Metro-cuts timetable: West Seattle faces not just deepest cuts, but also first ones

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

West Seattle won’t just be the hardest hit if Metro has to carry out its plan for cuts – it will be the first hit.

So if you have something to say about the routes proposed for reductions/eliminations, it’s time to say something if you haven’t already. You have another chance to do that today, if you work downtown, with Metro’s next public meeting at Union Station at noon.

Metro’s been making the rounds, including a stop last week in West Seattle. That came almost a month after Metro GM Kevin Desmond had summoned news media to a meeting room downtown (WSB coverage here) to warn again that service slashes loom, outlining which ones were on the endangered list and how the process would roll out.

There was some hope then of a breakthrough in the Olympia-centered battle over transportation funding, including money for roads as well as transit. But it hasn’t happened yet, and most recently, while briefing the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council last Thursday, two of our area’s state legislators reiterated the lack of a deal.

So absent a major U-turn, you might say, the first batch of cuts for our area is approaching the onramp – detailed in a plan that is being drawn up right now, to go to the County Council within weeks, since these cuts would take effect in June.

These are the cuts that Metro says are required by the looming expiration of the Alaskan Way Viaduct “mitigation funding.” That funding for more service along the “corridor” including West Seattle to downtown was announced with a flourish five years ago, at a media event headed up by then-County Councilmember Dow Constantine and the man he succeeded as County Executive, Ron Sims:


(WSB photo from September 2, 2008)
As the official county news release from that day underscores, what was announced then was meant to get people through the first wave of construction – it was noted that “discussions” were in progress regarding mitigation for construction of the “central” AWS replacement.

Since then, work has begun on that replacement – the tunnel (though it’s had some rough patches) – and timetables have been clarified. But there is not yet any “mitigation” for how the work will continue to affect mobility along the corridor. Local leaders contend that the state needs to deal with the fact that construction won’t be over until 2019 – the tunnel’s completion will be followed by the central Viaduct’s demolition, and work on surface transportation in its wake.

For starters: The plan that is being drawn up right now, to send to the King County Council within a few weeks and to be considered next month, is intended to cover what will be lost when the Alaskan Way Viaduct “mitigation funding” from the state expires in June of next year. That money was supposed to cover extra bus service for the corridors most affected by Highway 99 construction – mostly our area. Metro says mitigation isn’t just needed until the tunnel is open in 2016, but all the way until Viaduct demolition and waterfront work is complete in 2019. However, at this point, the money runs out in mid-2014, and no replacement is in sight.

Metro reps warned that the service added when that money kicked in isn’t the exact same service that will be taken away if they have to eliminate 45,000 hours of service when the money runs out next June 30th. Instead, the cuts are based on their “service reduction priorities,” which are gone through in this order:

1st: Cut the lowest-performing service that meets certain criteria
2nd: Restructuring routes so that the end result has the least amount of impact
3rd: Cut the next-lowest-performing service
4th: Reduce lowest-performing service on corridors below target service levels.

So Metro says it’s gone through that list in a “data-driven exercise” to come up with what’s proposed for that first round of cuts, including four route deletions. These are the south-end cuts Metro says would take effect in June if the “mitigation funding” isn’t replaced.

First, the ones that would be eliminated (Metro’s word, “deleted”):

*Route 22, deleted
*Route 37, deleted
*Route 57, deleted
*Route 113, deleted

Those with proposed service reductions in June include these south-end routes:

*Route 21, no service after 10 pm
*Route 21X, one fewer trip each in am and pm
*Route 55, one fewer am trip, two fewer pm trips
*Route 56X, two fewer trips each in am and pm
*Route 116X, one fewer am trip, two fewer pm trips
*Route 118X, one fewer trip each in am and pm
*Route 120, two fewer trips each in am and pm
*Route 125, no night service after 9 pm & no weekend service
*Route 128, no night service after 10:30 pm
*Route 131, reduce night and weekend service
*Route 132, reduce night/weekend service

And for most of the reduced routes, that would just be Round 1 – at some point if/when the other systemwide cuts started being phased in at the September 2014 service change or beyond, they would be cut further, with 27 percent less service in this area at the end of the reductions. (Again, those are not the ONLY cuts this area would face. The second round, including the entire system, would be sent to the County Council in March or April.)

