Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where Seattle lacks...

Portland rules. By fall of 2009, Portland will have: (keep in mind most of these Max lines are about 15 miles or so)

1) A new Max line that serves downtown, Portland State University, and goes all the way out to Clackamas
2) A Max line from Beaverton, downtown Portland, to the airport
3) A Max line from Hillsboro, downtown Portland, to Gresham
4) A Max line from downtown to the Expo Center
4) A commuter rail line between Beaverton and Wilsonville (all West side)
5) A streetcar betweenthe South waterfront, Portland State University, the Pearl District, and the trendy 23rd Street
6) A aerial tram that takes passengers from the South waterfront to the OHSU campus
7) Full bus service
By fall of 2009, Seattle will have:
1) A 1.3 mile streetcar from Lake Union to downtown, lovingly called the SLUT
2) A 1.3 mile monorail to nowhere (just for kicks?)
3) Commuter rail between Everett and Tukwila
4) Light rail from downtown to airport
5) Full bus service
Now, who has the better public transportation? In Portland, the entire downtown is ripped up right now to accomodate a new bus mall and Max line. Shop owners are losing business, but one was quoted as saying, "If it gets more cars off the road, I'm all for it."
If the citizens of the Puget Sound area pass the mass transit measure in November, we should be seeing service that rivals Portland by 2025.


Travis said...

this comparison makes me so angry I could spit. what were people around here doing in the 1970's? seriously... talk about blowing it.

now..we've got decades before we catch up...and knowing how things work around may be longer.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

I've long said-- since the day I moved to Seattle-- there's this pervasive attitude among natives, "We're just a big ol' town." "We may look like a city, but we're just a big ol' town."

GET REAL. There are 4 million PLUS people between Everett and Olympia.

That ain't a "big ol' town." That's a major freakin' world class metropolitan area. This place has been growing like a weed for decades- LIKE A WEEK- but the short sighted natives and GUV-MENT Oh-fissials have been BLIND. It's criminal. Travel to London, New York, Paris, Milan--- hell-- San Francisco. They get around. If you miss your subway from Brooklyn into the city, there's another one in five minutes. Catch a clue Seattle. GROW THE "F" up.

rant over.

Colleen said...

Portland is amazing. I knew I loved that city for multiple reasons. HELLO SEATTLE!
I can see my "I'm so ____ I could spit" is catching on. LOVE IT!

Lisa said...

As a reporter in Seattle in the 1980's, I covered many, many transportation stories. Most were about the battle for and against light rail. The Puget Sound Regional Council of Governments (of Piss-cog as it was affectionately known) thought it had a plan that could make it on election day, only to be turned down time and time again. It's a miracle, frankly, that the Sounder Trains and the train to the airport are actually happening.

Plus, I think the Boeing layoffs in the 1970's freaked this place out so much that nobody wanted to commit to anything substantial out of fear they wouldn't be able to pay their taxes and they'd lose their homes. Sound familiar? Seriously, I believe there's a reason for everything.

And Portland, which wasn't hit like that, had nothing to lose. So, they WIN!

Lisa said...

Oh, two other historically important things regarding big public projects. Senators Scoop Jackson and Warren Magnuson had Congress and the White House eating out of their hands for years. Many government dollars came Washington's way because of their political influence. That's how we got the money for the Seattle Center Monorail in the first place....the World's Fair funding.

And, the downtown Seattle bus tunnel, which had been planned under Jackson's leadership, was approved years later. It also got a BIG chunk of federal money because the feds saw it as "innovative".

Kristin said...

That's really interesting! I always wondered what was behind Seattle's public transportation issues. Thanks for sharing!

Now, I wonder if voters will pass the tax or if they are now too disenfranchised?

McJumpguez said...

Yeah, we're awesome. True story.

Now, if only there was a way I could get from NW 23rd to SW Vermont in one swoop without driving, I'd have it made!

Anonymous said...

I must say, as one who lives here, Portland is very well designed (sorry, not meant to be an "in your face" comment!) Not only majorly geared towards mass transit, but very bike friendly, as I discovered on an urban cruise of several hours this weekend - most streets had bike lanes. My boyfriend has a degree in urban planning (and worked in that field here in Portland) and points out all the nuances of good design. So.....I know it is hard to retrofit a city, but wow, good investment and hope Seattle can pull it off. They need some new urban planners there! By the way, the transit mall downtown is pretty much done - not so torn up any more. They work fast! (Paula)