Wednesdays Videos & Photos

Here’s a few video passes from Wednesday. As yesterday’s, this one has a few blank seconds between each clip.

Here’s a few photos from the day.

Ballard, Sound Transit Sounder, and Recovery Day

Monday was a whirlwind of an adventure. Tuesday then needed to be a recovery day. I’d planned to start out and pick up the other bike (Pop Rocket I rode to Kent, this was Blue that needs picked up). But I didn’t even get around to that. It really did turn into a mostly chill day of relaxation.

A little bit of logistical fun playing the game Transport Fever. But then later in the day I did get down to some of the tracks where the Sound Transit Sounder route comes through Ballard. Here’s a few shots of the 5:35pm departure from Seattle heading to Edmonds on its way to Everett.

Here’s some of the video. There are three segments, so hold on when the screen goes black for a few seconds in between.

That’s it for the moment. Off to more explorations today.

Cap n’ Hominy, Bike, LINK, NOLA Bowl, Walkin’, Biking, Green River Trail, Interurban Trail, Sound Transit Sounder

I wrote this absurdly title, but really it’s just a Monday like any other where I don’t have any predefined thing I’m supposed to go do. So the day went like this.

Today started off with a good breakfast. Cajun egg, hominy, and a cappuccino. It’s good to know how to cook the things one likes, otherwise, the food would be boring. The egg and hominy I had some Cajun seasoning, mixed in with some butter, and a touch of salt and pepper. This combination just creates an egg with expansive explosive taste. Not that it’s hot and spicy, just a flavorful combination for something that generally tastes like bland air paste.

Once I wrapped up breakfast I jumped on my pop tart bike and headed to my office maker space. There I tidied up my backpack to just the items I’d want for today’s adventure. With laptop, camera, and related items all packed I rolled down Ballard Avenue and on toward the Burke Gilman Trail.

The weather out today is about as perfect as it gets for cycling. It’s slightly cool out and the sky is clear with the sun at an angle that doesn’t leave one burnt. The air has that crispness to that just makes it easier to breath, keeping the muscles fueled appropriately. I had my water canister with me, as this time with this amazing weather I wasn’t going to let myself get dehydrated and end up feeling lousy the next day! After all, tomorrow I’m planning for another transit and bike combo adventure!

Brunch and The Hills!

I rolled onward toward the University District LINK Light Rail Station. My plan was to bike over this direction, which takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes and then board the LINK, which depending on waiting time of less than ~10 minutes will get me to Capital Hill with a mere 6 minute ride. Thus, maximum trip with wait would be 16 minutes and minimum would be about 7.

I boarded the elevator into the bowels of the station, and exited to board the train on the eastern side of the platform. I racked the bike in the appropriate place and sat down to wait for departure. In just 3 minutes we left, which meant my trip and wait time would make it 9 minutes. With my combined ride, which I now knew the travel time of 28 minutes and 45 seconds, I was looking at total trip from Ballard to Capital Hill of about ~37 minutes. Not that bad considering I wasn’t really trying nor taking the fatest route, just the most convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable route.

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My Strava Capture of the ride to University District to catch the LINK

The Lost Lake of Capital Hill

Once I arrived at Capital Hill I exited the LINK station and rode down along 11th toward 10th between Pine & Pike. You see, there’s a lost lake there. Ok, it isn’t really a lost lake, it’s a nifty open 24 hours a day joint that has this kitschy feel to it like a mix between a diner, rustic lodge, and a lounge on the flip side of the space. Brunch and good conversation was had with my friend I’d planned to meet there. Once we were done eating at this lost lake, we opted to take a walk considering that absolutely stellar weather outside.

An aside: Before I go on, I made a mental note and am going to put this in my calendars for the rest of my life. Remember, diligently remember not to schedule any travel whatsoever during the months of October, November, and December, unless of course it is to the northern lands of Europe into Scandinavia or the Netherlands. Those are the only two places that get a pass from me. Otherwise it isn’t worth leaving Cascadia to visit other places as this is the premier perfect weather time of year. At least, in my personal preferences of weather. Slightly cold and growing colder is my perfect cup of tea.

