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Arena DEIS Review Committee June 6, 2018

Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, PRC
Attention: John Shaw
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019
Seattle WA 98124-4019
Email: prc@seattle.gov

RE: Seattle Center Arena Renovation Project – (SDCI # 3029061)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

Dear Mr. Shaw,

Thank you for this opportunity to provide the enclosed comments on the Seattle Center Arena
Renovation Project DEIS. Through the month of May, Uptown Alliance and other neighborhood and
advocacy groups (Belltown Community Council, Queen Anne Community Council, American Institute of
Architects , Cascade Bicycle, Commute Seattle, Feet First, Queen Anne Greenways, Seattle
Neighborhood Greenways and Uptown Arts and Culture Coalition) met regularly to discuss and
formulate comments on the transportation analyses and proposed mitigation in the DEIS. Together we
offer these comments.

Over the years, Uptown Alliance and our community partners have forged a vision for a future with less
reliance on low occupancy vehicles and one which increases multimodal choices, creating more
equitable access throughout Seattle. It includes active sidewalks and streets that are safe, welcoming
and open to all. That vision celebrates bringing together locals and visitors from around the world to
experience the uniqueness of Seattle Center, its resident organizations and our neighborhoods.

We’re not alone in this vision. It’s supported by choices made by Seattleites with record transit
ridership, neighborhood walkability scores and the decline of households with vehicles. It is also
embraced in adopted planning documents across many City departments and specific to this project:
2017 Comprehensive Plan; Uptown Urban Design Framework (UDF); North Downtown Mobility Action
Plan (NODO MAP) Guiding Principles; Vision Zero, Move Seattle Levy’s Promise; City of Seattle’s Clean
Driving Initiative; Arena Community Advisory Group Guiding Principles for Transportation and Mobility;
City of Seattle and The Oak View Group MOU, Exhibit I; and many others.

This widely endorsed future can be more than just an aspiration. It will take an investment of time,
money, and perhaps most importantly a willingness to change our current methods and measures away
from low occupancy vehicles in favor of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. When the Seattle
SuperSonics played in Key Arena the highest and best use of undeveloped land in Uptown was surface
parking lots that accommodated large crowds of sports event attendees causing gridlock on nearby
streets. Since that time, the urban landscape adjacent to Seattle Center has dramatically changed.
Uptown, Belltown and South Lake Union have become a dense urban center. The Arena renovation
provides a unique opportunity to be transformational and move the needle in a substantial way to
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support Seattle’s urban neighborhoods and realize the vision of Uptown and its neighbors.
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Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
We found the DEIS and accompanying mitigation measures, with its nearly exclusive focus on low
occupancy vehicles, does little to change the status quo. Mitigation for the Arena must focus on
prioritizing multimodal transportation options during the next 15 years to help reduce the need for
automobiles and parking until light rail comes to Uptown and Seattle Center. We expect that a detailed
comprehensive Mitigation Plan (including measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding,
roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and
if not, what further mitigation is needed to meet goals) will be part of the Final EIS and in place by
opening day of the Arena.

Currently, Seattle Center operates on an economic model that relies heavily on parking revenue, which
in turn encourages the use of low occupancy vehicles, contrary to the goals and objectives of the
Uptown UDF as well as the multimodal and equitable access goals held by the City. The result is
increasing congestion in surrounding neighborhoods and frustrating (and potentially dangerous)
experiences for fans and patrons attending arena and other Seattle Center events. The Arena can serve
as a catalyst to strengthen Seattle Center’s long-term economic vitality as an iconic regional and local
destination. This requires that Seattle Center develops an economic model that reflects the City’s
stated mode split priorities and a revenue source that replaces the current dependency on parking fees.

The DEIS also misses the opportunity to recommend that Seattle Center and all its resident
organizations work together in developing a comprehensive Transportation Management Plan (TMP). If
the Arena’s TMP operates in isolation then its benefits will be limited.

Let’s always remember this:

“Decisions made about Uptown and Seattle Center will impact Seattle’s environment, access to arts
and cultural events, jobs, affordable housing, racial equity, and social justice for years to come,”
– Uptown & Seattle Center Strategic Parking Study, January 2017.

We couldn’t agree more. We can either collectively get this right before the first puck drops or we will
struggle for decades to come. We welcome the renovated Arena as an exciting new addition to Seattle
Center and believe working together we have an opportunity to become a model for other cities
around the world showing how a world class venue surrounded by vibrant urban neighborhoods can
support each other in creating livable, safe and welcoming communities while providing a great fan
experience for event attendees. Let’s show the world the creativeness of a Seattle solution!

