As Traffic Worsens, Economic Reality Could Take its Toll

Paul Heyne, senior lecturer in economics at the University of Washington, asks: When the population of an area grows, why is it that the roads get congested but the movie theaters don’t? His answer: Because you have to pay to see a movie. If people could walk in free, Heyne writes, “I would predict a growing problem of theater congestion.” Read More ›

Tunnels suggested as I-5 fix

If you can't widen Interstate 5 through Seattle, or add another highway above it, why not dig down and put in an underground level or two? That's one of Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman's 15 ideas for improving the flow of people and goods between British Columbia and Oregon. Chapman was looking long range - well into the next century -- during a talk yesterday at a luncheon for national and Pacific Northwest transportation officials as well as members of Congress at the Edgewater Hotel.....Among the suggestions: Extending Sound Transit's commuter rail lines to Olympia and Bellingham; Developing a "Cascadia inland (transportation) corridor" from central British Columbia through Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon to California, taking the pressure off of I-5; Building a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River; Replacing Seattle's "seismically challenged" Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel. Chapman said later that the overpass is likely to come down in a strong earthquake. Budgets weren't discussed, but Chapman and his institute suggest tolls and a regional development bank to cover some of the costs. Read More ›