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    Saving the soul of SoDo?

    The Port of Seattle is worried the new arena will kill off working class Seattle, but the Port's leaders have also been a huge force for the gentrification they're decrying.
    The SoDo district

    The SoDo district Nancy Regan/Flickr

    The Port of Seattle is complaining about the proposed new basketball arena in SoDo, claiming that it will gum up freight mobility and that it's a "job-killer." Port Commissioner Bill Bryant told The Seattle Times that the future of working class Seattle hung in the balance. "Placing the arena in the proposed site is more than symbolic. It is part of a bigger decision about what sort of city we want to have and whether we are going to embrace family-wage and industrial jobs in South Seattle." The Port has a plan to expand such jobs and says the arena is a potential threat.

    Jordan Royer, vice president of external affairs for the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (and my Crosscut colleague), weighed in, explaining the over-arching concerns: "It's sort of a death by 1,000 cuts. You keep encroaching, and then they'll want to build hotels, they'll want to build condos.... Then people will start to complain about the Port because there's lights on, it's noisy, there's trucks, there's trains, and they'll want the Port to go away."

    Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton was quoted saying, "What's SoDo all about? It's really the soul of a working-class city." Ah yes, the arena proposal represents the classic Seattle war between soul and greed.

    Such concerns are valid to a point, and Bryant is right that we ought to be having the larger conversation about what Seattle is going to become. Do we want to continue to have an industrial base? Do we want to be affordable for working class families? Do we want to be a "smart" growth city, with all the sustainable amenities? Do we want a city with no dirt under its fingernails? How do you accomplish shaping the city you want when you are buffeted by the free market and international economic trends (in sports, in trade, in banking, in everything else) that often dictate your local strategies? Fine, let's talk, no one is stopping the Port or anyone else from having that conversation.

    Still, it's a little weird to hear the Port of Seattle complaining about gentrification. And if the Port and the maritime industry are worried about "death by 1,000 cuts," let's talk about who is doing the cutting.

    One of the biggest "cutters" has been the Port itself. The Port has been involved in massive redevelopment of the central waterfront, for example, where it sold land for condominiums, where it converted old shipping piers into the Bell Harbor international conference center, where it has built the huge World Trade Center for major meetings and special events like, well, weddings. Presumably working class weddings.

    The Port has been key to the waterfront's transformation from an old-fashioned provincial seaport to modern tourism amenity and businessman's mecca. They've built a recreational boat marina, brought in the Marriott Hotel, opened restaurants. How many cuts has that been to the blue collar lifestyle?

    Then there are the cruise ship terminals, at which vast floating hotels take on and drop off tens of thousands of passengers each year, folks who seek out the type of gentrified amenities and attractions the Port decries in SoDo. It's good for downtown business, it creates jobs for waiters and waitresses, cab drivers, and souvenir shop clerks. But is it the manly man work of longshoremen? The cruise biz has helped to launch, say, Chihuly Garden and Glass, but I don't think it's exactly boosting factory work outside Chihuly's studio.

    The Port also has a long history of hostilities with the fishing community at Fisherman's Terminal. Fishermen there have long complained that the Port is pushing out fishing boats for yachts. We've been told for years, by the Port and others, that we have to look beyond the old resource industries, like fishing, and set our eyes on tourism, recreation, other other opportunities. As the fish boats have dwindled, the shops and restaurants have moved in, but many have felt shoved into oblivion by the Port.

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    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 9:12 a.m. Inappropriate

    So the question for the morning is whether to make SoDo into Play-Doh. As Mossback observes, it is rather late in the game for the Port of Seattle to get teary-eyed over the loss of a working waterfront to the amusement and gentrification industry. That's been happening for decades north of SoDo with the Port's blessing and active support. But, hey, let's be fair. Just because they are not Republican presidential candidates doesn't mean that port commissioners can't be hypocrites too. This is America, after all. Even port commissioners have inalienable rights.

    But the hypocrisy and inconsistency does at least suggest that the Port's complaints are not really about fondness for Seattle's working class or some sort of Vision Thing. Maybe it's just about power and control. Maybe the Port is simply protecting its traditional turf. It's not about destroying the working waterfront so much as about who is going to get to do it.

