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Old 02-26-2010, 12:44 PM
 
338 posts, read 532,587 times
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Hi, everyone.

I am not from Seattle, but I like it.

Its a beautiful city, but its waterfront is ruined by the highway. I heard that the city will raze the elevated highway and replace it with a tunnel like in Boston or with a ground-level boulevard. Is this still planned or has it died with the recession?

Thanks
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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This is Seattle... it takes 20 years to even discuss what kind of ideas should be submitted, another 10 years picking ideas, another 5 for figuring out how to fund it, another 3 years discussing whether they chose the right idea, with some voting ballots in between where people say NO, and politicians just blow it off anyways.

Well, it doesn't work exactly like that, but its a general process where it takes forever and they can't please all the people. They're also suppose to fix the 520-- they've been talking about replacing for as long as I remember (I moved here in 89-90).

Some of the people who own properties there have said they do NOT want the tunnel or ground level blvd (which personally I don't think would work anyways) because once they get that unblocked view their taxes will substantially rise.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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I agree that it absolutely ruins downtown, and Seattle will be a greater city once its gone.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 2,590,886 times
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London, they are working on a tunnel. Inkpoe is right, it takes FOREVER to get anything done. But as far as I know, the project is moving forward. I believe they are immediately tackling the seawall -- a related problem, in that when we next have a big earthquake, it will also crumble. With the Viaduct, not only is it ugly as hell, it's a deathtrap in another big earthquake.

I've seen work being done in the south end of downtown that I'm told is tunnnel preparation. I only hope it's true. The ground-level boulevard is not (I believe) on the table anymore. There's been a lot of nastiness over it all, but eventually we should have a tunnel and get rid of that hulking menace overhead. I hope.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenlion View Post
London, they are working on a tunnel. Inkpoe is right, it takes FOREVER to get anything done. But as far as I know, the project is moving forward. I believe they are immediately tackling the seawall -- a related problem, in that when we next have a big earthquake, it will also crumble. With the Viaduct, not only is it ugly as hell, it's a deathtrap in another big earthquake.

I've seen work being done in the south end of downtown that I'm told is tunnnel preparation. I only hope it's true. The ground-level boulevard is not (I believe) on the table anymore. There's been a lot of nastiness over it all, but eventually we should have a tunnel and get rid of that hulking menace overhead. I hope.
You're right. Officially, the ground level boulevard is not currently on the table, only the tunnel is. But the new Mayor of Seattle ran as a tunnel opponent. The City council supports the tunnel, except maybe Mike O Brien and Nick Licata.
Mayor McGinn also supports adopting an alternate plan to the SR 520 rebuild. The big difference is that the plan supported by the Governor and the legislature is a six lane road, three in each direction with one on each side as a carpool lane, with the possibility that at some point in the future, it could be converted to light rail.
Mayor McGinn ( and a number of legislators from Seattle) favors two lanes in each direction, with the rail installed now.

It's still possible that the tunnel might not happen, depending on whether McGinn can develop some political savvy. Right now, odds are heavily in favor of it being built.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,298 posts, read 2,171,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ira500 View Post
You're right. Officially, the ground level boulevard is not currently on the table, only the tunnel is. But the new Mayor of Seattle ran as a tunnel opponent. The City council supports the tunnel, except maybe Mike O Brien and Nick Licata.
Mayor McGinn also supports adopting an alternate plan to the SR 520 rebuild. The big difference is that the plan supported by the Governor and the legislature is a six lane road, three in each direction with one on each side as a carpool lane, with the possibility that at some point in the future, it could be converted to light rail.
Mayor McGinn ( and a number of legislators from Seattle) favors two lanes in each direction, with the rail installed now.

It's still possible that the tunnel might not happen, depending on whether McGinn can develop some political savvy. Right now, odds are heavily in favor of it being built.
I just don't understand this about 520. It's already 2 lanes in each direction, what's the point of spending all the money on a new one that is the same width with only adding a carpool lane each way? It seems that is not worth it as those lanes don't get a lot of traffic on the other freeways. I hope they go with 3 lanes each way plus carpool.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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McGinn wants that third lane to be (bus) transit-only... which is pissing off a lot of people.

As for the viaduct, you have way too many people chiming in. Even Gregoire put in her say. McGinn hasn't got off on a good foot with the Seattle Council-- who are starting to act as if though the mayor is just some stupid useless pawn.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:41 AM
 
338 posts, read 532,587 times
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Thanks for the replies. I hope that the tunnel is built.

The Big Dig in Boston has resulted in a magnificent waterfront, and hopefully, Seattle's will be equally great when that eyesore is removed.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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It's not just about appearances. If Seattle got hit with a bad enough earthquake (seems quite possible with all these recent ones), the Viaduct could be disastrous.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:59 PM
 
8,291 posts, read 14,629,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mea-oh View Post
It's not just about appearances. If Seattle got hit with a bad enough earthquake (seems quite possible with all these recent ones), the Viaduct could be disastrous.
Nobody's ever suggested that adding a little duct tape and superglue, and the viaduct would be good to go

Initially, what the State was proposing was to tear down the exiting viaduct and replace with a larger viaduct, an even bigger eyesore. Eventually, the decision was made to build the tunnel, but that's not what everyone favored.
There was a sizable contingent of folks ( including the new Mayor of Seattle) who wanted to tear down the viaduct, and add transit service and improve surface streets. Others wanted to leave the viaduct, but do a major retrofit. Still others wanted to replace the viaduct with a bridge.
The tunnel was what the former Mayor of Seattle was advocating for. He is apparently getting what he advocated for, but finished third out of three in the mayoral primary, ending his career.
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