LIVE: The Council's New Plan on the Tunnel: Delay Contract, Block Referendum

Comments

1
What are the odds of Holmes walking in and calling foul on the Council?
2
Dom, I am sure you already addressed this but WHY DO THEY WANT THIS SO BAD? Who are their masters in this and why are they willing to ruin their careers over this?

This has escalated far beyond pride.
3
Can we start referring to the tunnel as "Conlin's Folly"?
4
It's not every day you see a City Council so openly express how strongly they are opposed to the values of the city they represent. Bravo, lame duck squad, bravo.
5
Whats this junk about a "drumbeat" to remove the electric bus system?
6
Can we recall these morons? I'm not sure we can afford to wait to vote them out in November 2011.
7
Yawn. Please move on.
8
@7 FT clear Win.

I wonder if Dom will get the memo?

Now that the attorney's are on official record indicating if there are any overruns, the city is not a signatory and WILL NOT put Seattlites on the hook, I WONDER IF SLOG WILL MOVE THE FUCK ON ALREADY!

Or will you continue on with your conspiracy theory?
9
I doubt a recall would succeed, and I wouldn't be so sure that the tunnel would lose in an election. Majorities in NW, SW, and SE are for it, I'm guessing. I assume Conlin knows this.
10
They are tired of the delay, Sally, because they want the viaduct gone, not because they want the tunnel. Support for the tunnel, like support for the council, is rapidly dropping. Voters in this city will find a way to vote one way or another and they'll most support a candidate who will tear down the viaduct and work for a more green and human-scaled project.
11
@8, that's nice, if your opposition to the tunnel is based entirely on liability for cost overruns. Some people are opposed to it on the basis of COST, full stop -- it's a poor use of public funds if it comes in 30% UNDER budget. And some people are against it because they've seen the pictures of the north and south portals, which will instantly become the most recognizable features of Seattle in satellite photos, they are so large and white and destructive.
12
@2: If you want to know who's pushing so hard for this, you only need to look at Seattle's lobbyist disclosure information: http://www2.seattle.gov/ethics/lobbyists…

For example, the best compensated single-issue lobbyist for the most recent few months was a lobbyist for the NAIOP, lobbying in support of the tunnel. The remainder of pro-tunnel lobbyists are related to the Master Builders Association and various other real estate concerns.

The reason folks are pushing so hard for this tunnel is because it's a GIGANTIC gimme to the real estate industry. That's the reason any plan that ceded a fair share of land to parks and such were deleted or not studied. The waterfront is incredibly valuable to these developers.

In reality, there's no plan for a beautiful waterfront full of parks and trees, the plan is to build condos and private waterfront enclaves. An urban Medina, WA, if you will. You'd be foolish to think the City Council is passing up on that kind of cash -- greed and ambition trump any kind of feel good greeny-green solution.

Even if it means building what amounts to a giant tailpipe through downtown Seattle.
13
Kind of off topic - but how can I tell who my city council member is for my area or what ever? Aren't they voted in like state reps? I want to know if the council member for my area is any good. I looked at their website and I cant really find anything about elections at first glance.
14
Building the Billionaires Tunnel is the WORST thing to do for carbon neutrality.

It has a carbon footprint TWICE that of either the Surface Plus Transit OR the Rebuilt Viaduct.

And that's from the construction and operation, all those nice fans and pumps running 24/7/365.
15
Fnarf fails to realize that this hasty action literally provides grounds for a successful recall petition for most of the city council.

Plus, he loves global warming and wants to increase Seattle's Carbon Debt.

And make all of us pay $10,000 per household - renter or homeowner - for his folly and that of Reichardt Conlin's.
16
Kudos to Pete Holmes for doing a fine job.
17
@13 no, that's school board. We vote for all city council members.
18
@13, no, unfortunately all Seattle City Councilmembers are elected "at-large", meaning they have no constituency to report to or advocate for, except of course the mega-players. For a list of those, see the groups and individuals supporting this tunnel proposal.
19
@15, please identify any posts where I support building the tunnel. Oh, wait -- that would require you to READ, which you are incapable of doing, being limited as you are to unsuccessfully attempting to persuade others that you're important in some way.
20
I love you too, Fnarf.
21
All of this hocus pocus is going to continue, most likely, through the 2011 legislative session. It is clear from the City Council's actions that they do not have the well wishes of the legislature who could pull the rug out from under this project in a heartbeat. We'll have to see what electeds are still in office by that time.
Perhaps the Gov will be headed to Wash.DC. That would eliminate the last of the original leaders of this debacle. Then, it's the Legislature (House) vs. the Seattle City Council. Guess who will get their way.

