New monorail-system proposal: Century Transportation Company

March 24, 2012 at 9:54 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 77 Comments

On the half-century anniversary of the Seattle Monorail, more than five years after the end of the last attempt to expand the monorail along a route from Ballard to West Seattle, an activist says it’s time to try again. The announcement comes from Elizabeth Campbell, known for past campaigns including a push for a rebuilt Alaskan Way Viaduct. The news release (and a call for board members) is ahead:

This morning the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Monorail’s service is being celebrated, and this morning the board of the newly created Century Transportation Company (“CenTran”) is announcing that it is launching its campaign to create a public transportation authority to build an approximately 16 mile monorail/High Capacity Personal Rapid Transit System along the west side transportation corridor of Seattle.

In order to publicly form a transportation authority, approximately 3,600 valid signatures will be gathered on a petition pursuant to RCW 35.95A, which will authorize a public vote to be taken on the formation of the authority, along with the authorization for initial funding for the planning, design, and engineering of the transportation system.

The system will flow from north Ballard, through 15th Avenue NW, swing along the west side of the Seattle Center, then go west to Western Avenue, then run south along the right-of-way of the Alaskan Way Viaduct that is to be vacated, south to 1st Avenue, then west to West Seattle. A map of proposed route alignments can be accessed here.

CenTran will capitalize on the prior planning, design, and engineering work that was completed for the Seattle Popular Monorail project. This will particularly ensure the timely planning and construction of this critical transportation system to serve the west side of Seattle.

CenTran will especially endeavor to create an up-to-date, viable financial plan for both the construction and operation of the CenTran monorail/high capacity personal rapid transit system. Financing for the construction may include public-private partnerships, public stock sales, and a combination of revenue or general obligation bond issues. The cost of the complete system is estimated to be between $1.5 and $2 Billion dollars – for a 16+ mile monorail and 18 stations.

Following a authorizing vote in August, 2012, it is estimated that the planning and design phase will take one year, followed by two years to complete the environmental review and permitting processes. During this time another public vote will be held to authorize the funding and construction of the system. Construction then is estimated to commence in 2016, followed by completion and operation of the complete system by December, 2018.

The system being proposed will be fully grade-separated, will utilize public right-of-ways where feasible, and serve major destination points that are most likely to be produce the highest ridership volumes.

Special emphasis is being place on station locations that can be multipurpose uses, in terms of transportation use in conjunction with residential and commercial uses.

Initial talks have been started between CenTran and the Mayor/Mayor’s office about CenTran’s interest in participating in the transportation planning between Sound Transit and the City of Seattle for a high capacity transportation system in Seattle – monorail is federally recognized by definition and function as a high capacity transportation system, and CenTran’s grade separated feature also fulfills the standard of high capacity transit as it runs in its own dedicated corridor.

Recently, CenTran also weighed in with the Arena Project partners – as a transportation authority CenTran can partner with public and private projects that contribute to the establishment and operation of the transportation system.

PURPOSE:

CenTran has been formed in order to engage in the following activities:

· Creating a transportation system that utilizes train cars running on a guideway, together with the necessary passenger stations, terminals, parking facilities, related facilities or other properties and facilities necessary for the system – including passenger and vehicular access to and from people-moving systems such as High Capacity Personal Rapid Transit (HCPRT) that has multiple off-line stations to collect and distribute riders to and from the monorail system, including fixed guideway light rail systems (which include any tram and trolley systems such as the waterfront trolley or the streetcar in the South Lake Union area of the city, and high capacity personal rapid transit.)

· Exercising all the powers provided to city transportation authorities under RCW 35.95A and other applicable law.

· Providing a forum in which people and organizations can work together for the common transportation or mobility good of themselves and their community.

INVITATION TO SERVE ON THE CENTRAN BOARD

At present there are nine additional board member positions open (CenTran currently has six board members). An invitation is being extended citywide and to community, business, and special interest organizations, asking to please circulate this invite.

