Key Arena renovation proposal shaping up to be traffic disaster

Despite traffic issues at the Key Arena site, the mayor’s office is pushing for an MOU without a plan for traffic mitigation.

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Photo Credit: Oak View Group, King 5

Seattle’s city council is clearly leaning towards renovating and enlarging Key Arena to make it ready for NBA and NHL. One of the well discussed topics during the discussion around Hansen’s proposal was traffic and its mitigation; so you’d think that would be in the potential memorandum of understanding for the Key Arena renovation…right?

*Surratt refers to Brian Surratt, the director of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development

You have got to be shitting me…..(Surratt’s full quote is below)

“You used the phrase ‘it will take time’,” Gonzalez said to Surratt. “Can you explain what it will mean it will take time?” Gonzalez hinted that it was the issue that she gets asked about most when it comes to KeyArena.

“A fully baked transportation management plan, we should not expect to see that in the (Memorandum of Understanding),” Surratt answered. “I think what you can expect to see is a level of commitment from OVG and the city to develop a process to develop that fully baked transportation management plan.” — Chris Daniels, King 5

The city council is still in the early stages of learning about mayor Ed Murray’s preferred plan to renovate Key Arena, but it seems pretty clear that this proposal is still in its early stages. It’s concerning to hear that there isn’t a plan to improve the traffic flow already in the works when it comes to Queen Anne and the surrounding Seattle Center; with the lack of public transportation options in the area, the city needs to find a more efficient way to move event goers in and out of the area.

There are other concerns about the Key Arena renovation that need to be addressed too. For example, the lack of space for an future renovations/additions that will be needed to keep the building competitive, as well as who will pay for those additional renovations.

The council will hopefully continue to press the mayor’s office on the renovation proposal, because it sounds like a half-baked idea that doesn’t fully appreciate the ramifications of renovating the Key Arena for a second time and how that will greatly limit the future financial flexibility of the building’s anchor tenants.

This [Key Arena renovation proposal] feels too much like Murray is legacy shopping, and the council is just trying to spite McGinn one last time; because the Key Arena site has a lot of problems that aren’t present in Hansen’s proposal.

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