Friday, July 08, 2005

Monrail for the Eastside? Size does matter

The Times covers a size argument about a transit system that might actually get built
Backers of a suburban monorail system are waging a last-minute campaign to persuade Sound Transit to keep the monorail on the table as the agency evaluates future transit options for the Interstate 90 corridor between Seattle and Bellevue.

In a letter to the Sound Transit board, Citizens for King County Monorail charges that a Sound Transit study comparing light rail, monorail and bus options is biased against monorail. One of the study's key findings — that monorail trains wouldn't fit through the I-90 tunnel under Seattle's Mount Baker Ridge — is just plain wrong, the group says.
At issue is passage through the Mt. Baker tunnel
The Mount Baker tunnel is 15 feet, 3 inches high. The vertical "dynamic envelope" of monorail trains — the space they occupy while moving, with allowances for bumps and sway — is 15 feet, 10 1/2 inches for Bombardier's vehicles, slightly more than 19 feet for Hitachi's, the study said — and trains would require additional clearance of at least three feet.
Passing either company's monorails through the tunnel would require excavating it to lower the road. Try to use the phrase "dynamic envelope" in a sentence today.

update: A monorail across I-90 has been ruled out
Sound Transit has narrowed the list of mass transit options across the Interstate 90 floating bridge to two: light rail or bus service.
Don't busses already go across I-90?


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