by Goldy, 12/21/2006, 9:52 PM

King County Executive Ron Sims supports a public vote on the future of the Alaska Way Viaduct, but apparently thinks it should initially be limited to an up or down vote on the rebuild option alone. Or so says Sims spokesman Sandeep Kaushik, who joined me last night on 710-KIRO to discuss Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal to hold a public vote pitting the rebuild vs a tunnel.

At first glance a lot of observers thought the Governor had punted on the Viaduct, but a closer look makes it clear that she’s really made most of the decision, eliminating the retrofit and surface options, and setting up a vote that strongly tilts towards a rebuild. The rebuild is by far the furthest along in the design phase, and comes closest to a fixed price tag, with the Governor promising that the state will pick up any cost overruns. So if the Governor gets her way, Seattle voters will be faced with a choice between the devil we know (a 50-percent wider Viaduct with a fairly fixed cost range to local voters) and the devil we don’t know (a tunnel that could end up looking like anything and eventually cost us $5 billion or more.) I think the Governor is fairly confident that given that choice, voters will choose the rebuild.

Sims however thinks it’s too soon to give up on a “surface-boulevard-plus-transit” option, especially since we haven’t fully explored what such an alternative might look like.

“Governor Gregoire’s announcement today that the public should vote between two Viaduct replacement options – a tunnel or a rebuild – is too limited. While I can support the idea of a public vote, and strongly prefer the tunnel over the rebuild, I disagree with the governor’s call for excluding a surface-boulevard-plus-transit option from public consideration.

“That option, which could potentially open up the waterfront while providing an affordable, environmentally friendly means of moving traffic through the city, has not yet been studied. The surface option that WSDOT briefly examined contained no transit element and bears little resemblance to what surface-transit advocates are proposing.

“If we are going to position Seattle as a vibrant world-class 21st century metropolis, we need to proceed with boldness and vision. We need to think beyond present-day categories, with an eye to the long-term. How we decide on the Viaduct today is a profound test of our commitment to a better, more enlightened future. The right sort of transit-friendly surface proposal could meet that test.”

I agree.

If the Viaduct wasn’t already in place, nobody in their right mind would propose constructing a massive, double-decker freeway through Seattle’s waterfront, and our transportation planners’ inability to envision options beyond a rebuild or a tunnel is a failure of imagination and vision. By all means, let the voters decide if they want a rebuild. But let’s not set up a false choice where a tunnel is the only other option.

63 Responses to “Via-duck”

1. Daniel K spews:

We have competing opinions.

Of course I’m right this time and you’re wrong (a little, not completely).

2. proud to be an Ass spews:

The tunnel naming rights could be sold in a bidding war between Paul Allen (Vulcan My Way) and Bill Gates (Windows by the Sea). In either event, a monopoly we granted and enforced for them (the effort paid for by our taxes) has made them rich beyond the wildest dreams of mere mortals.

Either one of them could pay for the whole thing and not even miss the dough.

3. rob spews:

If you really believe that Gregoire’s “PUNT” brought you any closer to a solution Goldy you should read Sim’s comments in your own column and then read this.

Members of council question city vote on viaduct

Licata predicted that no matter what happens with a viaduct vote, extensive and expensive legal battles would follow.

“I think we’ll end up hiring more lawyers than engineers for this project,” he said.

4. SeattleDan spews:

Portland figured it out twenty years ago. I guess twenty years from now, we’ll figure it. Only much more expensively, and it still wont be done.

5. rob spews:

re:4 we don’t have the leadership to get it done. New York under competent leadership has the new Freedom Tower under construction. The world trade center was completely distroyed 8 months after the viaduct was damaged.

6. Dan Rather spews:

“Former ambassador Joseph Wilson asked a federal judge yesterday not to force him to testify in the CIA leak case and accused Scooter Libby of trying to harass him on the witness stand.”

Wasnt this the same liberal going around protecting his wife”s honor? I should have known, a liberal will always revert back to their natural state (pussy). hehehe

7. Dan Rather spews:

Liberal love to make shit up and falsely accuse republicans but when they get called to the stand they become little pussies.

8. skagit spews:

Well, here we go again. Does anybody think Gregoire doesn’t want this solved? Does anybody think she’s going to risk her legacy and leadership skills for something less than the best she/we can do?

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

In her press conference, she articulated why she decided as she did. By putting it to a vote of the people, we decide if we want to pay for it. Her analysis and advisers told her that the surface-street option would not suffice.

