Cook is a South Park computer geek who, through her front window, has a commanding view of what ought to command the attention of King County: the South Park Bridge.
It’s a drawbridge over the Duwamish. It’s 77 years old and feels twice that. With a safety rating of 4 out of 100, it’s the most dangerous road around (the Alaskan Way Viaduct is a 9). Twenty thousand cars and trucks cross it daily.
King County owns this bridge. Engineers say they will shut it in a few years if nothing is done. Money to fix it was in the Roads and Transit plan that failed last week. Now the county has no plan for what to do.
“We aren’t going to be able to come up with the money for that by ourselves,” says Dow Constantine, the councilman who represents South Park.
So it rankles Cook that there the council was Tuesday, approving new taxes for ferries. For flood levees. For mental-health services. Worthy causes all, she said. But what could be more basic, more utilitarian than a neighborhood bridge?
“I don’t understand their priorities,” she said. “How can they just abandon a bridge?”
You know, it’s not like the county hasn’t seen this coming for years. It’s all a matter of setting funding priorities. King County should shelve the ferry to Ballard/Kirkland/Des Moines, cancel plans to remodel Seattle Center (which isn’t their’s to remodel in the first place) and focus on the South Park bridge.