Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The 520 Bridge

Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin wrote an op-ed in yesterday's times arguing for the Pacific Interchange Option in a 6-lane rebuild of the 520 Bridge. I wholeheartedly concur with his position.

He does a deft job of summarizing the many reasons this is a good idea, but I want to talk about it from a transit perspective. The worst part of riding a bus over the 520 bridge is not the backup on the Eastside (which buses bypass), nor the bridge itself, but the merge onto a hideously congested I-5. This probably adds 15 minutes to the trip, a time that will no doubt get worse in the future.

Projected time to take light rail from Husky Stadium to Westlake?

8 minutes.

Terminating all those Seattle-bound buses at Husky Stadium and dumping the riders on to light rail results in both a faster ride for them, and less congestion at one of the worst chokepoints in the region.

This only really works, though, with the Pacific Interchange Option. That's why it's the only forward-thinking choice.


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