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

Seattle doesn't want to encourage traffic by widening 520

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Evergreen Point Bridge: Build it green


The state has laid out plans for a new, larger Evergreen Point Bridge that is six lanes, with capacity for evermore cars. The Seattle City Council is under pressure to go along.

But there is no six-lane plan that meets three city and regional essentials: preserving the Washington Park Arboretum, protecting the southeast corner of the University of Washington's campus from becoming a traffic dumping ground and keeping the Montlake neighborhood livable.

The City Council should push the discussion in a healthier direction. It should insist on a four-lane alternative, adding no new lanes but still helping the bridge accommodate more vehicles as ramp improvements, wider lanes, tolls and the like help buses and cars move more efficiently. The council also would show it is serious about controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

As state planners conclude, a four-lane alternative protects the public by replacing the current quake- and storm-prone bridge. The state environmental study concluded four lanes would meet other key goals: "improving ... reliability and protecting and enhancing neighborhoods and environmental values." In fact, the preference for six lanes rests on one criterion: a greater increase in "mobility for people and goods." That's bureaucratic for "cars and trucks still come first in our hearts."

Holding the line against an enlarged river of traffic will win the council few friends among those who reflexively bow to the car culture's voracious demands for land, water and public subsidy. Key council members like a six-lane option, called the Pacific Street interchange, which helps Montlake but risks UW and Arboretum harm.

The council has two intelligent options. First, there is the state's four-lane proposal, which needs adjustment but provides a starting point. Activists have also developed a four-lane option that emphasizes the ways transit improvements can be made more cost-effectively than with six lanes, provides intermittent shoulders on the bridge for stalled vehicles and demands strong mitigation measures. The cheaper "green alternative" also could help address an expert review panel's finance questions.

Jeannie Hale, president of Seattle Community Council Federation, told the City Council recently, "It's beyond me why the city of Seattle wants to encourage more automobile traffic." Four lanes will work, financially and environmentally

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