"Seattle's insistence that the state go the gold-plated route to replace the quake-damanged viaduct."

Uhm, right. We didn't vote NO and NO or anything...…
There is a reason the state should accept responsibility for cost overruns: We're talking about building a section of a STATE HIGHWAY. Seattle already pays a massive chunk of the rest of the state's projects, why should this one's overruns be excluded? Gregoire is speaking the opposite of logic.
No means no, Olympia.

If you have to use bullshit to get this project pushed ahead (emphasis on "push" when it comes to polling), then this is not a viable project. It's essentially a mishmash of nice-sounding projects with the financials of a man buying a house with a ticket for next week's Powerball.

The push-back from the papers should tell you something is up. Even the Seattle Times has put down the bucket they've been using to tote water for you, what with Lindblom and Heffter trotting out the newest "what's wrong with this project" piece almost every other day at this rate.

All the same, I'd love the City Council to continue to beat this drum. It will kill their credibility so much when this project they're pushing looks like it'll cost Seattle taxpayers millions. At that point, Seattle progressives will get all the bike lanes and social services they want.
Yeah, we need Conlin to run for mayor and lose, and a progressive can move into his City Council seat. Go for it dude.
"Conlin supported the tunnel, even when told we couldn't afford it. While social services were slashed, Conlin said 'let them eat cake' and pushed ahead with foisting thousands of dollars in taxes on Seattle voters for a project opposed by a majority of Washington State voters and legislators. When basic things like sidewalks were up for funding, Conlin killed them. When we needed to save the South Park Bridge with a funding increase, Conlin refused.

How can we support a selfish candidate like Richard Conlin?

Conlin: out of touch, not on our side.

Paid for the fauxgressives out of office committee, not a real committee."

And really, you could put Burgess, Bagshaw or Godden in there if you wanted.
I think it's time for protests.
Let's have our first meeting of the Fauxgressives Out of Office Committee at Dan's protest.
@5 Baconcat, I have no idea who you are, but if I ever meet you I will buy you many drinks.
Reasons a protest would be a good idea:

1) Funding: This project has not proven to have sound funding, and with a limited pool to draw from as it stands, it's looking more and more likely that taxpayers and the city's general fund will begin to take a hit. That's unreasonable for a variety of reasons, the least of all being the inadvisability of tapping into funding when services are at a reduced level and will need an larger investment to get back to Pre-Recession levels. When asked for contingency plans, WSDOT, the Governor's Office and the City Council have outright refused to give any.

2) Safety: The guiding principle in the initial push for a viaduct replacement was focused on a Public Safety lens. In essence, find a solution that would most quickly get rid of the risk and then find a solution as soon afterward as possible. The studies that guided Gregoire's strong declaration of a 2012 removal, something cheered on by environmentalists, voters and progressives (indeed, her decisive stance helped her gather up environmental voters) , are still around and still suggested an "as early as possible" teardown. We aren't getting that, and the teardown date seems to be more flexible than the funding

3) Environmentalism: Seattle is taking a strongly contrarian stance in building the DBT in that it opposes the conventional wisdom of intelligent transportation management and green solutions like transit removing the need for a large dedicated bypass or throughway. Seattle would be the first to create such a dedicated route in years and one of the most ambitiously pro-road projects on the west coast. Another aspect is the supposed opening up of the waterfront, when all renderings show the roads increasing the footprint of the former AWV corridor by hundreds of feet.

4) Social Justice: Contrary to the stated purpose of the City Charter which directs all branches of local government to govern through a social justice lens, the City Council has done anything but. Most egregious of their moves was making several attempts at blocking public votes and limiting public comment on the project. They've also called in some of their largest supporters and lobbyists that could potentially directly benefit from the project to fill meetings related to the AWV replacement

And think about it: Seattle writing a blank check for a major road project. Seattle. Roads. The emerald city, a city with ambitious environmental plans. Roads.
I'm surprised it took this long for Tacoma media to get in on the bandwagon - the panic's running in the other direction, but the principle's the same.
Before anyone starts flailing about the tunnel and obstructionism and meaningless pap like that, let's get this very clear: a properly executed tunnel project within a more secure funding structure is certainly within the realm of possibilities and would definitely be difficult to dismiss.