Alright, back to the adventures that laid before me. Upon deciding to walk through Seattle a bit, specifically Capital Hill, First Hill, and on toward Yesler Terrace on down into Chinatown. Well, maybe it isn’t chinatown now and instead it’s International District, considering how few Chinese people actually live there it actually makes more sense. It isn’t just a politically correct rename, but actually a more factual identifier to those that live in this part of the city.

Here’s a few pictures from the walk, as we strolled through Seattle University.

At some point, it was time to start riding. I headed south out of the city. I rode along 6th down onto the trail that runs beside the LINK route out of the city. It’s a nice trail, albeit it ends abruptly with nowhere to really travel once one gets further into the heart of SODO. There I scouted for and rode along a few disappearing sidewalks. This area of Seattle, simply put, it no place for pedestrians or anybody that isn’t basically in some type of motor vehicle. It’s a pretty wretched area. One could argue, “oh but it’s an industrial area!” But that’s just nonsense, just because trucks drive around doesn’t make it a necessity to make it so inhospitable to human activity. People still need to eat, there’s still places to eat, and there’s even some park space and parkway space in the area. So the idea that it’s dirty because it’s an industrial area is just kind of stupid.

I continued onward into a region with no sidewalks, no clearly marked or clearly safe areas to ride. I just followed the premise that if the route was minimal or no traffic, I was going to travel along that route. At some point, and I’m not really sure what area delineated where SODO ends and Georgetown starts, but I passed over a bridge which smelled like human waste and then I was clearly in Georgetown. From there I crossed the oddball intersection that leads into the area, went along the main street of the breweries, breakfast joints, and coffee shops, and onward down the wrong road.

I had to backtrack, as I wanted to be on the road that divided the Boeing Airfield from Georgetown. Found it, and traveled along there until I found a bike rack in from of Brothers Sisters and locked up. Here I got a few pictures of planes and other transit moving through the area. Namely, I saw a whole slew of King County Metro Route 60 buses plying along as if a herd of buses.

Beware, Rant Arrivin’ Soon

After Georgetown I traveled along that absolutely shitty road, debris and all, that runs parallel to the Boeing Field airport. This road is honestly an insult to anything remotely humane. It’s just a sewer of cars, a trash pit of poor design, and turn outs that threaten the lives of anyone that has to work along the route. It is simply a trash fire pit of shit. I hated this one part of the trip with the hate of a thousand suns. Seattle, Boeing, clean this trash pit you call a road up. It’s a goddamn disgrace to the city! I mean, this is a road that visitors to our fair city travel down to see the high tech, futuristic development of aircraft from Boeing and related entities. As they travel to arrive at this awesome museum, they have to travel through the travesty that is SODO, and worse, that is this wretched road.

Alright, I digress. Obviously Seattle will get to it when Seattle gets to it. Ugh. Here check out some photos of planes and buses I got while I was on the edge of Georgetown near the airfield!

I turned on 16th, traveled through a cute little commercial neighborhood strip of South Park. Then along another entirely unsafe road leaving that little commercial area. Finally, after riding through this unsafe and disgusting area that is and ought to be considered blighted and an insult to all people of this city, I arrived at the Green River Trail.

Green River Trail

The Green River Trail basically interlines along with the Duwamish River. It starts at the area where the Duwamish River is allowed it’s natural flow instead of the straightened stretch that exist into the Puget Sound. The area is beautiful, and the winding nature of the river has a calming effect to it all. It’s not really traveled much during the day, so as I rode along I saw very few people actually on the trail.

What The Ever Living Hell ya Negligent Motorist!

As I approached the segment of the Green River Trail that I would exit and then merge onto the Interurban Trail I rode upon this car wreck. I could see clearly what had happened, the driver, who I assume inattentively came barreling off of I-405 to the off ramp area, missed things, side swiped a van, and hit the separator that sent the vehicle with such force airborne, over the fence and into the blackberry bushes. Honestly, this type of wreck shouldn’t just be a ding on the insurance, but the driver should have to serve some type of “I’m a negligent asshole who can’t act appropriately when utilizing a 2-ton (or more) death cage.” I mean, seriously, the motorist got the vehicle over the fence and trail into the bushes. The motorist could have easily, as so many motorists do more than 35,000 times a year, killed somebody through this negligent inability to maintain their vehicle!

