Tweet of the Week: Goodbye SR-520 ramps to nowhere


R.H. Thompson

WSDOT officially has a date for removal of those awful, rotting concrete ramps to nowhere over Union Bay. Now if they could only actually fund the replacement portion of SR-520 in Seattle and get it right… (But hey, apparently WSDOT staff hate bicyclists, buses, and pedestrians. Go figure.)

If you don’t know the history here, SR-520 in Union Bay was originally planned with a big interchange. A spur highway called the “R. H. Thompson Expressway” would have sent cars as far north to Bothell and south to Renton. You can imagine the total annihilation of the Washington Arboretum and over a dozen Seattle neighborhoods that would have been sacrificed. Thanks to neighborhoods pitching justified fits that they didn’t want this urban-destroying monstrosity in their city, WSDOT relented in 1971 and cancelled the project. But in the wake of the effort to build the project, the unconnected ramps were left as a reminder of what could have been.

Farewell, ramps to nowhere!

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.