Elizabeth Campbell and Viaduct/Tunnel Law Suite

September 18, 2009

The Viaduct is not dead.  Or at least not as of yet.  A law suite has been filed by Elizabeth Campbell according to her supporters.  This is in the process of being verified.  However, I had knowledge that this was going to happen two months ago.  The only delay was in the acquisition of funds for the lawsuite.  Stay tuned as to exactly what the specific details are.  Will be getting this information from Elizabeth Campbell as soon as I am able to contact her.

The stigma of the lawsuite should be that an environmental impact statement has not been filed for the Tunnel as of yet.  The Tunnel project has been separated into many different parts so that the necessity for a large Environmental Impact Statement is lessened.  This might be strategic on the construction of the Tunnel but it violates the spirit of the law.  A correction in this endeavor needs to be upheld and thus stop the progress of the building of the Tunnel until a correct and complete Environmental Impact Statement can be completed and evaluated by Federal Authorities and others who would need to make evaluations.

But is this the part of the lawsuite which is being filed.  Stay tuned for complete details on this obvious controversy.

SR 520 construction may be dependent upon these determinations and findings.  Financing of both are tight and could be flipped at any time.  Who is responsible for what and when still needs to be answered.  Again, the costliest roads are being played with.  Your money is at stake again. 

Either through politics or legal maneuvering.

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Seattle Tunnel Ballard Community Forum

March 28, 2009

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.


Seattle Tunnel versus Viaduct alternatives

March 18, 2009

Mr. Scott White.

I believe you are on the Transportation Committee when I looked this up previously.

Am the treasurer for the initiative I-99 which seeks to take away the right-of-way for the Seattle Tunnel as proposed by Mayor Nickels.

The cost of a tunnel at this time is extremely expensive and Elizabeth Campbell who is the sponsor of the initiative will be having a 100% effort in gathering signatures for this initiative after her Winter 09 class ends.  I will join the signature gathering efforts after the tax season ends on April 15, 2009.

However, this effort would be null and void if the funding for the Seattle Tunnel is not approved by the State Legislature and yourself and the committee on Transportation.

Have spoken with many people concerning this effort, obviously, and almost virtually everyone is opposed to the Seattle Tunnel idea.  Some comments circle around the State Budget and the need to balance the budget and others also still do love the idea of the beautiful travel route which the current Seattle Waterfront Viaduct passes by.  Others are extremely upset that voting does not count and recollecting the vote which overwhelmingly ditched a tunnel option previously.  The voters do not like to be ignored whatsoever.  As you recall I had said I would approve a teachers pay raise as per the voters even if no other state employee were to get a raise as per the voters electing this a few years ago.

Personally I still would like a retrofit of the Viaduct and then an accumulation of funds for the setting aside of funds for other more appropriate roadway construction in about 20 years or so.  I assume you would still like a Street Version of the Viaduct.  Both are incongruent with the Seattle Tunnel alternative and I would wish you to vote “NO” on any approval of a Seattle Tunnel version.

Thanking you in advance for your deep concern on this important roadway structure for the beautification of the Seattle Waterfront and the drivers of Seattle and the enjoyment of the beautiful vista which drivers are able to enjoy at the present time.  An enjoyable drive while in Seattle will remain if you agree to Vote against funding of a Seattle Tunnel project. 

Thanks

Keith Ljunghammar, EA