Michaelp: the political posturing you refer to includes O'Brien asking about the depth of research into the surface option, yes? Just to clear out your pro-roads spin.
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Why isn't the Downtown Seattle Association totally livid about this stuff? It will screw their membership hard.
Increased capacity: NO.
Decreased commute time: NO.
Paid for within bonding limits: NO.
benjamin from west seattle
ps. i forgot my password a while back and every time i to redo it i get sent on an enless loop by this website.
The 100% consensus is that none will use it.
SDOT needs to project how many more deaths, injuries, and disabilities this project will cause, and WSDOT needs to compensate the victims and victims' families for their lifelong care. Not optional.
Every. single. one.
How come we don't see something like that up on SDOT's site? Instead we just get videos of the "glorious future" variety.
The simple genius of a pure surface+transit proposal as proposed by People's Waterfront Coalition is that, with lower capacity, much of the traffic will simply evaporate. Now, those "disappeared" trips run the gamut from being purely discretionary ("Ah, I can live without it") to pure pain ("The only thing worse than not making that trip is making it"). To the extent those forsaken trips run to the pain side of the continuum, you try to mitigate their loss with serious transit alternatives. And over the long term, development patterns adapt and evolve anyway.
If a tolled tunnel is going to have the same effect, then we can either let "shit happen" and let those cars overwhelm the existing street network until it's too painful for the drivers and the street network, or we can adapt our downtown transportation grid to absorb those trips and, better yet, prevent them from happening and provide viable alternatives in the process. This is where "tunnel+transit" needs to be more than just a catchphrase that the downtown "tunnel at all costs" proponents have diabolically adopted to try to defuse their opponents' arguments. If we do a smart mix of transit and dedicated transit lanes and controlling street use, we have a great opportunity to make those potential spillover trips "disappear" just as they would under the PWC plan--to really shift the travel mix more towards transit with the least pain possible.
The notion is that transit can not just be, but be perceived as, faster and more reliable than SOV travel through downtown. Continuing to unbundle parking costs from private development, focusing congestion where it belongs by closing some areas for exclusive pedestrian use and....congestion tolling too! Exciting stuff.
(I get the feeling N/N will be glad to help with more specifics if the Council, Metro and/or WSDOT cares to hire them for further work as the planning keeps ramping up!)
it's not rocket science.
To achieve this: The notion is that transit can not just be, but be perceived as, faster and more reliable than SOV travel through downtown.
You need this: right of way
Well, you did mention one of idea of N\N's I consider foundational, and that's pricing. And we don't have to resort to a London-style congestion charge to get the necessary effect. Just extend the tolling purview of 99, as N\N suggests, though perhaps at a lower rate. I'd love to see I-5 tolled as well, but hey, I'd love to date Jessica Biel too.
One takeaway was this:
According to Mr. Payne, the effect on traffic downtown (and as far east as 23rd) were Option B of the Surface/Transit plan have been used would be twice as much of an increase as the diversion from the highest tolls on the tunnel.
It was a very informative presentation, I will say that much, and full of all sorts of fun facts and figures, and the occasional political posturing. Fun!
As for the rest of this, remember that all these lovely transit solutions will not be easy to come by. Governor Gregoire personally stripped transit funding, the Port of Seattle won't pony up for it and recovery to Metro's funding won't even begin til at least 2014.
Anyone who says we can spend so much, screw it up, then rescue it with transit we can't fund is dreaming. This is how freeway revolts begin, kids.
I actually was impressed with O'Brien, and as I have said before, the anti-tunnel folks are lucky they have him. While I disagree with him on this issue, he presents his arguments very well, and they are typically very well thought out.
And there was posturing all around that table.
As for the transit portion - that is a big part of what was said is needed, but there was an acknowledgment, I felt, that a lot of the County's portion of transit is failing or not coming. Regardless, I have yet to hear anyone disagree that the surface option would cause massive increases in traffic (I think the best case scenario numbers that I saw in 2009 was 6 minutes for each trip, per car), and hearing the difference between the two as bluntly as was put today (twice as much)...well, that's a hard number to really argue with.
Pro-roads spin? The only thing michaelp said @20 that could be remotely construed as pro-roads was this: According to Mr. Payne, the effect on traffic downtown (and as far east as 23rd) were Option B of the Surface/Transit plan have been used would be twice as much of an increase as the diversion from the highest tolls on the tunnel.
That's spin? That's just recounting the obvious results of a reputable study.
Baconcat, your entire post @24 was pure spin--all about how hard it will be to get transit funding to go with the tunnel. Like it will be any easier to get the even greater amount of transit funding that will be needed for surface+transit?! This is the classic FUD we hear about any project. If it isn't wrapped up nicely with a pretty, little bow, then there must be something fundamentally wrong. Never mind that all the alternatives could be FUD'ed to death as well.
And Baconcat, maybe it's time you started being a champion of transit for the sake of being a champion of transit and not just as a righteous, little cudgel with which to bash the tunnel project. Maybe it's time you started to have a serious thought about what transit plans would be effective and what wouldn't. King County Metro is spending $600 million a year:
You think the transit answer--whether it's the tunnel or surface/transit--involves just throwing more money at Metro? Apparently, because that's all we hear from you. Meanwhile Nelson\Nygaard has some real ideas about improving the transit mix--ideas that require some heavy political lifting--and you're so busy with your own spinning you can't even be bothered to notice them.
It's a basic problem with downtown transit in most cities: more people wait for a particular bus line than actually ride buses passing through. With downtown-specific routes, when the bus comes, everybody gets on board. In this configuration, trolleybus (or regular bus) lines become more like streetcar lines, shuttles or circulators.
Seattle's arduous hills require frequent and duplicative transit. Motorists must be able to use any convenient parking place and rely upon frequent transit to complete trips downtown. The Seattle Circulator Plan's "Trolleybus Reconfiguration" aims for 5-minute trolleybus service on nine E/W streets between Alaskan Way/1st Ave and Broadway, six E/W streets between 1st Ave and Harrison, and in the N/S direction along 1st & 3rd streets between King and Mercer. All I've got for my efforts so far is a ration of shit from smart ass activists and unaccountability from city hall.