At the public meetings, Metro is stressing points already made by its management – that this comes at a time when ridership is up and would merit more service, not less, and that it has already taken action to reduce its expenses.

At last week’s West Seattle meeting, recapping the frustration of trying to get legislators to approve even just the permission for the county to ask voters to approve funding, Constantine’s transportation adviser Chris Arkills said that county leaders “are determined to NOT let this happen,” and will turn to “existing taxing sources” first if they have to, though they would not work as well as the “motor-vehicle excise tax we’re trying to get through the Legislature.”

One of the challenges right now, it was pointed out, is that there’s some public perception that the bus-funding crisis is just going to affect bus riders. At last Tuesday’s meeting, West Seattleite Michael Taylor-Judd wondered if Metro is sounding that alarm loudly enough – “It’s important to let everyone know this isn’t (just) a transit-rider issue, it’s an (everybody) issue,” including drivers who should be upset they’re facing thousands more cars back on the road with them.

Metro reps pointed to this map showing those potential effects.

But they also say they have some tinkering capability in terms of what to cut, so that’s why they’re asking one more time for comments on potential impacts of what’s in the plan – including the list above. Besides the list of meetings and other events on the county website – which includes a White Center presentation at next month’s North Highline council meeting, 6:30 pm January 9th at the NH fire station (1243 SW 112th) – you can e-mail comments to, and/or take a survey here.

50 Replies to "Metro-cuts timetable: West Seattle faces not just deepest cuts, but also first ones"

  • Craig December 10, 2013 (9:39 am)

    Thank god we got a $240 million dollar Mariner. AND all these spiffy new bike lanes, that aren’t paid for by the cyclists. Someone is a GENIUS up top and I’m sure they deserve all the pay they are receiving.

    • WSB December 10, 2013 (10:09 am)

      Craig, (a) I agree that $240 million is ridiculous but it has nothing to do with the funding issue here. (b) Cyclists “not paying for roads” is a myth that has long had holes shot through it but if you’ve missed the many previous discussions here and elsewhere, West Seattle Bike Connections is one of the places it’s explained – – with components including the fact that local road funding actually comes primarily from sources that are not even related to whether you own a vehicle or not. If you want to get upset about somebody not paying their share of road funding, note the part about motor-vehicle owners (like me) underpaying. – Tracy

      • WSB December 10, 2013 (10:18 am)

        Happy – The 22 does indeed go by the Sealth/Denny campus – route map:
        I know a little more about it than other routes because it’s “our” neighborhood route here in Gatewood/Upper Fauntleroy. The 22 used to run downtown as well as through the neighborhood, and was cut to a neighborhood connector in that last round of Metro cuts. It was described as “lower performing” then, but certainly the changes didn’t help make it any more usable. Its change has affected someone in our household who does not drive (yes, it really is a trend for the up-and-coming generation/s) and uses buses as his primary means of transportation. If it does go away, the nearest bus to our neighborhood will be a steep hillwalk away in any direction – to RapidRide on Fauntleroy by Lincoln Park or at Fauntleroy/California, or to the 21 on 35th SW. And it’s a good question for SPS, which abandoned so much yellow-bus service in favor of putting middle- and high-schoolers on Metro buses that might not be there any more … Tracy

  • happy December 10, 2013 (9:59 am)

    Isn’t the 22 the route that serves both Denny MS and Sealth HS? Hmm, with 900+ students at Denny, and 1200+ students at Sealth, what will happen to the hundreds of students who daily rely on the 22 for transportation?

  • Al December 10, 2013 (10:14 am)

    Craig, it’s a myth that cyclists don’t pay for the roads. We all pay sales taxes and federal income taxes – that’s how much of the roads are paid for. (tired sigh) This has been explained ad infinitum.

    I agree with you about the Mariner but that’s completely unrelated to the bus system funding issue unless you are saying that the capitalist system is not working…in which case I would expect you to be supporting more bike infrastructure for the people.

