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A Quick and Dirty Guide to Rejecting the Tunnel

You’ve read our billion-word screeds on everything that’s wrong with the proposed Seattle deep-bore tunnel. Here’s a handy boiled-down version for those with short attention spans.

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Rejecting the Tunnel
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• $7 Billion, Four Lanes, Two Miles: STUPID.

The tunnel would have four lanes and run less than two miles. The $4.2 billion sticker price for the underground freeway doesn't account for interest (financing is estimated to exceed $2 billion), and Seattle and the port still haven't come up with $1.2 billion of their share. And none of the hidden costs—like redesigning downtown streets and paying for "enhanced transit services and vanpools," which the state says are required—have any funding. All told, the costs will easily top $7 billion, making this the most expensive little chunk of road in the state. Meanwhile, traffic in Seattle is declining. And if the tunnel encounters cost overruns, as 90 percent of tunnels do, state law prevents the state from paying for it.

• Downtown Traffic Would Be the Same if Not Worse: WTF?

Get this: The state's final report shows that if we build a tunnel, it would have the same effect on downtown traffic, waterfront traffic, and traffic on I-5 as if we simply tore down the viaduct and did nothing. And we would have saved billions.

• Pay $5 to Go Two Miles in Your Own Car: FUCK THAT.

The tunnel would have zero downtown exits (it's underground), and it would have a $5 one-way toll at rush hour. The state's impact studies show two-thirds of the vehicles that currently drive on the viaduct would go onto I-5 and city streets, creating worse traffic than we have now. The tunnel, in function, would be a luxury for those who can afford the expensive tolls and want to avoid downtown.

• There's a Better Option and It Costs Way Less: SERIOUSLY.

Big cities—San Francisco, Portland, New York, Seoul, and many others—have torn down urban freeways they didn't need without creating economic havoc or gridlock. Traffic actually improved. In 1972, Seattle voters stopped the R. H. Thomson Expressway from being built through the Arboretum, even though the Seattle Times and others said was necessary for north-south mobility. Seattle can do that again. Instead of a freeway, we can implement surface/transit—an alternative the city and state have studied since 2008 that would bolster transit service, optimize streets, and add another lane on I-5—and it would cost only about $3.1 billion. Surface/transit would cause less congestion downtown, vehicle delay would drop by 9 percent downtown in the city center, and the average car trip between downtown and West Seattle would be a minute shorter than if we had a tunnel.

• Tunnel Backers Are Lying to You: FOR REAL.

The pro-tunnel group Let's Move Forward has raised $380,000 to tell you to approve it, and the campaign's two leading backers are the international companies that stand to make $1.1 billion off the project. The group's ads claim the project funds bus service, but the price tag doesn't include a penny for bus service. The group claims that a surface/transit alternative will cause "gridlock," even though the tunnel causes more congestion. The group claims Mayor Mike McGinn is colluding with right-wing initiative trickster Tim Eyman, even though that's pure fabrication. The group even filed a legal complaint with the city ethics board against their opposition that was tossed out because it was baseless. The campaign's strategy is clear: Mislead the public all the way to the election. Don't let them get away with it. Reject Referendum 1. recommended

 

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1
Here's a little thread music:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xam265_…
Posted by gloomy gus on August 3, 2011 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Baconcat 2
Reject Referendum 1 and the god Thorgi will bless you!
Posted by Baconcat on August 3, 2011 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
Loved the cover blurb too.

I should upload some pics I took of cranes building millionaire condos next to the untaxed billionaire foundation buildings while people who used to have jobs and cheap apartments there are panhandling on the highway entrances.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 3, 2011 at 1:34 PM · Report this
4
1. The tunnel project also includes the enormous project of replacing the alarmingly deteriorated waterfront seawall.

2. Why is no one upset at the TWO current tunnel projects going on in Seattle (U-Link and Brightwater), past tunnel projects like the Metro bus tunnels and the I-90 tunnel, or the future Bellevue deep bore tunnel?

3. The engineering marvel of the 99 tunnel - at nearly 60ft in diameter, it will be the widest on the planet - is a boon to Seattle, putting it back on the short list of world class engineering cities.

