Letter to the editor: Reject the tunnel

I am writing this letter to urge the voters to reject the tunnel and refurbish the viaduct. The Mayor and City Council have the duty to look after the people of the City of Seattle. After all, it’s our City and the citizens have a right and duty to see that they do that. Personally as a resident of West Seattle I enjoy using the viaduct and the Broad St. tunnel both as a highway thru town and as an access to town on its ramps. I also enjoy the view of Seattle’s harbor from the viaduct. It’s a neat way to avoid the freeway and it makes our city unique. It also bypasses all the ferry traffic from across the sound. Stick to your guns Mayor McGinn and the voters are watching your Mr. City Council.
I am urging the voters to reject the tunnel again as you voted on this subject previously. With the tunnel the Seattleites are getting a bum deal. The following are my reasons to refurbish and keep the viaduct:
The tunnel allows no access to downtown Seattle from State Highway 99. This is a bum deal for downtown businesses and shoppers.
The viaduct and Battery Street tunnel are still the best solution for access and route for highway 99 and the City.
A prominent and experienced civil engineer named Victor Gray has publicly commented that the existing waterfront viaduct can feasibly be strengthened to withstand seismic activity.
The new Tunnel will have tolls that will cause cars to divert to city streets causing more congestion.
The proposed tunnel is likely to have cost overruns due to the nature of the glacial soil and the likely of tunneling machinery getting stuck.
The act of tunneling may cause damage to buildings and utilities above it.
The 200 cars from each of two ferries coming into the waterfront hourly will congest streets already crowded by cars trying to avoid the tunnel tolls.
The West Seattle cars (trying to avoid tunnel tolls) eastbound on the Spokane St. viaduct will try to get on I-5 on single file merged ramp to go north on I-5. This ramp is inadequate and backup cars on the Spokane St. viaduct making it a parking lot.
Finally, maybe it would be a good idea to double-deck I-5 downtown if we have to have a tunnel. That way we could tear down the Convention Center and become famous. If we tore down the Kingdome, the Viaduct and the Convention Center would we be famous?

Calvin F. Bannon PE (ret)

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