Interurban Trail (South)

At this time I cut under the I-405 on the trail that diverges and sends one to the Tukwila Train Station. I was pondering catching the Sounder there if it were coming soon, but since I had plenty of time between now and when the next Sounder Train arrived I could easily make it to Kent. At least, I assumed I could. So off I went down the Interurban Trail.

The Interurban Trail is basically a trail, broken into the north and south segments, built on the old interurban line that used to run north and south out of Seattle to Tacoma in the south and Everett in the north. It’s always such a shame to think about the hugely beneficial connectivity we’d have if the respective leadership at the time hadn’t tore up the line. It was basically straight, could easily have run 79mph FRA commuter rail into and out of the city in a vastly superior alignment than today’s Sounder configuration.

But, poor myopic leadership is gonna be poor myopic leadership. Grumble.

But again, I must digress, the trail that now has replaced much of the Interurban line is gorgeous, so at least we get some amazing use out of it in that regard. It’s absolutely superb for biking. On that note I trekked down from Tukwila Station all the way to Kent. Along the way there are numerous Union Pacific rail stubs that are still used today to collect various businesses cargo. It’s something that is pretty interesting to see from the sleuth’s perspective.

Finally I arrived in Kent and swung into Johnny Rockets for a burger and shake. After a ride like that it was supremely tasty.

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Kent… sort of. But WTF is Kent?

Here you can see in the photo above where Johnny Rockets is compared to the Kent Station Parking, BECJ Credit Union, more parking, some more parking, some other… oh gawd the disgusting myopia of suburban design with a wannabe town center mall thingy in the center.

Whatever I’ll move on. The train station is over there in the upper right here in the map 3d photo. It’s cool that the train station also has a pedestrian overpass from the station over to the… oh, the damned parking lot.

This is another example of extremely shameful design on so many levels. 50’s era myopia and the perverse irony is I go eat at the retro 50’s era burger joint. The more I look at the photo the more I’m sicked by the absurdity of Kent’s layout and design and I’m not even sure why they have a Sounder station when the area is clearly anti-pedestrian, anti-active transportation, and just about as auto-focused as one could get without pulling a sidewalk-less 50s’ era suburb out of the actual 50’s.

As I sat there and ate I looked into Kent’s history and related things more. The first thing I did was pull up a map that explained a lot of things about how Kent is laid out. Look at this city border.

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A generally unmanageable, non-urban, tax sucking sprawl zone. What is it with those squares of Kent over there acting like islands even? What. the. … wow. Just wow, so much bad about this.

Alright, whew, I had to stop looking into Kent’s history and layout. Kent’s basically a living example of why city Government is burning this country to the ground right now in myopic, dystopian suburbanite hell while the feds are burning it up from every other direction. But enough of all those happy thoughts, onward to the trip home. I got some nice shots of the Sounder, coming south bound and north bound.

In the photos above, if you look closely you’ll notice that it’s actually two different train sets. On the departure of both it becomes obvious, as one set as the cab car without the facade of a crew cab that looks like an engine front. The other has the standard cab car that looks just like a regular passenger car.

After the two trains, which were train bunched (using the bus bunch term there for trains, generally I suppose the train is just “delayed”). The first of the two had a medical emergency, which I believed equated to someone getting sick and puking, so they got off at Tukwila after a quick clean up. Only about 16 minutes late – err, I mean delayed – whatever the wording is. So after that train, and the next just a mere 3 or 4 minutes later arrived and departed the north bound train, now delayed about 2 minutes, pulled into the station here. It was operating in push mode, which means the engine is pushing it from the rear.

I boarded and off we went. That’s when I started this somewhat long blog entry about the day. After a pleasantly uneventful ride of about ~30 minutes we pulled into King Street Station and I grabbed my bike and headed for the stop where I’d catch either the 40, or if I was timing it good enough, one of the 17x or 18x express buses. As I arrived at the bus stop, an 18x pulled up and I didn’t even have to stand and wait any. I just walked right up, after confirming with the driver of course, and mounted my bike. Jumped aboard, paid, and got one of the ideal front facing seats on the bus.

