West Seattle streetcar concept reportedly derailed


Looks like the SLUT won’t have a sib on this side of the bay. The formal briefing’s later today, and we can’t find the docs online, but the citywide papers say the latest lineup of future streetcar routes does NOT include one for West Seattle. (Previous WSB coverage here, from three months ago when a WS line was in the running.)

23 Replies to "West Seattle streetcar concept reportedly derailed"

  • CandrewB May 6, 2008 (5:26 am)

    Why would it? We have the Monorail.

  • lipbone May 6, 2008 (7:33 am)

    I work in Eastlake and that streetcar has been a complete disaster. The effect it has had on traffic is obscene. At times my commute has been increased by 20 minutes simply wading through the morass of traffic lights and SLUT biased traffic light timing along Fairview. (This is not always the case, but during rush hour it holds true 90% of the time).
    Not saying that streetcars are a bad thing, but this city has demonstrated a profound incompetence in delivering a decent version. If they are implementing more throughout the city, the residences and businesses in the area should take stock of the proposed plans and really consider the impact before approving.

  • CB May 6, 2008 (7:53 am)

    What a shame… a street car running from N. Admiral to the Ferry would be a great asset. Too bad our city fathers torn out the old system. Imagine if Seattle still had the old street cars in place.

  • Creighton May 6, 2008 (8:10 am)

    Jeez, what’s it take to get improvements to mass transit in West Seattle? The buses from West Seattle are packed, the water taxi has huge year over year increases in ridership and West Seattle is loading up on more and more multi family townhomes, add that all up and it looks like us West Seattle folks could use something like the SLUT. Seattle mas transit leadership is incompetent. Monorail anyone?

  • eilis flynn May 6, 2008 (8:18 am)

    Not only that, remember the Benson streetcars along the pier they decided to mothball because Paul Allen decided they weren’t fancy enough for him? Those are sitting unused, probably until they rust. If those aren’t being used, I’m sure we could find a place in West Seattle they could be!

  • JW May 6, 2008 (8:50 am)

    Eh, color me relieved. Looked like they were duplicating the Rapid Ride route, essentially, but running slower and less frequently.

    Leave it to Seattle – considering slower and less frequent transit service in a neighborhood near you!

    How about more lowly bus service? So much so that you don’t have to consult a (meaningless) schedule before leaving the house.

  • Sage May 6, 2008 (8:52 am)

    I have mixed feelings about streetcars — I’m not convinced that a lack of “sexiness” is really what’s blocking transit usage — but this seems like a huge shame. Given West Seattle’s culture of streetcar nostalgia, I think a new streetcar down here could be a big success. We already have the junctions and the endolyne already, all we need is the train!

  • Al May 6, 2008 (9:11 am)

    Do you really, really think that anything to do with mass transit / road improvements will happen before the viaduct teardown? I have a distinct feeling that the city doesn’t want to touch this with a 10-foot pole because once that viaduct is under construction, everything will change.

    I mean, the city hasn’t seemed to really even planned (or understood) the looming traffic situation even now (trucks, bikes, peds, cars, motorcycles all included). Those flashing lights telling us the viaduct is closed won’t help one bit. Dedicated express bus lanes might…but that’s like spitting into the wind.

  • Aidan Hadley May 6, 2008 (9:17 am)

    I say let’s vote out our so-called City “leaders” who fail to show any competence in managing our transportation needs and elect some people who are capable of being innovative and progressive on this subject.

  • WSB May 6, 2008 (9:27 am)

    Al – the Spokane Street Viaduct improvement work is starting in six months – we finally just the other day got a detailed briefing we’ve been seeking from the city, and will be writing it up (with new renderings) within a day or so – the two phases of work (ramp changes and widening) are both supposed to be done before the Central Waterfront section of the Viaduct is taken down. Of course as with many things, this work is going to cause more pain in the process before the improvements are done … the lower-level Spokane St. roadway will be closed in phases for many months. More to come …

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS May 6, 2008 (9:28 am)

    Something needs to be done to handle the northbound 99 traffic before the viaduct is shut down. Routing all that traffic to 1st Ave and I-5 N is not going to cut it. I’m not holding my breath though.

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS May 6, 2008 (9:32 am)

    I posted my last comment just as WSB was posting the above. I think the Spokane improvements are necessary but these will be painful as well. I wonder what the years of transportation growing pains will do to peoples desire to live in WS? I hope property values do not decline.

  • Paul May 6, 2008 (10:48 am)

    I just can’t figure out why we cannot get something in place, and considering we are supposed to be such a green city….or is that the green moss they are referring to…..
    At any rate I sure would use mass transit if it were quicker, and more spread out.

