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Argument: Seattle tunnel is better than surface transit option

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Supporting quotations

"Delaying the Green Tunnel is Seattle’s Biggest Risk." Light and Air. July 13th, 2010: "1. The Surface/Transit solution will place 30,000 to 75,000 vehicles a day on the waterfront (the GEHL report says 30-50k). This number of vehicles will make the waterfront a miserable place. Imagine if all of the traffic on the current viaduct was on the waterfront and you get the idea. Not livable. Definitely not an improved economic asset.

2. Considering Surface/Transit proponents avowed commitment to the environment and livability, one has to speculate where nonchalance at tens of thousands more surface vehicles on our streets comes from. An extremely attractive and livable town where people want to live is the most sustainable green strategy. One reason you see extraordinary infrastructure projects in great cities is that these projects are necessary to support dense livability.

3. Surface/Transit proponents say people will ‘adapt’ to more surface traffic by quickly relocating their residences or hopping on transit. A more likely short-term adaptation is bumper-to-bumper traffic on every street downtown. Unlike most U.S. cities, Seattle is not blessed with a highly redundant street grid and boasts genuinely challenging topography. Love those views!

4. Surface/Transit proponents envision enlarging I-5, initiating another round of delay-inducing construction there. How wise is it to spend even more money on I-5 and concentrate all of our north-south through traffic, including light rail, in one corridor? One large accident could shut all north-south traffic down – vehicles and light-rail.

5. Surface/Transit proponents complain that the deep-bore tunnel won’t have entrances and exits downtown. This is a populist stab for support. Most environmentalists and transportation progressives believe that highways should be reserved for long-distance traveling, not short hops in the city. People who are unhappy to lose the viaduct they love won’t be happy to hear Surface/Transit proponents plan no downtown exits either. You can’t have exits if you don’t build a highway."

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