In decisive fashion, Seattle voters voted against putting another freeway on the waterfront.
I spent much of the night at the Spitfire. I’ll wait until tomorrow to weigh-in in depth, but here are some thoughts.
How much bigger would the “No Elevated” vote have been if Mayor Nickels had read the writing on the wall? The tunnel plan was blown away, over two-to-one. If the Mayor had pulled his support for the tunnel (an embarrassing thing for the Nickels team, I’m sure), they could have run up the score.
City Council President Nick Licata, who supports another viaduct, called the nearly 45-percent vote in favor of it “a pretty solid base.”
It’s like when the Seahawks are down by three points at the end of the game. They didn’t really lose, they just have a good base, you know? It’s the new math, people.
In my humble opinion, here are the big political winners:
Cary Moon Does she want run for City Council? Folks at the Spitfire party said she’d be a shoe-in after going toe-to-toe with the big boys and kickin’ ass. Eric Earling As much as it pains me to say it, he was one of the first of the GOP to realize that the top two options were bad and worse. Cynara Lilly (and everyone else at Friends of Seattle) After fighting the monorail, she redeems herself by torpedoing the rebuild option. All is forgiven, says this old monorail die-hard. Enviros who ditched the tunnel for the surface option You know who you are. Gutsy. Peter Steinbrueck MVP (Most Valuable Pol) for standing up to Olympia without wavering. Danny Westneat Even though the Times endorsed a rebuild, Danny didn’t fall in line. Good on ya’.
Here are some political losers:
David Della He’s vulnerable, and he favors a rebuild. He’s up this year. The viaduct will be an issue. Greg Nickels Well, at least 30 percent agreed with him. Frank Chopp Will he ignore the vote and rebuild the viaduct? While Frank’s bulletproof, his viaduct ideas get weirder and weirder. The Seattle Times Editorial Page They’re wrong- again- on an issue concerning local Seattle politics. They guy aren’t even trying anymore. Cue a Joni Balter column on how “goofy” the vote was and how Gregoire should “be tough” on Seattle and build that freeway. Puh-leeeaze. Joel Connelly, Nick Licata, and Gene Hoglund These guys see rebuilding the viaduct as a part of Seattle’s “class struggle,” meaning we have to build another viaduct or the “little guy” gets screwed. While only five percent of the traffic on the viaduct is freight, you’d think it was a thousand percent. Sheesh. After all, Steinbrueck wants to give freight much higher priority in the surface plus transit plan.
Some folks who neither win, nor lose:
The Governor She got her vote, and now she’s heard the answer. It’s up to her to decide whether to cooperate with Seattle or fight it right up until Election Day. Here’s to hoping a little birdy by the name of Ed Murray or Ron Sims whispers in the Gov’s ear and says, “go with the third option.” Dino Rossi He’s too busy beating his kids at basketball to weigh-in. Remember, he’s not running for Supreme Court (they handle viaduct stuff, right? Right?) People who drive cars in the city Honestly, over time, things won’t change that much for folks who decide they can’t live without their cars. Traffic jams happen in other big cities. But those big cities tell complainers to take the fucking train (I really heard that from a local pol, seriously) Waterfront businesses Let’s face it: Ivar’s fish and chips will be delicious no matter what happens to the viaduct. It’s full of tourists now, and always will be. God bless’m!
Oh, and I forgot: David Sucher is neither a winner nor a loser. He’s just irrelevant. His odd comments (such as accusing Goldy of being for the tunnel) and cryptic personal attacks (read any Slog post on the viaduct to find one) have put me off to his argument (“Repair and Prepare”, which is actually quite good). If you want to win people to your side, to get them to think the way you do, do the opposite of everything Mr. Sucher has done concerning the viaduct.