Tuesday, October 16, 2012

and we're here to screw up your commute

And drain your wallets at the same time.  More commuter rail follies from Puget Sound;

As commuter buses run standing-room-only on the freeway, the daily Sounder trains between Everett and Seattle are one-third full, serving a mere 1,125 passengers per weekday.
Its popularity falls short of the 2,400 to 3,200 rides announced when elected officials made a deal in 2003 to put transit trains on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight tracks.
...."At a certain point in the future, Sound Transit may have to come to terms with a reality that one of its services is not living up to a reasonable definition of validity," read a recent report from the agency's citizen-oversight panel.
Of course, if this bright idea had been hatched by a profit seeking entrepreneur (as August Belmont was in New York City back in the early 20th century) it would never have penciled out, nor even begun.
But, this is government, so it was built...and now that same government agency will double down on their (the taxpayers') bet;
Since the tracks aren't near thousands of potential riders, the agency is trying to bring more riders to the tracks.
Sound Transit could synchronize train arrivals with ferry arrivals and departures, said McCarthy, to draw more riders from across Puget Sound.
Another answer could be more housing at the stations. Edmonds is considering a proposal to add 340 to 358 housing units near downtown. Local developers bought another parcel at a former Safeway store that could also be redeveloped.
Urban towers are out of the question, says Mayor Dave Earling, also a transit-board member.
Earling says the most urgent priority is to increase parking. There are only 156 spaces at Edmonds and 63 at Mukilteo now. Land negotiations are under way, he said.
If it was Mr. Earling's money, we bet that wouldn't be his 'most urgent priority'.  Since it isn't, it's as Francis Bacon said in the 17th century;
Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers, for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill

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