Seattle

VAStationDude
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Re: Seattle

Postby VAStationDude » January 15th, 2016, 8:43 am

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/p ... 016--47004

Light rail extensions under budget and ahead of schedule. The 3.15 mile two station University Link extension will add 71,000 daily passengers to Seattle's light rail system.

mattaudio
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Re: Seattle

Postby mattaudio » February 10th, 2016, 12:32 pm

Seattle is building so many new rail lines that their single downtown tunnel will soon need to be supplanted with additional downtown capacity. They are considering a second downtown tunnel alignment, or surface-running LRT.
http://kuow.org/post/another-tunnel-sou ... put-trains

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Re: Seattle

Postby twincitizen » February 10th, 2016, 2:17 pm

I'm headed to Seattle on Memorial Day weekend (as are the Minnesota Twins). Very excited!

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Re: Seattle

Postby MSPtoMKE » March 20th, 2016, 10:32 pm

The 2 station University Link extension opened yesterday:
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-new ... ions-open/

Seattle's Light Rail system ridership will probably soon exceed ours, all with 15 stations to our 37. Although they have already spent over $4 billion compared to about $2 billion here for a so far comparable level of ridership. Tunnels and viaducts are uh-spensive! Their ridership is also consistently rising at a considerable rate, after somewhat disappointing initial numbers when they first opened during the recession. Looking forward to riding it and the new First Hill Streetcar when I visit next.
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Anondson
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Re: Seattle

Postby Anondson » March 21st, 2016, 3:20 pm

Seattle's new extension overwhelmingly popular.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-new ... topstories

twincitizen
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Re: Seattle

Postby twincitizen » May 26th, 2016, 6:54 am

Apparently a Seattle Times columnist recently wrote a terrible "War on Cars" editorial/opinion piece: http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/cit ... h-reality/

Former mayor Mike McGinn fired back with this rebuttal: http://crosscut.com/2016/05/mcginn-what ... r-on-cars/


Aside from that, I fly to Seattle tomorrow morning!!! Please give me all of your suggestions for the city, surrounding areas, mountains, etc. Will be staying in the city for the most part, but also going to rent a car at some point and get into the mountains, maybe even drive to Portland! (We were going to do Vancouver, but one member of our party has a passport hitch)

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Re: Seattle

Postby VAStationDude » May 26th, 2016, 8:39 am

The Key Tower observation deck is superior to the space needle. Check out the Fremont neighborhood for intriguing public art and the great view from Gas Works Park.

mattaudio
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Re: Seattle

Postby mattaudio » May 26th, 2016, 8:52 am

I highly recommend chilling with Mike McGinn.

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Re: Seattle

Postby twincitizen » May 26th, 2016, 9:11 am

Gonna go to a baseball game with Thatchio tomorrow night!

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Re: Seattle

Postby twincitizen » June 1st, 2016, 2:16 pm

OMG you guys. Seattle.

My main takeaway from downtown Seattle is that there are at least four "Block E" and/or "City Center" type developments (some full block, some less; some with an office tower, some purely retail/entertainment) and every single one of them appears to be enormously successful. The one that was essentially a Block E clone still had a functioning movie theater and Gameworks. Also, the street level facades of the Washington Convention Center (which is huge and bridges over several streets) included TONS of retail space, from a huge Cheesecake Factory down to tiny little stalls (crepes, coffee, Subway, etc.) It was quite a sight to behold. In terms of street-facing retail (though there are some purely internal retailers in Westlake Center, etc.) it was pretty much exactly what downtown Minneapolis would look like in a perfect world.

If you go to Seattle, I highly recommend arriving via LRT from the airport and having your first experience of the city be ascending through the Westlake Station beneath Nordstrom. It's all pretty incredible (and depressing, because it's literally everything we want in Minneapolis: transit tunnel, throngs of people shopping, etc.)

mattaudio
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Re: Seattle

Postby mattaudio » June 1st, 2016, 8:39 pm

Yep, it's pretty amazing. But why have all that when we can have skyways instead?

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Re: Seattle

Postby Mcgizz » June 2nd, 2016, 8:15 am

The more surprising thing is you actaully saw the Twins win. :lol:

What did you think of the LRT? It's been about two years since I last rode it, but I've always thought their LRT, aside from the downtown tunnel is a notch or two worse than ours. The vehicles are poorly laid out. Some of the station placements seem lost. The station for the stadiums is a bit of a hike from the stadiums. It is even a hike to the LRT from the airport. You have to walk through a parking ramp. But, I think you are right, it is very convenient for getting downtown. Interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Re: Seattle

Postby MNdible » June 2nd, 2016, 9:24 am

Seattle is definitely impressive, and more so every day -- that said, there are still many parts of downtown that are pretty unremarkable.

I've argued before, and will again, that Seattle's vibrancy isn't because they've figured out some magical policy that we haven't, or that they never developed a Skyway system. It's because of their constrained geography and the fact that they, through dumb luck, happened to be one of the seats of the massive tech boom that generated huge amounts of wealth.

It turns out that a population with lots of disposable income is a shortcut to great streets.

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Re: Seattle

Postby EOst » June 2nd, 2016, 9:27 am

Plus, tourism, which is at record levels in Seattle. Turns out tourists like to buy things.

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Re: Seattle

Postby talindsay » June 6th, 2016, 11:23 am

MNdible wrote:Seattle is definitely impressive, and more so every day -- that said, there are still many parts of downtown that are pretty unremarkable.

