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DPD on SoDo Arena Traffic: Slow Your Roll, Port & Mariners

The Mariners requested a traffic re-assessment, but they might not like DPD's findings.


An addendum to the Seattle Arena project's Environmental Impact Statement regarding traffic in the SoDo area was made public Thursday that stated that the director of the Department of Planning and Development "has determined that the changes do not create additional significant impacts."

If you'll allow us one brief moment in response to the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Mariners organization.

Suck It

What changes, you might ask?

According to KING5-TV's Chris Daniels, the Mariners lodged a complaint with DPD this summer in the wake of the FEIS saying that the numbers used to calculate the traffic impact for a Mariners game were too low. DPD agreed that the number of 13,000 visitors to Safeco Field did seem low and readjusted their assessment using a very generous 40,000 attendee number.

The result bore out nominally the same as the original findings, with the suggestion that Hansen's group would have to widen the sidewalks along 1st Ave S south of Safeco Field to support the new pedestrian traffic.

Wider sidewalks were included in the revised arena plans that passed muster with both the Seattle Design Commission and the Downtown Design Review Board to unanimously recommend both the vacation of a two-block stretch of Occidental Ave S and the project's designs.

Next up, the Seattle Department of Transportation will deliver a report and recommendation on the project and street vacation to the Seattle City Council. That report is expected after next week's elections and before the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November.

In all seriousness, we respect that the Port and Mariners want to encourage proper discussion to get this project done right. We just hope they are magnanimous enough to respect that the process is being handled appropriately, even if they don't get the outcome they want.

Still, this latest stamp of approval feels worth just a smidge of "Told ya so."