Gregoire promises to remove the viaduct whether Seattle likes it or not:

With or without Seattle’s approval, the state will tear down the earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2012, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday.

“It’s coming down in 2012. I’m taking it down — the middle,” she said, referring to the elevated portion of the span that runs roughly from Battery Street Tunnel to Pioneer Square, which has been the most vexing and controversial piece of the transportation puzzle.

“That’s the timeline. I’m not going to fudge on it. And if we don’t have some alternative by then, boy are we going to have a mess on our hands because it’s coming down.”

Great. Bring it down no one will miss it, that’s been my position for ever.

The Daily Journal of Commerce ran a great piece by Claire Enlow about how we are reaching “peak pavement” (best quote so far of 2008).

You’ve heard of peak oil. That’s the point when oil production is at its maximum and begins to decline. We don’t know when it’s coming, or if it has already passed. Some would argue that oil is a kind of renewable resource. The earth makes it and we use it, like teenagers on an allowance.

But by the time we know how much oil is left it may be too late. The impacts of oil and the cost of our dependence on it may overwhelm anything we can do to reverse the damage. That would include global warming, massive pollution and distorted international relations.

She talks about how great the streetcar is. The streetcar is okay, real rail is awesome.

Apparently, the 306 and 312 have terrible service and sometimes they are so crowded that they stop picking up passengers at some of the last few stops. Yikes. I’ve seen the same problem on the 545 where the bus doesn’t even stop at Montlake sometimes when it’s really crowded. The scary thing: sadly, trunk route service will degrade as traffic gets worse.

Finally, Tim Eyman has a rediculous transportation initiative for next year.

6 Replies to “Friday Transit Round Up”

  1. But… But…. Ron Sims promised that the buses and Transit NOW would be better than STLT……. oh snap.

  2. Peaple are going to live when it comes down and have to have alternatives during the construction of whatever. Having an alternative means nothing. Tearing it down will just prove that some traffic will dissapear and a new freeway there is not necessary.

  3. Ha!

    So that newly announced West Seattle BRT is more or less up a creek since it was planning on taking the Viaduct and West Seattle Bridge..

    This is going to be very, very, interesting.

    What are your thoughts on a surface option?

  4. The bus crowding is no real surprise. The #2X routinely leaves people behind and skips stops. Actually, so does the #2. What’s worse is that the #2 is electric, so every time it stops and people try to cram themselves on, it slows down the other #2’s and #13’s behind it.

    If only we had some sort of grade-seperated transit that wouldn’t get stuck in traffic and is expandable to meet demand… (we miss you monorail)

  5. Brian,

    I believe the West Seattle RapidRide map indicates it’ll take whatever route to downtown is fastest once it gets on the WS Bridge.

  6. Well, finally Gregoire is doing something that everyone can agree on; tear down the viaduct or make Greg Nickels pay for a tunnel.

    If a freeway isn’t warranted, I think Alaskan Way should be turned into a multi-way boulevard (if any of you have ever heard of it). Such a cross-section will serve traffic bypassing the area and still allow for safe, local traffic and pedestrian access, plus plenty of landscaping, without the massive costs. We could use those costs to build a mass transit system instead.


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