MAKING IT WORK
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YESLER TERRACE NEW URBAN COMMUNITY APPROVED
On Tuesday, September 4, the Council unanimously adopted five pieces of legislation to implement the redevelopment plan for the Yesler Terrace community. This vote is the culmination of many months of work by Councilmembers and our Central Staff. Council considered this project so important that we conducted all of our meetings in a Special Committee that included all nine Councilmembers. I initiated and Chaired this Committee in 2011, during my time as Council President, and Council President Sally Clark ably led us as Chair in 2012.
The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) has been working for years to create a redevelopment plan for Yesler Terrace, the last of its WWII era housing projects. The other three (New Holly, High Point, and Rainier Vista) have all been redeveloped as mixed income communities, with new and better housing for the low income residents.
Yesler Terrace currently has 561 low income units. These units, hastily constructed during World War II, are not aging well, and do not have important characteristics that would enable them to effectively serve low income populations (such as access for the disabled). There is no source of funding for repair and rehabilitation, which would be a stopgap measure at best. Replacing them is essential to providing the level of service and dignity that our residents deserve. SHA will dramatically reshape this community by adding the area between 12th and 14th to the east of the current property, and then building up to 4500 units of housing, along with 900,000 square feet of office, 65,000 square feet of neighborhood services, and 88,000 square feet of neighborhood retail.
The plan is designed to take full advantage of the property's proximity to downtown and the First Hill medical centers to develop significant density.
Included in the 4500 units of housing will be 561 replacement extremely low income units (less than 30% of median income), another 390 units at less than 60% of median income and 850 low income/workforce units (less than 80% of median income). These units will be largely financed by the market rate housing and office space also incorporated in the project. Building a mixed income community is not only essential to providing this level of low income housing, but it is a key element in creating a sustainable community that will provide the kinds of education, training, and employment opportunities that will enable low income residents to move out of poverty – and to also keep living in their neighborhood.
While developing low income housing has always relied on financial structures that leverage public dollars many times over through private investments and tax credits, the three earlier projects were given financial boosts by the federal HOPE VI program, a Clinton initiative that focused on rebuilding the nation's low income housing stock. Unfortunately, HOPE VI lost its funding under the Bush administration, and federal funds will be much more limited in this project.
The Council legislation includes:
- A land use code amendment that allows the diversity of uses, sets limits on non-housing development, and provides for the overall density and building heights.
- A Planned Action Ordinance that allows all future development consistent with the EIS to proceed and adopts design standards.
- A street vacation ordinance that reorganize the street grid and vacates some streets while rededicating other rights-of-way.
- A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that establishes phasing and timing for the replacement housing, approves City funding, and establishes sustainability parameters.
- A Resolution that commits the City and SHA to work together to explore developing a mixed use project in Little Saigon that will assist that community to thrive while this major development is going on next door.
Terms of the planned action ordinance, cooperative agreement and street vacation call for SHA to construct 15.9 acres of community gardens, pedestrian pathways and pocket parks open to the public, and re-landscape the neighborhood with more trees than are currently present. SHA will provide comparable housing for all current Yesler Terrace residents during construction. Every resident will also receive a certificate guaranteeing their right to return to the neighborhood once new housing is completed. SHA estimates that replacement construction will begin in 2013.
The redevelopment of Yesler Terrace is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a whole new community in this important location. The Council has carefully scrutinized the SHA plans to ensure that they are workable and appropriate. The Yesler Terrace redevelopment will increase low income housing, create a vibrant neighborhood next to downtown, and take a major step towards meeting our growth management goals. New Holly, High Point, and Rainier Vista demonstrate Seattle Housing Authority's ability to develop extraordinary communities. The Yesler Terrace new development will be added to this list as a careful, thoughtful, and prudent project that will make a big difference in many people's lives.
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MAYOR'S 2013-2014 BUDGET IN RECOVERY MODE
On Monday, September 24, Mayor McGinn submitted his 2013-2014 budget proposal to the Council, and the Council will spend the next two months reviewing and modifying it. We are legally required to adopt a budget for 2013 by December 1. Under the two-year budget cycle, we also "endorse" a budget for 2014, which will go through an abbreviated review and formal adoption a year from now.
