[Please forward as you see fit. Survey link in red below.] Montlake neighbors, Thank you to everyone who came out in force before the holiday to send a clearMessage 1 of 2 , Dec 4 12:58 PMView Source
SR 520 update and survey[Please forward as you see fit. Survey link in red below.]
Thank you to everyone who came out in force before the holiday to send a clear message to the City Council that the so-called A+ plan for SR 520 is dead-on-arrival.
The “A+” plan deserves an “F-”. It is truly a disaster for Montlake, the Arboretum, parks and the city, while failing to address key transit connectivity and congestion issues. It contains none of the innovations and thoughtful refinements we have developed over the last several years. It has evolved into a form that is not supported by its original proponents.
Montlake is part of a rock-solid coalition of neighborhoods that includes Madison Park, Laurelhurst, Portage Bay / Roanoke Park, North Capitol Hill and the boating communities — everybody along the highway. All of our communities are unanimous in opposing this plan as designed and we will be working in close coordination with many others to ensure this plan does not get funded or built in anything like this form. We will continue working the problem constructively as well as defensively, but right now we need to send a clear message that we cannot accept the “A+” plan.
The SR 520 Legislative Workgroup has been conducting an online survey to collect feedback, ostensibly because they are interested in hearing it. While House Speaker Frank Chopp and Rep. Jamie Pedersen from our 43rd district have rallied to defend us, the workgroup as a whole has not listened to any of the feedback they have consistently received from our communities, and I do not expect that to change no matter what we say on the survey below. They are focused on coming up with a project that meets the arbitrary cost cap and arbitrary deadlines they themselves set regardless of transportation flaws, missed opportunities and community impacts and opposition. If you have a lot of time and patience, you can watch the videos of the proceedings of the workgroup (see big red link below) to witness this for yourself.
This is a state project, but it will ultimately require city permits. The City Council is likely to pass a resolution containing updated guiding principles for the project in early January. Richard Conlin chairs the SR 520 Committee of the Whole. They have been told there is “broad support” for this plan, an Orwellian claim that was met with widespread laughter at the 11/24/09 Council hearing, available here:
Here’s just a sample of the flaws with “A+”, which is pretty close to a worst case scenario for Seattle:
- It includes a second Montlake drawbridge that forever ruins the context of the beautiful landmark bridge, removes homes, causes avoidable environmental impacts, fails to improve transit speed and reliability and costs $81M we don’t have.
- The second drawbridge fails to increase mobility across the cut as it overloads the intersections on either side. WSDOT’s own analysis predicts the traffic volume crossing the cut will not increase versus doing nothing at all.
- The Portage Bay crossing is 7 lanes; state law and city policy is for 6 lanes.
- The yacht clubs and the NOAA Fisheries facility may not be able to remain in their current locations.
- Montlake loses access to 355 buses a day along the highway; the transit stops are removed even through the highway is about doubled in size.
- Montlake neighbors along Lake Washington Blvd. suffer from significantly increased traffic volume.
- The proposed Montlake lid has highway ramps running up the middle of it and fails to reconnect the neighborhood.
- The opportunity to reconnect the Montlake Playfield greenbelt on Portage Bay to the Arboretum via the new lid is foreclosed by the 1950’s interchange design at Montlake Blvd.
- The footprint is far too large in the Arboretum (compare here: http://montlake.net/520).
- The A+ plan retains high-speed free right turns for cars and introduces new lanes and traffic signals for everyone to cross. It is far worse than the current configuration for pedestrians and bicycles on Montlake Blvd., which is the sole approach to the UW and the light rail station from the south.
- Front yards are removed on the west side of Montlake Place E / 24th Ave. all the way from the Hop-In to the Montlake Library, to widen this arterial to add a third southbound lane.
- This plan requires a 1200 foot walk from bus to rail at the UW across two busy streets. Zero effort has been made to coordinate bus and rail service even though city and state policy demands this.
- As a bonus, the plan includes a new viaduct across Lake Washington, 30 feet high, on stilts, all the way across, unlike all the existing floating bridges. So we would be spending billions to get rid of a viaduct downtown, while spending billions to build a new one here.
This is what we would get after 6-8 years of construction, using $4.65 billion of our tax dollars and tolls.
If you have not filled out the survey below, please take a few minutes to do so now, even though I have no illusions our feedback will change the recommendation they’re making. On the workgroup, Senators Rodney Tom and Mary Margaret Haugen proposed to cut lids that were promised to years ago. Just like their predecessors in the 1960’s who rammed SR 520 through the Arboretum, this group proposes to ram through the cheapest, ugliest thing that appears to solve “the problem”, over the objections of everyone along the corridor. Like our predecessors in the 1960’s and 1970’s who fought the RH Thomson freeway proposal that would have plowed through the rest of the Arboretum, we will stop this plan. We have a Mayor-elect who is not an enthusiast for state highway megaprojects. I do not believe this 1950’s style highway plan is something we will be building in the City of Seattle in the second decade of the 21st century. There will be new ramps to nowhere if the state attempts to build this project in this form.
I sent a link to this before, but some may have missed it. The survey is here — please do this immediately as the deadline for this one is today. It just takes a few minutes. Please also send your comments to Richard.Conlin@... (any time). There will be more such opportunities in the next weeks and months. We are nowhere near the end of this process.
SR 520 Legislative Workgroup: Dec. 4 is last day for online comments on west side design, financing
You have until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 to share your views online about the draft west side design and financing recommendations made by the SR 520 Legislative Workgroup. The panel will consider the online public comments prior to taking a final vote on their recommendations at their meeting next week.
The panel recently recommended a design option for the Montlake interchange and a financing strategy for the SR 520 corridor. A draft recommendations report will be posted online Dec. 4.
SR 520 Legislative Workgroup Meeting
When: 10 a.m. to noon, Dec. 8.
Where: Sound Transit, Union Station, Ruth Fisher Board Room, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle.
Topic: A final vote is scheduled on the panel’s recommendations.
The SR 520 Legislative Workgroup will submit a final recommendations report to Gov. Gregoire and the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2010.
Montlake Neighbors, For any interested WSDOT has a hard copy of the EIS documents available for your use at the Montlake Branch Library. Kay Kirkpatrick AdultMessage 1 of 2 , Dec 7 10:47 AMView Source
For any interested WSDOT has a hard copy of the EIS documents available for your use at the Montlake Branch Library.
Adult Services Librarian
Montlake Branch /The Seattle Public Library
2401 24th Ave. E, Seattle WA 98112