Seattle faces a formidable challenge as it reopens its downtown. Transit services must scale back ridership in order to assure safety of passengers and operators. While many employees of highrises can continue to work from home, service personnel must find a cost effective and safe way to get there.
As people return to their jobs, the manner in which they commute is certain to change. A recent national survey found that “More than 20 percent of respondents who regularly used buses, subways or trains now said they no longer would, and another 28 percent said they will likely use public transportation less often.”
Even with the best efforts to increase transit ridership, a large share of the commuters who have been driving across the West Seattle Bridge will continue to drive and will look for alternative routes. To what degree can existing arterials absorb this new traffic?
Closure of the West Seattle Bridge means adjustment for tens of thousands of workers. Data from the Census Bureau gives us some idea where commuters are headed today.
A key underlying assumption of regional growth strategies has been a shift in preference toward multi-family housing. This has not been happening.