Jolt: "This is highly misleading"

The day's winners and losers. Or, at least a partial loss for the proposed sports arena.
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Dave Gering talks to the Seattle City Council

The day's winners and losers. Or, at least a partial loss for the proposed sports arena.

Today's (sorta) loser: The arena proposal. 

San Francisco hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen's proposed "self-funding" NBA arena in SoDo isn't exactly a loser today (unlike yesterday, when city staffers revealed that the arena will cost city property tax payers around $800,000 a year). 

But today's meeting of the city council's finance committee did include a Jolt: Representatives of the Manufacturing Industrial Council expressed skepticism about a traffic study funded by Hansen, which concluded that building a new arena would not have any significant impact on the Port of Seattle's ability to operate near its arena. 

Dave Gering, director of the MIC, told council members he thought the study's conclusion that most of the arena traffic would be on First Avenue and roads to the east of First (allowing freight traffic to operate unimpeded to the west of First) was "not only inaccurate but highly misleading. ... That statement attempts to deny the existence of the trucks" on First Avenue and to the east, which the MIC and Port of Seattle estimate make up 30 to 40 percent of all freight traffic out of the Port. 

Additionally, Gering said, even events at night (when most arena events would occur) still have an impact on Port traffic during the day, as truck drivers move their schedules earlier to avoid nighttime and late-afternoon traffic. 

Finally, as the MIC noted in a letter to the committee, "the two SODO light rail stations are both located more than two-thirds of a mile away from the proposed arena. That's a significant distance for pedestrians to cover, especially for people attending events after dark during winter weather."


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