Tuesday 3 Feb, 2015 UW president heads to Texas A&M. Playing those Seattle, Eastside traffic blues. Ready to move on? UW president on the move at 2:57pm by Joe Copeland Updated at 6:50 p.m. University of Washington President Michael Young said this afternoon that he is leaving to become president of Texas A&M, which boasts of being the sixth largest public university in America. Joel Connelly of seattlepi.com notes that Young has been at the U, which has so far declined to comment, for less than four years. And he will take over duties in the spring, forcing the UW to name an interim leader. In a statement posted on the university's web site, the UW Regents chair Bill Ayers said, "The news about UW President Michael Young and Texas A&M University has come as a surprise to the Board of Regents." In his statement, posted with generous remarks about him from Ayers, Young said, "“Deciding to be a candidate for the presidency of Texas A&M University was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I was not looking to leave the University of Washington, but the allure of the recruitment process led to conversations in which the opportunity to bring new leadership and fresh ideas to another outstanding university presented itself with some force." The part about fresh ideas could leave many others at the UW wondering why they hadn't heard more of those during his low-key tenure here. For the record, the UW may be slightly smaller in enrollment, but it's 26th best in the world on The Times of London's ranking of universities. Texas A&M clocks in at 141st — right behind the Colorado School of Mines. — J.C. Travel Blues at 2:57pm by Cody Olsen Being frustrated with sitting in traffic is quickly becoming synonymous with Seattle life, so The Stranger’s Eli Sanders decided to give us a quick breakdown of why our travel blues exist. His summary is basically: Seattle is a particularly narrow piece of land, an isthmus located between Lake Washington and the Sound. Sanders notes we are “the fastest-growing large city in America.” Obviously more infrastructure and travel room is needed, but the transportation spending has — at least until recently — focused on freeway projects, rather than increasing our public transit rapidly enough — a bit easier and cheaper in a city so narrow as Seattle.Sanders condemns our Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement spending, saying the budget could have been much more effective in augmenting our public transportation system. — C.O. Express Lane Tolls at 2:57pm by Cody Olsen Tolling the express lanes between Lynnwood and Bellevue starts later this year, and we now have an idea of the pricing. The Seattle Times reports that typical express lane tolls will probably be between 75 cents and $4, but that peak tolls could be as much as $10. The express lane will also be open to cars with at least three occupants free of charge, but the paper notes they must have a good to go account and Flex Pass. Public comments about the toll proposal can be given this evening a Transportation Commission meeting at Bellevue City Hall and at two upcoming Kirkland meetings (as well as online) — details here. — C.O. Seahawks return: kinda cheery at 2:57pm by Cody Olsen On Monday, as Seattle was collectively licking its wounds, the Seahawks returned from Arizona and were greeted at their training center in Kirkland by fans. MyNorthwest.com notes that there’s even a petition going around to still hold a Seahawks rally congratulating the team for making a two back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. It seems that despite an ending that left a horrible taste in our mouths, at least some Seahawks fans remember this team just had two great seasons. No reason the team can’t keep the momentum going, either. — C.O.