Guest on The Infra Blog: Martin H. Duke, Editor-in-Chief, Seattle Transit Blog

Posted by Steve Anderson on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Martin H. Duke, Seattle Transit BlogEditor-in-chief Martin H. Duke joined the Seattle Transit Blog in Fall 2007 when he felt he needed a bigger platform to advocate for local light rail measures.  He grew up outside DC, attended college near Boston, spent six months in Lawton, OK, and finally moved to the Puget Sound in 1997.  He is an Electrical Engineer by training.

Seattle Transit Blog is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that covers transit news for the the greater Seattle area. The blog also focuses on density and the urban form, and other forms of alternative transportation like bicycling and walking.

The State of Seattle

“There are a few interesting things going on.  Our rail system is under construction right now…Another thing going on is that, like many transit systems, our bus network is having financial problems.  Our county’s ability to tax itself to fund its bus service is limited by our state legislature, and currently if our legislature does nothing then we’ll be looking at a 17% cut to bus service hours.”

What Seattle Needs to Fix
“It’s highly dependent on its freeways, which run right into the center of the city, unlike a lot of other cities in America.  Its rail system is horribly underdeveloped and they’re working as fast as they can to fix it, but obviously it just started; we just opened a line in 2009…The road network is deteriorating pretty quickly…In general, we’ve been underfunding our road maintenance and our transit infrastructure for decades now. 

Get in Touch with Local Politicians
“I actually think it’s pretty easy, once you get a few people to write letters to local politicians, to actually lead opinion on a lot of these issues because there’s really not that much comment that comes in to state legislators and city council members and so on, about ostensibly minor issues like zoning and bus routes and that kind of thing.”

Vision and Promise: Seattle Transit Blog
“By running Seattle Transit Blog, I hope to really improve the discourse, to unify people who feel like me, to make us a political force, and to also apply a little refresher to agencies to do the right thing when they design transit routes of all kinds, and for when municipalities are zoned to have some sort of force acting against so-called NIMBYs who are not interested in any change to their neighborhoods or any further development.”

Download Transcript (PDF): Martin H. Duke on The Infra Blog

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