News Briefs Archives
October 19, 2002 - November 19, 2002


Seattle Monorail Initiative WINS!. (11/19/02)
Seattle, Washington. With 100% of the ballots finally counted, Seattle's Monorail Initiative has won by 868 votes! Barring a shocking reversal in the vote between today and tomorrow's election certification, a 14-mile transit monorail system will be built in Seattle. TMS President Kim Pedersen stated today that "this is the one a lot of us have been waiting for. Since the founding of the Monorail Society in 1989, I have felt the best way to prove to Americans that monorails are indeed transit-capable was to have a full-scale system built in a USA city. While the Las Vegas Monorail was an enormous victory and step in that direction, the fact that Las Vegas is a resort city with casinos as the major destinations would always give monorail opponents ammunition in that it isn't comparable to average cities." It was November 2nd of 1992, ten years ago to the month, that the Monorail Society received the first letter from the founder of the modern Seattle Monorail movement. In that 1992 letter, Dick Falkenbury wrote to TMS "I am very interested in the monorail approach, I would appreciate any material you might send." He joined the TMS membership and went on to add "perhaps you can let me know of others in your society in Seattle and we can form a chapter." Form a chapter indeed! Congratulations to Dick Falkenbury, Grant Cogswell, Peter Sherwin, all associated with the Elevated Transportation Company and the many, many volunteers that have brought us to this historic day. Victory is sweet!

Final tally:
Monorail Yes? 94,787 50.23%
Monorail No? 93,919 49.77%

Voters pass monorail initiative. Seattle P-I, 11/19/02.
Final votes give monorail a 'yes.'
Seattle Times, 11/19/02.

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Unbelievable in Seattle-three vote difference! (11/18/02)
Seattle, Washington. With one day left before the final count, the anti-monorail votes in Seattle took over the lead today by a unbelievably slim three-vote margin. As absentee votes have been counted since election night, the yes vote lead has been dwindling. While the vote lead takeover by the naysayers may seem gloomy, folks in-the-know with the Monorail Yes camp expected a bigger drop in numbers
today. They are also hoping that the remaining ballots will be friendlier to monorail than previous batches. Bottom line, we still have a shot at winning this puppy! Tomorrow the final votes will be counted and announced. Today's tally is:

Monorail Yes? 92,435 50.00%
Monorail No? 92,438 50.00%

Monorail margin: 3 votes. Seattle P-I, 11/18/02.
Monorail losing by three votes in latest count. Seattle Times, 11/18/02.

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Joel Horn to head up Seattle Monorail...if. (11/17/02)
Seattle, Washington. Elevated Transportation Company (ETC) board members announced that Joel Horn, who worked for the ETC for the last year, will lead the project of building the14-mile Green Line monorail linking Ballard, downtown and West Seattle. One major hurdle remains before the project can officially get started, the vote count from the November 5th election must be completed and Monorail Yes must be the winner! Certification of the results are due Wednesday, November 20th. If the monorail gets voter approval, a new Seattle Popular Monorail Authority will be established to construct the monorail. Among many accomplishments, Horn worked for developer Wright Runstad and put together a deal that relocated Amazon.com into the high-profile PacMed building on Beacon Hill. ETC board members lauded Horn at the Friday ETC meeting, although they won't take a vote to promote him to the position until a yes vote has been certified. Board member Harolynne Bobis said "I firmly believe we would not have had the plan available for voters were it not for Joel's tireless tenacity in making it happen."

Up-in-the-air monorail gets a new executive director. Seattle Times, 11/16/02.

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Seattle lead down to 329 votes. (11/14/02)
Seattle, Washington. We're using up all our "anguish" clip art here at the Monorail Society over the Seattle election. 49.9% of today's additional 15,539 votes were for the monorail, yet the lead is now down to only 329 votes (less than 1/4 of one percent). Reportedly there are about 5,000 votes left to count. For the initiative to win, Monorail Yes needs about 47% of the remaining 5,000. The next release of numbers will be on Monday, November 18th at 4 PM Pacific Time. The election results are to be certified Wednesday, November 20th. The latest tally from Seattle is:

Monorail Yes? 89,899 50.09%
Monorail No? 89,570 49.91%

Monorail lead grows razor-thin. Seattle P-I, 11/14/02.
Monorail ahead by only 329 votes. Seattle Times, 11/14/02.
Winners and Losers in the Monorail Nail-Biter.
The Stranger, 11/14/02.
Seattle election results page.