Please see our attached mitigation requests that we believe will make that future a bright one for all.

Sincerely,

Matt Adkins
Charlie Bauman Rick Browning, AIA
Uptown Alliance Belltown Resident American Institute of Architects,
Seattle Chapter member

Vicky Clarke
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Clara Cantor Robert Cardona Cascade Bicycle
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Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Uptown Alliance Seattle Policy Manager

Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
Cyrus Despres
Maggie Darlow, Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition, Deborah Frausto
Feet First, Board President Board President Uptown Alliance

Jeff Herrmann Rick Hooper Katie Idziorek
Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition Uptown Alliance, Co-President Uptown Alliance

Dean McColgan
Alana Knaster Andrew Koved Belltown Community Council,
Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition Queen Anne Greenways President

Ellen Monrad Sidney Scarboro, AIA
Queen Anne Community Council, American Institute of Architects, Nancy Silberg
Chair Seattle Chapter Board President Uptown Alliance

Tyler Szabo Erin Tighe
John Stewart, Feet First
Uptown Resident Uptown Resident
Policy Committee Chair

Cc: Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan;
City Councilmembers: Sally Bagshaw, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson, Debora
Juarez, Teresa Mosqueda, Mike O’Brien, Kshama Sawant;
City staff: Marshall Foster, Robert Nellams, Karl Stickel, Goran Sparrman, Ian Macek
Oak View Group: Lance Lopes, Steve Mattson

Following: Comments and Mitigation Summary (page 4) and Details (pages 5 – 8)
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Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
Arena DEIS Review Committee
Comment and Mitigation Summary

DEIS Comment and Mitigation Summary (details on following pages)
1. Reduce dependency on low-occupancy vehicles enabling Seattle Center neighborhoods to be more livable, walkable,
safe and welcoming | The DEIS points to a continued car-dependent future with increased congestion and degraded
quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Mitigation: Use measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding,
roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and if not, what
further mitigation is needed to meet goals; fund measures to increase other modes of transportation for walking,
bicycling, transit and Monorail ridership; and lessen congestion to and through surrounding neighborhoods.

2. Develop TMP and DMP programs with measurable performance goals and annual report card | The DEIS offers no
specific goals or performance measures for the TMP or DMP. Additionally, the methodology of using Average and Above
Average attendance at the Arena fails to recognize the reality of compounded impacts of multiple events regularly held
on Seattle Center campus. Mitigation: Provide detailed TMP and DMP plans in the FEIS including measurable
performance goals, strategies, timing, funding, roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on operations to evaluate
whether goals are being met, and if not, what further mitigation is needed to meet goals. Mitigation should also include
use of an attendance range, such as described in the “Uptown and Seattle Center Parking Study,” (2017) and partnering
with Seattle Center and resident organizations to develop an integrated TMP and DMP program for the entire campus.

3. Mitigate impacts to surrounding neighborhoods | Fehr & Peers Technical Memo #4 describes “spillback” traffic into
surrounding neighborhoods as inevitable as the streets studied in the DEIS become more congested during Arena
construction and operation. Drivers using GPS apps, or their own knowledge of the street grid, will attempt shortcut
routes using alternate arterials and residential streets in Uptown, Queen Anne and Belltown. Mitigation: Engage these
communities and fund measures to lessen impacts to residents and local businesses.

4. Expand safety definition and improve safety conditions | The DEIS assessment on safety is based on a narrow
definition driven by a private vehicle-only focus that is inconsistent with the high priority City of Seattle places on its
Vision Zero Plan. The DEIS assumes that if intersections do not meet a “threshold for collision” there are no concerns
and thus no safety mitigation measures required. Mitigation: Include considerations of worker, pedestrian, and bicycle
safety during both construction and operations and fund a North Downtown Vision Zero area.

5. Narrow horizon year gap | The DEIS ignores the 15-year gap between the chosen 2020 and 2035 Horizon Years.
Between 2018-2034 significant changes will occur in the North Downtown neighborhoods and Seattle Center campus:
such as street grid re-connections over SR-99 (Harrison, Republican, Thomas); development spurred by Uptown
rezone; a new Seattle Public High School high school; ST2 light rail stations connecting more people to the Monorail;
One Center City plan completion with some or all projects implemented; major waterfront amenities open with a
circulator; the Alaskan Way Viaduct Reconstruction Project completed and open; ST3 station location study; potential
new connection to SR 99 via Harrison Street; and incremental road and transit improvements. Mitigation: Prioritize
mitigations during this period when traffic impacts will be at their peak, just before the ST3 light rail line opens.