4. Shut up about it already. It's a done deal. The Stranger sounds like a cranky old man shaking his impotent fist at a disinterested God.
Posted by Yum Yum on August 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM · Report this
5
So the provincials stopped a couple of freeways 40 years ago. You ain't got the juice this time around.
Posted by drinkup on August 3, 2011 at 4:36 PM · Report this
6
Fuck you Dominic, you lying bastard. All the money allocated for the tunnel has to be used for highway purposes because gas taxes are constitutionally required to go there. So stop acting like we are going to get this great surface option when the moony can't be used for that purpose.
Posted by Pisstivity on August 3, 2011 at 4:46 PM · Report this
7
Thanks for getting down to the nuts & bolts of the issue. Why hasn't anyone proposed just taking down the viaduct and trying surface roads for a bit before investing billions more on a tunnel. If all the studies show that the surface option will work (and work better than the tunnel) then let's just do it!
No to Ref 1 is an easy pick for me.
Posted by No is better than yes on August 3, 2011 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Baconcat 8
@4: There is no money for the seawall in this project, that's a City of Seattle project.

You also fudged in another bulletpoint: the Bellevue tunnel won't be a deep bore, it will be a cut-and-cover/subsurface hybrid.
Posted by Baconcat on August 3, 2011 at 6:02 PM · Report this
9
so...explain to me exactly what will happen if Ref. #1 is rejected..will that do away with the tunnel construction? Will it be just a paper vote, and they will just go ahead with the tunnel anyway? I'm still not clear on that. If it's just to say people are unhappy with the decision, gees, don't waste all the money on a referendum. Write a damned letter !
Posted by JanS on August 3, 2011 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Idaho Spud 10
No TV ads for the "No on Ref. 1" campaign yet, plenty for the "Keep Seattle Moving" gang. That can't be a good sign.
Posted by Idaho Spud on August 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM · Report this
11
Am I the only one who remembers The Stranger's eerily similar vitriol on Sound Transit in its frenzied advocacy of the idiotic Monorail project? http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/light…
Posted by archifan on August 3, 2011 at 10:38 PM · Report this
12
archifan @ 11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Line_…

Regarding "The Stranger" on Monorail:
"The project fell under intense public scrutiny, as actual revenue from the motor vehicle excise tax that was to pay for the line fell as much as 30% under projected income, while projected costs rose by as much as 10%. To accommodate this, the SMP proposed a finance plan that included over $9 billion in interest to pay for the $2 billion construction. This would have required extending the tax out nearly 50 years, causing a small uproar in Seattle-area politics. Even local monorail boosters such as local alternative weekly The Stranger opposed the financing plan."

It's possible to support the concept but not the financing plan.
Posted by Juno on August 3, 2011 at 11:11 PM · Report this
13
It's ironic that the same interests that stacked the SMP board (and finally killed it through financing plan) are trying to ram this tunnel down our throats with just as problematic financing and more troubling engineering.

BTW, view and weep: http://seattlemonorail.org/smp/greenmap.… Just $2Billion
Posted by Juno on August 3, 2011 at 11:23 PM · Report this
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Also, Sound Transit is costing us FAR more than monorail would cost and coming on-line MUCH later than monorails would have.
Posted by Juno on August 3, 2011 at 11:30 PM · Report this
15
Ok, so here is what I want to know. The Stranger keeps OMG'ing over this study that says "minimal change to downtown traffic" because, like OMG it is all about Downtown Seattle and Downtown Seattle only, right?

So, here's what I don't get, why is that one part of the study God's friggin' word as to why you are like "so right" on this issue, but the rest of the study, which actually supports the bored tunnel option, is total BS not to be taken seriously? If the study is BS altogether, which it must be if it supports the bored tunnel and that is like totally the wrong option, right? Then you can't really use any part of it so support your argument. It's either an accurate study that accurately portrays what is best for the city, or it's not, right?
Posted by Take it all in on August 4, 2011 at 10:38 AM · Report this
16
Blah Blah Blah Stop The Evil Tunnel. Do you really belive that voting no on Ref 1 will stop this tunnel? It's a State ran project on a STATE highway, there is nothing that this idiot rag can say or do that is going to stop this tunnel. You should have had fore sight and voted out the senatores/council members that are in office now if you wanted this tunnel stopped. But wait that would have meant that you were being proactive which is VERY Un-Seattle like...
Posted by steelcoyot on August 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
orino 17
Once again, Portland is used as an example of getting rid of an urban freeway. Except they didn't. The moved it from the west side of the Willamette to the east side. The poorer, less politically-connected east side...
Posted by orino http://www.scootinoldskool.com on August 4, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
TheDanimal 18
tl;dr
Posted by TheDanimal on August 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM · Report this
Cascadian 19
I'm a die-hard tunnel opponent (and even bigger opponent of a new viaduct), but I really dislike the dishonesty over the financing plan.

