Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Throwing Perfectly Good Money into a Hole in the Ground

It looks like the debate about a tunnel replacement for the Alaska Way Viaduct in downtown Seattle is nowhere near over. Most recently, as a result of an initiative filed Tuesday, the city will vote in November about whether to allow the State to build a planned tunnel. Replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct doesn't make sense, and replacing it with the most expensive and riskiest replacement idea just compounds the error.

Some reasons we should stop all expansion of automobile infrastructure and take advantage of opportunities to reduce it:
  • The world is past peak oil, so one way or another the amount people drive is going to have to fall.
  • The American Empire uses about 3-4 times its fair share of oil based on population, mainly due to economic and military dominance. Eventually, we can expect that the rest of the world will decide this arrangement no longer suits them, and then we can expect the amount of automobile usage to decline dramatically. Why not plan for this future and accept it gracefully rather than go on kicking and screaming like a two-year old about our lifestyle being "non-negotiable". We'll get to the same place either way, the only difference is how much pain we inflict on ourselves by fighting it.
  • This state desperately needs the money that will be used on this project to finance other things, like basic health care and education.

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