Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

SR 520 Floating Bridge Makes Forbes' List of Worst City Choke Points

Forbes Magazine has published a list of America's worst urban choke points - and guess which Evergreen State roadway made the list?

That's right - State Route 520. Specifically, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge over Lake Washington. As Forbes notes:
Seattle is more water than land, and there's the rub. Bridges are just so wide and no wider. Like the bridges crossing from San Francisco to Oakland, this is a necessary passage for many, and its vulnerability at peak times can be a disaster.
The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is old and getting older - as I pointed out in a recent post, it's decaying and it needs to be replaced with a new, safe structure that offers HOV lanes, a pathway for pedestrians and bikers, standard shoulders, and capacity for Link light rail.

The floating bridge is the North Eastside's link to Seattle. It's especially a transportation lifeline for the City of Redmond and neighboring communities like Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville, or Samammish.

And it's not just the floating bridge that could use some upgrading. There are large sections of the roadway on the east and west sides of the bridges that lack adequate shoulders or HOV lanes. Traffic flow could also be improved.

None of this can happen unless we're willing to move forward and invest in transportation. If we want quality public services, then we have to pay for them. There is no free lunch.

It's time we take action to ensure that the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge won't be appearing on future lists of America's most unsafe structures or congested roadways.

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