Board members are needed for a start-up, community based public transportation authority, being organized pursuant to RCW 35.95A The Authority will be proposing to construct an approximately 16 mile long, dual guideway monorail system between Ballard and West Seattle, in one or more phases.

To transmit letter of inquiry or interest related to CTA board member opening, and to attach resume or send other related information please use this link or email to board@centran.org

Board Member Duties:

· Board members will be actively involved in all facets of City of Seattle transportation planning work and related regional transportation planning work, in terms of how they relate to CenTran’s transportation system’s goals.

· Board members will support the work of the Century Transportation Authority and any associated spin-off entities.

· Board members will provide mission-based leadership, strategic governance, and be involved in the search for and appointment of the Authority’s executive director; and to provide polity and guidance for the Authority’s director to follow.

· Board Members’ responsibilities will also include: setting policies, reviewing outcomes and metrics, establishing and approving the Authority’s annual budget, providing audit reports, making material business decisions, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

· Interim Board terms will be for a minimum of 14 months. Permanent board member terms will be for five years.

Preferred Qualifications:
Experience with City of Seattle or Washington state issues, preferably transportation related, or a record of involvement with Seattle neighborhood affairs that includes some transportation matters experience. The experience should be at least two years, demonstrate a commitment to public service, and involve in-depth participation in terms of issue complexity, and be a public or documented record of participation.

Additional Considerations for Potential Board Members:
Expertise in a specific area which can help CenTran flourish is desirable. For example, special knowledge, education, or experience in one or more of the following fields: legal, financial, economic development, real estate, transportation, public or private infrastructure development or construction experience.

Leadership and management experience, especially with publicly or privately funded transportation.

Commitment to the project/grade separated system. Board members must be interested in the Authority’s business and its continued well-being. They should not be serving just for the money or for personal interests.

Possess the time and energy to devote to board duties. Board members will be expected to spend time preparing for and attending board meetings, and to serve on additional committees.

77 Comments

  1. I am thrilled to learn of this project. Maybe there will be an answer to W. Seattle’s transportation needs.

    Comment by Jo — 10:19 am March 24, 2012 #

  2. I hope this works out. I was so disappointed when the monorail project fell through last time.

    Comment by Noelle — 10:25 am March 24, 2012 #

  3. April fools already!

    Comment by E4M — 10:29 am March 24, 2012 #

  4. YEEEAAAH! An opportunity to go to Bumbershoot without driving.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 10:43 am March 24, 2012 #

  5. Would like to be optomistic-not even close right now.

    Comment by Anne — 10:54 am March 24, 2012 #

  6. Ok, I’ll vote 5 times for it….

    Comment by timh2o — 11:02 am March 24, 2012 #

  7. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 11:20 am March 24, 2012 #

  8. Well, you know this will never fly. It runs from large established neighborhoods to the downtown core and actually makes sense for commuters. From West Seattle to the stadiums or to downtown would be a breeze.

    Expect the city council and Unsound Transit to come out strongly against it. Too much transportation, not enough social engineering. Oh, and no billion dollar tunnels to drill.

    Comment by Jordan — 11:20 am March 24, 2012 #

  9. The Junction station should be more on the Trangle side of the Junction to bring more of the Triangle into the 1/2 mile catchment areas and eliminate some of the overlap on California (it would also be closer to my house).
    -
    Kudos to WSB for picking this up before the Seattle Transit Blog.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 11:27 am March 24, 2012 #

  10. Anytime you have a second chance to hemorrhage another $124.7M of taxpayer money, you’ve got to take it. How could this fail?

    Comment by Dave — 11:30 am March 24, 2012 #

  11. And this all must be contingent on being agreed upon and passing with or without public vote, because we’ve all seen how worthless voters approval is on these things!