6. Ensure mitigation is in place by opening day of the Arena | Mitigation: Provide a comprehensive mitigation plan that
gives a roadmap of how all necessary steps will be in place by opening day of the Arena to mitigate impacts outlined
above. The plan must include measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding, roles and responsibilities,
annual reporting on operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and if not, what further mitigation is needed
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to meet goals.
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Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
Arena DEIS Review Committee
Comment and Mitigation Details
1. Reduce dependency on low-occupancy vehicles enabling Seattle Center neighborhoods to be more
livable, walkable, safe and welcoming
The DEIS points to a continued car-dependent future with increased congestion and degraded quality of life for
residents and visitors alike. Use aggressive multimodal, equitable access goals with specific performance measures to
reduce automobile travel; increase other modes of transportation for walking, bicycling, transit and Monorail
ridership; and lessen congestion to and through surrounding neighborhoods. Anticipate large crowds of pedestrians
pre and post event and make the necessary improvements to optimize pedestrian movement and safety.

1. Provide a Transportation Mitigation Plan (TMP) and Demand Management Plan (DMP) in the FEIS that includes
measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding, roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on
operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and if not, what further mitigation is needed to meet goals.
2. Set aggressive multimodal performance goals and measures that result in the reduction of automobile travel and
increase other modes of transportation for walking, bicycling, transit and Monorail ridership. This will provide
more equitable access to the Seattle Center and lessen congestion to and through surrounding neighborhoods.
3. Establish and fund a three-party working group – Arena, Seattle Center, and City of Seattle – to explore a new
revenue model that moves the entire Seattle Center, its resident organizations and programming away from the
existing economic mode that is dependent upon parking fees which incentivizes low occupancy vehicle trips. Use
existing adopted City-wide and Uptown/Seattle Center planning documents for target outcomes (Uptown UDF,
Vision Zero, Move Seattle Levy promise, 2017 Comprehensive Plan and others).

Mitigation for mode-splits:
4. Fund bicycle, pedestrian and transit connectivity improvements for more seamless integration with existing
networks within the 1-mile pedestrian and 3-mile bicycle shed.
5. Provide updated and augmented wayfinding to the Arena for all modes including walking and bicycling, making
the network more accessible for all.
6. Use Multi-Modal Level of Service (MMLOS) for intersections in the study area as the basis for mitigations to
ensure private vehicle throughput is not prioritized at the expense of other modes.
Mitigation for parking:
7. Implement parking management programs that reduce on-street vehicle circulation and favors non-event
attendees and local businesses such as shorter-term uses, resident permits, etc.
8. Implement advance reservation/payment system for parking at time of ticket purchase.
9. Retrofit existing buildings and ensure new buildings comply with the forthcoming Drive Clean Seattle initiative to
make sure building and parking infrastructure can accommodate electric vehicles.
10. Reduce the Arena dependence on the Mercer St Garage by prioritizing parking in 1st Avenue N garage and
underground Arena parking for Arena ticket holders. Give priority use of Mercer St Garage for art-group patrons
on days with scheduled arts events (e.g. opera, ballet, theater).
11. Provide dedicated off-street parking and other transportation incentives for construction workers in order to
maintain street parking in neighborhoods for local business and community activities.
12. Integrate Arena parking management programs for all users at the Seattle Center and its resident organizations.
13. Monitor the use of both the Mercer St Garage and the Fifth Avenue North garage annually on event days. If
either garage drops below a mutually agreed upon amount per game day per season the City could proceed to
redevelop the Mercer St Garage. Review the need for continued use of Mercer St Garage by December 31, 2027.
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Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
Mitigation for pedestrian connections and access:
14. Fund and construct City of Seattle North Downtown Mobility Action Plan (MAP) Tier I Pedestrian Projects (except
Public Realm Project C).
15. Establish a minimum 12 – 15% goal for pedestrian use in the TMP based on SDOT’s finding that walking is the
City’s fastest growing mode and peer cities' mode splits.
16. Implement Pedestrian Recall at all signals within the study area to prioritize pedestrian movement.
17. Optimize variable volumes of pedestrian traffic flow at key intersections by providing pedestrian volume
detection in conjunction with variable crossing times similar to existing Adaptive Traffic Control for vehicles.
18. Implement Seattle’s Vision Zero Plan for pedestrian safety during both Arena construction and operations.
19. Fund signalizing the intersection of 1st Avenue N/Thomas Street and contribute to funding a traffic signal at
Dexter Avenue N/Thomas Street to facilitate walk-in trips to the Arena.
20. Fund improved lighting and pedestrian facilities along primary walking routes to the Arena. This should include
larger curb bulbs at main crossing intersections as well as better lighting along primary walking corridors.
21. Fund crosswalk improvements including better light and paint at the mid-block of Queen Anne Avenue between
Mercer St and Republican Avenue where Metro D line has a stop.
22. Fund improved pedestrian access to the Aurora Avenue Transit Hub. The walking route between the Arena and
this hub along Thomas and/or Harrison Street alignments should be upgraded with better lighting, wayfinding,
and real-time transit information.
23. Employ traffic police at major events at large events to more efficiently manage pre and post event traffic making
conditions safer for pedestrians and more efficient for vehicle travel.