The Mayor's proposal is basically a good news budget. A combination of effective budget discipline over the last two years and an economic recovery that is stronger in Seattle than in most of the country has stabilized our financial picture and allows room for reinstating some previous cuts and adding a modest number of new program activities.
The Mayor's package projects General Fund revenues increasing about $30 million per year over the next two years, just over 3 per cent. While this is slower growth than in a typical recovery, there are also new resources from utility rate increases, construction related revenues, the successful library levy, the use of accumulated fund balances, and continued work on making government more efficient. Together, these factors not only create a stable budget but allow restoring almost all of the money used from the Rainy Day Fund to balance the 2009-2011 budgets.
This is a big turnaround from the situation projected as recently as last spring. Budget analysts are typically pretty conservative, and were understandably reluctant to report good news until there was enough evidence in actual collections this year from sales tax, real estate excise, and business taxes that money was actually coming in at a faster pace than during the recession. The situation reflects the fact that the city's budget has been managed well, and both the Mayor and Council can take some credit for Seattle's financial health.
While this budget is strong enough to include some additions, such as more police officers, more street paving and transit work, and some increases in human services, I want to give kudos to the Mayor and his staff for continuing to push and implement some tough cost cutting and efficiency measures. These include management efficiencies in the Fire and Human Services Departments, a number of improvements in the city's property management and administrative functions, and specific steps to shore up areas of future concern. This includes increasing both the city and employee contributions to the retirement system and developing a new approach for retirement for future employees. We have to remember that this is still a lean budget, that the City's future requires good stewardship, and that we must continue to make city government more efficient and responsive.
We will know more about the details in a few weeks, but here are some issues that I will focus on:
- Celebrating the good news for the library and making sure it stays in the budget! Thanks to the voters, next year's library budget will increase by about 30 per cent. I want to make sure that we keep our promise to sustain general fund support.
- Taking a careful look at the Parks Department budget. Parks has taken the most cuts of any General Fund department in recent years (such as major reductions in community center hours), and some of those cuts are painful. We can't fully restore the Parks budget in the foreseeable future, but we must create a plan, as we did for the library, to put parks on track to being fully funded.
- Looking at additional funds for critical human services priorities, especially emergency food programs and programs to combat domestic violence. While Seattle has maintained such programs better than almost any other government, and the Mayor has proposed some increases for domestic violence work, cuts in federal and state funding have left too many families at risk. I want to take a hard look at how we can make these an even higher priority.
- Making sure that we not only push city efficiencies, but that we focus on emergency preparedness and on economic development efforts such as business permit consolidation that will build Seattle's resiliency for the future.
- Supporting planning and design for High Capacity Transit in additional priority corridors.
- Including adequate resources in the Department of Planning and Development to ensure that we can effectively implement our Comprehensive Plan and continue support for Neighborhood Plan Implementation.
I will report again on the budget later in October when we know more about our options.
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SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM UPDATE BEGINS
My Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee has begun work on the first comprehensive update of Seattle's Shoreline Master Program (SMP) since 1987. We received our first briefing in August, and will discuss it at our September 12 and October 26 meetings, with a vote scheduled for November 14. A public hearing has been set for Monday, October 15, at 5:30 in the Council Chambers. Once the legislation has been introduced and referred to PLUS, it will be posted on the Council's website.
The SMP is an incredibly important and complex set of policies and regulations that govern development and uses on and adjacent to marine and freshwater shorelines. For Seattle this includes Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union and the Ship Canal, the Duwamish River, Green Lake, and wetlands and floodplains around these. The SMP affects land uses, structures and activities, including those occurring over water and on vessels, the location of structures including setbacks and allowed water coverage, public access requirements, and construction practices related to bulkheads, docks and piers.
Updating the SMP is required under the State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), created by citizen referendum in 1972. The SMA establishes policy goals for the management of shorelines, and the state's SMP guidelines set requirements for how to achieve these, with some flexibility for local concerns and conditions. The SMA establishes three major policy goals:
Preferred Shoreline Uses: Water-oriented uses such as port facilities, shoreline recreational uses, and water-dependent businesses are preferred uses. Single-family residences are a preferred use if developed in a manner consistent with protection of the natural environment.
