The Voice for Industry
March 5, 2009
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Seattle First - Helping Seattle Industry

Elliott Curb Bulb Doomed?
Last week, Seattle Industry once again took a few kicks at the notorious City of Seattle curb bulb located inside the Elliott on ramp to State Route 99 just north of the Pike Place Market. The bulb defects are displayed in the photos to the left.

What the photos don't show is that the curb bulb may be doomed, a victim of the plan to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep bore tunnel. Good news comes along sometimes when you least expect it. Here's the scenario.

Thirty three thousands vehicles presently use the Elliott and Western ramps north of the market to get onto and off of the viaduct and SR 99 every business day. That's a full third of all vehicles that use the viaduct and the traffic flow is evenly divided between the ramps, with each ramp moving about 16,000 vehicles daily. For through put, Western is almost as bad as Elliott because of uncontrolled conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians along Western under the viaduct.

Elliott and Western would no longer connect with SR 99 if SR 99 is moved east to the tunnel and comes out of the ground on Aurora somewhere north of the existing Battery Street Tunnel.

The viaduct would then be torn down and replaced by a new four lane ramp near the market that would extend south from Elliott and Western down over the railroad tracks, touching down on the ground within the footprint of the existing viaduct at the entrance to the Pike Street hill climb.

The new road would then continue south to the ferry dock where it would broaden to six lanes until it somehow links up with SR 99 and other thoroughfares near the sports stadiums.

The existing Alaskan Way surface road would be connected with the new one near the aquarium between Pike and Union, also lined up with the hill climb. The existing road would then extend north as it does today past the aquarium and the Port HQ before reconnecting with Elliott via Broad.

Elliott and Western would be connected to the ramp and their existing ramps replaced with two lanes of road each. The widening would not only eliminate the notorious curb bulb, it should present an opportunity for a much better design that, at least on paper, should make traffic flow better near the market than it does today.

State planners believe that the tunnel would change north end traffic patterns and reduce traffic on Elliott and Western from 33,000 daily vehicles to about 25,000. So, Elliott and Western would each have two lanes to handle about 12,500 vehicles instead of the 16,000 vehicles that presently squeeze through the bollixed up, one lane ramps.

More traffic modeling is required to figure out how the north end through put would mesh on the waterfront with no doubt a mega crosswalk between the hill climb and the aquarium as well as the ferry traffic, traffic signals, trolleys, bike paths, velodromes, curb bulbs, carp ponds, wind farms, wildlife refuges and bridle trails for unicorns that are probably also being planned for the viaduct-free waterfront even as you read this.

But, any day that the Elliott curb bulb appears doomed, the sun shines a little bit brighter.

Learn more about the deep bore plan at a community forum Monday, March 23, 7-9 pm, cosponsored by the district councils of Magnolia, Queen Ann and Ballard and the BINMIC Action Committee. The forum will be held in the auditorium at Ballard High School.

Georgetown Business Sets an Example
Reprinted from ECOSS News, by Aldan Shank

Morel Industries, formerly Ballard Brass, relocated from Ballard to Georgetown last spring. In September, foundry owner Steve Morel received complaints from neighboring residents about odors emanating from the facility. Residents said the odor was strong and unpleasant, and they were concerned about potential toxicity. Word of the situation reached regulatory agencies which led to permitting complications for Morel Industries. Steve scaled back production in attempts to reduce the odor, but this created financial constraints for the business. Work orders were piling up, and Steve worried about Morel Industries' financial health and its relationship with its neighbors.

Morel Industries hosted representatives from ECOSS and the Manufacturing Industrial Council (MIC), the Mayor's Office and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at a meeting to discuss strategies to both reduce the odor and foster a positive relationship with local residents. Morel Industries hired a consultant, purchased a number of air filtration systems for the warehouse, and installed a new binder system. These actions significantly reduced the amount or odor generated by the foundry's processes. Measurements by the consultant confirmed an odor/fume level significantly below regulatory levels.