    And maybe none of this really matters. The Port of Tacoma continues to clean Seattle's clock in the competition for shipping business. In the end one would think Play-Doh will look better than no dough at all.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 9:52 a.m. Inappropriate

    What I am reading is that if the Port made dumb mistakes in the past, then those that run the institution now have no right to try to right them in the future. How many current Port Commissioners were on the Port commission back then? Zero. And don't forget the expansion of capacity and a 39% increase in the cargo workforce in the past ten years.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 9:57 a.m. Inappropriate

    And yet the Port of Seattle keeps losing business to the Port of Tacoma. They must be doing something wrong.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 4:09 p.m. Inappropriate

    The shipping companies know that freight mobility will be a problem with the downtown tunnel/seawall/etc construction over the next decade. Then the shipping companies also see that freight mobility is not a priority for the current Mayor. The current Mayor had 250,000 dollars for a bicycle mobility plan; but, zero dollars for a freight mobility plan. Even with the impending massive downtown construction. The current Mayor also had plenty of money to hire sports marketing consultants to push the current Seattle arena proposal.
    Then there is the issue of the city reneging on freight overpasses to the railyards.

    The shipping companies sees major disruptions in freight dispersion due to the downtown construction, and a Seattle Mayor's office that is hostile to a seamless operation at the Port. So, some of the shipping companies will shift to Tacoma until the downtown construction is completed. The Tacoma Port adds a day to ship turnaround over ship turnaround in Seattle. The extra day that Tacoma adds is a significant cost to a ship owner. The Port in Seattle will regain any lost shipping companies after the downtown construction. It would also assist if we did not have a Mayor hosile to the Port. Not everyone wishes to be a yuppie.


    Posted Tue, Jun 5, 11:06 a.m. Inappropriate

    The Port of Seattle has been losing business to the Port of Tacoma for decades. This has very little if anything to do with the current construction in downtown Seattle. The Port of Tacoma is simply a better-run, more efficient operation. The Port of Tacoma just this week promoted over 60 longshoremen to class-A status. Of course, after the construction in Seattle is done, and the traffic doesn't return, we'll be treated once more to the old "It's Time to Merge the Ports" song and dance on the part of the Port of Seattle. They just don't understand that there is more to stevedoring than providing a nice view of the Space Needle while the ship sits, hour upon nonproductive hour, in Elliot Bay.


    Posted Tue, Jun 5, 12:16 p.m. Inappropriate

    Just because you wish for a welfare arena, does not mean that you have to trash the Port, or the Mariners, or the Key Arena. Essentially it has become "everything in Seattle sucks. The only thing that is good in the entire world is a welfare arena, and my hero Hansen".


    Posted Wed, Jun 6, 9:30 a.m. Inappropriate

    "Just because you wish for a welfare arena, does not mean that you have to trash the Port, or the Mariners, or the Key Arena."

    I don't wish for a new welfare area, in fact I oppose any tax dollars or concessions going to professional sports teams, as those franchises are a license to print money. I trash the Port of Seattle because it's ineptly run, and is forever trying to obscure that fact by seeking a state-sanctioned shipping monopoly (known euphemistically as a port merger) to shut down its more efficient competitor. Dissolve the Port of Seattle. Put the Port of Tacoma in charge of its assets, and let Seattle get on with becoming Puget Sound's yuppie paradise. Leave the industry to the industrious.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 9:58 a.m. Inappropriate

    The decision about whether to use public money for this proposed arena project to further aid and abet the deindustrialization of Seattle should be made in a public vote. Certainly it shouldn't be left up to McGinn, who had secret meetings with the proponent for more than a year and spent thousands of taxpayer dollars in support, nor Constantine, who curiously just jumped in and said "Me too" without seeming to give it much thought.

    Again, no matter what proponents say, I-91 was NOT the vote on this ultimately far-reaching proposal. It set some parameters for considering a deal, but was not a vote on the deal itself. City Council, County Council, the Port -- all have varied interests in this, some clearly personal and political, and so ultimately this should be a public decision. After all, it is taxpayers, residents, business owners and employees who will live with the impacts, while the politicians move on to other fancies. Demand a public vote on the arena proposal.

    And if proponents won't back a public vote, you know exactly why -- they know the preponderance of people at this point believe there are far better uses for public resources than putting them into another sports facility that many people won't use by choice and many others won't be able to use because the price of entry is so high.

    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 10:23 a.m. Inappropriate

    Yeah, Tim Eyman likes public votes as well.

