Managing Traffic Rather Than Letting Traffic Manage Us

We cannot build our way out of traffic congestion.  Even if we could afford it -- it won't work.  No city has ever built enough highways to end congestion.

Adding new road miles does nothing but generate new travel.  The very thing that was thought to ease traffic only creates more.  Study after study proves this.

Plus, there is a new fiscal reality.  We cannot count on the federal and state governments to pick up the tab.  Seattle, a city of 568,000 must face the truth that we will have to fund most of our projects ourselves.

As a member of the Seattle City Council, I will advocate fixing what we have and repairing what we must.  This alone is costly, but it is a price tag Seattle taxpayers can afford.

The drive should be to manage traffic rather than let traffic manage us.  We need a comprehensive program aimed at relieving congestion.  Some relatively small changes we could start with include:

Scheduling the bridge openings.  We could schedule bridge openings so both boats and drivers can plan their trips.  We've all seen a single, small sailboat hold up rush hour traffic!  Montlake Bridge now posts a schedule.  Ballard, Fremont and University Bridges could do the same.

Ending the left-hand turn at I-5 and Mercer from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.  Before we go widening Mercer, we could try ending left turns from the freeway off ramp onto Fairview Avenue during the evening commute.  This would double the green light time for drivers heading onto I-5 and relieve congestion at the Mercer Mess.

When elected to the City Council, I will insist that we try low-cost alternatives before throwing hundreds of millions of taxpayer's dollars at a problem.

¬ĽNine ways to improve Seattle traffic

Dick Falkenbury for Seattle | 2518 South Brandon Court, Seattle, Washington 98108