Mitigation for bicycle connections and access:
24. Fund and construct MAP Tier I Bicycle Projects.
25. Establish a minimum 12.5% goal for bicycle use in the TMP
26. Implement Seattle’s Vision Zero Plan for bicycle safety during both construction and operations.
27. Provide bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities that are highly accessible (close to entrances), safe and secure
(high quality and located in well-lit locations). Contract to provide temporary bike valet parking for large events
ensuring sufficient bike parking as now required in City of Seattle Ordinance 125558.
28. Designate adequate and convenient space for bikeshare parking outside the pedestrian right of way.
29. Create bike share hubs and/or painted bicycle areas for picking up and dropping off bicycles in Westlake and
other areas so event attendees will know where they can find a bike to get to the Arena.
30. Enforce “No Stopping” in travel lanes, transit lanes, and bike lanes.

Mitigation for transit use and access:
31. Fund and construct MAP Tier I Transit Projects.
32. Establish a minimum 35% goal for transit use in the TMP and develop a plan with Metro and Sound Transit to
reach that goal.
33. Fund additional transit capacity to serve pre-event loads since most buses coming out of downtown Seattle
towards Seattle Center are already at or above capacity during pre-event times that coincide with peak commute
hours. Additional late-night service may be needed to serve the higher discharge surge after an event.
34. Work with Metro and Sound Transit to secure commitments for both increased capacity and frequency of bus and
light rail service corresponding to event times.
35. Provide a plan and necessary funding for Metro bus layovers that does not compromise street parking for local
businesses, nearby residents or street right of way for planned bicycle facility improvements.
36. Fund the Monorail improvements necessary for more frequent service runs before and after events and make
access improvements at each station to increase accessibility that, per estimates, will double its capacity to 6000
riders.
37. Subsidize transit trips for event ticketholders (Metro, Monorail and Sound Transit) as is commonplace for other
major sporting destinations in Seattle.
38. Incentivize use of transit for Arena employees, staff and construction workers.
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39. Implement shuttles or circulator routes and incentives connecting to parking in South Lake Union, Denny Triangle
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or downtown similar to those used for UW games.

Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
40. Implement shuttles or custom bus service to regional hubs for routes such as Ballard and the University
District that are shown to be well above capacity with event conditions.
41. Modify 1st Avenue N to prioritize transit functions during events.
42. Ensure a reliable bus-only lane is available to connect existing bus corridors to the Arena (i.e. buses should not be
in mixed traffic during major events when traveling from 3rd Avenue to the Arena).
43. Fund a study to look at de-coupling Queen Anne Avenue and 1st Avenue N, an idea supported in the UDF,
especially if it allows a North-South bus-only corridor free of car use during major events to ensure maximum
outload capacity.
44. Enforce “No Stopping” in travel lanes, transit lanes, and bike lanes.

2. Develop TMP and DMP programs with measureable performance goals and annual report card
The DEIS offers no specific goals or performance measures for the TMP or DMP. Additionally, the methodology of
using Average and Above Average attendance at the Arena fails to recognize the reality of compounded impacts of
multiple events regularly held on Seattle Center campus. Provide detailed TMP and DMP plans in the FEIS. Mitigation
should also include partnering with Seattle Center and resident organizations to develop an integrated TMP and DMP
program for the entire campus.

