I don't know that the U needs to have claim for everything that runs thru the campus- Whether convenient or not.
I think that's a separate issue than the tunnel, though. Issues We're talking now, are without those cars.
talindsay wrote:I respectfully disagree, and here's why: after two years of Washington being closed people may well have forgotten, but Washington was *HORRIBLE* for campus before: it cut a deep gash right through the middle of campus, with people whose destinations had nothing to do with the U but who knew they could use Washington as a shortcut. In a perfect world, the light rail would have been in a tunnel and the street would be closed to traffic *anyway*, become a bus, bike, and pedestrian mall. But that was never even on the table as an option. Basically, the choices came down to the train in a tunnel with Washington continuing as-is, or else a transit mall as built. The transit mall was acceptable to planners because it was the *only* way to get the project under the Bush-era limits for funding, but it was also a much better outcome than allowing Washington to continue as a major thoroughfare. This never would have been accomplished otherwise, and it is a definite good for the campus.UptownSport wrote:Instead of 'take what you can get' transit, there should have been a tunnel thru this area, as planned.
Over the next year we'll hear a lot of people complaining about how difficult the transit mall is to use, and I agree that it could have been designed better. First and foremost, the sooner they ditch the stupid idea of buses running on the tracks, the better; the traffic signaling and signs are very poor as well, and provisions for bicycles need some big adjustment. All those things are fixable, and in time I'm sure they'll be fixed. But it's worth noting that as it stands today, the transit mall is a HUGE improvement for all remaining uses as compared to the old quasi-arterial Washington Avenue that divided campus and snarled up everything around it for hours every day. While in theory this could have been accomplished while still routing the train underground, in reality that was never an option. With the choice between an underground train with the old heavy-traffic street on one hand, and the transit mall that was built on the other hand, the transit mall is a definite win.