Share Your Thoughts on Transportation Funding & Investment Priorities

To better understand what residents want and how to prioritize the needs of the public against available funds, the Washington State Transportation Commission has launched a statewide survey seeking your opinion. You can sign up to take the survey online, and help guide future investments in our transportation system.

Typical questions include how much (if any) you feel is fair to pay per month in increases for transportation taxes and fees, transportation categories you think the state should invest in (e.g. new lanes, increasing bridge capacity, increasing transit service, bike and sidewalk improvements), and how investment increases should be funded (e.g. gas tax, vehicle excise tax, vehicle license fees, hybrid vehicle fees).

Once you’ve signed up for the survey via joining Voice of Washington State (VOWS), you’ll receive an email invitation for the survey. The final results will be reported to the governor and Legislature at the start of the 2013 session, and will help guide key decisions. The survey runs through Monday, December 17th, so act now!

Mercer Street I-5 ramps to close again this weekend

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be closing down the I-5 on and off ramps at Mercer Street again this weekend, as part of ongoing work needed as part of the Mercer Corridor Project.

The closure will begin at 11 p.m. on Friday, June 17, and go until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 20. Detour route maps are available here. From SDOT:

Detour routes shown will be signed on roadways and may be heavily used, particularly Denny Way both eastbound and westbound. Travelers are advised to consider alternate routes to their destinations such as SR 99 or alternate I-5 exits and entrances.

After this weekend’s closure, the Mercer Street access to and from I-5 will not be closed again until the weekend of July 8-11, and is scheduled to take place during the same hours. From SDOT:

During these closures, the I-5 on-ramp at University Street will be concurrently closed to provide more efficient traffic flow around the closed Mercer Street exit lane. Fairview Avenue N will also be closed between Mercer Street and Valley Street and Mercer Street will be closed to through traffic between Westlake Avenue N and Fairview Avenue N. All detour routes will be clearly marked to support traffic flow around the closures.

SDOT is advising travelers heading to the Fremont Solstice Parade and Fair to use SR 99 or to the alternate I-5 off-ramps at Olive Way (northbound) or Stewart St. (southbound) and Denny Way to Westlake Ave. N. More information on routes to the Fremont Fair can be found at the fair website.

Travelers are encouraged to carpool and use alternate modes of transportation. Transit information can be found at:

Upcoming neighborhood forums on transportation

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is hosting two upcoming community forums on transportation. These neighborhood discussions are being co-hosted by the Pacific Science Center, Seattle City Council and Streets For All Seattle.

These discussions are part of a series of events that gather community input on different aspects of the City Council’s priority issue of carbon neutrality.

Interesting in taking part? Check out details on both events here:

  • Tuesday, March 29, 6 to 8:30 p.m. – Lake City, Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517  35th Avenue NE, Seattle

Featured Speakers:
Ref Lindmark, King County Metro Transit
Kari Watkins, OneBusAway & UW Civil Engineering
Notable community representative

  • Tuesday, April 12, 6 to 8:30 p.m. – Central District, Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 S. Jackson St., Seattle

Featured Speakers:
Mark Hallenbeck, Director of the Washington State
Transportation Center at UW (TRAC)
Jennifer Wieland, Seattle Dept. of Transportation
Transit blogger Carla Saulter, a.k.a. “Bus Chick”

The forum will provide a light dinner and refreshments for attendees. There will also be educational activities provided by the Science Center’s Science on Wheels program for children 5 years old and up whose  parents and guardians are attending the forum.

Although the event is free, space is limited. Those who plan to attend are asked to reserve their place by calling (206) 443-2896 or visiting

QACC Transportation Committee meeting tonight

The Queen Anne Community Council‘s transportation subcommittee is meeting tonight, Wednesday, February 23 at the Queen Anne Community Center. The primary topic on the agenda will be SDOT’s Mercer West Project, which plans to expand West Mercer Place by an additional lane, and has been the center of much debate in the Lower Queen Anne community recently.

Other agenda items include concerns over the area between 5th N to 5th W, and dedicated time for topics committee members may want to bring up.

The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. Attendees should enter through the community center north door.

Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement hearing Nov. 17

Major transportation changes are heading to SR 99 as the deep-bored tunnel option to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct moves forward.

Late last month, the Federal Highway Administration, Washington State Department of Transportation and the City of Seattle released its Supplement Draft Environmental Impact Statement (.pdf), which analyzes the bored tunnel alternative, the preferred option for replacing the Viaduct. The SDEIS report outlines the project’s effects on transportation and the environment.

At the most recent Ballard District Council meeting WSDOT representative Mike Rigsby outlined the project for the community. Read the full story at our sister site, MyBallard.

Since the deep-bored tunnel will affect Queen Anne, Magnolia, Ballard, and other north Seattle neighborhoods, we thought we’d keep you abreast of upcoming community meetings regarding the project. This coming Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m., there will be a hearing at Ballard High School, located at 1418 NW 65th St., to discuss the entire project and the SDEIS. The meeting will be open-house style with display boards and staff to answer questions. Attendees will be able to leave make comments. Until then, read more about the project at

(Full disclosure: The Federal Highway Administration, Washington State Department of Transportation and the City of Seattle are sponsors of NextDoorMedia, which owns QueenAnneView and sister site MyBallard.)

County studying options for trolley buses

While driving around Seattle, it’s hard not to notice the overhead wire that runs above about 70 miles of pavement in and around the city. King County Metro Transit has a fleet of 159 electric trolley buses that operate along those lines, which had 19.7 million boardings on its routes in 2009—about one-fifth of Metro’s total average weekday ridership.


Photo courtesy of King County Metro Transit

Queen Anne is a neighborhood that happens to have quite a few trolley lines going through it, (including routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 13, etc.).

The county needs to replace all 159 existing vehicles by 2015, with an order deadline at the end of 2012.

(Photo provided by the City of Seattle, depicts the central corridor of the King Country Metro Trolley Bus Network as of 2010).

King County Executive Dow Constantine has sent the King County Council a plan for a proposed evaluation in its imminent replacement of this fleet. It focuses on the technology of electric trolleys and diesel-electric hybrid buses, with a goal toward finding the most fuel-efficient, best value for the system. The Trolley Bus System Evaluation (.pdf) is expected to continue through the middle of next year. It will explore the costs, impact on the environment, funding opportunities and legal issues.

Metro plans additional public meetings for discussion of the evaluation as results become available. The next one is in Mount Baker on Sept.13.

Metro has already conducted a preliminary evaluation of several potential propulsion systems, including electric trolley, diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas, electric battery, and hydrogen fuel cells.