Letter: Reject a bad plan for Seattle

Dear Anne-Marije,

Ballots are in the mail for this year’s primary election. Cascade Bicycle Club encourages you to reject Seattle Referendum 1 because we have serious concerns about the deep-bore tunnel.

If you read the tunnel campaign’s misleading ballot statement or see their bike and bus logo you should be skeptical – it falsely says that “bicycle interests” among other groups recommended the tunnel.

I want you to have some background on why I and Cascade Bicycle Club believe this is a bad project for bicyclists. In 2008, I served on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Stakeholder Advisory Committee that looked at a number of possibilities for replacing the aging viaduct.

At the end of this process, I signed a letter saying we should study a deep-bore tunnel further AND an option that included better transit, improvements to local streets and I-5. We didn’t know much about the unstudied tunnel at the time. Now we’ve seen the numbers and they are not good.

The risky tunnel plan spends billions of dollars but pushes thousands more cars onto city streets - without enough money to provide the transit and safe bike facilities we asked for. In fact, they did not include a bike and transit-friendly solution in their study. They even changed the purpose of the project to exclude other kinds of transportation.

You may ask, why does a bike club care about a highway tunnel? First, the project is so expensive that it puts our other priorities, from transportation to education and public safety, at risk.

The tunnel does not serve a stunning two-thirds of people who use the Alaskan Way Viaduct today. Unless we invest in more transit options and safe bike and pedestrian facilities, tens of thousands more cars will make Seattle streets a worse place for bicycling.

I encourage you to cast your ballot to Reject Referendum 1. We can do better for our city and make it a better and safer place for bicycling, not worse. Please cast your vote to send a strong message to our elected officials that we need a better plan for transportation in Seattle.

Thank you,

Chuck Ayers
Executive Director
Cascade Bicycle Club

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