Deadpool 2 Transit Adventure

Here I am en route out to check out Deadpool 2, or more specifically DP2 cuz… well, yeah. My trip consists of the 40, then the 550, then the 241 out to Factoria (don’t ask, free tickets and Deadpool make a long strange transit adventure totally worth it!). Needless to say, a lot of transfers and plenty of time to get some writing done!

I walked from home to the bus stop, and noticed almost immediately it looks like the 75th & 24th street crossing is going to get some improvements. The crossing really needs some love and care, as 24th is kind of a car sewer of motorists speeding at 75th threatening the lives of pedestrians and other auto users.

The 40 rode along it’s routinely torturously bumpy route. Almost throwing the phone from my hands several times as I attempted to read. Nothing new though, as Westlake & Leary both have some pretty wretched pavement and respectively evil pot holes! As we neared the intersection of Mercer we could see – as is always the case – the cluster fuck that is Mercer. The design on that street literally limits the movement of the greatest number of people in favor of the least number of people moving. In other words it expedites the few coming on and off the interstate while the pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. The non-Mercer street traffic number many times greater then the motorists funneling on and off the interstates via Mercer, and by proxy of this priority hinder the movement of local north south traffic.

Flip over to the specific bus issue, which has a partial fix in place. The 40 has a very small singular block slip lane in plane now but often can’t even get to it. The causes are numerous, from excess traffic in the turn lane, to people blocking the slip lane that turn around it for the general purpose lane, and other miscenllaneous idiocy.

south-end

Basically the traffic usually backs up along Westlake in the turn lane, and what we ought to do – especially since there is almost zero direct south bound traffic in the straight general purpose travel lanes, add the first left hand turn lane as a “bus only” turn lane and stripe it back about 400 ft. Limit the right turning and south bound traffic to only the right most lane. The traffic isn’t so much that being down to one lane would even cause a problem. But by creating the second left hand turn lane for the bus it’d enable the 40 route buses to not clump and to more easily move through and not delay their thousands of daily riders!

south-end2

With that fixed, I kid you not it would knock of 4-12 minutes per trip during rush hour for the 40 route buses! A major improvement, and it would keep the buses out of the general purpose lane blocking up the single occupant vehicle drivers! Gasp, win for everybody!

The Sound Transit 550 Express

The next bus is the 550. The gooe ole’ 550, departing from the tunnel out over Interstate 90 and up through Bellevue. Albeit I’d get off at the southern park & ride in the Bellevue and board the 241 south bound to the theater. If that doesn’t work out on frequency at rush hour however I’ll just snag a lyft – maybe – considering rush hour maybe it’s just faster to walk! LOL ok, probably not walking but just saying. It’s a soup of car fumes over there at this hour.

The 550 overall just works seamlessly. The only way it’ll get better is when it becomes the LINK in ~3 years or so. Then it’ll be light rail and it’ll be faster, smoother, and generally all around more reliable and just better. In between that time, I suppose next year sometime the 550 will get pushed to the surface, or even just Pioneer Square are only which is gonna make it a serious pain in the ass until the LINK is in place. I’m still not real confident how well that will or won’t work shoveling all those riders onto the existing tunnel LINK from the south end like that. It might, or it might fail spectacularly.

Speaking of LINK

As we exited the Mercer Island Park & Ride one could see the LINK paved segments in the median under construction. It looks like things are moving forward well and as always I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll be done early or at least on time! With just a few minutes of departing Mercer we pulled into the Bellevue Park & Ride south of downtown Bellevue. Here one is at the foot of the giant supports for the coming light rail. It is rather impressive even without the tracks or guideway attached!

With that, I’d arrived to see my 249 just pass. I dread anyone trying to catch these infrequent east side buses without the ability to just hail a Lyft or something. At this point I didn’t have 15 or 30 minutes to wait for the next one so I surrendered to getting a Lyft. Fortunately it’s only a 5 minute drive from there. I did also learn, that Factoria has a totally poorly designed very *suburban* road design. It’s horrible. So few people moved, so few cars actually getting anywhere, but of course everything just looks congested. For instance, the movie, with 169 guests watching it let’s out and the roads are congested clear around to every corner of the parking lot as everyone tries to leave.

169 people is vastly less than one light rail train. It’s only 3 or 4 60 foot buses. Better yet, if the area was zoned appropriately and had reasonable biking infrastructure that’s 169 bikes that could literally leave the area at 10x the speed (based on a bike speed of about 20 mph) But instead Factoria has this soup of four wheel pollution makers puttering around at speeds averaging about 2 measly miles per hour trying to exit the parking lot to get to one of the streets light segments to try to get out of the parking lot.

It’ll be nice when the light rail is actually built up all over the place and we can get some of this trash fire zoning fixed and actually put things by transportation instead off centered around giant wasteful, rain water collecting, encroaching parking lots.

But I digress, the movie was great! Definitely go see Deadpool 2! Happy travels!