I’m for the surface street option but I am not an engineer, traffic consultant, urban planner or any of the other so-called experts on urban transportation systems. Can none of you ever let decisions get made without second guessing each and every one? And that includes Sims and Nickels and every single other person who wants it his/her way.

I do think that if people who have expertise in designing a surface option got together and produced a plan, she would consider it. It is Sims opinion that WSDOT briefly examined it. Why doesn’t Sims and a few others put their time and money where their mouths are and provide the alternative. Criticism is cheap . . .

9. skagit spews:

Seattle Dan, can anyone really seriously compare Portland with Seattle? Maybe San Francisco. . . but Portland?

And in case you weren’t following it closely, Ron, getting the World Trade Towers replaced was just as antagonistic as this is. There was nothing smooth or agreeable about it.

10. Particle Man spews:

Ron Sims may see delay as no big deal but pushing a decision out another year or two IS a big deal. This road is unsafe and is a vital point of access for Seattle and the region. Ron and Greg should come clean in regard to their funding plan and the realistic timeline for design and funding and finally construction of both the chunnel/condo option and the surface road/ monorail option.

11. Will spews:


If the thing is so unsafe, we should tear it down, NOW.

12. skagit spews:

Well, that’s a mature, thoughtful response, Will.

13. CarlBallard spews:

As I said in the podcast (and is it ever going up?) it was a punt and she got excellent good field position as a result.

14. Patrick spews:

For once Goldy, I think you have almost hit this dead on. Gregoire did actually do some decision making, albeit it a narrowing of the field. What we really needed was a broadening of options. We didn’t get that. Surprised? Yes, I am actually. Gov. Gregoire has a reputation as a tough negotiator, taking on Big Tobacco, the doctors and trial lawyers last session, and several others.

But when it comes down to busting the balls of fellow Seattle Democrats, she punts back to the voters. It’s a precarious situation for Gregoire, which makes me think there has to be much more going on behind the scenes.

Mark my words, transporation issues are going to weigh Gregoire down as long as she continues to play softball. If she wants to be a leader, and get out in front, she’s going to have to do better, step up, and make the tough calls that voters expect.

15. skagit spews:

Well, Patrick, another expert occupying the peanut gallery. Well done, sonny.

16. sgmmac spews:

Gregoire needs to tell the Seattle Execs to go to hell and re-direct the money to another project. Transportation dollars are too short to keep screwing around with every Tom, Dick and Harry politician from Seattle who forgot long ago where their balls are located, let alone use them for something!

When the yardbird politicians from Seattle finally decide to support one solution for the viaduct (make a decision), the money should be available, because every other transportation project in the state will have been long completed.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

If the damn thing is finally built — say 50 years and 10 special elections from now — they should name it “The Seattle Way.”

18. skagit spews:

It is state highway 99, Smeg. She is responsible for getting it done. And there is a little thing called liability . . .

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

16 That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard! The viaduct needs to be replaced, with or without Sims and Nickels on board. If Gregoire can’t go around them, she should run over them.

20. Patrick spews:

Roger Rabbit, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I agree. Where is this “vaunted” and “tough” negotiator we’ve heard so much about?!?

Somebody recently told me that the “Seattle Way” is to listen to every voice in the room, providing hours upon hours for people to say what they think. And then, allowing the person who speaks at the very end to VETO everyone who came before them–you know, because you wouldn’t want to offend that guy who waited through all of the others who spoke.


21. RightEqualsStupid spews:

I think we should rename it to “Bill Clinton Way” just to piss off the inbred righties, whatever we build. HE HE!

22. Mark1 spews:

Why don’t Ron and Queen Crissy raise gas taxes another dime per gallon? You know, for an unecessary and ridiculously overpriced study by some firm from NYC as to what to do about the viaduct? Then, the fiscally irresponsible WSDOT could milk it for the next five to ten years to justify their inflated budget. That’s the way good ole’ Washington State does it right? After all, the center of the fucking universe is Seattle right?

23. righton spews:

21, (can’t resist), yeah, at least we know both our parents (ok, even if siblings)

Re the Road; how about, just like business….if the promoter of the idea or project has NO clue, don’t listen to him

I say Sims has no clue, so don’t waste your time on him.

