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Lets talk about traffic

It’s 1:20pm on the day before I leave town for a week. There is horrendous rain and I’ve got 2 reasons to be downtown tonight but plenty of reasons I’d rather be doing anything else.

The first stop is a meeting in South Lake Union from 3:00 - 4:30pm. It’s a Mobility and Transit Subcommittee meeting where we will be discussing how people would get downtown in the afternoon or early evening to attend NBA & NHL games. My plan right now is to leave an hour and a half early because I expect terrible traffic, even as early as 2:00pm. The good news is that both Aurora, or access via Ballard both are green so far.

The second trip downtown if for my daughters birthday party, scheduled at the fantastic Emerald City Trapeze Arts at 4:00pm. If traffic gets bad as early as 2:00pm then I know my entire family is likely to be late and the baby may have a really frustrating car trip. He’s fussy about schedule so if he has a bad sleep experience it will result in a lot more work for us for about a week getting him back to his normal sleep schedule, not to mention he’ll ruin my daughters birthday. I’m already going to be late but knowing how traffic gets bumper to bumper downtown I honestly would be best off riding a lime bike to get there. Did I mention the rain?

A couple things of note here:

I’m giving up my last afternoon before leaving town in order to attend this meeting when I could otherwise be in the office productively or be with my family on my daughters birthday. Like every other person who has to drive through Seattle I’m frustrated by the hour and a half I have to budget for travel. We need to come up with some good solutions and I am not going to be shy about sharing my opinions in these meetings.

Also I find myself really asking “how would I get to a game tonight if it were 2020 and the NBA/NHL had launched at Seattle Center?” as well as the followup question of “How does that differ from getting to Sodo?”

If it were 2020, the first year of operation I have to say that I would try to Uber in but possibly wind up driving. That would be expensive and slow but that is how I would do it. I’d guess that over a single season I would not go as often as if it were more accessible and cheaper, splitting my visits to half Uber and half driving and parking.

2021 the Northgate train station opens and I would either drive or Uber there (my office is nearby) and take the train in. If the game were in Sodo I would take the train to the stadium station and then walk or Bike Share about .8 a mile to the arena regardless of weather. In the KeyArena I would get off the train at the Westlake Station and get straight on the monorail. If it were not raining I would probably walk or Bike Share the 1.1 miles from Westlake to Key whenever I had time.

Depending on the schedule of the monorail I’m guessing I would probably have to leave about 15 minutes earlier.

How would you come in? What should I be saying in these meetings? Let me know your thoughts.

Our traffic is HUGE mess with no simple solutions.