Friday, July 15, 2005

Monorail to be Slightly Less Ugly than Expected, Still Far Uglier than Promised

monorail promisesNever am I more happy that I live outside the Seattle city limits than the times when I ponder the monorail. In fact, if I lived within the Seattle city limits, the monorail alone would be enough reason for me to want to move out. I just have a low tolerance for idiocy.

Speaking of idiocy, new "pictures" were released today showing what the monorail might possibly, maybe, perhaps look like. This round of pictures was released by the company that wants to build the monorail, Cascadia Monorail. They took offense when the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) released its own images, showing how the scarred face of downtown might look after billions of dollars are spent on Seattle's new toy train. When compared to the images that circulated when voters were being asked to approve the monorail tax, these pictures were disappointing, to say the least. Cascadia Monorail was quick to jump on this, claiming that SMP got it all wrong, and the monorail wouldn't be that ugly.

So after working hard to make the proposed design slightly less of an eyesore, Cascadia Monorail unveiled its own concept pictures. To be sure, these graphics are just a little prettier than those released by SMP, but they still stand in stark contrast to the curvilicious design that voters thought they would be getting. (Click the picture to view the three side-by-side.)

In addition to the aesthetic appeal of the actual monorail itself, another detail that SMP apparently got wrong was that their images showed cars parked on the street. Compare the second and third images shown above right—the parking meter and the man feeding money into it are still there, but where did the cars go? In Cascadia's dream vision, apparently people pay parking meters out of the kindness of their hearts, not because they actually have a car parked along the side of the road. In fact, the bicycle lane has been moved all the way to the curb, eliminating the parking space all-together. It makes sense of course, since in this fanciful world of the Monorail no one will ever need to bring their cars downtown.

I've got an idea for a way we can achieve this magical car-free-Seattle vision even before the monorail is completed. How about we all just stop going downtown, at all.

Source: Seattle Times
Categories: News, Local

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