Seattle Tunnel Ballard Community Forum
This forum left more questions unanswered than were answered.
Tolls for one. How much on the tolls. Will it be feasible to collect tolls or will the operations bog down and choke off the entrance.
No answer as of yet on the quality of the dirt. How far down will the dirt dictate to go to non-shifted dirt. Remember that the phrase “Shop ’till you drop” was originated in Seattle. From Western Avenue every 1st floor was at the street level. At First Avenue the second floor was at street level. At Second Avenue the third floor was at street level. So in order to get from the street level on Second Avenue on had to climb down a ladder to get to the first floor of a building to enter the building. If your packages were too heavy or cumbersome then you could literally drop down the ladder. Of course, at that time it was time to drop. This happened when the fill-in dirt was put in. Subsequently the Second Avenue entrance is the equivalent of the former second floor level. The first floor is two stories down.
Why was the above raised is that also in consideration is the slope of the grade for the truck travel. A literally only 5% grade is extremely hazardous to the semi-truck industry. It was mentioned that this grade could possibly be a four percent grade or even a three percent grade when the question was raised. The tone of the answer was not based upon any studies or half-breed evidence but rather what the questioner probably wanted to hear. This type of answer is not conducive to the perception of confidence being instilled by anyone. But rather I smell an alternative plan or in other words a snow job. Is this really how government is supposed to conduct a community forum.
Another comment is that the construction of the tunnel will generate 2.9 jobs for every tunnel job created. Is this really true. I say the 2.9 jobs are just old smoke and mirrors for this particular project. When one job is created additional delays of travel are created for the rest of us. So if I want to go to another job for my second part time job and presently work downtown this will be impossible to do unless I also have a second job outside of the core downtown Seattle area. At night downtown Seattle virtually is dead. An occasional job at the Quest filed or Safeco field could be worked at but will the job expire if no one is traveling to downtown due to the traffic congestion created by a few Tunnel workers. In certain situations an economic model of the creation of 2.9 additional workers is not applicable.
This project also ignors the will of the voters from two years ago. Overwhelmingly the voters said “NO” to a cut and cover Tunnel along the waterfront. What is the difference here. Should not a vote of all of the alternatives be given to the citizens to exactly find out what the voice of the people are for them, “the community”.
The clearest and least expensive choice still is a retrofit which would only cost around $1B. In this day of economic crisis and of BOEING’s major buyer not being able to get financing for jet purchases should not the belt be tightened. The yearly accumulation of funds for this project could be done and this would truly lessen the burden and the interest costs of construction. Interest expense on bonds is really the cost of construction.
The Port of Seattle is also talking about contributing $300 million of the costs and it is really questionable whether infrastructure renovations not directly associated with the Port is part of the Port’s charter. What we do not need is a law suite contraditory to a Public Agencies Charter. Let’s think this thru and VOTE NO on a Seattle Tunnel. Sign I-99 or download and sign I-99 so this City Hall con-game can stop.