More congestion expected with new Amazon complex

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 10 at 12:01 PM

The latest designs for Amazon's huge three-tower downtown complex will be presented to Seattle's design review board Tuesday evening. 

Heavier traffic is expected to be one of the most-talked about side-effects of the proposal.

The designs will be presented at a 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.  Public comment will be allowed before any decision is made as part of a months-long permit process.

While touting Amazon's influential growth in South Lake Union, Mayor Mike McGinn on Monday acknowledged downtown will see more traffic congestion from  increasing commercial and residential construction.

"We're just going to have to invest in more transit because we cannot make our streets any bigger," McGinn said. 

More high-capacity transit -- like extensions of the South Lake Union streetcar and future light-rail train -- are the best options for relieving congestion, McGinn said.

The latest designs for the Amazon complex include a drawing for an enhanced streetcar stop on Westlake Avenue. 

Traffic is already common along Mercer Street and Denny Way in South Lake Union during morning and evening rush hours.

"Getting to I-5 is obviously the bottleneck," said Joe Grace, who lives on Denny Way and avoids using his car whenever possible. 

Grace and other neighbors feel the addition of Amazon's new complex to the Denny Triangle will add to the traffic problem. 

"That's going to make it tighter and tougher," Grace said.

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