Photo by Mike Bjork/Flikr
Link over the Duwamish – Photo by Mike Bjork/Flickr

On Wednesday May 1st, starting at 9:30am (if possible sign in at 8:30 to ensure a spot) the Seattle City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on the Mayor’s supplemental budget, including study money for a new Ship Canal Crossing and the University District to South Lake Union transit corridor from the Transit Master Plan.

The Ship Canal Crossing study is key to putting solid numbers to the results of the City/Sound Transit Downtown to Ballard HCT study.  Besides that, a new crossing is a needed project in its own right (see Bruce’s great outside the box proposal).  The Council has previously stated its desire to start the Eastlake study this year but recently some members have started pulling back.

Both of these projects are needed.  We have the money, the Council just needs to follow through on its prior commitments and allow the Mayor to fund them.  The more shovel ready projects we have, the better able we are to compete when federal dollars come available.

Come out Wednesday and publicly show your support for moving transit in this city forward.  If you can’t attend in person, be sure to submit your comments via email before May 1st.  The Government Performance and Finance Committee is made up of Tim Burgess (chair), Nick Licata, Sally Clark and Mike O’Brien but it’s a good idea to cc the rest of the Council as well.

24 Replies to “ACTION ALERT: Ship Canal Crossing and Eastlake Study”

  1. While I support the ship canal crossing study, I don’t think it will result in a huge change for transit in the area. The best you will get will be decreased traffic in the area north of the Fremont bridge. I don’t think Bruce’s ideas for cycle tracks or traffic turning restrictions would get implemented. I think we need to temper our expectations. Revolution in transit service requires grade separation that the crossing study does not provide.

    1. Hi!

      The ship canal crossing study studies grade separation. It looks at the feasibility of several crossing types and locations.

  2. Someone needs to explain why this ship canal crossing isn’t redundant to ST’s Ballard-Downtown study. If ST is studying a light rail connection in this corridor, that must include looking at using existing bridges, new bridge(s), and tunnel crossings. Seems like a layer cake approach is happening with all these studies that could topple over of its own weight.

    1. The study under way today just looks at alignment and ridership and level of service and such. This study work is necessary for feasibility of the options.

  3. How about looking at an underpass instead. I keep mentioning it, but no one is even looking at it.

    1. Yes, it is. I covered this in my post entitled “yes, sound transit and Seattle are studying a subway” (or something close to that). This ship canal crossing study also looks at the feasibility of tunnel options.

      1. Ben, this is not an entirely accurate statement.

        Sound Transit has split the scope of work for the Ballard Corridor into two separate tasks. Task A studies High Capacity Transit to Ballard. Task B studies the Rapid Streetcar option.

        Both rely on the same “footprint of a Salmon Bay / Ship Canal crossing for a fixed bridge, moveable bridge and a tunnel will be developed at up to two (2) locations” produced per Task A.4.2.

        In other words, they’re going to study a tube to Ballard via Salmon Bay, and a bridge to Fremont over the Ship Canal.

      2. The scope of physical area for the HCT isn’t limited to Interbay. It should consider going under Queen Anne as well.

    2. I just mean a underpass. NOT an entire tunnel. You see canal underpasses in Europe quite often, including some pretty large ones.
      Just like two roads, one goes under another.

      1. jory, I don’t understand what you want. But the best way to make what you want happen is to come to council, say you support the study, and then meet with SDOT staff immediately, show examples, and say “this is an idea that you should consider.” They likely will.

      2. Jory, are you proposing we somehow build a viaduct for the canal? That’s not gonna happen.

      3. The word is “aqueduct”, but yes I think that’s what he’s suggesting.

        Why can’t it happen? I imagine it would be very expensive, but boring a tunnel and building a bridge are also expensive propositions. If aquatic overpasses exist in Europe, there are probably some situations where they make financial sense over other options.

  4. Sorry, but I will be avoiding downtown Seattle on Wednesday. Don’t want to get involved in another freakin’ riot. If the SPD can’t control the situation, as is their reputation, then I just can’t afford to be in that area. Move the meeting to another day–actually, it probably will get moved anyway after the violence begins…

    1. I wouldnt worry about May Day. There is an immigration rally planned. It will be totally peaceful, just like it was last year. Hopefully the dumb black-bloc fuc da man folks dont make an appearance. But if they do i think it will be very different. Last year one of the police’s largest mistakes was confusing the march with the madness. All the cops were around the immigration march(thinking they might cause trouble) while all the idiots broke windows elsewhere. The cops wont make that mistake twice.

  5. Someone needs to tell the council that scheduling these hearings on weekday mornings is a great way to ensure that a high proportion of NIMBYers will show up. The working poor, who have a stake in this sort of thing, are, you know, working at that time.

    1. This. Government would be more responsive to people who aren’t retired if hearings were in the evening.

      1. The government would be more responsive to the non-retired if they bothered to vote more consistently. (Of course, having the campaigns not targetting younger voters for GOTV has turned the current conventional wisdom into self-fulfilling prophecy.)

  6. Sorry dudes and dudesses,

    Can’t get behind this. We need some focus on West Seattle. But, hey, feel free to attack.

    Mr. Nourish, dp, your thoughts…

    1. Ballard is much denser, more urban, and has higher transit ridership than West Seattle. And it will be cheaper to serve. Thus it makes sense to consider it first. West Seattle is certainly still on everyone’s agenda, but it’s not the first priority for grade-separated HCT for the above reasons. If you see these facts as an “attack,” then I suppose I’m attacking, but I don’t mean it that way — it’s just reality.

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