A busy few weeks: Transportation happenings
Howdy! I've been busy changing jobs and doing some moving over the last few weeks, but I wanted to cover some of the big things that have happened to impact the future of transit and roads in the area:
- University Link, the extension of Link Light rail north of downtown to Husky Stadium and the hospital received the highest possible rating from the Federal Transit Administration. This means Sound Transit will likely be in line for federal money to help construction. This also means that the First Hill station is unlikely to be constructed - since it was removed from the plan as presented to the FTA, a station addition would require the plan be resubmitted.
- I-912 was shot down by about 53%-47%. I can't even list all the projects it will fund - 274 projects, about 240 of which are fully funded by the transportation package. New lanes for I-5 to upgrade the remaining 4-lane sections to 6-lane; Lanes for I-405 southbound from I-90 to SR-167 and northbound from I-5 to SR-167 - with a new interchange; Planning work for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass rebuild; Viaduct funding; 520 bridge replacement funding; many others.
- One of the challenges to the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax has been shot down by the Supreme Court. Tim Eyman argued that I-776 would have made such a tax illegal, but voters approved Sound Move originally. The state Supreme Court disagreed with challengers in a 7-2 decision.
- The monorail was finally laid to rest. While Seattle car owners will still pay the 1.4% excise tax to cover the SMP's $110 million debt, we can now look to other agencies and other technologies to serve the West Seattle and Ballard corridors. The Sierra Club has a meeting scheduled at REI to discuss future options.