Environmental Protection: The Act requires protecting shoreline natural resources, including "… the land and its vegetation and wildlife, and the water of the state and their aquatic life …" to ensure no net loss of ecological function. No net loss of ecological functions means that the existing condition of shoreline ecological functions should not deteriorate because of development in the Shoreline District.
Public Access: The Act promotes public access to shorelines, including view protection.
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) began working on this update in 2008, and the proposed revisions have been through a series of public outreach activities. A first draft was released on February 8, 2011 and a second on October 26, 2011. Key recommendations from DPD are:
- Ensure No Net Loss (NNL) of ecological functions.
- Regulate environmentally critical areas located in the Shoreline District under the SMP.
- Develop a restoration plan that results in improved ecological functioning of the shoreline.
- Require that non-water-oriented uses include ecological restoration.
- Require that ecological restoration be included when replacing non-conforming uses and structures.
- Include shoreline buffers for all shoreline environments.
- Allow 20% of a site to be used for uses that are not water-dependent or water-related (WD/WR) if they support WD/WR uses.
- Allow additional height for permitted structures that are not WD/WR and for accessory uses.
- Allow WD/WR uses to be located over water on lots in the Urban Commercial and Urban Maritime shoreline environments and allow certain non-water-dependent or water-related uses to be located overwater as a Conditional Use.
- Require projects to avoid impacts and mitigate remaining impacts to achieve NNL.
- Define and protect priority freshwater and saltwater habitat.
- Allow existing structures in the urban shoreline environments built in the required setback to be replaced if mitigation is provided.
- Allow recreational marinas in the Urban Industrial and Urban Maritime shoreline environments in the Lake Union Ship Canal.
- Maintain current regulations for floating homes to be repaired, maintained and replaced.
- Prohibit new floating homes.
- Maintain current regulations prohibiting house barges after 1990 and requiring water quality protection while providing for the preferred uses and public access of the shoreline.
DPD has prepared a draft shoreline restoration plan that will be used in conjunction with the proposed regulations. The restoration plan will not be included in the City's regulations but will be used by the City to identify the types of restoration that will increase ecological functions along Seattle's shorelines. The restoration plan will be approved as part of the SMP ordinance.
All SMP update documents may be accessed on DPD's website.
The Council and our staff will review this very complex legislation and may fine-tune the proposed regulations to ensure that they are workable and effective. My goal is to make sure that we preserve and enhance our shorelines while minimizing any impact of new regulations on our shoreline based businesses. We expect that DPD has developed a careful analysis of the economic and environmental impact of these changes. We also expect there to be considerable discussion of how proposed regulations concerning live-aboards (people who live on a vessel) will be implemented and whether or not the proposed regulations balance the City's desire to improve the environment on our waterways with live-aboards' desire to continue to enjoy their unique homes.
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SMALL LOT DEVELOPMENT LOOPHOLE CLOSED
On Monday, September 10, the Council unanimously approved Council Bill 117572, an emergency ordinance to close a loophole in the City's Land Use Code that allowed developers to build large houses on very small lots by manipulating lot lines intended for tax purposes. These lots are not platted or identified in property records, and do not show up on land use or real estate maps. In one case a developer built a three-story house on a lot of only 1050 square feet.
Contrary to some of the misinformation that is circulating about this legislation, it does not prevent development on all small lots, and will not affect the ability of property owners who have platted small lots that have at least 50% of the square footage of the underlying zoning standard to proceed with constructing houses. The ordinance will make some changes in development standards, and will close a loophole in the City code to prevent new substandard lots from being created in a random manner.
The emergency ordinance is a rarely-used procedure in which the Council can act quickly to provide a short term fix (stopping problem activities) while it considers legislation for a long-term solution; in this case, land use standards that make sense on very small single family lots. Emergency ordinances are defined under State law, and expire after one year. The Council took this unusual step to ensure that developers did not try to apply for permits under the existing regulations, thereby allowing problematic developments to continue using lot lines that were not intended for development purposes.
This issue came to our attention earlier this summer, when we learned from community groups that some developers were using an obscure provision of City code that allows lots that are well below minimum lot size requirements to be used for infill development. These substandard lots, often times well below 3,000 square feet, were generally created before 1957 for tax purposes. In some cases these lots were actually created by mistake when lot descriptions on more than one line were transcribed from hand-written records as two separate lots. Others had been intended to be erased by new plats or subdivisions that established legally developable lots. When the Council adopted minimum lot size standards in 1957 and again in 1982, they allowed these lots to be "grandfathered" as legal nonconforming lots while the City developed new regulations; this allowed people that owned these lots time to develop them and recoup their investment within a reasonable time period.
