(Page 2 of 2)
And in this sense, you can see how some might claim that the rail line gives us big league status: not for its transportation efficiencies (or not), but because the view of the city is more like what you get when you enter a large eastern city by surface rail. You see its backyards and brickyards, its tenements, its workaday self. You spy into homes and businesses at the height of dream-flight, and see how diverse and messy cities are.
Even for people who know the city, there will be discoveries. I spotted an Elks Lodge on MLK I never noticed, and what must be the last big garden or farm near Cloverdale. I saw a Seattle Police car behind a warehouse and wondered what it was doing there, then nearby saw the Seattle Police Athletic Association. I spotted a sign for a long-gone business: Empire Lumber, dating from the days when lumber yards filled the valley, one of the last areas to be logged. A city of details.
Long-term, areas around the light rail line will change and adapt. That will bring riders. But I think Seattleites will also find uses for the new train. Going to the airport is a no-brainer. Certainly, I could use it when going to a Seahawks or Mariners game because it's an easy transfer to rail from my bus. The stations will also make great jumping off points for neighborhood walks. I also think I'll want another of those pork sandwiches with the French bread and hot peppers near Othello station. I'm definitely going back.
All of this demonstrates, at least in this heady honeymoon period with light rail, something that's different from the bus. I find myself now of thinking of reasons to ride the train.
Like what you just read? Support high quality local journalism. Become a member of Crosscut today!