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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Elevated Supporters All Born Back When Elevated Was Built

posted by on February 6 at 8:55 AM

Check out the No Tunnel Alliance blog. Look at who is pushing for the rebuild, and whose support they tout: Helen Sommers, Joni Balter (and the Seattle Times editorial page), Joel Connelly, the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans, Nick Licata …

It is a veritable who’s who of Seattle oldsters.

Indeed, it seems to me that only people who were alive when the Viaduct was first built support rebuilding it now. Of course, if we take their advice and rebuild this monstrosity, most of these folks won’t be around in 25 years to explain why the city made such a dumb mistake.

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Ageism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, Josh. Don't be that scoundrel. This has nothing to do with anything. When the vote comes down and the Viaduct is rebuilt, it will be because people who needed it voted that way.

Stop playing your stupid age card. Even readers of the Stranger will tire of it eventually.

Posted by ivan | February 6, 2007 9:25 AM

Many of us that oppose the tunnel fiasco also oppose the rebuild and left the NTA when they became a rebuild group.

Repair what we have and work for transit and surface alternatives that get us ready for removal.

Never trust anyone over 30 er 40 I mean 50 hey 60's ok maybe...

Gosh Josh can you break this down by other demographic groups?

Posted by Peter Sherwin | February 6, 2007 9:29 AM

The worst part is that they want to rename it the "Matlock viaduct."

Posted by gillsans | February 6, 2007 9:36 AM

Hi Josh,

I support a rebuild/retrofit, and I was not born when the original viaduct was built.

One positive aspect of retaining/rebuilding the viaduct is that it offers one of the best free views of Puget Sound.

No land ownership requirement, no expensive belltown condo, nothing, just you in a car driving for free (marginally so, at least). Of course proper driving habits should be displayed (something sorely lacking in this neck of the woods), so the best view is as a passenger in a car.

Posted by chunkstyle | February 6, 2007 9:40 AM

Mr. Feit: time isn't on your side, either.

You get three "old-man" points for your crotchety post.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | February 6, 2007 9:46 AM

Our Viaduct survey closes today. I'm dropping a note on a few blogs today to make sure as many people as possible get a chance to weigh in.

BTW, we didn't include a question about age so won't be able to shine any light on Josh's assertion.

Posted by j | February 6, 2007 9:54 AM

Ivan @ 1,
Think metaphorically. All the kids are doing it.

Posted by Josh Feit | February 6, 2007 9:59 AM

Josh, you are an asshat.

Don't be so cranky just because you didn't get your ELEVATED monorail. Which, I iterate, is the dumbest transit idea this city has had yet.

Light rail - hey, it's less concrete!

Posted by wsp | February 6, 2007 10:00 AM
One positive aspect of retaining/rebuilding the viaduct is that it offers one of the best free views of Puget Sound.

I'm sorry, but this has got to be the worst argument for repairing/rebuilding an elevated waterfront freeway I've ever heard.

There's plenty of "free" views of Elliott Bay to be had that don't require operation of a motor vehicle, and that don't have to be "enjoyed" at 55 mph. For example, Victor Steinbrueck Park, adjacent to the Market, will still have its million-dollar view, made even better without having a freeway running through it.

Heck, with all the money saved from not building another monstrosity, we could build a public Elliott Bay Viewing Tower so those of us who don't have Belltown condos or swanky downtown offices can get a nice elevated view too.

Posted by cdc | February 6, 2007 10:03 AM

You're so obsessed with aesthetics.

Cars will adapt their fuel systems. They're not going away, and you're chest-deep in denial if you think so.

Posted by Gomez | February 6, 2007 10:08 AM


You'll note that I said it was a positive aspect, not an argument towards a rebuild. If you want to have that discussion, we can, just don't misrepresent things that haven't been said.

Posted by chunkstyle | February 6, 2007 10:09 AM

Chunkstyle @ 4, you win the Richard Lee Asshole of the Week Award for trotting out that "free view" argument in favor of a rebuild. Not only is CDC correct above, but let me assure you, there will be absolutely nothing "free" about a rebuilt viaduct. You'll be paying for it through sales taxes, motor vehicle excise taxes, and tolls for decades to come.

Posted by Ryan | February 6, 2007 10:12 AM
One positive aspect of retaining/rebuilding the viaduct is that it offers one of the best free views of Puget Sound.

I'm pretty sure that the new giant viaduct won't have any free views due to large safety barricades.

Posted by josh | February 6, 2007 10:15 AM

Given the average age of the pro-rebuild group, maybe we should propose funding their precious elevated BayBlocker through an estate tax (oh, sorry, Frank Blethen - I meant "death tax" of course).