    Comment by flipjack — 11:31 am March 24, 2012 #

  12. Peter, interesting comment … It was a news release that I’m sure they received too. But I don’t know if they are staffed full-time or if they are somebody’s labor of love … WSB is our 24/7 business so if something comes in on Saturday morning, hey, we’re here. Anyway, I came across the website some weeks ago and sent a note to Ms. Campbell asking for more details. She never replied. I figured that if it were a for-real effort, they’d eventually go public. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:38 am March 24, 2012 #

  13. Y’know, a town with money is like a mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he got it and danged if he knows how to use it!

    Comment by austin — 11:58 am March 24, 2012 #

  14. Love it! I love winning the lottery too! I like my odds on the lottery better.

    Comment by Scott — 12:18 pm March 24, 2012 #

  15. My big question has been and will continue to be. Why do we need a separate rail system. Why not expand the light rail over to west seattle. Make one large interconnected system like in my other areas with multiple destinations with some central hubs. Hop the green line to west seattle, transfer to the red line, ballard end point is the blue line, etc.

    Comment by nighthawk — 12:27 pm March 24, 2012 #

  16. I applaud this initiative and hope the group has steeled itself for the cynicism which will inevitably come after so much time and money was wasted on the past effort.
    .
    With the light rail providing car-free commuting options for the U-District, Capitol Hill and some of South Seattle, it is nice to see a focus on Ballard and West Seattle.
    .
    Though multi-billion dollar price tags are always significant, it seems like such a system would pay for itself relatively quickly. The average Seattle driver wastes around 44 hours per year sitting in traffic or, in dollar figures, around $1,000 in lost time. Considering that there are around 900,000 average daily car trips within Seattle, if you factor in the additional savings from fuel, automotive maintenance, insurance, medical bills and court costs from accidents, etc. there is an exponential savings if even a fraction of those trips are eliminated in favor of taking a monorail instead of a car.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 12:35 pm March 24, 2012 #

  17. Looks like they want to avoid the image of a “cab driver idea” this time around. I’m behind it, again.

    Comment by Neighborly — 12:35 pm March 24, 2012 #

  18. Could be good, could be bad. I just hope they don’t destroy small businesses like the last attempt. Purchase locations for sub market value, decide to dump the project and resell the locations for profit. It’s a great business plan for government profit.

    Also, I find it interesting that one initiative to help with our transit problems posted about the same time I saw another transit related article (which could go totally sour and force more people to drive INTO downtown) http://today.seattletimes.com/2012/03/end-of-metro-free-ride-zone-focus-of-open-house/

    Comment by Mike — 12:48 pm March 24, 2012 #

  19. Does anyone know how they would get across the Duwamish? Love the whole idea, I was just always curious about this particular design point (too young to be interested/involved in affairs back then).

    Comment by JN — 1:00 pm March 24, 2012 #

  20. I have always liked the thought of a monorail from West Seattle. They need to fix the spelling error on the map; it’s “Fauntleroy”.

    Comment by me on 28th Ave SW — 1:09 pm March 24, 2012 #

  21. I’m all for this. Lets get this thing built and elect the proper people this time to lead it.

    Comment by Jun-jun — 1:20 pm March 24, 2012 #

  22. Looking forward to reviewing the “up-to-date, viable financial plan.”

    Comment by Aman — 1:22 pm March 24, 2012 #

  23. Come on, give it up. It’s time to move on. How many cities have successfully built a monorail system that is used for anything other than a tourist novelty? In contrast, how many cities have successfully built a light rail system?

    As a structural engineer, I think this is a ridiculous idea. This is not just based on a bias, but on professional expertise about what it would take to build and sustain a monorail system.

    Comment by DA — 1:58 pm March 24, 2012 #

  24. @me on 28th – Ooops! Nice catch! I agree – I’ve always thought the monorail or even light rail would be great to have in WS. Especially since we keep building more residential buildings, we really need alternate ways of getting out of WS.

    Comment by sun*e — 2:07 pm March 24, 2012 #

  25. Enough with the monorail already.

    It’s stupid technology. Lots of cities have built a monorail. Not a single city has built two of them.