Infrastructure project costs should be compared in current-year dollars. If you want to make a point about financing then you have to compare total financing costs with typical financing costs rather than just adding those costs to the headline cost.

This same form of deception was used against the monorail, and it was just as wrong then. The validity of the underlying project is completely beside the point in both cases.
Posted by Cascadian on August 4, 2011 at 11:55 AM · Report this
20
The Tunnel is an excellent compromise solution that keeps traffic moving during construction, has enhanced exits downtown north and south, increases throughput with wider lanes and shoulders, offers incentive to ride transit with variable and changeable tolling, makes the city more bikeable, makes the waterfront less polluted, quieter and makes this lifelong resident of QA, Magnolia, Ballard, Fremont a very happy citizen. What a cool elegant solution this deep bore tunnel!!! The two 5 mile long tunnels UNDER the Yangtze River in Shanghai were completed in 20 months in gravelly silty wet soil!!! They were 50ft Diameter!!! Cool Huh!!
Posted by runnybunny on August 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Baconcat 21
Let's build the RH Thomson and Bay while we're at it!
Posted by Baconcat on August 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM · Report this
22
If the tunnel is so bad, why does the Stranger feel the need to lie?

"The $4.2 billion sticker price for the underground freeway..."

What? The $4.2 billion is the price of the entire program. The tunnel portion is less than half that amount.

"Downtown traffic would be the same if not worse". So the 40k+ cars/trucks using the tunnel are instead stuffed onto City streets and I-5. Sure, thats better. Nice interpretation of the EIS.

"Pay $5 to go two miles in your own car"
The tolling commission hasn't even formed yet, so no tolling rates are yet establshed. Environmental documents purposely examine a worst case (not necessarily a typical case) for envirnomental assessment. Plus anti-toll rhetoric is so right wing...

Suface Transit "would cost only about $3.1 billion" Really? "Only" $3.1 billion so we can move more cars to the waterfront, City Streets and expand I-5? This is the option that supposedly costs "Way Less"?

Too bad there is no money for the transit part of ST5. Gas taxes can't be used for that, and KC Metro is broke.
Posted by SeaTowner on August 4, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
slade 23
The fruits of the Republican bamboo trees are falling and so our economic
Mautam has the rats popping like microwave popcorn all over the land!
You will not stop them from wasting money in this life time so just learn how to eat rats
Posted by slade http://www.youtube.com/user/guppygator on August 4, 2011 at 4:03 PM · Report this
24
$4.2 billion for the tunnel sounds like a way better deal than $3.1 billion plus interest for 1 lane on I-5.
Posted by Jake220 on August 4, 2011 at 5:38 PM · Report this
25
The Tunnel Town Hall was tonight. O'Brian made his case well. Opposing Tunnel arguments were strong & convincing. Confident dithering from tunnel supporters smiling and feel just great. Just great. What? Not feeling greater than great? Could a link get posted when it's available at SeattleChannel? I watched and felt O'Brian (O'Brien?) and crew won the discussion-debate handily. There was this one moment of silence that said it all...
Posted by Wells on August 4, 2011 at 9:55 PM · Report this
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It's NOT all about the dollars, Jake twenty-two zero. Your argument has no engineering consideration. Just the money. You'd buy anything cheap enuf.
Posted by Wells on August 4, 2011 at 9:58 PM · Report this
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SeaTowner's point about how tunnel costs don't include other expenditures is a bit off. Total cost is purportedly $4.2 Billion, not considering overruns. Overruns are conjectural but would be hundreds of millions or billions. What if the DBT fails either the "elegant elevated" or the cut/cover is the next choice? How much would they add?

Why isn't starting with a "workable" Alaskan Way boulevard workable? Either 'elegant' elevated or cut/cover could be chosen if necessary.

