Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mark's Wish List for Northwest Transportation

After a break longer than intended, I'm returning to the blog with my wish list for transportation in the Northwest. In the holiday spirit (and for a little fun), I'm writng this as a "letter to Santa Clause."

Dear Santa Clause,

We've been pretty good here in the Northwest. There seem to be more people riding the bus to work and just get around in general. We finally opened our light rail line in King County this year. Passenger rail has improved with the opening of an Amtrak station in Leavenworth, as well as the addition of another run to Vancouver, BC. We also have passed additional plans for light rail going to the Eastside and at least one more streetcar line in Seattle.

All that said, I want to present you with my wish list for Northwest transit. I realize time is short for this Christmas (and let's be honest, some things take time anyway). But if you can see what you can do to get some of these rolling, I think we'd all appreciate it here.

  • Expand light rail throughout the region by adding new inter-city lines, as well as intra-city lines
  • In-fill stations to fill the gaps in the existing Central Link line (one somewhere near the Boeing access road would be really appreciated)
  • Increase feeder lines to the light rail stations
  • Implement working, grade separated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) where light rail is not feasible and ridership potential warrants the investment
  • Consolidate the major metropolitan transit agencies in the Puget Sound into one agency with operations specialists in each former agency's service area to improve efficiencies and coordination between agencies, while still maintaining the existing knowledge of local needs.
  • Develop infrastructure to support transportation alternatives to the automobile (a network of bike lanes/paths, footpaths and multi-use paths)
  • Improve and increase the safe bike storage capacity at transit centers and park & rides
  • More bike parking throughout the region
  • Frequent, high speed passenger & commuter rail on dedicated right-of-ways
  • Pass a vulnerable users law in Washington similar to that in Oregon

Thank you, Santa, and have a happy holiday season!