Saturday, July 18, 2009

Link Light Rail

Seattle opened it's first regional light rail line today! Very exciting. I know some of you have been hoping for a post on this, but really, I have to leave it to the Seattle Transit Blog folks who have done an excellent job push hard up in Washington for great transit. Today they are tweeting and blogging and posting video from the first ride. Check em out.


Greg said...

it has always been a rough time for transit up in seattle so it's nice to see something get done, after many delays.

Seattle politicians often had a congenital hatred of anything on rails, as a way to get votes in the richer neighborhoods. Seattle also said "no" to federal funds in the 70s (which later went to portland) because of such silliness.

The worst was in 1995 when the Real Sound Transit was defeated, and in its place we got the pared down system that's spent billions more in costs (as land prices rose) than originally planned, and was delayed by 10 years. It doesn't help that many Seattle politicians in charge of ST (Ron Sims, et al) didn't manage things well, and the distraction of the ridiculous "monorail" in Seattle (passed initially because voters saw some "thing" that would alleviate traffic, no matter how poorly written) just made things worse.

So yay ST, but damn it was a painful ride to get to today.

Steve said...

Actually, the Sound Move money that Seattle voted down went to Atlanta to build Marta. Just think of what Seattle would be like today if a heavy rail system like Marta had been built.

Mad Park said...

It was a great morning in Seattle today - for some of us who are greying a bit and who voted yes in 1968 and 1970 it was a long time coming - but it IS here.
Come visit, and spend time especially in the Beacon Hill station, truly a work of art! The last couple of miles of this segment (to the airport) will open at the end of the year.

Matt Fisher said...

I think so if what is now finally receiving its long overdue opening today had been like if it were built like MARTA. It's a start, even after the first subway proposals in 1925. This is compared to Vancouver's SkyTrain, a metro, with its third line, the Canada Line, now opening Sept. 1st.

Dave Reid said...

It's unfortunate that it takes so long for projects like this to come together. But great news for Seattle!

Adam said...

Except for those who are drinking the Randy O'Tool-Aid, it has positive reviews. Meanwhile, the deniers are trumping up a LRT crash in San Francisco as the reason why we shouldn't use trains (despite the fact that car crashes kill more people per year than train crashes).

This is great news for Seattle. I hope many more lines come soon, along with electrified regional rail.

Robert said...

Long, long ago Railroad Tycoon II came out with a scenario to build an electric rail transit solution to a beleaguered Seattle.

Not knowing much about Seattle, it will be exciting to see how this route is embraced by the public. For those from Seattle, are you happy with the route choice?

EvergreenRailfan said...

It was a great experience, and to think my brother called me and said it looked empty this morning. From the station platform in our neighborhood, on Alaska St, it did, because the crowds waiting at Columbia City Station were lining up on Edmunds St. This almost did not happen, there was a heavy push by a few to block it, at all levels, during the dark days of 2000-2002. A couple court cases over funding, a statewide initiative to take away part of the funding. Even where it terminates now on the Southern End, it is still close to Sea-Tac Airport. You can see the Control Tower from S.154th Station. Sea-Tac opened up something last year that was also a long fight to build, the new Runway One-Six-Right, aka Third Runway.

The route could have been better, at least 1 or 2 more stations, but putting it in the Ranier Valley put sit closer to residences, while the Greater Duwamish option put it in an Industrial Area. 1 area where a station was planned but dropped, was the Boeing Access Road, where it would have connected again with SOUNDER COmmuter Rail. U-District by 2016, and maybe if the US hosts the 2018 World Cup, Seattle might have 2 venues, Husky Stadium and QWEST Field.

Spokker said...

"Long, long ago Railroad Tycoon II came out with a scenario to build an electric rail transit solution to a beleaguered Seattle."

It was one of the hardest scenarios in the game, fittingly.