The brainstorming about getting passenger rail into Olympia is alive!
Olympia's best blog took their crack earlier and the Seattle Transit blog did their's yesterday. All smart people all say, sure it could happen. But, there are obstacles. Sure, that makes sense. It hasn't happened, so obviously there are reasons why it hasn't.
I was going to reserve this post for a exploration into the past of the old Lacey to Olympia line that was ripped up and turned into a sidewalk. Alright, a glorified sidewalk.
But, after all this discussion, I think we need to bring up another topic. Should Olympia be connected by rail to Seattle?
You're going to say: Of Course! State Capitol Right??
And, I'm going to respond with a selfish rejoinder. Well, its not like anyone is going to steal the state capitol from us anytime soon. So, why make it easier for people to get here?
Right now Olympia's economy is supported by a steady flow of tax money into our community to support fairly well paying and stable state jobs. That's not going anywhere. Jobs come and go, but overall, state work is pretty stable.
We're also on the far southern edge of Pugetopolis. So, if overgrowth is going to happen, it'll come from the north. But, in a way, we're buffered from that because back 100 years ago Pierce County stole more than half of the Nisqually Reservation and gave it to the Army. Joint Base Lewis McCord sits out there like a massive empty breakwater against King/Pierce County growth.
Eventually Sparkland will reach around through Roy and Yelm and connect with Lacey. But, for the time being, we're safe.
Connecting us to Seattle via convenient rail is just one more way to make Olympia a bedroom community living in the shadow of Seattle and King County.
And, in at least one part of my brain, more people living in Olympia and commuting up to Seattle for work is not a good thing.
Now, using that old Lacey to Olympia rail line that we turned into a glorified sidewalk for light-rail, a way to just get around town? Thats a great idea?
Maybe just using the old spur of that lost rail line as a Sound Transit alternative to Centennial Station. I don't know, maybe? Better than downtown Olympia, I suppose.