Tunnel funding should include Special Taxing District

One of the myths put forth by I-912 proponents was that the gas tax did not include enough money to finish proposed mega-projects… that state taxpayers would eventually be asked to foot the rest of the bill. Well, in the case of the Alaska Way Viaduct, that’s simply not true.

The new gas tax, validated by voters this week, commits $2 billion to the viaduct’s replacement. The federal government says it will contribute another $250 million. With that money, plus other state funding already committed, the state said it has enough money to build a new viaduct.

The cost of replacing the crumbling viaduct with a similar structure is estimated at $2.5 to $3 billion. The tunnel alternative preferred by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels would cost an additional $1 billion, none of which will come from the state. Yesterday, the Port of Seattle agreed to budget $200 million towards replacing the viaduct and the waterfront’s aging seawall with a tunnel, taking a sizable bite out of the billion dollar difference. But where will the rest of this money come from?

Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis is confident the city can come up with the extra money, and said it includes up to $300 million from city utilities for the relocation of utility lines, up to $200 million from the city’s own transportation fund, up to $250 million from the Army Corps of Engineers for replacing the seawall, and money from a regional tax package yet to be placed on the ballot.

With all those “up to” caveats, I’m guessing those numbers are optimistic. But an unrelated transportation news story suggests one overlooked source of funding.

Construction of a new South Lake Union streetcar line is expected to start in the spring, now that the vast majority of area property owners have agreed to pay $25.7 million

Comments

  1. 1

    Chris spews:

    Goldy Your final Paragraph includes the following:

    “Replacing the viaduct is absolutely crucial to the economy of our region”

    I thought it was because it had to do with SAFETY. You know the SKY (AWV) is Falling. That is what was told to me by our Gov. That is what was told to all the voters…..

    Wow the truth is out now, it is all about the MONEY!!! I hope that the Economy of YOUR region, sinks like the 520 bridge, or falls like the AWV will.

  2. 2

    seadog spews:

    If and only if your statements would come true, I would support it 100%. But here are some pitfalls we will see for sure.

    1. The currently estimated budget for the AWV or the tunnel are way to low. There has never been a project in Seattle or KC history where we didn’t have massive cost overruns. Part of those overruns were caused by thinking in todays dollars while the project was done many years later, others were plainly budgeted too low. Prime examples for Seattle are the monorail or the Sound Transit. You can add any project to it from airport expansion to 520 extension, etc. The numbers passed on during initial planning or during campaigns are always too low.
    2. I would assume that none of the biz owners or property owners along AWV would be willing to pay part of the costs for the tunnel. That’s just not Seattle. Seattle is a Me Me Me city, what’s in for me, how can I get the maximum benefit for little to no money. They will scream if any politician even suggest this, they will claim they are already paying for it by lower biz during construction, years of missing the upswing in property prices, that they will pay higher property taxes ones it’s done, don’t want to pay twice, because it’s Monday, you name it. No one will be willing to pay….and the Seattle City Council (who’s in their pockets) will very quickly raise taxes for all inhabitants and most likely try to get the state to pay for it.
    Just remember what happened with Safeco field and Qwest stadium. The voters said no to Safeco Field and…it was built anyway. ETC, ETC.

    So the Tunnel will not cost 4 Billion, but will cost 8-10 if built and the taxpayer will foot the bill.

  3. 3

    righton spews:

    Are you joel horn…?

    BS, its going to magically increase prop values

    and yeah, it will NEVER be built for the quoted price.

    and what about the Salmon beach that Steinbruck wants? Otter parks, bike paths, hobo rest areas, diversity art.

    What a crock…

  4. 4

    bluetaco spews:

    Aside from silly arguments about who’s more selfish, Seattle or the hinterlands, the cost overrun issue is a real problem. The only response to it is to 1) look at recent state highway project history and see what has been the cost/timeliness record, and 2) acknowledge that similar problems are likely to crop up whether the AWV is simply replaced with another viaduct or a tunnel.
    The property value effects are also real and likely to be substantial. A good example would be the impact on Portland’s waterfront when they moved the highway across the river to the industrial district and created McCall Park (another example would be SF’s Embarcadero). These examples could be studied to ddetermine their impacts on local property values. However, it is also true that while the construction is occurring there will be substantial negative impacts on local property values and business revenues. So a local taxing district, while a good idea, has to be designed carefully. Perhaps rates could be lowered initially, then raised after the tunnel is complete for a set number of years?

