Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dreaming of light rail

It's a ~35 minute drive from our house to the airport, and costs $22/day to park there. So I can't help but get excited about the proposed light rail connection from the airport to Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, and/or assorted locations as funding permits. How awesome would it be to just hop on a train and end up at the airport? Very European. :)

The only problem is, I'm gonna be in my 40's before the thing is finished. Most of the estimates I've heard put the completion date in the mid-2020's, by which time I could be living in the south of France, or dead, or rich enough to helicopter myself to the airport, so this light rail isn't gonna do me any good.

This article I read today rubs it in even more. Apparently Russia can build a 3,700-mile sub-ocean tunnel between two continents in less time than it takes Sound Transit to connect the 25 miles between our house and the airport?? Go figure.

1 comment:

TruthInTransportation said...

The key difference between Pugetopolis and the rest of the world is that the rest of the world picked a direction and stuck with it. In the Seattle area, we are just so used to following every nutcase and crank out there, each of which always seems to possess a new "technological advancement" which will render light rail obsolete -or the next Interstate Era dinosaur, who won't give up his car until the "social engineers" pry it from his cold dead hands - or, the Neocon clown www.soundpolitics.com who is on a religious jihad to convince his fellow echo chamber dwellers they can just use the LA model and "build our way out of congestion."

Look, the voters of this region had the chance to build a rail system back in 1968 for pennies on the dollars we will have to spend now. It's also a lot easier and faster to expand a light rail system once service is up and running. Same dynamic happened then as happens now: wacky UW professors (who rarely leave Seattle or the PNW) decide buses(or something newfangled like monorail) will do the trick - just so long as we can just dump more of them on already congested roads.

Sound Transit is slow on building rapid transit because light rail opponents worked so diligently to stop the project for 7 straight years - their phase 2 plan for expansion is hampered by a lack of cash flow, partially due to a guy named Tim Eyman who teamed up with rail opponents www.effectivetransportation.org to remove a significant transit funding source (mvet) which could easily have sped up that rail project you now have to wait for.

But that was the point of their efforts. The cranks at www.bettertransport.info/pitf www.truthabouttraffic.com have spent countless tens of thousands of hours and over a million dollars trying to stop progress in the region. The frustration many of us feel is a direct result of their "accomplishments."

It's time to turn things around, and call these guys out on their deceptions and lies.