Dan Savage's Open Letter to Paul Allen on Lidding I-5, Righting a Wrong, and Leaving a Legacy

Comments

1
There's just no end to the Progressive Liberals compulsion to spend other people's money.
2
Some money for the homeless would be nice too!
3
Asshole leaving an open letter to another asshole. That sums up the 2016 election cycle pretty well.
4
How about fucking tearing down the lid and the Convention Center while we're at it and creating a double-decker, eight-lane freeway through Seattle like what we've needed for almost three decades.

Also, Savage can fucking move back to Chicago.
5
Take a pill.

And then write a check yourself.
6
Dan have you *looked* at the Patano plans? That dude wants to put a fucking stadium in between Capitol Hill and Downtown and make pedestrians walk *over* it. When I asked how a wheelchair user would cross this he said they could go around. Fuck this guy, fuck his stadium idea, and anyone who wants to build a park over I5 needs to start by making it clear they think his idea is stupid.
7
@1 even in libertopia, it's perfectly legit to _suggest_ that other people do useful things with their money.

@4 yeah! Just like the Cross-Bronx Expressway solved NYC's gridlock problems forever! It'll be great!
8
Putting a lid on a nasty freeway will cost too much, cause major maintenance and car crash cleanup issues and ignores the real value of that large chunk of real estate. Surely there is a better way...:

https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/10/31/r… https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/11/04/m…
9
@7, yes we have free speech on how our taxes are spent and it's our right, but how you or I spend our own money is none of anybody's business. It's rude and apparently a duty of the far left to cry "You owe me". Savage's rant is hardly a suggest.
10
Put me in the like category. Not only does Seattle need a Central Park, but the big scar between Capitol Hill and Downtown could be sewn up.
11
The rejection of the Seattle commons was the biggest mistake this city has made in the last half century, Dan. You and The Stranger know this and your role in defeating it 20 years ago. The argument then was why should tax payers pay for a park that really supports a bunch of tech office buildings and apartments that would displace light industrial business and parking lots. Well, fast forward and that's exactly what happened minus the awesome park in the middle of it and lid for Mercer St. So, fuck you Dan. Paul Allen gave you a chance once and you fucked up.
12
Very clever. I loved everything about this campaign and will gladly look for the place where the gays have sex in Allen Park. Gracias, Dan.
13
BTW, I thought LA was bitter. Whoa.
14
This whole "Letter" is just whining and demanding that someone else pay for a vanity project.

If you feel so strongly about this Dan why don't YOU poney up some cash??
15
.......and dont forget to wear a condom, right Dan?
17
@9 Rude? C'mon. I'm not even sure I buy that for plebs like you and me, but Paul Allen runs a charitable foundation. He is literally in the business of soliciting suggestions for what to do with cash that he knows perfectly well he will die without ever spending on himself. He'll survive the fainting spell Dan's letter brings on, I'm sure.
19
@16: I voted for the Commons. Icky people voted no.
20
@12 & @15...and they're shooting up as they do the other two. The sights and sounds of a lib wonderland.

Inclusive (while actively rejecting) Seattle is such a bully.
21
Nice try at revising history, Dan. The Stranger helped fuck the Commons. Paul Allen did not.
22
There's writing. There's vomiting talk onto a page. I like writing.
23
I miss Ansel.
24
Great letter, notwithstanding that pointless, tacky dig at hippies and "sensitive millennials". Isn't sensitivity a laudable characteristic, anyway? You're being *insensitive*, and that reflects poorly on you.
25
The lidding will never happen. There is no economic incentive to do it. Development around here revolves around making big $$$ returns on development – you can do that with tons of "luxury" condo and apartment development, you can do that with the retail spaces on the bottom with the same chain food/Tom Douglas' aioli bullshit of the week, but you can't do that with a park.

Not even with Paul Allen's money - because Paul Allen's ventures are always based around making more money, or making a big name. Nobody cares about a park. Parks are where plebs pay $200 for a bench with a plaque dedicated to their Dearest Mom and Nan.
26
The Seattle Commons levies failed in the 90's because they were single-issue votes for a new park that was perceived to benefit only one neighborhood. Commons developers should've worked with the City to add the project to the then-upcoming Pro Parks ballot measure. Add it onto the list of city-wide park improvements to be voted on. Pro Parks still would've passed and we'd have the Seattle Commons today. But Commons developers were insistent on it being a stand-alone ballot measure. Twice. And predictably defeated both times. A political Fail that should've have happened.
27
Is it just me or does Dan sound exactly like Donald Trump? Both seem pretty good at spending other peoples money. It was a centerpiece of Trump's campaign to spend other peoples money fighting ISIS, so I guess the stranger is taking a cue from the president-elect
28
The most ridiculous thing about the defeat of the Seattle Commons initiative was that the Seattle Center was already too small for things like Folk Life, Bite of Seattle and Bumbershoot in the mid 1990's. If the weather was nice, you could count on being shoulder-to-shoulder every minute you were there. Forget about trying to use a restroom. Unfortunately, the people who attend those events just don't vote in the same numbers as the NIMBY's who have long dominated Seattle politics. The last time we actually voted sensibly for the future was Forward Thrust, and that led to the WPPSS scam. Things like Sound Transit have faced a major uphill battle ever since.
29
Also watching Dan try to swing around this "look at my confident irreverence" thing in his increasing irrelevance is fun to watch. It's like listening to someone figure out good responses to an argument in the shower the next morning.
30
"Stranger Election Control Board—now dominated by sensitive millennials,.."

