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
For more information: http://www.kingcounty.gov/phillips
To sign up for my eNews: http://www.kingcounty.gov/Phillips/Newsletters.aspx