    Monorails combine the worst of trains and buses. You can’t run them at grade. You can’t run them underground (feasibly). Switching tracks is a nightmare (think, you have a three foot concrete beam that needs three feet of clearance on either side, thus the switches are enormous and costly.)

    They are also nearly impossible for passengers to disembark during an emergency. Doesn’t anyone remember when the old monorail had a fire and the passengers had to sit there on the thing until help arrived because there is no where to go? It happened. You can’t safely walk off a monorail train onto a monorail track. http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4125941.html

    You want mass transit? Great. Do what everyone else in the world does and build a train. Light rail. Heavy rail. Doesn’t matter. Trains run at grade, underground, and elevated. Monorails only run on elevated tracks because the cars have to overhang the beam. Trains can easily combine into a network with switches. They can share cars freely depending on need. Not monorails.

    I don’t get people’s fascination with monorails. There’s simply no advantage to them. They are amusement park rides. Think of the greatest mass transit systems in the world. New York. Paris. London. It’s all trains.

    Name the greatest monorail system in the world. Oh, that’s right, there aren’t any.

    Enough of this nonsense already.

    Comment by Seaviewer — 2:10 pm March 24, 2012 #

  26. Oh god, not again!

    Comment by Paul — 2:40 pm March 24, 2012 #

  27. You have got to be kidding me, and how will you finance this project? Oh wait let me guess by adding a fee to car tabs, and how will you make the steet grade up the hill into West Seattle? How many more people are going to have their houses and business stolen for a no where project? Really Elizabeth!! Do your home work before forcing some ridiculous dream onto the already over burdened tax payers!!

    Comment by Silly Goose — 2:59 pm March 24, 2012 #

  28. As one of the June tab renewal victims who had to pay four times to everyone else’s three, and still smarting, I’d like to say that it was a bad idea the first time and it’s still a bad idea. Can’t believe it’s resurfaced.
    .
    Light rail makes so much more sense.

    Comment by fiz — 3:18 pm March 24, 2012 #

  29. Why can’t we just get light rail?

    Comment by Keith — 3:42 pm March 24, 2012 #

  30. Fool me once…

    Comment by Westseattleperson — 3:49 pm March 24, 2012 #

  31. Agreed, light rail/surface rail would be best. I wanted the monorail because it was SOMETHING, but if someone could come up with a feasible light rail extension, or surface rail plan, I would much prefer that. Of course that would likely take a lane of traffic away, and the car-dependent would not stand for that.

    Comment by JN — 3:54 pm March 24, 2012 #

  32. http://www.monorails.org/tmspages/why.html

    Comment by cjboffoli — 4:03 pm March 24, 2012 #

  33. Just have run from West Seattle to the stadium area!!!! Forget Ballard they don’t want it or need it !!!!!! West Seattle to downtown that’s where all the support needs etc… 2 stops that’s it that’s all we need

    Comment by William — 4:14 pm March 24, 2012 #

  34. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!–I’ll vote for it a 6th, and if necessary a 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th time. Eventually, the logic of this system will prevail. At grade surface transit is NOT what we want; just look at what’s happening to the so-called RapidRide.

    Comment by J — 6:29 pm March 24, 2012 #

  35. All these transportation options already exist people. Its call The Bus. Use it!!

    Comment by george — 7:05 pm March 24, 2012 #

  36. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BTS_Skytrain

    SkyTrain in Bangkok works great. West Seattle needs this!

    Comment by Louise — 7:24 pm March 24, 2012 #

  37. Nighthawk has hit the nail on the head. Why a separate system? Just extend light rail like they are doing to the East Side and Capitol Hill. We do need a better system here but the key word is system.

    Comment by Alan — 7:29 pm March 24, 2012 #

  38. Some Seattleites have a fixation on monorail. I am certain it goes back to 1962. Get over it already. All West Seattle needs is a rail branch a lousy four miles away at the SODO light rail station. Four miles away. Wow, imagine that. And you don’t even have to whine ad nauseum when we get the occasional snow storm….