With the express it’s about a ~28 minute ride to downtown Ballard. Which is where I was heading. We left, and the trip went seamlessly along the bus dedicated lanes, and then off off 15th and under the bridge onto Leary. Minutes later I arrived in Ballard and wrapped up this adventure. It was a good trip overall, learned a few dozen things about Kent, didn’t get killed by a negligently errant motorist, enjoyed a lot of fresh air and a bit of exercise to boot. All that and the burger, train ride, and related items where a pleasant icing on the cake!

Until next trip, happy transiting!

A Video in Video Trip to Golden Gardens

After moving to Ballard the first time in 2017, I decided I would take a ride down to Golden Gardens Park and use a couple of my GoPro Cameras to capture the ride. Here’s the video in video shot put together with some music.

If you’re curious, I mention the three GoPros, but I’ll elaborate on a few of the other tools I used post-ride. The editing software I used is Screenflow 7, however I’ll admit some future videos plus additional segments I’ll be putting together with Adobe Premier Pro in addition to Screenflow 7. All of this done on the latest MacOS running on one of the latest Mac Book Pro Laptops. If you’ve got any suggestions, questions, or otherwise, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer ASAP. Cheers, and happy trips!

Ballard to Bellevue to Redmond to Seattle to Ballard, Done!

A couple weeks ago Ro and I made a trip to check out the B-Line. The B-Line is the latest BRT type route between Bellevue to Redmond on the east side of Lake Washington (I really don’t want to call it east Seattle, because it isn’t anything like Seattle). We left early in the day boarding the #44 at Ballard & Market Street.

#44, in Diesel Operation (Usually it runs a Trolley Bus)

#44, in Diesel Operation (Usually it runs a Trolley Bus)

The #271 can be seen hiding behind the #49.

The #271 can be seen hiding behind the #49.

From there we rode to the University District and transferred there to the #271.

As we rode the #271 I saw an activity, that when I drove would cause me serious rage and concern over safety. But here on the bus, it was almost endearing to see a fellow rider making good use of their bus riding time. A young lady sat politely in her chair doing some of that fancy make up doing that young ladies do.

An appropriate time to put on makeup.

An appropriate time to put on makeup.

Once we arrived in Bellevue we spent some time to get a bite at Chantanee Thai Restaurant and Bar. After a good meal and some pretty snappy drinks, we headed over to the Bellevue Transit Center to board one of the new B-Line Buses. Behold, before us stood Chad (aka punkrawker of punkrawker4783 videos)! We talked for a bit about the new route. He told me about how part of the line was super busy while the other part was moderately so. After a few minute Ro and I left Chad to go his way and we were off on our way.

B-Line to Redmond

B-Line to Redmond

We boarded the next bus, when it showed as ready. They sit there at the transit center, off with a driver usually standing nearby in preparation for departure. On this day, since it wasn’t a weekday, the frequency was only 15 minutes. This made it really not like BRT. But I wasn’t expecting too much, as BRT is rarely setup the way it is talked about by advocates.

B-Line, Side Shot

B-Line, Side Shot

B-Line to Redmond

B-Line to Redmond

Once aboard we took our seats and enjoyed our departure. We pulled out onto the main street, into traffic, with barely a dedicated lane in site. As expected I thought to myself. But it wasn’t bad. The ride was smooth, as far as buses go, and vastly superior to the ride quality of buses that actually travel most King County Metro Routes. Part of this was the roadway, which is newer than most of the roads in Seattle proper, and part of it was the bus that has better suspension and ride quality.

On our ride we also were entertained by some of the colorful characters of the east side. One guy had a strange cat hat thing on with a girl who, well, simply had odd attire on altogether. But to each their own, it brought a chuckle and props for being different!

Cat Hat

Cat Hat

The east side, I will admit, is a beautiful area with a lot of nature. It is however a massive lifeless suburban sprawl. Everyone has their ticky tacky houses and with cookie cutter restaurants with barely a unique characteristics to the whole place. The only way to tell you’re in the north west is by the trees and natural surroundings here and there, plus the continual spurts of rain every hour or so. Other than that, you might as well be in Texas. The east side, with almost every house, apartment, and building carries an almost triumphant lack of culture and art. But again, this is something I was prepared for. Want art, go downtown to Seattle. Want some grass that you can mow, go to the east side.

The stops along the way, that are dedicated to the B-Line, are pretty neat. They’re just like the A-Line stops for the most part. With the rich red color and simple design.

