Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

World class cities don't build concrete highways over their waterfronts (Feb 22nd)

...Or do they?

Elevate Waikiki

Measure 2 on Seattle's March 13 special election ballot presents a disastrously flawed option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The new elevated viaduct option would be:
  • Bigger — at least 50% larger than the current one
  • Noisier — louder traffic noise on our waterfront
  • Uglier — 50% more cement and shadows
Don't let this plan ever get off the ground. Vote NO on 2...and stay tuned for future installments of this new series!

A postscript: Last week's installment - the first in this series - was met with some hostility from a few readers who didn't appreciate the humor of it. (The centerpiece of each post in this series is, after all, a photoshopped picture). The use of the phrase "world class" fits with the imagery. We'll admit we thought it would be funny to see if we could provoke that kind of a response.

It's a joke. What makes a city "world class" is open to debate and argument. It's all in how you define it. Getting rid of the viaduct does not magically make Seattle a "world class" city. The existence of the viaduct doesn't mean it's impossible for Seattle to be considered a "world class" city now.

The serious point that goes along with the humor is that a progressive, liberal city like Seattle shouldn't have a backwards mindset about mobility. We need to be thinking outside of our cars. Building a new viaduct is a clear statement that we're still preoccupied with trying to move automobiles instead of trying to move people. By voting no on 2, Seattleites can send the message to elected leaders that the construction of a new elevated highway is unacceptable.

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