The difference of $2.2 Billion is for utility relocation, seawall, Alaskan Way boulevard & park amenities, Aurora grid reconnect. All are questionable engineering. What if they fail? Don't pretend it's not possible. It's possible, even probable.
Posted by Wells on August 4, 2011 at 10:11 PM · Report this
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Wells... if it isn't about the dollars then by all means build the tunnel and don't toll it. The cost of the tunnel is the only down side.
Posted by Jake220 on August 4, 2011 at 10:33 PM · Report this
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Wells @ 27

The "difference of $2.2 billion" is for the items you mention, but also funds (or has funded):
-The widening of the Spokane Street Viaduct and new connection to 4th Ave.
-The Holgate to King SR-99 South End AWV replacement.
-The SR 519 Phase 2 grade-separation and I-90 off-ramp (next to Safeco Field).
-The upcoming Mercer West project.

Starting with a "workable" Alaskan Way (without the DBT) won't happen because it would face intense opposition from stakeholders, and would be near-impossible to obtain environmental approval (due to un-mitigated impacts).

The vote for the DBT will likely get around 35-40% support. But this won't stop the project.

Why?

If the vote was for the elevated option, the support would be similar to the DBT (35-40% Yes votes).

If the vote was for surface/transit/I-5, the support would be far below that for the DBT or Elevated options.

This has been shown in several polls.

Those portraying this vote as some type of up/down vote on the tunnel are fooling themselves.

Posted by SeaTowner on August 4, 2011 at 10:46 PM · Report this
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You have been thrown a drowned rat and are arguing that the other one would have been better. Seattle makes terrible decisions about transit, that is the only consistent thing to mention here. I live in Seoul now (the place being used against the tunnel project in this here article). We have one of the best mass-transit systems I have ever seen (which helps keep the cars off the streets). More people than Beijing and less traffic by the 'official' shit-ton. If you aren't supporting buses and other forms of mass-transit your fucking up - period.
Posted by people are everywhere on August 5, 2011 at 3:05 AM · Report this
32
SeaTowner, occassional you present logical argument and I appreciate that. However, the flaw in your argument against a "workable" surface boulevard arrangement, regardless of which AWV replacement option is constructed, is that a "workable" surface boulevard option is a primary design consideration. I have little respect for the "stakeholders" not because of their credentials. Their designs are objectionable, yet DBT supporters refuse to address critical concerns and merely dismiss them. I agree that Referendum 1 is mostly toothless, but it will bite many butts hard enough to do some good. Did you watch the Town Hall last night on SeattleChannel? Keep making good argument. I respect that. I'm angry because my own and most opposing argument is formidable yet ignored.
Posted by Wells on August 5, 2011 at 11:24 AM · Report this
33
Kelly O and Ari Spool give Alaskan Way Viaduct can of Rize, Alaskan Way Viaduct drink Rize, freak out, tunnel out, ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT BECOME DEEP-BORE TUNNEL!

And no, I still don't feel like letting it go.
Posted by The Incredible Sulk on August 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
34
The Incredible Sulk poster "Doesn't feel like letting it go," and I'm not sure Sulk is for or against the insane-unstable bore tunnel below buildings, you dumbAss crew of Power followers. The City Council & other leaders are far too cheerfully indifferent to critically-important concerns.
The DBT and its companion street rearrangement that gets 20,000 MORE CARS on Mers-Mess is simply the WORST engineering possible... Your happy clown leaders who "ParTayd" last night after Town Hall can't see how wrong it is...
Many people are aghast...
Bite me, WARshdot. )^\ U-sukk.
Posted by Wells on August 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM · Report this
35
You guys don't get it right very often, but this time you gotta bullseye. Thanks for the article.
Posted by Percy Irving VanBrunt on August 6, 2011 at 12:51 AM · Report this
36
@15: "Ok, so here is what I want to know. The Stranger keeps OMG'ing over this study that says "minimal change to downtown traffic" because, like OMG it is all about Downtown Seattle and Downtown Seattle only, right?"

Because THAT'S WHAT IT PASSES THROUGH you fucking moron.
Posted by demand the tunnel but don't deal with consequences? on August 7, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this
37
A Quick and Dirty Guide to Rejecting the Tunnel.