Only flaw w/ Gregoire is she should have focused more on the retrofit; with scarce dollars and soaring pop growth in OTHER areas (e.g 520) you should use the least dollars you can on old 99, remainder elsewhere

24. David Sucher spews:

The idea that the Governor can take options such as the Retrofit and the Surface option off the table gives her far too much power, especially in light of a City Council which is already grumbling about a vote, calling it ‘advisory’ and will itself want to put the Surface option on the ballot.

Get on your critical glasses, Goldy. You don’t have to support the Governor just because she is a Democrat. In this case she has grossly mis-stepped and unleashed enormous political turmoil.

25. David Sucher spews:

And WTF cares to “…position Seattle as a vibrant world-class 21st century metropolis…”

No one.

26. klake spews:

skagit says:

It is state highway 99, Smeg. She is responsible for getting it done. And there is a little thing called liability . . .

Maybe she (Queen) should tear it down, and then determine what should be put in its place. The city (Republic of Seattle) should be left out in what should replace that structure and the state should produce the right solution. Now I would divert 99 to I5 and expanded that corridor to handle the traffic threw Seattle. That would answer everybody problem and remove the poor views in downtown.
Other parts of this country are finding tunnels not the best solution for the commuters.” An analysis done for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that the PATH train tunnels under the Hudson River are more vulnerable to a bomb attack than previously thought, and that a relatively small amount of high explosives could cause significant flooding of the rail system within hours.”
Now that problem is not being considered by the mayor and his supporter of the tunnel. But then their support for terrorist will make them immune to this problem.

27. Truth_Teller spews:

26 – We could build a tunnel right through the Convention Center on I-5!

Seriously, though, wasn’t there a study done on expanding I-5 and because of things like the Convention Center and rights of way it was estimated to cost more than a gold-plated tunnel for the Viaduct?

28. Mrs Left Foot spews:

Dear Dan Rather at post number 6,

Mr. Wilson has no material knowledge of the facts in the Scooter Libby criminal trial. The law is very clear about when a witness can be compelled to testify for the defense.

The attempt to place Mr.Wilson on the stand is a thinly veiled attempt to gain testimony before his scheduled deposition concerning the civil action he has initiated regarding the outing of his wife as a CIA operative.

This subpoena will, in all probability, be quashed on motion.

29. Mrs Left Foot spews:

One last thing, does anyone else here AVOID the via-duck because they are concerned about its safety?

I do.

30. harley spews:

Skagit – you are the most tiresome gas bag. Christ. You might have powered the whole city yourself with your flatulent arrogance and self-righteousness. Give it a break, dumbass.

31. klake spews:

Mrs Left Foot says:

One last thing, does anyone else here AVOID the via-duck because they are concerned about its safety?

I do.
You are not the only one avoiding the AWVD and you are right in doing so because of safety alone.

32. klake spews:

Goldy and gang what say you on this subject matter? Now is the Pope right or do we make concessions for the folks with other sexual preferences?
“Pope Benedict spoke out on Friday against legal recognition for unmarried couples and “dismal theories” on the rights of gays to marry which he said stripped men and women of their innate sexual identity.
“I cannot hide my concern about legislation on de facto couples,” the Pope said in a Christmas address to the Rome clergy, weighing into a raging debate in Italy over what legal rights should be given to unmarried and gay couples.
Tensions have been rising in recent months between the Vatican and left-wing parties in Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s ruling coalition, which has pledged to grant some kind of legal recognition to unmarried couples.
Some centre-left politicians have scorned the Vatican for speaking out against the initiative, but the Pope said the Church had the right to be heard.”

33. Right Stuff spews:

What’s so pathetic, and you lefties here should hold your gang responsible, were all the speeches by Nichols, Sims, Gregoire et al about how “unsafe” and “if I-912 passes there will be iminent danger”……blah blah blah blah.
Looks like we are in for years and years of hand ringing, countless studies, and nothing will be done. The structure will continue to stand as is.
I predict that all the money allocated for the viaduct will be spent on studies and elsewhere, and a new tax will roll down the pike in ~3 years to fix the “unsafe” viaduct.

34. Right Stuff spews:

My brain cell just fired and slowly a thought came forth.
Of course there is such trouble getting anything done with the viaduct and sr520. They involve building roads. This is in direct conflict with the transportation ideology of the region, which is “must get people out of their cars, onto transit”. No wonder this is so difficult. Requires polar opposite approach to transportation ideology.
(awaiting next cell firing)

35. BigGlen spews:

Dear Dan Rather at post number 6,
You need to check your facts. (but being a right wing republican you may not know what that means). Former ambassador Joseph Wilson is a republican. He is (or was) an old friend and supporter of Daddy Bush.