  • Roger December 10, 2013 (10:14 am)

    Why did Metro spend all that money on new bus stops that we did not need. Then come back a few months later and put a gun to the taxpayes heads asking for an addition tax on our licence tabs or they will have to stop some routes.
    Why is there no oversight at Metro to save us from inept managers mis- managing taxpayer money in the first place. Why does this have to happen over and over again. It is just not right.

  • VBD December 10, 2013 (10:19 am)

    How much money was spent on the “rapid ride” bus stops? Those things couldn’t have been cheap….

    And how much could the rider fees be increased? Trying to increase the subsidies will just make it tougher to compete with other transportation projects. If people really want the bus routes, shouldn’t those people also be the ones paying for it?

    This all seems less like a money problem and more like management incompetence.

  • westseattledood December 10, 2013 (10:30 am)

    Darn good question Happy.

  • iamseriodotus December 10, 2013 (10:42 am)

    @VBD: As far as I’m aware, all of the money for RapidRide came from a federal grant for rapid transit.

  • WestofJunction December 10, 2013 (10:44 am)

    All developers who do not provide 2 parking spaces per unit should have to pay a hefty per unit fee dedicated to transportation – how about $25k-$50K per unit. As to the “Rapdi Ride” being paid by Federal $, I know of very, very few Federal grants that don’t require matching funds. So I’m fairly sure $ to maintain existing services were diverted to pay for the Rapid Ride accoutrements.

  • old timer December 10, 2013 (10:48 am)

    That Metro website shows the 21 to be eliminated – replaced by a re-routed 50 that stops running @ 9:00pm.
    The 128 re-routing severs High Point from Morgan Junction. It is going to be a two bus ride from High Point to Alaska Junction when all is said and done. And Morgan Junction – hang onto your parking spaces, you’ll need them.

  • AmandaKH December 10, 2013 (11:01 am)

    Tracy – Thank you for this dissemination and write up. I want to remind everyone (in case you missed the mention in the earlier Traffic Update) that the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets TONIGHT. We are making some major progress and have the ear of the City, County and the State.
    December 10, 2013; 6:30pm – 9:00pm (TONIGHT)
    Highpoint Neighborhood House, 6700 Sylvan Way

  • metrgnome December 10, 2013 (11:11 am)

    Federal funding for capital projects like the Rapid Ride stations and buses is usually 80%. I believe a certain portion of the KC sales tax Metro collects is dedicated to capital projects.
    If you follow the link TR provided in the story, you will see that “Metro raised fares in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 for a total increase of $1 in adult cash fares.” Metro’s OR/OE (ratio of Operating Revenue, aka fares, to Operating Expenses) is 25%. A recent report on Public Data Ferret indicates Metros 2012 farebox recovery was 28% compared to an average of 36% nationwide; however, it’s not clear whether the average differentiates between rail systems and bus systems.
    And you can thank Tim Eyman and the voters in other counties for passing I-695, which is when Metro’s funding problems began (the initiative did not pass in KC.) The tanked economy didn’t help as sales tax revenues were reduced. You an also thank area voters who turned down the transportation sections of the Forward Thrust initiative twice in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

  • Community Member December 10, 2013 (11:21 am)

    I would love to see WSB interview SPS administrators to see how SPS intends to meet the transportation needs of their students. Will they be adding back yellow-bus service to replace the missing Metro routes? Will they be responding to lawsuits from families whose children are not adequately served?

  • zark00 December 10, 2013 (11:31 am)

    The bikers paying for roads being a myth thing is a little misleading.
    The general fund is like 43% of the budget right? And sales tax on gas is a sizable chunk of the sales tax revenue for the King County General Fund. So bikers who aren’t paying for gas, and hence not paying the sales tax on gas, aren’t contributing to the general fund at the same level as a driver buying gas would be. I agree, it’s confusing, and who really knows how the percentages shake out – but it’s not such a “drivers are awful, bikers pay more” as your posts indicated. If I fill my tank once a week, it’s about $365 a year in sales tax I’m adding to the general fund.
    Not that buying and burning more gas is a good thing, and I dunno for sure, maybe bikers still pay more than their fair share. This whole “it’s a myth!” thing though is pretty misleading, and sounds a bit propagandist to me.

