SEATTLE - Here’s the dilemma at hand: Alaskan Way will need to accommodate ferry queue lanes, some freight traffic since the port is so close, as well as tens of thousands of bus passengers coming into downtown each day.
As part of the study to build the new Alaskan Way, Foster and his team looked at what taking the road down from a maximum of 8 to 6 lanes would mean.
“What we find happens – because there are so many buses coming in and out of downtown - is that we get a queue that backs up and it could from our analysis – back up as much as a mile and a half…8,000 feet onto SR 99,” Foster said. “Getting buses in and out of downtown takes twice as long in that part of the corridor. I want to make it really plan that based on that type of information, it is our strong preference … the city’s preference … is to have the dedicated transit lanes. We think it makes all the Roads move more effectively.”
Leslie Smith said she agrees that the second option doesn’t do much to help: shrinking the number of lanes from 8 to 6 without easing the amount of traffic.
“We are struggling to find how that highway benefits this neighborhood,” Smith said. “I actually believe that we can get by with a narrower road if we take a deeper look at perhaps only a portion of the buses could come through Pioneer Square.”
The public has a chance to review those options and make suggestions this month. There’s a public at Seattle City Hall on May 10 from 4:30 – 7:30. You can learn about those plans yourself by clicking here.