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rip Van Winkle @1

    The economic impacts of a viaduct closure have been frequently discussed in HA threads for months. Next time, try paying attention.

  6. 7

    Goldy spews:

    The viaduct is going to be replace one way or another, and I’m not sure that tunnel construction would negatively impact local businesses any more than constructing a replacement. They will both be massive projects that will cause great disruption.

    So let’s be clear what we’re talking about here… the difference between replacing the viaduct with a viaduct or a tunnel. There is no question that the main benefit to a tunnel is aesthetic (though one could also make the argument that since tunnels last twice as long as viaducts, it’s a smart investment over the course of the next century.) And thus there is no question that in terms of economic rewards, it is those property owners who will see their property value rise the most, who will benefit most.

    As to “me, me, me…” well the South Lake Union streetcard taxing district has overwhelmingly approved the assessments, so there is an example of property owners saying yes.

  7. 8

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    I’ll make ya another bet Goldy. $1000 says that by 12/31/25, the viaduct replacement will still not be done, and the cost will be in excess of $20B. It will stand as the worst public works boondoggle of all time.

  8. 9

    Steve Zemke spews:

    Maybe if the Kingdome had been built as a quality project rather than on the cheap as it was it would not have been torn down and replaced at added cost to the taxpayers. I believe the same is the case with the Viaduct, build a quality replacement for the traffic for the future – namely a tunnel and charge tolls as was done when the Hood Canal Bridge was replaced when it blew away in the past. Those who want to use it should pay for it.
    As for potential increased property value for properties in the area , that means higher property taxes so the extra value should be calculated over time. The extra taxes should be targeted to help pay for the tunnel.
    There’s always the third option which is just to tear the Viaduct down and not replace it. That would certainly be an incentive for people to use public transit, carpool and the like. Sounds radical doesn’t it but it should also be debated as an option. The future is what we make it and Seattle can change if we want it to. The cost to tear it down would only be a fraction of building a new Viaduct or tunnel.

  9. 10

    dj spews:

    Mark The Redneck @ 8,

    It seems you still need to make good on you first bet with Goldy. Reneging on a bet is considered exceedingly poor behavior by conservatives, progressives, Democrats and Republicans alike.

    You REALLY are obligated to take your gambling debt seriously.

    My suggestion is that you just send Goldy the $100 in cash or a cashiers check.

  10. 11

    Nindid spews:

    Goldy, I think this is an eminently sensible approach and one which has a good chance of building the necessary coalition between property owners, business and government that such a large project would need to be successful.

    As to the issues brought up above, large projects are always going to be susceptible to cost overruns and management challenges whether they are run by public institutions or private ones. But the option of doing nothing is no option at all. If the conservatives here are too afraid of their own shadow to even attempt to tackle the big challenges facing our city then they should step aside and let adults handle the job.

    We are working to manage and build a better Seattle. Is the tunnel the best option? I am not sure. It would be more then aesthetic though Goldy as it would raise the general profile of the city by leveraging its best asset – the beauty of the Sound.

  11. 12

    Nindid spews:

    On a related point, I am very encouraged by the recent 912 as it showed how fragile the Republican coalition between anti-government movement conservatives, religious radicals, and the business community really is.

    When Democrats put forward good centrist positions that address the needs of the public – including the business community – we are able to attract large numbers of voters from across the state.

    The Democrats have become the party of practical governance that takes care of the basic infrastructure of the community with a proven record of good fiscal management. The Republicans, both nationally and locally have boxed themselves in and are now forced into choosing between the cultural warriors and the business. Over the past year they have continuously chosen the radical religious side and eschewed good governance and sensible fiscal policy.

