Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Blog about Seattle Transit

Methods of commuting in the Seattle area currently leave much to be desired.

It is not a great area to drive. Traffic on the 520 corridor (which I commute on) the 405 corridor through the Eastside or the 5 corridor through the city. From what I understand, driving on 5 near Tacoma is also a pain, as is commuting through the 167 corridor.

It is not a great area to bike. The City as bike lines through some parts of town, particularly great ones Ravenna and Green Lake, but those are not exactly heavy job centers, and the weather precludes bike commuting much of the year.

And it is not a great area to take transit. For one, there is no real mass transit option at the moment - though some will be coming on line in the future - only heavy commuter rails and buses. At this blog, I will attempt to document, discuss, and gripe about the progress and regress that is made in Seattle's attempt to develop proper transit systems around the area.

6 comments:

SeattleBrad said...

Awesome! Thanks for starting this blog.

Anonymous said...

This is a rather nice place to bike (though it doesn't always appear that way on the surface).
I've been biking between seattle/redmond for about a year now, and there are some very nice routes.

musely said...

Minor terminology nitpick: busses are real mass transit - the poblem is that they tend to suck as rapid transit.

There's a bunch of different qualities transit can have - mass, rapid, and frequent are perhaps the most interesting three.

There's various different combinations of these: HOT-lanes (HOV/toll) can allow for personal rapid transit (at least until they too get congested); any form of bus or train is mass transit - but may not be rapid, or may only be "rapid" compared to slower moving traffic; express busses that use HOV or other dedicated lanes (then called BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit) or any other grade-separated train/monorail/tram are both mass and rapid. And then there's the Jetsons-esque personal rapid transit (PRT) - pods that race around on tracks - which are rapid, but not mass.

Then there are commuter-focused systems - commuter rail and busses - which are great for moving masses of people in the morning and evening rush hours, but which are generally useless for anyone else trying to get around town at other times while living a car-free life; even if they're mass and rapid, they lack the frequency and coverage necessary for that.

Us city/urbam types tend to want something that is rapid, frequent - and also has good coverage. And we often don't necessarilly care if it's actually "mass" or not (though it's definitely more fun for people-watching!). But often city planner-types focus on just moving masses of folk around during rush hour, so tend to prioritize mass over the others; whether you can get from your 'hood to the cinema across town at 7pm on a Saturday isn't something they're all too concerened about.

daimajin said...

Biking Seattle/Redmond? Oh my god. How do you do that?

Anonymous said...

Is there a carpool van that leaves Seattle at the ferry terminal and goes to the costco at Issaquah at 6:00 am? And then returns at 3:30?

JohnCToddJr said...

re "Biking Seattle/Redmond? Oh my god. How do you do that?"

You just pedal until you get there, several good routes are available. I do it twice a week, on average.