What Could Possibly Go Right?


Dan, we can't close the Viaduct because West Seattle can't add more time to their commute.
"Hopes to pay" != "Will pay"

Bring on the Public Vote of Seattle Citizens!
I assume it will take pranksters at least a couple of days before they figure out how to kick the control box and make the gates close whenever they want, like, say, 8:29 AM on a Monday, or 3 PM on a holiday Friday.
also, did anyone else just suddenly flash on those images from The Ninth Gate where Death and Fire are everywhere as Satan has sex with Johnny Depp?
@4 No, that movie was terrible.
well, my mind didn't flash to it, but i'd have to say that the ninth gate is a pretty darn good movie. whoever wrote the music is a genius - all the music for the entire film is only about 8 notes, but arranged in such a perfect way for each situation. plus, i really like satan's slouch socks.
Our Thursday lineup so far: set to pitch tunnel items on Slog in Dom's absence, Dan and Eli.

Comment batting lineup: Will, Joe, Fnarf, Will, Joe, rinse and repeat;

Baconcat on the bench corking his bat and sharpening his spikes, ready to pinch hit/pinch run at a moment's notice.

Pointlessly polysyllabically declaiming, toupee in place, gimlet-eyed in the bleachers, your gloomy gus.
Isn't there this new thing where they hang boxes on roadways with three colored lights (typically red, yellow, and green) that light up one at a time informing drivers of their need to go, yield, or stop?

Would those gates hinder rescue operations? What a bunch of maroons.
@7 Gus, you know Ramos won't be diggin' that toupee...honestly, now.
You forgot you, griping on third base, hoping for a pop fly to be missed, gg.
Canuck, though I don't need a toupee I think it adds to my charm anyway, and Ramos will be coming around any moment, I believe.

@11, I said I'm in the bleachers, bitch.
Good point @9. @8 as well -- there is already a system in place that sets off flashing yellow lights all up and down Aurora telling drivers that the viaduct is closed.

One can also imagine a scenario where an earthquake hits, the viaduct doesn't collapse, but the gates close -- thus trapping people trying to get off, when an aftershock brings it down, killing a bunch of people smashed up against the gates.

Also, what happened to our supposed devastating budget deficit? We can't have cops and parks but we can have this?
I am simply open-mouthed with astonishment at the stupidity of this decision.

$1.4 million for GATES for the Viaduct?? Srsly?!?! Whose bright idea was that? Signal Electric of Kent, mayhaps???

I swear to God, whenever I think I've seen the STUPIDEST thing I could possibly see from the politicos who have this region in a stranglehold, I AM PROVED WRONG. No wonder we're such a damn laughingstock here in the Great PNW. Sheesh.
Would that be Green for Gamble, Yellow for Yelp!, and Red for RUN FOR THE HILLS! for the lights?
"Paananen said the gates also can be closed with the push of a button at the DOT's traffic headquarters in Shoreline."

15700 Dayton Ave N. A terrorist will be able to shut down the city by pushing a button in a suburban office building.
They're railroad crossing gates according to the article Dan links to. More advisory than Shelley-Winters-trapping, no?
If they build it, it needs to be tested right? Right? How you gonna do that?
So a long time ago, I proposed that opponents to the state's current plans would just dangle the assertions and let the state and tunnel enablers hang themselves, and here they go:

On Cost: Opponents to the current plan have been saying "who's going to pay" and "how can you assure us it won't have overruns". The state's answer has simply been "the legislature can't make the city pay, there won't be overruns". Any threat from the legislature (for example: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitic… ) or any sign that the project is increasing in cost? Liability for tunnel supporters.

On Mobility: Opponents to the current plan have stated that the tunnel is just as drastic a change as any other plan, suggesting a rebuild or a no-build is just as viable. Any document that shows the tunnel moving far less traffic than the existing viaduct or adding more traffic to local streets (like this: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/3FB… )? Liability for tunnel supporters.

On Safety: Opponents have pointed to numerous studies (http://bit.ly/9hZrlF or http://bit.ly/95NYQD for example) that show that the proposed timeline for removal exceeds risk and that the viaduct remains a major risk to public safety. Anything that shows that risk is high (like installing gates)? Liability for tunnel supporters.

On Consensus: Opponents have shown that the city's voters have their doubts. Regardless of how these doubts are represented by the opponents, any shade of the state or other tunnel supporters dismissing voter concerns? Liability for tunnel supporters.

Godden tried to play the propaganda card, but there's no secret intent on any side of this issue except for the state and city council. The state and city council have made no effort to explain how or why there would be no cost overruns, they haven't explained why they feel it's alright to delay some paper processes by months and some vital public safety processes by up to a year. They won't say why they refused to study surface/transit. They won't tell people why they won't even close the viaduct for a short period. They aren't explaining where they get their support.