The DBT is not that tunnel project. Far from it.

A tunnel has all these professed benefits to the city, but we can't simply write a blank check for this sort of thing without recognizing that there are plenty of things out there that, given sufficient funding, would make an ambitious bypass of this magnitude meaningless.

For example, a grade-separated rapid transit line from Ballard to West Seattle would delete thousands of car trips and ITS would easily consume the remainder of traffic snarls with ease. And yet the project was poorly managed and money was an issue. The city's voters shut it down. Nobody could say it would have poor ridership, and most understood the virtues of the project. But it failed.

At this point, too, the DBT couldn't be more inconvenient. With shutdown of the existing structure timed to completion of the DBT, we are essentially throwing caution to the wind and hoping we can get the tunnel built in a timely manner so that Olympia will give a greenlight for teardown.

This ties us up in financial wrangling that seriously puts Seattle at risk.

We've cut everything to levels that are atrocious and barely adequate and we're set to cut even more. This is difficult and it has to be done. The problem, though, is that we need to bring these services back up again at some point, but with more and more of our funding tied up in liabilities and the potential for taxing authority going to an as-yet unsecured project, we can't even make a promise to our fellow citizens, our children, our seniors and our most vulnerable that we at some point will be able to secure the vital services that keep our city running. This project only adds to the length of time it takes to get to a secure-enough point that we can begin to again grow services and projects of significance in this city.

That's just funding, too. In the sense of public safety, things are even more dire. We're talking about lives. Olympia has us held hostage to uncertain financials on this project and they've got the barrel down our throats. They're challenging us on this project -- either we pony up or it's our fault, the fault of voters if the viaduct collapses in the interim, the blood is on our hands.

City Council has ensured that this is the case by withdrawing community oversight of this project. They've brought in the common GOP trope of "job-killing" to threaten us. They fill meetings with hardhats and say that this is the only way they'll get to work -- ignoring that there are hundreds of millions in transit-specific funds that we're in a fairly competitive position to request that would put just as many of those women and men to work. Remember the streetcar network that was set to circulate tens of thousands daily in the core of the city? TIGER grants would have put us in line to build those and get those workers to work, jobs would have been secured.

They've also blocked our means of commenting and dissenting and guiding the process by deleting our voice in City Hall (the Mayor) and by attempting to get ahead of public dissent by putting the skids on public protest or votes.

This isn't an issue of whether or not the DBT is a worthy project, because a case can be made for most anything. Even in my opposition, I still recognize its value to some. The issue, however, is basic fairness in governance. We're saying to these folks who have had their jobs slashed for lack of funding, these families facing uncertainty in securing basic needs like food and healthcare, these libraries, these transit lines, these vital projects, these public safety concerns, we're saying they're secondary to supporting a project without any honest plan for completion.

The whole process has been a sham and the latest wrangling and maneuvering only solidifies that.

We need to stand up and we need to do it now. There's absolutely no reason we should sell our futures short like this.
Shorthand of Baconcat's posts, for the ADD crowd: as the British may say, the Council members who support the tunnel and that have sold out the majority of Seattle residents for the extreme minority are filthy cunts. No effort should be spared in ensuring that each of them is in terminal cancer stages of their political careers over this. Whatever other good they may have done or may do, they're not trustworthy any longer, and every one of them--even Bagshaw, but especially Conlin--are tainted meat now. Get rid of it.
You know, I'll be happy when the viaduct is gone. And I think the tunnel was an enormous boondoggle. But I never did see a good argument from the PWC or anyone else about what was going to happen to northbound freight traffic from Harbor Island and the Sodo train yards. Maybe we should take very member of the City Council out in a field and shoot them in the head, then burn the corpses. But the tunnel at least sort of addresses that basic and necessary question about freight traffic, doesn't it?
Judah @13:

It will take I-5.

There, I saved some lives. Can't say that every day.
@12: Not at all. Actually, it's sort of far off base and intentionally misses the very clear point that it's the execution of the project itself. Your simplification is a bizarre poison pill and is all too similar to the "you want people to die when the viaduct collapses" argument.

Shorthand would be that the project is an albatross and creates uncertainties in the regional economy that may hinder our ability to bring currently drawn back services to their pre-recession levels. For all the posturing, it's more than simple to walk back one's position. A start would be to at least be more transparent in the process and come to terms with the potential for overruns and the impact they would have on our regional economy.

