Monorail Could Solve Sodo Traffic Problems

New Basketball Arena Raises Fears of Congestion Interfering with Port Operations

by Bob Fleming

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A few years ago Oklahoma City interests purchased the Seattle Supersonics NBA professional basketball team and moved the team to Oklahoma City. Recently wealthy private parties proposed purchasing the Sacramento Kings basketball team and moving them to Seattle and renaming them the Supersonics. They also proposed building a new arena in the Sodo (SOuth of DOwntorn) district of Seattle, adjacent to two major sports stadiums.

The Port of Seattle, the Longshoremen’s Union, the Teamsters Union and other interests have objected that building another sports venue in this area will further increase traffic congestion and seriously interfere with movement of trucks and trains serving the port and disrupt port operations and result in the loss of many jobs.

My suggestion is to build large parking lots outside this area and to build a monorail line that would connect the parking lots with all three sports venues.

This project would also allow reduction in parking at the two existing venues, (Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team, and CenturyLink Field, home of both the Seattle Seahawks football team and the Seattle Sounders soccer team), resulting in less traffic instead of more that would otherwise result from the building of the new basketball arena.

Although other transportation systems are possible, monorail would be elevated and would not interfere with trucks, trains, or other surface traffic. It would also solve the current problem near the stadiums of providing a safe route for pedestrians across sreets and railroad tracks.

The monorail should be part of a longer route, probably between Downtown and West Seattle, so that it would provide all-day service, not just for sports events, and this would make the monorail much more practical economically. Better still if the monorail were to continue north beyond Downtown to serve Key Arena and the Seattle Center, so that the new parking lots would also provide parking for people going Downtown and to Key Arena and the Seattle Center. See my proposal for a new Green Line monorail.

Regarding monorail service in Sodo if the monorail is part of a longer line, there would be a station at each of the three sports venues, Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, and the new basketball arena, but each station would be open only during an event at that venue, at other times trains would not stop at that station.


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©2013 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

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