I’m not sure King County progressives owe that much to Gregoire (hello, elevated viaduct), but it’d sure be a fitting metaphor if Seattle sold out, compromised, and approved a package that includes $1.1 billion on I-405 expansion as a way to support her.
The surface/transit option involves investing in local transit, upgrading downtown arterials, investing in bike and pedestrian upgrades, and building a four-lane surface road to replace the viaduct and spark neighborhood and commercial development along the waterfront. (Total bill hovers around $2 billion.)
The Stranger’s News Editor, Josh Feit, is totally opposed to replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with another viaduct. Josh is almost entirely opposed to investing money in roads, in the Seattle area or elsewhere.
He’s in a pickle.
The Roads and Transit package headed to voters this fall funds the investments in Seattle-area arterials. These are the investments that make the Surface + Transit option possible.
From the Roads and Transit website:
Lander Street Improvements: Builds overpass above BNSF train tracks between 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South to increase traffic flow for trains, cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians; I-5/Spokane Street Viaduct: Increases capacity by widening viaduct structure, adding one lane between I-5 and 1st Avenue South, building transit-only lanes and an off-ramp at 4th Avenue South. Adds shoulders and installs a permanent median barrier. Improves safety, freight mobility and traffic flow on the major east/west connection between I-5 and SR 99, Port of Seattle and West Seattle
To make Surface + Transit happen, we have to invest in the arterials south of downtown Seattle. If we don’t invest in these roads, it’ll be pretty difficult to keep the folks in Olympia from shoving another viaduct down our throats.