Unfortunately, there was no expiration date on the grandfathering clause, and recently some developers have rediscovered it and are using it to create housing that is not compatible with neighboring single family houses. Community members from a number of neighborhoods called this to our attention, and created a website at www.onehomeperlot.com They pointed out to us that, despite a small number of these occurring on a yearly basis, there is a software package planned for release in October that will allow these substandard lots to be identified quickly and easily. That means that we could see many more in the near future if we do not take immediate action.
The emergency ordinance brings these lots into conformance with other lots under the City's land use regulations by preventing development on lots that are less than 50% of the square footage defined as a minimum size in the underlying zoning. It also ends the use of historic property tax records as a basis for qualifying for minimum lot area exceptions, and allows development of lots with an area up to 75 percent of the general minimum lot area of the zone (i.e. lots up to 3,750 square feet in an SF 5000 zone), but only up to a limit of 22 feet in height (2 stories). Owners of existing houses on small lots retain the right to renovate, replace, or expand their houses.
Developers of these structures have argued that they should not be limited because they are building new housing, and that this loophole allows them to make it more affordable because the cost of land is lower for small lots. Actually, small existing houses are affordable – new construction will almost always be more expensive. One of the projects built on a 2400 square foot lot was listed for $665,000 – a pretty long distance from affordability. Under this legislation, smaller houses could continue to be built that would be more affordable and appropriate for the size of lots that are being used. Contemporary trends are for people to downsize into smaller housing units, reversing the trend that led to large homes that are neither affordable nor sustainable.
Last year, the Council adopted legislation that limited the amount of development that can occur on lots that are less than 2,500 square feet, including height limits and structure width and depth standards. These interim regulations would modify those regulations to limit all single family zoned lots that are less than 3,750 square feet to a principal structure limited to 22 feet in height.
Under the State code governing emergency legislation, the Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, September 13, at 9:30 AM in the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability (PLUS) committee to hear comments on this legislation and on the plans for next steps. The Council legislation also creates a work plan for developing permanent legislation to address this issue. Under the work plan, new legislation will be developed by the end of this year, go through environmental review, and come to the City Council in the spring of 2013.
This legislation is not about density – the modest number of homes that can be built under this loophole are not a significant addition to the housing stock. It is certainly not about affordable housing. It is about replacing a random pattern with no rhyme or reason, dependent on a developer happening to find archaic lot lines that were not intended to define a buildable lot, with planning in a systematic and thoughtful way.
The neighbors who brought this to the Council had already been impacted: houses have been built or permits granted that affect their houses. They should be applauded for their willingness to engage in community and civic action unselfishly, out of altruistic concern to prevent their fellow residents from having the same negative experience. This is a great example of democratic engagement: people mobilizing not out of a desire for profit, but in order to maintain healthy communities.
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EMPLOYMENT GAINS IN SEATTLE
Last month, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) published final employment data for the region for 2011. They showed that Seattle has become the driver for economic recovery in the region, with employment growth far exceeding that of other areas. While total employment in the region increased by only 1% (from 1,673,000 in 2010 to 1,697,000 in 2011), the number of Seattle jobs increased by 3%.
The numbers showed that, like other areas of the country, recovery is proceeding in the Seattle region, but much more slowly than would be optimum. The drag on the economy has become public sector employment, which declined by 2,000 in the region, although only a few hundred of that was in Seattle. In contrast, private sector employment increased by 26,000 in the region, almost 12,000 of that in Seattle. Based on recent increases in sales tax revenues and building permits, we suspect that the recovery is accelerating this year in Seattle, and that we will see further job gains as public and private investment continues to grow.
Downtown Seattle is the key, with virtually all of the employment growth taking place in downtown, especially in South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle. This is further evidence that the continued investment in downtown infrastructure and changes in zoning and City policies are paying off for thousands of Seattle residents who now can go to work. The Lake Union submarket had an office vacancy rate of 17% in 2009. Now it is down to 6%, despite the addition of new buildings (including the Amazon complex).