  • AmandaKH December 10, 2013 (11:44 am)

    @Community Member. Great idea, I think SPS should have a voice here for sure!

  • wetone December 10, 2013 (11:53 am)

    It is either the way this city operates or it’s showing the incompetents of the people in charge with budgeting and forecasting at metro and the city. They over build an area and Metro cuts it’s services. West Seattle is one of hardest hit examples I’ve seen in this city. Our road design in and out of the area is very limited and will be very expensive for any options if possible to increase flow. It really comes down to getting I-5 moving. Expect increased property taxes, tolls, sales tax, car tabs, gas taxes, bicycle fees. With great promises of better traffic flow and better Metro services, all we have to do is vote yes for all the increases they ask for. All I got to say don’t hold your breath for traffic to ever get better here no matter how much money this city throws at it unless everyone in W/S starts walking and working in the same spot.

  • zark00 December 10, 2013 (11:56 am)

    Are we actually spending the $240M over 10 years for this Seattle Master Bike Plan? Don’t just 3.5% of commuters ride bikes? That seem very expensive for such a small percentage of folks. It’s too cold and rainy to reliably commute to work here – I can’t be a sweaty, wet, muddy mess when I get in – lots of people have the same issue. I think this “make Seattle a bike city”, as nice as it sounds, is pretty myopic and misguided’ and potentially a massive waste of money.

  • iamseriodotus December 10, 2013 (12:25 pm)

    @zark00 I’m not sure about the exact dollar amount for the Master Bike Plan, but the $240m amount mentioned earlier was entirely unrelated to the discussion as it pertained to how much the Mariners paid for Robinson Cano.

  • zark00 December 10, 2013 (12:48 pm)

    Yeah, it’s just coincidentally the same figure.
    $240M estimate for the 10 year cost of the whole MBP.
    I honestly just question how responsible it is to try to enact a plan to get more people to ride to work. It’s simply not realistic for this city where it rains 150 days of the year and people don’t ride nearly as much in the rain.

  • datamuse December 10, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    zark00, has it occurred to you that the money we don’t spend on gas, we spend elsewhere?
    Don’t take my word for it, there’s research and everything.
    You might as well criticize hybrid owners for spending less on gas, while you’re at it. I have one of those, too. Or the people who work from home. (Me, again.) Or the people who walk half a mile to the convenience store instead of driving. (Again…) I mean, really?
    In any case, all of this is really beside the point, which is that relying on sales taxes for funding is kind of nuts, and Tim Eyman seems determined to turn the state into a barren wasteland. (Can we file an initiative that he’s not allowed to file any more initiatives?)

  • enough December 10, 2013 (1:48 pm)

    If cyclists aren’t careful they will get what they are asking for then they will have gridlock on the bike routes. Whenever someone complains about traffic, a cyclist chimes in and says to stop complaining because vehicle drivers ARE traffic, not in traffic. What would you have us do? Dump our cars for bikes whether physically able or not? I’d kind of like to see that happen and see how much you like it, trying to ride with a few more thousand friends. You wouldn’t be able to get where you were going as fast anymore and you’d likely get in accidents too like cars.

  • East Coast Cynic December 10, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    zark000 re the bike master plan, It is too inconvenient for the mass of working commuters to use considering not just the cold, rain, and getting sweaty and having to utilize valuable work time to get cleaned up for it, but the hills are potentially too challenging for a lot of people to deal with.

    The emphasis on bikes is also a prevarication from the hard political choice of spending money for right of way public transit. Not enough room around here to widen I-5 and 99 unless you want to take out a lot of homes and businesses.

  • Macj December 10, 2013 (2:00 pm)

    @ enough
    You’re right, thousands of bicycle commuters looks like a NIGHTMARE:

  • Buttercup December 10, 2013 (3:06 pm)

    When West Seattle had major metro service changes and reductions in September 2012, Metro sent a person (a woman) on an all expense paid trip to London so that she could study the public transit services there. She was part of the planning commission for the changes. How is this responsible when we are told that Metro is hurting for money. What other ways do they waste money? Is this a legitimate expense of public money? Wish they would send me there, nice hotel, good food, tourist activities and a week long. Shame on Metro!

