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(45 posts)

"NEW" - West Seattle Street-Car Line Proposal

  • Started 1 year ago by AlkiBeach
  • Latest reply from mtnfreak

  1. AlkiBeach
    Member Profile

    Finally!!! West Seattle the time is NOW! If there is ever going to be a time in any of our lifetimes to see Streetcars in West Seattle again. This is it!
    With the city now finally 'on-board’ for connecting our city's neighborhoods via streetcars, the time to act is NOW before we again find ourselves being victims of isolation. We need our citizens, businesses, neighborhood organizations, local chamber, seniors, and youth to come together to demand the city include West Seattle in its next round of street car route expansion planning.
    This should be something that everyone can attest too; whether you want to be isolated from growth or are pro-growth...enjoy living in a penthouse or find yourself treading the poorhouse waters...have lived long enough to have ridden streetcars before in the city...or are a current student not wanting mom or dad to pull up in front of the school to pick you up, rather be able to jump on a "hip" ride and zip over to Husky Deli, Alki Beach or go shopping at Target!
    The city is putting forward plans to study expand the streetcar network to five different lines. One is currently in operation, South Lake Union and another is currently being built between Capitol Hill and Pioneer Sq. (First Hill Line)(thanks largely to Sound Transit $$$ to buy Seattle support for the last mass-transit proposal Sound Transit - 2 (ST2). Already, the Capitol Hill neighborhood has proven it's strong support by demanding the further expansion of their currently being built line (First Hill)!
    We can't remain sitting on or butts while the rest of the city is tied together by a tangible social network. I call on the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (WSCC) to hold a group of information gathering sessions pulling together all of our Neighborhood Associations :
    • Admiral Community Council
    • Alki Community Council
    • Delridge District Council
    • Morgan Junction Assoc.
    • Westwood Neighborhood Council
    • Fauntleroy Community Assoc.
    • High Point Neighborhood Assoc.

    includin...
    West Seattle Junction Association
    West Seattle Senior Center
    Student Council's (K-12, College)

    We need to formulate a plan of action ("NOW") to present to the City of Seattle by early January 2013. I would also ask that the WSCC put the city on notice, that we are moving forward on this "NOW" so as to make sure we don't slow down what this city's big negative is – PROCESS!
    For all those reading this, please present this to your neighborhood associations, business associates, friends, your kids, your parents. This is an 'affordable' alternative to the monorail. Do you want Sound Transit (ST) to study bringing light-rail to 'The Junction' and have Seattle streetcars spider-out throughout our neighborhoods? Do you want to start with a Streetcar web in West Seattle first and have ST finance the expensive connection to the city via the bridge? The movement starts “NOW”… Where do you want it to go? I’ll post an update from the WSCC here...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  2. AlkiBeach
    Member Profile

    One last thought, in supporting the need to act swiftly. The City of Los Angeles, this week, agreed to start adding street cars to its downtown. With limited federal transportation dollars seemingly always playing the greatest role in the success of building any major mass transportation system or even maintaining current infrastructure, the competition is growing more competitive day after day. We must start changing the way we have to “PROCESS” things, and start PROCEEDING with things!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  3. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    Job One:

    Alaska Junction to SODO Link Light Rail Station with new bridge under High bridge and dedicated right-of-way across Harbor Island. The West Seattle bridge is the big fat bottle neck currently. Keep rail off the darn thing.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  4. i would like to see north south rail service linking west seattle to burien's transit center

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  5. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Genesee Hill:

    AGREED!

    Street cars would be a major addition to our transportation infrastructure here in WS. I believe we must be careful where they go and how they will augment future light rail expansion. For example, a street car from the Admiral District all the way down California to the Morgan Junction and back up Fauntleroy to the Triangle would be good for moving people around the business cooridors of WS. But to move the most people through the region I feel like a cut and cover tunnel all the way from the Alaska Junction (or triangle) down 35th to Roxbury, housing light rail would make a lot of sense and decrease parking woes in the junction area.

