transportation

The ferry Leschi arrives at the Kirkland dock on Lake Washington in April 1946.
Kirkland Heritage Society, City of Kirkland/Charles Morgan Negative

Marcie Sillman speaks with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski about his proposal to introduce passenger ferries to carry commuters across Lake Washington.

A Lyft for-hire car rolls down a street in San Francisco.
Flickr Photo/urbanists (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel speaks with financial journalist Felix Salmon about a bill headed to the Seattle City Council that would allow for-hire drivers to unionize. 

More adults across the country are strapping on helmets and hopping on bikes to get to work. That's good news for people's hearts and waistlines, but it also means more visits to the emergency room.

Hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, doctors reported Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. And the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.

Flickr Photo/Amancay Maahs (CC BY-NC-ND)

Drivers-for hire are being given a Lyft. You might even say they could soon be Uber-powerful.

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien says he’ll introduce legislation to give them the right to bargain for better pay.

The 73 currently runs from north Seattle to downtown via the U-District. Under the new plan, riders will have to transfer to light rail to get downtown, which can't get snarled in traffic. Some buses will still go downtown during peak periods.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

It used to be if you wanted to take the bus across town in Seattle, you often had to ride all the way downtown first. But now light rail does some of that heavy lifting, getting people from north to south. And next spring two more light rail stations are opening at Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium.

Under its new plan for rebuilding the bus system in northeast Seattle, Metro isn't going to waste so much time now fighting traffic to get downtown.

Crews have yet to finish stabilizing the soil behind the seawall. That work is going on in front of Colman Dock, nearby. But work has stopped in front of the shops and restaurants for tourist season.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Bad news for one of the city of Seattle’s biggest construction projects: The Seawall replacement is going to cost a lot more than planned, and it’ll take an extra year.

The Oregon Transportation Commission adopted new rules Friday requiring railroads to increase the amount of information they share with state officials. Months in the making, the rules come in response to concerns over the state’s readiness for oil train spills and fires.

Emergency responders will now get immediate notification from railroads for incidents involving hazardous materials. Those notifications include information about the type, quantity and placement of any materials on the train.

Kids play on a closed street in the Central District. Water was the theme here.
KUOW Photo/Paul Kiefer

In old movies and photographs, you sometimes see kids playing in the street, even in big cities. Today, cars and bikes have taken over the streets.

But in Seattle, that old idea of street play is making a comeback.

They’re called Play Streets, a program through the Seattle Department of Transportation. The city started testing the idea last year. The premise: Shut down a neighborhood street for a few hours so kids can play. It’s free – all you have to do is fill out a sheet of paper and send it to the city.

Oregon’s new pay-by-the-mile program called OReGO is one month along. The idea is to re-capture tax revenue from people who drive a lot but don’t have to buy much gas.

But it may work out differently.

A jet takes off from Sea-Tac airport
Flickr Photo/Alan Turkus (CC BY 2.0)

It’s another sign of booming times at Sea-Tac Airport: The Port of Seattle commissioners have approved paying almost $14 million to Delta Airlines to build a new lounge.

The new lounge would be about double the size of Delta's current one. And it'll be centrally located, between the two main airport concourses.

For four Saturdays this August, Pike Street between Broadway and 12th will be closed to car traffic.
Google Maps

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Heidi Hall, business districts advocate for the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, about an experiment to make three blocks of Pike Street pedestrian only. The experiment will take place during four Saturday nights this August.

Malaysian officials say what they believe to be airplane seat cushions and window panes have been found washed up on Reunion Island, the same spot in the Indian Ocean where a wing fragment was found last week. The Malaysians say that fragment is from the missing Flight MH370; French investigators say they're almost — but not quite — certain.

Cars have become computers on wheels. Crash the computer, and you could crash the car.

Two hackers decided they wanted to try doing that with a car that's considered pretty strong in terms of software, not just hardware. They chose the Tesla Model S. And — guess what — they broke in. But that's not the surprising part. The surprising part is how Tesla responded.

The Hack

Phyllis Porter is a neighborhood activist who lobbied long and hard to get Rainier Avenue S on a "road diet."
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

People have called Rainier Avenue Seattle’s most dangerous street. There’s at least one accident every day. Pedestrians have died. But that could change soon.

The piece of a jet that's believed to be from a Boeing 777 — the same model of a Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing last year — is now in France, where it will be examined in a government laboratory near Toulose.

After the large piece of debris was discovered on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean this week, Malaysia Airlines said it "is almost certainly part of a Boeing 777."

The airline also says that MH370 "is believed to be the only 777 to have crashed south of the equator since the jet came into service 20 years ago."

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