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View Diary: Trains and the Environment: One Cycle Commuter's Perspective (46 comments)

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  •  Where is the Eastside rail corridor with ... (1+ / 0-)
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    jessical

    ... respect to the Eastside that you speak of? That is, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe corridor that has the planning study funding going to the voters, which discussed in the last part of the piece.

    I don't actually get the comparison between a cycle locker and parking a car at a park and ride lot, since a cycle locker is far more secure.

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    by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 04:03:55 PM PDT

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    •  well, ok... (0+ / 0-)

      I know what you mean about those bike lockers.  But I still wouldn't leave my bike in one for the day, it still feels vulnerable to theft (to me -- I do get what you're saying!), and my point was still that I want the bike on the other end :}

      I put the thing about eastside commuting badly, as it seems far more likely I mushed it up than both you and eugene missed it.  Basically I see seattle spending all this money for what feels like an insoluble problem with anything other than point-to-point carpools or something of that nature.  Nothing that ends with a two hour commute -- train or metro -- seems ok to me.  It was intended as an "underview" kind of point, but i stated it poorly and didn't establish context --

      •  No system that we can build with current ... (2+ / 0-)
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        wu ming, jessical

        ... finance constraints are going to directly replace the car for the majority of commuters. That is partly a matter of scope ... a light rail line is for 10,000 to 100,000 daily trips, not for millions ... and partly a matter of decades of subsidizing suburban sprawl development.

        But the greater the share of the population has a real alternative available to it, the more quickly businesses will focus on convenience to public transport as they look to cope with the effects of $10/gallon gas.

        So I would not look at the system proposed below as the complete system, but rather as an important head start for the system that will be elaborated when the focus shifts from traffic congestion to energy use.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 04:41:56 PM PDT

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        •  yah... (1+ / 0-)
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          wu ming

          ...went and dug it up after eugene's comment.  Thanks for posting it.

          It's certainly a great idea.  Whether it's a successful system or civic curlique will depend on a lot of things, which I have  a poor understanding of at best.  You're certainly right to imply (if I read you correctly) that businesses will need to value central location over cheap real estate for long term success.

          Sadly, I think it will take more than gas prices to get people out of their cars; but over time, yes, it makes a difference to have an alternative.

          If I had anything to add to the discussion at all, it would be that from a bike commuter's perspective, it makes a world of difference to be able to take a regular sized bike on the train without getting hassled, and use it at the other end.  When I lived in NYC I took my bike on the train a lot, and while you'd get nasty looks sometimes, nobody really cared.  It made a great many areas accessible that would have otherwise required a car.  I very much hope the Seattle system is the same.

          •  Metro and Sounder are bike friendly (2+ / 0-)
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            wu ming, jessical

            Both Metro and Sounder busses are equipped with bike racks so you can ride to a bus stop and load your bike to ride at the far end. I worked with a person who lived in Federal Way (Pierce County) who bike commuted to downtown Seattle for 19 years using the bike/bus method. More about Sounder here.

            You can commute to the East Side now with your bike on any of the Sounder busses. I hope you've registered to vote in the Nov General Election and you plan to vote yes on Sound Transit 2.

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            by ocooper on Mon Sep 03, 2007 at 05:46:45 PM PDT

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            •  yes, and metro works too... (0+ / 0-)

              ...and I've found their schedules more amenable than sounder, thus far.  But usually, it's a car.

              ...I don't know yet.  I'm reading stuff like this, and need to do some more research.  It's still a pretty disinterested vote for me.  The most persuasive implication of this discussion, for me, is that the system will take a long time to become effective; maybe longer than I'll be around.  That's something worth supporting, a bet on a better future.  My reservations are immense but hardly unique.  So we'll go with that, for this thread :}

          •  As I said somewhere above, being able to take ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jessical

            ... a bike on the train is important in longer hauls, so it is important that the high capacity stopping services and rapid transit, it is important to have a flexible ability to handle cyclists.

            Their job, after all, is to get large numbers of people to the general area that they need to go, as quickly as practical. And since it is normal for these types of trains to "hand off" a large share of their passengers to other links in the transport chain, they should all support a cyclist relying on their bike as the other link in the chain.

            However, the dominant transport task of light rail is taking people to the place they want to go. No single line will do that for everyone, but a city has to start somewhere, or it will never reach the point where people can get "practically anywhere" they need to go on transit, and without a massive time penalty compared to a car.

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            by BruceMcF on Tue Sep 04, 2007 at 04:57:35 AM PDT

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