Monday, October 11, 2010

Seattle Times: Tunnel would mean more traffic on waterfront

To quote myself:
In my opinion, and I've stated this other places, the answer may be most of the above:
I was a Surface proponent but that thing got wider and wider, and had all those stoplights, pedestrian friendly stoplight timing, that a bypass tunnel looked like a needed thing. In fact, I was, and to a great degree still am, a believer that we will end up with both (of some sort).
I-5 "improvements" means eliminating a downtown exit. That may be something we look at having to do in the future anyway.
What we are not ever going to get from the state is a through-tunnel after a surface option has been developed.
What we would get with going surface is the State always having a say in anything we run on the surface, anything.

Bury the state through-tunnel first, work on surface transit next, make getting through Seattle completely the state's problem. That is the last thought, or statement, that I have had on this subject.

Roger Valdez, Tunnel hater, is this week's Seattle upzone cheerleader
, by me, August 7, 2010

Today the Seattle Times woke up to the fact that a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct would put a lot of cars on surface streets absent a significant transit component.
That is the next step in building a complete alternative to what we have today. A bypass tunnel, a wider surface street for local traffic, and an obvious need to mitigate people movement with more mass transit is where we are at.

No matter what the option was going to be, we will need more mass transit going into the future. It is unfortunate the the Mayor of Seattle has chosen the the path he has, for he has hurt this city's ability to lobby the state legislature for more taxing authority.

From today's Seattle Times:
No proposal exists for Highway 99 buses between Sodo and South Lake Union. James Kelly, co-founder of the new pro-tunnel group Enough, said transit should operate in the tunnel.

The pedestrian group Feet First and operators of Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour have worried about seemingly vague ideas for managing increased traffic through historic Pioneer Square. Tour CEO Sunny Spiedel urges the city to demand answers before the state signs its construction contracts.

"Done poorly," she said, "this could ruin either our fragile neighborhood or our connection to the new waterfront."

Ample off-street bicycle trails appear in the Sodo design, but the plan from Pioneer Square to the Olympic Sculpture Park at the north end of Belltown remains a mystery. Some bike lanes, or a raised "cycle track," would be part of the boulevard, said Eric Tweit, a Seattle transportation project manager.

Off-street trails are to be decided. Seattle has hired design firm James Corner Field Operations to consider such things, as it designs nine acres of promenade between the boulevard and Puget Sound.

David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said the state traffic predictions tend to assume long-term growth when, in fact, overall driving in Seattle was flat through the 2000s
Tunnel would mean more traffic on waterfront, Seattle Times Newspaper

Two things there: a plan has resources, like money, so there isn't an intracity bus plan to mitigate the people movement. Somehow the Surface+Transit Option would have gotten state support for transit and the Tunnel+Transit Option never will.

The Tunnel opponents are both saying that the Tunnel+Transit Option dumps too many cars on surface streets (as if a surface option wouldn't) and that there will not be as many cars on the road as the state is predicting.
There either will be too many cars, or not. Glad we have that settled.

After the transit portion is secured the next effort should be to go after eliminating one of the I-5 exits under the Washington State Convention Center to increase throughput on I-5.

If people care to remember, I-405 was supposed to act as a bypass around a constrained I-5 running through Seattle. The real answer there is to increase the throughput on I-5 no matter what option was to be chosen.

The answer is:All of the above.


Peter said...

If the tourism taxes pass to the county and ballmer`s stilll interested, will he automatically be the preferred owner the county wants to work with? If brock is right, lets just say he is, and someone is interested in a new arena, and If ballmer only wants to renovate keyarena and with someone else we can get a new arena, i would prefer for the county to work with them than ballmer. If we need a key redo to get a new team, if thats the only possibility, i guess we should take it but i would prefer an new arena and the NHL.

Mr Baker said...

The preferred owner is up to the NBA, not the county.
I do not see Key Arena as the first option for anybody.

Peter said...

What i meant was if the state either limits it to keyarena by being prescriptive (partly since it`s the only possibillty the state is aware of), or if ballmer is the only one interested and he his unwilling to go in for an new arena. We knew he was still in as of feb 2010, but is he interested in a new arena or just keyarena? Kind of interesting when gregoire said that she wants the state to get out of the business of funding things that "get mentioned on a website with a few thousand hits" i drew a direct connection to SC. Wishful thinking?.

Mr Baker said...

Since the city was such a miserable failure at getting anything done with Key Arena I very much doubt the legislature would limit a bill by naming Key Arena.

I don't know what Steve Ballmer is thinking. I really can not worry about that, given the opportunity I think something will get done. I am not concerned with where, other than in King County.
I just do not see the City of Seattle getting anything meaningful done, that is why they are a distant second option. They are worried about borrowing and bonding capacity for projects the mayor is either too stupid, or secretive, to communicate in a way that promotes meaningful long term planning in a collaborative way with the city council.

Peter said...

How is the county going to handle potential backlash if they get an arena going? People have to be just as against it as they have been all along, right? We can probably get the issue sent to the county without much fanfare, but all of the anti arena nuts are gonna come out as soon as the county announces any plans though. Would it be a simple county council vote?

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