B-Line Bus Stop

B-Line Bus Stop

I did grab one shot that I thought was just so stereotypical of the east side. The irreverent and disrespectful by their mere existence, H2 Hummer. Not the real Humvee, but no the superficial and fake H2. The thing that only pretends to be a real truck and is by no means even related to a military vehicle in any way other than mockery. The marketing on this sure worked for those of lesser income that have issues with their big truckness of manhood.

East Side Superficialness in Full Effect

East Side Superficialness in Full Effect

When we did get into the small town of Redmond the bus pulled up to the Redmond Transit Center. There we walked to the area that literally has the MOST life of the entire area. The local skate park. Of course, there were some kids there breaking the law while having fun riding their bikes. But as with the respect among young people, everyone was honorably taking their turns at runs on the park. Bicyclists, skooter riders, and skaters alike. It was very chill. Several of the kids were pretty bad ass on those bikes too. I’d hate to see an officer have to enforce the law and bust those kids of biking on the skate park. Something seriously should be done to change those laws – these parks should be available to skaters, skooters, inline skaters, bicyclists, or whatever non-powered fun ridable things someone wants to ride on it.

Here’s a few shots of the dudes riding bikes that were tearing it up good.

Flying High

Flying High

…and another…

Airborne Again

Airborne Again

After a while watching, we grabbed some food and then headed off to the heart of Redmond (which is about 4 square blocks of more ticky tacky, but I won’t go into that). On the way back I grabbed a few more shots of the buses serving the Redmond Transit Center.

Redmond Transit Center - B-Line Buses Queued Up

Redmond Transit Center - B-Line Buses Queued Up

#248 Redmond

#248 Redmond

Bus Stop Sign

Bus Stop Sign

After all that riding, it was time to head back to the cultural heart of this metropolitan area. So we boarded the next #545 bound for Seattle!

Once downtown, with a breath of life back in our souls, we then transferred and rode the trusty #18 back to Ballard.

Ride Complete! 🙂 Cheers!

Cafe Fiore, Route #17 and #48, and a Long Narrative!

I’m sitting here at Cafe Fiore. Watching the clientele come in and out, here at 85th and 32nd. It’s a nice little coffee shop with seating outside on the side walk in the sun. Outside there is the junction of two bus lines; #17 and the #48. Just the other side of the junction is a road that goes downhill through forrest to a Golden Park along the waterfront. This, is an absolutely gorgeous area. Not for me, but absolutely stunning in so many ways.

Considering the ridership of the #17 and #48, many people in this area ride the bus on a regular basis. I gather this from several observations. There is not much density here, as everything for many blocks is single family homes and there are plenty of garages with more than a few cars here and there. However, just from the ridership numbers one can assume that the express busses probably get 80-90% of their patronage from this area, with another 10-20% along the Market Street area. Further, much further down the street between Market Street and 60th there are a lot more apartments, where I assume a large part of that 80-90% come from. Leaving about half or less of that percentage coming from this area… which concludes with about 1-2% of the households in this area riding the bus. Considering the suburban layout of this area, this isn’t all that bad of a number.

One major positive for this area, is this coffee shop garners heavy foot traffic on a day like this. As does the park below near the waterfront. This is encouraging, as people aren’t riding around in their automobiles cluttering up the streets with traffic and wasting fuel. It is a very community oriented neighborhood, very unlike the far flung suburbs of Bellevue, further north in Everett or other outlying suburbs. This is a more traditional style “streetcar suburb”. Considering where the streetcars used to travel, it once was, so it all makes logical sense that it continues to be this way.

The #17 travels along 32nd avenue down and onto Market Street in Ballard. There it cuts a turn down the parallel to Ballard Street (I can never remember this street) and then travels across the 15th Street Bridge. Here is where it gets tricky. The #17 express continues along 15th, which becomes Elliot or Interbay (I hate it when cities give a street multiple names, or it continues along and just has multiple names for different stretches), and then into downtown. The express only runs on weekdays. The regular local route runs along this same stretch until the southern end of the 15th street bridge where it turns and runs along the canal and onto Westlake, then getting into the city. The whole route, of course, with many more local stops. One trip takes a total of about 35 minutes forms end to end, and the other takes about 45-50 minutes end to end.

