle Metro. But unfortunately b/c it was a county wide vote and required a supermajority we rejected it. Had it been just a city vote or had it just required 50% we would have had a subway system decades earlier.

But we've already got a start on a system. As the map shows, we've already got a partial subway line up and running, with further extensions already planned, funded and under construction.

And one good thing about doing it now is that the freeway craze is over. For most of it's length Link doesn't run along the freeway, instead serving the heart of neighborhoods. Also there are no park'n'rides inside the city limits. As great as MARTA is, one of it's shortcomings IMO is an overabundance of park and rides. This is great for boosting ridership short term, and great for commuters, but massive parking structures are good for the type of infill development that generates all day demand. We ride MARTA out to suburbs where my cousin lives when we go to visit them and our godson and some of the stations are so separated from the area around them that they outright scary.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-30-2011, 01:05 PM
 
253 posts, read 272,380 times
Reputation: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
Also, why does it have to be the city taking it on? The subway system in Tokyo is privatized and the result is punctual, clean trains that get people all over a gigantic city for not very much money.
It'd be great if a private company wanted to step up and run it, but right now no is so we're left to do it ourselves.

But keep in mind that thanks to the way Sound Transit is set up the city alone is paying for it's section of the subway line we are currently building. We've already built part of the line, from the Airport through downtown, in 2016 it will go to Capitol Hill and then on to the University of Washington. After that it will continue on to Northgate, getting up and running to there early next decade.

This is about building on that success and taking access to the neighborhoods that missed out on the first line. And we don't want to wait for the rest of the Sound Transit service area to get theirs all built out and then decide they are ready for more. We've got a much higher need for a subway system than they do. The people of Seattle have shown time and again that we want quick, reliable, high capacity transit and we are willing to pay for it. We voted overwhelmingly for Sound Move and for Sound Transit 2, we voted four times for the Monorail project, only rejecting it when the city pulled support for it when the financing couldn't be fixed.

We needed a subway system 30 years ago, now we've got build off the successes of our first line and roll out a comprehensive system so that any neighborhood can get to DT in 30 minutes or less.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-30-2011, 01:50 PM
 
Location: anywhere but Seattle
1,082 posts, read 484,880 times
Reputation: 904
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDurden View Post
I don't see how fixing potholes really helps anyone that much. They're an annoyance and nothing more. The roundabouts aren't a big deal. Neither are lack of magnetic sensors etc... Trust me, a subway system would benefit way more people in much bigger ways than everything you suggested. A subway system would help traffic way more than getting rid of roundabouts.

Also, why does it have to be the city taking it on? The subway system in Tokyo is privatized and the result is punctual, clean trains that get people all over a gigantic city for not very much money.
Get out of Seattle and visit any other large US city that actually maintains its infrastructure and you'll see what I'm talking about. The amount of decay in this city and the resulting congestion is downright shameful. Replacing the outdated timed stop lights with a system that reacts to the number of cars in the intersection would eliminate a lot of congestion. If this city can't or won't (judging by your other natives attitude) maintain its existing infrastructure it doesn't deserve a another expensive infrastructure project. Fix what you have first. The only thing this subway project can ever hope to accomplish it to enrich a few contractors and politicians, go way over budget and if its not killed off before completion it might see the first subsidized passenger in a generation or two.

Seattle is the 4th most congested city in the US just ahead of LA. Pathetic for such a tiny city.
http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010...a-report-says/

Last edited by evergraystate; 11-30-2011 at 01:59 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-30-2011, 04:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,832 times
Reputation: 13
Hi! I live in Seattle and registered to make a comment here.

The other cities larger than Seattle with less congestion have less congestion for two reasons - either they don't have as dense of a downtown (meaning not as many people are trying to go to the same place), or they have a rail system alleviating congestion.

Until Link opened, barely two years ago, Seattle was the largest metro area in the US without a rail transit system. The reason congestion is so bad is that nobody can choose to take the train instead of sitting in traffic, but most of the jobs are downtown!

Job one to stop the growth of congestion in Seattle is to build a rail system that doesn't sit in traffic. A subway is a great way to do it.

