News “We’d like to see what the possibilities are.”
posted by February 28 at 6:15 AMon
In an interview with Governor Gregoire by Lynn Allen over at Evergreen Politics, Governor Gregoire—using Ron Sims’s language about capacity for commuters rather than cars—says the state is willing to look at the surface/transit option… sorta, kinda.
As you know, it’s hard to pin down Gregoire on a viaduct position, and she seems to be telling anybody and everybody whatever they want to hear. So, with surface/transit gaining some momentum (see ECB’s scoop interview with Peter Stinbrueck about his gasp-worthy announcement), I’m not surprised Gregoire told Seattle’s Allen she’s “working with Ron Sims” (a staunch and popular advocate of surface/transit.)
Gregoire puts surface/transit in a secondary role to the rebuild or the tunnel (wait, she’s still considering a tunnel?). But she strikes a more politically conciliatory tone about than surface/transit than I’ve heard before.
Read it yourself, and you’ll see why I’m not “applauding” the news the way the folks at Northwest Progressive Institute —who called my attention to the interview— are.
From Lynn Allen’s interview:
Let’s take the Viaduct issue first since we’re still on the front page.
As a resident of Seattle, I will have to ask if there is any way the surface and transit option would be entertained by the state.
Gregoire: Absolutely. We did entertain it earlier but couldn’t make it work. We have a set of criteria we have to meet. We have to maintain safety. We have to meet capacity for both moving freight and people in that corridor.
We’re not accommodating increases in capacity if we either rebuild the viaduct or build a new tunnel. There won’t be an increase in today’s capacity. It’s now somewhere in the neighborhood of 110,000 per day.
So, no matter what we do, we still have to maximize transit and surface. No matter what happens, there has to be a comprehensive transit component. We will need to be able to increase the capacity for moving the increase in population we are expecting.
Then, too, what we decide to do has to be fiscally responsible and friendly to urban design.
That’s why we’re working with Ron Sims. The state is saying, “Show me what you’re talking about here”. We’d like to see what the possibilities are.