    For over twenty years the Republican party told the cultural and religious radicals that they had to bide their time until they could take power. Now that they have, they can no longer convince the radicals to go back in the closet.

  12. 13

    Nindid spews:

    Looks like my previous post got hung up in the filter… damn you Goldy! ;) If only prr was here to see this OBVIOUS manipulation of the filter protocols to keep a message praising you off the board!

  13. 14

    Seeking the truth spews:

    At least now the people who wasted all that money on the monorail have a new place to go. The viaduct replacement board!

    I wonder how much money they can waste before breaking ground?

    There is an old saying that the lack of planning on your part does not constitute a crises on my part. Seattle has known for years that these projects needed to be taken care of. Instead they did things like build stadiums.

    I agree that the viaduct needs to be replaced with something better. I don’t agree that a statewide tax is the way to fund it.

    Why is it that the second narrows bridge is a toll road, but a new viaduct has to be funded statewide?

  14. 15

    Ivan spews:

    Hey, look, Mark the Redneck is back. Remember “912 will pass by 15 percent?” What other pearls of wisdom do you have for us now, brain boy?

  15. 16

    dj spews:

    Chris @ 1

    Goldy Your final Paragraph includes the following:

    “Replacing the viaduct is absolutely crucial to the economy of our region”

    I thought it was because it had to do with SAFETY. You know the SKY (AWV) is Falling. That is what was told to me by our Gov. That is what was told to all the voters…..

    Ummm…the safey issues and the importance to the economy are not mutually exclusive. Were you thinking that we could not talk about economic benefits of the AWV and potential replacement options just because we know the existing structure is unsafe? (That seems illogical to me.)

    BTW: It was not the Governor who declared that AWV was a safety problem. It was engineers who deemed beginning with the last large earthquake. Gregoire was not even the Governor then!

  16. 18

    Ivan spews:

    Steve Zemke @ 9:

    Tearing the Viaduct down and not replacing it as an “incentive” to use public transit, carpool, and the like, really means FORCING them to do it. It would be a business and job-killer solution,and there’s nothing “progressive” about that. The word that fits that solution is “moonbat.”

    And for you right-wing morons out there who keep asking why the rest of the state “has to pay for this,” what part of STATE HIGHWAY do you fail to understand, and how many f-g times do we have to keep repeating that?

    I pay for YOUR roads in Washougal and Washtucna, you whining cheap bastards, and you damn sure will pay for mine. And I feel real good about that.

  17. 19

    Ivan spews:

    Steve Zemke @ 9:

    Your “third option” is no option at all It would not give people “incentive” to use mass transit and carpools, it would *force* them to do it. It would be a business- and job-killer. There’s only one word that describes that “solution” precisely, and that word is “moonbat.”

  18. 21

    Curious George spews:

    Steve Zemke @ 9:

    Increased property values won’t mean increased property tax revenues without a vote of the people. There was an initiative a few years ago that limits increases in property tax revenue to 1% per year, remember?

    Increased property values may mean reduced property tax bills for the rest of the county. That’s a good thing, I guess.

  19. 22

    dj spews:

    Proud To Be An Ass @ 17

    “Mark @ 8: I’ll book that bet. “

    Be careful, Mark the Redfaced hasn’t made good on his bet with Goldy for $100 yet. You can bet that MTR would have been screaming for evidence that Goldy paid $100 to Eyman if 912 had won by a large enough margin. But, when it is his obligation to pay, he only has excuses.

    If you do make a bet, I’d suggest you ask MTR to pay Richard Pope to write it up as a contract, since MTRs written, albiet anonymously authored, word is not good enough to ensure compliance with his obligations.

  20. 23

    Richard Pope spews:

    Wow, Goldy has an idea that makes a helluva lot of sense for a change. Beats constantly attacking the Republicans.

  21. 24

    Janet S spews:

    Creating a special taxing district sounds like a great way to tax the few to pay for the many. I bet the many – King County or Seattle residents – will be more than happy to let someone else pay for their expensive toys.

