Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Decision Reached


Photo & Text Copyright 2009 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

Seattlites learned yesterday that a consensus decision has finally been reached after years of contention. The double deck Alaskan Way Viaduct that runs along Seattle's downtown waterfront will be replaced by a bored tunnel (rather than the lidded trench version of a tunnel voters previously rejected or a new double deck structure or a broad boulevard scheme such as San Francisco adopted after an earthquake similarly damaged the Embarcadero double deck freeway there). See my post about this from last year. See a video illustration of the tunnel plan here. I will be interested to see how public reaction plays out. I would imagine such a project might be in the spirit of the in-coming president's advocacy of basic public infrastructure projects as a means of generating jobs and economic recovery. Funding will be a huge hurtle to overcome. OK, pretend you are a planner, visionary or designer, get out your visual eraser and try to picture what this scene could be minus that huge raised artery. What sorts of spaces and businesses would you allow to be developed along the stunning Seattle waterfront?

15 comments:

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

I would love to see a big open park with paths and tons of community gardening spaces. A few cafes and limited car traffic. Open patios with trees and hammocks, a pool and kick ass kids playground. That's what I would like! heh. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

B Squared said...

I'll bet Wal-Mart is lickin' their chops! Heaven forbid.

Bill

Ft. Lauderdale Daily Photo

alphadaddy said...

I, for one am excited for the removal of this seattle waterfront eyesore. I'll gladly pay an extra chunk of change on my car tabs in exchange for more of a SanFrancisco type of waterfront. (which is what I envision)

Given the history of project management in Seattle (lookin' at you, monorail!), I'm guessing none of this will happen for a verrry long time.

Michael said...

I'm sure it will be nicer looking for the city, but I'm sure glad I don't have to work or drive nearby for the next 15 years it will probably take (I have no idea). What happened with the monorail? It's a shame that a city as eco-conscious as Seattle doesn't use more mass transit.

As for what might go in the open space afterwards, I'm betting on wall-to-wall coffee shops!

Rick Hamell said...

Agreed with the fact that we should see the monorail or maybe even the new light rail in on this project.

This has always been one of the most frustrating things about Seattle to me. You guys have hands down the most famous Monorail system in the world, and yet it's only what 1.4 miles long, two cars and two stops? Imagine what you'd have if it was ten times in size.

Ashtonian said...

Souvenir shops of course selling t shirts and so on and so forth

Kim said...

I got a kick out of your ideas. And FYI, we got a lightrail system instead of the Monorail extension. I too wonder at the lack of more than a stellar bus system as the backbone of Seattle's rapid transit system. Hopefully the next 20 years will see rapid progress on that front. The population has grown way so much, the need is self evident. Deciding how to design and pay for it seem to have been the hold up in the public's mind.
-Kim

postie said...

Whatever it will look like. It will be exciting to watch and observe. I think other than the funding its a win situation as it will most likely be more pedestrian friendly which means more people in the area without the cars to enjoy the waterfront.

Clueless in boston said...

In Boston when the Central Artery (elevated expressway) was taken down it was turned into a Greenway of walking paths, fountains, benches, etc. I hope Seattle does something similar with their space.

Hilda said...

It looks like the time and expense of the project will be worth it! Should be a gorgeous waterfront again afterward.

Tania said...

Wow that took a while to decide. I was beginning to wonder what ever came of it! I personally think it's an ugly structure and am welcoming it's removal. Then, of course, there's the issue of safety. I avoided it wholly while living there!

Piobaireachd said...

I see it as just another government boondoggle. The politicians in Seattle have never met a tax they didn't like. Keep your hand on your wallet.

American Fork said...

I can't even imagine it, though I have been trying for a year.

Maya said...

I say Yay! We'll finally get a beautiful waterfront without all that noise and the eyesore of an earthquake deathtrap!

Becky said...

My vote would be to restrict to solely to locally owned shops, cafes, and restaurants. No chains, no outsiders, just Seattleites sharing their skills, interests, and passions with their fellow man and woman (and teenager). What a beautiful image that brings me.