I'm posting this not because I support it, but because if I don't, someone else will, if only to snicker at it.
I was on the original monorail board that was appointed in 1998. I was skeptical of the last project from the beginning, but felt that Seattle needed high-capacity transit (it still does). The citizen activists who created the idea had the best of intentions, and I actually came to believe that the idea was sound, but it never happened because:
- Monorails are proprietary technology. Whatever system you pick, you're stuck with that vendor, and there are only a couple of them worldwide.
- Elected officials are scared to death of citizens coming up with large capital projects. If “professional transit planners” want to spend billions of dollars, that's fine, but officials will insist on putting a project developed by citizens to a vote every year or so. The Seattle monorail actually survived four votes before going down the fifth time.
- Once citizens turn over such a project to the “professional transit planners,” it will change, grow and morph beyond all recognition, and the budget will grow exponentially.
- Unless there’s a miracle in Olympia and at City Hall — on the order of taking the waterfront tunnel money and giving it to this project — this will never be affordable.