    But, hey, I'm flexible. Just get some public transit here ASAP. And try to have as much of it not mixed in with traffic as possible.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  6. AlkiBeach
    Member Profile

    Food for thought...just my opinion!

    Sound Transit's Link light-rail lines will never go where there’s not current or 'planned' density. Nor should they! West Seattle neighborhoods are not dense, nor can they be - due to zoning. With the only exception being the Avalon corridor from the WS Bridge up through the Triangle and on to the Alaska Junction. That's the only likely corridor for ST - light rail. The rest I feel would have to be at-grade streetcar do to profound expense of tunneling. Just look at Bellevue's fight to get a tunnel in its downtown!
    Personally, I like having ST bring Link light-rail to the Alaska Junction. Then having spur lines fanning out from there.
    1.) West Seattle Bridge to Roxbury or Westwood Village (via. Delridge SW)
    2.) Triangle to Roxbury or Westwood Village (via. 35th SW)
    3.) Admiral District to Morgan Junction (via California Ave. SW)

    Guessing here of course....
    ...but a build out as I just described here would probably be as much as the Link Light-rail line from Northgate to the Sea-Tac Airport. So we have to be money smart and realistic!

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  7. Talaki34
    Member Profile

    Talaki34

    Wake up Arbor Heights!

    We do not have a neighborhood association to represent us. If you want to be heard in favor or against, now is the time to speak up. This type of transportation might just be the ticket for us and our families, especially since all the changes to the bus routes. A turn around through Arbor Heights would give us better access and ability to continue to support the businesses where we live.

    We also don’t have a business district to help represent our place in the WS family of communities and you can bet that not many (okay probably any) people at these meetings will even give Arbor Heights a cursory thought unless they live here.

    “With the city now finally 'on-board’ for connecting our city's neighborhoods via streetcars, the time to act is NOW before we again find ourselves being victims of isolation.”

    If there is anything Arbor Heights knows, it is about neighborhood isolation. The Chamber will not be representing your interests and if this issue means something to you, let your voice be heard.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  8. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Streetcars up 35th would be great, as long as they weren't mixed in with traffic. Seems like they could be great in the median. It IS a wide road, after all.

    Subjecting streetcars, or any mass transit, to traffic issues seems to defeat the purpose.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  9. Where's the cost-benefit analysis on this? If money is not an issue, count me as "yes" to all the above.

    Plus, I want my own trolley car.

    And a pony.

    And an Oompa-Loompa.
     
     

    And I want it . . .

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  10. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    I for one am willing to pay higher property taxes for this. Cost is a major consideration of course, but I'm willing to pony up my fair share. I'd be willing to bet there is a large number of folks out there who would too.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  11. this is one of those greater good things
    it would be greater good if more people could use the public transit system to move about west seattle

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  12. DBP.. i don' know..
    there may be an Oompa Loompa in the garage..

    i am willing to offer you the same deal i offered those looking for Bond
    you find him.. he's yours

    just clean your way in and out ;->

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  13. I know a fair amount about streetcars because I was involved in the early routing outreach for the First Hill Streetcar, currently in construction. Some things people should know about streetcars vs. buses as modes of transport in West Seattle.

    -Streetcars are not good on hills. Like, they cannot go above a certain grade, I think about 15% but don't quote me on that. So I am not saying it is impossible, but a streetcar down to Alki may be very unlikely if not impossible mechanically. Once you get too steep you are in cable car or gondala territory.

    -I have heard there can be no fixed rail over the low bridge due to maritime priorities for opening (ie no reliable transit can run when the bridge opens every xx min in the summer, for example). So rail has to go on high bridge, and I think that would be $$$$ to engineer a crossing on the WSB.

    -One if the primary reasons for streetcars is development. As fixed rail they are meant to incentivize development around stops, not just move people.