  • WestwoodWriter May 6, 2008 (10:50 am)

    I’m relieved that West Seattle is not getting a trolley. As someone posted earlier, the SLUT has snarled traffic in an area that has one of the worst traffic messes in the area. Average time to travel Mercer is WAY up. A trolley line to West Seattle would surely further clog the already overwhelmed Spokane Street corridor. Sound Transit needs to get off their rich fat asses and bring a Link Light Rail line a damn 1/2 mile west to a transit center somewhere near the North Delridge/Luna Park/Alki Industrial area with bus transfers, drop off zones, and some parking. Provide an alternative to sitting on the WS Bridge or Spokane Street Viaduct (or Spokane Street) for 45 mins. to an hour once all this “improvement” work begins on the major SODO arterials.

  • DLC May 6, 2008 (11:55 am)

    I am relieved we are not on the roster for a street car. I rode the SLUT a couple of months ago. While pretty, that has to be the slowest transit “solution” ever. It was a Saturday, so barely any street traffic. Walking is probably faster than that thing. I recommend you all get out and try the SLUT sometime…bring a book.

  • old timer May 6, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    “I say let’s vote out our so-called City “leaders” ”

    That would be a sweet idea if there was anyone remotely capable and willing to take on the job.
    I think the old fashioned idea of quality leadership is just that, old fashioned. In these times, the quality thinkers are drawn to private enterprise leaving the slightly psychopathic, ego driven minds to government. We see the results all around us.

    That being said, I can’t think of one public meeting that I have recently attended, on any issue, that isn’t full of rancorous, biased, and divisive ‘stakeholders’. To want to lead in these times perhaps demands an ego driven psychopath.

  • JohnM May 6, 2008 (12:22 pm)

    Well, we could widen Longfellow Creek and the water taxi could go go all the way to Westwood and build shoot, ala a log ride, from the junction for the taxi as well. Might as well make the commute fun.

    And, old timer, even if you vote out the leaders, you just replace them with same old, same old. Hizzoner continues Mayor Nice’s urban jungle, er, village, philosophy with the ugly townhouses.

  • celeste17 May 6, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    What does it say about our Mayor (from West Seattle) who when there was a major fatality accident on the bridge a year or so ago sat in his chauffeur driven Towncar while the rest of us took the water taxi or just waiting at home until it was clear. Or were stuck in the backup! Never mind the cost of the gas he was burning or the emissions that car put into the air. Where is he when the decisions are being made that affect West Seattle. Dow Constatine is a great supporter of the WS Water Taxi but what about other forms of transportation that would benefit WS?

    We need more options with our area getting bigger. How mnany projects area right now in the hopper that will bring more and more people to WS and what will traffic be like then?

  • Eric May 6, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    It’s so sad that for some reason US cities, especially “green and progressive” Seattle are so far behind in public transportation. Portland’s a great exception in a few ways, but it looks pretty stone-age compared even to secondary cities in Europe or parts of Asia. Look at Singapore’s MRT, Zurich’s tramlines, Amsterdam’s trams, or Berlin’s trams. Sure some of these are systems that have been around for decades or much longer, but there’s plenty of brand new projects going on, too: look at amazing, recently-built transportation hubs like Berlin’s new Hauptbahnhof.

    There’s nothing like this stuff anywhere in the US, and there’s no plans or vision to create them. European and wealthy Asian local and federal governments have always considered this stuff critical infrastructure investments; we can’t even keep bridges from collapsing.

  • Anne May 6, 2008 (1:35 pm)

    How about a FREE bus/shuttle similar to the Water Taxi Shuttle that could take people from Admiral Way to Morgan Street?If that works maybe it could be expanded to eventually include Alki & Fauntleroy ,Westwood Village etc?

  • Al May 6, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    I’ll trade a new jail in West Seattle for an at-grade, right of way rail line…

  • Debbie in Morgan Junction May 6, 2008 (4:35 pm)

    I love the log ride idea up Longfellow Creek! Sign me up!
    How about a bigger version of the water taxi that takes commuters directly from the downtown ferry dock to the Fauntleroy ferry dock.

  • Carole May 6, 2008 (7:42 pm)

    I never understood the reasoning for the SLUT. There are 3 busses (71, 72, 73) that leave Macy’s at 10 minute intervals and go up Eastlake to the U District, running right up the Ave (and beyond to points north). It’s about a 15 min ride from downtown to the UW bookstore via Metro.

    And who designed the light rail to get near Southcenter, a major destination point and then veer AWAY without any kind of skybridge or connector?

    As someone who voted for and paid for the monorail FOUR times, just think how useful that would have been when SR 99 comes down.

Sorry, comment time is over.