Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw voted for the Seattle Arena MOU in 2012 and seemed like a strong supporter of its regional benefits, but in 2016 she changed her tune and came out with a statement strongly opposing the Occidental Avenue Street Vacation, an approval that is needed as a preliminary administrative step before the city and ownership group have a “Shovel Ready” arena plan to bring to the table in NBA and NHL team discussions.
How could this happen? Let’s take a closer look at Councilmember Bagshaw’s ever-changing positions in our official Bagshaw Betrayal Breakdown!
After four years of public hearings, traffic analysis, environmental impact studies, council votes and legislative due diligence, the final step to having a shovel-ready arena plan approved in Seattle is for the City Council to vote on vacating a one-block section of Occidental Avenue in the SoDo arena footprint.
On February 29, 2016, the producers of Sonicsgate scaled a SoDo rooftop to document the critical traffic conditions that arena opponents claim as their primary argument against vacating Occidental Avenue. This was a Monday, and the same day that “the largest cargo ship to visit the United States” pulled up to unload its freight at the Port of Seattle.
We filmed the one-block section of Occidental Avenue in question from 10:30am – 7:30pm. During a nine-hour period, we captured light civilian traffic with clear conditions and virtually zero use for Port shipping containers.
After being approved by the Seattle City Council and King County Council in 2012, the Sodo arena proposal underwent an exhaustive series of studies regarding transportation and environmental impact.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) concluded that “no significant adverse impact related to land use will occur as a result of the project.”
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) recommendation found that “the segment proposed to be vacated is not included in the Port’s important Heavy Haul Network. This is a clear sign that Occidental is not necessary to freight movement or Port Operations.”