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Friday, September 26, 2008

A River (of Cars) Runs Through It

posted by on September 26 at 9:13 AM

Wow… this is going to be awesome. Frank Chopp—Democrat, House Speaker, and the BIAW’s sniveling bitch—has his very own plan for replacing the Viaduct. He wants to build something bigger, wider, and taller—and something more expensive than all the other options currently on the table. Here’s an “artist’s rendering”:


Frank Chopp wants to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with… a mile-long water-front shopping mall. A mall with 100,000 cars a day roaring through it. And office space. But, hey, he’s going to a park on top, so everybody wins.

Does anyone have a clue as to how much soundproofing would be required—and how much it would cost—to make working or shopping inside the Alaska Way Viaduct even barely tolerable?

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Look people, being retro is acceptable in terms of fashion and music and things.

But... we really shouldn't start reviving 1970s urban planning ideas, ok?

Posted by raisedbywolves | September 26, 2008 9:20 AM

They should just leave the viaduct as it is so we can park the thousands of pink tents under it that we'll need for Boeing and WaMu employees.

Posted by Banna | September 26, 2008 9:26 AM

And Frank Chopp has a degree in Urban Planning & Architecture from where again?

Frank, how do trucks service the waterfront businesses? Who's in the 4-story-in-the-air park keeping an eye on the transient tweaker population?

The idea is to REMOVE THE WALL, not make it solid, thicker, & higher.

You fucking bumpkin.

Posted by max solomon | September 26, 2008 9:31 AM

Who cares? It has a pirate ship on it! A fuckin' pirate ship! I am now behind it one-thousand-percent. Pirates! On the viaduct!

Posted by dr_awesome | September 26, 2008 9:34 AM

Ask the convention center.

Posted by Giffy | September 26, 2008 9:35 AM

Ugh. That's a terrible idea.

Posted by Hernandez | September 26, 2008 9:35 AM

And one cyclist...don't forget the cyclist, in Lycra, cruising down the sidewalk.


Posted by erik | September 26, 2008 9:35 AM

Those "happy bicyclists and pedestrians" will be standing on top of (and breathing) one of the world's largest reservoirs of carbon monoxide.

Posted by John Bailo | September 26, 2008 9:40 AM

This is so stupid. I'm speechless.

Posted by This, coming from a huge fan of pirates | September 26, 2008 9:47 AM

Dear Frank Chopp:

Please stop acting like you know shit about transportation planning. Because every time you open your damn mouth, it's immediately obvious to everyone that you don't.

Hoping you lose the next primary,

Posted by Greg | September 26, 2008 9:48 AM

All that is missing from the plan is an NBA compliant stadium.

Posted by Phenics | September 26, 2008 10:00 AM

You know in San Francisco we only got rid of the Embarcadero Freeway by having an earthquake. You guys need an earthquake.

Posted by The Artist Formerly Known As Sigourney Beaver | September 26, 2008 10:00 AM

Yes, now that I go back and look again, that is definitely a pirate ship. Got my vote, Frank.

Maybe the point is to start from 100% pure crazy and negotiate back to the formerly-non-starter rebuild.

Posted by elenchos | September 26, 2008 10:01 AM

Ugh that's hideous. A cross between Westlake Mall and Southcenter, without the warmth and charm.

Posted by fixo | September 26, 2008 10:03 AM

Finally, Olympia is taking environmental issues seriously. Everyone knows if we're going to combat global warming we'll need to drastically increase the number of pirate ships in the world. This is a great start. Good thinking, Frank!

Posted by Levislade | September 26, 2008 10:21 AM

That's a stupid place for a mall. You don't go to a mall for the view. They don't even have windows. What a waste of waterfront space!

Long live Pike Place!

Posted by sepiolida | September 26, 2008 10:29 AM

what exactly is wrong with this idea? if money was no object, wouldn't this clearly be the best? we obviously have soundproofing technology available.

unlike the above-ground or boulevard options, this would provide excellent pedestrian access. unlike those options, the city/state would reap tremendous revenue from the waterfront space and increased tourism.

we'd need a cost and revenue estimate of course, but since when have progressives been against large public works projects that improve our city?

