Public Transportation
3:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Can Seattle Change Streetcars For The Nation?

Seattle streetcar.
Credit Flickr Photo/Seattle Department of Transportation (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with freelance cities reporter Nate Berg about what place streetcars have in transportation infrastructure. 

10:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

See That Red Lane, Seattle Drivers? Don’t Go There

An SDOT Crew puts finishing touches on a bus-only lane on Battery Street in Seattle's Belltown Neighborhood.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Traffic in Seattle is sluggishly slow – you know that already. It’s eating three hours more of your life now than it did two years ago.

That’s why the City of Seattle announced improvements this week to help buses move more efficiently through the city. Advocates say the small improvements add up to faster, more reliable bus service.

On Tuesday, at the corner of 4th and Battery in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, Seattle Department of Transportation crews stenciled the words “Bus Only” onto a lane of traffic that they have painted entirely in red.

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Uber & Lyft
7:10 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Apps Make Googly Eyes At Riders Tired Of Being Snubbed By Cabbies

Cities like New York and Washington, D.C., have strict penalties for taxi drivers who don't pick up passengers based on their race or destination. But some investigations show that drivers routinely pass up black and brown customers.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 9:50 am

One night last fall, I was walking through Chinatown in Washington, D.C., with my friend Terryn. We were not far from a dude who was in his mid-20s — slim, with neat, shoulder-length locks, skinny chinos, loafers and a leather briefcase slung across his torso — standing on the corner, his arm raised skyward. He was trying without luck to hail a cab.

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Commuting Options
10:37 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Seattle's Bike Share Program Gets Rolling

Holly Houser, Pronto's Executive Director, demonstrates Seattle's new bicycle share program.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A new fleet of bicycles will start rolling down Seattle streets Monday when the city’s bike share program gets underway. The bright green bikes will be easy to spot and 500 of them will be stationed across Seattle’s urban core: downtown, the University of Washington and Capitol Hill.

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Week In Review
1:13 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

This Week In Downsizing

What's to become of the waterfront when the viaduct comes down? Apparently, we're going to have to do without a barge pool.
Flickr Photo/Xurxo Martinez

Boeing reduces local defense jobs, Metro reduces bus cuts and Seattle reduces its plans on the waterfront. Plus: How are you reacting to Ebola’s arrival in the U.S.?

Bill Radke discusses these topics with Crosscut's Knute Berger, KUOW reporter Deborah Wang and Maria LaGanga, Seattle bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times.

Oil By Rail
8:51 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Inslee Calls For Safer, Slower Oil Trains

This Nov. 6, 2013 file photo shows a warning placard on a tank car carrying crude oil near a loading terminal in Trenton, N.D.
AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File

“Sobering” is how Washington Governor Jay Inslee summed up a draft report about the risks of increased oil transport through the state.  In the report, the State Department of Ecology describes an unprecedented growth in this local transport, from virtually no trains carrying crude oil in 2011 to 714 million gallons in 2013.

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EarthFix Reports
8:41 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Oil Spill Task Force Braces For More Crude By Rail

A regional oil spill task force is bracing for the risks that come along with more crude oil traveling by rail.
Tony Schick

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 4:42 pm

A regional oil spill task force met in Portland Wednesday to discuss the risks of crude oil traveling by rail.

The Pacific States British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force coordinates oil spill response plans among five U.S. states and B.C. A lot of its members have noticed the same worrisome trend: more crude oil is traveling by rail cars instead of arriving on ships, and many agencies aren't prepared for oil spills along rail lines.

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2:47 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Seattle Waves Tourists Goodbye, Returns To Building Seawall

Utilities must be rerouted before Seattle's current seawall comes down. But with no room on the crowded sidewalk to stage construction materials, the job shack for utility workers resides on a barge.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

As we bid the tourists adieu, we welcome back the cranes and construction.

Season 2 of Seattle’s waterfront development project starts Wednesday. It includes work from Colman Dock to the Aquarium, and holes in the ground already show the concrete face of the 1930s-era seawall, soon to be demolished. 

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Metro Bus Cuts
5:56 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

King County Metro: Prepare For Bus Cuts This Weekend

Metro Transit employees, like Dominic White, will be out at bus stops this week helping riders prepare for this weekend's cuts
Credit KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

If you are a bus rider in King County, you might want to double check to make sure your bus will be running next week.

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King County Executive
2:33 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Funding King County And Fixing A Broken Tax System

King County Executive Dow Constantine in the KUOW studios.
Credit KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Marcie Sillman talks to King County Executive Dow Constantine  about the new 2015-2016 budget.

Boring Machine
10:04 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Bertha Is Still Stuck But 'Everything's Good,' Official Says

The south tunnel entrance has been lined with concrete. Along the top of the tunnel, on the left a black conveyer belt hauls out excavated soil, while the white pipe funnels in air (or sucks it out in the case of a fire).
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Although the tunnel boring machine known as “Bertha” is at a standstill, work is still underway to replace Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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Bus Cuts
3:21 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

New Budget Solves Some Of King County Metro's Woes

Credit Flickr Photo/Oran Viriyincy (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks to Kevin Desmond, general manager of King County Metro, about the new county budget that found a way to save some of the projected cuts to the bus service.

7:57 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Montlake Residents To 520 Designers: Put A Lid On It

The lid over the highway would dampen noise and provide pedestrians a connection to the north, toward the University of Washington and the new light rail station set to open in a year and a half.

Montlake is one of Seattle’s wealthier neighborhoods, but also one of the city's noisiest, with a major highway running through it, owing to traffic from State Route 520.

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EarthFix Reports
7:28 am
Fri September 12, 2014

West Coast Leads Surge in Electric Cars

A pair of Nissan Leaf electric cars charging up at a public charging station.

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 8:04 pm

In all three West Coast states, transportation accounts for the largest share of climate-changing greenhouse gases. And all three states are trying to boost the number of zero-emission vehicles on their roads.

This week, California passed a milestone toward that goal; 100,000 electric cars sold in the state since the end of 2010.

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A Skyscraper Upside Down
10:31 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Rare Glimpse Deep Inside The University Light Rail Station

The first of many escalators to descend 90 feet below ground to the light rail platform. The station is scheduled to open spring 2016.
Credit KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The University Link Light Rail station at Husky Stadium is almost finished. The station is part of a route that will eventually connect downtown Seattle to Northgate. On Wednesday, reporters were given a rare glimpse inside.

The shiny glass and metal box in front of Husky Stadium is the most visible part of the new subway station.  

But that’s just the surface. For the rest, you must go deeper. I don the safety vest and hardhat I've been given and join the contractors in the elevator for our nine-story descent.

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