Seattle is the sixth worst waterfront city, according to the Project of Public Spaces.
Seattle residents adore their scenic mountain vistas. But increasingly they are seeing them through windshields while stuck in gridlock on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated highway that divides downtown Seattle from the waterfront.
The situation is quite similar to what San Francisco faced in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which finally led the city to demolish the elevated Embarcadero Freeway. San Francisco made a difficult decision: They did not rebuild this busy artery. Today they are reaping the dividends with the greatest waterfront renaissance in the United States. Seattle could also make huge gains by taking down the Viaduct along the waterfront, and investing in transit service instead. The waterfront now feels disconnected from downtown, but the removal of the viaduct would open up new links between people and Puget Sound. Public destinations that are floundering today would flourish.
But what the fuck do they know? They’re just a bunch of people who know a lot about
“environmental design, architecture, urban planning, urban geography, environmental psychology, landscape architecture, arts administration and information management. The staff also collaborates on projects with architecture, landscape architecture and engineering firms, graphic design firms, transportation consultants, retail planners and community organizations.”
But Seattle is different and more special than every other place in the world! Nothing that worked in any other city could work here! Besides, it’s a state highway! That’s all that should matter! State highway! State highway! State highway!