You’ve read Stranger screeds on what’s wrong with Wsdot’s Deep-Bore Tunnel. Read again this actually abbreviated version for those with short attention span. Dominic Holden & Al Wellan

• $7 Billion - 4 Lanes + 2 Miles = STUPID
The DBT tunnel has 4 lanes, less than 2 miles. The $4.2 billion price doesn't account interest (estimated to exceed $2 billion). Seattle City and Port haven't raised $1.2 billion of their share. Prejected cost doesn’t account for hidden costs. Redesigned downtown streets, required ‘enhanced transit’ services, all told, costs will top $7 billion, the most expensive chunk of road in the state. If the tunnel encounters cost overruns, 90% do, law prevents the state from paying overrun costs.
(note: Seattle wealthy SHOULD pay, dom)

• Downtown Traffic Would Be the Same if Not Worse:
WTF? The state's final report shows the DBT tunnel would have the same effect on downtown, waterfront and I-5 traffic as a fast AWV tear-down, did ST5 and saved billions.

• Pay $5 to Go Two Miles in Your Own Car: F That
The tunnel has no exits to 1st Ave and has up to $5 tolls all day. The State impact studies show 2/3 vehicles that currently drive on the viaduct would go to I-5 and city streets, creating worse traffic than we have now. The tunnel would be a luxury for those who can afford the expensive toll and want to avoid downtown. (Wow?)

• There's a Better Option and It Costs Way Less: SERIOUSLY
Big cities—San Francisco, Portland, New York, Seoul & many others have torn down urban freeways and not inflamed havoc nor caused terrible gridlock. Traffic actually improved.

In 1972, Seattle stopped the RH Thomson Expressway from being built through the Arboretum. The Seattle Times AND thee others insisted it was “necessary” for north-south mobility; a past error. Seattle can stop a ‘Stupid Freeway’ again. Instead of their
”Risky” tunnel, we implement ST5 (Streets/Transit/I-5) that ‘our city & state’ have studied since long before 2008. ST5 bolsters transit, optimizes streets;
Adds 'ONE' Northbound Lane on I-5, (1-lane southbound can be added);
Costs about $3 billion, no “insane” risk to building and surface infrastructure & foundations. !!Whaht!! NO traffic threat to Queen Anne - Lake Union - Denny Triangle.

Traffic even a little “Less Worse” for Pioneer Square & Lower Belltown. Honestly, ST5 in this thoughtful engineer assessment ‘CAN’ reduce traffic congestion downtown! Vehicle delay could drop 9%. A trip between Downtown - West Seattle is a minute or two shorter than with the horribly designed bad joke stupid DBT Plan.

This is without question Wsdot’s biggest mistake in uh,.. not all that long ago.......
The DBT-Disrupted subsurface hydrology alterations absolutely DO risk catastrophic collapse and almost certain undermining of foundations at many vulnerable weak points. InsAin??

• Tunnel Backers Are Lying to You: FOR REAL
The pro-tunnel group Let's Move Forward has raised $380,000 to tell you to approve it. The campaign leading backers are indeed the international companies that would make $1.1 billion from the project. These particular companies have somewhat shoddy records. Their ads claim their project funds bus service but doesn't include a penny for it.

They claim the ST5 will cause gridlock whilst their studies show the DBT PLAN ProdUces ‘more’ traffic & ’worse’ gridlock at ’more’ main intersections; potentially 20% more street traffic ’stalled’ up to 20% more of the time, regularly around 10% MORE TRAFFIC, not less, with their DBT+ETC/NONSENSE.

The group claims Mayor McGinn colludes with initiative trickster Tim Eyman, a pure fabrication. They filed a legal complaint with City Ethics Board that was tossed out as baseless. This campaign strategy is clear: Mislead the public all the way to election day.
Don't let them get away with it.
Reject Referendum 1.
--Never Accept the DBT--
-NEVER-no matter you know what-

Parting shot:
(DBT-plus-Mercer West ‘ruins’ Mercer East)
More...
Posted by Wells on August 7, 2011 at 8:40 PM · Report this
38
Golly, how long has it been since ANYONE paid any attention to what the Stranger opines politically? Strident, dogmatic, and petulant always. Make your own decisions on this, people.
Posted by galena on August 7, 2011 at 8:47 PM · Report this
39
@6: Just because you have the money doesn't mean you have to spend it. Especially if what you're spending it on is as terrible an idea as this tunnel.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on August 8, 2011 at 10:28 AM · Report this
40
Just sent in my ballot. Voted for the tunnel. Stranger, after you people endorsed McGin, that corrupt and incompetent drunkard, I've decided to take a much closer look at anything your publication endorses or opposes.
Posted by Mister G on August 8, 2011 at 2:00 PM · Report this
41
http://www.kuow.org/mp3high/mp3/WeekdayA…