Seattle has put together a series of policy and investment initiatives since the recession hit in 2008 to try to stimulate economic recovery. In past recessions, Seattle was usually affected later than most parts of the country, but also recovered much more slowly. In this recession, we again slid into decline later than other areas, but we are leading the recovery. While the innovations and energy of the private sector have driven this, our determined and deliberate public policy approach has helped to make it possible.
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On Monday, September 24, the City Council voted 6 to 2 in favor of an agreement that would ultimately result in public financing to support constructing a new arena south of Safeco Field. Councilmember Nick Licata and I voted against the legislation (Councilmember Rasmussen was absent).
We have often been told that this was one of the best deals any City has ever been offered, and that now it is even better. Both of those statements are probably true. But neither of them demonstrates that it is a deal that is truly in the interests of the people of Seattle. This revised agreement may prevent the most problematic outcomes. That does not mean that we will wind up benefiting from it, or that it is a good use of the City's time, resources, or financial capacity.
As I noted in August when I first wrote about this proposal, the question before the Council is not whether we think having an NBA team is a good thing, but whether it is necessary and appropriate to invest public money (in the form of municipal bonds) for a new arena. We have seen no evidence that constructing a new arena to bring an NBA basketball team to Seattle requires City participation. The land is zoned to permit its construction, and the developer has purchased that land and lined up several very wealthy investors who have the capacity to pay for an arena and for the teams to fill it.
The core issues remain. The City has negotiated an agreement that we would never do with any other for-profit business – giving up future City taxes that the business would generate and investing them in the business instead. This is a very odd financial model for a public entity, with a very complex and convoluted agreement wrapped around it.
This agreement takes an expense away from the business owner -- paying his taxes. Now this expense becomes money from the City invested in his business – and he makes a profit on it.
It takes a benefit away from the City. Normally a new business pays taxes into the general fund. Then our residents and businesses enjoy better services or lower taxes. But now those taxes go back to the business to become an ‘investment' that does not, in my opinion, generate returns for the City.
I respect the efforts of my colleagues to improve the proposed agreement. Getting some funds generated by the arena dedicated to transportation improvements, securing a personal guarantee from Mr. Hansen that the City debt will be repaid, obtaining more City control over funds generated by the Key Arena during the time an NBA basketball team would be located there, and adding a provision limiting the possibility that we will be stuck with a money-losing arena by giving the City the right to require Hansen to buy it back after thirty years are all positive steps. Because the entire agreement is with a single entity and lead individual, there is still some exposure, but it is greatly reduced, and there is a pretty good chance that additional City resources are not significantly at risk.
But these do not change the core issue. And there are additional uncertainties. We will have to figure out the future of Key Arena, which in 2011 made $310,000 on $6.6 million in revenues, and now will face a City funded competitor for major shows and possibly lose its primary sports tenant, the Seattle Storm. While the transportation fund will help with industrial business and Port issues, this project adds to the challenges and uncertainties about their future and the future of the thousands of jobs they support. And there is still possible litigation and the investment of City resources in managing very complex financial and logistical arrangements.
It is important to remember that this is a different financing structure from that used for Safeco and CenturyLink Fields. Those financing plans were put in place many years ago, of course, when there were more public dollars available and research on the limited economic benefits of stadia was only just beginning. In both of those cases, funding came from specific taxes authorized by the legislature (in the case of CenturyLink, it was also approved by voters). These taxes had less impact on the City's general fund, which receives taxes from the teams and operations (admissions taxes were used, despite some uneasiness on the part of some City elected officials, as were some CenturyLink sales taxes). The agreements were less complicated and are managed by special purpose entities that are insulated from general government.
The model in which a government funds a stadium for private owners to profit from is a relatively recent one. For many decades, since the rise of professional sports 150 years ago, new facilities were almost entirely funded by the team owners. Only since World War II has it become customary for local governments to be primary funders -- and the current trend may be away from public finance. We know that in San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors are building an arena on City waterfront land and piers using only private funds. The City of San Francisco is providing the land and piers – but that is really unloading a liability, since it will require some $75 - $100 million to make the piers usable.
For all of those reasons, I voted no on this legislation.