  • onion December 10, 2013 (3:20 pm)

    This is not a drivers vs. cyclists issue, and anyone who invests energy in that debate hinders the solution to this problem. The issues, it seems to me, are twofold:
    *Conservative legislators, particularly from rural areas, who see public transit as pork rather than an enabler of economic health and growth in Washington state. I would argue that if we as a state can afford multi-billion direct subsidies to corporations such as Boeing, then we should first pay for public transit, which benefits Boeing and every other tax revenue generating business in the state.
    *Housing development and transportation policies that are based on the apparently fanciful assumption that ideal transportation alternatives exist, so we don’t need parking spots or more roads. I am not opposed to urban density, nor am I an advocate of paving every square inch of urban space for single occupancy vehicles. However, at some point these policies need to align.

  • Forest December 10, 2013 (3:29 pm)

    I’ve been noticing lately that the rows of placards above the rider windows on both sides of a coach interior seem to be filled with promos for Metro itself. Makes me wonder how much Metro squanders in lost revenues by using prime ad space to plug itself instead of local businesses.

  • Null December 10, 2013 (3:36 pm)

    The way they want it, people who live in White Center and work until late nights outside of the neighborhood are not going to have a ride back home after work. It’s like they didn’t take realistic commute scenarios into consideration at all. How did they ever think this would be reasonable?!

  • DTK December 10, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    Kevin Desmond and the Executive branch of King County Metro need to step down or be run out. The incompetence shown over the last few years leaves little doubt that there is a leadership vacuum and worse, complete ineptitude.

  • TAW December 10, 2013 (4:03 pm)

    I ride the 56 and 57 to and from Admiral District/Pike downtown, at various times in AM and PM and they are packed. I can’t believe they would cut the 57 completely and cut out almost half the 56 schedule. It’s like they are forcing people back into cars, and that’s not going to help traffic at all.

  • Seattlite December 10, 2013 (4:22 pm)

    Is it too much of a stretch to think that Metro is mismanaged? What about an investigation of Metro’s management leaders, financial budgets, etc. Metro’s mismanagement follows suit with Seattle’s total mismanagement.

  • Captain Obvious December 10, 2013 (4:55 pm)

    Hey Kids, let’s play a game called, “Build, build, build more condos and then cut, cut, cut, public transportation”. I bet it will be packed full of fun! Woo hoo – Yay urban density!
    Pro tip: Why don’t our leaders look at other successful (both functionally and fiscally) transportation systems and model ours after it. Oh wait, I know…

  • zark00 December 10, 2013 (5:05 pm)

    @AL – thanks, didn’t have those numbers. So that proves it – 800 bikes tops over the WSea bridge, out of 20,000+ daily cars – or about 4% – insignificant to say the least.
    the 8.5% ridership on the Fremont bridge is much better, but the drop to literally HALF the bike commuters in rainy months kind of says it all doesn’t it?
    Thanks for the numbers – always makes the point more clear!

    @ Datamuse – I think you misread – a lot. I wasn’t criticizing anyone except people who are perpetuating the myth that bikers are contributing the same amount of money that drivers are – the facts and figures cited ignore the fact that the general fund makes up 43% of the budget, and that same general fund is largely fed by sales tax, and a hefty portion of that sales tax is from gas tax – that’s all I said – you can misread, be insulting and make assumptions as much as you like – but with a name like “datamuse” you might want to check the actual “data’ ya know?

    And thanks for the link, but that’s Portland, they don’t have sales tax, nor do they pay for transit with a general fund, I grew up there. Plus, the article you cited actually says “Drivers still make up a plurality of customers to all of these businesses. And, with greater trunk capacity, they far outspend people who travel to the grocery store by foot, bike or transit.”

    Nothing I said was pitting bikers against drivers – you people need to practice your “reading comprehension” I was questioning the notion that bikers put into the general fund at the same rate as drivers, and there are FAR less of them. I submit we’re planning to spend $240 million to service 4%-8.5% of commuters – do you disagree with that?

