James S. Russell of STICKS & STONES seems to have bought the anti-monorail ticket full-bore while not being sure where the line is going:
The transportation-planning establishment finds the idea almost completely cockeyed (and the local engineer that started the latest battle was questioning some of the technical and engineering assumptions) but the buffs defend the concept with near-cultlike commitment, even as the project threatens to sink under exactly the same interest-group infighting that made a mess of the light rail. They all but ran the engineer out of town on a monorail. I can’t speak to the technical issues, but this is the most bizarre transportation spectacle I have seen played out in living memory.
And so on and so on.
I wish Russell had looked into the history, routes, technical issues -- (in fact how can one even opine on a transport system without being able to "speak to the technical issues" ?-- in large part, that's what the system is!) -- a little more as it would have been nice to have had his strong critical intelligence consider the monorail based on a sound footing of facts rather than the bubbles of innaccuracy which burble up in every sentence; I don't think there is a sentence in the piece which should not be challenged as to simple accuracy and/or emphasis.
For example, isn't it rather important that the eminent engineer mentioned above (who by no plausible account "started the latest battle") is a structural engineer with no experience in transportation planning? Sure he has a right to speak out -- but as a citizen, and I am not sure that he even votes in Seattle, and this project was a Seattle-only project. But for him to present himself as an expert on transport because he is a structural engineer is misrepresentation. And he was hardly run out of town; the very idea is misleading as this guy's opposition to the monorail only advances his public stature among the significant number of people who shares Russell's view while of course being panned by those who support the monorail. I think that's the way it works: you speak out on a public issue and some people like it, some people don't.
But go read it as it's always startling to see what the press says about an event where one has been an eye-witness. Understandably but sadly, the reporter usually, as here, get it wrong on even the basics.
Now just to repeat what I have written before on this blog: reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the monorail but my expectation is that they will do so reasonably and based on some depth of knowledge and perhaps even conversation with these monorail "buffs!"