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03/18/2007: "Just Say No And No"

Music: Bill Hicks
Mood: frustrated but not surprised

In case you were wondering about the results of the Viaduct vote, the voters of Seattle chose No to both the surface-tunnel hybrid and the the new viaduct.

So what does this mean exactly? Well, the current plan is to fix the damage to the existing viaduct, at a cost of $915 million dollars (or, 1/3 of the cost of building the new viaduct) while all the sides have 2 years to figure out "something else." An article from the Seattle Times describing this is in greater detail is available here.

I am not surprised by the results of the vote, as "No on both" was the preferred option of many, who preferred to fiddle away while the Viaduct is one day closer to collapsing. What I do not understand is why this non-binding vote by the citizens of Seattle is being used as an excuse to not proceed with the work of rebuilding a portion of a STATE HIGHWAY (Route 99) that needs to be replaced immediately, in the interest of public safety. While the Viaduct is, admittedly, in Seattle itself, most of the people who use it do not live in Seattle and did not have a say, while people who live in the city but do not even live near it or use it, got to vote to delay the project.

I plan to write to my representatives about this issue, and will chronicle the experience in this space. I have never attempted to do this before so I am interested in seeing what kind of response I receive from the various politicians I write to. I am thinking of writing to Seattle city councillors, my state representatives and senators, and the governor. Good practice for the future or pointless exercise? Let me know.


on Monday, March 19th, MD said:

Although I am not present at the viaduct site and therefore cannot obtain a clear picture of the situation on the ground, I think your efforts to engage in local politics as a private citizen are laudable. Follow your instincts wherever they will carry you. I wish you the best of luck.

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