Some people, here, here, here, and here seem to be under the illusion that the "surface/transit option" has a chance. They are listening to the Governor and making much of a recent agreement between the State, the County and the City:
Gregoire said she has begun to think broadly about mobility and about Seattle's future as an "international city" — marked by population growth, a leading seaport and increased tourism — that needs a hospitable waterfront.
"If this is to be an international city, we'll have to look at the entire system. Once you do that, the surface option becomes an open question," she said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
The state Department of Transportation (DOT), King County and Seattle announced a new phase Tuesday in what has been a tortured history of viaduct planning. Rather than focus on serving 111,000 cars and trucks that now make weekday trips on the highway, agencies will study mobility improvements within a broader area, from North 85th Street to South Spokane Street.
I think that proponents are still dreaming — in fact they are even deeper asleep.
The Governor has just expanded the scope of the problem so dramatically that there can be no resolution:
Rather than focus on serving 111,000 cars and trucks that now make weekday trips on the highway, agencies will study mobility improvements within a broader area, from North 85th Street to South Spokane Street.
What a vast task. It's too big for any resolution which will be specific to the issue of how to deal with the Viaduct. Neither our collective intellectual abilities much less local politics are capable of encompassing such complexity.
Hers is an exceedingly astute political move. The Governor looks like a progressive, thoughtful student of urban mobility. But she has assured us — by expanding the issue to one which encompasses a vastly greater area with a myriad of other issues such as the Floating Bridge — that there will be no possible resolution while she is in office to the Viaduct Conundrum, except the "do nothing" alternative.
Focusing on "mobility" sounds great. But it is a vote for the status quo. In the case of the Viaduct that suits me fine. But we should recognize it for what it is.