I know, I am as tired of this topic as you are, but something still needs to be done. Steinbrueck, who has staked his political career on removing the viaduct without creating a new one, has drawn up a plan for a Surface/Transit option. I like the idea of surface/transit, especially since the consensus is that fewer cars drive on SR-99 immediately north and south of the viaduct, which means that people basically use it because it is there, and might not otherwise. The problem I have is with the type of transit they are talking about: buses.

Buses suck compared to trains (I do ride the 545 everyday, so I appreciate the buses). They are noisy, smelly (if they use cardon-based fuels), have bumpy rides, and are at the mercy of traffic. Underground or Elevated trains are immune to traffic, are quiet, are sleak, and have much lower operating costs once built. Even streetcars are better than buses: smoother rides, and some ability to control traffic with special signals. The South Lake Union (can someone come up with a better name for this neighborhood already?) street car will cost only $50.5 million to build, and another $100 million to get it up to the U-District. I think the city should consider this approach, because eventually extending the car down to West Seattle or up to Queen Anne and possibly to Fremont will be relatively easy, or even just linking it with the Lake Union Car might be a real possibility.

Something to think about.

2 Replies to “Speaking of the Viaduct…”

  1. i’m still intrigued there isn’t a plan to route a light rail over and along the 99 north of downtown up to edmonds… it could even connect to west seattle, two sets of tracks, north/south, trains running every 15-20 minutes. then buses would run east west to feed the trains. it’s about the only logical sceme for a city that is surrounded by water. do the planners here even look at systems outside of the states? it’s pretty obvious they’ve got no talent whatsoever.

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