Let’s Bury Downtown!
Why is it that our wonderful city of Seattle cannot get its act together engineering wise? Well I think I have a solution. It’s elegant, all-encompassing, and steeped in our city history. Let’s raise the downtown ground level to the height of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
If you’ve ever taken Bill Speidel’s Seattle Underground Tour you know that our current plague of engineering debacles (Alaskan Way Viaduct, Downtown bus tunnel, monorail) is merely a reflection of a city whose previous misadventures include blowing itself up, burning itself down, and dousing itself in sewage. So let’s take a page from their book, bury our problems, and start anew.
Picture our new city after the new Downtown Transit Coverage Project:
The Alaskan Way Viaduct is safely on solid ground, but without sacrificing the spectacular view everyone loves to steal glances at as they hurtle between Ballard and West Seattle.
The streets under the viaduct are left intact as a new highway tunnel, allowing downtown tunnel advocates to drive to work in February gloom all year long.
The current downtown grid becomes an underground network for busses and pedestrians. After all, any city can have a bus tunnel, but a whole bus grid? Once that’s in place, San Francisco will be envying us.
The monorail becomes a trolley, thus attaining instant quaintness while remaining “futuristic”.
Am I the only one who sees this? Let’s get this on the ballot in ’06. Are you with me?