The City Council just officially approved its $8 million plan (which will apparently take a year to draw up, so guess the viaduct’s not going anywhere any time soon) to try to figure out how we would all get around without a viaduct or a tunnel. Press release text after the click:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2007
Council Approves Road Map for Viaduct Replacement
$8.1 million to develop a plan for improving urban mobility without an elevated highway
The Council today, unanimously approved a measure directing $8.1 million to develop an Urban Mobility Plan that replaces the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a range of strategic transportation projects.
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, said, “The replacement of the viaduct is a fantastic opportunity to begin the creation of a 21st century transportation system. The car can no longer rule all our decisions. There’s got to be a better way.”
The Council directed the Seattle Department of Transportation to propose changes to the existing surface street grid and transit service to absorb the Viaduct’s current share of vehicle trips.
Councilmember Jan Drago, Chair of the Transportation Committee, said, “The billions we will spend replacing the Viaduct will only be a sound investment if we focus on moving people and goods, not vehicles.”
Council President Nick Licata said, “We cannot guess how many of the Viaduct’s vehicle trips will be absorbed by downtown streets or improved transit; we need hard numbers before we take down the Viaduct.”
The Seattle Department of Transportation will now have 45 days to work collaboratively with the Washington State Department of Transportation and the King County Department of Transportation to produce a scope of work to present to the Council. After the Council approves that scope of work, the Urban Mobility Plan should be completed by July 2008.
Upon completion the Urban Mobility Plan will include transit and other proposed improvements to the entire downtown street grid, major entry points to downtown, and the Alaskan Way corridor along the central waterfront; strategic investments in Bus Rapid Transit, HOV lanes, transit priority lanes, and other mechanisms to enhance mobility; enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian access and safe use for the entire corridor; and other traffic-management techniques including, trip-reduction strategies to reduce the number of vehicles on downtown streets.