This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Mike McGinn has proposed a new light rail line be built to connect West Seattle, Belltown, Queen Anne, Ballard, Fremont, and Ballard to downtown. I have no idea of his exact plan, but I’d like to speculate. Based on my previous idea for an Aurora trolley line, I present the Aurora Light Rail:
With removing the Viaduct, 99 will have much less traffic. My idea is to reduce it to a boulevard with a single lane in each direction and light rail in the middle, from downtown to the bridge. This allows us to use the existing bridge, as crossing the ship canal may be the most expensive component to a light rail system.
Note also the new pedestrian tunnel from the waterfront to the transit tunnel. A common complaint about using the waterfront as a place for light rail is that it won’t be connected to Link. But it takes only minutes to walk from Link to the waterfront, and an underground tunnel with escalators will reduce this further.
The main detail that needs more thought is at the West Seattle side. I don’t spend much time in West Seattle and am not sure the best route. Ideas?
Also, I haven’t gone as far as thinking out station locations. I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.