Boulevard option rising to the surface in Seattle
Mike Lindblom, from the Seattle Times, reports this week in "Viaduct fight: Could streets be the answer?" on how the surface option is still on the table if not on the March advisory ballot. The struggle with what to do with the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct continues.
The Washington DOT recently stated that a smaller tunnel alternative, put forth by Mayor Nickels and present on the advisory ballot, does not meet safety and capacity requirements. After the tunnel's political meltdown, State Transportation Secretary MacDonald says, "The surface discussion is coming like a freight train."
Governor Gregoire has also rejected the surface plus transit option based on flawed advice flowing from the State DOT. She continues to support an elevated structure, while a number of key Seattle leaders remain resolute against rebuilding another viaduct that will continue to block Seattle from it's waterfront.
The arguments against the surface and transit option remain focused on whether or not it can maintain existing auto capacity through the downtown. King County Executive Ron Sims, a rising champion of a surface alternative, has responded by investigating the traffic impacts of the surface option in more detail. The earlier Washington DOT study was limited in it's scope and contained a series of incorrect assumptions, see Smart Mobility's report Alaskan Way Viaduct: Analysis of No-replacement Option.
Cary Moon, of the People's Waterfront Coalition, continues to point out that this infrastructure decision should be based on the number of people that can move around the downtown, not the number of single occupancy vehicles.
Images courtesy of Dean Rutz and the Seattle Times.
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