    Comment by Snow Wimp — 8:03 pm March 24, 2012 #

  39. I’m a Seattle native and I wonder if sometime in the last several decades or so the ENTIRE city of what used to be generally practical common sense people was replaced with utopian dreamers out of touch with reality.

    Good grief.

    Comment by G — 8:23 pm March 24, 2012 #

  40. The first time around it was a stunt for the World’s Fair. Cute, and useful enough to get tourists from the hotel district to the separate-the-tourists-from-their-cash district, but mostly just an oddity.

    The second time it was a case of some not-too-bright local yokels gunning for nostalgia, and soon got overtaken by a bunch of consultant types who laughed all the way to the bank.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Comment by Long-time transplant — 8:24 pm March 24, 2012 #

  41. Did we not learn anything from the last monorail debacle??? Transpiration projects like this CANNOT be citizen run. They have to be at least supported by the powers that be or they will get thrown under the bus when costs get to high. Doesn’t anyone remember when Nickels doomed the last Monorail vote by saying the people should decide (aka he wanted it to die) and that was after over 100 mil was spent already. This is an absolutely ridiculous proposition and it doesn’t help that all the electeds in the city think Campbell is a whack job already. If anything should be considered it is whether light rail can come to west Seattle but I have heard the bridge cannot support a surface alignment, structurally. And the lower bridge won’t work because of the waterway. Maybe we should build a tunnel under the sound heh?

    Comment by Kgdlg — 8:46 pm March 24, 2012 #

  42. Seaviewer – I hope everyone reads your comments.
    Enough already about the Monorail. This isn’t the Jetson’s. We don’t have flying cars yet. All one has to do is look at Portland’s light rail system for a model to use and improve upon. I wonder how many millions of dollars have been spent on the Monorail so far, and the tax payer still voted it down. Hey, let’s spend some more money on it, but this time we will call it the “Popular Cen-Tran”. That’ll fool’m. They’ll pass it this time fer sure.
    And yes Dave. Good use of the word “hemorrhage”!

    Comment by Max — 8:50 pm March 24, 2012 #

  43. No way. DA and Seaviewer, I completely agree. Impractical and expensive.
    2 billion / 16 miles=$125 million per mile/5280ft= $23,674.00 per foot.

    Not including any the inevitable additional design, building, litigation etc. cost overruns.

    Comment by M. — 8:55 pm March 24, 2012 #

  44. A bridge to Ballard would be best.

    Comment by WSTroll — 9:07 pm March 24, 2012 #

  45. I didn’t read every comment so this may be a repeat… but does anyone else wonder why someone is AGAIN trying to build a monorail when we have a currently expanding light rail system that a monorail won’t be able to interface with? It is fact that our city needs to do anything possible to stack the chips in it’s favor when it comes to mass transit. Light rail all the way… it’s already being built to cover the eastern half of the city! Ballard to West Seattle, Ballard to UW to Bellevue, West Seattle to Beacon to Mercer Island/Bellevue. Go.

    Comment by Matt — 10:00 pm March 24, 2012 #

  46. There should be some kind of light rail from west Seattle to downtown. For sure!dudes!

    Comment by J — 10:49 pm March 24, 2012 #

  47. It seems like a lot of people won’t use transit unless it picks them up at their front door and delivers them to their exact desired destination in under 20 minutes, for free or close to it. I imagine that a lot of the grousing in this thread is coming from them.. Monorail, light rail or bus- how many of these armchair experts would use them regularly?