The #48 travels along 85th, then cuts south somewhere and heads into the University District. I’ve never ridden the entire length, but at some point I intend to, maybe later today. It has good patronage I hear, from conversation, from the college crowd.

Which leads me back to the excitement and thought, that when Seattle finally opens their extra few miles of light rail to the University District they’ll finally see massive ridership increases on a scale they’re not yet imagining. I at least hope, because ridership on everything else that has been built out like this (the current line, the commuter rail, etc) has been appalling compared to other Northwestern Cities like Vancouver, San Francisco, and Portland (in that order matter of fact).

But again, back to the #48, this route acts as a great local route into the University District area. In the future, when the light rail opens, it could provide as a major feeder along with another dozen lines straight to the light rail. I know some transit enthusiasts will scream at me for this, but they could even cancel some early morning frequencies and replace them with express routes straight along this route to the light rail. The express route could then provide faster travel along 85th and along the north south of its route into the University District, doubling as a fast light rail feeder, university express, and more. Combine both the express and regular route and the area will have one of the fastest methods of getting into University and into Downtown Seattle.

Anyway, onwards route #48. This deserves riding, so now that I’ve pondered it, I’m off to give it a ride. So between now (12:30 on Sunday) and the next time stamp I’ll have given the bus a ride. 🙂

#48 Narrative, A Sunday Ride during the “lowest ridership” part of the week!  😉

1:00pm, departing on time with my “English Driver” as he referred to himself. We chatted a bit about the route, when it is busy and when it isn’t, week days vs. week ends, and more. As we moved along it was a pretty standard Seattle Route (beautiful along the way), with standard Seattle Streets (deteriorated and bumpy).

We got to the 24th Street stop and boarded 7 guys, all appearing with bandannas and such, carrying on and having a good time. I couldn’t help but ponder if they had gang associations with their “cali” style appearance. They also had a standard American disregard for simple speaking etiquette, but one can never really expect that except in the morning when the working America is headed into or out of work for the day. In the end, it doesn’t matter to me, I’m not offended but do make the observation.

Total Person Trips so far: 7 (I’ll be excluding myself and adding me at the end of the trip)

At 15th Street I note the numerous Swedish and Norwegian Flags along the Safeway. It is very interesting the pride in the Ballard area in regards to these origins. The patrons on the bus however seemed completely unrelated to those origins in a number of ways. Fortunately, their slight annoyance left with their presence as the de-bussed.

This was good since a small girl with a soccer ball, her mother, an elderly gentleman, and one other boarded at the 15th Street Stop. This makes for a much more comfortable ride for them, since these faux gangsters left (I say faux, since they obviously don’t live in poverty, northern Seattle isn’t exactly poor).

Total Person Trips so far: 11

Just a few streets further we have two elderly asian ladies board, with big smiles on their faces. They were speaking a language that I could not identify in any way. It struck me odd, as I can usually identify languages with a fair amount of accuracy. After a few minutes though, I realized what language they were speaking, which struck me as really odd, German! Yes, these two ladies were speaking German!

Total Person Trips: 13

Another man boarded, another man with his mother boarded, and several got off along the next few blocks.

Total Person Trips: 15

We reached Palatine Avenue North and one could see a number commercial establishments, little dives and grocery stores, basically a small town center of sorts. It appears to be a nice area that has at least a half dozen or more decades of history behind it. Again, another one of those “streetcar suburbs” which becomes very appareling with its character and presence. These suburbs always tend to go in stark contrasts, either beautiful and lively, with character or violent, downtrodden, with character and barely scraping by.

Getting into the core of this town center just a bit we boarded another 5 young people and another fella. This got our person trips up to 21.

While boarding one of the individuals, who was handicap and thus takes a minute or two, we boarded another 2 gentleman, which again bumped us up to 23 before we even pulled away from the stop.

We passed more streets; Dayton, Evanston, Fremont, Linden, and more. Along the way we picked up another 5, all younger people. Giving us a wide age range of people on this bus.

