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March 05, 2006


Scott Schrantz

So what are your thoughts on the viaduct? As a future transplant to Seattle (we hope to move there sometime before the end of the decade) I need to start taking an interest in the future of the city. I've heard the viaduct compared to the Embarcadero in San Francisco, and how the removal of that freeway revitalized the waterfront there. Of course, I think that even now, with the viaduct still in place, Seattle's waterfront is more inviting than San Francisco's. But the big difference about the Embarcadero is that the Embarcadero didn't go anywhere. It was just an orphaned stub that gave out after a mile or two. Hwy 99 definitely goes somewhere, so you can't just tear the viaduct down and call it a day. You've got to have a replacement.

I've seen there are five different ideas for what to do at the waterfront. Which one do you like?


What a balanced view you have of the viaduct situation. You're right, this is not the Embarcadero, and in comparison to Boston, it's not the Central Artery either. It's a little bit of both.

So which do I support? I support the straight-up rebuild option. We already have the money banked and the views while driving on the thing as well as the fact that SR-99 is the only reliable way to the airport in a hurry during rush hour means we'd be fools to spend too much time and money trying to fix something that ain't broke.

Of course I believe it _is_ broke, in that today's facility is not perfectly structurally sound... but the route and the facilities are the right solution to the traffic problem they were designed to solve.

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