I've recently run into energetic criticism of the tunnel project downtown. Having long appreciated the curious nature of well-funded political initiatives in the region, I've become more attuned to the quality of the arguments being thrown around. On Wednesday (May 4), I ran into your article criticizing the tunnel by Roger Valdez.
Mr. Valdez's criticisms are so pedestrian I was left chuckling. Then I began to wonder what could possibly motivate Crosscut's editors to let such detritus get published.
Let's take the two issues separately.
1. Roger Valdez's comments: Mr. Valdez feels the tunnel's worth is impaired by the inconvenience caused by its being built. "The point is that the tunnel project is creating the very gridlock that it claims it will be solving," he writes. I cannot think of any public transportation project in history for which this is not true. Imagine if U.S. residents followed Mr. Valdez's thinking whenconsidering the Interstate project. This is beyond naive.
2. Crosscut's editors for some reason felt that this article merits a wide audience. They, of course, feel that attaching the Crosscut brand to it is a good idea. This is interesting. At best, this is an article by one of Seattle's detractors (it could be from one of the usual Seattle detractors who finance and manage automobile-dependent malls on the east side).
Crosscut is trying to show itself to be a viable alternative to the once-celluloid news options: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Seattle Times. Being a relatively underfunded entity leaves one more prone to manipulation by those with money.
If Crosscut wishes to be a player in news media, I feel that the editorial board needs to rethink what constitutes news. The merits of this article are so weak I am forced to reconsider the editorial independence and agenda of Crosscut as a whole.
I'm as startled as I am disappointed. I thought we had a local winner in Crosscut. Perhaps not.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
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