Oh we could wish so. Sadly the fucking nominal boomers somehow still managed to control the results even though they were outnumbered and wrong.
31
Instead of lidding I-5, lets build elevated light rail over it to move people into and through downtown as quickly as possible.
@6, The Patano plans aren't happening, an unfunded pipe dream. You should be supporting the privately financed SODO Arena project from Chris Hansen to bring the NHL, NBA and other big events to Seattle.
@7, No, the Cross-Bronx Expressway did not eliminate NYC gridlock, but the city has enough public transportation for one to choose not to deal with it and we should be building a lot more of it so we Seattle people can choose not to deal with gridlock too.
32
Hey D.S

After reading your “Open Letter” I had to sit back and think for a moment how to carefully respond. I am not angry and will not throw up all of you as you expressed in this “Open Letter” But I think your approach to this matter is truly unprofessional. I am really surprised that you have reached such a boiling point as a columnist and spewed your disgust of this matter in an “Open Letter”. I am neither for or against the I-5 Lid. What appalls me is how YOU can to tell another person how to live their lives, how to spend their money etc. Yes, Mr. Allen is in a position to be criticized or praised for what he has done for Seattle or how he has negatively affected Seattle . But the actions that you took as columnist! The manner in which you expressed yourself as a columnist! To get you point across is truly mind BLOWING. Maybe consider this! Don’t wait 20 years to express your feelings on a subject that you obviously care deeply about? That way it doesn’t come across as columnist who has completely come unhinged and expressed his thoughts like a 10 year old having a tantrum. Instead you can express your feelings about any matter with more concise and clear points. Leave this manner of expressing yourself amongst your friends and colleagues where it belongs. SMH!!!
33
"....essential to city living because they provide a refuge from the urban environment..."

Um, so confused. Help me out. I thought cities = good. So why would anyone need refuge from something this paper advocates, that is, increasing density and becoming ever more like a big, cosmopolitan city?
34
@31 yes, I am aware of the existence of the MTA. I was being sarcastic: the Cross-Bronx not only notoriously failed to eliminate gridlock, but was emblematic of the larger problem that building additional highway capacity encourages more highway use.

The whole "freeway revolt" of the 70s started because Robert Moses' various incredibly destructive highway projects in NYC and nearby not only failed to alleviate congestion as promised but actually led to even worse congestion -- the double-decker highway being proposed by @4 would be a disaster. You're quite correct that if Seattle's goal is to avoid highway congestion and enable people to live outside the urban core, what they need is trains and a lot of them.
35
If'n he does this, I'll even forgive him the Kingdome/Stadium fiasco and become an unabashed Seahawks fan again.
36
The landed gentry get a property value increase; Cap Hill . . . I just love calling it that . . . denizens get a neighborhood park, and the homeless get 100 more acres of sleep-barrier park benches on which to twist fitfully through another cold night. Win-Win!, and meh.
37
Dan,

You've become so irrelevant at this point in your life it's really pretty sad. This letter, your attacking PreP for HIV treatment and prevention...you're nothing but a well off middle age white guy. You had you moment of relevance and importance but those days are long past. Retire: you're just about old enough to do so.
38
As I remember, there was another asshole in the equation that killer the commons. Mike Siegel, the right wing talk show host who harped on horrors of the commons daily.
39
If $100 million bucks is really more than pocket change to Paul Allen, who probably spends that much on tipping staff year to year, than I really don't understand rich people. What else are ya going to do with all that money?
40
@39 - He owns a submarine, fer cryin' out loud. After the yacht(s), the plane, and piles of properties. He's swimmin' in it. He could spare $100m.

Another vote for Yes on the I-5 Lid / Allen Park.
.

(Confidential to jackkay: We live in a society where the rich don't already pay their fair share. W.Buffet pays less tax than his secretary. We're the "richest nation on earth" and we have homelessness? Student loans for college? (it's free in Mexico) No. These are all policy decisions to benefit the wealthy. Time for the 1% who have been benefiting from this rapacious economy to give back... & mightily).

41
Paul Allen has done a lot for the city. This is kind of an off-putting way to ask for a few billion dollars.
If I was him and I'd read this I'd just be annoyed. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos haven't put nearly as much money into the city. He puts a lot of money into the city, and suddenly people act like they are entitled to it?
Realistically, if tax payers want a park, they should pay for a park. I'd vote for additional lidding if they budget was kept reasonable. We could extend freeway park.
If Paul Allen is willing to help out, that's great. It's kind of ridiculous to act entitled to it though. Go bug Bill Gates instead if you are going to bug anyone.
42
Seattle got two great big parks, discovery park an seaward park. Too bad residents of "the hill" refuse to see anything off "the hill" as part of Seattle.
44
Paul Allen had another opportunity to create a legacy for Seattle and South Lake Union.

