To Whom it May Concern :)

[photopress:finger_pointing_796415.jpg,thumb,alignright]I am not sure who or where this letter should be directed.  I am not even sure if I am angry.  Perhaps I am just confused?  Here is my dilemma.  I was born and raised in the Northwest and I guess you can say I bleed rain. purple and gold, lattes and the Seahawks :).  I typically don’t get involved in the political game, however the past couple of years have gotten me to question my NW beliefs.

In my opinion, NW locals take pride in their liberal political beliefs.  In recent years, this liberalism has elected Gov. Chris Gregoire (no comments from the Rossi camp please), King County Executive Ron Sims and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels.  As I mentioned in my blog almost a year ago, What the Viaduct Vote means (even to those outside of Seattle), it looks as though things are progressing… or aren’t they… there in lies my confusion!

A week ago today, the trifecta of indecision finally joined forces and announced a major step forward in replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle’s central waterfront.  If you read this report you will see that once again, this is another futile attempt by our elected officials to make good on a promise while at the same time creating even more red tape to getting a final decision. “The central waterfront project will be decided through a collaborative process managed by the State of Washington, King County, and the City of Seattle.

Neighborhood Roundup: Seattle Uncovers a Funny Bone

Due to the success of last week’s neighborhood roundup, I thought I’d make another attempt…

After a confusing vote on the Viaduct replacement, the Need to Know Seattle Condos blog lets us know about the grassroots movement to replace the viaduct with condos… This type of mixed-use development is sure to please the folks at City Comforts (temporarily, known as Viaduct, the blog)…

[photopress:pizza_bike.jpg,thumb,alignright]The Capitol Hill Seattle folks are shocked to get fast (and dry) pizza delivery in Seattle. “Because the Pagliacci delivery guy refuses to purchase a fender for the rear tire of his bike (he claims the tips aren’t that good), our pizza not only takes a long time to get delivered, but the cardboard box arrives soaked whenever it rains! The fact that Palermo’s delivery guy uses a car is a big plus (even if it doesn’t please our social sensibilities!).” Do you think it would help the Pagliacci delivery guy to know that he could get free maintenance advice for his bike at the Garfield Community Center on Sunday afternoons?

Seth over at the Seattlest loves the rain. (He obviously doesn’t order pizza from Pagliacci very often).

A much more prominent Seth seems more than a little concerned that Ballard’s Archie McPhee is selling Cap’n Danger Stunt Monkey’s for kids. The photo says tells the story…

The West Seattle Blog lets us know about the “West Seattle Pet Rodeo and Snooty Walk”. Seriously, here’s a link to the event

Others in West Seattle are looking to return a missing fowl.

Ballard Avenue uncovers this (I’m not sure how to describe it!) video from Finland. Thanks to the fact that my wife loves this video, I’ve watched it more times than I care to admit…

Today’s saddest news in the Seattle neighborhood blog scene… Rumor has it that the writers behind the Seattlest and Metroblogging Seattle decided it would be a fun April Fool’s prank if they switched blogs for a day. However, the joke backfired when readers couldn’t tell the difference…

And finally, this post just missed the entry time for the Carnival of the Cities that is going to be hosted by The Seattle Traveler(there’s a carnival for everything!) What a bummer!

What the Viaduct Vote means (even to those outside of Seattle)

[photopress:viaduct.jpg,thumb,alignright]I realize this blog reaches outsides of Seattle, so I will see if I can make this have meaning for everyone and for those of you that knew Dustin in his prior life, you will know this is right up his alley too :).

I am on vacation this week, but was catching up and reading Sunday’s Seattle Times article about the up and coming Seattle viaduct vs. a tunnel vote. For those of you who do not know about this vote (or like me and are a bit confused) here is a quick synopsis.  There are 4 options.

One: Yes on the viaduct.
Two: No on the viaduct
Three: Yes on the tunnel
Four: No on the tunnel

Seems pretty simple to me, but with the way the ballot was written these are actually two separate votes.  So in theory, both could win or both could loose.  They SAY the probability of this happening is very slim, but you never know, crazier things have happened i.e. 2004 Washington State Governor (if you have never read this, this is a great read!).

This may be a stretch, but in my eyes, this raises the question of how does any city solve a problem that affects a limited group.  The same was true for me with the Monorail where a finite group of people (primarily western Seattle) would have the convenience of using the monorail, but all of Seattle’s roughly 572,600 residents would have been on the hook for the bill.  While I have no political agenda in this post… I do believe in mass transit. This is a message asking if it is fair for an entire city to be called upon to pay for a major tax measure that limited number will enjoy.

I am not saying if a major section of a city needed repair, it is not up to all of the city’s population to pay.  The message I am attempting to convey is that the measure being voted upon can be solved in other ways.

[photopress:narrows.jpg,thumb,alignright]A great comparison would be the second Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma and Gig Harbor.  This project is being financed through state tax exemptions, a bond and a toll. The basic difference here, is that users of the bridge (commuters and travelers alike) are paying, rather than all area citizens.

Again this is not about my support (or lack) of an issue, this is about what is fair.  If the viaduct is taken away and a tunnel is built, can we assume it will be similar to Boston’s Big Dig.  What about the young professionals who have puchased a downtown condo so they could avoid a nasty commute?  Should they pay for a tunnel or new viaduct that they won’t use?  Shutting down a major roadway to and from a large section of any city will have (in my mind) have a significant affect on traffic which will therefore have an affect on real estate values in that area (see I brought it all back to real estate).  In my own opinion, I am not interested in living in Queen Anne if I cannot use 99 (which is bordered by the major access highway that will be closed) .

So much for being unbiased.