Jan 5, 2009

A rant to begin the new year

I'm trying to be more patient this year.
I'm trying not to let the weather get to me.
I'm trying to remember that I like snow, I grew up around snow, I used to ski on snow.

But King County Metro FAILS.

When, after 2 weeks of system-wide communication meltdown, unannounced route closures, inaccurate re-scheduling information, jack-knifed buses and surly, snippy drivers...
After at least ONE yearly snowstorm to ostensibly clue us in that we need some kind, any kind, of comprehensive backup plan...
After the deafening silence from city and county "leaders" about just what the hell kind of World Class City leaves one of its major infrastructure elements to basically swing in the breeze (Do we even have a mayor?)...

After all of this, about which I have been relatively even-headed, to this morning put my bus on an UNPUBLISHED REROUTE is the final straw. What the hell does an "unpublished reroute" even mean?
If. The Route? Is Unpublished? How. Do. People? Find. The Bus.
Question Mark.

Can we please stop pretending, in our heart of urban hearts, when we pull a major civic boner like this, that we are a World Class city? Because, um, hell no.
We need to once-and-for-all admit this to ourselves. It'll be okay. Other cities will still think we're cool. Right now, though, I can't even imagine how utterly foolish and impotent we must seem to a city like, say, Minneapolis.

World Class cities don't behave this way. Junior high school students don't behave this way. The World Class stoner in my junior high school English class didn't behave this way.
Maybe that's it. Maybe Metro is totally DUI. Or else maybe they should be. I can't tell anymore because apparently I'm now residing in Ridiculouston.

We have snow nearly every year.
We have heavy rains, floods, Windstormstm and other inclement weather, too. Every. Damn. Year.
There are six major, treacherous, steep hills that have been in this city EVERY YEAR since literally forever.
Why do we act surprised every year when the sky becomes white instead of grey?
Why do we sit slack-jawed watching this familiar train bear down on us every year?
How do we think it will turn out differently? Snow falls, people act stupidly, city shuts down. Sound familiar?
Why has no one thought that maybe, possibly this kind of stuff should be anticip...ated...? Planning isn't necessarily major spending. It's just planning! Making a plan and communicating that plan is NOT THAT DIFFICULT in the scheme of things. I plan things and they generally seem to make my life easier. People do it all the time, don't they? Or am I now the Mayor of Ridiculouston, living on Ridiculous Avenue in Ridiculous Mansion?

Okay fine then.
My fellow citizens:
The people that tell us that nothing could have been done, that they don't control the weather, that, gosh, we sure learned some valuable lessons from this and we sure won't let it happen this way again are MORONS. We will let it happen this way again, we HAVE let it happen this way again. It happens this way, to some degree, EVERY YEAR.

Seattle, your youth is fading, so you better damn well get some smarts behind those wrinkles. You can be a pretty attractive middle-aged city if you can figure out how to swing it. Right now, though, you're still fooling around with lip gloss and Mai Thais.

Fix please.
And how about no more fare increases until I can trust you not to do this again?


Anonymous said...

i finally got in to work the other day but forgot to send this:

Metro Snow Plan: we'll communicate everything and fix it all as soon as we manage to get to work.

but we are all lame seattle "snow panic" people and have phoned in that we are working from home when really we went to the park sledding with the kids.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you sent copies of this to the city. They need to hear it.

Basil said...

If they want my help, they know where to find me...

[He lights his pipe and sips sherry. Chuckles gently under his breath and stares into the fire.]

...oh yes, they know where I am...

Erin J. said...

I'd see a band called Major Civic Boner.

Basil said...

Rehearsals begin tomorrow, actually. See you there. Bring your hair product.

done.made.said said...

As a kid growing up in Portland, OR and having all the accompanying insecurities of being a citizen of Seattle's "provincial cousin to the south" I should now being claiming sweet, sweet revenge with a belly laugh.
But no; although it has become hip (and in my biased opinion therefore degraded), although it has always been two full decades ahead Seattle in terms of mass transit; I cannot claim victory. I have it on pretty good authority that Portland's transit flailed weakly and then (however briefly) drowned as well. They get pretty much the same weather, so go figure.
I dunno. Must be a NW thing.

Major C. Boner said...

It is better to watch a familiar train bear down on us year after year than to watch a trained bear get overly familiar with us year after year. Wait, what?

Bree said...

fares increased. routes canceled. no new buses.

I am discomfit. I should just drive my car. that, basically, just sits around in my parking lot to get hit on overandoverandover.