    Should it be a proposition from the City, the Port, or the County? Maybe all three?

    Look, public votes on bond measures and infrastructure spending are terrible things. Look at the monorail authority debacle, and the Sound Transit ballot measures. Those are terrible. The tax pimps around here who push these things lie by omission, get their friends to draft lame statements against for the voters guide, and completely fail to describe how the public is put at financial risk.

    Big fan of public votes on public works projects are you, arthurking? You need some reality to slap you upside the head. We just learned several months ago that the estimate from Sound Transit's staff about the ADDITIONAL amount of long-term bonds that government will sell is about $7 billion worth. Prior to the 2008 ST2 vote the CFO of that government estimated the tax rollback would be in 2038. As there are NO taxpayer protection provisions in the enabling legislation (state or local), that government now has pushed out the full-rate taxing until the mid-2050's. What's your estimate of the tax costs now to this relatively-small region of financing those Sound Transit bonds? Just try giving a reasoned response to that question . . . maybe that exercise will dissuade you from making further foolish and Eymanesque calls for votes on tax and spend measures around here.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 1:29 p.m. Inappropriate

    Sure, let's have a public vote.

    However, the unions and arena opponents have to pay for it. If my tax money can't be used for an NHL/NBA arena (though this proposal doesn't take a dime from anyone not using the facility), then I don't want it going to pay for endless ballot referendums, either. Yes, plural, because it's never just one, is it?

    While we're at it, let's vote on an initiative which will mandate all funding for the arts must require a positive return on the investment, too. We'll call it the "Fair Funding Seattle Initiative". So that free-for-all sculpture park had better start turning a profit, or else... Oh, if the city council wants more tacky sculptures for city hall? It's coming out of their paychecks.

    Would you support public votes on those ideas as well? Because the tea party tax crusader bit cuts both ways.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 1:45 p.m. Inappropriate

    Well then, the Democrats and Republicans should have to pay for the elections they are involved with. Also, using your logic Hansen should have to pay for the public vote as this is his proposal. Hansen could have abvoided a public vote, but Hansen was more interested in scamming Seattle out of money, than he was building an arena.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 1:45 p.m. Inappropriate

    Well then, the Democrats and Republicans should have to pay for the elections they are involved with. Also, using your logic Hansen should have to pay for the public vote as this is his proposal. Hansen could have abvoided a public vote, but Hansen was more interested in scamming Seattle out of money, than he was building an arena.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 4:24 p.m. Inappropriate

    Replace "Hansen" with "Hanjin", and "arena" with "Port", and let's vote on all that public/private partnership that consume taxes and you might have some credibility.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 10:36 a.m. Inappropriate

    I generally take exception to the positions of Crosscut’s writers regarding local government undertakings and practices. Here though I agree with Knute . . . the rhetoric from the Port IS hypocritical. Moreover, his approach (taking a critical view of what that local government actually has been doing vs. what its flacks want the public to think the Port’s commissioners are concerned about) is a refreshing and helpful change from the usual local media outlet fodder.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 11:06 a.m. Inappropriate

    Beyond the waterfront itself, which is already pretty much just the Port and tourist activities, the industrial nature of SoDo is essential to the city. You cannot choose to be a "city with no dirt under its fingernails". Doesnt work that way. All the Amazon and Microsoft buildings have HVAC systems, which need sheet metal suppliers and fabricators. All those groovy million dollar Tom Kundig lofts have exposed metalwork, which require steelyards and metal fabricating shops. All those amazing high tech video games and cordless mice, all those computerized book picking and shipping systems, all those solar cells and electric cars require parts, machine shops, welding supply stores, industrial hardware suppliers, and more.

    Real Estate prices in SoDo have already driven a lot of those types of businesses to Kent and beyond. Which does not, in any way, negate the need for the products and services they require in downtown Seattle, or Capitol Hill, or the U District- it just means we all pay more for gas and travel time to go fetch real things from down south.

    This is a simple economic issue- jobs, and costs, are dependent on having industrial zoned areas close to the city. If we downzone for offices or housing, these businesses move, and costs go up, and jobs shift elsewhere.