I am very turn about this issue, I can see how poor of a plan is for the city and that it's also forces the city to pay for some of it. However I have been to Boston, and going to through a passby tunnel is somewhat convenient, and because it's underground it won't disturb the urban areas. I really wish the State won't charge the city for the project... I think I will have to vote no. It sucks because it's a dangerous decision to leave the waterfront as it is ... One thing though, it's if you are gonna have a high way regardless of an exit to downtown or not, it's better to have it under ground than over ground. I am from New York, and all along Manhattan, under the highway, it's dirty, smelly, and the business are just chains with parking under the highway, dead zones... the areas where you have the best areas are with viaducts... the areas on surfaces are not that pedestrian friendly, and the zones are not lively, tall residential buildings for the most part, and if there are parks, they are not accessible by foot (because there is a road there). Maybe it was meant that way? So maybe I will vote yes... see what I mean?!
Posted by P40 on August 8, 2011 at 6:16 PM · Report this
42
"just add a lane to I5..."

Where? Have you noticed it and the express lanes that go with are a tunnel/viaduct hybrid? Where are you going to put another lane without devouring a couple blocks of First Hill? There are a series of expensive, shitty options for replacing a freeway that has taken a smoggy shit on the most prime piece of real estate in the entire region. Sorry. Grow up and actually do an infrastructure project for once your life, freeloaders.
Posted by nullbull on August 8, 2011 at 9:33 PM · Report this
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Oh yeah. Let's wait until a big earthquake takes the viaduct down in rush hour traffic killing thousands of people. Then figure it out. Except we won't have two major league baseball teams in the world series and a well timed eathquake to save us from that fate. I grew up here and am endlessly amazed at Washingtonians unwillingness to plan for the future. Like voting down the Seattle Commons in South Lake Union. It didn't stop development which is now filling in what could have been a beautiful park. Take down the viaduct before it gets taken down for us.
Posted by ms.foresight on August 9, 2011 at 9:34 AM · Report this
45
So we should wait until an earthquake takes down the viaduct like it did in SF? It would have killed thousands instead of hundreds except they had 2 baseball teams in the world series and the luck of a well timed earthquake. Not something we should bet our city on. By the way, voting down the Seattle Commons didn't stop or even slow development in South Lake Union. Look at the big new buildings where our park could have been and congratulate yourselves again on your lack of foresight.
Posted by ms.foresight on August 9, 2011 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Rev.Smith 46
@42. Don't pretend to be an armchair enginneer when you know full well that adding a 10 foot wide lane doesn't require "devouring a couple blocks" of the city. I-5 is bounded through downtown by several ROWs, parallel and mainly useless streets: including 6th (which only allows taxi service for the renaissance hotel, garbage pickup for the apartment nextdoor, and a homeless feeding dropoff further downhill), a long carpool-only onramp (at stewart) which can be capped, 7th (which provides front door access to the zindorf apartments, a 4th entrance for a surface parking lot, and not much else), and a double-wide exit to a one-way street (james exit to 6th) and another doublewide to the collectordistributor. without having to do any viaducting or overhangs (like at 2 union place, or the university street onramp) I can get one lane already through the tighest part, and half of them are nearly a matter of re-painting the lines.
Posted by Rev.Smith on August 9, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
47
No way folks, I usually like the Stranger in just about everything but you got this one wrong...

I lived in Seattle for a decade. I'm from Boston and I'm back here now. I've seen the Big Dig and what it did for traffic. But best of all it completely opened up the North End and reclaimed an important part of the city from an ugly monstrosity. I believe a tunnel can do the same for the Seattle waterfront.

Yeah the Big Dig sucked, still paying for it, but ultimately it has made a huge difference. Vote Yes on #1...
Posted by whonew on August 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
48
No way folks, I usually like the Stranger in just about everything but you got this one wrong...

I lived in Seattle for a decade. I'm from Boston and I'm back here now. I've seen the Big Dig and what it did for traffic. But best of all it completely opened up the North End and reclaimed an important part of the city from an ugly monstrosity. I believe a tunnel can do the same for the Seattle waterfront.

