Monorail a must!
It is amazing how the downtown media are able to forget that the people of Seattle voted four times to create and build a monorail. Columnist after columnist has declared the whole idea of a monorail dead and buried. The P-I said on Monday that what the Seattle Monorail Project needs now is not a new executive director, but an undertaker.
It seems that in the plush environs of the daily media the only ideas worth supporting come from their own scribes or from the hordes of professional transportation planners. Other ideas are destined for the scrap heap of the stupid and irrelevant. They forget that West Seattle is one-fifth of the entire city.
Maybe it is because we are in West Seattle, but we rather like some of the less mainstream ideas that would be rejected out-of-hand downtown.
While the Second Avenue moguls hate the monorail, and the Seattle Downtown Association has decided the monorail is a stupid idea by some half-wits, we suggest they try to get to their world from West Seattle without the Alaskan Way Viaduct. That 50-year-old structure is the only fast way to downtown from here and it needs to be rebuilt before an earthquake turns it into rubble.
West Seattle, including White Center, is home to a growing group of residents numbering upward of 100,000 people. How will those people get downtown?
Interstate 5 is virtually a parking lot at rush hours, especially from the Spokane Viaduct onto I-5 past 1-90. Even then, the traffic is daunting until you get north of downtown.
Second and Fourth avenues are already filled with commercial traffic, plus other commuters. Then there is the bay, the sound and the river.
Water taxi? Well, it will help, but no way can it make up for the loss of the viaduct.
Leadership is desperately needed in West Seattle and in the city at large to help steer the monorail off the rocks of an ill-fated financing package that has become the excuse of the chronic monorail haters to kill the project.
We need to counter the anti-monorail interests, focused only on their own financial well-being. These anti-monorail people have no ideas except to either kill the project altogether or to lump it into the once- even-more-hated Sound Transit.
Bottom line, West Seattle people, is that without the monorail you are doomed to the fate of when there was no bridge leading to the viaduct. One businessman said he nearly went out of business then. Others tell of horrible stories trying to get to their employment.
Get with it, leaders of West Seattle. Join us in our view that we must, absolutely must, build the monorail at least to King Street Station, where riders can continue to central downtown via Sound Transit through the bus tunnel. We do not care if they scrap the Second Avenue portion, nor the line to Ballard.
Ballard will not be cut off from downtown as West Seattle will be if the viaduct is gone.
Build the monorail and build it before the viaduct is a vast wasteland of concrete dust.