    Biking is great, more power to bikers, not everyone can do it, half of the hardcore even drop out here when it’s cold and rainy; does that not kind of say it all right there? Maybe you just need to face facts – Seattle may just not be the biking city you wish it to be.

    @EastCoastCynic – I was gonna say the hills! But I thought I might just be being a wiener. :) I can’t ride up the 35th hill – not even in 1st – is there something lower than first?

  • Kayleigh December 10, 2013 (5:31 pm)

    The time is long past for nit-picking every way Metro spends money that you don’t like. Either support new, stable funds for public transit, or sit in your car and fume (and breathe more car fumes) for even longer when you try to leave West Seattle. Because living here is about to get sucky.

  • West Seattle Hipster December 10, 2013 (5:53 pm)

    Well stated DTK and Seattlite. I believe Desmond and his cronies are part of the problem, not the solution. I believe in tax dollars funding Metro, but under new leadership.

    Note to Metro: live within your means.

  • West December 10, 2013 (7:03 pm)

    @zack00. Seems like your whole purpose is to put bikers and against drivers. Since you clearly are not a cyclist, please focus on helping drivers. I challenge you to involve yourself with transit meetings and push your agenda of (more driving lanes, more buses, adding liftrail) . I’m guessing on your goal since it was not addressed outside trying to discredit others.

  • Paul December 10, 2013 (8:19 pm)

    Gasoline is exempt from the sales tax. The state gas tax is separate and goes into a special fund that can only be used for highways.

  • buckwheat December 10, 2013 (8:48 pm)

    Again, incompetence at its best here in Seattle. Throw up a bunch of crappy development and then cut mass transit, brilliance’s! Damn with these geniuses that are planning Seattle future what can go wrong? Thank god the tunnel is going to save Seattle!

  • JN December 10, 2013 (8:50 pm)

    Bicycle infrastructure is needed only because people driving cars are endangering bicyclists. And regarding any fees: it would take 9,600 bicycles to equal the damage done to the road by 1 car.

  • Mike December 10, 2013 (9:24 pm)

    JN, I’ll counter your statement. People driving cars are not endangering bicyclists who follow the law. Just this morning I had a cyclist cut from the sidewalk, over the parking strip, cross two lanes to cut me off then take an illegal left turn onto the sidewalk on the other side of the road using the wrong hand signal (his right hand…middle finger). I didn’t honk, I didn’t rev, I didn’t speed up. He did however nearly get hit by 4,800 lbs of Toyota 4Runner 4×4 with 2 kids, wife and myself in it. Good thing I watch where I’m going or I’d have to sue the cyclist for brain goobers in my grill.

    • WSB December 10, 2013 (9:31 pm)

      STOP. Good God, people, can we get through one transportation thread without Car Drivers vs. Bicycle Riders? Neither is a threat to the other. We need ALL modes of transportation to get around. We need to make it safe for ALL modes of transportation. Thanks. Neither bikes vs. cars nor cars. vs. bikes is even relevant to the topic at hand. – TR

  • Jeffrey December 10, 2013 (11:07 pm)

    I’m driving! I’m ecstatic at being able to enjoy that freedom. I love forgetting that one item at the grocery store and making that trip back to pick it up. I always forget the bread. I do it on purpose.

    Instead of the bickering nonsense we all need to work together to have a robust and cohesive transportation system that includes cars, bus,watercraft, rail, a dedicated network of bicycle paths, and sidewalks/paths for pedestrians.

  • zark00 December 11, 2013 (12:16 pm)

    @ West not my intention to pit drivers against bikers, not what I wrote, not what I said, please read again.
    I’ve been to a transit meeting a week for the past three weeks, do not need your snarky “challenge”. Haven’t seen you there have I?
    Your guess at “my goal” is incorrect.
    And I see that you failed to comment on any of the facts as well – just stirring the pot I guess is your goal.
    Paul did read, and corrected me that motor vehicle fuel is exempt from sales tax. Here’s a link confirming that
    So I was wrong and drivers do not contribute an additional chunk of money through sales tax on gas.
    If I had a goal it would be to get people like you think realistically about the transit needs of this city. To try to force everyone onto a bike isn’t realistic. To spend $240M over 10 years to service a very small percentage of commuters doesn’t make sense to me when we have a $75M shortfall to keep the bus system we have now, not even expand it. That’s what I said – that you took it as an attack against bikers says more about the chip on your shoulder.