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POSTPONING SECOND MONTLAKE BRIDGE WORKS FOR 520 PROJECT
On Monday, September 24, the Council unanimously approved a resolution stating that the proposed Second Montlake Bascule Bridge is not needed in the foreseeable future. This Bridge, which would be parallel to the current Montlake Bridge, was inserted into the SR 520 Project in hopes that it would allow transit to move efficiently through the corridor, provide better conditions for bicycles and pedestrians, and smooth the flow of traffic on the mainline 520 and connecting streets. However, after reviewing a technical report, the Council found that the proposed second bridge offers little or no benefit to transit or mainline 520 traffic, and would not be a cost effective way to serve bicycles and pedestrians.
Because the Council has long been skeptical of the need and utility of the second bridge, one provision of a Memorandum of Agreement signed last year between the City and the State (insert reference) was to convene a technical workgroup to conduct a detailed inquiry into the present and expected future performance of the transportation system in the vicinity of the existing Montlake Bridge. This report was designed to be used to analyze the need to build a second bridge. The technical workgroup, led by Tim Payne of Nelson/Nygaard and including SDOT, WSDOT, and Metro representatives, developed a report that defined thresholds for levels of performance in transit speed and reliability, pedestrian and bicycle mobility, and SR 520 mainline operations.
The report found no evidence suggesting that the Montlake Bridge plays any substantial role in creating transit delay or increasing transit time. It appears that a second Montlake Bridge would have little impact in addressing adverse transit operating conditions in the corridor. The study identified other potential transit projects in the corridor that would more likely improve conditions and should be implemented. These include a range of speed and reliability improvements, such as traffic signal coordination, transit signal priority, bus lanes, queue bypass, safety improvements and stop consolidation.
The report found that current levels of service for bicyclists and pedestrians over the existing Montlake Bridge approach and at times already exceed thresholds that suggest that action is appropriate to improve conditions. The consultant suggested that the best way to determine what actions will be most useful are to review and consider them as part of the City's update to the Bicycle Master Plan, and through discussions with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Boards. Actions to explore might include seeing if the sidewalk footprint on the existing Montlake Bridge could be expanded or managed more effectively, or constructing a small bicycle and pedestrian only bridge across the Montlake cut, perhaps connecting the public land east of the Montlake community directly to the University.
Tim Payne, the consultant, concluded that, based on the data reviewed and taking the current bicycle, pedestrian, and transit performance and mainline SR520 operation into account, it is likely that a second Montlake Bridge would not deliver benefits that justify its cost and impact to the neighborhood and environment. Given this conclusion I sponsored a resolution that makes these recommendations to the State:
- A Second Montlake Bridge should not be constructed within the foreseeable future.
- WSDOT, SDOT and Metro should continue to develop and monitor the triggers that have been developed for this project and continue to analyze any changes in conditions that could affect the SR520 corridor.
- WSDOT, SDOT, and Metro should invest in other measures that would increase the speed and reliability of transit in this corridor.
The resolution also recommends the following actions:
- SDOT should work with the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board to develop options for improved service for bicyclists and pedestrians for consideration in the Bicycle Master Plan. SDOT should also develop and implement better monitoring of transportation performance for bicyclists and pedestrians in the vicinity of the Montlake Bridge.
- SDOT should work with King County Metro and WSDOT to identify and implement other transit improvements in the corridor and monitor the effects of these improvements.
The Council and Mayor agreed with my recommendations.
I personally doubt that the trigger conditions for the Second Montlake Bridge will ever be justified, based on the analysis that we have now seen, but continued monitoring will either confirm that or suggest when those trigger conditions might be reached.
The final decision on whether or not to build the Second Montlake Bridge will be made by the State of Washington. At this point, I believe it is most important to implement the transit improvements that we will identify and to develop and implement ways to improve services to bicyclists and pedestrians. It is likely that improvements for transit, bicycles and pedestrians could be delivered at a lower cost than the cost of a new bridge. I look forward to working with the State on these recommendations.
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"In separateness lies the world's great misery; in compassion lies the world's true strength."
"What I like about Seattle is that people are so used to the rain that they still do stuff. They don't stay indoors, take antidepressants, and read novels. They just go out and get wet."
-- Augusten Burroughs
Your Seattle City Councilmember
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