Another would be accepting that this project is fairly far from the environmental goals of the region and reconciling publicly the effects of the project on our intent to reduce VMT and emissions.

@13: The DBT doesn't address freight any more than Transit/Surface or the no build option. The SDEIS should clear that up. The main benefits aren't to freight, it's to the number of trips kept within the tunnel. Even then, that number is up in the air.

The project is one of loose ends.
And this is why I would like to replace the city council with a bunch of corgis.
I'm not even a Seattle resident and this seems like horseshit to me.
Face it - the viaduct won't be replaced until it falls down. Then - boom! - state-of-emergency is declared, and the federal government picks up the whole bill. It worked for that bridge in Minnesota or wherever.

Myself, I like that Lotto feel when I'm driving on the viaduct.
Can someone explain why the 99 tunnel is an engineering catastrophe waiting to happen, but the light rail capitol hill tunnel isn't?
I'm so glad we voted this silly tunnel down years ago. Think of what a disaster it would have been to go ahead with it!

@19 - Capitol Hill isn't made of sluced-down hills.
@19: The bores are different sizes and the Cap Hill tunnel has been reworked several times. For example, bad soils pushed the route north and killed a Madison Street station.

U-Link is a good example, though. For one, due to project overruns and mismanagement, the U-Link portion of the original alignment was pushed back more than a decade. It also killed 3 planned stations in the Central alignment and nearly scuttled the Sea-Tac station.

If anything, our experience with U-Link should be a strong warning.
This whole tunnel thing makes me sick and thank god The Stranger is putting out the news.

And of course I thank the TNT, too, because _when_ the cost overruns come in the Seattle establishment is going to look to the rst of the State put up the money and it's going to be an ugly situation.

The tragedy now is that so many people -- tunnel and surface/transit alike have convinced themselves for their own reasons -- that there is no third way -- the Repair.

I place enormous blame on WSDOT and the Nickels' Council. But I also place a lot of responsibility on the surface/transit crowd who were happy to agree with the State that the Vidaduct can't be repaired. And since I consider the more intelligent, progressive S/T crowd, people able to think on their own, I expect more from S/T and so am more disappointed by them.

I hope they can reverse course and realize that the Tunnel is even worse than a Viaduct Repair, which is now the only politically viable option.

Present the relevant studies that point to the repair being physically possible, environmentally responsible and politically viable. Should be easy, right? The repair option has been on the table at least 3 years longer than the DBT has even been a glimmer in a politician's eye, should be a piece of cake.
Gregoire sounds like Rumsfeld saying it'd be hard to believe that the conquest of Iraq would take more than a couple of weeks.
Baconcat hits a nerve here! "Let 'em cake indeed." And you don't know the half of it!!!

Does Burgess march in lockstep with the cake-eating baker? Anything would be better than a rude, passive-aggressive, wimpy phony who has been running for higher office and making all of his legislative decisions based on that, and an affinity for less than important matters like bottom-feeding animals.. Ohhhh, people don't don't a FRACTION of the truth Baconcat. And the press is too lazy or simply not sophisticated enough to dig deeper or ask the tough questions. They wouldn't want to barred from getting trivial, more boring, spoon-fed pablum from the second floor mouthpieces, would they?

Pursue it Baconcat. You hit a never for sure and I'm following your tweets now.

Here's what Baconcat wrote that hit some nerves:

Baconcat commented on TNT Says Seattle Better Pay Tunnel Cost Overruns.
"Conlin supported the tunnel, even when told we couldn't afford it. While social services were slashed, Conlin said 'let them eat cake' and pushed ahead with foisting thousands of dollars in taxes on Seattle voters for a project opposed by a majority of Washington State voters and legislators. When basic things like sidewalks were up for funding, Conlin killed them. When we needed to save the South Park Bridge with a funding increase, Conlin refused.

How can we support a selfish candidate like Richard Conlin?

Conlin: out of touch, not on our side.

Paid for the fauxgressives out of office committee, not a real committee."

And really, you could put Burgess, Bagshaw or Godden in there if you wanted.
Baconcat for City Council!

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