You’ve got to give credit to the folks at the Discovery Institute; when they put their “minds” to something, they never seem to let little distractions like public opinion, science or, you know, reality get in their way.
As political momentum grows for a highway-free Seattle shoreline, some would-be visionaries want to help traffic move by digging a deep tunnel from Sodo to north of downtown. […] Costs are unknown, but would be in the billions of dollars. Even if a suitable tunnel path exists, Seattle’s loose, watery soils present a challenge in places, and there’s not much room at the surface for ramp connections at I-5.
That hasn’t stopped the Cascadia Center, a branch of the Discovery Institute think tank, from promoting a tunnel.
No, no… of course it hasn’t, because the folks at the Discovery Institute are
a bunch of fanaticist nutcases “visionaries”… you know, if by “visionary” you mean promoting Intelligent Design, seeking to overthrow the scientific method and “replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions,” and ignoring both voter sentiment (“No/Hell No” vote on the Viaduct; Prop 1’s crushing defeat) and economic reality in proposing a multi-billion dollar big dig through downtown Seattle.
I mean, Jesus H. Christ… what does it take to tarnish the Discovery Institute’s reputation? Does Bruce Chapman actually have to strip himself naked and go on a shooting rampage through the Tacoma Mall before our local media and political elite finally accept the fact that he might not be the same reasonable city councilman they remember from the 1970’s? Is there nothing he can do or say to destroy his credibility?
I once proposed building a gigantic rollercoaster along the West Seattle to downtown portion of the Monorail’s abandoned Green Line, and you didn’t see my joke of a transportation proposal picked up by the MSM, let alone labeled “visionary”. And yet the Seattle Rollercoaster Project is no less technically challenging nor politically, well, utterly fucking ridiculous than Discovery’s deep bore, crosstown tunnel. Engineering and economic feasibility aside, God himself could descend from the heavens with a blueprint in one hand and an infinite supply of cash in the other, only to be greeted by polar bear clad environmentalists and angry Eastside developers complaining that He isn’t doing enough to ease congestion on I-405. In a city where completion of a 1.3 mile vanity trolley line is feted like some transportation miracle, the very notion that local voters might commit more than a half billion dollars a mile to an untested technology is a dramatic tribute to Discovery’s primary mission of promoting the exercise of faith over reason.
Of course, it’s not merely faith in God that ultimately drives Discovery’s transportation planning, but more specifically faith in the Invisible Hand of God and the inherent efficiency of the free market. No doubt Seattle’s “Big Bore” would be pitched as a public/private partnership… you know, one of those sweetheart deals in which tax dollars are used to subsidize the privatization of a public asset. Sure, taxpayers would probably be better off financing our transportation improvements through payday loans, but then, who the hell am I to question the wisdom and motives of such an upstanding civic leader as Bruce Chapman?