    Comment by North Haverbrook — 11:28 pm March 24, 2012 #

  48. Really???? OMG, who is the stupid idiot that would even mention this?

    Comment by MP — 11:49 pm March 24, 2012 #

  49. Just because some “person” states “it” in their blog comment does not make it true. Theoretically monorail can do anything rail can do. But there are always pros and cons, you can not ever get it all with one technology…the question is, which is right for the W Seattle to Ballard corridor. If it is Monorail then stay away from the decisions that successfully sacked monorail the last time: Run it down the middle of the street, stay off CA ave run it down Fauntleroy or better yet stop at the Junction. Stay out of the Seattle center, Design duel tracks along the entire length incl the W Sea Bridge, and hands off the old monorail. Also fund it fairly and completely. But do something…BRT ain’t gonna cut it w/o dedicated and separated lanes.

    Comment by cheapskate — 12:00 am March 25, 2012 #

  50. By all means let’s spend two billion dollars poorly replicating what the RapidRide will do starting in 2012–express transit downtown every 10 minutes.

    Comment by Matt — 7:33 am March 25, 2012 #

  51. Apparently Unsound Transit has a plan to “study” a light rail line in West Seattle. I think they plan to start around 2030. With that time line, by the time it’s built I’ll be taking a dirt nap and my kids will probably be retired in Arizona.

    Comment by ZS — 8:04 am March 25, 2012 #

  52. I’m sorry but the Seattle Monorail is a tourist attraction, plain and simple and should not be expanded. Expanding the Sound Transit light rail should be the focus. Having two competing train systems in Puget sound will confuse voters who may not realize that light rail and the monorail are not compatable with each other, and spread the already minimal budgets too thin causing neither system to as effective as they should have been by now.

    Comment by Mike — 9:18 am March 25, 2012 #

  53. I’d rather push for a light rail branch to w. seattle in the next 5-10 years than some monorail for our great-great grandkids.

    Comment by Marcus M — 9:32 am March 25, 2012 #

  54. I would prefer to see a marriage of streetcars/light rail in WS rather than a monorail system.

    Comment by Talaki34 — 9:46 am March 25, 2012 #

  55. Ill vote for any train-based transit to w Seattle. Simple as that.

    Comment by Alex — 10:28 am March 25, 2012 #

  56. Ugh, please no! The money would be better spent on expanding bus service and/or light-rail.

    Comment by Brett — 11:02 am March 25, 2012 #

  57. re: G – I don’t know if the entire city is full of utopian dreamers out of touch with reality, but it looks like the Centran board may be:
    http://centran.org/index_files/MeetCentranBoard.htm

    Our neighbors to the south seemed to have already figured this out. Why can’t we just follow suit and expand on the same solutions that Seattle already has in place? (Bus, Light Rail, Commuter Rail, Street Car) At a minimum, plagiarizing Portland’s feasibility studies and design efforts would likely save some taxpayer monies and shrink implementation timelines.
    http://trimet.org/max/

    Adding complexity (and cost) with another type of mass transit doesn’t make sense to me. What does a monorail provide that the other five people movers we already have don’t?

    Comment by Zach — 11:34 am March 25, 2012 #

  58. I’m not sure the technology is up to the task.
    Can Monorail trains now ‘switch tracks’ as light rail can? there ‘must’ be a way to avoid stalled trains/cars. Also, break-downs need to be accessible to rescue personnel.
    Do we agree that the high-traffic corridors should share the same technology?

    Comment by anders tronsen — 12:46 pm March 25, 2012 #

  59. The ease with which a person can travel without being in a bus or light rail at grade, such as the elevated Metro in Washington DC or Subway in New York – I say yes for Seattle. Built to last more than 100 years and significantly improve the stuck in traffic dilemma. More buses or at grade light rail will sit in more stuck traffic. What a wonderful idea to round out the transportation options.

    Comment by yes on monorail — 1:38 pm March 25, 2012 #

  60. We can’t do what Portland already did! That would be unseemly!

    To put it in The universal language (television) it goes like this…

    San Francisco is Marsha Brady: beautiful and confident.

    Portland is Cindy Brady: adorable and innovative.

