Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seattle's Shiftyness (A Good Thing)

Seattle Transit Blog has highlighted the shift from cars to transit while construction on I-5 is underway. A barrage of articles highlight the big scare that occurred before the construction started, which as should be known from previous experience including the Maze Meltdown would not materialize. The Stranger reports:

So, you might have heard that a couple lanes of northbound Interstate 5 were closed last week. Hysterical media predictions of "nightmare" traffic failed to come true. Lists of "survival tips" for dealing with hellish commutes failed to be necessary. Even an entire blog (the Seattle Times' The Clog) devoted to "the Closure" couldn't make the predicted traffic clusterfuck materialize. For nearly two weeks, half of I-5 has been closed down—and traffic has, as if by a miracle, actually gotten better.
The News Tribune: Sounder is looking to keep the added ridership by adding trains.

Last Monday – the first commuting day during construction on I-5 in Seattle – nearly 12,000 people boarded Sounder trains between Tacoma and Seattle. But while the number of passengers remained high throughout the week, it declined each day as I-5 gridlock didn’t materialize.

Sound Transit, the agency that operates the Sounder, knows it will take more than a construction project to persuade many people to leave their cars behind.

“A lot of people have made choices for this particular (construction) project that are probably not sustainable,” said agency spokeswoman Linda Robson.

From the Olympian.

From the Times.

From the Post Intelliger.

And so on...


Mike said...

I've not seen where Sounder terminates in Seattle, but the cautionary note is very relevant: what happened in South Florida with Tri-Rail is that a lot of people tried it when I-95 construction started; and most of them were so turned off by the shuttle-bus transfers that they not only never came back to rail transit, they were basically made permanently sure that it doesn't work.

Nickin206 said...

The Sounder terminates at King Street Station in downtown, where a mecca of transit options await. Bus lines to every part of the region arrive and take off from this point. The waterfront streetcar runs along this point. It is conveniently located next to the sports stadiums as well, so when Sounder does special runs to ball games you are dropped off right at the stadiums! It is a smooth quick ride! I think a lot of people switched from the Sounder during I5 construction due to lack of parking at some stations. They (Sound Transit and King County Metro) have been running extra buses to get people through as well.