  • Andres December 11, 2013 (1:36 pm)

    “To try to force everyone onto a bike isn’t realistic.”

    Who’s doing that? I thought we were trying to give people the option of choosing their mode of transportation. Do you also go around claiming that Seattle is forcing everyone to walk because it is building sidewalks? Isn’t it about time those bipedal freeloaders started paying their fair share? Tax and require shoe registration and licenses!

    Why are you even talking about bikes? The BMP is not funded, so it’s not like they could take that estimated $240M and use it for metro funding. It’s currently imaginary money.

  • G December 11, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    WSB: This is Seattle; people can’t have adult conversations here, without flipping out, or using every issue as an excuse to dredge up private grievances that they’ve nursed for their entire lives. Seattle’s always had this unquiet, this unhappiness, if you read biographers of the city.

    When I’m down in the SFV in Cali, I see bikers and and motorists sharing busy Riverside Dr – weaving around each other almost carelessly – with no one getting uptight, no one cursing, no one banging on each other’s mode of transportation, or obsessing all day about a traffic slight. Everyone just doing their own thing and moving on.

    How utterly refreshing.

  • dawsonct December 11, 2013 (6:27 pm)

    I don’t know a single adult bicyclist who does not also own at least one car, which I believe they often drive over the same roads on which they also ride their bikes.

    One aspect of the society in which we live, is that we all pay for a shared infrastructure which hopefully provides an overall better quality of life for all citizens. At times, a percentage of our tax dollars will pay for something that does not SEEM to provide us an immediate direct benefit.
    Tough sheet. Grow up.

  • Mike December 11, 2013 (9:55 pm)

    What is the reason for not requiring registration with a fee for bicycles being used to commute on public roads? Why not require a license for cyclists who want to utilize public roadways to commute by bicycle? Why is there not a test to pass to get a license to ride a bicycle on a public roadway? Why are cyclists not required to carry insurance when they ride their bicycle on public roadways? Honestly, why? They are legally required by law to obey traffic laws, same as a motorized vehicle when on the public roadway.
    That said, I love cycling. I just do it mostly on designated trails in urban areas or hit the mountain back country for some fire roads and cross country cycling. Did STP twice, was age 13 and 15 when I did it. Worked at a bike shop, commuted by bike on a designated bike trail.
    i think a realistic way to provide a safer method of commuting by bicycle is to actually have a legitimate trail that is NOT part of the roadway being used along side motorized vehicles, much less semis from the port, busses, cement trucks, dump trucks, etc. The path along Alaska Way is deadly as it is now. I am amazed that we spent any money to paint lines to be a ‘bike lane’ which crosses over lanes used by trucks entering and exiting the Port of Seattle terminals. It’s a death trap, it’s been a death trap. I’ve ridden my own bicycle along Alaska Way before the painted the horrid bike lane lines, it’s freakishly deadly, I started taking the Water Taxi to avoid that section of the commute by bicycle when I would ride to work.
    Metro needs to be funded, but it also needs to be managed accordingly. We need designated bicycle paths that are not part of the same road system that motorized vehicles use, but we need city leadership who are more than Sierra Club Lawyer talking heads to do it right and stop wasting money on painting lines in deadly areas that then lead inexperienced riders to believe it’s safe now. We need to fix the roads we have, not just throw a wad of gravel and tar on a hole and then watch it sink again. We need leadership that really knows what they are doing.
    I really hope that our new mayor will start correcting the train wreck of a mess the outgoing mayor has provided us. Here’s to a better future, one were we can commute safely no matter what method is chosen to get around.

  • westside bus rider December 13, 2013 (2:37 pm)

    For those who think the problem is mismanagement at Metro, I would ask you to actually research the issue before spouting off. Facts are that Metro underwent a complete audit a few years ago by the County Council and has implemented all findings. Fares have been raised, staff has been laid off, reserves have been drained, and they have a new transparent way of allocating service.

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