    A town without a decent hardware store is a desert.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 8:44 p.m. Inappropriate


    Posted Tue, Jun 5, 9:36 a.m. Inappropriate

    We need "like" buttons, and this comment deserves a few.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 11:06 a.m. Inappropriate

    Knute, you raise many good points about hypocrisy and hyper-consumption without even getting to jetting -for-all. However, for an historian it is unlike you to gloss over the fact that where the Port wants to draw the line and say enough is enough is at today's waterfront, not yesterday's which they sold off to the highest bidder (in deed, if not in fact). Furthermore, if they had not done so, the seawall may have got fixed long ago and we would never have argued forever about replacing the viaduct with a new front porch.

    I also agree that the Port would be a strange entity to instigate long overdue discussions about who benefits, who pays for total overhaul by everyone with the inclination, but stranger things have happened, so thanks for raising the issue because we sure do need to get serious about where interventions are and are not needed.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 3:27 p.m. Inappropriate

    It actually may truly make the most sense for the region to go ahead and promote the Port of Tacoma as the major regional container port and go ahead and allow Seattle to upzone and gentrify its waterfront and de-emphasize cargo traffic in Seattle itself. This is what basically happened with San Francisco/Oakland. That allows regional investments to rationally flow to the appropriate areas. This seems to be what is happening with private funding in any case, whether or not it is planned.


    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 3:43 p.m. Inappropriate

    My sense is that the Port, in the 1990s, did indeed flirt with converting waterfront land to such things as condos, conference centers, and other uses that promised a better return for this valuable land. But that didn't work out so well, and it touched off a political rebellion, led by Port and Maritime interests and unions. Now the consensus is to try to build a city that is both a commercial and residential mecca and also holds onto its Port and related blue-collar, family-wage businesses. Mayor Nickels was very much an advocate for this view, just as his predecessor, Mayor Schell, a former Port Commissioner and developer, pushed the upscaling agenda.

    But the battle is not settled. The arena is likely, if it happens, to "tip" the SoDo zoning wars toward uses broader than industrial. Already clubs are moving in, fleeing the angry neighbors in Belltown. Amazon, I'm told, almost decided to build its new headquarters in SoDo before settling in South Lake Union, in part because the political warfare in SoDo would have been so bloody.

    The arena itself is probably not too much of a problem for Port truckers. But what the arena would trigger really would be significant. That's why this struggle over the arena is so high-stakes, and why the City and County Councils will probably turn it down.

    Posted Fri, Jun 1, 6 p.m. Inappropriate

    Somebody with even more money could propose a privately funded arena on the same property, then what, we vote on downzoning property zoned for stadiums?

    I think an equal amount of hyperbole is in order here. Shall we crush the stadiums that are there and bring back the Filson Coat Factory, people must be freezing to death by now.

    Save the warehouse from closure! Seattle must retain its stock of warehouses or Seattle will simply stop being a world class city.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 2:05 p.m. Inappropriate

    Well, that somebody sure aint Hansen. Maybe Hansen should follow the lead of the Warriors owner, who is building a 500 million dollar NBA arena in San Francisco with his own money. No begging, and demands for public funds from the owner of the Warriors.Doesn't Hansen live in San Francisco?

    A privately funded NBA arena (quit with the NHL BS) in Seattle that has all issues mitigated,would be supported by the vast majority of Seattle citizens.
    That is not what Hansen is attempting. Hansen demands public funds, and Hansen says that he won't pay for mitigation.

    Hansen wishes to build a MALL in Sodo, not just an arena. Hansen has been promoting the "LA Live" concept, which is a mall. The freeloading Hansen arena proposal is a terrible "deal" for Seattle. Hansen needs to pay his own way, or Hansen needs to go away.


    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 5:34 p.m. Inappropriate

    Charles Royer and the Mariners proposed last November to "build a MALL in SODO."
    They want transit and amenities, and lots of people walking around SODO during the winter months.
    Not exactly "free".

    Nothing from the Port or other Royer on that, nope.
    Two months later the Mariners spin 180 against more traffic.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 4:25 p.m. Inappropriate

    Mr. Baker, Who cares what Charles Royer said? That has nothing to do with this current arena proposal. Even you know that the arena proposal is such a bad "deal" that you deflect from discussion of the "deal". Hansen does not wish to build a basketball arena, Hansen wishes the public to finance a mall.It is time for Hansen to state it. This has been a dishonest "deal" from the start.


    Posted Mon, Jun 4, 1:36 p.m. Inappropriate

    No, no begging, just a requirement for the Port of San Francisco to refurbish the pier on which the arena would be built. A pier that is in such poor condition, it is very close to being condemned by the city of San Francisco, and would cost somewhere in the hundreds of millions to restore. Oh, and I think 30 years of free rent is part of that deal, too...


