The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Street Car for two-way Mercer Street?

11/3/04 The transportation plans of Mayor Greg Nickels and billionaire Paul Allen for the South Lake Union neighborhood keep advancing, despite glaring flaws. On Monday, Nov. 1, the Seattle City Council authorized a study of the plan to turn Mercer Street into a two-way boulevard. In doing so, the council made clear that it doesn't matter that the $200 million plan will not improve traffic flow in the area. Rather, the council signed on to the fantasy that a two-way Mercer Street will help South Lake Union become a 24/7 biotech wonderland. On Oct. 28, the Puget Sound Regional Council became the latest government to fall under the spell of the biotech booster virus that is sweeping governments across the nation when it put up $4.3 million in federal transportation dollars toward the $45 million needed to build a 1.3-mile streetcar from downtown to South Lake Union, which Nickels and Allen are promoting. The Nickels administration has now identified $36.5 million of the streetcar's costs, the bulk of which would come from a special tax on South Lake Union property owners. The streetcar, like a two-way Mercer Street, has dubious transportation utility, but Allen and other developers lust after it as a way to make the neighborhood more attractive to new businesses. Being as how the city's transportation infrastructure has been neglected for years, citizens might hope the City Council would serve as a check on the raid of public transportation dollars for one developer's agenda. But such hopes are rapidly being dashed. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

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