This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The city council is going to endorse the Surface/Transit option for the Viaduct, says the P-I. Theoretically this is one reason why they had to approve the streetcars this week, as the streetcars are important to downtown mobility during and after construction.

Here’s something that just occurred to me today, but which is kind of obvious in retrospect. Traffic improvements are relative to what existed before. Which means that traffic will suck down on the waterfront for 5 years, while they take the viaduct down, rebuild the seawall, and build new surface boulevards (including, possibly the mini-tunnel under Pike Market).

During that time, people will adjust their commuting patterns. Then, construction will end and the situation will improve. And since we’ll have had 5 years to adjust, the result will be a net gain in mobility.

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