Yeah the Big Dig sucked, still paying for it, but ultimately it has made a huge difference. Vote Yes on #1...
Posted by whonew on August 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM · Report this
49
Over at Crosscut, the Dave Gerling article-opinion received this response to to his rationale over why I-5 supposedly needs the bore tunnel in place before, during or after construction of the Wsdot DBT.

"he Gering argument and only main point: ("When I-5 is partially closed routinely for its own reconstruction, in accidents or any disruption, the SR99 central-artery must work for cars, so trucks won't get stuck in I-5 car traffic").

Not a bad point to raise, but that argument for the DBT Plan should not be framed as the ONLY option through the SR99 central artery, "officially designated" SR99. The 'stacked' cut/cover tunnel option is viable and an example of better engineering that poses little risk & creates the 'stronger seawall' climate scientists say may be necessary. ST5 is indeed an actually-viable option, nevermind the fear-mongers. Maintaining the N/S thru-traffic pattern leaves I-5 with a worse prospect of regular closing of the DBT (and Visa Versa?)

Start with ST5...
Build the "stacked" Cut/cover..
Or.. build the "Elegant Elevated" option eventually ONLY IF Unavoidable...
Start with ST5...
!!! GoooooO MikeS !!!

Thru-traffic should be tamed away from the SR99 corridor. Workable downtown transit upgrades must be in place to determine future traffic flow. Ignorance & neglect of more important issues within Gerings & MOST pro-DBT argument, I must say with regret and fierce warnings out of concern more than those who deserve my derision. The DBT is incredibly-unacceptably dangerous AND will make traffic worse throughout downtown, worse than with ST5, you highway people, I swear. Duuh. Back off Wurshdirtt.
You and your buddies are losing this one.
The DBT+MersWesMuckMess is frickin unbelievable.

More...
Posted by Wells on August 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM · Report this
50
2 ways to improve Seattle:
1. Get rid of the loud mouthed obstructionist mayor you idiots elected.
2. Move forward with the tunnel and develop a world renowned pedestrian friendly multiple-use open waterfront. Geographically we have one of the most beautiful waterfronts of any city in the USA, but it is a dump. The potential is there to allow many more options to enjoy this treasure.
Cost? It's worth more than another lane on I-5 or a basketball arena!
Posted by Pacific NW Conservative on August 9, 2011 at 9:43 PM · Report this
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52
Why can't we just build park and rides and a train line? Make them free. Use the 12.5% city parking tax (!) and parking meter revenue to pay for it. Really, anything else than a tunnel. There has to be something cheaper. As for tolls... Haven't "they" been trying to get their shit together to toll 90 or 520 forever now? Here's what I know, nothing. Why? Because the only real information about the tunnel is always skewed by someone's opinion. I can take anything out of context and present the "facts" in a misleading way.

It very well may be that the tunnel is the best option. I doubt it though. And I doubt it not because the stranger tells me to, but because no one has made an unbiased assessment. Also, the proponents of the tunnel are so damn wink nod enthusiastic creepy. I hate salesman.
Posted by Rainboibrite on August 10, 2011 at 8:20 AM · Report this
53
Hello from Europe.
You cannot believe how lucky you are to have so much space in your country, with large roads and smart urban planning (grids) easy to transform.
Just give up the tunnel and reduce the use of your car: your life will improve greatly!
Tramway running from West Seattle to Balard would be the only solution.. and why not make roads dedicated only to bicycles?!
Be innovative and go for it! You have the culture for that. I wish you could inspire us.
Marc
Posted by Marc002 on August 10, 2011 at 9:08 AM · Report this
54
Hello from Europe.
You cannot believe how lucky you are to have so much space in your country, with large roads and smart urban planning (grids) easy to transform and adapt.
Just give up the tunnel and any other plans involving cars and reduce the use of your car: your life will improve greatly (even though cars can be useful.. to go skiing for instance).
A tramway running from West Seattle to Balard would be the only solution.. and why not make roads dedicated only to bicycles?!
Be innovative and go for it! You have the culture for that. I wish you could inspire us.
Marc
Posted by Marc002 on August 10, 2011 at 9:11 AM · Report this
55
This tunnel is a disaster: too much and nothing for the trouble. No savings in time and a big cost in a state where transportation management is an embarrassment. Vote against the tunnel and then hope your fellow citizens read this article.

