[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.