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Magnolia woman leads campaign against tunnel

July 29th, 2010 · 74 Comments

A group led by Magnolia activist Elizabeth Campbell plans to collect enough signatures to get an initiative about the Highway 99 tunnel on the ballot in February 2011.  They will need to gather more than 20,000 valid signatures in the next three months.

Campbell’s group is called Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel, or SCAT. If it passed, the initiative would bar construction, operation or use of Seattle property for a Highway 99 tunnel.  Campbell, a transportation activist who ran for mayor last year, told our news partners at the Seattle Times today that she hopes the state rebuilds the elevated viaduct. "I prefer the elevated," she said. "I like the view."

SCAT has plans to use a number of methods for gathering signatures, including unattended signing kiosks.  These all weather A-frame easels will be set out in key 2007 tunnel/elevated vote neighborhoods.  They will also put signing boards at select businesses and downloadable petitions will be available through the SCAT website.  The group does not plan on using paid signature gatherers.

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  • mikeg

    “I like the view”

    um, shouldn’t you be driving?!? the viaduct is a horrendous eyesore and blight on our fair city.

  • TypeOne

    No, Elizabeth Campbell should not be driving. Or advocating policy, or leading petition drives.

  • ajepp


  • Seattle757

    MikeG just stole my words right out of my keyboard! I actually agree!

  • Snarkbark

    This is not the time to undertake a multi-billion program with inevitable cost overruns.

    Shore up the viaduct and wait for the state/city economies to turn around.

    Besides the proponents of the tunnel are, for the most part, those with either a stake in RE development or a stake in RE appreciation.

  • Charles

    Don’t build the tunnel. I can agree that far. But don’t leave the current viaduct and up and certainly don’t build a new one.
    I have long wondered what people who want to keep or re-build the viaduct are smoking. the view? You’re DRIVING! If you want a pretty view, knock the viaduct down, go with the surface transit solution which will reduce traffic in that area and make it into a pleasant, pedestrian friendly boulevard so the city can access its water front.
    Then go for a walk and enjoy the view.

  • Val

    Dear Magnolia Voice,
    To save time I suggest you simply create a story entitled “Elizabeth Cambpell Protests Something” and automatically run it every week. No content is required, because no one really cares.

  • jose

    I have lived here all my life, Almost 60 yrs and love the viaduct ! I use it almost every day and it always works just fine. Fix it in place!

  • mikeg


    good to know we agree on something!

    i’d be down w/ turning part of the viaduct into a highline-esque park and just demo’ing the rest. some of the best days to be downtown is when they close the viaduct. sitting at victor steinbruck park when the viaduct is closed for inspection is an awesome experience. silence, contemplation, phenomenal views…

  • thatguyinmagnolia

    Oh Elizabeth,

    You will need, what, 19,800 more signatures on this petition than you received as votes when you ran for Mayor?

    I’m going to start a petition to bar Elizabeth from starting petitions.

  • Mercury

    As a Seattle native who has lived here all of my 45 years, this is another case of our inability to make a decision.

    I spent nearly 15 years working as a driver in Seattle and I can tell you with 100% certainty, that the surface option WILL NOT WORK! Too many cars, to narrow a choke point.

    The tunnel is the best solution, although I favor cut and cover to deep bore. THE CONTRACT is the problem. The pain of overruns needs to be shared.

  • Burke G

    Thank you Mercury. I agree.

  • Nester

    THANK YOU for speaking some logic, Mercury. In my 15 years here, I have been consistently stunned by the lack of Seattleites’ ability to come to consensus on GOOD transportation choices.

    Thanks to “concerned citizens” like Elizabeth Campbell, we’ll likely add the tunnel to the list of good choices shot down. SCAT should be renamed CRAPP (citizens reacting to another passed plan).

  • Born Here

    Where do I sign? We have never adequately managed or addressed Seattle’s growing pains correctly. Too many developers have interfered along the way. The viaduct is the equivalent to a freeway for the western part of the metro region, the tunnel is too expensive, presents unknown challenges/dangers, and it also bypasses downtown, that being one of the most idiotic design flaws ever. The least expensive and best traffic solution is to simply replace the existing viaduct, built with modern technology to reduce noise, and designed to enable better views from downtown. It can be done.

  • http://magnolia ghostinprint

    Nester it’s people like you that can’t handle that a woman might be a little smarter than you!

    I thank Elizabeth Campbell for giving city hall and the downtown big shots a run for their money, they just want to spend our money on things we don’t need. The tunnel was vote down by 70% of the people of Seattle. What part of that don’t they understand?

  • Val

    Someone disagrees with her and that makes them a woman-hater? Grow up, ghostinprint! I’m a woman and am finding her constant opposition to everything tiresome to say the least.

  • http://magnolia ghostinprint

    Val…….grow-up and learn to understand what you read. I did not say they were women-hater’s! Read very s l o w l y…….little guys can’t handle smart women.
    I think our library has some beginner reading classes.
    I’ll be in front of Starbucks with a petition because I don’t want to pay for the cost overruns. BTW people, it’s not so unusual to say you like the view. It’s awesome!

  • Mag98199

    The primary intent of the tunnel (or the viaduct, or whatever…) is not to get people downtown, it is to get them through downtown! Anybody who favors a surface option needs to go down to Alaskan Way in the morning and see what happens when a ferry docks and North-South traffic is brought to a standstill until the ferry is fully unloaded. Or try the evening commute when a freight train passes through, stopping vehicle traffic for 10 minutes. The surface option will not work; it will certainly make property values in that area go way up, but it will not work. Remember, the main objective is moving traffic through downtown Seattle – a tunnel or viaduct are the only viable solutions. If you want to save money, build (or rebuild) a viaduct. If you want to spend more money (and make money for the downtown landowners) dig a tunnel.

  • NP

    I love the Viaduct. And I will miss it — because facts are facts and it cannot be saved.
    The mayor saved his election bid by promising to abandon his crusade to undo years of compromise and work on the replacement tunnel. Now he is seems to be orchestrating this anti-tunnel effort, with the help from predictable groups.

  • wow

    Less access and the same number of lanes for only a few billion. Thanks, to our representatives and to the folks in this blog for such positive ecnomic ideas during a recession.

    So what if you lose your business or job via higher taxes, or if you have to spend an extra hour in your car each day – after all, the people in Belltown get a nicer backyard. Stop being so selfish.

  • meow

    hahaha SCAT. If only she knew what that meant.

  • Valerie

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Elizabeth Campbell opposes everything. If you look at what she has opposed it is a very consistent type of thing, and I am glad that she and others in her group are standing up for the many of us who agree but are not willing to personally devote the time that she does give.

  • Alden Tricoche

    Thank you for another nice post. I want to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this post

    Magnolia woman leads campaign against tunnel » Magnolia Voice

    . I’m hoping for more from you sooner or later as well.

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