The Seattle Head Tax #WTF?

Holy shit y’all. So Seattle just passed the head tax. This is all fine and dandy and whatever, but between Sawant acting the bully and claiming Amazon was being a bully here’s my number one concern at this point.

Here I sort of agree with Sawant, but also very much with the reality of what just happened I’m concerned with what the hell the city is going to be held accountable to. They effectively just voted a big chunk of money into their coffers but I have seen very few things about where, when, or how they intend to build housing. I’m not even on to the topic of the travesty of housing that was built for people in St Louis, New Orleans, or hundreds of other locations throughout America. Heaven forbid we talk about the horrid conditions the Government(s) of America screwed minorities and others over with in building the housing. Is Seattle prepared to build housing through public means? How do we ensure fairness of this and actually ensure that people keep moving upwards from that system out of the future public housing to ensure people don’t get stuck at the bottom?

Does Seattle really even have a plan beyond, get more money and spend it somewhere? There’s been little on that matter and it’s very concerning. I want people to have a place to live, and to go, and to move up in the world – not just a slight displacement from campers and campsites to trash dump of poorly maintained public housing! Which honestly, is about what every public housing setup has become over time throughout the US (besides a racist cesspool to funnel minorities). I’m honestly not sure Seattle is prepared or ready for this, I hope and wish us well on the matter, but this I bet is going to get tricky and real soon, real dicey.

In addition, when we take the hit and companies start to skirt their ways out of this, when does that get remedied, and if the housing actually does get built one of these days how to do we ensure that sidewalks, trails, and public spaces stay clear then? Do we allow ourselves to enforce some law or rule around that?

Anyway, if you have more links, information, or other details, please leave a comment with info.

Carpinteria and Santa Barbara

After my arrival in Carpinteria I spent the week working on recording material. I’ve however talked about that elsewhere, since it’s well outside the scope of my transit sleuthing! But here’s a few of the day to day adventures and what not.

That First Commute

For the first trip to the office, I scoped out the transit agency for the area and found that there was a bus that would bring me from across the street of the nearby Starbucks directly to the front door of the office. All I needed was fare, and found online after checking out the MTD site for Santa Barbara’s Transit Agency, I could pick up a ten ride ticket at the Albertsons next door.

After I picked up the ticket, the first trip on the bus was a short sweet ride that took just 5 minutes. In the evening that first day I actually opted to take a walk back to the hotel. I wandered up through the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Reserve. It provides a beautiful place to walk out to and along the beach front. The subsequent day I rode the bus one more time, catching the 21x.

I used the MTD App to see when the bus was arriving this day, and gotta say it’s one of the more accurate I used. There were a few glitches in the app like needing to recenter on where the stop was after every few views of the arrivals. However, in spite of the glitches it still worked well in giving me arrivals so I’d know when to go board a bus.

Attaining a Bike

Carpinteria is very bike friendly. All the local roads are slow neighborhood style streets and one routinely sees the school kids to the beach bums to the retired folk biking around town. In the small little main street of Carpinteria there’s also some pretty top tier food options, again, easily able to swing between them via bike. With that in mind I set out to borrow a bike for the days I could from the office. On Wednesday I was able to pick up said bike, and I was super ecstatic that I though immediately, I’m going to go to town and get something tasty tonight!

So upon receiving the lock from security I was all set, and headed into town. That’s where I decided to get some grub at Sly’s. Let me tell you, this place was not messing around! The food was extremely good, and definitely doesn’t fall into the “small town” food category, but more into the big city batting 5 stars level food!

After that I rolled and picked up some things from the local grocery for my rocking steeds front basket. I just figured I ought to fully use the advantage of the bike to the max, so I sure did. Rolled back to the hotel watched a movie and passed out. A most excellent evening!

Bike Commute!

The next day I biked into the office through the park area again. Along through the trail I took a few photos and a short video. The congestion pictures however are of the inbound cars on 101 and on the side road. Every single day they were all backed up. The absolute worst way to commute.

That evening, on the way back to the hotel I took the long way home and snagged a few more photos of the bike trip around, along the coast, through the beach park and back up through Carpinteria and back to the hotel.

Oil rigs. I saw a number of them. If you drive, take a good look at the things you support out there seeping oil into the ocean every day. They’re some nasty shit and one can actually go down to the beach and see remnants of the rigs work coming to shore on a semi-regular basis. I found this kind of odd that they allowed this to occur this close to the shore. In Louisiana they have a lot of rigs offshore, but one can’t see them and rarely does one actually see the oil coming ashore. However, the other filth in the water of the Gulf of Mexico there in Louisiana may have just obfuscated the oil, I couldn’t verify. Either way, it was like a dystopian imagery seeing those offshore toiling away. They did make for an interesting view of lights off the coast too.

After that, I headed into town for dinner, but ate a bit lighter and spent some time working that evening. More on this trip in the next post, there is indeed more. Until then, cheers & happy travels!