Big Dig West Conversation Ratchets Up
The Battle in Seattle continues. Standing tall with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, CNU has been at the forefront of the fight in opposition to the $3.1 billion bored hole tunnel that is slated to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Over the last week, the conversation has ratcheted up, with a flurry of op-ed pieces and articles appearing that support either side of the aisle. While those in favor of the tunnel may lack hard data, or utilize WSDOT's fuzzy math metrics, lucid and data-backed voices have been given a forum in Seattle weekly The Stranger.
First, reporter Dominic Holden cautioned everyone to take a deep breath and then "Stop the Insanity" of allowing the project come to fruition. CNU Board member Scott Bernstein, of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, concretely outlined "Five Reasons to Oppose the Deep-Bore Tunnel" in a contributing op-ep piece. And CNU CEO John Norquist laid out the case to STOP THE BIG DIG WEST:
“When you're in a hole, stop digging.” Advice like that comes cheap and sometimes ignoring it can cost billions of dollars. For Boston, ignoring it cost $22 billion to be exact. If Boston had it to do over, would they spend $22 billion (the original estimate was $5.8 billion) on tunnels and capped super highways?
Norquist goes on to state:
Seattle taxpayers are sliding down the road to building the “Big Dig West” but without the critical federal money pot. One would think that the lack of federal funding would lead to a clearer evaluation of the costs and benefits. But with eight of the nine Seattle City Council members supporting the tunnel plan, it looks like city taxpayers will be on the line for likely cost overruns. Tunnels are notorious for cost increases. After all, you only find out what's really down there after you start digging.
If the tunnel project continues, Seattle taxpayers should also be concerned about being forced to dig into their pockets.
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