Seattle City Council president Richard Conlin wrapped up his speech about the deep-bore tunnel ordinance this morning by citing hard data that shows it's a cost-effective mechanism to move vehicles and capacity... projecting slides of the collapsed Cypress Street Viaduct where 42 people died in the Bay Area earthquake:

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"These pictures remind us that we are talking about people’s lives," said Conlin, claiming that we need to build the deep-bore tunnel so that we can tear down the Alaskan Way Viaduct. "This is not just about transportation; this is about safety." The council then voted 8-1 (Mike O'Brien dissenting) to approve an ordinance for the tunnel.

Um, but Richard. Seriously. The viaduct would have come down sooner—next year instead of 2016—if tunnel supporters hadn't delayed it. Now this death trap is left standing longer, because of the tunnel proposal.

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"The city council has chosen the option that leaves the existing viaduct up the longest," said Mayor Mike McGinn, responding to Conlin's transparent fear-mongering spectacle. "Under their plan, the viaduct will not be taken down until the tunnel is completed. Who is irresponsible?"

If this is truly life or death—if that's what Conlin is really afraid of—then the council would be trying to tear down the viaduct now. Because it doesn't matter which alternative comes out on top (tunnel, new viaduct, transit improvements, etc.). Saving people's lives is more important that a few years of bad traffic.

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