Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck is taking Tuesday’s election results and he’s running with them:
The outcome of the advisory vote will likely add momentum to a third choice that politicians kept off the ballot: the so-called surface option that would tear down the viaduct and route traffic onto downtown streets along with beefed-up transit.
Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, who favors that option, said he’ll submit legislation today to effectively kill a tunnel by shifting $8 million in city funds that had been budgeted for a tunnel to work on designs for a surface plan.
“This clearly opens the door to an alternative solution,” said Steinbrueck, who recently announced he would not seek re-election so he could dedicate more time to fighting a new viaduct.
Now that the tunnel is toast, Steinbrueck is pushing hard to make the “surface plus transit” option the city’s official preferred option. I, like Peter, am estatic that Seattle voters dumped two bad choices in favor of some new ideas.
But Seattle is not an island, politically. At the big press conference after the election with Gregoire, Sims, and Nickels, all the parties decided to work together. (Read more about this presser here, here, and here)
What Steinbrueck is doing may be good public policy, it ain’t necessarily in the spirit of a “collaborative” “consensus-based” discussion.
While us city folk can do all we want about the viaduct, there are folks like Mary Margaret Haugen who want to punish Seattle residents by tearing down the viaduct tomorrow. While Frank Chopp isn’t off the deep end in the same way. (He has to answer to Seattle voters, a great many of which are dead-set against rebuilding the viaduct)
The big fear is that Olympia decides to strip Seattle of the ability to issue permits for viaduct construction, essentially taking away our leverage. I would hope that Peter does not make the same mistake Nickels and Co. did with the tunnel by being too single-minded and not playing ball with other parties.