Mitigation for TMP and DMP:
1. Provide a TMP and DMP in the FEIS that includes measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding,
roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and if not,
what further mitigation is needed to meet goals.
2. Use an attendance range, such as described in the “Uptown and Seattle Center Parking Study,” (2017) that
considers multiple events on given days or during certain seasons (i.e. fall/winter sports and performance
seasons) and gives a more accurate attendance count from which to develop an effective TMP and DMP plans.
3. Develop and fund educational and marketing campaigns for transportation options other than low occupancy
vehicles targeted to Arena attendees.
4. Require large events (i.e. over 10,000 attendees) to provide a free transit pass, Monorail ticket or shuttle ride
automatically included in every ticket and purchased by the event producer for paying attendees. This emulates a
best business practice in the Puget Sound area that encourages usage of the most efficient modes.
5. Set aggressive employee and contractor mode split targets within the TMP and include a requirement of fully
subsidized ORCA passes for both. Provide facilities for employees who bicycle such as shower facilities and secure
bicycle parking.
6. Require and fund the Arena and Seattle Center to work together to do the following:
 Educate and engage all resident organizations to collectively develop an integrated multimodal
transportation and parking TMP with goals and performance criteria that prioritize transit, walking, and
biking to be in place by opening day of the Arena.
 Develop a campus-wide parking reservation system that is easy for the public to use.
 Expand Downtown Seattle Parking (DSP) and E Park to include Seattle Center and Uptown parking facilities.
 Implement a custom shuttle system for major events to get patrons to and from surrounding transit hubs,
similar to those used for UW games.
 Develop an integrated Schedule Coordination Program for Seattle Center and all its resident organizations.

3. Mitigate impacts to surrounding neighborhoods
Fehr & Peers Technical Memo #4 describes “spillback” traffic into surrounding neighborhoods as inevitable as the
streets studied in the DEIS become more congested during Arena construction and operation. Drivers using GPS apps,
or their own knowledge of the street grid, will attempt shortcut routes using alternate arterials and residential streets
in Uptown, Queen Anne and Belltown. Engage these communities and fund measures to lessen impacts to residents
and local businesses.

Mitigation for neighborhoods:
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1. Fund a study and work with neighboring communities to look at impacts to 15th Avenue W, West Mercer Place,
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Queen Anne Drive at Aurora, Nickerson St, Westlake Avenue, the impacts from opening of the SR 99 north portal
Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018
and other general impacts on traffic through Belltown resulting from the lack of exits created by the Alaskan Way
Replacement Project.
2. Explore expansion of Residential Parking Zones (RPZs) in surrounding neighborhoods. If expanded RPZs are
supported, fund enforcement and education to prevent Arena customers and employees from circling the
neighborhood looking for free parking.
3. Fund additional enforcement of existing regulations to mitigate impacts in adjacent neighborhoods such as
blocking the intersection box and running red lights.

4. Expand safety definitions and improve safety conditions
The DEIS assessment on safety is based on a narrow definition driven by a private vehicle-only focus that is
inconsistent with the high priority City of Seattle places on its Vision Zero Plan. The DEIS assumes that if intersections
do not meet a “threshold for collision” there are no concerns and thus no safety mitigation measures required.
Include considerations of worker, pedestrian, and bicycle safety during both construction and operations and fund a
North Downtown Vision Zero area.

Mitigation for safety:
1. Use the Vision Zero Plan as the standard for measuring safety.
2. Create a North Downtown Vison Zero focus area.
3. Fund sidewalks improvements to accommodate large crowds to safely gather while waiting to cross the street at
major crossings for events.
4. Support bike share programs education and enforcement to ensure bikes don’t block sidewalks especially in areas
with increased pedestrians.
5. Fund special events coordinator position with the Seattle Fire Department and cover the costs for all Seattle
police Department officers and parking enforcement personnel, similar to the 1st & Goal.

5. Narrow horizon year gap
The DEIS ignores the 15-year gap between the chosen 2020 and 2035 Horizon Years. Between 2018-2034 significant
changes will occur in the North Downtown neighborhoods and Seattle Center campus: such as street grid re-
connections over SR-99 (Harrison, Republican, Thomas); development spurred by Uptown rezone; a new SPS high
school; ST2 light rail stations connecting more people to the Monorail; One Center City plan completion with some or
all projects implemented; major waterfront amenities open with a circulator; the Alaskan Way Viaduct Reconstruction
Project completed and open; ST3 station location study; potential new connection to SR 99 via Harrison Street; and
incremental road and transit improvements. Prioritize mitigations during this period when traffic impacts will be at
their peak, just before the ST3 light rail line opens.

Mitigation for year gap:
1. Focus mitigation measures on reducing low occupancy vehicles trips to the Arena and Seattle Center for the next
15 years, between 2019 and 2034.
2. Prioritize the most impactful mitigation which may require additional analysis for the year 2025.

6. Ensure mitigation is in place by opening day of the Arena
Provide detailed Mitigation Plan in the FEIS that includes measurable performance goals, strategies, timing, funding,
roles and responsibilities, annual reporting on operations to evaluate whether goals are being met, and if not, what
further mitigation is needed to meet goals.
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Uptown Alliance Arena Review Committee June 6, 2018