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Tunnel opponents submit signatures

March 29th, 2011 · 27 Comments

UPDATE 3/30:  Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has asked a judge to rule on whether the city’s agreements with the state on the deep-bore tunnel designed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct are subject to referendum. 

In a media release today Holmes said:  “As City Attorney, I don’t vote on or veto ordinances, and I am personally neutral regarding the ultimate choice for replacing the viaduct. My obligations as City Attorney are to ensure that the City complies with the law and to look out for the best interests of Seattle and its citizens. To that end, I have filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in King County Superior Court to determine whether Ordinance No. 123542 is subject to Seattle’s municipal referendum power.”

Supporters of an anti-tunnel referendum submitted 28,928 signatures to the Seattle City Clerk’s office Tuesday morning, trying to ensure the measure advances to a public vote.  One of the leaders of the effort is Magnolia resident Elizabeth Campbell who heads up the group Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel.

From our news partners at the Seattle TimesThe referendum needs 16,503 valid signatures to qualify for the Seattle ballot. City Clerk Monica Martinez Simmons accepted the referendum petitions at 10 a.m. in her City Hall office.  King County Elections will verify the signatures.  Verification is expected to take at least two weeks. Meanwhile, the ordinance it is designed to put to a vote — involving agreements between the city and state to proceed on the deep-bore tunnel — is scheduled to take effect Wednesday.  That means legal action to block the referendum could come as early as Tuesday.

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  • Eternal23x

    Elizabeth Cambell needs to give it up already. The decision is made. Go focus on something else.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t they do this back in Feburary?

    Please go do something that really matters to Magnolia residents and stop trying to mess with the rest of the city.

  • jose

    elizabeth campbell is a dinasour, and an obstructunist. Build the damn tunnel!

  • DB

    Get a life Elizabeth we have been trying to do something for over ten years. The state might end up spending tons of money just to prove your referendum petitions are not valid!!!!! Stop wasting our dollars!!The Vaiduct is an eye sore to
    our Bread and Butter Tourist dollars!!! Stop maybe you should move to the other Washington,….where real money is Wasted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Magman

    why do we as Magnolians dislike the tunnel option? will it be less convenient for getting DT, to 90 East, and/or the Seatac?

  • Snap-Out-Of-It-Seattle

    Seriously. Enough already, Elizabeth. Let’s show this city can actually face the future, get a large civic project built for once, and emerge from our consensus culture paralysis.

  • seattlerunner

    “stick a fork in it” the decision has already been made to build the tunnel. The people have already voted for it. Let’s stop churning on this and get the tunnel built.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed…it’s time to move on….the City Attorney is correct….we cannot endlessly debate necessary development…the obstructionists NEVER have a viable alternative…Stop this, stop that…begin WHAT?

    • BlueCollarEnviro

      Ah, yes! This is one of the rent-a-trolls’ favorite poll-tested memes. Never mind that the critics of the tunnel include many supporter of light rail, RapidRide, etc. No plan? What rock have you been sleeping under?

  • Evan

    Actually, didn’t the people vote against it and the powers decided to do it anyway? I don’t recall it ever being on the ballot and being approved.

  • Evan

    Actually, didn’t the people vote against it and the powers decided to do it anyway? I don’t recall it ever being on the ballot and being approved.

    • Anonymous

      There was a totally botch advisory ballot that nobody could understand including the idiots that created them. It was only an advisory ballot (read as not binding in any way) and depending on how you want to interpret the results you could find that everyone loves the idea of a tunnel and everyone hates it. Bottom line this is a state project and no amount of city advisory ballots is going to change that. Hopefully Pete Holmes can put this to rest once and for all soon.

      • Lawtondad

        This is partially true. The “botch”, I assume you are referring to, is that there were two separate ballot measures: yes or no to a new viaduct, and yes or no to a tunnel. Unfortunately, both got a no, which meant nothing got a yes. Some people incorrectly assume that option 3 (surface streets) would have gotten a yes, but that’s not true either. In fact, even today, no option among the three garners a majority vote — the balloting system was not designed to accommodate such a scenario. Unable to narrow ourselves down to two options and get a majority agreement on anything, the stalemate meant that the state needed to go ahead and decide on their own. (Remember, 99 is a STATE highway.)

        Complicating the argument of those who say the people voted against it, the tunnel ballot measure regarded a specific design and cost that has since changed. The cost now is projected to be a lot less than it was at the time the ballot was voted on, and other changes — like the fact that the viaduct can now be left in place during construction — make it impossible to compare the current plans with what was voted on back then.

  • Otto

    I am pleased to see so many positive comments to the tunnel.
    The tunnel we will remove cars from the surface, and give ground back to people. Like the rest of the world is doing….
    I grew up in a city that is now perforated with tunnels, and it is just amazing what a positive effect that made.
    This is for the future.

