Ex-city council member Richard McIver has an op/ed in the Seattle Times today calling on city officials to reconsider plans to build an NBA-NHL arena in SoDo. Instead, McIver (and his co-columnist, Rainier Valley Community Development Fund director David Essig) argues, the city should consider building an "elevated civic center" connecting the Mount Baker light rail station with the Mount Baker Transit Center, which serves Rainier Ave. buses, across the street. The center would include elevated walkways to the rail station and other major destinations, including Lowe's, the QFC, and Franklin High School.

In a somewhat monorail-esque pitch, the two argue that the new structure, which would house a new NBA team, would constitute
a world-class "Sports, Arts, Civic and Economic Center," or SPACE Center. It would create an aboveground link between the bus-transfer and light-rail stations. It would support the "bow tie" redesign of the area road network the city is currently researching. ...

It would strengthen transit-oriented development, blending high-density development with public transportation, bikeways and pedestrian walkways. It would be consistent with the recently adopted North Rainier Neighborhood Plan, a high-density urban village that needs a major catalyst.

The location, the two note, is easily accessible by car (I-90 intersects with Rainier just to the north), bus, and light rail.
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