Pointlessness at the Polls, the aftermath

March 14, 2007 at 5:44 am | In Viaduct vote | 15 Comments

Just in case you are completely sick of everything and anything related to the viaduct vote, we will share our thoughts, plus all the latest cool analysis links, after the jump:

OUR THOUGHTS: We’re happy, of course, having been with the majority this time. We think it’s a promising sign that a “campaign” dominated by Greg Vs. Gregoire will end with Greg Hugging Gregoire (And Ron) in Olympia today. We would bet good cash money that “Repair and Prepare” eventually will win the day. And that after tying himself to the detested tunnel (and not showing up in power-outage-crippled neighborhoods after the storm to at least say he felt our pain), West Seattle’s Most Famous Politician will not win Term 3. You heard it here almost-first.

EVERYBODY ELSE’S THOUGHTS: Slog has play-by-play from the biggest “Election Night” party … Danny Westneat (affectionately) calls us voters “belligerent” … The official Times editorial declares the vote a “goofy answer” to a “goofy question” … Transit fans say more’s on the way … How come every newspaper article quoting somebody from West Seattle finds only pro-elevated WSers? … Well, at least a lot of us voted … Out in the blogosphere, Dan agrees with us re: Hizzoner’s future … Sound Politics finds a way to crunch the numbers and declare replacement-a-duct the winnerThoughtful take from Will.

15 Comments

  1. I’d totally support surface streets IF this city knew how to do them. I challenge anyone to find a street in this city that is not infested with pot-holes, designed well enough for smooth traffic flow, and traffic lights are timed well enough that doesn’t cause backups. The fact is, this city does not know how to do that. Delridge, Dexter, Mercer, Madison, Rainier Ave, Denney, 4th Ave, 45th: all major surface streets with major problems. Do people really think this Alaska Way surface street will be any different??

    Comment by Clay — 6:18 am March 14, 2007 #

  2. I completely agree with Clay. As a new resident to Seattle I’m completely shocked at the state of disrepair the roads are in. I currently live by 45th in the Wallingford area and the road is constantly congested and FULL of potholes. My husband and I are buying a home in W. Seattle and the obvious lack of planning and decision making in this city makes me extremely nervous to move there now. As for the transit option it’s great for going to work, but how many of us really want to ride the bus during non-commute hours too? As a daily bus rider I know that when I take the bus during the day I have often been made to feel uncomfortable by the individuals who ride the bus during the day as opposed to the commute hours.

    Comment by Natalie — 9:04 am March 14, 2007 #

  3. While I don’t support the “surface option” either, I would love to know what fantasy world people come here from where the streets are great, mass transit is everywhere and projects all get done on time and without prolonged public discussion. Seattle is far from perfect, but what town isn’t? If your old town was, then why did you move here? I’m sure someone can name a large city with better pavement, but it surely won’t be without other problems.

    Comment by lifer — 10:44 am March 14, 2007 #

  4. I notice West Seattle Blogger claims to be “with the majority” in the vote, and posted a photo of their ballot, showing they voted ‘No’ on both ballot items. Does anyone know what percentage of people voted ‘No’ on both? I haven’t seen that figure yet?

    Comment by lifer — 10:50 am March 14, 2007 #

  5. Natalie, I recently gave up my car, and I take the bus at all hours of the day and night; personally I haven’t had a problem with it. Yes, there are “characters” on the 120 but they’re generally harmless. Then again, I’m from NYC, so my perspective may be off since they’re no worse than the norm on the NYC subways. :) I commute daily from WS to downtown, but I also go all over the city after work and on weekends for whatever errands I need.
    Lifer, being from NYC (and also living in northern NJ for a while), I can say the roads there are generally worse than here. No, they’re not perfect here and need repair, but sadly it’s something I got used to (along with bent tire rims :) As for mass transit, obviously NYC’s mass transit blows away Seattle’s, but I honestly think Seattle has pretty good mass transit. When I lived in New Jersey, the trains stopped running after 10pm in some places, the buses often stopped running at 6pm, and there would be 2-4 hour gaps in service on weekends. And this was in well-populated suburbs, not in the middle of nowhere. Trust me, Seattle has good mass transit compared to that.

