Category Archives: transportation

SDOT’s Vision Zero update: no recent progress, but hope for the future.

This afternoon, SDOT gave the City Council an update on the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative to achieve zero annual traffic fatalities. The bad news is that there has been little progress in the last several years. The good news is that SDOT has some new ideas for how to change that.

Continue reading SDOT’s Vision Zero update: no recent progress, but hope for the future.

Chamber of Commerce files for summary judgment in challenge to Seattle’s Uber union ordinance

Last month I wrote about the status of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to engage in collective bargaining. Briefly:

  • Last year the city tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that it had “state-action immunity.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and sent the case back down for further proceedings .
  • In December, the City Council amended its ordinance so that it no longer authorizes collective bargaining over compensation, which was very likely to be found to be illegal price-fixing among competitors..
  • In response, the Chamber of Commerce said that despite the change, it still believes the ordinance violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  •  The Chamber of Commerce indicated last month that it will move for summary judgment, skipping a trial. This is only allowed if there are no relevant facts in dispute.
  • The city responded that it believes there are still relevant facts to be discovered, and will oppose the Chamber’s motion on those grounds.
  • The court set a schedule for both sides to file legal briefs, starting with the Chamber of Commerce.

Last Friday, the Chamber started the ball rolling by filing its brief. Here’s what it says.

Continue reading Chamber of Commerce files for summary judgment in challenge to Seattle’s Uber union ordinance

City braces for more snow… or worse.

This afternoon, Mayor Durkan and several of her department heads held a press briefing on preparations for two more winter storm systems: one that arrived late this afternoon, and the second to arrive midday tomorrow. Tomorrow’s is the one they are all worried about.

Mayor Jenny Durkan briefs the press on winter storm preparations, while interim SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe looks on

Continue reading City braces for more snow… or worse.

Mayor releases Center City streetcar report, says she wants project to go forward despite increased costs

The Mayor’s Office finally released a much-anticipated update on the Center City Streetcar project today.

The good news: Mayor Durkan now wants the project to move forward, and there are no engineering issues that can’t be addressed.

The bad news: the cost has gone up again.

Continue reading Mayor releases Center City streetcar report, says she wants project to go forward despite increased costs

The Seattle Waterfront, minus the viaduct noise

We’re dabbling in audio journalism today.

Do you remember how noisy the waterfront was before the Viaduct was shut down? Wondering how much quieter it is now?

I made a recording standing outside the Aquarium around noon on Thursday, January 3.  There is moderate traffic on the viaduct, and little surface traffic. I’ve actually stood on the waterfront when the Viaduct traffic was deafening (as I am sure have many of you); it wasn’t that bad on this day, but it was still loud enough that you would need to raise your voice to have a conversation with someone standing next to you.

And here is another recording, standing in approximately the same location, mid-afternoon today. The Viaduct is shut down, and again there is little surface traffic.

There’s still background noise from the city, but it’s definitely quieter. You can hear yourself think, as well as lots of other nearby noises: the crosswalk signal, and a car driving by. Carrying on a conversation would be easy.

A happy thought while you’re sitting in traffic.

(apologies for the background hiss on the recordings)

Durkan and transportation departments give an update on planning for Viaduct closure

This morning, Mayor Durkan and key representatives from SDOT, Metro, and WSDOT delivered a press briefing on the preparations for closing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and moving traffic over to the new SR99 tunnel — and what is being done to ease the expected hellish commutes for the three weeks in between.

Continue reading Durkan and transportation departments give an update on planning for Viaduct closure