A Friendly Memo to Chris Hansen from a SoDo Neighbor

A view of Occidental Avenue near Edgar Martinez Dr on Wednesday afternoon

Dear Mr. Hansen,

As the city eagerly awaits the results of your privately-funded transportation study that may (or may not) determine if a third professional sports venue in the SoDo neighborhood will cause insurmountable traffic issues, where two stadiums and a working port already frequently force things to a standstill, let us at Seattle magazine (headquartered very close to Safeco Field) submit the above for consideration.

See that street full of cars? Yeah, on a regular day, that's as deserted as an alleyway.

Today, because a Mariner's day game and and evening Sounder's game are almost overlapping, our quiet alleyway looks like a freeway on-ramp at rush hour in Houston. And let me assure you, those cars aren't going anywhere fast.

Hey now, I get it: traffic problems aren't caused by stadiums. They're caused by terrible drivers who frequent stadiums; so we can't blame just you. Plus, we all love basketball here. (Go Storm!) However, we can insist that you at least try to "class up" the problem with all that excess money you're apparently so eager to burn.

Might I recommend a few ideas for softening the blow your basketball arena will inevitably make on the lives that pass daily through SoDo?

1. Spring for the infrastructure needed to pipe soothing, "Soft and Easy Favorites" throughout the neighborhood during high-volume traffic periods. If all of us are going to be trapped in our cars for hours most afternoons, I'd like it to be in some shared sense of therapeutic calm like that which only Tony Bennett understands.

2. Well-maintained, and artfully decorated public bathrooms on First Avenue are a must. The drive-thru Starbucks is going to be mad if people keep using them as an afternoon pit stop.

3. Finally, if you could go ahead and personally volunteer as a crossing guard behind our building, we'd appreciate the safe passage to the overpriced lots where we have no choice but to park our cars. Again, not your fault! But a daily high-five from you (preferably while you're wearing a bright yellow safety vest) would make me feel so much better.


One of your many welcoming new neighbors in SoDo