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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can Gravity Speed Up Seattle Process?

posted by on October 19 at 11:07 AM

I don’t want to see anyone get hurt but, Jesus Christ, it would be for the best if the fucking thing fell the fuck over already. Then we would be forced to clear it away, putting a default “surface option” into effect, and folks would quickly see that we could live without it, a replacement, or a tunnel.

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cool - maybe I can start telecommuting from West Seattle since I won't be able to make it out of there.

Oh right, there is that one lane exit onto 1st ave.

Posted by WS Pride | October 19, 2006 11:15 AM

We're not going to have the viaduct for five to seven years no matter what happens, but try telling that to people and you just get blank stares.

Suggesting alternatives to a rebuild will elicit mild convulsions and foaming at the mouth.

I've lived in West Seattle for over five years and I have to ask: who the hell designed the West Seattle Bridge?
We have all the traffic in the far left lane trying to merge into the far right lane and vice versa. It's just one huge clusterfuck of blinking turn signals at 7:30 am. It's like the plan/engineering was based on the scribbling of some drunken nympho (male or female) passing out in an alley.

Whew, feels good to finally get that out my system.

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 11:24 AM

Well, it's like this: The OLD West Seattle Bridge got rammed by a boat, which broke it, so they really had no choice but to build a new one, and if that really didn't match how they set up the old one, well, people got used to it. Or didn't. But it's there.

Sort of like what may happen with the viaduct.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | October 19, 2006 11:46 AM

Well, then keep the water taxi year round, I say! I would take public transport if they fleshed out the water taxi, and put in a dedicated gang plank to a fleet of buses who run in bus only lanes all over the city. But until then, my time is worth more than waiting on a bus for 45 mintues to get downtown when I can do it in 15 (even with traffic).

Posted by WS Pride | October 19, 2006 11:54 AM

Live without it? Are you nuts? My bus took over ½ hour to get from Cherry to Pine last night, after 6 p.m. Without the Viaduct—and with all the additional buses the surface zombies want— I’d still be stuck on that bus somewhere around Spring Street!

Posted by Bus Rider | October 19, 2006 12:01 PM

Bus Rider,

That's the point. We're going to have to live without the viaduct for 5 to 7 years even if a rebuild is in the cards, so we have no choice.

I would love to take public transit, but I finally gave up after riding the bus from West Seattle everyday for four years.

Have you ever tried to get from West Seattle to Capitol Hill by bus? It takes an hour and a half each way including transferring downtown and waiting for the *&^$#%& buses to show up vs. 25 minutes or so with a car even in rush hour traffic. And when there's a Mariners game, forget it -it would be faster to swim than take the bus.

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 12:19 PM

When I drive north on the thing, on the upperdeck, I stay in the outside left lane. I figure if the blasted thing picks that very moment to fall over, maybe I could catch a little air and have a Dukes of Hazzard flying car moment. I always thought would be cool to do, so why not live in the moment?
Heading south on the lower deck... I just drive fast and hope that if it falls at that moment that the lack of fire department funding didn't include cutting out the search and rescue earth moving machines.

But to live without it... sure... I guess. I can also not live in Seattle... its not like I can only earn my living in Seattle.

Hear that, Mayor "My-Way-Or-No-Way" Nickels?

Posted by Phenics | October 19, 2006 12:19 PM

ANGRY SAVAGE strikes again!

Sadly, Dan, given the endless agendaic bickering involved in this issue, that's probably what's gonna happen: the viaduct will eventually fall over and force everyone's hand. And sadly, it'll take thousands of lives with it.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2006 12:23 PM

Also, once the viaduct is gone one way or another, I'll probably just bring my walking shoes and walk the 5 miles back to my place. It might be faster than trying to catch a bus.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2006 12:25 PM

Phenics (post #7):

Ha ha ha, I love that image. Only you forgot to mention the mid-air, cliff-hanger-until-commercial-break-is-over freeze frame with "Seems they got themselves in a real jam this time. What the Duke Boys don't know is that the rebuild option is likely to take 7-10 years" hillbilly voiceover. Ol' Boss Hog Nickels is gonna be non too happy the thing fell over, neither."

Posted by Dougsf | October 19, 2006 12:38 PM

It would be for the best? A couple of hundred people dead so you can have your waterfront promenade? Fuck you.

By the way, some actual news reports (you know, the ones that don't have the whole absurdly biased downtown waterfront fetishist/hysteria factor) said that WSDOT will have to do repairs if the AWV shifts another 1.25 inches. Estimated cost? $5-6 million. BFD.

Posted by westsider | October 19, 2006 12:48 PM

@7 -- technically by driving in the outside lane you're hastening the viaduct's demise as traffic vibrations and whatnot on the outside lanes negatively affect the structural integrity of the thing at a higher rate than traffic that travels on the inside lanes.

