If You Want to Stop the Tunnel...


Any hope of SLOG/Stranger doing actual journalism is gone now that you have become a public policy advocacy group.
I have trouble believing the surface/transit people (which I guess is McGinn, Moon and who knows who else) will be able or willing to swallow their pride and endorse a viaduct replacement, because some people will see it as possibly indirectly endorsing that we keep existing levels of car capacity or some similar nonsense. I hope I'm wrong.
@1 whats the point of having any level of power, audience, or anything else if you're unwilling to do something responsible and for the public good with it? I mean, have you been reading a different Stranger than everyone else?
Wouldn't mind a bit. What will surprise me is if anyone actually does the work to make this happen, instead of just grandstanding and shadowboxing. Seeing all the pretending to care in order to build a political base has me a bit jaded.
STB brings up the point that has been missing from the pro- vs. anti-tunnel debate, and that is that the anti-tunnel folks are not all pro-surface. It would be curious to see what polling on a plan such as this compared to the tunnel compared to the surface would come up with.

I'm all but rabidly pro-tunnel, but this is an idea that, assuming the pro-surface people joined the real world and the pro-rebuild people could get on board with reduced capacity, I think could peel support from the pro-tunnel folks. It's a shame that it may never happen, what with the whole waiting until almost literally the last minute to come up with it.
So the alternative to the Deep Bore Tunnel is 700 million cheaper and we get to keep the ugly ass eyesore of a viaduct!? Wow, where do I sign up! Oh wait, shouldnt we force a vote on this before cramming it down peoples throats? What about the possible cost overruns? No light rail? No bike lanes? And what about the dozens of safety problems that i'll just make up on the spot? The will of the people cannot be ignored!!

A new viaduct is a non-starter because it requires demolishing the old one first in order to make room for the new one. Three to 4 years of no thru corridor, to some this means traffic nightmare and years of gridlock, but the reality would be that traffic would adapt -- different routes, different travel times, different modes -- until the "need" for the new facility no longer existed. The real highway junkies understand this; the last thing they want to see is for highway "need" to just go away.
All of the options have their downside, and yes the viaduct would be "fugly," but it is the best option. $700m is nothing to sneeze at, and I trust that number much more than the tunnel cost based on the fact that we've actually built one of these before! It keeps semis off of surface streets, opens up the space underneath much like the tunnel would, and the $1B could be applied to other needed projects around the city.

Is "fugly" the main concern? What about moving commerce, providing open space, and staying wihtin budget? Seattle is a practical city - there is more to consider than just vanity.
Surprisingly, Martin's right.

And, considering cost and environmental impacts both short and long term, presciently so.
blah, blah, the tunnel, blah, blah, a viaduct, blah, blah, McGinn, blah, blah, blah
@8 - the one area that does miss the target in his piece that you allude to - none of the savings from the State, County or Port funding would likely go to the city (especially from the State), rather they would likely be diverted to other road building projects across the State by Sen. Haugen.
@10 got budget deficit?

Yeah, those are real tax dollars you're spending on a gold-plated Billionaire's Tunnel we can't afford.
What would be fuglier, a viaduct, or a Seattle made up of paper pushers and minimum wage jobs without much of a port? The fact is, the port supports more jobs than Boeing does statewide, and these are good paying jobs that Seattle would sorely miss. Seattle is essentially a port city. The current viaduct provides an essential north-south freight mobility link between Ballard and South Seattle's industrial area. We need to keep Seattle a vital port city, as 20% of Washington state's GDP is dependent upon trade (we are the most trade dependent state in the nation). And let's have transit too. Seattle has dithered on the transit issue for decades, now is the time to get something done. No more Republicanish aversion to public works projects. Let's be a can-do generation.
@13 a viaduct would - by WSDOT estimates - carry 50 percent MORE freight than the Deeply Boring Tunnel.

Got freight?

Not with a DBT.
We don't have the money to do anything but maintain the current Viaduct until we can tear it down. That also happens to be the best possible option for the long term to improve the city.

It will be a difficult few years until we can make the adjustment, but it's not as if we have any other realistic choices.
@14, I actually agree. My favorite option actually is another viaduct with transit. Which is what Gregoire wanted until she was strong armed by Nickels to favor the tunnel (which you probably already know). Bottom line, I just think something needs to be built.

It would be astonishing if the State didn't fund reconstruction of the state highway. Most of Seattle's expenditure is dedicated to the viaduct's former footprint, to the tune of $700m or so. There's literally nowhere for that money to be spent if the viaduct is rebuilt.

It would be astonishing if the State didn't fund reconstruction of the state highway. Most of Seattle's expenditure is dedicated to the viaduct's former footprint, to the tune of $700m or so. There's literally nowhere for that money to be spent if the viaduct is rebuilt.
@16 well, Nickels always wanted to work at the UN.
@17,18 - actually, either a Viaduct Replacement or a Surface Plus Transit or even a Cut And Cover Tunnel would create a lot more local jobs than the gold-plated monstrosity that is the Deeply Boring Tunnel ... and for a lot less cash.
@3 -- here's the deal. SLOG/Stranger, McGinn and the Nightclubs are in a 3-way friends with benefits arrangement.

1. SLOG/Stranger gets most of its ad money from the Nightclubs.

2. The Nightclubs want longer hours and smooth political sailing. They LOVE Mike McGinn.

3. SLOG/Stranger sees who butters its bread so the closer it can get to McGinn, the more the clubs are happy.

The benefits for each? SLOG/Stranger gets club ad revenue. Clubs get support for their mayor. McGinn gets access to SLOG/Stranger's audience at $zero cost.

If The Stranger were indeed a newspaper (note its tagline: "Seattle's Only Newspaper") this would be so blatantly against any journalistic ethics that it would be a laughingstock. SLOG/Stranger doesn't know or doesn't care -- its advertisers are happy, its bills are paid and that's what count$s.
@17/18 - no, the City portion is predominately focused on seawall replacement, surface street improvements, and utility relocation - all things that have to happen, anyway, and that the State has no interest in paying for. Savings from the actual structure itself from the State would in no way be re-directed to Seattle, but probably Highway 2, Highway 9, some E. Washington projects, and various other car-oriented projects that would likely expand, not reduce, capacity in the respective corridors.
Dominic, you need to find a new obsession. This one is starting to become pathological.