Dominic Holden of The Stranger interviewed likely Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, christening him the “new mayor” while the titular mayor gets situated. He didn’t waste any time before pandering to the STB crowd:
• Building Light Rail to West Seattle and a Streetcar to Ballard
“I would like to see us extend the South Lake Union Streetcar over to Fremont and over to Ballard,” Conlin said. He envisions using the same sort of traffic-signal preemption light rail uses on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South to allow a streetcar to move quickly through traffic. But that’s only a stopgap until we can afford to build a Ballard-bound light-rail line, he said. In the meantime, Conlin thinks the city can build a light-rail line to West Seattle within a few years. “I think that that one is relatively easy from a logistic standpoint,” he said. “We have to come up with the money, but I don’t think it’s terribly expensive.” A member of the finance committee of Sound Transit, Conlin thinks the voters would approve “a financing plan that makes sense” to pay for the project. He proposes a small utility hike, buy-in from businesses closest to the line, and other tax increases.
Yowza. This isn’t exactly the McGinn vision, but it would certainly appear that the chances of this kind of thing actually happening just went way up.
There’s a lot more about the tunnel and the 520 bridge, which you should click over and read.