Back to the drawing boards!

Art
22
@20, I'm praying for your death and/or dismemberment.
23
Baconcat @12, where the hell do you come up with?: In reality, there's no plan for a beautiful waterfront full of parks and trees, the plan is to build condos and private waterfront enclaves. An urban Medina, WA, if you will. You'd be foolish to think the City Council is passing up on that kind of cash -- greed and ambition trump any kind of feel good greeny-green solution.

That contradicts my information about a public waterfront. Here's what Cary Moon has to say in a People's Waterfront Coalition newsletter sent April 22:
The City launched the first step of their planning effort a few months ago, called the Waterfront Partnerships Committee, to engage design and civic leaders in figuring out how to approach this challenge/ opportunity. ... With 25 acres of gorgeous waterfront public land at stake, it’s important to have a solid strategy. The group of 41 is charged with helping the City hammer out the scope of the planning area, the principles and vision for the new civic waterfront, and the process for selecting design/ planning consultants. They will also propose how the City can best collaborate with non-profit, private and philanthropic partners to achieve a stellar outcome.
24
@23, can you point to a single "stellar outcome" that any of these 41 have ever been involved in? Or even ones that they admire that have been done by others? Is there any reason at all to believe that any of these "non-profit, private and philanthropic partners" would recognize a living city environment if they saw one?

I predict a cross between the sculpture park and the Bravern, with lots of plantings that all die in the first year.
25
>Dom, I am sure you already addressed this but WHY DO THEY WANT THIS SO BAD?
>Who are their masters in this and why are they willing to ruin their careers over this?
>This has escalated far beyond pride.

The masters with the most influence are the unions who, with their billions of dollars, have government officials at all levels in their back pockets. In order to sustain and create union jobs, they push through every huge public works project they possibly can.

To a lesser extent it's the downtown developers, who have been trying to tear down the unsightly viaduct for years because it is blocking the views of their condos and office buildings.

.

26
>Can we start referring to the tunnel as "Conlin's Folly"?

How about, "THE BIGGER DIG?"

.
27
@26, except that it's vastly smaller than the Big Dig.
28
>I wouldn't be so sure that the tunnel would lose in an election.
>Majorities in NW, SW, and SE are for it, I'm guessing. I assume Conlin knows this.

It seems to make sense that West Seattle, Fremont, Ballard, etc would be for a tunnel, but overall, voters just don't want to put up with that kind of expense. And who can blame them? The expense is totally ridiculous and irresponsible -- and *underestimated*. The real costs and the inevitable overruns are being hidden in order to push the project through.

Conlin and the rest of the council know that their chances are slim to none if a vote is held. Three years ago, Seattle voters already overwhelmingly voted against a tunnel.

The Seattle City Council held an advisory vote on a Surface/Hybrid tunnel in March 2007 (see link below for text of the council resoluton for the vote.)

Voters were against a tunnel by a *HUGE* margin: 30% FOR, 70% AGAINST.

The 2007 vote was for a Surface/Hybrid tunnel, so officials are using the excuse that they are building a Deep Bore tunnel in order to completely ignore the results. Obviously, that is totally bogus. If people are against a surface tunnel by that large a margin, there is no way they are going to be for a different kind of tunnel. There is nothing about a deep bore tunnel (which should cost a lot more) versus a surface tunnel that would turn that many people around.

Also from the resolution (link below), the estimated cost of the Surface/Hybrid tunnel was $3.41 billion. This makes me think there is something fishy going on with the current cost estimates over $2 billion-something. The Surface/Hybrid tunnel should cost much less than a Deep Bore Tunnel (it's smaller and shallower, and it uses existing streets.)

The state had already approved more than $2billion of financing for a tunnel of some sort before the March 2007 vote. The city essentially just repurposed this money for a different kind of tunnel, conveniently ignoring the real costs in order to get the project started and cement the commitment. The state knows darn well the $2 billion figure is not real -- that's why they want Seattle to pay for the overruns, which will surely occur.

The whole things smells to high heaven.

Link to Seattle City Council resolution for a tunnel advisory vote in March 2007:
http://clerk.seattle.gov/~scripts/nph-br…
29
@27:
>@26, except that it's vastly smaller than the Big Dig

The estimated cost at the start of the Big Dig was $2.8 billion.

The actual cost, at the beginning of 2008: $22 billion.

Don't let Gregoire tell you that there will be no cost overruns.