Monorail Can Make it Possible to Build a New Arena in Sodo!

Cut Traffic, Avoid Interference with Port and Industrial Traffic

by Bob Fleming

Click here to see details about my ideas for a new Green Line monorail to serve West Seattle and Ballard/Crown Hill.

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Developer Chris Hansen proposes to build a new arena for NBA basketball and NHL hockey, and wants to bring the Seattle Supersonics basketball team back to Seattle. However there is strong opposition from the Port of Seattle and others because it would increase traffic that interferes with operations of the port and industry, affecting thousands of jobs. If the Green Line monorail is built from Downtown Seattle to West Seattle, it will pass through the Sodo (SOuth of DOwntown) district, and pass right by both CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field, and also the proposed new arena. Large parking facilities along the monorail line could greatly reduce surface traffic below what it is now.

The NBA basketball team Seattle Supersonics were moved to Oklahoma City several years ago and renamed the “Thunder.” Ever since there has been a campaign by Sonics fans to bring the team back to Seattle. Chris Hansen proposed a new arena south of Safeco Field that would be a new home for the Sonics and also for a professional National Hockey League team. However the Sodo district is also part of Seattle’s thriving port area, and also has many industrial and commercial businesses that heavily depend on efficient truck and rail operations to operate best. Already traffic from games and other events at CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field interfere with truck traffic. There is fear in the area that traffic for events at the new arena will further interfere with port and industrial operations.

As part of having enough land to build the new, large arena, Chris Hansen asked the Seattle City Council to buy a block of Occidental Avenue South, a small, but fairly busy, street that is in the way of the arena. On May 2, 2016, the city council voted 5-4 to deny the request to vacate that block of Occidental Ave. S., effectively killing the arena project.

But I believe that if the problem of interference with port and industrial operations can be resolved, then the arena project could go ahead. My solution would be to build the previously defeated Green Line monorail, which, along with large parking facilities in the proper locations, would permit people attending events to park outside the core Sodo area and take the monorail to the venue. If parking is reduced around CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field, surface traffic in Sodo would actually be reduced below the current level. This combination of monorail and arena would actually be an overall gain for port and industrial operations.

The Green Line monorail would also go north past Seattle Center, including Key Arena, so those popular destinations would also be accessible by monorail from outlying parking facilities.

Where the monorail passes the Sodo venues, there could be a station at each one, but the station would only be open during events. At other times trains would pass through the stations without stopping.

I am suggesting that all those in favor of seeing the Supersonics back in Seattle work together to push for contruction of the monorail, and those that have enough money help pay for it in order to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

Click here for my ideas of why we still need the Green Line Monorail Click here for my proposal for a new Seattle Center Monorail

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©2016 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 16 May 2018.

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