THINKING ABOUT THE DAY AFTER
On Tuesday, March 13th, there will be an advisory vote concerning future options for replacing the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct. It is not certain that either option to replace the viaduct (a surface/hybrid-tunnel or a new elevated structure) will receive more than 50% of the vote. And it is conceivable that other options, such as a surface-only design or a retrofit of the current viaduct, may still be discussed between the City and the State in the future. In other words, we may all be still discussing what is to be done after March 13th.
In an attempt to identify some long range objectives and to offer some policy guidance for what the City may wish to pursue the day after the election, no matter what the result, I have sent the following letter to the leaders of eleven environmental groups. I ask them as individuals to seriously consider adopting six principles which could guide Seattle toward the goals to preserve our quality of life, air quality and our need for mobility through our urban core.
The letter is reprinted below and so is The-Day-After-Agreement that I've asked them to consider signing as a step toward creating a community that can work together toward some common goals.
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LETTER TO ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS
Date: March 2, 2007
Dear Leaders of the Environmental Community,
Your groups have been at the forefront in promoting sustainable economic growth that preserves our physical and social environment.
Although the citizens of Seattle are diverse and passionate in their opinions on how the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct should be replaced, they are, I believe, concerned about maintaining the best features of our environment and improving our mobility within our urban core.
To that end, I am asking each of you as individuals to consider signing onto the attached The-Day-After-Agreement that could hopefully frame our City's response to the March 13th election results, no matter which option is chosen or which is eventually pursued. The crux of this agreement is to focus on our common areas of interest, so that it guides how the City, State and County should allocate their time and efforts in shaping Seattle's future. We need to come together and begin to emphasize what unites us rather than what divides us.
Thank you for your consideration in taking this approach.
Seattle City Council President
PS - This request is being emailed to you in order to save paper. Please electronically reply or print off a copy and mail it back to my office at P.O. Box 34025, Seattle WA 98124-4025
(Sent to the leaders of the following groups)
Cascade Bicycle Club
Friends of Seattle
Heart of America NW
People for Puget Sound
People's Waterfront Coalition
Sierra Club Cascade Chapter
Transportation Choices Coalition
Washington Environmental Council
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TEXT OF THE DAY AFTER AGREEMENT
The-Day-After-Agreement to Preserve Seattle's Quality of Life, Air Quality, and Mobility Options:
As an individual I agree with the following six principles, regardless of which option is chosen for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, as a way to pursue the above goals.
1.. Increase public open space on the waterfront
2.. Decrease current waterfront noise levels
3.. No increase in surface roads and limit any increase in surface traffic on the waterfront between Pike Street and Colman Dock
4.. Implement shoreline features to protect and increase salmon habitat
5.. Implement a congestion pricing program to avoid or manage increased traffic on downtown surface streets and Interstate 5
6.. Implement dedicated bus lanes and/or bus corridors through downtow
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