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Seattle lead down to 582 votes. (11/13/02)
Seattle, Washington. Only a small batch of 6,162 monorail votes were added to the tally yesterday, but it was enough to darken the skies over monorailist's heads. The Monorail Yes lead is now hanging on by a 582 vote lead, less than 1/3 of one percent. The majority of the latest absentee votes reportedly came from the 37th district, an area that includes Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, Mount Baker and Rainier Beach. These areas would not be served by the initial Green Line proposed in the initiative. Monorail supporters again demonstrated optimism and suggested that the next batch would be more reflective of polling on election day, in which 54% of voters said yes to monorail. The measure now needs at least 48.5 percent of the remaining votes to win. The next tally will be released Thursday, November 14th at 4 PM Pacific time. The current totals are:

Monorail Yes? 82,256 50.18%
Monorail No? 81,674 49.82%

Small lead for monorail vote grows even tighter. Seattle P-I, 11/13/02.
New count erodes monorail's lead.
Seattle Times, 11/13/02.
Seattle election results page.

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Razor thin lead in Seattle. (11/10/02)
Seattle, Washington. With 26,000 monorail votes added Saturday, the lead for the Seattle Monorail Initiative is now down to a razor thin margin of 1,526 votes. The lead is now ahead by about one percentage point. To win, the measure needs to capture about 47 percent of the remaining votes left to be counted. King County elections officials will release new numbers on Tuesday. Another count will be released Thursday and the county hopes to give a final vote tally on November 19. The election must be certified Wednesday, November 20. Despite another narrowing of the lead, monorail proponents closely following the process are optimistic of a win. Joel Horn, ETC staff member and mover and shaker in the monorail campaign, responded to Saturday's count by calling it "great great news." Even the opposition sees a trend towards monorail victory. Henry Aronson, with the monorail opposition group Citizens Against the Monorail, estimates that if the vote trend continues, Monorail Yes will win. "It's really hard to read at this point. It's going to be so very, very close. It's a cliffhanger," he said. "No one's going to get a mandate in this. It will be a sliver, whoever wins." Mandate or not, a win still means a 14-mile monorail system Mr. Aronson. :-)

Monorail Yes? 79,647 50.48%
Monorail No? 78,121 49.52%

Monorail tally still a 'cliffhanger.' Seattle Times, 11/10/02.
Seattle election results page.

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Stadium link proposed in London. (11/10/02)
London, England. A new stadium is being proposed for Brentford FC at Lionel Road South. The stadium will be part of a leisure complex that will attract visitors throughout the week, not just during games. Linking the stadium with a park and ride parking facility at Western International Markets, a monorail is envisioned to shuttle stadium goers during events. During the week the monorail will continue to attract passengers from the busy West London roads. Ambersham Group is the United Kingdom representative of the suppliers of the modular system for building the monorail. Millhouse Group is a land development company which is working with Ambersham on a monorail system for Portsmouth as well as the plans for West London. It is believed that the monorail can be100% privately financed. A number of intermediate stations are planned along the route, including a station where passengers can switch to and from the Piccadilly Subway Line at Osterley.

Bees United Website (see stadium story).

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Vote gap narrows again, proponents still optimistic. (11/08/02)
Seattle, Washington. As of Friday, Seattle election officials have counted 132,095 votes on the monorail initiative. The yes votes are ahead by a razor-thin margin of 2,207. While this reflects another narrowing of the gap, monorail supporters are still optimistic of a win. In a Thursday e-mail to Elevated Transportation Company board members, ETC Chairman Tom Weeks stated "We have developed a model to predict the outcome of the race. According to our model, we will win, but it will be very close. The model is based on patterns from previous elections, blending rates from poll voters and early absentees." Despite the narrowing of the vote gap today, Weeks told board members "These are great numbers for us. On Tuesday our absentee totals were 44.5% yes. On Thursday our absentee totals were 45.1% yes. On Friday our absentee totals were 46.6% yes. This trendline is even better than expected. Anything can happen, but we should be very optimistic." The November 8th numbers are:

Monorail Yes? 67,151 50.84%
Monorail No? 64,944 49.16%

Seattle election results page.

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Seattle vote lead diminishing. (11/07/02)
Seattle, Washington. The current lead is now down to 2,830 votes. The numbers are:

Monorail Yes? 62,833 51.15%
Monorail No? 60,003 48.85%

Is it a trend, or just a batch of votes from a naysayer district? Stay tuned.

Seattle election results page.
Monorail lead reduced in latest absentee count. Seattle P-I, 11/8/02
Monorail lead slips. Seattle Times, 11/8/02

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Seattle Monorail Yes leading. (11/06/02)
Seattle, Washington. As the saying goes, don't count your chickens until all the eggs are hatched. The proposal for a 14-mile starter system is leading in the count as of mid-Wednesday, the day after the election. Here are the numbers...

Monorail Yes? 54,477 votes 52.15%
Monorail No? 49,976 votes 47.85%

These numbers reflect 97.92% of the Precincts counted. While the polls closed at 8 PM Tuesday night, absentee ballots were being dropped off at mailboxes up to midnight. Elevated Transportation Company (ETC) Chairman Tom Weeks cautioned monorail supporters at the Monorail Yes election party that it might be a while before we know for sure what the outcome is. Early absentee votes went against the monorail. However, optimism abounds that victory is at hand and that Seattle will finally arrive at the future it promised 40 years ago when it hosted the Century 21 World's Fair. It was that year that the one-mile Seattle Monorail first opened for business, dazzling fair visitors and city residents alike.