    The AWV was just shut down for examination. It was found to be okay, except for a quarter-inch crack that is not a threat. If the bridge collapses next week, will those engineers, and the govt who hired them, be liable for the damage? All you who think the AWV is too dangerous to be on, why not lobby to have it shut down until a solution is found?

    This is all about money, and nothing about safety.

  22. 25

    seadog spews:

    Ivan: People don’t mind paying for a State Highway, but the question we “cheap bastards” put up is why should the rest of the state pay for the SBP (Seattle Beautification Project). That’s the tunnel thing.

    And Curious George: Yes, the 1 % increase was voted in and property taxes are not supposed to go up by more than 1%. But the way around it is to increase the appraised value of your property. Over the past 5 years, I have never seen my property taxes stay within 1 %. I always got a new appraised value from the county auditor and voila…higher taxes.

  23. 26

    Goldy spews:

    Seadog @25,

    My God… how could you make so many clearly wrong statements in such a short comment?

    The state has budgeted money towards replacing the viaduct with a similar structure. Should a tunnel be chosen, the funds necessary for the extra cost will come locally. So state taxpayers were never going to pick up the tab for a “beautification project.” That’s a load of bullshit.

    And, I-747 did not limit increases in tax rates to 1% a year, it limits increases in property tax revenues (excluding new construction) to 1% a year. Thus they could triple everybody’s appraisal tomorrow, and still not add revenue beyond the 1% limit.

  24. 27

    dj spews:

    Janet S @ 24

    Creating a special taxing district sounds like a great way to tax the few to pay for the many. I bet the many – King County or Seattle residents – will be more than happy to let someone else pay for their expensive toys.

    It seems that you fail to understand what Goldy is suggesting. Read his post again–very slowly.

    “The AWV was just shut down for examination. It was found to be okay, except for a quarter-inch crack that is not a threat.”

    A better-than-expected check-up at one point apparently was not enough to alleviate all of the safety concerns. Janet S…really, they have professional engineers who study these things and arrive at professional opinions.

    “If the bridge collapses next week, will those engineers, and the govt who hired them, be liable for the damage?”

    What the fuck are you getting at? Relevance?

    “All you who think the AWV is too dangerous to be on, why not lobby to have it shut down until a solution is found?”

    Well, at least give Goldy credit for trying—if you had offered him some money he might have succeeded in just that (I offered hime $100 for the effort).

    “This is all about money, and nothing about safety. “

    Really? I though it was “all about” replacing a failing and end-of-life piece of high-capacity transportation infrastructure with new high-capacity infrastructure that meets modern safety and seismic standards, with aesthetic improvements to boot.

  25. 28

    Bax spews:

    Yes, the 1 % increase was voted in and property taxes are not supposed to go up by more than 1%.

    747 is an aggregate limit. It limits aggregate collections to no more than 101% of the previous year. Perhaps you should actually read up on the initiatives you support instead of complaining about them and showing you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  26. 29

    Peter Carlin spews:

    Of the $1B difference, if port gives $200M, city gives $500M from utility & transportation fund, $250M from COE, that leaves $50M. Say the city picks that up. So city is now in for $550M. Any estimates as to what the waterfront improvement district could raise based on the expected property values?

    Peter

  27. 30

    Brent spews:

    Goldy,

    Do you honestly think that a project like the AWV will come in on budget?

    Your answer to that question is exactly why I-912 was so widely supported (before false claims in advertisements), despite what you’d rather think it’s true intent was…

  28. 31

    seadog spews:

    Goldy…Goldy…use your braincells.

    1. My answer was to Ivan who claimed we were against paying for the tunnel…and if Seattle wants the tunnel, they should pay for the extra costs.
    2. I guess you don’t pay property taxes…

  29. 32

    Chimp Patrol spews:

    who in the hell would want to take a bet with a welcher like you MTR? all mouth, no back up, run to mommy and have her fix your life AGAIN

  30. 33

    spews:

    Nindid wrote, “It would be more then aesthetic though Goldy as it would raise the general profile of the city by leveraging its best asset – the beauty of the Sound.