    -Stops are less frequent than buses. Usually a quarter mile apart. This is not good for neighborhood circulation as it requires way more walking than a bus. People don't typically walk a half mile to ride a half mile. It would have to connect to downtown, and well, that is going to be $$$, see above.

    -Streetcars only fiscally make sense when you have a lot of riders. So unless west Seattle wants a lot more development, the city will be dumping money into them every year. The SLUT is only now becoming financially sustainable and that is because of Amazon in SLU.

    So my question to you is this. Why streetcars and not the bus system? Why not just a light rail stop to the junction, and buses going from there? I live in Gatewood and can easily bus it to the junction or Alki on any given day. What will the streetcar bring in terms of transportation that we don't already have? And at what cost? The first hill project is 120 million for about 4 miles of track. That would be Morgan to admiral, roughly. Worth it?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  14. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Why do stops have to be a 1/4 mile apart? Is this some hard rule? Seems inflexible.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  15. Because it is fixed rail and part of what makes it faster and better is less stops. Light rail stops are more than a mile apart, often, and streetcars a little less so. Also the costs of the stops are enormous, much more than the sign and shelter needed for a bus stop.

    If the goal is a neighborhood circulator, something like the water taxi shuttle is WAY more cost effective and practical.

    It the goal is connection to light rail and development, in addition to transit, than streetcars make more sense.

    All you have to do is look at South Lake Union since the streetcar went in, a completely different neighborhood now.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  16. Also streetcars are ALWAYS mixed in with traffic. They usually run WITH traffic in the lane right with cars.

    The other option is an elevated transit system, oh wait, yeah, a monorail. Hmmmm.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  17. The only road wide enough for a light rail type system would be 35th and I honestly don't know if fixed rail could make the climb at Avalon and 35th up the hill going south. They might have to platform something there because of the grade. And I am no opponent of density, but if we get Light Rail (not streetcars) down 35th all that single fam zoning will fliP to multi family.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  18. right about now, I'm thinking we should pay our teachers more, than I'm thinking about traffic...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  19. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    kgdlg:

    You bet. 35th Ave SW would be ideal for FAST streetcars. Isn't the speed limit 60 MPH on I-35? Hehe.

    Seriously, though, that slope is quite steep from Avalon to High Point. I would imagine that is why the streetcars way back when used California Avenue.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  20. Genessee I think you are mixing streetcars and light rail. Streetcars don't go that fast and move with traffic, as they still stop every quarte mile or so. Light rail can get up there in speed because stops are often a mile plus apart.

    In my mind streetcars would go on California and light rail would go on 35th. Obviously I am kind of pessimistic about both.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  21. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    Streetcars are light rail. The speed depends upon the right-of-way. In street traffic, slow. On dedicated right-of-way, quick.

    Look at the history in Seattle. There were interurbans from Seattle to Tacoma, and from Seattle to Everett. When these trolley cars were on city streets they were impeded by traffic. When they had dedicated right-of-way they were very fast. Even in 1925. Kindly, look up the history of our "light rail" lines in the Puget Sound area.

    It will probably surprise you at what this area once had...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  22. Genesee, sorry but streetcars (trolleys) are definitely not Light Rail. At least not in this town. They are both fixed rail transit, but they are absolutely not the same. All you have to do is ride the SLUT and then ride the light rail to the airport, totally different kinds of systems. And both have their pros and cons against bus systems. The OP seemed to be advocating for a neighborhood circulator type of system. I am simply saying that in West Seattle, that may not be the best solution for that goal. That being said, I sure would love to ride the light rail downtown for work (different goal). Light Rail through west Seattle would be just like the south end, three to four stops spread a mile apart each. So, if you don't live on the stop, not so great.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  23. Genesee Hill
    Member Profile

    Genesee Hill

    kgdlg:

    OK. You win.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  24. Talaki34
    Member Profile

    Talaki34
  25. the water taxi would be a more effective option if it came with either parking options or a better feeder system