    Seattle is Jan Brady: insecure. Wanting to be like Marsha or her mother Carol (Los Angeles) and jealous of Cindy. This is why she hangs out with Alice (Tacoma)

    Comment by Long-time transplant — 2:02 pm March 25, 2012 #

  61. Thank you Seaviewer at 2:10 pm March 24, 2012. You wrote everything I wanted to write. Saved me a lot of time.

    Comment by dawsonct — 2:03 pm March 25, 2012 #

  62. stop talking about the monorail, you voters said no to it like cutting homeless services. move on please.

    Comment by carlton — 2:11 pm March 25, 2012 #

  63. At this point, and train type mass transit is better than none. I dont know all the details, but seriously? We need realists transit options here in war Seattle. I will vote for any tax Increase the will bring a better alternative to car and bus transit. As a side note, does anyone know what light rails costs per mile as compared to monorail?

    Comment by Luap — 5:58 pm March 25, 2012 #

  64. My husband and I go between West Seattle and Ballard frequently. I’d like to have some relatively direct means of transportation and I might even use it. Bus transfers just don’t cut it. Maybe WS should succeed try to again. ;-)

    Comment by Curiouser — 7:19 pm March 25, 2012 #

  65. Light rail does not have to be “at-grade.” We should be building a rail line that will work with the one we already have… that said, we have to do SOMETHING. I, and many people I know, would use a system running from Ballard to West Seattle though downtown at least three times a week.

    Comment by Lnk — 8:24 pm March 25, 2012 #

  66. Who cares what Elizabeth Campbell has to say? Is she any sort of decision maker in the Seattle government? No. Do the majority of people in Seattle actually care what she has to say? No. In fact, when it comes to Seattle, I bet more people care about the season premiere of “The Killing” more than they care about what she has to say. Please stop showing crap like this. Nobody cares about what she has to say.

    Comment by Terrence — 9:13 am March 26, 2012 #

  67. It’s really not going to be cost effective. The best AFFORDABLE – and therefore doable solution – would be a REAL bus rapid transit system (BRT). Use the most efficient, green buses you can buy, get as much PHYSICALLY SEPARATED BUS ONLY LANES you can possibly create and run them often. You get 75%+ of the people-moving, time-certain efficiency at 10%-20% of the cost.

    Anything else is just not doable. And I worked on the previous SPMA project and supported it. Its time has passed and light rail is ridiculously expensive. Like $100M+/mi. BRT is the only real option to rail.

    Comment by Tom — 11:18 am March 26, 2012 #

  68. Terrence – Certainly Ms. Campbell’s had a quixotic track record. I would disagree with you that “nobody cares.” After 30 years in old media, I saw that attitude squash people around the periphery who were at least trying to propose ideas, jump-start action, even if they were not the people who could get anything done. Third-party political candidates, that sort of thing. They deserve to be heard too. Are you really saying the decisionmakers are the ONLY people who have the right to be heard?
    .
    Whether this goes anywhere or not, so to speak, at least it’s a reminder that our transportation problems are far from solved. I appreciate the 60-plus people who care enough to have commented on this – which somewhat surprises me, given that we published this on a Saturday morning when readership is traditionally lower than usual – there are some issues that won’t just “go away.” The solution to this one may turn out to be far more than “one” solution … maybe it’s a thousand more people starting small businesses (like we did) so they don’t have to commute off-peninsula, hundreds more people taking the Water Taxi (which has room for them!) each day, support for, as another commenter has suggested, more bus service … and maybe even that light rail someday. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:31 am March 26, 2012 #

  69. Okay, so maybe the monorail isn’t the ultimate answer but exploring alternate ways out of WS is; traffic is just going to get worse and worse in the future.
    .
    I think the best comment I read was from Snow Wimp “All West Seattle needs is a rail branch a lousy four miles away at the SODO light rail station. Four miles away.”
    .
    Adding to what already exists is the smartest and most practical solution.

