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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

McGinn's Gonna Build That Tunnel

Posted by on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Here's the mayor's statement:

I worked to give the public a direct vote on the tunnel. The public said move ahead with the tunnel, and that's what we're going to do.

Let me just say: Nobody—absolutely nobody—could be more delighted that we can stop debating the tunnel than me. I was ready to dig it myself with a spork. So much cheaper! When the tunnel's done, it will be an overpriced monument to bad urban planning, true, but it's the overpriced monument to bad urban planning that folks wanted (at least after they watched a half-million dollar ad campaign for it). So I hope it turns out well—that it doesn't become a construction boondoggle, that the state secures its funding, that the city finds money for its share, that all the extra traffic it creates is mitigated, that the port comes up with its dough, etc. It's quite a to-do list for the tunnel supporters.

They've promised that they can pull it off without a hitch and without cost overruns—I hope they're right.


Comments (33) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Glad you're ok, Dominic :)
Posted by avocado on August 17, 2011 at 8:02 AM · Report this
Aaron 2
What about you Dom, are you going to build that tunnel?
Posted by Aaron on August 17, 2011 at 8:06 AM · Report this
Pithy Name 3
Finally. Something will be built.
Posted by Pithy Name on August 17, 2011 at 8:08 AM · Report this
I'll be sure to take the mayor at his word. This time I'll bet he really means it.
Posted by clint on August 17, 2011 at 8:09 AM · Report this
Rotten666 5
I didn't even vote on the tunnel. That's how indifferent I have become. Just to be contrary I'm rooting for an earthquake to topple the viaduct and kill hundreds of people.
Posted by Rotten666 on August 17, 2011 at 8:26 AM · Report this
Anybody who said there'd be no hitches has they head up they ass. Don't worry. There are gonna be problems all along, this being a huge public infrastructure project. Lots of good copy for us on the way. Just remember, keep focusing on the problems, not the solutions. Don't want to suddenly go all Oprah on us, sir.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 17, 2011 at 8:37 AM · Report this
The Wretched Harmony 7
All set to build the tunnel now. Only detail left is getting the money for it and it's as good as built.
Posted by The Wretched Harmony on August 17, 2011 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 8
Is it built yet?

I want to use it as a cross-mall expressway so I can get quickly between Southcenter and Northgate avoiding all the dieselly buses and other "transit" and not have to deal with that fish smell that wafts over the Viaduct.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on August 17, 2011 at 8:42 AM · Report this
This all reminds me of the Simpsons episode about the monorail....
Posted by bobbelieu on August 17, 2011 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Baconcat 10
Needs moar transit
Posted by Baconcat on August 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Kinison 11
Looks like the far left crowd underestimated the pulse of the citizens of Seattle. SCAT/PSN/SLOG were screaming bloody murder about how obscene the deep bore tunnel was to the citizens, that the majority were on your side.

Now McGinn faces being voted out of office and if he screws up again, he wont survives the primaries.
Posted by Kinison on August 17, 2011 at 9:07 AM · Report this

That is rather a problem, isn't it?
Posted by COMTE on August 17, 2011 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Lose-Lose 13
I hate to say it, but I'm with @6. Just cause 60% of voters approve a really, really bad idea, it is still a really, really bad idea.
Posted by Lose-Lose on August 17, 2011 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Those people still whining are about as helpful as those jackholes who say 'dont blame me, I voted for Hillary'.

I hope Dom's pseudo-conciliatory tone is the start of a different tact for the Stranger. Hah.
Posted by dak7e on August 17, 2011 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Publicola's pretty funny this morning:
The mayor didn’t even have the class to go down fighting with his troops as they campaigned hard for his cause all summer. McGinn, who had spent the previous year-and-a-half attacking the tunnel and maneuvering for this exact vote—which was supposedly going to be a referendum on the council as they faced the righteous anger of “the people” (to use McGinn’s favorite words), stepped away from the campaign, abandoning a cause he was fundraising for and donating staff to as recently as last spring.
Also not too classy—or professional anyway—he didn’t release a statement last night until two hours after the clear cut numbers came in. (The quiet press release said: “I worked to give the public a direct vote on the tunnel. The public said move ahead with the tunnel, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
On the classy side, McGinn did call around to the media yesterday afternoon to set up individual sit downs with reporters to debrief today. PubliCola is meeting with McGinn at 11. We’ll report back.…
Posted by gloomy gus on August 17, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Meh... The tunnel boring machine is going to get stuck under Pike Place Market and we'll get the surface option by default. Just watch.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on August 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Baconcat 17
@11: Seattle is a center-right city? Oh okay
Posted by Baconcat on August 17, 2011 at 9:35 AM · Report this
wisepunk 18
All we have left now will be the smug satisfaction of being right when something goes wrong in the future. That and 5 dollars will get you through downtown. Maybe.
Posted by wisepunk on August 17, 2011 at 10:09 AM · Report this
treacle 19
Oh goddammit. With no traffic mitigation, and Sound Transit still not running regular and frequent commuter trains between Everett and Olympia, it looks like Seattle is on track to become the country's Worst City for Traffic. Glad I ride a bicycle for my daily commute. My condolences to all drivers, especially in the I-5 corridor.
Posted by treacle on August 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM · Report this
I'm glad the tunnel will be dug. However, thank you for the debate, Dominic, Baconcat, et al. I admit, it even got me thinking. Now let's build some good mass transit as well, something like the BART. I use the BART whenever I'm in the San Francisco Bay area, and I really like it. If money becomes an issue, just print some.
Posted by Smell on August 17, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 21

No, just center-right of the Stranger and McGinn.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on August 17, 2011 at 10:20 AM · Report this
You guys can still hope for terrible problems with tunnel construction and the right to say "told ya so!" - that has to be some consolation, no?
Posted by avocado on August 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 23
I pray for an earthquake or for the Big Dig to collapse before we stick a TBM in there.

