This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Lawmakers are united… in their desire to avoid a repeat of the Viaduct fiasco. A City Council resolution draws some broad sketches of what a new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge might look like:
The 12-page resolution, part manifesto and part wish list, reflects Seattle residents’ general acceptance that the aging span linking Seattle and the Eastside needs to be replaced.
But the measure also seized on strong public concerns about a new bridge’s potential negative effects on neighborhoods, including noise and traffic congestion, environmental problems such as water and air pollution and harm to the Washington Park Arboretum.
The council also reflected residents’ preferences for bike-path connections, and for improved mobility by discouraging single-occupancy vehicles, encouraging HOV lane use and creating better transit connections.
The main opposition here is from the Montlake and UW communities, who don’t want a bigger, nosier 520 running through the Arboretum. You can see their website here.
Councilman Richard Conlin has his preferences:
City Councilman Richard Conlin, chairman of the council’s state Route 520 committee, acknowledged that he personally favors the Pacific Street Interchange. But citing the bridge’s importance as a regional transportation corridor and its vulnerability to earthquakes and severe storms, Conlin said it was time to vote, move ahead and reduce effects through “mitigation strategies.”
What’s most important is that a decision happens soon, and with consensus. Because once opinions start to harden, it becomes much, much harder to achieve a compromise.