36. ArtFart spews:

10/11/12…Tear it down? Why the hell not? If nature had done the rest of the job for us in 2000, by now either we’d have gotten off our butts and replaced it with something, or (as turned out to be the case with the Bay Freeway in San Francisco), we’d have realized we didn’t really need it.

37. Right Stuff spews:

@ 35
I would hardly call him a long time friend of GHWB.
More to the point, he was a career foreign service diplomat.
Maybe you are confusing Joe Wilson R (SC)?
Anyway here is some of Joe Wilson employment history, and usaully republicans don’t work for prominent Dem Senators.

Ambassador Wilson served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998. In that capacity he was responsible for the coordination of U.S. policy to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, He was one of the principal architecs of President Clinton’s historic trip to Africa in March 1998.

Ambassador Wilson was the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, 1995-1997. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995. From 1998 to 1991, Ambassador Wilson served in Baghdad, Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. During ”Desert Shield” he was the acting Ambassador and was responsible for the negotiations that resulted in the release of several hundred American hostages. He was the last official American to meet with Saddam Hussein before the launching of ”Desert Storm.”

Ambassador Wilson was a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service from 1976 until 1998. His early assignments included Niamey, Niger, 1976-1978; Lome, Togo, 1978-79; the State Department Brueau of African Affairs, 1979-1981; and Pretoria, South Africa, 1981-1982.

In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission in Bujumbura, Burundi. In 1985-1986, he served in the offices of Senator Albert Gore and the House Majority Whip, Representative Thomas Foley, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Brazzaville, Congo, 1986-88, prior to his assignment to Baghdad.

38. ArtFart spews:

36 Oops! I guess I really am a “fuzzy headed lib’rul” this morning. I meant the Embarcadero Freeway in SFO.

39. Richard Pope spews:

MrsLeftFoot @ 28

Don’t know what this has to do with the via-duck, but …

Isn’t part of the criminal case whether or not Valerie Plame was a concealed CIA operative?

As I recall, Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame each made $1,000 contributions to the Al Gore campaign in 2000. Ms. Plame used the name of her fake CIA cover employment for the employer information required under federal campaign finance laws.

If anyone had looked at the campaign finance FEC on-line database, they could have determined this and that Ms. Plame had a fake cover employment of some sort. Sometime after Mr. Wilson publicly blasted the Bush administration, some enterprising journalists and bloggers did precisely this.

I haven’t followed this matter in quite some time. But the whole thing started obviously with Mr. Wilson taking that government sponsored trip to Niger, which may or may not have been recommended by his wife. He then wrote that article in the New York Times, after which his wife’s employment came out.

So I would think that Mr. Wilson would definitely have relevant information to the criminal case. Granted, much of his information might not be helpful to the defense, and might favor the prosecution. But I believe the standard for allowing witness testimony is relevance, not whether or not the testimony would backfire against the party seeking the testimony.

As for the civil case, wouldn’t the Federal Tort Claims Act cover Scooter Libby and the other federal employees who might be named? Even if they are personally named, the United States is substituted for the individual federal employee defendants, and the United States — not the individual employees — ends up defending the civil lawsuit and paying the judgment.

So Mr. Libby would not get any personal advantage by getting Mr. Wilson’s testimony vis-a-vis a lawsuit by Mr. Wilson or Ms. Plame over the allegedly blown cover. The United States would be defending the civil lawsuit and paying any judgment or settlement, and not Mr. Libby.

I imagine that Mr. Libby is paying some pretty big bucks for high-priced criminal defense lawyers to defend himself against criminal charges brought by the United States government. I wouldn’t think Mr. Libby would want to waste his own personal resources simply to give some advantage to that same United States government in defending any lawsuit brought by Mr. Wilson or Ms. Plame.

Maybe we can get Pastor Joe Fuiten to wish Mr. Libby and his family a Merry Christmas … (just kidding, but you never know?)

40. skagit spews:

Sucher at 24: “gives her too much power . . . ”

Oh yeah. Let’s continue the “decision by ten committees” approach and we’ll have a great result in another ten years or when it falls down. I expect we’ll have the earthquake first.

And Sucher, your urban transportation/engineering credentials are . . . ?

Klake at 26: I also thought condemnation costs made widening Aurora or I5 unfeasible. Can’t see either of those two options happening.

