Today’s lead Seattle Times editorial, headlined “Eliminate Viaduct ‘No Build’ Option,” is riddled with inaccuracies - starting with the assertion that the progressive, cost-effective “no build” option is on the ballot in the first place. (Under the “no build” option, better known as the “no-rebuild” option, the state would tear down the viaduct and spend hundreds of millions improving the surface street grid and expanding transit options downtown, eliminating the need for a six-lane freeway on the waterfront.)
Proponents of the no-rebuild option have been arguing for weeks that the third option should be included alongside a double-decker freeway rebuild and a $4 billion-plus tunnel on November’s advisory ballot. On Sunday, March 26, the Times reported that proposals to include the no-rebuild option on the ballot were “quietly gathering steam” after gaining the support of three council members and the Sierra Club. The story noted condescendingly that no-rebuild advocate Cary Moon “has no specific plan about where traffic would go” (umm… isn’t that the state transportation department’s job?) and portraying Moon as a radical, lone “carless advocate” against a benevolent, well-intentioned transportation bureaucracy.
But even that minimal progress was too much for the Times’s editorial board, whose scathing, hysterical editorial implores the council to “remove [the no-rebuild option] from the ballot” and make the vote “clearer and more compelling.” Presenting voters with all three options, the editorial says, “muddles things by making it unlikely any option would receive 50 percent or more of the public vote.” But what really “muddles things” is arbitrarily eliminating a cost-effective, environmentally sane option in favor of a six-lane freeway that will only reinforce Seattle’s automobile addiction.