Capitol Hill Community Council supports 520 Portage Bay Trail + WSDOT budget update

Image: WSDOT

The Capitol HIll Community Council unanimously passed a resolution tonight in support of a Portage Bay Bridge Trail for walking and biking along Seattle’s 520 corridor. The resolution states:

The Capitol Hill Community Council has voted to support family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as a key part of the SR-520 reconstruction project. In particular, a Portage Bay Bridge Trail and improved connections through the Montlake Hub are essential in connecting Capitol Hill to the UW, Eastside, University District, Northeast Seattle, Arboretum, Burke Gilman Trail, and Montlake.

The neighborhood is somewhat divided following the North Capitol Hill Neighborhood Association’s decision to oppose the bike trail on grounds that it will increase the width of the freeway and block views of adjacent homes. [Read the full resolution after the jump below].

Meanwhile, The Seattle Times reports that WSDOT officially signed terms today on a $300 million federal TIFIA loan. The loan amount includes financing charges and will allow WSDOT to go ahead with the Lake-to-Land plan connecting the new floating bridge to Montlake Blvd with a new 3-lane westbound viaduct across Union Bay (while still using the existing structure for eastbound traffic). 

WSDOT also revised the project budget downward, citing improved construction cost estimates. The former $4.65 billion 520 Replacement budget is now $4.13 billion. Including the now-confirmed federal loan, the unfunded need is currently $1.4 billion. Given I-90 toll revenue estimates in the neighborhood of $1 billion, *only* a few hundred dollars of new revenue (read: tax increases) are needed to complete the project.

Proposed Capitol Hill Community Council Resolution

The Capitol Hill Community Council has voted to support family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as a key part of the SR-520 reconstruction project. In particular, a Portage Bay Bridge Trail and improved connections through the Montlake Hub are essential in connecting Capitol Hill to the UW, Eastside, University District, Northeast Seattle, Arboretum, Burke Gilman Trail, and Montlake.

WHEREAS “The Neighborhood Plan recommends improving bicycle routes, adding bicycle signage, and providing more bicycle racks throughout the neighborhood.”

WHEREAS Walking and biking are healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly forms of transportation that ought to be included as part of major transportation projects.

WHEREAS The Portage Bay Bridge Trail is supported by the Seattle Design Commission, the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, the Pedestrian Advisory Board, the Montlake Community Club, Cascade Bicycle Club, and by many community members.

WHEREAS No safe, comfortable, and gentle grade route between Capitol Hill and the University District and Montlake neighborhoods exist, nor is feasible due to topographic realities of north Capitol Hill.

WHEREAS The SR-520 project represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to reconnect Capitol Hill with surrounding neighborhoods, the city, and the region for all modes of transportation.

THEREFORE, be it resolved that, pursuant to a majority vote of the members present at its October 25th general membership meeting, the Capitol Hill Community Council recommends that the City of Seattle work with WSDOT and relevant stakeholders to refine the pedestrian and bicycle connections before the new SR-520 highway is built. In particular the Capitol Hill Community Council recommends a Portage Bay Bridge Trail and improved connections through the Montlake lid area.

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2 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Community Council supports 520 Portage Bay Trail + WSDOT budget update

  1. Pingback: Where McKenna & Inslee stand on $1.9 billion needed to replace 520 through Seattle | montlaker

  2. Pingback: State of bicycle mobility in Montlake | montlaker

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