    I think the positive effect of open access to the waterfront cannot be overstated enough. Then there is the noise of the roadway. Cities rarely have a chance to improve themselves, but Seattle would surely do well to lose the visual eyesore and noise the AWV brings. Bury the road and open the area up to the public as a world class public space any city on water would be proud of.

  31. 34

    Ivan spews:

    Seadog @ 31:

    I never mentioned the tunnel, so don’t put words in my mouth. For your information, I am *not* a supporter of the tunnel option. I want the Viaduct replaced with another elevated roadway.

    The state Legislature has told Seattle from the beginning that there will be no state money for a tunnel. Any tunnel money would have to be generated from Seattle. That might be one of the reasons that 912 went down — because the dumb gomers who favored it continued to spread the LIE that the rest of the state would have to pay for the tunnel, when the TRUTH was — and is — that that never has been the case.

    People saw through the bullshit. 912 failed because its supporters were, and continue to be LIARS about the tunnel.

  32. 35

    spews:

    The donks have ran this state for most of the last 30 years and no roads have been built and this viaduct is no different. The donks dont know how to build roads or anything of value. When this is done it will end up costing five times the original budget. What a waste.

  33. 36

    dj spews:

    RUFUS @ 35

    No roadways have been built in the last 30 years? Wahhhhhh, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaa, haaaaaaaaaaa. Holy shit, RUF, there are new roadways within 1 mile of my home that the state built within the last decade.

    The viaduct is no different.”

    It is different—it is slowly sinking and otherwise gradually approaching the end of its designed life. Hence, the recognized need to raise money to replace it. If it hadn’t been for I-695 (or, technically, the fallout from I695) in 1999, we would have been years ahead in financing a new AWV and other pieces of infrastructure.

    The donks dont know how to build roads or anything of value.

    Really? Hmmmm…the Government Performance Project rated management of infrastructure for all 50 states. The report for WA provides an in-depth analysis of WSDOT (click on WA and then select infrastructure report).

    Washington State was given a grade of a B for their infrastructure management. There are 10 states that are ranked higher than WA and 6 states that are co-ranked with a B. Apparently, WA is pretty good at managing its transportation (and other) infrastructure.

    “When this is done it will end up costing five times the original budget. What a waste.”

    Unlikely. What we know from the Nickel package is that WSDOT has been, on average, coming in under-budget. If WA was always blowing it on project costs, then there is no way the Government Performance Project would rank them as highly as they did.

    But, RUFUS, are you whining?????

    I mean, I could be wrong, but it sure seems like you are whining like a sore loser!

  34. 38

    spews:

    The French questioning how we respond to disaster huh. It looks like they have a hard time just keeping the peace in their own country

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ice12.html

    I feel sorry for that pathetic insignificant country. It would be better for them if another country took them over since they can’t protect themselves from themselves.

  35. 39

    spews:

    Unlikely. What we know from the Nickel package is that WSDOT has been, on average, coming in under-budget. If WA was always blowing it on project costs, then there is no way the Government Performance Project would rank them as highly as they did.

    I will hold judgement after they get audited. Hooray for I-900 passing. Now we can really see what is going on at WSDOT.

  36. 40

    Curious George spews:

    by Harry Poon — 11/12/05 @ 6:31 pm

    “Rufus is upset because the blogosphere is now dominated by Progressives.”

    Not to mention those that know what they’re talking about.

  37. 41

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    20 years and $20B and the AWV project will still not be done. Our kids will have this same stupid conversation.

  38. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    BUSH DROPS AGAIN IN POLLS

    A day after Bush’s disgraceful Veterans Day speech, the Liar-In-Chief’s approval rating has dropped to a new low of 36%. Nevertheless, a stubborn Bush intends to continue bashing his critics in a planned speech in Alaska on Monday.

