Seattleís Monophor


The Seattle monorail has long been a symbol of the city’s optimism and forward-looking spirit, but the tangled trains stuck atop the tracks now seem a metaphor for our transportation malaise. We knew that a side effect of the voters’ defeat of the Seattle Monorail Project was that taxpayers would be stuck with the estimated $100 million in postponed repair and upgrades for the 43-year-old system. That was before the serious damage inflicted by Saturday night’s collision. So where do we go from here? Do we spend the millions of dollars to repair the trains, upgrade and repair the system? …Is it time to cut our losses and close down the historic line?

Editorial here; more on the accident here. Seattle has always been rather philosophical about monorails. Recently the SPI editorialized that the city’s faltering support for a different monorail was compromising its progressive image. Then in November voters rejected that monorail. Only 36 percent voted “yes” on Prop 1 which would have saved the Seattle Monorail Project and authorize a scaled-back, 10-mile line from West Seattle to Interbay:

The agency will soon shrink itself into a land-liquidation enterprise. Monorail Project Chairwoman Kristina Hill mentioned a possible auction… [She] blamed elected politicians and the news media for the downfall of the monorail, which began as a grass-roots movement and prevailed in four previous campaigns, including a 2002 measure to build a 14 mile line.

Article here.