Harley at 30: Got anything to add to the conversation?

41. John Barelli spews:

Back to the viaduct.

As someone with a slightly different perspective than most folks here (I live in Gig Harbor, and will have the joy and pleasure of paying for the new Narrows Bridge for the rest of my natural life) I’m thrilled with the Governor’s position.

I’ve no problem paying for either a retrofit or a new viaduct, as Hwy 99 is an important transporation corridor for the entire state. Essentially, even though I don’t drive it very often, I do get a benefit.

I do have a problem with state transporation dollars paying for Seattle’s civic beautification. No problem with making Seattle nicer, but it just seems that Seattlites should pay for it (or not, it’s your city).

While the viaduct does interfere with the view from many downtown buildings, from the perspective of a visitor, it’s not a big deal. The choice of views from the Bremerton ferry (double-deck roadway or large, ugly buildings) makes little difference, and the amount of demolition that would be needed to transform the waterfront into something like San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf would be cost-prohibitive.

I actually thought that the bridge idea would be rather attractive compared to either of the other ideas, but apparently nobody likes that one. I guess that all of Bechtel’s bridge people are tied up down here, and their tunnel folks need the work after the great job they did for Boston.

No problem. I don’t usually do much sightseeing on the ferry anyway. As to the Governor, I’m actually pretty happy that she has figured out that she isn’t just Governor of Seattle.

42. whl spews:

right stuff @37

Nice chronology, chump. Usually, a job history is sequential–that means stuff that happened in 1976 comes before stuff that happened in 1998, ya’ know like small numbers to big numbers, instead of skippin around to disguise the direction of a career. Wilson was a registered GOP until Bush XLIII, the chimp, was nominated.

An appointment to a fellowship by the American Political Science Association does not even imply, much less mean, that the fellow worked for the senator or representative to whom assigned. You appear to be cherry-picking & re-arranging information that you don’t even comprehend. Wilson was a career foreign service officer & a Ronny RayGun rethuglican who changed parties when the Chimperor made clear to all of us that he couldn’t point to Kosovo on a map–which reminds me of your timeline.

If, as you write, Wilson was in Baghdad “From 1998 to 1991,” I would like to know how he did that. I’m aware that you’ve made a typo, but you would have caught it if your mental processes weren’t so involved in making it appear as if Wilson was a Clinton operative by screwing around with the timeline of Wilson’s assignments.

Just leave this stuff alone. Wilson was described by Bush XLI as a “true American hero,” long before the Clinton admin. came to power. Fudging the facts & the timelines won’t make a liberal out of the ambassador anymore than your faked up bullshit will change the opinions of people who read this blog.

43. N in Seattle spews:

Goldy, for those benighted souls whose education does not include the works of Marx, I really think you need to give appropriate credit for your entry’s title. (Nicely done, BTW.)

Hammer: Now here is a little peninsula and here is a viaduct leading over to the mainland.
Chico: Why a duck?

[from The Cocoanuts (1929)]

Hammer is portrayed by Julius, Chico by Leonard.

44. skagit spews:

I sort of liked the bridge idea too. Wasn’t it something about poor ability to stabilize it properly?

45. Right Stuff spews:

Sorry WHL.
I copied from his companies bio.

here’s the link.

So just so we are clear. I am not fudging any facts or timelines. Faking? I don’t think so.

You’re the chump.
Career foreign service officer. ( guess what, all the employees at the state dept aren’t R’s because GWB is president)
President Bush called President Clinton a patriot. Guess that makes him a republican!!!


46. skagit spews:

Yes, it does. Cornell professor Ted Lowi writes that Clinton was the last great Republican president.

47. Right Stuff spews:

Back to our broken roads…….
If a surface roads plan is on the table for KC Exec. Sims, I think he ought to consider all the freight traffic that utilizes SR99. What about an I-805 bypass of the Seattle-Bellevue region? I know this is unpopular, but if we could get a N/S bypass for Freight/Travelers, wouldn’t that at least ease the burden of I-5/I-405/sr99?

48. ArtFart spews:

47 Seems to me that any “through” freight that’s not going to local destinations ought to be on rails.

49. skagit spews:

Back to rails! Such a good idea. Perhaps we do need some more ideas on the table . . . but somebody has to step up and put them there. Otherwise, it continues to be just talk.

50. skagit spews:

Should have added: getting semi’s off I-5 would be wonderful.

