At the very end of last week, you might have seen some headlines go by about “One Center City.”
It’s about downtown … but unless you literally never leave the peninsula, it’ll affect you. So listen up.
It’s specifically about transportation through downtown Seattle, and some big changes ahead. (This slide deck lays it all out.) The Highway 99 tunnel, and the Viaduct demolition and waterfront redevelopment that will follow, is only part of it. The biggest component, we’re told, is that buses will be kicked out of the Downtown Transit Tunnel next year; it’s going to be light-rail-only. The bus moves aren’t expected to happen before September 2018 – but decisions about downtown traffic/transit flow/routing will have to be made way before then, so you’re being asked for your opinion now, regarding a variety of options for how to accommodate the buses on the surface, and how to get through the area with other projects and changes factoring in. Without making some changes, the project team says, downtown traffic and transit will slow to near-gridlock.
First step in finding out what’s ahead and offering your opinion is this: An “online open house,” now up and running at onecentercity.participate.online. Go there and start clicking through. Don’t drop out too soon – the two “surface streets” pages are where things really get interesting. And after that comes the page about potentially restructuring bus service downtown. That section includes this packet of maps, with one specifically focused on possible changes involving routes to/from here:
So once you’ve gone all the way through the “online open house,” they’re asking for feedback via the pages or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The “open house” will be up and running for about three weeks. Then the partner agencies will have a list of potential changes that they’ll float for more input. Transit service changes, for example, would have to be approved by the services’ governing agencies – the King County Council for Metro, the Sound Transit Board of Directors for ST services. The peak time for all this potential congestion – “maximum constraint” – is expected to be late 2018 through 2022.
At this stage of the “engagement” process, they’re not planning standalone meetings, but if you are interested in a briefing at a meeting you’re already having – community council, etc. – contact the One Center City group – same address as above – email@example.com.