Posted by George | February 6, 2007 10:15 AM

This is an old person. Not so scary.

This is an old person trying to drive in a tunnel with narrow lanes and no sholder.


Just say no.

Posted by Particle Man | February 6, 2007 10:18 AM

"I'm pretty sure that the new giant viaduct won't have any free views due to large safety barricades."

Mr. Ceis, didn't we discuss this once before and you were usual?

Posted by Bacchus | February 6, 2007 10:23 AM

Cars will adapt their fuel systems. They're not going away, and you're chest-deep in denial if you think so.

For those of us not living in la-la land, cars will be going away. There is nothing available to replace petroleum. Hydrogen is bullshit. Biofuels are bullshit. Once the oil runs out, bye bye modern civilization.


Posted by keshmeshi | February 6, 2007 10:24 AM

Why do you and other youngsters refuse to even discuss Sherwin's

"Repair what we have and work for transit and surface alternatives that get us ready for removal?"

Posted by David Sucher | February 6, 2007 10:35 AM

And why do you and other youngsters refuse to talk about the cable stayed bridge, AKA Bay Bridge alternative?

Posted by Princess Caroline | February 6, 2007 10:44 AM

Feel the high from the Viaduct. Let it seep into your soul, with the free vista available to all, not just to the super-rich downtown developers and their rich customers who buy from them, with their dark underwater soulless tunnel.

Ask yourself - are you of the light - or the dark?

I was building bridges when Josh was in diaapers.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 6, 2007 10:59 AM

oh and @17 - ever heard of modern plug-in electric hybrids? Run totally on electricity, unless they go beyond 500 miles between recharges. Available on the market already, soon in the US. And if they're electric, they can run off of wind , solar, geothermal, and tidal power, as well as widely-availably hydro.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 6, 2007 11:03 AM

I don't know what will go down in history as the more idiotic Seattle transportation move - the rejection of $500 million in federal money to build a mass transit system in 1970, or this asinine debate over the Alaskan Way corridor. Just tear down the fucking viaduct, forget about a tunnel, and move on already.

Posted by eugene | February 6, 2007 11:05 AM

Cars will adapt their fuel systems. They're not going away, and you're chest-deep in denial if you think so.

Yeah, they can adapt, but should they? It is well shown that you can't build your way out of congestion. It is better we accept that and make adequate plans for our increasingly populated and dense region.

Posted by Andrew Hitchcock | February 6, 2007 11:22 AM

Only if the rebuild happens could any of this approach the stupidity of voting down light rail in 1970.

Posted by dfgh | February 6, 2007 11:26 AM

Josh, youíre way off base about the demographics of elevated supporters.

The January 18 KING-TV poll showed that the elevated beat the tunnel in every single age category: 18-34, 35-54, and 55+. The split was 50-44 overall. It was close in the younger age categories (3% gap in both 18-34 and 35-54, versus 55-39 for 55+).

The only demographic that supported a tunnel? Men. Women supported an elevated 55-39.

In three follow up questions, once voters were told the cost difference, it went to 65-30. Once they were told City residents may be required to pay new local taxes or cost overruns for a tunnel, it went to 64-29. When told Mayor Greg Nickels supports a tunnel, it went to 61-30.

If youíre going to bash old folks for being 55-39 in favor of an elevated, then, in fairness, you should bash women for favoring an elevated by the same 55-39 figure. After all, women do make up a majority of voters.

Posted by BB | February 6, 2007 12:13 PM

#24 unemployment at 10%

Freeway was new - streets were empty - we had just passed other Forward Thrust projects - houses could be bought for $100 down - we called them FBI houses because they had a sign that warned off trespassers with in big letters FBI on the sign - one could buy houses for no money down - people carried their own contracts - mortgage rates on the rise at 7-8% -BTW labor unions opposed the heavy rail plan -

If MSFT lays off 20% of their workers what chance would you give passing any big infrastructure vote?

Posted by Peter Sherwin | February 6, 2007 12:19 PM

ageism? maybe. accurate? hell yeah!

of course, all these old fucks can't see more than a few feet in front of their noses. old people get stuck in their ways, lose imagination, etc. not all of them, but many. and the problem is they are stuck in outdated ways. ever wonder why it's so hard to get gay rights shit passed? ever look at the age breakdown of for/against? the same thing's doing here.

of course, what better way to reduce greenhouse emissions than to create the best views for drivers? what better way to deal with traffic than to build more highways? it worked for los angeles, houston, and dallas.

i can't take you stupid fucks anymore.