    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 12:07 p.m. Inappropriate

    So I guess the Mariners plans for gentrification of the same area are not supported by the Port, either?
    This was their draft proposal from last November, no mention if the Port.
    Wow, Charles Royer and the Seattle Mariners sure do may many of the same points Chris Hansen has made.

    The Seattle Mariners and Charles Royer make a compelling case here, there should be something that draws people to the Stadium District during the late winter months.

    Between the Port, Mariners, and Royers, there is plenty of hipocracy to go around.

    Who was supposed to pay for the Mariners amenities? The Mariners (fat chance), the city (a surprise to them/us), could it be.... The Port?

    Why would the Mariners and Charles Royer put so many jobs in danger, and the soul of SoDo?
    Why would they then do a complete 180 and oppose somebody developing property in the Stadium District.?

    Gosh, if only this town had a functioning newspaper we might have some answers to these obvious questions.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 6:04 p.m. Inappropriate

    When will you and Robinson open up the comments at Sonics Central so we can have a debate on a website dedicated to the topic? Or, are you that afraid of the wavering of the "true believers?"

    You deflection is getting rather boring.


    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 2:17 p.m. Inappropriate

    Get Hansen to pay his own way, and get Hansen to end his demands for welfare, and then deflect to another issue. I thought your group was going to only back an arena proposal that made economic sense for Seattle. I guess not. Was the "we are only for a good arena proposal" idea changed when Hansen came around flinging money at you. Shameful. Your posts on this arena proposal have no credibility, Mr. Baker. You have become nothing but a Hansen shill.

    This San Franciscan, Hansen, needs to pay his own way. Just like the San Francisco Giants with their privately financed stadium, and the Warrior's San Francisco NBA arena that is to be privately financed. The Staples Center in LA is also privately financed. Seattle does not need to be the last major city on the west coast handing welfare to individuals, like Hansen, for their own place of business.


    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 5:36 p.m. Inappropriate


    Circle that square.

    Btw, the folks in San Fransisco are being given the green light, and some land, that is waterfront property. You allow any developer Pier 46 and there would be no shortage of people offering "free" arenas.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 2:07 a.m. Inappropriate

    I was waiting for that hornswoggle. The piers are piers 30, 32, they are in disrepair and a liability to San Francisco. The Warriors will repair the piers at an estimated cost of 75 to 100 million dollars. The Warriors will pay the 75-100 million dollars for the pier repairs. The Warriors will then lease the city property. The Warriors will then pay to build a 500 million dollar NBA arena. The San Francisco arena deal requires no public funds. Didn't Mcginn offer Hansen the Key Arena for a long term lease? The last I checked leasing was not the same as being given.

    The Seattle "deal" does require public funds, and ongoing paperwork. The San Francisco deal does not; and, shows that there is private financing available to build arenas. The Seattle "deal" makes no sense. Hansen should pay for his own business.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 6:05 p.m. Inappropriate

    Overlay district. Not "stadium district". Look it up.


    Posted Sat, Jun 2, 9 p.m. Inappropriate

    Knute missed on major factor that will affect the Port significantly and could affect the whole SoDo district. If the Bellingham Port expansion is approved and BNSF starts shipping millions of tons to that port for export to China, the Port will see congestion it hasn't anticipated. Eighteen unit trains of 120-150 cars each rolling thru Seattle daily should create the kind of problems we are experiencing on I-5 from Everett to Vancouver right now. Hope Crosscut will look at this more closely regardless of the City Council resolution last week. Bill Mitchell

    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 10:33 a.m. Inappropriate

    Yesbut. The Port is guilty of some gentrification at Fisherman's Terminal that, it can be argued, harms industrial uses. A fair argument. But the shipping industry operates at at the East Waterway, Harbor Island, West Waterway and the Grain Terminal. I don't see where those operations have been harmed by the Port's "gentrification" tactics. The old piers, from 30 to 70 are useless for container shipping and the Port rationally pursued other facilities (including their ostentatious headquarters at Pier 64). The Port is quasi corrupt and, seemingly at least, bumbling but they have to survive; Seattle is a much lesser city without the Port. Damn the stadiums, save the Port.


