No-Highway Option Gains Traction
Seattle’s seeming unanimity on the $4 billion “tunnel optionā€¯ for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct continues to crumble. The latest defector: the local Sierra Club, whose political committee chair, Kevin Fullerton, editorialized in favor of the People’s Waterfront Coalition’s “no-highwayā€¯ alternative in Sunday’s P-I. The PWC option, which would improve traffic connections throughout downtown and leave just four lanes of traffic on the waterfront, would cost hundreds of millions less than the city’s “preferredā€¯ six-lane tunnel. City and state officials oppose it because they want to maintain the viaduct’s freeway-level traffic capacity on the waterfront.
“The local Sierra Club supports the [PWC’s] work and calls on the mayor and City Council to shelve the freeway options until the city has had a real debate about alternatives,ā€¯ the op-ed says. “A progressive city will realize that the real threat to its long-term health isn’t the failure of the [viaduct] —it’s the car dependency that such infrastructure fees. Let’s start solving that problem rather than waste resources on another highway our children will regret.ā€¯