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  26. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    I still don't understand why streetcars ALWAYS have to be mixed with traffic. Why can't they be on a center median with signal priority?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  27. World, I don't have a technical answer for you. I just know that what you are describing is more like light rail. My guess is that streetcars are usually in pedestrian scale neighborhoods so the roads are not wide enough for dedicated rail in middle of road. And it doesn't really make sense for frequent stops. Then you had to have middle of road platforms and the cost to build is so much more. In my mind streetcars are best on roads like CAlifornia, to move between biz districts. But Cali is too narrow for a dedicated lane for rail. Which brings me back to 35th being the road for a light rail system not streetcar for so many reasons.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  28. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    This issue has been discussed and even studied ad nauseum over the last decade plus. WS is a VERY expensive place to get fixed rail to/from. Like $200M/mile minimum. Read that again. Doing a little math, you're looking at over $1B to get some moderate level of mobility/access to downtown. And it's not guaranteed to be faster than current bus rides. I'll bet it would turn out significantly SLOWER.

    The most cost efficient system is a very well organized and executed BRT-light (Bus Rapid Transit). This means you get the most eco-friendly buses you can and you run them on the most bus-dedicated lanes you can make work both on the peninsula AND over the bridge into downtown.

    It's HUNDREDS of millions of dollars cheaper, uses almost all the current surface street infrastructure, doesn't interfere with current pedestrian or car or freight traffic but a fraction of what fixed rail does, and achieves the end goal of moving the most people the fastest to and from downtown.

    And just so you know, RapidRide ISN'T BRT light, it's light/light/light.

    I support transit in a big way but in this corridor, it's just not economically/physically practical. Get the most bang for your buck.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  29. Thanks, Wake, this is what I thought, but didn't have any technical info. Your per mile amount seems high for streetcars, but honestly, with the terrain in west Seattle, I would not be surprised by this. I believe that light rail over the bridge might be the only thing worth the investment (moving above lanes possibly like monorail) with a stop in the junction and then bus from there.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  30. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    My per mile calc was based on two things. First is Sound Transit's actual cost of construction and second was the best value Monorail bid. Both of those averaged out around $150M+/mile but those were both a number of years ago and I added in for both for inflation.

    So, my calc may very well be high, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. I wouldn't expect it to be below that $150M/mi. though. :-)

    I'm dubious about ever getting light rail or any grade separated track over the WS Bridge based solely on the amount of upheaval that proposal caused for the Monorail. Light rail is NOT light (heavier than standard rail in some cases) and the engineering isn't insignificant.

    And if you're thinking about two/more modes to get downtown, I suspect it's more functional to just stay on grade with BRT until you get all the way to the current ST rail lines downtown.

    Any grade-separated option either means another dedicated bridge or a ton of $ to create it over the WS Bridge for negligible efficiency. (The lower bridge has its own set of issues, obviously.) Let's not lose sight of the goal. If it's speedy and predictable trip downtown, then you get 75% of the best possible result for 25% of the cost with BRT.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  31. ellenater
    Member Profile

    ellenater

    This conversation is excellent! Thank you Wakeflood for the Light Rail facts. I am a Portland transplant and have always wished for Rail from WS to DT. Now it is making sense! Having seen how much Portland has matured, due to all of it's amazing transportation options, I do think Seattle has some work to do. I can take the train to Portland, and then immediately take LR or the streetcar or a bus to anywhere. It's all right there. In Seattle, there are all of these gaps. If I take the water taxi, I then have to figure out a way to get to the train station. When I return, same issue. As far as having a streetcar in West Seattle, LOVE that idea. There is a difference in vibe between a bus and a streetcar. A streetcar is a neighborhood thing and it encourages leaving the car at home, more than a bus does. It's more or a hop on and hop off sort of thing. There's a certain connotation with a bus being a point A to point B sort of ride. Considering the increasing density we are in the process of gaining, a streetcar seems like a great choice for the junctions and mall, especially. People seem to slow down and expect to go slower when it's more dense, and with a streetcar in place. It would make California so much more habitable. It also fully captures the spirit of West Seattle. I'm for it, as long as the grading issues can be dealt with.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  32. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    Wakeflood:

    I would like to know your rationale for making this statement:

    "And it's not guaranteed to be faster than current bus rides. I'll bet it would turn out significantly SLOWER."