He could have bought the ferry Kalakala and restored it. After its retirement in 1967, the vessel was sold to a seafood processing company and towed to Alaska to work as a factory ship. There, a group of artists discovered the rusting hulk in 1984, purchased the vessel, and managed to refloat her and tow her back to Seattle in 1998. The vessel had been a source of controversy as its owners were unable to raise sufficient funds to refurbish the vessel or even to keep her moored in Seattle’s Union Bay. That’s where Paul Allen could have stepped in. The vessel was sold in 2004 to a private investor, who moved it to an anchorage in Neah Bay provided by the Makah Tribe. Who knows what’s happened to it now.

What a great opportunity Paul had, to keep the Kalakala in Seattle and moor it in South Lake Union, at the Center for Wooden Boats and near the Armory and the Museum of History and Industry. It would be visible now from anywhere in South Lake Union, a fitting tribute and perfect accent there at the foot of Westlake. Maybe it's not too late. He could buy back the Kalakala, restore it, turn it into a floating museum or fancy dinner ship or what ever he wanted. Paul Allen owns the worlds largest privately owned yacht, the “Octopus” plus an entire fleet of other yachts, including the Tatoosh and the Meduse. He obviously loves boats and feels an affinity for the sea. This would have been the perfect public works project for him and the citizens of Seattle and the perfect legacy for a man who loves ships and maritime history.

He could pepper the entire town with beautiful parks, amazing structures and even more incredible museums. I'm hoping he's thinking about that right now.
45
17@ yes, he has a charity for helping people, but it's not for building Parks.

40@. All areas of this planet have the homeless. Always was, always will be. From the earliest recorded history, they have been there. We have made it attractive for them and of course our city gets them in numbers that out number our own real homeless. Just being the most richest nation on Earth doesn't in anyway guaranty the end of homelessness. No matter what we have done in the past 3,000 years (and earlier) has done....well, what it's we got.


Mexico is a openly corrupt government greased buy Oil, you want to live there for free college? Go!

These policies you mention were made policy, either before or during the Obama 8 Years. Now, why are you making noise?

How much money do you think the rich have? Enough to pay for everyone to have a middle class life? When more and more feel "You Owe Me!". And for or what? By What Right?
46
17@ yes, he has a charity for helping people, but it's not for building Parks.

40@. All areas of this planet have the homeless. Always was, always will be. From the earliest recorded history, they have been there. We have made it attractive for them and of course our city gets them in numbers that out number our own real homeless. Just being the most richest nation on Earth doesn't in anyway guaranty the end of homelessness. No matter what we have done in the past 3,000 years (and earlier) has done....well, what it's we got.


Mexico is a openly corrupt government greased buy Oil, you want to live there for free college? Go!

These policies you mention were made policy, either before or during the Obama 8 Years. Now, why are you making noise?

How much money do you think the rich have? Enough to pay for everyone to have a middle class life? When more and more feel "You Owe Me!". And for or what? By What Right?
47
The existence of the Experience Music Project is ample evidence, and a clear cry for help, that Paul Allen is in desperate need of ideas for what to spend his money on.
48
@DanSavage: Re: Billion-dollar windfall — see http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.c…, first line. (Didn't find the original article, though.)
49
Why no comments on excellent post/letter (way up above) by B Gerald Johnson?
50
Hippies ran this rag in the late '90s? In your acid infested dreams Dan. Posers maybe.

BTW, @44: Kalakala was crapped in Tacoma almost two years ago.

51
Having Paul Allen fund this aside, lidding I-5 might not be a bad idea. But while we're doing that, we could clean it up through downtown Seattle and improve the traffic flow. Specifically, close off all but one on/off ramp to the city, probably somewhere around Dearborn. The space freed up could be used for a couple of additional lanes and, together with the elimination of all the merging traffic congestion, should handle the remaining traffic. We would end up with two 'Downtown Seattle' on/off ramps: This one and Mercer (call them North and South Downtown Seattle). The first step along the way to reducing our dependence on this roadway is to learn to do without it. Boxing it in or, as more extremists suggest, getting rid of it altogether, needs to start with this one little step.

But I suspect that once each local neighborhood and business district is approached and told "You are losing your on-ramp" the screams of anguish will be deafening. "Any other ramp. But not mine!" And then there will be the collective shriek from all of Seattle, as they will have to replace one of the principle functions of I-5 which is jumping on the freeway for a few blocks to the next exit, with more surface street capacity. When it's all done, the new real estate on top of the lid will be used for city arterial streets.
52
"the pen from my flu-virus-incubating mouth"

Just wondering if Dan used the same, to pen this letter . . .
53
I do wish the wealthy who made money off of our city would put back. And put back big! No, I don't agree with Steve jarring tone. And I suppose Paul Allen is a good guy. But in this country and in this region, I wonder why big business wants to spend our taxes via subsidies and partnerships from and with our various taxing authorities. It does come from our pocket, it really does. Even ST3 is coming from out pocket. It is time to give back guys and girls. And give back big.