Last week, the Seattle City Council voted to proceed with Seattle's deep-bore tunnel, despite the growing public concern with this deeply controversial and potentially disastrous project.
Who benefits? Certainly not us.
While the tunnel will radically increase the values of waterfront property and create windfall profits for developers, the public bears all of the risk. The project is still $700 million short on dedicated funding and costs have already escalated past projections. We still don't know who's paying. Odds are, it's not the developers.
Project outreach director Ron Judd closed this deal by delivering jobs to labor, but much of the money will flow out of state and overseas. As a public works projects go, the tunnel is a leaky vessel at best.
While state law requires a reduction in carbon emissions, this project will exacerbate global warming and do nothing to move us toward an environmentally sound future.
As programs serving the poor and middle class are being cut to the bone at the statehouse, politics as usual drive this risky, expensive and inappropriate transportation boondoggle forward, as if public dollars were an inexhaustible commodity.
We've been told time and again that the debate is over and none of this matters, that the people should just shut up and accept the deal that's been made.
It's time for the public's voice to be heard. Real Change is a member of Protect Seattle Now and is working to bring the tunnel decision up for public vote. We need 16,500 signatures by March 28th to succeed.
We can only do this with your help. You can find out how to donate and volunteer at protectseattlenow.org.
Real Change, at 89 S. Main in Pioneer Square, is a pick-up and drop-off point for petitions during business hours Monday through Saturday. We hope you will do all you can to help us meet our ambitious goal of qualifying this issue for the ballot by the end of this month.
It is time for the public to have a say. It will be hard work, but it will be easier with your help. Please get involved in Protect Seattle Now, and help us build a better city for a sustainable future.