One study is designed to determine the effect of a new bridge over the Ballard Ship Canal – a bridge just for bikes, pedestrians, and buses. That’s going to cost $500,000.
“Rapid growth in jobs and housing is a factor,” said McGinn in a press conference. “If you go to Ballard you hear from folks there, you’ll hear from folks in Fremont too – ‘we’ve added the housing, we’re adding the jobs – now where is the new transit to go with it?'”
The other study will cost $300,000 to research a light rail line from South Lake Union to the University District.
Eastlake is a two-lane road that already has traffic problems, but Mayor McGinn thinks it could handle a high-capacity light rail line – in addition to the light rail line already planned from downtown to the University District going over Capitol Hill.
The mayor has high hopes for the line, saying he thinks it could carry up to 25,000 people every day even though the Everett Sounder Train caries just a few thousand when it’s not closed for mudslides.
“This ridership number – they completely lied to us about the Sound Transit ridership,” said Dori, “it’s less than half of all the projections they make. The South Lake Union Streetcar, that’s been horrible.”
Dori thinks that the mayor should be trying to improve roads for drivers.
Traffic is already bad along Eastlake Avenue and in the Mercer Corridor. Dori used to love going downtown for breakfast and lunch, but it takes so long now that he just doesn’t bother.
“What used to be about a ten minute drive is about 40 minutes now, trying to go through South Lake Union.”
If the mayor’s plan succeeds, Dori doesn’t see how drivers will be able to get through at all. He’s calling it an “all-out war on cars.”
“So they’re going to eliminate all the parking on Eastlake,” said Dori. “They’d have to eliminate all the parking on Eastlake. This is insanity.”
With $800,000 in studies for plans that Dori predicts will eventually lead to more congestion, not less, he thinks it’s going to be the last straw for Seattle car drivers. He’s hoping it will end Mayor McGinn’s political career.
“That would be unfathomable if this little bicycle community is allowed to scam that much money,” said Dori.
Alyssa Kleven contributed to this report.