July 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Bertha prepares to bore into the Highway 99 tunnel
Department of Transportation’s publicity campaign is insulting
After receiving numerous updates on Bertha, the Washington Department of Transportation’s tunnel-digging machine, and reading an invitation to “Bertha’s bon-voyage ceremony,” I have to respond.
The tunneling machine is a thing, not a female. Perhaps you’re taking “boring” too literally, such that you have to anthropomorphize this digger and treat Seattle residents like a bunch of kids at a carnival, but really, you’ve gone too far.
Digging machines are intrinsically fascinating, and the project is quite a feat; do you really have to pour sugar all over this to make it palatable?
Whose idea was this ridiculous publicity ploy? As one of the taxpayers making this project possible, I also resent the department implying that it’s doing us a big favor — “sharing a tradition” — to give us a glimpse of the machine we are paying for.
If you want to talk about tradition, this city has a long, proud tradition of carrying out massive labor- and material-intensive projects without relying on cute names or photo ops, or needing a pat on the back every time it reaches a milestone.
Judy Moise, Seattle
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