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!

Previous articleDecoding the place between places
Next articleICYMI: UberPEDAL comes to Seattle
Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.