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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Tunnel legislation passed

Entrusting government to devious people

The Legislature’s recent approval of the deep-bore tunnel legislation ends a process that nicely illustrates why the public is so disgusted with politics and politicians [“Viaduct legislation headed to governor,” NW Saturday, April 25].

First, they ignored the public vote that rejected the tunnel option. Then the mayor, county executive and governor got together in a back room with the downtown business interests and endorsed the tunnel proposal.

Finally, state legislators, in a cowardly effort to provide themselves with political cover, approved a funding measure for the tunnel that contained a cost-overrun proviso that they knew very well would be unenforceable.

We would never entrust our children’s schooling to such devious, disingenuous people, so why do we so casually entrust our governance to them?

— Dick Schwartz, Seattle

Opportunity to be proud of Seattle waterfront

I am so sick and tired of the “view is so great for the common man” argument in favor of the viaduct. According to Andy Zamelis [“Deep-bore tunnel approved: Goodbye to view from viaduct,”, Northwest Voices, April 26], “Only the elites, living in the exclusive million-dollar condos, will be entitled to the views west” while “the plebes will be confined to the street-level, where they will mix with the vagrants, derelicts, rats and drug dealers to catch an occasional ground-level glimpse of the Sound.”

First of all, I’m wondering just who is the elite here? Zamelis seems to be despairing because he may have to walk among the great unwashed masses on the ground.

Secondly, he unwittingly touches on an important point as he accurately describes what it’s like under the viaduct. To his description, I would add filth and noise — a great deal of noise. But the point is not that poor Zamelis would now have to walk there, but that an opportunity to transform the Seattle waterfront into something to be proud of is at hand.

Thirdly, if the view is so great from the top deck of the viaduct, then how about paying for it? It cost $16 to ride to the top of the Space Needle (pretty nice view there, too). How about $8 to ride the viaduct?

— Steve Coyne, Seattle

More than two holes in tunnel plan

I find it amazing that the tunnel project seems to be sailing along.

The overcrowded viaduct is twice as big. Has anyone addressed where half the traffic congestion is headed?

The mayor did make a reference to mass transit, but with no game plan, i.e. adding buses or other ideas to get us out of our cars.

Have I missed something or is there a huge hole in the tunnel plan (besides in each end)?

— S.A. Simon, Seattle

Another Big Dig disaster

Danny Westneat’s column was most informative [“Tunnel’s cost may fool us all,” NW Sunday, April 26], particularly throwing light on the study by professor Bent Flyvbjerg of such megaprojects and their invariably astronomical over-budget costs.

We are suckers for such projects. They look so appealing, yet the reality will be just another Big Dig boondoggle. I thought also the kiss of death for this tunnel option was its promotion by the Discovery Institute, a bastion of anti-science creationists most notorious for their inability to fathom science and whose writings have been compared to astrology.

Let’s wake up and face reality, people.

— David Kerchner, Kirkland

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