    Even more startling, only 29% of Americans believe Darth Cheney’s is “honest.” And the GOP brand name is so tarnished, many Republican congressfuckers are distancing themselves from the White House, and avoiding the party label. Maybe they’ll run for re-election as “non-partisan.” har har har har har har

  39. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Comment on 36

    The worst grades are in the south and Rocky Mountain states — where Republicans run state governments. Hmmmmm.

  40. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @41

    Betcha Mark the Anti will be first in line to drive on the refurbished Alaska Way thoroughfare — and he’ll still be whining about what it cost, while registering his car in Idaho and squeezing corn in his garage to avoid paying road taxes!

  41. 46

    Bax spews:

    Isn’t it ironic how the 912 supporters who are anti-road construction are bitching about not doing enough road construction?

  42. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    See previous thread for Roger Rabbit’s arbitration of Mark the Redneck’s gambling debt to Goldy.

  43. 50

    Donnageddon spews:

    MArk the Redneck Villiage Welcher, I will bet you 1 Million MTRVW dollars that either project will be built on time and on budget by 2025.

    Bear mind that MTRVW dollars are measured in nothing but hot air and lying.

  44. 52

    Harry Poon spews:

    Conservative Holy Tenets: “Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge 30+ years ago and accidentally drowned his girlfriend. Bill Clinton lied about a blowjob. You hate America and Jesus. Corporations are people and have more constitutional rights than you do. When we say “privatize” it’s code for give it to big business. We mindlessly equate the free market with huge, muti-national cartels and monopolies. We think the upper 1% of the economic ladder has an eternal right to rule mankind and live off the backs of others. We are sheeple and we demand that you be sheeple , too. We hate our children and want to ruin their future by making sure evil, cowardly halfwits run the country. Please love us!!!”

  45. 53

    spews:

    Speaking of lying all you lefties on this blog swore we would be paying $5 a gallon by now. I saw gas yesterday at $2.39 a gallon. Can you donks ever tell the truth?

  46. 56

    dj spews:

    RUFUS @ 52

    “Speaking of lying all you lefties on this blog swore we would be paying $5 a gallon by now. “

    Well, since I never claimed such a thing (and I probably qualify as a leftie), your statement is dead wrong.

    “Can you donks ever tell the truth?”

    Ummmmm….it look like you’re the one who can’t tell the truth here, sparky.

  47. 57

    dj spews:

    RUFUS @ 54

    From Nixon to George W. Bush. The Republicans have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are liars.

  48. 60

    Clinton spews:

    You know, here’s the thing I love about Bill Clinton: just mentioning his name causes rethugs to turn beet red, to sputter, starts the veins in their foreheads throbbing, makes them incoherent (more so than usual, anyway) and just generally makes them into three-year-olds having a tantrum. It’s wonderful to behold. Even now, years after he has left office, rather than holding up their guy’s accomplishments (oh, wait) they have to pull out their tired old whipping horse that they don’t realize your average guy on the street didn’t care about back then and sure-as-shit doesn’t care about today. Bill Clinton is kryptonite to rethugs–whether they’re beating their mothers or beating off in the mayor’s office while trying to meet same-sex “interns” for fun, it gets their goat every time.

    Thanks, Bill.

    I think a special taxing district is an intriguing idea. Who could possibly object? If they want it, they can help pay for the benefits; if they don’t want it, they vote it down.

  49. 61

    Michael spews:

    My bet is that within the next 5 years we will be asked to raise the gas tax at least another 5 cents. The list of projects that 5 cents will pay for will include a large number of the same projects the 9.5 cent increase claims to pay for. Dave Ross will still be asking listeners if they have went to the website to check out all the new roads they will get for the new tax.

  50. 62

    GS spews:

    What about just knocking the viaduct down, selling all of that extensive waterfront property, taking all of that windfall real estate sale plus the 2.2 billion they now have and redoing I5 so the viaduct traffic is rerouted to I5.

    No Cost overruns necessary! Plenty of money without raising taxes, The Seattle waterfront can now be developed under the guidance of Seattle, but with developer money instead of tax money.

    A windfall for all involved, even the taxpayers!

