Monorail, Media, and Quote

MONORAIL

Under pressure from City Hall, downtown developers, and property owners, the Seattle Monorail Project this week agreed to explore new alignments for Second Avenue that would allow more daylight between the train and downtown buildings. As currently planned, the trains would pass within six feet of structures, an idea that downtown interests wanted stopped in its tracks. Now monorail Executive Director Joel Horn says three alternative plans could move the guideway and columns into the street, with up to 26 feet of separation from buildings. One plan calls for offsetting the guideways to gain three more feet of clearance—separating trains from buildings by up to nine feet—without any other changes to the existing plan. That would leave room for 18-foot-wide sidewalks, a bike path, and three lanes of traffic on Second; the existing parking lane would disappear. A second alternative would involve moving the columns east and widening the sidewalk to 40 feet, putting trains 22 feet from the property lines. That would leave only two lanes of traffic on Second, plus a bus lane; the bike lane also would be scratched. A third possible plan would turn the existing parking lane into a wide bus lane and push the monorail farther into the street, leaving two lanes for vehicle traffic. After conferencing with landowners, city officials, and the public, Horn says, one of the plans will be firmed up. The monorail's board will make a final decision on the alignment March 29. RICK ANDERSON

MEDIA

Changes at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced last week: Rita Hibbard was promoted to assistant managing editor to oversee local, business, national, and international news, and Celeste Bernard has been promoted to assistant managing editor in charge of design, photography, and graphics. But the change most likely to be felt by readers and competitors is the appointment of Mark Matassa as metro editor. Best known for his work as a Seattle Times political reporter and editor, Matassa also founded Personal Reader, the now-defunct Seattle-based Web site that blogged political and other news before blog was a word. The past few years, Matassa has been working at the Los Angeles Times, most recently as an assistant metro editor in charge of local-government coverage. I think I speak for all of us who have had the pleasure of working with and for Matassa: He's a top-notch journalist and a huge scoop for the P-I. CHUCK TAYLOR

QUOTE

"My God! Why are people still talking about me? I'm done! I'm done! I'm over!"—Former City Council member Judy Nicastro, in an interview with fellow New Jersey native and Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur (Seattle Times, Feb. 15)

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