    Comment by Sue — 11:16 am March 14, 2007 #

  6. The results: 45% for a rebuild, 30% for a Tunnel, and “x” (“no-no”) for one or more of the following: Surface/Transit/Job-Killer, Retrofit, “Prepare and Repair”, and “The Choices Suck” (which is 25% to 66% divided 4 or more ways, depending on how one looks at it).

    The vote was designed, and is, inconclusive. “No and no” does not represent any particular option. I’m sure the million bucks could have been spent on something with better results, like two more of those high tech toilets downtown; at least we’d have something to show for it.

    Comment by georgetown Stew — 11:55 am March 14, 2007 #

  7. I did not say that mass transit in Seattle was bad if you re-read my post. It’s great that I can come to work on a bus, but I don’t feel comfortable as a woman riding it at all times. I have been harassed more than once. I also want to be able to use my car to get out of Seattle and enjoy the rest of WA, which is why I will not abandon my car.

    As for Lifer I never said I came from a perfect city either. I said their roads were not in dis-repair as compared to here.

    Comment by Natalie — 12:18 pm March 14, 2007 #

  8. Sorry Natalie – I wasn’t intending to say that *you* said mass transit was bad; I read a lot of transit-related things about Seattle (since I am always on mass transit) as well as various comments on this blog in general, and it’s often said by many that mass transit in Seattle is bad, to which I personally disagree. I was reacting to that.

    Comment by Sue — 12:43 pm March 14, 2007 #

  9. How does this “setback” change the plans for the improvements to the Spokane Street viaduct?

    Comment by Robert — 12:53 pm March 14, 2007 #

  10. Was doing a bad google search – found it myself:

    Phase IV:
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/spokanestreetcontract4.htm

    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/spokanestreet.htm

    Comment by Robert — 12:55 pm March 14, 2007 #

  11. Repaired or rebuilt, I expect to be driving on the Alaskan Way Viaduct 20 years from now.

    Comment by ivan — 1:30 pm March 14, 2007 #

  12. The trouble with our roads is the lack of money spent on them… full stop.

    Whether that means we should be paying more in taxes to fix them, or whether our political leaders need to stop wasting it elsewhere (like $1 mil on this stupid advisory ballot), is perhaps an open question; but that’s why the roads suck here in Seattle.

    Comment by Mickymse — 1:55 pm March 14, 2007 #

  13. If anyone thinks that the surface street transit option would work in this town, they have another “think” coming. In this supposed “green sensitive” culture I have yet to see even the most remote concern for any type of vehicular conservation. I have never lived in an area more populated by single occupant SUVs and Mini vans clogging main lanes on the interstate while the high occupancy lanes exist relatively vacant. So who in their right mind would think for a moment that people will ever be convinced to surrender their cars for busses. We already had one mass transit system go down in flames. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so quick to multivote the monorail until we found the answer we wanted. What we need is not new transit, but new leadership.

    Comment by Dan — 8:24 pm March 14, 2007 #

  14. No, of course this city is not perfect. No city is. My comment was specifically on the transportation infrastructure, and the roads more specifically. There are MANY MANY wonderful things about this city. Wouldn’t it be great to bring our road up-to-par with the rest of the city?? We actually have a great bus system. My problem is, this city does not understand streets and roads. Take a drive down Delridge and tell me I’m wrong. As far as roads go, Seattle gets an “F.” An active, vibrant downtown? “A”… there are many facets to a city – not just roads and I never said Seattle did everything poorly, that is simply not true. Please read my post before putting words in my mouth.

    Comment by Clay — 7:05 am March 15, 2007 #

  15. The city of Seattle isn’t perfect, but it can be more effecient which bothers me. I wonder who’s pocketing all our tax-paying money? Crooks.

    Comment by Jiggers — 1:38 pm March 16, 2007 #

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