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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Surface/Transit Moves Forward

posted by on May 29 at 14:51 PM

A few minutes ago, the City Council officially endorsed the surface/transit option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and allocated $8.1 million to develop it into a detailed plan. The city’s transportation department will spend the money figuring out how to divert viaduct car trips onto surface streets and transit, using street grid improvements, bike and pedestrian enhancements, new transit, and trip reduction strategies to get people out of their cars.

The council approved the measure unanimously—a seismic shift from the days when only Peter Steinbrueck supported the surface/transit proposal, and a sign that the council is taking seriously last March’s “no/no” vote on two new waterfront freeway options.

“[The plan] focuses our energies on the substance of the solution rather than design of the solution, which is what got us sidetracked” previously, council president Nick Licata said. Licata, once the council’s staunchest supporter of rebuilding the viaduct, cosponsored the resolution.

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Posted by gfish | May 29, 2007 2:59 PM

Happy news. I'm still reminding myself that it's not done till it's done. This IS Seattle, after all.

Posted by monkey | May 29, 2007 3:00 PM

YEAH!!!! Some good news!!!! No suicidal overdose for me tonight!!

Posted by Just Me | May 29, 2007 3:06 PM

Remember this in November. You have to vote down the first thing they offer before they come up with a reasonable, popular plan. If RTID/ST2 goes down, we'll have a smaller joint measure next year. That'd be completion of light rail to Northgate by 2020, a more realistic plan for paying for SR 520, FAR less new asphalt paving over the Cascade foothills, and transit options for West Seattle and points north and west of Ballard.

Posted by paribus | May 29, 2007 3:08 PM

Now we just need to get our "green" mayor on the bus.

Posted by j | May 29, 2007 3:12 PM

Now let's get some money for something other than BRT.

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 29, 2007 3:18 PM

There's a LOT you're not telling us here, ECB. What of the viaduct? Is this a repair and prepare plan?

Posted by Gomez | May 29, 2007 3:28 PM

sounds good... I won't get too excited yet, but it sounds good. "substance rather than design" ...Could it be? I'm finding it hard to believe that government is actually listening to voters! yay.

Posted by Jamey | May 29, 2007 3:37 PM

I think they need more transit. At least double what we have there. Or, if they do an elevated, we need more transit on that and if they toll it, make an HOV no-toll lane.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 29, 2007 3:40 PM

"[The plan] focuses our energies on the substance of the solution rather than design of the solution..."

How do you do that? Sounds like happy-talk. The design is the solution. I don't get it. "God is in the details" and there is no plan which means anything at all without details.

But whatever...Nick is pandering to a constituency which wants to _believe._

Posted by David Sucher | May 29, 2007 4:00 PM

6. Link Light Rail says hi.

Posted by Gomez | May 29, 2007 4:04 PM

Hi Link Light Rail! Won't you come visit us in West Seattle?

Posted by wsp | May 29, 2007 4:07 PM

"6. Link Light Rail says hi" What does LLR have to do with the viaduct other than the fact it won't serve the areas that the viaducts serves.

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 29, 2007 4:58 PM

"Sounds like happy-talk"

That's all it is, David. Sometimes I get rather frustrated with a city council, that as one Slog commentor suggested, represents everybody but represents no one.

Frankly, instead of them making meaningless pronouncements, I'd be interested to hear their plan for the cost overruns on the Allentown choo-choo train. Over budget once again..the City of Seattle couldn't make and bake an apple pie for under $20.00 a pie.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | May 29, 2007 5:11 PM

Oh come on, let's stop complaining about differences between transit and wake up and smell the literal required DOUBLING of ALL forms of transit in this city.

That means Monorail, Light Rail, Bus, BRT (you know, that causeway thing by the Bus Tunnel), etc.

And that's just to KEEP UP with the growth in population!

Time to start demanding MORE TRANSIT and stop building MORE ROADS. The planet can't take inaction any more.

P.S.: Looks like we Seattle voters stared down the RTID Build More Roads crowd and got them to fund more fully the replacement for the 520 bridge. Kyi Kimay!

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 29, 2007 5:18 PM

Good luck to all you regular everyday people who don't live on the Island and sometimes need to find a different way through or into town than I-5.

Yes, I realize no one in Slogland fits that description.

Posted by K | May 29, 2007 10:12 PM

16: Yeah, sorry about that. But when you're making an omelet...

Posted by Jay | May 29, 2007 10:16 PM

If the viaduct isn't replaced, West Seattle deserves a light rail line.

Posted by Sean | May 29, 2007 10:33 PM

Yeah and the difference in cost between a surface option and either a tunnel or a replacement could easily pay for it:

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 30, 2007 12:21 PM

AA - would be interested to have link to cost estimates for Link UW to Northgate. Also what street will be dug up for the cut and cover tunnel from 45th to Northgate. The 4 miles from the UW stadium to Northgate will be more like $2 billion than the numbers in your link.

The only money for AWV was $2.8 billion and the Gov is spending $915 million fixing up the north end and doing the surface work at the south end and moving utilities to Western. That's 915 million without the seawall work which was part of the $2.8 billion in the viaduct money. After the streets and transit money (buses) there will next to nothing left over.

Posted by whatever | May 30, 2007 2:27 PM

I got my numbers directly from ST (go to the website if you don't trust me), so they are perfectly accurate and I stand by them completely.

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 30, 2007 5:15 PM

Here are the links. Click the project for a pdf with the data in it.

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 30, 2007 5:40 PM

AA - just can't find the numbers - there is no cut and cover planned rather a bored tunnel to around 70th and the freeway.

I did find an interest stat - the population will grow by 1.5 million and the ridership will be up to 351,000 a day - it would seem that ST won't put a dent into congestion.

Posted by whatever | May 30, 2007 7:14 PM

You're right. I guess I was wrong about the type of tunnel, bored is actually better because it will disturb traffic less when its built. I can't seem to put links here, but click on the links at the bottom of my blog post and you will find it.

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 30, 2007 9:05 PM

AA - thanks for the effort - I did manage to find your source of the numbers. I don't believe that they will be close to those numbers as the tunneling alone will probably cost over a billion. The Beacon Hill mile is over $300 billion and that is in dollars that started a couple years ago and the UW north won't start until at least 2012.

But the other point of $11 billion (2007) or $37 billion total cost to add 250,000 riders by 2030 or 2040 when a 1.5 million population increase is anticipated begs the question, does this make sense?

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Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 11:09 AM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 11:09 AM


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