Remember, these are the same idiots that voted down the Seattle Commons.
Posted by Westlake, son! on August 17, 2011 at 10:52 AM · Report this
cressona 24
Listen, I'm not just a transit supporter, I define myself politically as a transit advocate. I've campaigned for transit. I've contributed to pro-transit campaigns. I've campaigned against a new viaduct when we had those advisory measures a few years ago. And I voted for Referendum 1.

I'm ashamed of the anti campaign for running such a cynical, evasive, misleading campaign where they threw all the FUD they could up against the wall just to see what could stick, never mind how self-contradictory that FUD was.

To me, the worst part was how they attacked the tolling plan like they were a bunch of anti-transit Tim Eyman acolytes. Tolling, my friends, is a good thing--not because it sticks it to drivers but because it contributes to a sane transportation system that, in the end, helps drivers too.

You know how you mitigate against toll avoidance in a way that actually suggests you're sympathetic to transit? Dedicate to transit certain rights-of-way that would otherwise receive spillover traffic. Don't take it from me; take it from Nelson\Nygaard, the city's consultants on viaduct replacement mitigation.
Posted by cressona on August 17, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
cressona 25
To follow my comment @24...

Let's hope that all the surface+transit supporters turn their attention to advocating for constructive, transit-promoting, density-promoting ways to reshape downtown Seattle the tunnel--you know, like the way Madrid did with its waterfront and its tunnel.

Like Gloomy Gus @6, though, I'm not holding my breath: Just remember, keep focusing on the problems, not the solutions. Don't want to suddenly go all Oprah on us, sir.

Why am I not holding my breath? Look at the half-assed job McGinn has done "championing" rail in this city. And let's not kid ourselves about The Stranger and Slog: their job is to generate page views and clicks, not to advance transit in this region.
Posted by cressona on August 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
cressona 26
Oh, and just to qualify my criticisms of the anti-Referendum 1 campaign @24, the pro campaign was hardly better, if at all. If you took their literature at face value, you'd think we were voting for a new bus tunnel.

Now I'm sure that the tunnel's core supporters will return to their regularly scheduled programming of fighting against any effort to spend a dime on transit as part of this project.

I'd love to be disabused of my cynicism.
Posted by cressona on August 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM · Report this
biju 27
Now that we're going ahead with building this thing, how about giving it a memorable name???
Posted by biju on August 17, 2011 at 11:50 AM · Report this
crazycatguy 28
Dominic, I think your arguments against the tunnel would've been more persuasive if you had been willing to acknowledge and report on the positive aspects of the project. But your diatribes (even now) against the tunnel and the people who support it (Idiots!) simply reveal you to be a shill for the Mayor and not credible on transportation issues.
Posted by crazycatguy on August 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Only in Seattle is it right wing to support infrastructure spending. Let's work for more infrastructure/transit spending in a post-tunnel environment and a world-class waterfront which goes above and beyond just a place for tourists to get clam chowder.
Posted by Valpey on August 17, 2011 at 12:15 PM · Report this
the idiot formerly known as kk 30
Meanwhile, the 0.5% restaurant sales tax used to finance the construction of Safeco Field will expire four years early. So starting October 1, you can afford an extra drink when you go out. Yes, government never does anything right. (And that was the project we voted against!)
Posted by the idiot formerly known as kk on August 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Cascadian 31
I am surprisingly unperturbed considering how much I hate the idea of the DBT. It will get built, and those who opposed it will either be proved right or not (and hopefully not--it would be great if the tunnel actually improved the city somehow). Life will go on. The sun will continue to rise and set. And we still need surface and transit improvements downtown, which we'll get someday when the economy isn't in such a mess.
Posted by Cascadian on August 17, 2011 at 12:48 PM · Report this
merry 32
I am once again feeling that familiar feeling that I've felt so often on the morning after an important election: abject disgust with my fellow voters.

WTF is wrong with people, anyway?

Well, like I say, it's a familiar feeling...
Posted by merry on August 17, 2011 at 1:25 PM · Report this
A thousand thanks to Dom for his valiant efforts, as well as everyone else involved, Carrie Moon, et al.

I just when that giant sinkhole appears the human toll isn't too extraordinary, but I wouldn't wish to be walking on First in the vicinity of the SAM when that tunnel-boring machine is underneath it!!!!!!!!!!

I am not a troll, as you can tell by my photo, I'm quite attractive:…
Posted by sgt_doom on August 17, 2011 at 1:35 PM · Report this

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