  51. 63

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy—
    I cannot wait to see the WSDOT accounting “shell-game”!
    Once the reality of the cost of the AWV “tunnel” hits home (after it is started most likely) and the horrific impact on businesses and traffic for a DECADE or more, AWV “tunnel” proponents will be hiding out in Pakistan with Osama Bin Laden.
    Michael is right….
    We will be asked for at least 5 cents/gallon more in the next 5 years JUST TO PAY FOR THE PROJECTS THAT THIS 9-1/2 CENTS WERE SUPPOSED TO COVER!!!!!!!!
    We are also moving into a time of more fuel efficient cars which will blow away current estimated GasTax revenues……..
    There will be SHORTFALLS in current revenues which BasTax proponents will squawk contributes to underfunded, unfinished project.
    The WSDOT either underestimated revenues or underestimate costs on the project list….ON PURPOSE!!! To defeat I-912, WSDOT had to overpromised results.
    It’s always fun to watch a government that is supposed to represent us and be honest play these shell games.

  52. 64

    Puddybud spews:

    But Cynical you forgot the piece-de-resistance!

    I-900. Now WSDOT CANNOT hide and fudge! Hence my commentary that I-912 could go down in flames (I pass on the costs to my clients) and I am happy knowing REAL AUDITS will now occur with I-900. No more smoke and mirrors!!!! Now when the public realizes they were hoodwinked, in 2008 we’ll see the reality of this vote!!!

    For donnageddon who is a tad slower than Rupert “Truth Teller” Wabbet: So you don’t have to run to Google; piece-de-resistance = an outstanding accomplishment or staying power, lastingness; you know, why women love blacks in bed. Length and Staying Power!!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    Come on Undercover Brother, now you know that’s funny! I know that’s what your first name means. Oh, sorry to blow your cover! Read ya soon in another city!

  53. 65

    dj spews:

    yo @ 58

    “hey dj does bj and clinton mean anything to you dumbass”

    Hmmmm…lets see, lying about a blow job versus:

  54. Watergate lies
  55. Iran Contra lies
  56. Lies taking us to invading Iraq
  57. Plamegate lies
  58. DeLay money laundering
  59. You wingnuts fuckwads have a monopoly on the big stuff!

  60. 66

    dj spews:

    Michael and Cynical

    “We will be asked for at least 5 cents/gallon more in the next 5 years JUST TO PAY FOR THE PROJECTS THAT THIS 9-1/2 CENTS WERE SUPPOSED TO COVER!!!!!!!!”

    Just saying it doesn’t make it so. Come on, dudes, lay off the psychodelics.

  61. 67

    David spews:

    Recalling a discussion with Mr. X, I wonder whether lowering Aurora north of the Battery Street tunnel (and reconnecting the street grid there with bridges, a new Mercer Street, etc.) is still part of the Viaduct replacement plans—whether or not we spring for a tunnel along the waterfront.

    If it is, then I’d suggest the city & state economize and get us closer to making the Viaduct project (hopefully a tunnel, I say) happen financially by either 1) dropping the north Aurora plan, for now at least, or 2) getting south Lake Union area landowners (Paul Allen, Seattle Times) who will be the big beneficiaries of that add-on to help pay for it with a special taxation district there, too.

  62. 68

    For the Clueless spews:

    MTR and Puddy “Freep” Koresh: weasly bet welshers.

    Cantwell evil? Typical woman-hating crap from the right. McGavick making a lavish salary, bonus and stock options by exporting jobs to India – now that is REAL evil.

  63. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @60

    “You know, here’s the thing I love about Bill Clinton: just mentioning his name causes rethugs to turn beet red, to sputter, starts the veins in their foreheads throbbing, makes them incoherent (more so than usual, anyway) and just generally makes them into three-year-olds having a tantrum.”

    They’re jealous because they never got a b.j. from a real live woman. Liver gets old after a while.