    I'm not saying you're wrong, but to say fixed rail on a grade separated track would be slower than a bus in traffic seems rather counter-Intuitive.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  33. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Hey Ellenater, you're right, the vibes are different between the different modes. And they have different purposes too. Streetcar isn't about speed, rail isn't about short point-to-point convenience, and buses are something that tries to play in both realms - BRT being the "rapid" flavor. Not saying that buses are always the way to go, but they CAN be engineered to function across the breadth of transportation needs.

    Yes, Seattle's car addiction has been difficult to wean us off of and we're behind our kid brother to the south but we're getting there. SLOWLY. ;-)

    Our topography doesn't do us any favors, especially when trying to go east-west. Makes everything more expensive.

    But we're getting there. We're going to be multi-modal any way you figure it, so the key is as you suggest - make the connections between modes convenient and well-executed. And be able to use a single payment system regardless of which one you step onto - ORCA card for all.

    If we keep building and minimize the infrastructure ownership battles, we'll eventually have a functional regional system. Just might have to be our kids or kids kids that get the full use of it. :-)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  34. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Hey World,
    I was factoring in the general desire - as suggested in one or more of the earlier posts - to use the milk-run style of connection points - ala streetcar. (Unless you're talking about completely grade separated ala Monorail. But that ship has sailed.)

    Additionally, most rail that moves on city streets and likely over a grade-separated track on the WS bridge, isn't going to travel more than about 35 mph top speed over that span, and more like 15-25 around the neighborhood streets. (I don't see a light rail car going 35 mph down California Ave., maybe you do?)

    You could certainly offer express versions of rail that have minimized stops which would decrease overall time-to-destination downtown. But you can do that with BRT too.

    Granted, any non grade-separated BRT over the WS bridge isn't going to do much better than 35 mph and likely slower but I'm assuming you do a dedicated BRT lane over the bridge and figure out another method to eliminate the lane crossing issue from Delridge onto the bridge or only take BRT off the viaduct onto 1st/4th Ave. so it never has to cross over to the viaduct lane on the far right.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  35. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Oh, and I forgot maybe the biggest point! Which was using the standard headways and estimated trip times for the proposed, fully-grade-separated Monorail from mid downtown to Morgan Junction was 40+ mins. at peak. That's more than it takes now via bus by a few minutes methinks?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  36. Great discussion here!

    Thanks for clarifying Wake that your pricing was more for something like Light Rail and not streetcar. I think based on First Hill, streetcars would be a bit cheaper, but still really expensive, and they basically don't work on hills. So, I don't really see them here unless there were a N/S line on Cali in traffic, but as you point out, that would be probably as fast as a bus line, and then I am back to, "is it worth it?"

    The monorail set sail a while ago, so I would be so interested in seeing how on earth the Light Rail conversations about going over the WSB would go...

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  37. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Yeah, it's a head-scratcher to figure out how to optimize transportation in a corridor that's been built out for 90 yrs.

    I live down at what WAS the "end of the line" for the streetcar in the 1930's. Wish we'd kept it. But the best (most profitable?) thinking back then was to use cars and buses. Same with the mosquito fleet that used to move people around on routes like the current water taxi to downtown.

    That which is old, is new again. If only the prices hadn't changed! :-)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  38. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    At least we aren't as dense as Manhattan. I've had trips there that included 3 modes (taxi, subway, and commuter rail) just to get to the airport to catch a plane. :-)

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  39. WorldCitizen
    Member Profile

    zgh2676

    OK, now that all the cursory questions are out of the way, here's my thinking for why there is little choice other than to add light rail to West Seattle.