The Monorail Yes! campaign volunteers did an amazing job in the final days, up to and including election day. Sign waving on major intersections was met with enthusiastic horn honks and thumbs up from people in passing cars. Volunteers at campaign headquarters made 1000s of phone calls to remind people to get out and vote. They did vote, turn out for the election was strong and some theorized that the popularity of the monorail was the reason. In a late night TMS Discussion Group posting, Dick Falkenbury, the man that started the Seattle Monorail movement, said "If, by some chance, we lose, we will have won. Monorail is no longer a joke--here or elsewhere. It is now on the table as a serious consideration wherever traffic is a problem. It will never go back."

ETC Chairman Tom Weeks announces incoming results to monorail supporters.

Monorail leads. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11/6/02.
Monorail ahead in count; 14-mile 'Green Line' would be biggest such system in U.S. Seattle Times, 11/6/02

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Seattle election coverage. (11/02/02)
Seattle, Washington. Starting Sunday, November 3rd, TMS Vice President Keith Walls and President Kim Pedersen will be in Seattle to partake in the final campaign days and witness election day firsthand. For this reason, an update of election news won't be posted on the TMS website until late Wednesday afternoon, November 6th. In the meantime, the following links will have updates on events, including election results. Good luck Seattle and all monorailists hoping for victory!


Final stretch in Seattle. (10/29/02)
Seattle, Washington. One week from today, Seattle voters will say yes or no to building a 14-mile monorail system, a system with plans to expand to an eventual 58 miles. Campaigners are busy distributing pro-monorail materials and preparing to get out the vote. Radio ads are being broadcast to voters frequently with citizens on the street proclaiming their support for the monorail. Joel Horn, formerly on staff at the Elevated Transportation Company (ETC) and now with Monorail Yes!, has pulled off a dramatic promotion for the monorail. While at the APTA Expo in Las Vegas, he coaxed Bombardier into loaning the mock-up nose of a new MVI monorail train to the campaign. The monorail nose is now prominently on display above the heads of Seattle commuters on a billboard proclaiming "Monorails Never Get Stuck In Traffic." Meanwhile, Seattle Citizens Against the Monorail (amusingly known as SCAM to some), has not let up in their efforts to find scandal in the ETC's plan. SCAM doesn't have the same amount of money to spend on a vote no campaign, but they have been very successful in getting negative articles about the monorail published in local papers on almost a daily basis. It's an exciting race, and come November 6th we should know if Seattle will lead the USA into a new era in urban transit.

Billboard at Denny & Pontius. Photo by MIA (Monorail Intelligence Agency)

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Dubai progresses towards monorail. (10/28/02)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Municipality commissioned Wilbur Smith Associates to do a preliminary study for a proposed new monorail system. The study is nearing completion and ten out of eighteen bidders have been shortlisted to bid for the project management consultancy. Among those interested in supplying a system to Dubai is Hitachi of Japan. If selected, the Dubai project would be their second overseas urban mass transit project. Hitachi has been showcasing a video of what the Dubai monorail might look like. A model of their two-car Okinawa Monorail train has also been on display. The proposed system is targeted for a 2008 opening. It would parallel the existing road network.

Japan team to bid for Dubai monorail. Gulf News, 10/28/02.

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Surprise endorsement for Seattle Monorail . (10/19/02)
Seattle, Washington. It was beginning to look pretty obvious, the mainstream press was going to beat the monorail mercilously in the last few weeks before the election. Article after article, editorial after editorial proclaimed the evils of the monorail plan. This was with exception of the so-called "alternative" newspaper The Stranger, which has been unwaivering in it's support of the people-popular monorail movement. Just when monorailists were ready to put all of the mainstream press into the category of conspiritors, along comes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with a glowing endorsement for monorail. On two previous monorail intiatives, the P-I asked for a no vote. This time however, the P-I editorial staff says that "the measure before voters Nov. 5 is no longer pie-in-the sky and what-ifs. This time, monorail proponents have offered a solid plan to carry out the passion that has been the charm of this project all along." The P-I editorial concludes "It's fitting that the people of Seattle will make the decision about whether to build the monorail. It was their idea in the first place. We hope they vote yes."

Monorail rises above the grassroots. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/20/02.
Architects Endorse Monorail as New Seattle Landmark. KIRO TV, Seattle.
Monorail Yes Website
Seattle Elevated Transportation Company Website: the plan!
Citizens Against the Monorail Website
Marge Simpson, Smack Dab In The Middle Of Controversial Seattle Monorail Proposal. KCPQ TV, Seattle.

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