  • Otto

    I am pleased to see so many positive comments to the tunnel.
    The tunnel we will remove cars from the surface, and give ground back to people. Like the rest of the world is doing….
    I grew up in a city that is now perforated with tunnels, and it is just amazing what a positive effect that made.
    This is for the future.

  • Snarkbark

    The tunnel is the wrong solution for a cash strapped state. The cost overruns will be inevitable.

    Shoring up the viaduct is a much better economic solution than going for the “big scope” project that will benefit only a few.

    And when the big one comes….I would rather take my chances on the viaduct in the air than be buried/drowned underground.

    Besides we all know who pushed for the tunnel….developers.

    • ScatCat

      What developers? Got names? How amount amounts of $ they intend to pull in?

      Sorry but these broad accusations of a DEVELOPER CONSPIRACY are very typical of SCAT. Where is the industrial-tunnel-building complex?

  • Just Me

    Bull! All that money for no more capacity and even less access? Shore up the viaduct and forget about this tunnel nonsense. This colossal bore is some pol’s idea of a monument to them. But when the problems surface, they will be long gone. In the meantime we’re stuck with cost overruns and traffic will back up the day it opens and from here on.

  • Meow

    I don’t really care about the tunnel either way, though I think that the SCAT folks pandering to the elderly (who in my opinion, should not be driving) with the following statements is just way out of line:

    Seniors beware: As we drive into the tunnel from the bright sun, and when Seattle is bright the light is strong, within 60 seconds you will be coming to a semi blind curve and if cars are stopped ahead, then accidents are going to happen. And remember, accidents in tunnels cause many times the magnitude of destruction and injury than when they occur on an above ground, open highway.

    Really? Perhaps the SCAT folks should go work for FOX News or Glen Beck with that kind of fear mongering.

    Seniors beware – maybe you shouldn’t be driving.

  • LadyOnLynn

    +1 Snarkbark

    And it’s amusing that the first commenters all liked each others comments in rapid succession. So how many of you are really the same person?

    • Just Me

      Yes Lady. It’s so obvious. The PR machine is rolling.

      • Lawtondad

        Indeed. Ironically, I was going to agree, too, until I saw the direction those posts were taking, and how they did seem awfully similar. I think it best to just walk away from this one. (Ack! Too late!)

    • jose

      Maybe they all had common sense. build it

    • BlueCollarEnviro

      Nope. The tunnel boosters have a platoon of dedicated (paid?) trolls who keep an eye on all the blogs and hit them in force when the topic comes up.

      Some of their arguments may come off as really dumb, but don’t be surprised if these arguments are poll-tested.

      For example, they’ll keep on brining up the question of what to do with the 110,000 daily car trips using the viaduct. Where will they go? When someone asks what will happen with the 70-80,000 car trips that use the viaduct and won’t use the tunnel, the rent-a-trolls change the subject.

      The rent-a-trolls keep on spouting the “public safety” argument. But when asked why it is safe to keep the viaduct open until the tunnel is finished, they all cry “Chicken Little!” in unison.

      When someone asks what happened to the transit-funding portion of the tunnel agreement, the rent-a-trolls change the topic to how many nicknames to can pin on the mayor.

      And, you’ll notice, the platoon of rent-a-trolls thumb-up each others’ lame arguments and thumb-down all opposition arguments.

  • Brad

    We elect officials so as citizens we don’t have to send in a completed ballot every week for every decision that comes through city hall and in Olympia. Sometimes they have it wrong, but in this case they have it right. Tunnel is good for the future, good for tourism, good for our waterfront. Let’s move on.

  • Otto

    Too all you misinformed and scared people:
    1) Do not fear. There will be lights in the tunnel.
    1a) It’s correct that deep bore tunnels are predictable in cost estimate. There are no reasons to expect cost overruns.
    1b) What cost overruns do you expect if we are gonna rebuild the surface while the city is operating? That will be cost overruns in BIG SCALE!
    1c) What about the chaos that will create?
    1d) A need viaduct will have life expectancy of 40-50 years. Then it have to be replaced again. That’s kicking the can down the street….
    2) How many people have died in tunnels during earthquakes versa viaducts?
    3) How many people have died on the surface of citys during earthquakes versa inside tunnels? I will prefer to be inside the tunnel during an earthquake.
    4) Why don’t you want to give the surface back to the people. So the city can be liveable for everybody? Kids, parents, older people, disabled, youngsters…
    5) Why do you want to give cars higher priority than people?
    6) Have you really tried to imagine what a beautiful city this could be with less cars and more people. More tourists as well.
    7) Do not fear. Think positive. It helps. :-) )

    • ScatCat

      I think one of the strangest anti-tunnel arguments is that it “ruins the view”. You’re supposed to be driving, not staring out the window.

      I’m for whatever option will provide for more rapid transit options. Tunnel or not, we need rapid rail that isn’t in the form of a streetcar or a giant diesel-electric locomotive. The sooner we come to grips with that, the better we’ll be.