Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Viaduct Options

For the record: the San Francisco Emarcadero freeway mentioned below was an off ramp from the Bay Bridge to North Beach. It was public works boon doggle, and yes, it was torn and replaced by a boulevard that leads to Fisherman's Wharf, America's most well known tourist trap. Mayor Nickels in Seattle is of the opinion that the Alaskan Viaduct, part of the Highway 99, and important north south corridor, cuts off Seattle from the waterfront. To be precise: downtown Seattle is cut off by a hill from the waterfront. The expensive million dollar condos on Harbor Steps would have a majestic view of the Puget Sound and Cascades if it wasn't for the highway. Defiant Nickels promises to campaign hard for a tunnel : Local News: The Seattle Times: "Nickels noted that San Francisco tore down the elevated Embarcadero freeway on its waterfront and replaced it with a surface boulevard and trolley. The result has been a thriving waterfront, which is 'exactly what we’re trying to achieve' Nickels said. "


Steve said...

I have also heard that for various reasons the people in Washington D.C. do not have faith in the ability of Seattle to bring a transportation project home on time and on budget. Which makes me wonder where the mayor thinks his money will come from?

I get the impression his take on the matter is that the state owes him a tunnel. I think the mayor is missing how little the eastern counties care for Seattle and their unwillingness to fund major projects that benefit only Seattle.

The other thing I wonder about is: are their really that many voters living in those condos that the mayor is willing stake this whole project on pushing their desire for a clear view of the sound?

Mitch Kief said...

Inaddition to the lavish gratitude of the very well heeled condo dwellers, there's a lot more dollars up for grabs in land development if the Viaduct goes down and a tunnel takes its place. The boulevard option is also being proposed for Stone Way (cuts car lanes into two). Previously Nickels shilled loudly for the expensive street cars by Lake Union that provide a more pelasing cosmetic function as opposed to the bus trolley system already in place.