Seattle Transit Blog has the scoop on a report from transportation consultants Nelson/Nygaard to the Seattle City Council concluding that a second Montlake Bridge is not a cost-effective solution for the traffic issues through Montlake. This comes just before Monday’s Council hearing with WSDOT regarding the proposed second bascule bridge.
From the report:
A second Montlake Bascule Bridge does not provide sufficient benefits to balance its high costs, which are both financial and environmental. While there are issues in the corridor, other alternatives, short of a second bridge, need to be explored thoroughly and implemented if found to be effective in addressing those issues.
The legislature should consider reallocating the costs of the second Montlake Bridge to other, more beneficial, aspects of the SR 520 project relating to improving pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between SR 520 and the University of Washington/U-Link/Burke-Gilman Trail, improving transit operating conditions in the broader corridor, and toward improving the livability aspects of SR 520 project through the Madison Park, Montlake, Portage Bay, and Roanoke neighborhoods.
WSDOT and SDOT should continue to monitor conditions, as recommended in the report, to ascertain if a second bridge could be warranted at some unknown future date based on changes in conditions that are not currently discernible
This issue will test the political collaboration between state and local officials. The report recommends diverting state funds for the (State) bridge to instead make improvements to the (City) street network and (County) transit system. Is such a deal possible? The Council will discuss this issue Monday, September 10th, 10:30-noon. Public comments are accepted.