Stop the viaduct, I want to get off
I’ve lived in this town for 12 years now. Seattle is my home. At times, it’s been a happy marriage, with warm and dry summer days, soft winter rains, a baseball team that occasionally wins, the water, the mountains, the music, the tattoos… such a glorious marriage.
But it is a marriage. And sometimes you wonder if your spouse is bats**t insane and why you didn’t pursue that furtive romance with Denver back in the day.
Right now, it’s a bats**t insane sort of time in my relationship with Seattle. And what finally put me over the top was Greg Nickels channeling Ronald Reagan… over the viaduct.
Nickels said a new elevated freeway would create a wall between Seattle and its waterfront.
Then, borrowing a famous Cold War challenge from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev about the Berlin Wall, the mayor said his message to Gregoire is, “Tear down this wall.”
I’ve had it, Greg. I’ve had it with you and your corpulent bloviating in front of the cameras and the media over your hyperexpensive and quixotic desire for a tunnel. I’ve had enough of it.
You want a tunnel? YOU pay for it. Go on, whip out your
Seafirst Bank of America checkbook and write us a big check out of YOUR personal checking account. Because I don’t have the $6 billion it’s probably going to end up costing by the time it’s built and your little minion Tim Ceis’ back-of-the-envelope calculations make Rumsfeld’s “5000 troops by December 2006” look like a harmless point off a third grader’s math test because she forgot to carry the one.
You want to know what I think? No, of course you don’t. And besides, that’s the frikkin’ problem with this town. Everyone must have their turn for ten or twenty years of endless debate that fills up the airwaves and the court dockets and gets us right back where we started — nowhere. And meanwhile, you have The Stranger and the Weakly tilting at their half-baked windmills. Oh! Let’s build a monorail! No! let’s not! Oh wait, that idea wasn’t well thought out but it sure the hell ain’t my fault! And look, there’s Dan Savage and his merry band of Sancho Panzas washing their hands of it all in the same sink as Knute Berger!
But let me tell you anyway what I think, because damn it, I’m a Seattleite and I’m going to give you my opinion because I demand to be heard.
- Tear the goddamned viaduct down.
- Do all the multimodal work you should have done decades ago to hook the working port and industrial areas into rail and road.
- Make Alaskan Way into something like the Embarcadeo — with the Benson streetcar running down the middle of the boulevard, parking lots replaced with public parks, and a no-new-construction zone on the waterfront keeping Martin Selig and those other condo-building town destroyers from ripping down all that historic architecture.
- Lean on the state to fix traffic flow on southbound I-5 so I can get to the airport. You know, like MOVE THE DAMN 520 ONRAMP TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD SO WE CAN STOP THIS DAMN MERCER WEAVE CRAP. Or fixing it so there’s MORE THAN ONE TRAVEL LANE THROUGH DOWNTOWN. The state can do this, and it will be CHEAPER than the $15 billion the tunnel’s now going to cost because Tim “when I was a third-grader I never learned how to carry a one” Ceis didn’t know that CONCRETE ISN’T BROUGHT TO CONTRACTORS BY THE MAGIC BUILDING MATERIALS FAIRY WHEN THEY LEAVE A PIECE OF BRICK UNDER THEIR PILLOWS AT NIGHT.
See. Is that so hard? You have your pretty front porch of the city. You can have buses — and George Benson’s beloved streetcar — running right out in front. The Port can move its trucks. The buses will bring people downtown along with the Sound Transit light rail (Motto: Alderwood Mall by the year 2100 or 1% of your money back!). Growing, vibrant, beautiful. And for less than the Magic Building Materials Fairy will charge you.
Oh, and one more thing, Greg. Quit. Resign. Fire yourself. You have failed as a mayor and have made this town a political laughingstock. And if you’re not willing to quit, then go rob a bank or embezzle some money so we can use the state recall laws on you. It’s over, Greg. You have failed us all. You are the reason my wife, er, town is bats**t insane.
Greg, you’re the bats**t insane one. Tear down your own f**kin’ wall.