Toby W.
Posted by Toby Weymiller on August 10, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Report this
56
Things are so simple and black/white for the far-left zealots here - you're no better than the ditto-heads on the far right.

Please - a little honesty.

The "surface-only" fantasy advocated by our ninny mayor and uber-greens is remarkably stupid; fortunately, it will never happen. The grown-ups in charge understand the physical realities of the downtown corridor. They understand that the tunnel preserves what Seattle cannot do without - two additional highway lanes through the downtown corridor. That is the story - all of it.

Is the tunnel perfect? No. But it is - pay attention please - the best alternative. Period. Yes, we lose the current viaduct's northbound Seneca exit, and we lose the southbound Columbia on-ramp. There's your surface street alternative in reality. We'll have to jigger lights and buses and bike lanes to accomodate the West Seattle/Burien/N.P. folks like me who use those ramps now. To be clear - I suffer with the tunnel - I lose my easy access to downtown.

But I am an adult. I recognize the greater regional good accomplished with the tunnel. So I accept my own inconvenience as part of the price we pay for solving the viaduct problem.

What I shake my head at are these far-left folk who would impose their anti-car agenda on all of us. Don't like the Yes on Ref. 1 TV commercial. Cool. I agree - its manipulative. But all you anti-tunnel folks are equally dishonest if you fail to publicly and loudly say you want nothing - just more buses and bikes. Because you know that the Seattle public is smart enough to never choose that. Instead, the public face of the anti-tunnel movement just says "lets study this more" ... as if we don't already have all the information.
Posted by WS commuter on August 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
57
Things are so simplistic and black/white for the far-left zealots here - you're no better than the ditto-heads and Fox morons on the far right.

Please - a little honesty.

The "surface-only" fantasy advocated by our ninny mayor and uber-greens is remarkably stupid; fortunately, it will never happen. The grown-ups in charge understand the physical realities of the downtown corridor. They understand that the tunnel preserves what Seattle cannot do without - two additional highway lanes through the downtown corridor. That is the story - all of it.

Is the tunnel perfect? No. But it is - pay attention please - the best alternative. Period.

Yes, we lose the current viaduct's northbound Seneca exit, and we lose the southbound Columbia on-ramp. There's your surface street alternative in reality. We'll have to jigger lights and buses and bike lanes to accomodate the West Seattle/Burien/N.P. folks like me who use those ramps now. And yes, some people will choose surface streets to avoid a toll (which - setting aside another lie here, won't be $5 - WSDOT knows they have to set it lower and they will).

But here's another inconvenient truth - we need to pay for shit. Tolls are a fair way to impose user fees on those of us will drive on roads.

To be clear - I suffer with the tunnel - I lose my easy access to downtown. I'll still use the tunnel often, being a W. Seattle resident and I know I'll pay a toll when I do. I'm cool with that.

Because - and here's the thing, Stranger-readers - I am an adult. I recognize the greater regional good accomplished with the tunnel. So I accept my own inconvenience as part of the price we pay for solving the viaduct problem.

What I shake my head at are these far-left folk who would impose their anti-car agenda on all of us. Don't like the "Yes on Ref. 1" TV commercial? Cool. I agree - its manipulative. But all you anti-tunnel folks are equally dishonest if you fail to publicly and loudly say you want nothing - just more buses and bikes. Because you know that the Seattle public is smart enough to never choose that. Instead, the public face of the anti-tunnel movement just says "lets study this more" ... as if we don't already have all the information. Give me a break.

The tunnel makes the best of a bad situation. Want to blame someone? Blame the idiots who choked I-5 to two lanes through downtown 50 years ago. But please, don't behave like petulant children and whine for "more study" or "let's all go green and ride bikes and buses". Those are as mature and reasonable views as a 6 year old throwing a temper tantrum. Grow up people.
More...
Posted by WS commuter on August 11, 2011 at 2:22 PM · Report this
58
Tramway running from West Seattle to Balard would be the only solution.. and why not make roads dedicated only to bicycles?!

Agree! Bike-only from West Seattle straight to Ballard. And let's hope every bicyclist uses it at least once. Problem solved!
Posted by Mister G on August 14, 2011 at 6:57 PM · Report this

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