Ed. Note: As always, guest posts do not necessarily reflect the views of the STB editorial board.
The City of Seattle may reverse its longstanding position regarding the Montlake Bridge, a major transit corridor leading to the University of Washington Station. A resolution is before the Seattle City Council that reverses the traditionally skeptical posture of the city towards adding lanes, advocating not just bike and pedestrian upgrades (which have wide support), but also, new vehicular lanes across the Montlake Cut. These lanes would carry not just buses, but other “high-occupancy” vehicles as well such as carpools and rideshares. This is a huge departure from the city’s position as of 2015:
Consistent with Resolution 31411, the City continues to support the position that improvements made by a second Montlake bascule bridge are unlikely to yield the benefits that justify the cost and environmental impact of a bridge…Resolution 31611, section 2, adopted unanimously in 2015
STB covered this issue back in 2012.
A bridge big enough to carry three northbound lanes, to the east of the current bridge, which the state would build with this new direction from the city, would likely require on the order of $100 million of public funds, based on prior WSDOT estimates – state funds already lined up. Free money for public infrastructure – something for transit, bikes – what’s not to like?Continue reading “Adding vehicle lanes on a new Montlake drawbridge makes transit worse, not better”