A few years ago I told my Spanish class that if they don’t build my monorail in Seattle, then I might as well move away. Because they might as well just name this town North Tacoma and be done with it.
Well, I’m not getting my monorail, and I’m moving away. Yes, they’re building light rail, and of course there’s enough money to tunnel in mostly white North Seatle, but somehow in the brown Rainier Valley, it’s gotta cross traffic in thirteen different places.
Well, whatever, light rail is better than nothing. I wonder if the Seattle committe process will kill it before it expands north. I wouldn’t put it past them. Actually, I expect phase two to get killed once phase one is completed. I expect it.
So I was riding in a taxi in Shanghai this summer, and I saw some track being laid. So I asked the driver, “Are they building a train?” because in China, it’s perfectly normal to state and/or ask the obvious.
No, says the driver, it’s certainly the subway.
Oh, I said, what line is it, the two?
I think it’s the nine, he says.
The nine! But there are only four lines now!
So, if I understand Chinese correctly (and I might not) they are building seven lines at once. Is that true? The map above (thanks wangjianshuo) shows plans for the first nine. Here’s an English map, with all eleven lines shown; here are the plans.
They are building them all at once because a) the residents don’t scream MURDER when their car-dependent way of life is threatened, and b) the city as a whole is trying to open the whole system by the 2010 Shanghai Expo.
So much more exciting than North Tacoma….