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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2013, 8:54 PM
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Cirrus Cirrus is offline
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Seattle~volution Part 1: Central city, transit, & bikes

In late October I was in Seattle for this year's Rail~Volution conference, a convention of progressive transit planners from around North America. It's great fun.

While not in conference sessions I naturally went out to see the city. This is part 1 of a 2 part set showing pictures from my trip. Here you'll get downtown and some of the immediately adjacent neighborhoods, plus a bunch of interesting transit & bike infrastructure stuff.

Being Seattle, we were lucky on days when it was merely overcast, instead of actively fogged over. Cherish the approximately 3 pictures you'll see with a blue sky.

Let's go.




Is that a Target? Yes it is. Seattle has a very solid retail core.




About that fog.








Blue! Don't get used to it.






You get 2. Now back to overcast.


















Belltown, just north of downtown, between downtown and the Space Needle.














Now walk to the next neighborhood east, also directly north of downtown, South lake Union.











A streetcar connects the waterfront to downtown proper.












Moving south into the more 19th Century Pioneer Square area.




















What's this? Streetcar tracks? More on these later.








Oh hello again, fog.










Those streetcar tracks from earlier are for the First Hill Streetcar line, which is under construction now and will go from the Pioneer Square area over into First Hill and Capitol Hill, neighborhoods east of downtown.






For most of its length, the streetcar line runs along Broadway, where they've also built a cycletrack. A streetcar and cycletrack on the same road is very unique. The only close to comparable street in the US I know of would be Market Street in San Francisco.
















Because streetcar tracks can be dangerous for cyclists to cross, there are a lot of interesting treatments to help people do it safely (ie at a 90 degree angle to the tracks).












All right. Let's hit some other Seattle transportation things real quick, before closing this thread out.

King Street Station:






The awesome mixed bus/light rail subway downtown:










Some more nifty bike infrastructure:










The fun-but-just-a-novelty monorail:






And finally, some of America's best-looking buses. Including trolley-buses!






















That's it for now. Part 2 will focus on the next ring of neighborhoods, across various bodies of water.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2013, 10:30 PM
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Another brilliant thread. Including some bike stuff I wasn't aware of!
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2013, 11:21 PM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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Enjoyable photo collection of a great city!
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 3:30 AM
seaskyfan seaskyfan is offline
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Great photos. Thanks for sharing them.

The fog was really unusual. Typically it would be overcast or partly sunny in October.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 5:12 AM
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Wish I'd seen it. Was traveling.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 6:07 AM
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This is awesome:

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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Fantastic tour. The monorail is so retro!
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 3:59 PM
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You'll also notice the monorail tracks are too close together for trains to pass, once it's close to the southern terminus at Westlake Center. This end was rebuilt in the late 80s along with Westlake Center itself. Both trains load from one side platform, with the farther one using extending catwalks. This was to avoid covering the all of 5th Ave below, and to save a ton of cost.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 6:05 PM
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Love the cycling focus. Seattle seems to be doing great things on the cycling/transit front!
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 7:40 PM
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Smile

Very interesting and didactic thread. Thanks for your pics, Cirrus.

I like the streetcars and cycletracks. I think the transports infrastructure in Seattle is very good. The new buses and trolley-buses are very nice too.

Congrats and greetings from Madrid, Spain.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 7:49 PM
FutureNorthEnder FutureNorthEnder is offline
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Great photos of a great city. I love that you included a photo of my favorite Seattle hotel: The Arctic Club. (The building with the walruses.) It's just as cool inside. Supposedly was a men's club where arctic explorers planned their expeditions. Great decor inside and out.

Love the bike lanes, too.

Thanks for the pics.
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 8:25 PM
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Nothing more beautiful than a city that makes it accessible to get around by bicycle. Wonderful photos!
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 10:44 PM
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Something about this shot that I love, looks like two streets meet up at an angle here and give a really unique look of being surrounded by density with a tall filling in a gap in the distance where a street would normally be!

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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Cool bike and transit infra. Seattle is making great strides.

The new streetcar tracks and two-way cycle track are on Broadway--what a huge upgrade that is for Capitol Hill!
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Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 11:02 PM
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Really cool thread. Wasn't aware that the monorail still runs in Seattle.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2013, 11:09 PM
seaskyfan seaskyfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mello View Post
Something about this shot that I love, looks like two streets meet up at an angle here and give a really unique look of being surrounded by density with a tall filling in a gap in the distance where a street would normally be!

That's Westlake Avenue - it goes diagonally through the Denny Triangle street grid and is also offset from the main Downtown street grid so you get some great vistas along it of Downtown.

The new Amazon HQ campus (3 35 story buildings) is under construction on the right side of Westlake before you get to the Westin (the two salt and pepper shaker looking towers in the distance). The crane to the left is for a new apartment tower.
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 12:03 AM
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Slanty Westlake makes good vistas but you can't always walk directly along it....some intersections make you cross the side streets individually, which can take you a little off Westlake itself. There's also at least one spot where you can only cross east-west on one side of the street.
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2013, 6:52 AM
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Seattle's great, thanks for the pics

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Old Posted Nov 13, 2013, 8:30 PM
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Nice pictures. I liked the little details in a couple pictures early on, in/near the Belltown section of your post. The building with the walruses is cool, and the neon sign of the chef holding the fish with its tail flipping around is also cool.
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2013, 2:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post



Just fantastic foggy nighttime shots...so evocative, they look like stills from a classic movie
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