51. Roger Rabbit spews:

39 Isn’t part of the criminal case whether or not Valerie Plame was a concealed CIA operative?

Is there a question here? Everyone except the GOP shit-slingers agrees she was.

52. Roger Rabbit spews:

41 I do have a problem with state transporation dollars paying for Seattle’s civic beautification. No problem with making Seattle nicer, but it just seems that Seattlites should pay for it (or not, it’s your city).

I agree with you, but more to the point, the downtown property owners who would get an enormous increase in property values from improved views should pay for it, via Local Improvement District (LID) taxes. No way should a homeowner in Ballard or Beacon Hill pay for downtown beautification.

53. Roger Rabbit spews:

42 What do you expect from a wingnut liar other than total intellectual dishonesty? But Wrong Stuff probably doesn’t even know he’s bullshitting — most likely, he cut-and-pasted from a rightwing blog with zero critical evaluation of what he was reading. Ask no questions; shoot from the lip.

54. Roger Rabbit spews:

Hell, he probably didn’t even read it.

55. Roger Rabbit spews:

47 Where are you going to get the money for a new north-south freeway through King County?

56. Right Stuff spews:

@53 follow the link, from his own employer.

Rabbit needs glasses.

57. Right Stuff spews:

@53 in the face of facts, rabbit hurls insults…

58. Right Stuff spews:

@51 obviously didn’t read @39
And as it turns out, Armitage was the “leak”

59. Right Stuff spews:

@55 Not sure. Just an idea.

60. Right Stuff spews:

@53 rabbit says
“most likely, he cut-and-pasted from a rightwing blog with zero critical evaluation of what he was reading. Ask no questions; shoot from the lip.”


And unless you are refering to Goldy’s site…. you’ll have to take that one up with Goldy.

I like you rabbit, I enjoy the back and forth.
What’s wrong, wake up on the wrong side of the den?

61. harry tuttle spews:

I think Gregoire knows what all the naysayers about rebuilding the Viaduct seem not to know. Put ‘em all on the ballot. The rebuild will win.

And, once again, the situation with the Viaduct is not analagous to the tear down of the SF Embarcadero freeway. The Viaduct moves traffic from one side of the city to the other. The Embarcadero never did that. When I need to drive to Everett, most times I take 99 to N. 80th Street, and I-5 from there. It’s less aggravating than taking I-5 from the south, and generally faster. Cherry picking the traffic data won’t change the reality city residents know.

It’s clear that Nickels doesn’t have any other way to pay for the tunnel than to raise taxes on city residents. Sims can augment the transit from the waterfront with or without a viaduct. Roadbuilding money won’t be diverted to help him, and a high speed highway 99 is what the state requires.

62. thor spews:

Goldy has this one about right. But we don’t need a vote, we need an agreement between the powers.

Within Seattle the surface option is the second choice at City Hall and the second choice for Speaker Chopp. Chopp says he’ll use all his clout to kill a tunnel. City Hall says it’ll use all its clout to kill a rebuild.

Sounds to be like the only sensible solution is to smell the coffee and design a workable surface option. It’ll save a ton a money, move things just fine – and save the watefront.

The only real force behind the false choice of tunnel or rebuild is the state highway department and its assorted like-minded knuckleheads (including the Seattle Times), which want the capacity that comes with guilded proposals for both the tunnel and the rebuild.

The solution here is easy. The tunnel costs too much. Rebuilding blight is supremely stupid. (Both ideas come with hazards.)

Let’s move on – and engineer a city sensitive solution that moves a lot of traffic and people on the ground.

Chris: Call Greg. Then call Frank. After that call Doug and tell him to get busy designing a real solution on the ground.

63. jason spews:

i’d believe sims except that his version of “transit” means more buses. the surface boulevard sounds really neat, except when you realize that it will make traffic problems worse on I5, further pollute the downtown core with traffic, and kill any chance of N-S movement through the city.

sims is right, but he got the wrong century. this city’s population will continue to increase, as will the amount of cars. i haven’t heard one viable rapid transit proposal put forth by the hippies who are arguing for further studies instead of a decision. killing off 99 will turn us back into a 19th century city. traffic barely moves well on I5 as it is, so removing the only other artery is foolish.

the PWC & their ilk (and the stupid politicians who listen to them) hate cars, so they want traffic to be worse. relying on WSDOT emergency contingency plans as the primary way to permanently re-route traffic shows me they’re not serious about actually helping the situation.