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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 21, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Tunnel replacement for the viaduct

Transportation first, aesthetics and tourism second

Most of the letters you are printing regarding this topic have been for the tunnel as the best replacement to the viaduct. I would like you to require that everyone who comments about the tunnel, either pro or con, states how often they use the viaduct now and plan to in the future.

I live in Magnolia and have to go to West Seattle once a week in order to pick up my granddaughter and take her to the Seattle Center. I use the viaduct to get to Costco on Fourth Avenue and to the airport. I am on the viaduct at least four times a week.

Do any of the letter writers who think a beautiful waterfront is the primary goal even use the viaduct? Ask the truckers and the people who actually use the viaduct to get from point A to point B what they think.

I know the tourist-related businesses on the waterfront are in favor of a tunnel, so more people can get to their establishments. And I am sure whoever owns the property on the waterfront would love to see a tunnel because it means more money in their pockets and ultimately more money for the government in property and other taxes. But, I quit going to the waterfront for dining because some restaurants are already hitting tourists with higher prices than locals can afford to pay.

The tunnel, as it is currently designed, doesn’t help the people who live in Magnolia, Ballard and northwest of Aurora and Interstate 5. The trucking industry is already making it known the tunnel could hinder their transporting of goods to and from the waterfront.

I also wonder if the tunnel goes only to Aurora or I-5 or wherever they have planned, how many people will be forced to use surface streets to get to their destination?

— Kathy Harris, Seattle

Keep on digging

The tunnel is a great idea, but why stop at two miles? Why not extend it all the way to Interstate 5? Better yet, extend it to the Eastside and fix the Highway 520 issue at the same time.

In fact, why don’t we build a whole network of tunnels linking to the Seattle Center and finally fix the Mercer mess?

Now I’ve got it! Let’s put I-5 in a tunnel all the way from Oregon to B.C. Wouldn’t that make Western

Washington much prettier? Price is no object, right?

— Don McDaniel, Kirkland

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