There's a lot more to this, too. If more residents (and taxpayers) are using a subway instead of driving on the road, the per capita cost of road maintenance goes down. So the more the city grows around transit lines, the more taxes are available to fix the same roads. Again, the result of road-only planning compared to cities with rail systems...
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-30-2011, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
7,348 posts, read 5,216,517 times
Reputation: 4401
The one benefit of MARTA's expansive public parking facilities, particlulary on Atlanta's Northside, is the ability to long-term park in a garage at a subway station FOR FREE (or nearly so) and ride the train directly to the airport 20+ miles away. There is no other city in the nation (I dare say the world?) which makes getting to the airport as convenient as MARTA does in Atlanta. It's a prime selling point for the transportation sales tax vote coming up next year. Alas, MARTA's effienciency at getting large numbers of people from the fringe of the city into the heart of the city quickly has come at the expense of not having enough neighborhood stops in the most desirable parts of town, and that's what the streetcar / light rail system will hopefully fix.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2011, 04:39 AM
 
253 posts, read 272,380 times
Reputation: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by evergraystate View Post
Get out of Seattle and visit any other large US city that actually maintains its infrastructure and you'll see what I'm talking about. The amount of decay in this city and the resulting congestion is downright shameful. Replacing the outdated timed stop lights with a system that reacts to the number of cars in the intersection would eliminate a lot of congestion. If this city can't or won't (judging by your other natives attitude) maintain its existing infrastructure it doesn't deserve a another expensive infrastructure project. Fix what you have first. The only thing this subway project can ever hope to accomplish it to enrich a few contractors and politicians, go way over budget and if its not killed off before completion it might see the first subsidized passenger in a generation or two.

Seattle is the 4th most congested city in the US just ahead of LA. Pathetic for such a tiny city.
New York Has Worst Traffic in North America, Says Report - NYTimes.com
Half a century of deferred maintenance can't be reversed in a day. Bridging the Gap is moving us in the direction to do it in the next couple of decades. Which unless you want to spend MASSIVE amounts of money bringing in out of state crews is about as fast as it can be done. Thanks to it, we've stopped adding more to the backlog and are working way through it. Unless of course like many people who don't understand the situation and just like to bash City Hall you think that when for the first time ever the city commissions a comprehensive study of maintenance issues, when it identifies problems not yet officially documented these are 'new' issues.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2011, 05:04 AM
 
253 posts, read 272,380 times
Reputation: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
So does that monorail thingy they built for the Seattle World's Fair not really do anything today?
No, not really. It's mostly a tourist line, with only two stations and a total length of 1.2 miles. Now don't get me wrong, I love the Monorail, and who doesn't like a transit system that pays for itself, but a really useful piece of transportation infrastructure it just isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
The one benefit of MARTA's expansive public parking facilities, particlulary on Atlanta's Northside, is the ability to long-term park in a garage at a subway station FOR FREE (or nearly so) and ride the train directly to the airport 20+ miles away. There is no other city in the nation (I dare say the world?) which makes getting to the airport as convenient as MARTA does in Atlanta. It's a prime selling point for the transportation sales tax vote coming up next year. Alas, MARTA's effienciency at getting large numbers of people from the fringe of the city into the heart of the city quickly has come at the expense of not having enough neighborhood stops in the most desirable parts of town, and that's what the streetcar / light rail system will hopefully fix.
I don't doubt that there are benefits to it. I just think that in many cases it is similar to emphasizing commuter service from the suburbs over all day service in your dense urban core. You can get a lot of buts in seats, but are you really changing much of anything? Without building the density that allows people to take care of many trips by walking, and all day service between different urban villages (instead of just peak commute trips to downtown) so that people can take transit for the remainder of trips you still force your population to own a car, if not multiple cars. In Seattle, the average yearly cost of car ownership is $12,000 higher than going walk/bike/transit only. That's a significant chunk of change. Even allowing for it being an average, so take $6 grand, that is still a lot of many to many working families. And that is just per vehicle.

If we want to built a transit system that encourages infill development over sprawl, promotes healthier lifestyles by encouraging walking and biking, try and keep the middle and working class in the city instead of being pushed out to the suburbs and exurbs (where they are even worse off), you've got to emphasis moving people and not just cars. That means you have build stations that are built around people, and not just cars.

I'm glad Atlanta is making efforts in that direction. As someone who lived in Rome for 4 years, and has friends and family in Atlanta I've spent a good amount of time there. It's come far, but it still has a ways to go.

Seattle also has it's problems, but hopefully we can start working on this subway project and knock one important one off of the list.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
7,348 posts, read 5,216,517 times
Reputation: 4401
I've enjoyed this thread. Seattle is so often held up by the rest of the country as the "perfect" urban area ("Nirvana" if you'll pardon the pun) that it's somewhat refreshing to hear y'all have a serious pothole problem! LOL!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-01-2011, 01:35 PM
 
5,340 posts, read 5,651,129 times
Reputation: 4121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
I've enjoyed this thread. Seattle is so often held up by the rest of the country as the "perfect" urban area ("Nirvana" if you'll pardon the pun) that it's somewhat refreshing to hear y'all have a serious pothole problem! LOL!
Our roads always been lousy. I can still remember when we first moved to Seattle in the late 80s, my father would always get rankled by the potholes and he would mutter how the roads in San Francisco were much better. My father doesn't even like San Francisco...
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Washington > Seattle area

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top