Morning Fizz

Transit Activists Spoof Seattle Times

As Seattle Times sides with suburbs, Seattle Subway questions paper's relevance.

By Josh Feit September 19, 2016

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1. Transit activists at Seattle Subway, big supporters of this November's light rail ballot measure (Seattle Subway pushed for and got a grade-separated Ballard-to-Downtown line), aren't happy with a Friday Seattle Times editorial that applauded the Newcastle City Council for officially coming out against the measure.

The $54 billion plan would extend light rail North to Everett, South to Tacoma, and would add two more lines within Seattle (from both Ballard and West Seattle to Downtown.) And re: Newcastle: ST3 would also extend light rail East to downtown Redmond and Issaquah. Newcastle, population 10,000, is just East of Mercer Island. And with 2008’s voter-approved ST2 already slated to run East from Mercer Island to Microsoft, ST3 would spend $170 million for bus rapid transit and 200 parking spots that would serve Newcastle.

The Times cheers Newcastle because the city “broke from the municipal pack” and says it can get BRT without raising taxes. The Seattle (?) Times just loves those defiant suburbs and, presumably, would like to see the region splinter as local jurisdictions go their own way.

Seattle Subway responded to the Seattle Times with a hilarious tweet this morning.

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2. Speaking of Seattle Subway's distaste for the Seattle Times: In an effort to summarize last week's parade of never-ending news from city hall, I posted 2,000-plus words of LIKES and DISLIKES late last Friday afternoon with takes from city council members, SDOT, the mayor, and activists on some of the week's headlines.

Teaser: Public Defender Lisa Daugaard LIKES safe consumption,  Capitol Hill Housing LIKES renters, I DISLIKE Antisemitism, and Upgrade Seattle LIKES council member Rob Johnson's amendment to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan. 

3. Speaking of resurrecting old PubliCola features like Friday's LIKES & DISLIKES, my old Pedestrian Chronicles column LIKES some news I forgot to tag last week: SDOT's proposal to reduce speed limits on arterials to 25 miles per hour and to 20 miles per hour non-arterial, residential streets. 

Luckily, Seattle Bike Blog has a comprehensive story on the announcement, which is great news for pedestrians.

4. The city council is poised to pass a "secured scheduling" ordinance today. The law, which labor groups are hailing as the next $15 (as in—getting $15 an hour doesn't mean much if you're not getting any hours), would mandate that workers get two weeks advance notice on schedules, get compensated for shifts that are suddenly cut, and get a guarantee that extra hours are offered to employees before stores hire new part-time workers. 

I wrote a magazine feature on labor's push for the ordinance earlier this year.

I will be on KUOW at noon to talk about the vote.

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