Staff from ECOSS and the MIC proposed a meeting between Morel Industries and community residents, in order to "put a face to the business" and allow both sides to voice their concerns. In October, ECOSS and MIC staff joined Morel Industries at a Georgetown Community Council meeting where Steve described the measures Morel Industries had taken to address the odor issue. The Community Council was very receptive. They thanked Steve for introducing himself and for his responsiveness during the previous weeks. They also expressed a desire to have a good relationship with surrounding businesses.

Since the meeting, emails pertaining to the odor issue have been few and far between, a testament to both the new binder and filtration system and the positive interaction between Steve and the local residents.

ECOSS and the MIC served as a bridge between these stakeholders, but the real success of this story resulted from Morel Industries' engagement with the community. By remaining accessible and transparent with local residents, Steve was able to communicate with the neighborhood directly to overcome a shared challenge. Looking forward, this positive relationship and open communication will benefit Morel Industries and the Georgetown community as they work together, not as adversaries, but as neighbors.

SODO Construction - Public Forum
Are you concerned with the construction projects that are happening or going to happen south of downtown?

Sodo Business Association and the Duwamish TMA are hosting an informational forum to present updates for the following projects:
Issues will include:

First Avenue Water Line Replacement; Viaduct Replacement; 519 around Safeco/Edgar Martinez/Atlantic; Spokane Street Widening, lane closures; Pedestrial Safety/Lighting; Parking and parking enforcement; Truck parking issues; Signalization needs for improvement; Reduced Metro service; Upcoming Light Rail; and the list goes on.

This meeting will give you the opportunity to get some answers to your questions. Lunch will be served, donations accepted

When and Where: March 12, noon-1:30pm, at the Mezza Café, 2401 Utah Ave, 3rd Floor, Seattle

Washington State Trade Week 2009 – Bringing the World To You
The Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) invites you to join us for a week of activities designed to help Washington State's small and medium-sized businesses increase their sales through exports. CTED's Foreign Trade Representatives from around the world, including China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, will be on hand to answer questions and share their insight into the world's fastest growing markets.

Events scheduled for March 16 - 20, 2009 in Bellevue, Bellingham, Kent, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Wenatchee. Click here for more information.

In Case You Haven't Noticed
The Seattle Department of Transportation is completely reconstructing First Avenue South between South Stacy Street and South Horton Street. Weekday traffic restrictions on First Avenue South will go into effect on Monday March 2 and will remain in effect until September 2009. During this period, daytime traffic (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) will be limited to two northbound lanes and one southbound lane with no parking on either side of the street.

Access from First Avenue will be maintained for local businesses at all times, however. For more information about the project and to sign up for e-mail updates, visit the project web site at: www.seattle.gov/transportation/first_s_rebuild.htm

South Park Bridge Open House
See the plans for the new bridge and surrounding area. The 79 year old bridge is in very poor condition and must be either replaced or closed in the near future. The county is working very hard to move the project along, so that a new bridge can be inplace before it becomes necessary to close the present bridge.

Public Open House, Thursday March 19, 6:30-8:00pm at Concord Elementary School gymnasium, 723 S Concord Street, Seattle.


For more information contact Betty Gulledge-Bennett at 206-263-3436, email betty.gulledge-bennett@kingcounty.gov.




FREIGHT TRAVEL ALERT - SR 16 Nalley Valley bridge
Westbound lanes will be closed 10 p.m. Friday, March 6 until 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7. Drivers from Interstate 5 can access westbound SR 16, but must take the first exit at Sprague Avenue. The detour back to westbound SR 16 is west on South 19th Street, then south on Union Avenue.

Eastbound lanes will be closed 10 p.m. Saturday, March 7 until 10 a.m. Sunday, March 8. The detour route takes traffic off SR 16 at Union Avenue, south to 38th Street, then east to I-5.

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Spring 2009 Issue
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Past eBulletins

Burn Down, Start Over
Economic Climate Got You Down? Port of Seattle Report
Community-Wide By-Product Synergy
Special Tunnel Issue
Better Bang for Bigger Buck




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