    1) The monorail option is not a good estimate for what we are talking about because it's a different animal altogether. The totally grade separate light rail options can move at speeds of (extremely conservatively speaking) 25 mph. In cities like San Francisco, the BART travels regularly at speeds of 60+ mph on longer stretches. Knowing Seattle, the elevation change, and the turns needed, plus the shorter distance involved, it would probably be more like 20 mph on average. The distance between the Alaska/Fauntleroy intersection and Pike Place Market is roughly 5.5 miles. I would guess there would be 1-2 stops in between the two points, but for arguments sake lets just make it five stops. So travel time without stops at 20 mph is 16 minutes 30 seconds. Add one minute per stop for five stops (an extremely conservative estimate by any standard) and your travel time rises to a whopping 21 minutes 30 seconds. Just to be even more conservative, lets just round it up to 25 minutes for a one-way trip. This first point alone to me is worth the trouble and expense of financing a modern dedicated light-rail to West Seattle. But there's more reasons...

    2) Density is the order of the day here in Seattle. At 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW there is slated to be upward of 355 new apartments coming onto the market. At 3062 Avalon Way there is to be an estimated 107 new apartments. At 4724 California (the old Petco) there are to be 78 new units. At 5444 Delridge Way SW a proposed 66 units. There's Nova at 36th and Snoqualmie with another 62 units. There's 3078 SW Avalon Way with a proposed 117 units.

    I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture. Not only is this what is currently in the works, this is the trend for the future. We happen to live in a major metropolitan area where the ONLY answer is density, like it or not. With density comes challenges to infrastructure. Our West Seattle bridge can only handle so much. There is no choice but to add alternate means of transportation COMPLETELY SEPARATE from the roads which will alleviate a huge portion of that strain. Obviously not everyone will have the luxury of traveling by train to where they are going, but getting those that can travel that way off the roads makes those that do drive more productive by taking up less of their time stuck in traffic.

    3) The cost of not dealing with this now will be higher than if we just get it over with. I'm sorry if you have been here for your entire life and hate to see the area change. I'm sorry if you don't want to pay for the expense of living in a HUGELY popular major metropolitan area. The fact of the matter is the area is changing and growing. This is reality. This growth costs money. Lots of money. Turning your back on this fact of life in the city now will doom us to crippling costs in the future as we wonder why when we had the numbers in front of us we didn't just deal with it.

    Yes, it will be expensive. The cost-benefit analysis, if run on todays numbers, I'm sure would be ridiculous looking. But the problem is, we already know what the future is bringing us. Can't we agree to just accept that?

    Look, this is a no-brainer. We have to stop living in the past. Seattle (Including West Seattle) is a place where people want to be. They're coming weather you like it or not. We can either accept that and make it beter for us all sooner, or we can all bitch together in the future about how in 2012 it only used to take 30 minutes to get downtown in rush hour traffic, but now it's an hour on a good day.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  40. wakeflood
    Member Profile

    wakeflood

    Hey man, I'm with you in spirit, I just think that you can get waay more bang for your buck with BRT. You don't have to buy as much real estate, you make it effectively grade separated by having physically dedicated lanes, you get additional flexibility by having the option to run newer technology as they become available at significantly reduced cost and you don't have the same level of NIMBY costs associated with it.

    Agree on all the other points.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  41. World, I agree too! (In terms of Light Rail downtown) I just get really caught up (and worried) about both the funding and travel time realities. When we are talking about a fixed rail system like this, more room is needed, so it is never as simple as running track down the middle of the road (ironically, that is more like a streetcar). If we have Light Rail over the WSB, you bet that the bridge will have to be widened on the approach from 35th going downtown. That is land acquisition and re-engineering of at least a big span of the bridge. That is dollars. And while I think those dollars are necessary and important, I have absolutely no confidence that the City of Seattle voters would agree.