The bus finally arrived at Aurora, the major arterial to downtown where the #358 runs frequently (every 10 minutes? not sure how often but it is often). We moved on thru the light at Aurora with a few more boarded while passing another dozen or so higher density residential areas. The Aurora Corridor always kind of trips me out. It’s busy commercial and then quickly goes from moderate density to practically single home density within 4-5 blocks, with very little walkability, or enjoyable walkability along Aurora. However the residential areas are beautiful with sidewalks, small parks, schools and more.

Total Person Trips: 28

We rode further and I noticed another strange bit, the ladies speaking German behind me where also speaking Chinese now. Wow, my mind was being blown away by these two ladies just chatting away. It was really cool to hear them both switching between languages like that.

We arrived at Green Lake via Wallingford, turning onto the street slowly while dozens of people crossed. Another individual boarded the bus at this intersection stop. We then rolled on with the gorgeous lake view and hundreds of beautiful people jogging, walking, and families enjoying the Green Lake and surrounding park area.

The route was easy going along this segment. The trees stood still with no real wind to speak of, except as the bus passed we caused a slight stir. As we headed into the town center area near Green Lake along the eastern side of the lake, the route cuts onto Ravenna. In the median of Ravenna there are more jogging and bicycling on this gorgeous day. Very few cars are out at all, one of the beautiful things about the northwest. When it is nice out, in areas like this, people actually get out and get going within their communities.

We then cut onto 65th and pass underneath Interstate 5, the blight that it is here. Even though it poses all of the problems to a community and neighborhood that an Interstate does, the city and community has done its part to clean up, and keep clean, underneath the Interstate. Making it as appealing and as negligible an impact as possible. Just a few blocks further the town center area of Green Lake, even though divided by the Interstate, continues on into the University District Area. There we board another 2 people.

Total Person Trips: 30

A short ride further and we board another 3 after a turn onto 15th heading south into the University District core. Passing Cowen and 15th we get another person, a let off one person who travelled a whopping 1 stop with us.

The buildings in this part of town are interesting, with an almost European Elegance to them. Interspersed with College Dormitory style apartments that show a slight wear and tear. The route continues on 15th, heading uphill into the area. Another 1 person boards.

Total Person Trips: 35

We arrive at 50th, which gets us about as close to the core of the University District to make a walk around easily done. The bus clear 47th, 45th, and so on. It appears some of the blocks just skip altogether in this part of the city. Another 1 person boards.

While heading down 15th street through the University District I note that the construction of the bus stops is going well. They look nice, open designs, easier to keep clean and unmarked by the mischievous. It doesn’t appear they’ll be completely enclosed, green style stops as is traditional in Seattle like King County Metro has built them in the past.

A bit further on, another rider boards. The sun shines in brightly as we come down to Pacific Avenue. One of the riders that boarded earlier continues, after more than 10 minutes already, to frantically put on lotion. I suspect, considering her light complexion that she’s preparing to be outside for a while. However I keep noticing since she has this frantic gusto about her efforts to get this lotion on. In a way, it’s sort of comical, and even though she doesn’t realize somewhat awkward for her activity. Others are watching her every few moments, her activity triggering an instinctual response to look and see what the frantic action is about!

I just sit there, straight faced as I always do. We pull along, on Pacific Avenue and then across the canal bridge into the Montlake area. While passing one can see the cranes and walls surrounding the future light rail tunnel stop.

As the bus travels along 24th avenue through Montlake, I see a few funny sites. One is a couch, in typical northwest fashion, sitting on the sidewalk with a big sign that has “free” written across it. Further up the way, in the heat of the this sunny day, I see two standard bearing “Goth” kids walking along a sidewalk with big bags of colorful recyclables. It isn’t haha funny, but curious funny, with a little touch of entertaining.

Our current load of passengers slowly starts to trickle away as we move up the hill while still on 24th. We travel thru some extremely rough spots in the road. This bumpiness, another of my frustrations with buses, is frustrating. Flinging the monitor on my laptop forward. The display almost hits its back against the seat wall in front of me. I can’t help but ponder how much nicer this would be if it were light rail, a streetcar, or something on solid, flanged wheels. I’d even suffice to say a nice Mercedes BRT style bus would do exponentially better. But oh well, life will go on, I’ll straighten my display, and I’ll just suffer the bus life with it’s better livability versus the other options (auto-based dependent nooses, I mean lifestyles, for those that may read this and not know what I speak of).