#16: obviously this wouldn't affect pike place.

Posted by jrrrl | September 26, 2008 10:37 AM

How about a revolt in the statehouse where the Democrats remove the mentally ill Chopp and replace him with someone whose brain is WORKING PROPERLY.

Posted by Simac | September 26, 2008 10:40 AM

I'm personally still in favor of retrofitting the existing structure (and the only reason it's not being considered seriously is that the State doesn't want it - and set the criteria to include surviving a 1000 year earthquake to push the cost up in order to make it a non-starter), but this isn't as crazy as you might think.

I played a gig in a club in Milan that was in a rail structure that was quite similar to this (albeit much more austere) - full-size heavy gauge trains ran on top of a very long structure that housed retail spaces below.

It was actually pretty old (I would guess well over 50 years) but the noise below was really pretty minimal - even with trains that dwarfed light-rail or trucks running un top.

So it's certainly technically feasible, if not politically.

Posted by Mr. X | September 26, 2008 10:45 AM

Oops, "on top" - obviously.

And I hate to break it to ya, Dan, but cars of some sort will be with us for the rest of our natural lives and beyond.

Those 80,000+ people in West Seattle and the similar number in NW Seattle who have no real transit alternatives scheduled for the next 50 years ain't going anywhere, either (literally, if the AWV is removed and not replaced).

Posted by Mr. X | September 26, 2008 10:51 AM

I'm for whatever makes Max Solomon's head explode.

Posted by ivan | September 26, 2008 11:03 AM

ivan, if this gets WSDOT approval & funding, you'll get your wish.

Posted by max solomon | September 26, 2008 11:10 AM

Mr. X is right. These types of structures are all over Europe, and they work well. They are also the best bang for the buck in terms of retrofitting.

Does anybody really care if shopping is loud? Shopping is already loud. Removing the viaduct completely is a pipe dream, unless we get that 9+ earthquake. If that happens, most of us are buried under rubble anyway, solving the population problem immediately.

Posted by uncle baggy | September 26, 2008 11:18 AM

Yeah, what we're all clamoring for is another fucking shopping mall. Great!

Posted by Gary McNabb | September 26, 2008 11:19 AM


If money were no object, then a tunnel would be the best idea.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 26, 2008 11:36 AM


Oooooh! Could we get a tunnel with a shopping mall in it?

Posted by pgreyy | September 26, 2008 12:07 PM

#25: you're right, i wasn't thinking. i'd rather have this plan or the tunnel than a boulevard or rebuild, though. i can't imagine this would cost more than a full tunnel?

Posted by jrrrl | September 26, 2008 12:16 PM

1. surface solution is cheapest.
2. cut & cover is 2nd cheapest.

the chopp plan is a non-starter. we'd be the laughing stock of the international design community. it would further wall the city off from the bay.

Posted by max solomon | September 26, 2008 12:22 PM

Max Solomon @ 28:

Fuck the international design community, fuck the local design community, and fuck all design communities. I'm not here for them or their portfolios. I just want to get through town without it taking an hour to get two fucking miles.

Form follows function, motherfuckers. Design me something that maintains the same traffic capacity and the same traffic mobility as the present Viaduct does.

If you can do that, more power to you. If you want to look at something you can jack off to, go for it. Just don't bring traffic in this town to a screeching halt.

If not, then leave that Viaduct right where it is, shove your "vision" and your "world class city" right up your asses, and let the engineers deal with the problem.

DOT's job is to move that traffic. Traffic is like abortions. If you don't like abortions, don't have one. If you don't like traffic, stay the fuck home.

Posted by ivan | September 26, 2008 1:11 PM

Wanna make Seattle a real laughing stock? Spend your time worrying about being the laughing stock of the "international design community."

Oh, the horrors.

Posted by Mr. X | September 26, 2008 1:13 PM

Too many seagulls.

Rats of the sky.....

Posted by MrEddieFather | September 26, 2008 1:14 PM

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