After I read the first paragraph I KNEW there was no way Nick Licata was part of this coalition. I still can't believe Seattle voters keep electing this consistent diehard conservative, and I can't believe The Stranger and others kept endorsing him.

This sounds like a GREAT proposal by our Seattle coalition and I'm glad they're taking action before it's too late. I'm proud of our mayor and city council (except Nick Licata of course).
I don't know how great the state's design is, but McGinn coming out and hammering for a 4 lane bridge is playing Mr. Obstruction again. He's only a few weeks into his term and it is already annoying.
The current plan is a blatant FU to Seattle. It adds more highway noise and view pollution to our neighborhoods, it increases traffic in the Arboretum and thereby kills one of our most treasured parks, and by adding two lanes of traffic it throws a bunch more cars onto our streets that the city will then have to pay for in traffic mitigation, increased street repairs, and safety issues.

I knew McGinn hated this plan from the beginning, but I'm proud of the rest of our city politicians for also standing up to the State.
I have no problem with the 6 lanes, it is the absense of any accomodations for transit that is the problem. It is long past time for the Eastside to accept their fair share of responsibility in the region, most importantly with regards to transit and land use. Hopefully McGinn's demands to reduce the number of lanes is a bargaining chip for an improved design that includes dedicated space for transit.
I think the perfect technology for this rout is either monoral or bus rapid transit. With monorail it would have the same footprint as the current plan, even with 6 lanes of traffic. BRT might be more compatible with the Eastside.
Despite cost issues, i wholeheartedly agree with the city's plan... in our transportation technology class back in Civil E., the rebuilding of the 520 bridge was by far the most discussed project, and i would not be surprised if the city consulted Star Labs at the UW about the design.

The problem with the state's plan is that it either assumes that adding an extra lane each way will be an improvement, or it forgoes making any improvements to the design at all...aside from placing a new bridge that would not fail any moment. Additional lanes actually do not improve traffic flow much at all. Any extra capacity would be met in a matter of a year or two after completion, and we would be stuck back where we began, with a slowly aging over-used bridge.

On the other hand, adding transportation alternatives such as transit lanes and light rail will open up commuting options and take a consistent percentage of the load from the traffic lanes. In other words, where adding another lane encourages more people to commute by car, adding transportation alternatives effectively independent of traffic will take something approximating a fixed percentage of the traffic load rather than a flat amount provided by the extra lane.

The 520 is completely unnecessary and in fact, causes most of the traffic problems in and around Seattle.

Eastbound traffic should all be routed to I-90 or even better, around the Lake to the new widened I-405, or even better, make people ride LINK, or best of all, just move to the Eastside if you work there or vissa friggin' versa.
@6 It would be worse to deprive everyone of the 520 after having it all these years. Too much has been developed, particularly on the Eastside, around the presense of that bridge and highway. Microsoft is at the end of it, depriving their workforce, many of whom live on this side, of an efficient route to work.
520 is necessary.
#8. 520 yes. But not the 520 bridge (which is what I meant to say).

You can still feed the 520 highway from 405.

But you don't need a direct connection like the 520 Bridge.

Route all traffic over I-90 and I-405 connector through renton.

Get ride of 520 and all the northbound I-5 problems will disappear!
Making 2 dedicated transit lines is an idea I'll far as the money for it being in the red, why not simply use the funds from the Billionaire's tunnel to pay for some of it along with expanded tolling? That tunnel's gonna look awfully stupid in 10 years when no one is driving through it due to gas prices at $7/gallon. or maybe they'll us submarines to shoot us through the tunnel.
Can they just build it halfway across and then say "your ball"?

I agree though, it's insane not to build transit into it. Oh, and screw Microsoft. They did an incalculable amount of damage to the region by siting their headquarters in Redmond.
@10 - yeah, but land costs were cheaper there.

The city is right - Mayor and Council - in forcing the issue. Seattle does NOT have to build more lanes to connect more highway lanes if they're not transit-only lanes. And there is NOTHING the state can do about that, except possibly dumping all those extra lanes on state property at the UW and the Arboretum or push the extra traffic onto I-5.
the city should be a jerk about transit lanes and light rail. and bike lanes. stop fucking us, WSDOT. find another way.
There's a larger point to this, and it warms my heart. We need the Mayor, the Council, and Seattle legislators to begin working together, to learn how to work together, and to figure out how to counter the power of Olympia. The 520 debate is a perfect launch pad for this, and could forge relationships that are important for the next several years.

I LOVE seeing them come together on this issue, and for Seattle to grow some in relation to Olympia, not just cave under the traditional divide and conquer scenario that's been so easy in the past.

Go SEATTLE!!! Our perspective matters.
@10 Completely off topic, but you wouldn't know from M$ that they are located in Redmond. My wife got me one of those new fangled Zunes for Xmas and a couple weeks ago I discovered 'Hello from Seattle' etched in tiny letters on the side (I have to admit it brought a smile to my lips as we are currently exiled to North Carolina).
Oh, yeah, topic. Completely agree with the city on this. Adding lanes only guarantees horrible traffic in the short term and empty lanes long term when gas prices continue their climb.
McGinn is only undoing damage from the McCheese non-engagement on 520. Cptn. Fatty Pants pretty much blew his wad on the Viaduct replacement and really did not seriously engage the City on the 520 design.

The A+ design really has issues with mass transit. Good to see some focus on this - even if it took a new administration to get the ball rolling at this late of a date.
Why are they doing this? It's not like anybody from the north end uses "transit" to get to Microsoft.
@8, the bridge is part of the deal. Like it or not that bridge is a necessity. Take away that bridge and 405 and I-90 are even bigger clusterfucks.
@13 ftw

Please wait...

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