We arrive at Madison, 23rd, and Denny, and a young girl holds her arms out to her sides, as if forming a cross, and rotates her torso. Apparently exercising or doing middle of the sidewalk yoga. Something of the sort, one more funny bit to note.

During these few stops we trickle away a few more riders and gain another 6 over time.

Total Person Trips: 41

As we move further into the core of downtown Seattle, we pass a Church with patrons lined up outside heading inside. We board a few African Americans, taking pride in their church going activities and wearing very stylish proper Sunday attire. Further on we board more youth, a few more elderly, and a loud mouthed mother. She spurts out commands to her child making half the bus look at her. Being she’s a “loud mother” people just look down and ignore her. Not particularly concerned with her or her disruption. Another person boards, we roll on.

To the right, facing west, the city buildings can be seen from about the 40th floor and up. The First and Capitol Hills and the angle we ride upon them, block the view any lower than that. We head thru an African American dominated part of town into another Asian dominated part of town. The divide, in my opinion unfortunate, is clear from one part of town to another. Hopefully the divide continues to decrease over time as it has been. The horrors of Seattle’s past between these two communities, and the Irish and Asian Communities is something to be left in the past.

Riding a long further one yard has the flames of a super hot barbecue alive with the efforts of the cooks. Several in the yard focusing on attaining those tasty morsels.

The route cuts along a S in the road as we draw nearer the end of the route. It makes me wonder, with the ridership on a Sunday like this evenly spaced in this short end of the route equal to that of the long 85th to the University District end. I had thought earlier that this would be a great route that could act as a feeder into the light rail station, and it absolutely can, but this southern end of the route will probably maintain a pretty significant ridership that may or may not feed into the light rail, but instead just in and around the area. It does however serve to some degree as a feeder into the Baker Station Stop of the existing light rail station. This however brings up another thought, “do the bus routes act very much as feeders to the light rail or is the light rail mostly derived from other sources?”

The bus pulls onto Rainer Avenue, where the loud mother and her mother de-bus, a friendly reminder from one passenger asks them, “is this your stroller” under the front seat. To which the mother’s mother replies, “yes, thank you” as they all line up and de-bus. Always nice, that even the noisy, what appears to be uncourteous individuals, can be respectful and polite. Just because they don’t cover the full gamut of what one might think is or isn’t polite, doesn’t mean that individuals don’t have their redeeming qualities and polite aspects.

We arrived, just a few minutes behind the intended arrival. Pulling into the Baker Transit Center stop at 2:08pm. A great ride, interesting sites, beautiful scenery, and a very wide slice of Seattle’s Population. Asian, African American, Philippine, Mexican, and more. Always great to see transit, where the real melting pot of the United States is.

I got off the bus, while some people asked the driver questions about where they were going. I pulled my bike from the bike rack on the front of the bus. Officially, the trip is complete.

Total Person Trips: 41 <- Anyone know the peak person trips per frequency? I’d love to know what the range is.

End Narrative

I walked across the street to the Baker Transit Center Light Rail Station. Up the escalator and along within 2 minutes was my ride back into town… and this is where I leave this blog entry.

Cheers, happy riding!
Transit Sleuth

 

PS – The geoposition on this blog entry, which is the address for Zeitgeist Coffee (1 of the best in Seattle) isn’t showing up on the Bing Maps properly. It shows like it is in the stupid stadium, it however is clearly in the old town part of Pioneer Square Area! Not cool Bing Maps, not cool.

An Average Ballard Morning…

I snagged this video a week or so ago while waiting for the #18 Express into downtown Seattle. There are a lot of riders that board in Ballard at the main town center Market & Ballard Street Stop.

I really enjoy living in Ballard, with the connectivity it has. But there are other huge benefits too. For those smart enough to realize living near an Interstate is bad, Ballard is awesome. For those that want livability features like groceries nearby, parks and tree lined streets, community centers and community artwork, restaurants and public houses (i.e. pubs/bars/etc), and of course music with a round for all! Ballard is the pick of the litter!

Just wanted to post this short video, as a simple point of reference that Ballard, has got the whole livability thing going on. The roots of this can be seen in the market street core with just a few days of exploration. So if you’re into the transit, car free lifestyle, Ballard should be one of the places on the top of your list. Cheers!