High Gas Prices, One of The Best Things for Americans Right Now!

Maybe I’ll add to this in the future.  But with driving declining in any way…

http://www.protectseattlenow.org/car-usage-is-declining

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2015164985_apusgasolinesummersqueeze.html

http://daily.sightline.org/2011/05/02/where-are-my-cars-i-5-through-seattle/

…things will begin to improve in the city. Rest assured this will happen.  Bring on better zoning, better transit, and better livability. I’m all ready for it!  🙂

A No Ride List Like The No Fly List

Seriously? I read this thread over on Progressive Railroading and it caught my attention. The write of the poll starts off with,

As I voted on the recent poll, should Amtrak start using a “no ride” list like the airlines “no fly” list, I was suprised to find that better than 10% of those who voted as of today voted no. No meaning they don’t think we need the same security and peace of mind on a train as we have on a plane. I find that very interesting.

Are you kidding me? I’m usually not aggressive about my retorts, but this guy has misplaced several KEY realities within the first three sentences of his query.

Let me explain something bout idiots first. Yes, I may sound like a completely mean, impolite person for saying it this way, but it needs written. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, no matter how smart is a complete tool and idiot if for one minute they think the “no fly” list or the TSA keep us safe and secure. You are a complete FOOL if you have some peace of mind about flying because of THESE reasons. See further explanation below of why you should feel safe flying.

To people that think we need a no fly list or a no ride list you’re blurring the line between a criminal and a citizen or any developed country having simple civil rights to be able to move between lands, cities, and places of interest. Should a private railroad be allowed to do this? Yes. Should Amtrak? No. It isn’t private. To pretend it is completely ignores the reality of its operation.

The reason above why I said you should feel safe flying is simple. The whole idea of terrorism has killed a negligible amount of people worldwide. Terrorists (whatever this ideal actually means is something held by the perpetrators of such ideas), have been amazingly inefficient at getting their points across or being effective in their murderous attempts at garnering attention. The statistics are in your favor, you ARE safe when you fly.

The other simple fact is that flying is the safest for of transportion on earth. I’d be hard pressed to say that walking is even safer, because it probably isn’t. Several thousand people per year die walking.

So when you fly, or think about curtailing the ability for certain people to fly based on an arbitrary and fuzy notion of “no ride” or “no fly” lists, think about the REAL reasons we’re safe. Not the stupid, inane nonsense that follows the hyperbole of the media and idiocy of our leaders. Fear sells, fear limits our lives, and fear is almost always completely unfounded.

Live life. See the world. Stop worrying about oppressing others.

From Sound Transit, Is Anyone Reading Transit Sleuth Attending This?

The invite reads…

Look behind the red wall

Capitol Hill community event & Link light rail construction site tours

WHEN: Saturday, June 11, 2011, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Cal Anderson Park, 10th Avenue between John Street & Denny Way

Come by and learn about Sound Transit and its light rail construction projects.
Link light rail construction site tours will also be given. View the tunneling boring machine as it prepares to launch towards downtown Seattle. Please be sure to wear sturdy shoes. People wearing open-toed shoes will not be allowed onto the site.
Capitol Hill community event featuring the music group Toy Boats (playing from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
Bring the family to enjoy balloon animals and face-painting.
WHAT IS UNIVERSITY LINK?
University Link is the 3.15-mile extension of Link light rail from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington. U-Link includes twin-bore tunnels and two stations, one at Capitol Hill (Broadway & East John St.) and the other on the University of Washington campus at Husky Stadium.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about the U-Link light rail project, please contact Jennifer Lemus at (206) 398-5314 or jennifer.lemus@soundtransit.org. You can also visit our website at http://www.soundtransit.org/u-link.

I was thinking about going, but was also wondering who else might be heading up that way? Would love to meet, have a cup of coffee, discuss some transit topics, etc.

Portland Leads Again

Again, Portland takes the lead with coordination with Google Maps. They’re now offering real time arrival information via the maps service itself!

Impressive, I hope to see this in other cities soon!

UPDATE #1: They’re also slowly starting to restore service.  Of course, the locals bitch on as always (see 1st comment), even though this is an improvement in service.

UPDATE #2: Ok, so a couple of my long time readers got all riled up as if me stating Portland is making some progress is a jab at Seattle. I understand there is an unspoken tit for tat going on between these cities, but I wanted to add that Portland is doing the above, but Seattle also is getting things done:  For instance, SDOT has started a massive repavement effort on Dexter.  Check out these links for this awesome transit + bike improvement effort (which of course auto drivers will benefit form also, and hopefully kill less people in other cars, bikes, or pedestrians).  Cheers!

Seattle is making progress, it just isn’t always in regards to transit buses or light rail.  This blog happens to primarily be about those things.  However maybe I’ll start including more about bikes and pedestrian movement.
Thanks for reading, and you guys stop thinking I’m trying to put Portland on any bigger of a pedestal than it is already on.  o_O

Rail

It has been a while, a long while, since I rode Light Rail into a downtown core or out of the core for work. More than 4 years at least.

In Tacoma I rode the Link Streetcar from one end to the other to get to work. With an early Monday Amtrak Cascades ride to Tacoma from Portland and a Thursday late Cascades ride back home. Both parts of this trip were awesome, with the ability to work, drink, and actually enjoy the train trip. The streetcar trip was so short, sweet, and quick that it was perfect to enjoy a cup of coffee and just watch the sun peeking up through the sky.

Before that I had the pleasure of taking Trimet’s MAX Light Rail out to Beaverton, and before that just past Beaverton to parts near Intel’s Campus and almost all the way to Hillsboro. Those trips were pretty long but both allowed a smooth and easy trip to work.

I’ve also spent a few weekends here and there running into and out of the city on PATH from New Jersey to New York, the Subway, New Jersey Transit, Amtrak Acela and the locals, plus other systems.

All the rail systems are amazingly smooth in comparison to American Buses on American Streets.

There has been one exception with the Swift & Faux BRT Services in Seattle. These buses are actually smooth riding and ride on pseudo dedicated roadways. These buses still aren’t as smooth as light rail or passenger rail like Amtrak, but they are a drastic improvement over the “trucks with people” in them nonsense that we seem to have so many of in the US.

If I were to draw a conclusion from just my experience in the US and Canada, we need to let the traditional bus models die and bring this new style of transit service into play full force. Some of the traditional bus modes might work in small towns or for far flung service, but it should be put to rest in the city. 60ft, smooth suspension, smooth riding buses on semi-dedicated routes should be used.

But I digress, just sitting here dreaming of a smoother more vehicle friendly and civil ride into work. May we citizens get BRT, LRT, Commuter Rail, and other higher quality, civil modes of commuting!