  64. 70

    HowCanYouBePROUDtobeAnASS spews:

    It is a truly amazing thing to watch as the lying looney liberals, fraudulent fruitcake fringies, the nefarious nitwit nutburgers and the deceitful dem defenders gleefully justify the lowest of the low and vilest of the vile all while attempting to advance the notion that they have the moral highground.

    How do you look yourselves in the eye?

  65. 71

    AC spews:

    GS @ 62-

    Not going to happen; upgrading I-5 to take an additional 100k vehicles per day will far exceed the cost of the tunnel alternative. How would expand I-5 without buying up surrounding property?

  66. 72

    For the Clueless spews:

    @ 70

    Projection. Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the biggest ASS of all : ASS.

  67. 74

    Heath spews:

    Goldy –

    This is a great idea — although I might also suggest an additional sales tax on the stadia and team sales, since the tunnel will serve the stadia needs much better. Since their business is seasonal, a sales tax fits their budget better than a property tax.

  68. 75

    Puddybud spews:

    Karma Cluelessness: I was denied by technology. You were denied by God, hence He knew you would choose clueless and you are definitely living UP TO your God given ability.

  69. 76

    Puddybud spews:

    If this is going to help Paul Allen businesses, let’s tax Paul Allen businesses. Since he’s a good King COunty citizen, I’m sure he’ll gladly pass on those taxes to his customers.

  70. 77

    GS spews:

    My guess is the property immediately next to I5 would be cheaper than the prime property facing the Seattle waterfront, or at least enough to get another lane on each side. There has been some discussion of the moving of this traffic from the Viaduct to I5 as part of a plan offered by one of the Seattle Big shots in the recent past. They will have to do this anyway if they shut down the viaduct for replacement, as the traffic will have to go somewhere during that replacement.

    I don’t know what became of that plan, but it was at least an alternative that is not discussed enough when the Prime waterfront of Seattle is open for discussion. I’d just like to see what real alternatives there are and opening them up for discussion before digging a tunnel through some of the priciest property in Seattle.

    Won’t happen I am sure! Sounds like the discussion is over for the most part.

  71. 78

    For the Clueless spews:

    Puddy “Freep” Koresh @ 75

    Denied by technology? Ever hear of a landline or a payphone?

    Not buyin’ it PFK. If GBS is not satisfied, you have not performed.

    As for God, ye shall be judged in the end along with your Republican pal, Dr. Michael Aquino.

  72. 79

    David spews:

    GS @ 77: You shouldn’t worry about “digging a tunnel through some of the priciest property in Seattle.” Your guess that “the property immediately next to I5 would be cheaper than the prime property facing the Seattle waterfront” is plausible, but irrelevant; tunneling the Viaduct doesn’t require buying that prime waterfront property. The rights-of-way for the Viaduct and Alaskan Way are there already; it’s publicly owned land. Zero acquisition cost, whether we build another elevated highway or tunnel underneath. (And in the case of a tunnel, we could either create a park on top, or sell the real estate afterward.)

    Good luck with your vision of expanding I-5 through downtown Seattle.

  73. 80

    David spews:

    PudDarrell @ 64: Your command of French is as bad as your understanding of Hebrew. You should really stick to English. Pièce de résistance does not mean “staying power.” It refers to the outstanding item or prize showpiece (in a collection), a culminating work or achievement (in a series of them), or the chief, featured dish (in a meal). There, you’ve expanded your vocabulary . . . you can avoid embarrassing yourself in front of the ladies. Good luck.

  74. 82

    David spews:

    That’s great, Pud—but why would you want to highlight your own trouble with (English) reading comprehension? Oy.

  75. 83

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    The Property Owners on the Waterfront did it once before, with the Waterfront Streetcar, but that will be suspended effective Friday because the barn has to go to make way for a new sculpture park, but the new barn in Pioneer Square will be completed hopefully in 18 months.

    I think the property owners along the viaduct should have to pay some of the money. I have seen some images on the Cascadia Project’s website of a reconstructed waterfront. I noticed that the Waterfront Streetcar is double-tracked in that view, increasing it’s carrying capacity. A Special Assessment District for the Waterfront might help again, possibly bring in at least $100 million.