I've argued before, and will again, that Seattle's vibrancy isn't because they've figured out some magical policy that we haven't, or that they never developed a Skyway system. It's because of their constrained geography and the fact that they, through dumb luck, happened to be one of the seats of the massive tech boom that generated huge amounts of wealth.

It turns out that a population with lots of disposable income is a shortcut to great streets.
I agree. Seattle is nice, but it's always struck me as muddled, stuck between Portland and Vancouver and unable to give a cohesive identity. It's also dirty and has a massive problem with social services. But constrained geography and lots of money means that they can get a lot of things wrong and still have pretty decent urbanism.

As recently as ten years ago it certainly wasn't as good a city as Minneapolis; they've had a good ten years, and in some areas they're clearly ahead of us now. Rail transit is an example of where they've been very successful. Their higher density makes that easy. It's not due to any natural ability to do good transit in the area though, because their bus system is a disaster.

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Re: Seattle

Postby mister.shoes » June 27th, 2016, 3:43 pm

We just got back from ~6 days in Washington/Oregon. We did spend a little bit of time in both Seattle and Portland, but not enough to get a deep feeling for either. However, both cities impressed the heck out of us with the amount of street-level retail. Ignoring the obvious scale difference, Seattle felt more Manhattan-y while Portland was definitely more Minneapolis-like in terms of general street ambiance. You mentioned some of the reasons, talindsay—dirty streets, constrained geography, people lacking homes—and I'll add the larger blocks, greater abundance of taller buildings, and active industrial waterfront.

We took the LRT to/from a Mariners game but didn't ride any buses, though our walk to/from the Westlake Station via 3rd gave the impression of a robust bus network. However, the priest in church yesterday morning made a comment along the lines of "...when will Seattle's bus system ever get back to normal?" that elicited hearty laughs from the locals so that counterbalanced our limited impression of that particular transportation mode.

We couldn't wait to see how the city handles the to-be-vacated land once the viaduct is gone. Accessing the waterfront was a frustrating and disappointing experience. We wanted to get close and it was just too hard. That said, the ease at which we took the rental car to a ferry and headed off to the Olympic Peninsula was delightful. And the view from the Space Needle was breathtaking. In general, it's hard to argue with the city's location. Big time wow.
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Anondson
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Re: Seattle

Postby Anondson » November 6th, 2017, 9:50 pm

Seattle’s Lynnwood LRT expansion adds $500M in cost overruns in a single year.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... il-budget/

Booming economy blamed.

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Re: Seattle

Postby RailBaronYarr » November 13th, 2017, 2:20 pm

https://seattletransitblog.com/2017/11/ ... um=twitter

Seattle voted a couple years ago to add ~$50m a year in revenue to make transit better within the city. Revenues come basically 50/50 from a $60 license fee and a 0.1% sales tax increase. They've used that revenue to increase the number of routes with all day frequent service (defined as average headways of 10 minutes or better from 6am-7pm), bring back some cut routes (including night service), improve reliability, and do some minor capital/ops programs like signal work/bus shelters/etc. They have also used some of that revenue to subsidize low income riders, offset part of the vehicle registration cost for low-income residents, and provide students with transit passes.

A particularly admirable goal was increasing the number of households within a 10 minute walk of 10-minute frequency transit. They're at 64% of HHs with the Sept 2017 improvements, ahead of schedule for their 2020 goal of 53% and a huge improvement from 2015's stat of only 25%.

Obviously, how much of the transit ridership increase is attributable to these investments vs the overall regional ones like light rail lines opening up is debatable. I think it's telling that while many regions across the country are seeing bus ridership decline, if not overall transit system ridership declines, Seattle is not only seeing a growing LRT system but also Seattle-specific and "suburb-partner" route ridership increases as well.

This is case-in-point why I continue to advocate for the city funding transit service and improvements. Minneapolis and St Paul have a combined population larger than Seattle in a smaller land area (even if less favorable to transit operations) and could easily afford $50-100m a year between them both.

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Re: Seattle

Postby MNdible » November 13th, 2017, 4:27 pm

In terms of emulating Seattle, it would also help if we could build some large bodies of water to surround the city center on three sides, thus limiting access to a few terribly congested routes.

Also, if we could have a massive technology boom to pump up city coffers, that would also be helpful.

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Re: Seattle

Postby RailBaronYarr » November 13th, 2017, 4:48 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
November 13th, 2017, 2:20 pm
Minneapolis and St Paul have a combined population larger than Seattle in a smaller land area (even if less favorable to transit operations)
Your snark was anticipated and duly noted.

With that said, Minneapolis and St Paul are, in fact, bordered by a bunch of geographic and man-made features that limit access from neighboring suburbs. The river on to St Paul's south and the giant wetland areas surrounding it, the chain of lakes in SW Mpls with one pinch point collecting 3 major suburban roads, a large regional park just north of those very lakes, the many giant rail yards, etc. If we had the will to build as many grade-separated transit lines through Minneapolis and St Paul and into nearby suburbs in the 50s/60s as we did for freeways, I suspect land use patterns would have evolved quite differently. But yeah, sure, Seattle has different geography than us. I guess that means we shouldn't build transit, or something?

As to whether or not we can afford something of this scale with or without a tech boom to back it... Boy I guess adding $50m to Minneapolis' annual budget doesn't seem so bad. We just did that for parks and streets to the tune of $40m a year loaded mostly on property taxes. Tough to say whether citizens and businesses would fight a similar levy for transit, but given current tax capacities for resi vs commercial/industrial, $50m a year all on property taxes would be $180 a year on the average household. Seems... reasonable.


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