an (in)decisive vote

the primary was yesterday. i don’t really know what everyone was voting on. this would be because i failed to complete my own ballot in a timely manner. i think there were a couple of council races.

however, i do know there was a vote on the tunnel. again. that frickin’, frackin’, fuckin’ tunnel. the bane of my existence (and everyone else who lives in seattle).

this particular vote was more about whether to move forward with the whole project in the first place. the anti-tunnel, no-lets-go-back-to-the-drawing-board people said no tunnel, tear down the viaduct, and replace it with increased surface traffic and widen I-5. the pro-tunnel, i’m-so-tired-of-talking-about-this people said let’s move forward with the project already. surprisingly, the people of seattle have had enough of this back and forth debate and said yeah, go ahead. build the damn tunnel already. groundbreaking begins next month.

here’s the thing about this tunnel: it never got the majority vote before. when presented along with other options for replacing the alaskan way viaduct, it got, at most, 35% of the vote. not enough for it to be a clear winner. ever. it’s being built in soil that’s quite erosive and sandy, and the possibility that the ground above would collapse is strong (see the brightwater treatment debacle for other huge sinkholes in the seattle area). it will comprise four lanes, two in each direction, which cuts capacity to about 150,000 rides per day, down from the viaduct’s current capacity of 250,000 rides per day. there are no exits to downtown. oh, and the whole possibility of getting stuck in an accident in the tunnel.

the BF pointed out another thing we’ll miss when the viaduct is gone: the view. specifically, the view of the city as you approach from the south. during the day, especially when it’s sunny, it’s quite lovely. when the sun is setting, it’s downright spectacular.

pundits have said this isn’t a decisive vote for or against the tunnel so much as it’s about the city council authorizing contracts after holding public meetings. which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and i highly doubt anyone bothered to read what the positions for and against actually said. they just thought, oooh, tunnel!

but the people have spoken, if only to say build the tunnel already. so. build the tunnel. i just won’t be using it.

*image credits: joe mabel via wikimedia commons and velhainfancia via

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