City Council Releases Draft Report on 520 Bridge Options


There's a difference between building light rail in the bridge (option A, delays construction), integrating light rail into the bridge design (option B, affects only the on/off set downs mostly and the LR capable exit structure), and having the bridge be light rail capable (option C, ensuring sufficient lane width, lanes designed for LR/BRT/Bus/Vanpool only usage, provision in design for offramps to be adjusted when light rail is built).

Part of the problem is that, if the light rail coming in to play is separated from the 520 construction too far, you have to basically have a parallel lane build for the light rail or pre-build it with removable strips for where the rails will go (hint to ST, don't try to lay the rails, put road pads that cover the area).

The funding mechanism for the light rail, due to the insane restriction of not using gas taxes to pay for transit (bummer), means the vote for the light rail portion will FOLLOW construction of the 520 bridge.
Eastside: We need a new bridge. Here's our plan.

State: Looks good. What do you guys think, Seattle?

Seattle: *crickets*

State: Seattle? What do you say?!

Seattle: *crickets*

State: OK, Approved.

Seattle: WAIT!!! Let's reduce shoulder widths to nothing again. And, lets not extend HOV through the whole freeway. And, keep four lanes of traffic still. We like driving at 10 mph.

State and Eastside: STFU.
And still no way for transit to get into the HOV lanes eastbound without merging across the entire set of GP lanes in the pictured modifications. And the eastbound onramp is essentially the same configuration as what is there today, which already backs up onto Montlake causing the intersections to lock up.

Ms. Lipstick please meet Mr. Pig from a car/transit perspective. But having a bike lane across that thing will rock.
Ok, who the fuck thinks putting light rail on the bridge now is a good idea? Sound Transit doesn't have a plan for putting light rail across the 520 corridor AT ALL. Not on the east side, not on the west side, not on the bridge. This is putting the cart before the horse, except the horse hasn't even been bought yet.

And don't get me started about how appallingly stupid the Rainier Vista land bridge idea is.
What we need is a smiler plan to what happened with I-90 for the bridge. We need to make the middle able to support rail in the future, and build the bridge like that.

Also, TheMisanthrope,

Seattle is not saying it wants two lane traffic, nor is it saying it want no shoulders. But when the state, eastside, and city are claiming that want to make this area more transit oriented, you don't go ahead and build a $4 billion road project without thinking about transit. The "crickets" came when Nickles was in office. Now he's out, and the city is actually doing something about it.

The Seattle times did a poll showing that a majority of people on the Eastside support what the city's proposed changes.