    I do not, however, agree that a streetcar system is a great neighborhood circulator. A circulator bus is like 1/100th the cost and way more efficient. Think Water Taxi shuttle on a fixed route around WS.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  42. AlkiBeach
    Member Profile

    WOW!!! West Seattle your showing signs of getting off your butt again. I haven't seen that since the Seattle Monorail. Let me first say that I started this forums topic out a few days ago with a very specific point...In reviewing my initial statement, maybe I wasn't clear enough. I was simply asking that we have the City of Seattle include West Seattle in there next round of "streetcar" STUDIES but if it is Light-Rail that has to get us here we (West Seattle) need to tell Sound Transit we want to be included in the next round of expansion (ST3) STUDIES.
    Let me also say this up-front, I'm pro growth and pro mass-transit. However, like most Seattle-ites, I care more about doing ‘what's right’ and the ‘environment’ than I do about myself. I say this, as I see people have very black and white opinions here. I think it's because people are putting the cart before the horse. There is ‘nothing’ in the works today nor a few years out! That's the furthest from the truth! Both the City of Seattle and Sound Transit are at tipping points. The City of Seattle is putting forth language and the paperwork needed to apply for grants to study expansion of the Seattle Streetcar system. Meanwhile, Sound Transit is figuring out what to put before the voters for the ST3 expansion. ST3 would clearly include light-rail (perhaps streetcar... i.e. Tacoma).
    In the City of Seattle's case we are simply talking "STUDYING" and perhaps initial engineering for corridors and routes already outlined. The additional corridors would still be another 10 - 15+ years out! For Sound Transit ST3 we are talking maybe 20 - 30+ years out before anything concrete would be seen!
    So with that said, please keep in mind our opinions here really don't apply to anything (light-rail or streetcar) unless you’re looking ‘well into the future’. We are not talking about building something realistically in this generation’s lifetime, as we are, building something that we can pass-on for the next! That’s reality! In fact, ST just sent out an e-mail update today, patting themselves on the back, that the Northgate Link Light-Rail extension should be completed by 2021. This for something that we passed in 2008 with an accelerated timetable!

    I would further like to find out if there is anyone that has any governmental protocol background (or former Seattle Monorail employee) on how to best present our desire for the future to both the City of Seattle and Sound Transit. It just seems like we need to have some type of organizational body for each Seattle and ST to contact us by...!#$%^&*?

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  43. i think we need to tell them that we want to be included in both the next round of "streetcar" STUDIES and he next round of expansion (ST3) STUDIES and while they are at it.. a mosquito fleet connecting the south sound communities including West Seattle.

    and if we are wishing.. how about a ferry option from West Seattle to Magnolia or Ballard or the North waterfront and a regular schedule of feeder buses that would make all of the water taxis feasible public transportation for everyone.. including the handicapped.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  44. Well, to your last point, I think your instinct was right - get all the councils to band together and write a letter to City Council, Sound Transit and the Mayor. You also probably want to send to SDOT since the build and run the streetcars in Seattle. And be clear that it is to demand inclusion in "being studied" for fixed rail (streetcars and Light Rail).

    I think all we were saying is "be careful what you ask for". Because millions of dollars later, travel times to downtown on rail might be the exact same as the Rapid Ride now.

    Posted 1 year ago #         
  45. For your interest:
    http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/network.htm

    There's also a wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Streetcar_Network

    And the historical context:
    http://westseattle.komonews.com/news/history/looking-back-west-seattle-streetcars/632858

    Some interesting facts:
    A "rapid rail" in modern terms ran from downtown along Spokane, then up Avalon to Fauntleroy stopping at Lincoln Park.
    A second line ran along the shore to Alki Point.
    Further extensions were built to White Center and Burien.
    A line also ran to the Admiral Junction, but I'm unclear of the route.

    Posted 1 year ago #         

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