Posted by you go, josh | February 6, 2007 12:38 PM

Anybody read the Washington Post? Sunday it featured an article about how global warming will cause volumetric pressure changes, and a rise in sea level by at least 4 feet by 2050. Money quote: If we had a million of the fastest available computers, we could not accurately predict how high the oceans will rise.

But I guess that will not matter seeing how the tunnel will be waterproof, right? Iím sure giant sea pumps will be put inside the tunnel for moon phases, and it will be much more safe than we have now.

Does global warming only count when it works to Republican disadvantage? Does Puget Sound still connect to the Pacific Ocean?

So, who is farsighted now, smartguy?

Posted by busdrivermike | February 6, 2007 12:59 PM

#27 Why don't read the survey and call out some other groups. After the price is given 72% of Asians support the elevated, , 53% of Hispanics, 82% of Blacks and 62% of whites. Above 55 age 72%.

I would damn the 55+ segment for going up 2% for tunnel when informed that Nickels supports it.

Posted by Peter Sherwin | February 6, 2007 1:12 PM

I saw Josh, David Schmader, Erica Barnett and some other dude last Friday at Havana...

Talk about old... those guys could've been my grandparents. It cracks me up that Josh and the others think they are so young and hip (The guys looked old - Erica looked young which could explain her sophomoric and weak writing)- or at least speak for the young and the hip...when in reality they could be the parents of some of the kids that read their rag...

@1 is right. Quit playing the age card - its not pretty...nor is it true anymore!

Posted by old farts | February 6, 2007 2:01 PM

@ 30,

Touch the Hem of My Garment, man:
I never said I was young. (I'm not. I'm old.)
I was Just pointing out how the pro-rebuild campaign is playing its hand. They're for, and trying to appeal to, old school Seattle. That should tell you something about their campaign.

Yes, I'm old, but I'm not dumb. And so I don't want Seattle to build another damn freeway on the waterfront.


Posted by Josh Feit | February 6, 2007 4:13 PM


You are old

Posted by Peter Sherwin | February 6, 2007 4:39 PM

When you was my age? When you was my age? None of yous was ever my age, and the sooner you cats get hep to that, the better. Dig?

Posted by Josh Feit | February 6, 2007 4:53 PM

Hey I'm sixty and I support a tunnel.

Hello out there, we're a freak'in seaport. The citizens of Seattle will never support a tunnel because their too damm cheap and too damm stupid. Not to mention their apparent total lack of vision. They demonstrate it over and over again. i.e. no light rail system operational to date in this backward behind times uptight town.

Seattle likes to think it's hot shit but it can get anything significant done. Too dependent on "process" and fear. Mostly impressed by the last person they talk too.

We're lead by a bunch of play it safe politicians who rather take the leadership less road to no where's ville.

For years the viaduct has blocked the city from it's natural opening to the sea. Oh never mind any boost a tunnel would bring to the waterfronts environment and aesthetics, to tourism, to parks, to walking streets, and countless other reasons that any forward thinking person could easily imagine.

The additional money spent on a tunnel will soon be meaningless in 20 years. Just how fucking often do you actually build such a massive civic project as this one anyway? Once in a lifetime. All major civic projects have cost overruns from the time of the Brooklyn Bridge to the Tacoma Narrows project today.
So you find ways to make it work financially for the long term good of the city. This is how most "real" cities deal with these things. Not here.
It constantly like two old hags fighting over the back yard fence.

But, the no tunnel parochial citizenship here in Seattle would rather listen to most of the gutless politicians who oppose the tunnel. Remaining a city with it's back to the sea apparently forever.

When the new high rise is done and you bring your out of town relatives in from the airport when they ask where the waterfront is tell them we don't have one anymore.

Posted by artistdogboy | February 6, 2007 11:07 PM

"When told Mayor Greg Nickels supports a tunnel, it went to 61-30."

hahahaha. That is my best laugh of the day so far.

Posted by litlnemo | February 7, 2007 12:26 AM

@25 - so that's why I only hear men whining about the tunnel, and the women who work for firms that will profit from ripping off Seattle taxpayers to build it and make massive cost overruns amounting to much more than the $4000 per couple it's going to cost Seattle citizens.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 7, 2007 1:03 AM

@29 - so, basically it's only white men who support the tunnel and everyone else who doesn't? sounds about right.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 7, 2007 1:06 AM

Proposed new rule for the Slog: everybody use your real names. Editors?

Posted by Grant Cogswell | February 7, 2007 2:46 AM

All generalizations are false, and broad brushes just make a big fucking mess.

Interestingly, one of the original gung-ho Viaduct proponents, the late lamented Ivar Haglund, learned to hate the fucking thing before he died, and said publicly that he was sorry it'd ever been built.

Posted by Geni | February 7, 2007 4:05 PM

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