If they really wanted to fuck with people, The Stranger should just make the cover of The Stranger one giant fake ballot that says "Should the voters of the City of Seattle have a say in the current alaskan way viaduct replacement plan? YES __ NO __" with a fake endorsement from the City Council at the bottom suggesting a "no" vote. Or maybe in block letters "TEAR THIS VIADUCT DOWN" with an explanation of the safety risks at the bottom.

But that's just my idea, I'm a rabble rouser.
@16: Tell me you didn't imagine Will when you typed that out, Fnarf. Cackling, rubbing his palms together and mashing a comically-sized red button marked "SHUTDOWN".
Fnarf, since the mayor lives on Dayton as well, he can pedal to the rescue to subdue any terrorist whose idea of destroying the city is lowering railroad crossing gates.
@21 if they do a bike lane road diet between McGinn's house and the Big Red Button, we'll know they're planning for the worst.
@ 9, if the viaduct is as damaged as everyone believe it will be, they wouldn't be trying to drive up on it to rescue people.

@ 13, I don't think there are gates being installed at exit points, just entry points. "But the gates, which will be built on onramps leading to the viaduct, can be closed in minutes."
Ah, great, trapped in a tunnel, under sea level, during a massive earthquake in unstable soils.

What could (blub) possibly go wrong?

Good thing there won't ever be any fires down there ....
Those lights are for closing the tunnel & wouldn't help anyone traveling northbound on the viaduct -- those lights stop you at the Battery St tunnel, effectively trapping you on the viaduct at a red light as it falls down! The lights also wouldn't stop anyone who is getting on the viaduct from Western, 1st Ave, Marion or the West Seattle bridge.

Makes me wonder: do any of you people actually DRIVE the roads you keep blathering on and pontificating about?!?

Ah. Serves me right for not reading the article. Nevertheless, who in the hell keeps driving along, especially on city streets, while an earthquake is going on?
@26, I can't help but think this is for right after a big quake, if the viaduct looks just fine to the naked eye and you think, well shit, my mom in West Seattle's not answering her phone I hope that giant bookcase by her favorite chair didn't fall on her, so you try to get there as quickly as possible.

This is to keep you from choosing the viaduct if your haste impairs your judgment.
@19: Oh, Baconcat, Baconcat, Baconcat...
Any document that shows the tunnel moving far less traffic than the existing viaduct or adding more traffic to local streets (like this: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/3FB…)

Playing fast and loose with the numbers again I see.

Here's what that report ACTUALLY says:
Some drivers choosing to avoid paying a toll on the bored tunnel would choose to take city streets through downtown Seattle. Traffic analysis shows that few would choose to take city streets during peak travel times, when those streets are already at capacity. If the bored tunnel is toll free, approximately 48,000 vehicles would use downtown city streets between Western Avenue and Sixth Avenue during peak travel times. These volumes
would increase by eight to 14 percent during the peak period if a toll is charged in the proposed bored tunnel.

So it's not the tunnel, it's the tolling that adds traffic to downtown streets.

(And, btw, not having a tunnel would effectively put 100% more cars on downtown streets -- so this is not really an argument that supports your side of the debate in the slightest!)

Go ahead and fiercely argue for your position, Baconcat! But please quit cooking the books to make your point. (You remind me of so many Southern Baptists, pulling bible quotes out of context to back up their loony-tune, right-wing philosophizing)
@28 actually the draft EIS (which is linked here on SLOG) shows that the extra 50,000 vehicles dumped on downtown Seattle streets and arterials by building a Billionaires Tunnel are BEFORE they count the effects of a $5 toll each way.

So it will be more.

Just forget trying to get anywhere in Seattle if they build this monstrosity.

Crying won't help you. Praying won't do you no good. Cause when the Tunnel floods, you'll have no place to drive.
For a city council so obsessed with becoming "world class", you'd think they'd be all for adding cars to downtown streets. All this "skip the city through this tunnel" shit is like letting everyone at your party hang out on your back deck, instead of in the kitchen where the real fun is.
@29: Will, you're better than that...

You an I both know having no tunnel would increase traffic on downtown streets by 110,000 trips. By your own numbers, your solution is at best 100% worse than the tunnel -- so we can REALLY completely give up getting anywhere downtown if YOU get your way!
@28: Timrrr, those neat little diagrams show the shortfall and how the state will toll the tunnel. They need to, otherwise cost creep will destroy funding.

You can fiddle with numbers all you want, but that is how it is.

Oh, and the document you cite to refute my claims shows that no option "doubles" traffic downtown. Not a single one. Even surface/transit + I-5 keeps traffic level about even with the "no toll" option.

Show me where traffic counts on city streets downtown would double. You can't.
@31: RTFD, Timrrr. Nowhere in the state's own projections does it show that traffic on downtown streets will increase by 110,000 trips versus a tunnel-based solution.
@22: Best route there is north on Greenwood Ave N. And they just announced a road diet proposal on Greenwood between 85th and 115th.