The Tolled Tunnel, in Context

Tunnel Comparison Graphic

How does the Deep Bore Tunnel compare to other transportation options?

We created this graphic to place the Deep Bore Tunnel costs and capacity into context. It is inherently political, but the intention is to help citizens make an informed and rational decision and to maximize their return on transportation investments.

The information used is easily accessible to the public. WSDOT has done an reasonable job putting technical tunnel information into the public realm, including the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements which are a treasure trove of information. Admirers of Portland’s MAX system have already collected and referenced its key data on Wikipedia and we leveraged their work. Only estimating the Surface/Transit/I-5 plan proved challenging. While the individual components are well understood, estimating their capacity and costs required significant research but has been done with a repeatable and open methodology.

To be clear, not only will WSDOT’s tolled-bypass tunnel fail Seattle in countless ways, it is also a terrible investment with an negative return. This is merely one illustration of that investment choice.

  1. Tunnel Sources
    1. Distance: WSDOT’s Tunnel FAQ
    2. Cost: WSDOT’s Tunnel Information
    3. Capacity: Draft Environmental Statement, Pg 209
  2. ST5 Sources
    1. Distance: RapidRide Map, ST5 Scenario B Map
    2. Cost: WSDOt 2008 Surface/Transit Facts
    3. Capacity: Nelson/Nygaard Seattle Urban Mobility Plan (2008)
  3. PDX MAX
    1. Distance: Wikipedia
    2. Cost: Wikipedia
    3. Capacity: Wikipedia
Jeff Hammerquist’s excellent illustrative and analytic skills, Alex Broner for research and vision, and Harmony Shenk for the genisis of the idea.
Update 8/16/2011: Context, not conext

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