    Comment by sun*e — 9:19 am March 27, 2012 #

  70. when the viaduct shuts down for good, it will be only a matter of time when one day soon after, west seattleites won’t be able to get to work because of gridlock. it’s going to happen.

    Comment by carlton — 11:36 am March 27, 2012 #

  71. Something has to be done. We cant just sit back and allow our transportation system to go by the wayside. Light rail isnt serving our part of the city primarily due to a lack of solutions on how to get it to cross the Duwamish river. The West Seattle Bridge may not be structurally efficient to build it there.

    Comment by Jun-jun — 1:46 pm March 27, 2012 #

  72. I would be happy with a “Park-n-Ride” in West Seattle (NOT Burien!) that would travel directly to SLU/downtown. Much cheaper but probably just as effective for commuters…

    Comment by kw — 3:38 pm March 27, 2012 #

  73. It is amazing to read how many are not up to date on improvements of monorail technology since the Seattle Alweg was built 50 years ago.
    The Urbanaut, (website “urbanaut.com”), now in operation in Incheon City, South Korea, does not need a massive beam at surface,has no problem with switching,can operate at surface, in tunnels
    and elevated. It is smaller and lighter than LIght
    (Heavy) rail,is more environmental friendly, can climb 12%, compared to 2% for Parson’s heavy rail. A billion dollars can be saved on elemination of massive underground facilities, which has no flexibility. Professional presentations of the Urbanaut has been proposed across 520 Bridge,the Alaska Viaduct,the West Seattle -Ballard new routes handling many more riders(not the old ones). However, both WDOT and Sound Transit Consultant, Parson, covered it up as non-existant. Why don’t you call these agencies and learn about what happened.
    I am only going to respond to such matters,(not about the technology) and why an investigation has not taken place.After all
    Urbanaut response and large investments was from request for proposal (RFP) of alternatives.

    Comment by einar svensson — 5:44 pm March 27, 2012 #

  74. Why would we want to start from scratch with a totally new transit agency when we’ve already got Sound Transit, SDOT, and Metro Transit. Why not try and work with existing agencies to build light rail to West Seattle. With light rail, the system could be connected with the whole regional transit system instead of a Monorail system that is TOTALLY disconnected with all other forms of transit.

    Comment by Raf — 8:49 pm March 29, 2012 #

  75. Haven’t we wasted enough money? Are these board members getting paid??? Just say no!!

    Comment by Jon — 6:09 am April 2, 2012 #

  76. There are proven success stories of light rail and monorail systems around the world, but Seattle already has a successful light rail infrastructure including maintenance facilities, existing routes, extra train cars, trained workers, and most importantly: room for expansion. A monorail could be successful, but in our situation, an expansion of the light rail would be more successful and easier to implement. It would be great to have Elizabeth’s resources and energies behind a light rail expansion. Perhaps Seattle Transit and Elizabeth could learn from each other and develop an integrated transit system that provides transportation options for citizens built with budget-sensitive capital costs. I believe the 4 miles of track to connect west Seattle to the existing SODO light rail station could be built quite inexpensively when compared to a new monorail system.

    Even if you do not support the monorail, still sign the petition with the words: “EXPAND LIGHT RAIL” so your voice may be heard.

    Comment by S. Joshua Brincko — 7:23 am April 12, 2012 #

  77. If the Monorail project would not have been killed in 2005, we would have a line running from West Seattle to Crown Hill TODAY! Just think, not having to worry about: $5/gal gas, limited parking downtown, viaduct demolition/tunnel construction, West Seattle Bridge traffic headaches, easy access to CenturyLink & Safeco, a new NBA Arena in SoDo could be built because parking/traffic would not be an issue, etc., etc. Too bad Seattle doesn’t have any ‘vision’ or balls to pull the trigger on soemthing needed. I know: Let’s have 8 more years of studies, round-tables, community forums, etc. so that when we finally decide to build it, it will cost $15 Billion instead of $2 Billion.

    Comment by TommyBilly — 6:47 pm April 12, 2012 #

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