1. Sightline takes a look at the new Transit Score rankings, which include data on Seattle's own transit-friendliness. Over the past two years, they report, Seattle's Transit Score has fallen by about 2 percent—"one of the largest drops among the 80 cities that had Transit score rankings in both 2012 and 2014."
The reason for the drop, though, isn't entirely due to cuts to transit service—at least, not exactly.
A large portion of the dip can be attributed to the elimination of Metro bus service that paralleled Sound Transit's Link Light Rail in Southeast Seattle—service that was arguably duplicative and unnecessary once light rail opened. Still, the neighborhoods that saw the biggest declines in Transit Score rankings were all in Southeast Seattle, the city's lowest-income and most ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
2. Slog continues its weird campaign to preemptively discredit new Mayor Ed Murray, suggesting today that he may not really support literature, because he may merely sign a city council resolution endorsing Seattle's bid to become a UNESCO "City of Literature" instead of, I dunno, signing it in his actual blood? (The paper doesn't specify what additional steps they want Murray to take.)
"Is Murray just going to sign the resolution and forget about it, or is he going to actively promote our bid to become a City of Literature?" the post asks? "There's a difference between ceremonial support and actual support."
This is an interesting position for a blog that virtually crucified several city council members for failing to sign an (equally nonbinding) resolution opposing anti-gay legislation in Russia.
We have a call in to Murray to see why he "only" signed the resolution.
3. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber says the state will pull the plug on the Columbia River Crossing I-5 bridge unless that state's legislature recommits to the $2.7 billion project by the end of this year's session on March 5, the Columbian reports.
The Washington state legislature rejected a transportation plan that would have funded our state's side of the bridge, a $450 million investment, in large part because Republican state senate members opposed the inclusion of light rail in the proposal.
4. The Seattle Times reports that "Bertha," the downtown tunnel boring machine, is moving again, albeit slowly, after nearly eight weeks out of commission. The machine has been hung up on a variety of obstacles, including an eight-inch-diameter steel pipe, a large boulder, and other junk. The state Department of Transportation has not said how much the delay in tunnel construction is costing the state or its contracting team, Seattle Tunnel Partners.