What Will Seattle Look Like, Post-Alaskan Way Viaduct?
In an editorial on Monday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer threw its 2 cents into the pot, regarding heated debates over what Seattle should do to plan for the teardown of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The PI points out that planning 25 years in advance is an opportunity to look to alternatives which take into account future viewpoints on transit and highway development.
“2030? Who knows what the next 24 years could bring, in expanded transit, rising sea levels, gas prices, vehicle technology? Is the traditional approach of providing for increasing auto capacity the right basis for spending billions of public dollars and, more important, for designing Seattle’s next 100 years?”
Read the full editorial here.
On Wednesday, the paper reported what many already contended: that the cost to replace the Viaduct could drastically rise from what previous figures estimate. And today, what many people assumed was verified when revised cost estimates were released and costs went up by almost 30%.
As a direct result of these inflated costs, attention has turned to the study done by Smart Mobility, which CNT and the Congress for the New Urbanism commissioned, which gave an “incomplete” to the traffic studies done by the Washington State Department of Transportation, and presented an analysis of a third alternative, the “Transit + Streets” plan proposed by the People’s Waterfront Coalition. The plan can accommodate traffic and help the region focus efforts in creating more alternate transit options, and recommended a restudy including serious reconsideration of this option.
The study has been presented to Seattle’s City Council and challenges the two main options Seattle is considering when the Viaduct is torn down; those being to either replace it with a tunnel or a giant, elevated highway. The study points out that replacing the Viaduct is not necessary and like Wednesday’s PI story points out, not cost-effective.
To read the plan that Smart Mobility, CNT and CNU believe is the best transportation solution for the region, click here.
The saga continues today with the Council meeting to decide whether the public will have a say in the matters. And check out the Post-Intelligencer’s Op-Ed piece today written by Scott Bernstein and John Norquist of the Congress for the New Urbanism.