    Posted Sun, Jun 3, 8:42 p.m. Inappropriate

    Organic and healthy isn't what the Port is famous for. Smart Growth isn't smart, and Yuppie everything isn't either.

    I support Longshoremen and I support the new Stadium.

    Bring it on, and let some of it be dirty and gritty.

    Posted Mon, Jun 4, 10:52 a.m. Inappropriate

    While I will concede that the Port of Seattle may have lost site of its core mission to some extent in the 90s, I think the complexity of the port and the region gets lost in Mr. Berger attempting to simplify things for a 1-page opinion piece.

    The Port of Seattle is an industrial port with a long heritage as an industrial port. Those operations create very good-paying blue collar jobs that add to the strength and diversity of our regional economy. I and my colleagues remain committed to sustaining a vibrant industrial port.

    With respect to Fisherman's Terminal, we have seen a renaissance at the terminal as (1) this and prior Port Commissions have approved over $60 Million in modernization projects and improvements, from swapping out the old wood docks for sturdier, safer concrete docks and upgrading utilities to replacing seawalls, at the same time that (2) other west coast fishing ports have closed down. The Port is very committed to maintaining a strong maritime fishing cluster in Seattle as it strengthens the overall maritime sector.

    At the same time, the Port is in the business of moving people as well as cargo. Over 33 Million passengers went through Sea-Tac Airport in 2011, an all-time record, and around 800 Thousand left from Port of Seattle cruise terminals on cruises to Alaska last summer. Every time a cruise ship leaves from our port, it brings in $2.1 Million into our local economy (and by the way, employs lots of longshore in good-paying jobs - whether someone considers it less "manly" work than handling containers is their own personal value judgment).

    Travel and tourism is a $16 Billion/year industry for the State of Washington, it is very important to our economy. That prior commissions have made judgments that we could have both traditional industrial and "gentrified" tourism terminals co-existing I believe was extremely far-sighted and something the region has greatly benefited from. It is simplistic analysis in my opinion to say that my predecessors on the Port Commission, who recognized that we have a multifaceted port with complex interests and operations, somehow were not committed to our industrial past.

    We can have both a beautiful Central Waterfront attracting sightseers, diners and pedestrians as well as vibrant industrial operations to the north and the south.

    The trick is maintaining freight corridors. The Port acquiesced to the stadium district 30-some years ago based on promises about adding freight corridors that have never fully materialized. Those projects needed to be funded and move ahead. The city should not risk endangering industrial operations that account for 35% of its tax base.

    Posted Mon, Jun 4, 5:46 p.m. Inappropriate

    I'm not sure how the Port could possibly execute its desires to expand operations without funding the infrastructure projects, too.

    The risk doesn't go away just because the Port is making a buck on increasing traffic through Port expansions.

    A funnel becomes less efficient by trying to push more through it.

    So, I look forward to the funding proposals that allow the Port to expand, until then, I wouldn't want to risk what we already have.

    Unfortunately, the traffic argument the Port is using also can be applied on a much larger scale with the Port.

    Mr Baker

    Posted Thu, Jun 7, 2:59 p.m. Inappropriate

    ”The impacts of the tunnel are still to come and unknown. The post-Alaskan Way Viaduct redevelopment of the central waterfront will have impacts on the Port and SoDo as well, in fact already is having them during the construction phase.”

    Let’s see…what could this impact be? I think most of us know that one of the impacts will be grinding gridlock. So, the post-AWV impact on the Port will be grinding gridlock. And for SoDo…? That’s right class…grinding gridlock. And the article admits that the area is already “having them” during the construction phase. (them = grinding gridlock)

    Wouldn’t you think that before you spent billions of dollars knocking down one of the most efficient north/south arterials in the city you would have some serviceable replacement? Wasn’t that very point kicked around in this forum for at least a couple of years?


    Posted Fri, Jun 8, 9:54 a.m. Inappropriate

    I guess I don't understand the whole transit-density thing, except as it plays into the few landholders of the 3 square miles of downtown where city "leaders" feel they have to situate everything.

    Given a robust network of LINK (eventually) and buses, it seems like the ideal place for a new arena would be nowhere near Century and Safeco. It would be where land is cheap and where they can put a nice big free parking lot, and a transit station.

    The idea of spending billions on light rail is so that people can jump on at any point, and quickly get to another point. If that is true, then you can spread the important destinations anywhere along the system.


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