That is the reason that trucks are legally required to drive on the inside lanes only.

granted the difference in vibrations from inside lanes to outside lanes for anything as light as a traditional passenger vehicle (even SUVs) is most likely so minute that it doesn't *really* matter, but just like smoking cigarettes takes "minutes" off your life sooner or later that dark day will come when that which is ceases to be. mwahahaha.

Just thought I'd throw that out there...

Posted by charles | October 19, 2006 1:02 PM

In the PI last week there was a column mentioning the "Western Avenue Tunnel Alignment".

This places the tunnel on Western and allows the viaduct to be remain while the tunnel is being built.

Of course, the supporters (including former mayor Schell) say it will be cheaper, quicker, and easier to build than rebuilding the viaduct or the existing tunnerl proposal. Who knows if it's true?

Something worth looking into, though.


(Sorry if this is a repeat)

Posted by Crrrk | October 19, 2006 1:26 PM

Remember when Nickels said no one from West Seattle had to go into work when there was that huge accident on the bridge a few months ago? Only when it affects him, will he do anything to change what is going on. I wonder how he gets into work in the morning? Duckmobile?

I once got beat by a bicyclist going from WS to downtown. I'd ride a bike too if I didn't have to fear for my life.

And for anyone who thinks the viaduct is unnecessary, when the viaduct was closed this weekend, took me an hour to get to 85th and Greenwood.

Thank you Huskies!

Posted by WS Pride | October 19, 2006 2:07 PM

Yeah, if it ain't broke...

Well, I'll have to make my own emergency plan for the no nuthin on the waterfront: Rickshaw. One more car off the road! My work will just have to understand.

Remember yesterday's "first rain of the year" traffic? I can't wait to see that first first day in the Surface Option area. I just hope I'm not one of the turds stuck in that septic system.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | October 19, 2006 2:08 PM

I suppose it's pointless to point out to the West Seattleites above that the monorail would have gotten all of us into the City faster than buses OR cars, whether there was a traffic accident or a Rolling Stones concert. And if you think the traffic is bad now, look around and pay attention to how many more condos, apartment buildings, and townhomes the city has permitted without making any improvements to the transportation corridor.


Posted by Mickymse | October 19, 2006 4:11 PM

Micky - who said we were agains the Monorail? I could have gotten on it by my house and taken it to Ballard, watched a rock show, gotten hammered, and come back home safe and sound.

That said, the monorail in WS was a ridiculous notion when you consider the 6 story tall elevation would have been the tallest thing going down California avenue, a one lane either direction road.

Light rail on the other hand, that I can get behind.

Posted by ws Pride | October 19, 2006 4:16 PM


I was 100% in favor of the monorail. I wanted it to go by my house and I was more than willing to pay for it. I handed over my car tabs checks to the gals at the DOL on California Ave with a smile.

However! The voters and Ol' Boss Hog Nickels killed it and no construction company in their right mind is going to come within 100 miles of Seattle after 5 public votes on one project, so we can kiss those pipe dreams of rapid transit goodbye forever.

I've reached the acceptance level in the stages of grief, and I realize that getting around Seattle is going to be a lot more like Los Angeles than London for oh, at least the rest of our lives.

I don't even care what gets built at this point -I just want some agency to do something.

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 4:22 PM


Shout out to Dougsf. "Ol' Boss Hog Nickels" is an instant classic that I'm sure will catch on, thank you : )

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 4:37 PM

And they gave a troll an newspaper why?

Posted by File Under: When Gays Rule The World | October 19, 2006 4:41 PM

Right now the state and city folks are having a little pol war over this - and the state has a lot more ammo than the city does. It's kind of funny, actually, but consequences are what they are.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2006 5:00 PM

See, #5. Concurrency is required by the Growth Management Act.

Posted by Patrick | October 19, 2006 5:32 PM

Put the dirty bomb under it. It'll help get a start on the tunnel, too.

Posted by phil o. sity | October 19, 2006 6:43 PM

Concurrency is one of the main reasons you can't tear down the AWV without replacing it. Wishful thinking about mode shifts isn't the same as actual transportation infrastructure - which, like it or not, includes (gasp) roads.

Posted by Mr. X | October 19, 2006 7:19 PM

Well, it could fall over any day now, and we're probably due for an earthquake. Let's just hope it happens at three in the morning instead of quarter to six in the afternoon.

Posted by Gitai | October 19, 2006 8:22 PM

The only realistic option is the Retrofit.

Continue in your state of denial if it turns you on, Dan. But the Retrofit is where we will end up.

Posted by David Sucher | October 19, 2006 9:25 PM


The monorail's capacity was vastly exaggerated, because it included assumed trips from Downtown to WS or Ballard during morning rush hour, like a significant chunk's actually going that way.

A monorail car is rather limited in its capacity, and that assumes as many people use it as possible. It maybe would have got a few hundred West Seattlites into town every morning. Tens of thousands of others are still stuck in traffic hell.

Posted by Gomez | October 20, 2006 9:55 AM

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