Be vocal on Transit issues!

The Transportation section of the Draft EIS (Section 3.13) was the only section cited in the DEIS as having significant, unavoidable, adverse impacts on South Lake Union. While, along with many others, LUOA believes this statement to be incorrect, the adverse impacts of transportation in SLU could become very substantial and the mitigation strategies outlined in the DEIS appear to be woefully optimistic.

In preparation for making public comments on the DEIS, LUOA also commissioned Christopher Ferrell of CFA Consultants to conduct a peer review and provide commentary on the Transportation section. Mr. Ferrell’s Memo can be found here. It might be a bit on the technical side, but it quite clearly points out several shortfalls in the City’s study and we feel it will be a valuable read for many of you.

Larry Phillips is our King County Council Member of District Four.
LUOA heard from Larry about a special meeting of the King County Council’s Regional Transit Committee that was happening in South Lake Union in late April but – only at the last minute. The meeting was to be a workshop for RTC Committee members to review proposed changes to Metro Transit’s Strategic Plan and Service Guidelines and is, of course, past now but Mr Phillips offered further contact information for those unable to attend.

LUOA encourages everyone to be vocal on this issue.

This, from Larry Phillips:

I greatly appreciate the South Lake Union neighborhood’s commitment to becoming even more pedestrian friendly and transit-oriented.

As you may know, Metro Transit continues to face a severe funding gap due to this Great Recession. We project a need to cut 600,000 annual service hours—17% of the system—by 2015 to balance the shortfall. Under current service allocation policies, in Seattle alone, we would have to completely cut the equivalent of 7 major routes like Route 5 in order to bridge this gap. We have explored every opportunity to avoid service cuts—including implementing efficiencies identified by an agency audit, raising fares, reducing capital spending, spending down reserves, enacting a property tax for transit authorized by the 2009 legislature, and deferring service investments approved by voters in 2006. We are now nearly out of tools to save our system and may need additional funding authority from the state legislature to avoid cuts.

This year, building on the work of the Regional Transit Task Force that I helped create, the Regional Transit Committee is examining policy changes that will guide Metro in facing these revenue shortfalls in coming years. It is a critical time for transit, and we need to hear from members of the public and transit-dependent communities about your priorities. Even if you can’t attend the meeting, please feel free to contact me and other councilmembers with your input at any time.

Thanks again for your interest and involvement in the South Lake Union community.  I appreciate the opportunity to share this information with you.


Larry Phillips, Councilmember
Metropolitan King County Council, District Four
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104-3272

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One response to this post.

  1. Last week the King County Regional Transit Committee with members from the regions city’s and towns met in the Lake Union Discovery Center to discuss the elimination of over 600,000 hours of transit service in the greater Seattle Metro area over the next 4 years. This is in response to shortfalls in traditional funding sources.

    The current plan is to cut service to the region and in particular in the City of Seattle. Seattle will lose service on routes currently serving South Lake Union. Cuts are planned in the levels of service for Metro routes 70, 66, 17, and 8 even though these routes have a greater ridership per hour than many other routes within the region which will be expanded and given added service hours.

    Metro service hours are governed by an agreed 40 / 40 / 20 rule. The eastside of Lake Washington gets 40% of any increased service, the same amount is true for South King County and Seattle gets 20%.

    In the recently released DEIS for South Lake Union the math, statistics, mode share models and basic transportation analysis assumptions are so short of being valid in application, (see the publics transportation related responses to the DEIS) that it is the claim of the DEIS that there will be no greater increase in traffic resulting from the most aggressive build out option, Alternative 1, compared to the No Action Alternative. Even though the neighborhood will have a projected increase of 58% in the number of employees and an 83% increase in the number of households, the DEIS says that there will be no increase in traffic. Furthermore, the DEIS does not call for a transit hub to be located in the neighborhood to respond to the projected growth nor can it rely on METRO to provide the increased service which will surely be in demand.

    If we do not face facts, you will need a jet pack or helicopter to enter and exit the neighborhood in the future. This will not be good for business or land values.


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