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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Governor says state hasn't shut the door on a surface+transit option for Seattle waterfront

Here's a bit of welcome, refreshing news: Governor Christine Gregoire told Evergreen Politics' Lynn Allen in a just published interview that the state hasn't completely shut the door on a surface plus transit option, despite whatever her communications staff might have said recently:
As a resident of Seattle, I will have to ask if there is any way the surface and transit option would be entertained by the state.

Gregoire: Absolutely. We did entertain it earlier but couldn’t make it work. We have a set of criteria we have to meet. We have to maintain safety. We have to meet capacity for both moving freight and people in that corridor.

We're not accommodating increases in capacity if we either rebuild the viaduct or build a new tunnel. There won't be an increase in today’s capacity. It's now somewhere in the neighborhood of 110,000 per day.

So, no matter what we do, we still have to maximize transit and surface. No matter what happens, there has to be a comprehensive transit component. We will need to be able to increase the capacity for moving the increase in population we are expecting.

Then, too, what we decide to do has to be fiscally responsible and friendly to urban design.

That's why we’re working with Ron Sims.

The state is saying, "Show me what you're talking about here". We’d like to see what the possibilities are.
Since this is directly from Gregoire herself, this must be the Governor's position. It's a much more reasonable and sensible approach than what has been conveyed in recent traditional media stories, and we strongly applaud it.

UPDATE: To be clear, we don't read the Governor's statement in this interview as a turnaround in her position. She said something very similiar previously during her most recent weekly media availability. We do view it as a refreshing clarification that sets the record straight.

We're strongly applauding Gregoire's willingness to talk to the netroots community (which is certainly to her credit) and to keep an open mind.

There's a lot more in the interview, and we encourage you to read the whole thing.

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