One of the ugliest parts of Seattle is the Alaska Way Viaduct. It is a monstrous 1950s era highway slicing downtown Seattle away from the waterfront. It also took serious damage in the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. Parts of it are sinking. The next major quake Seattle has will simply bring down the Viaduct, along with its traffic.
Since the quake, Seattle has been having a dialogue about what to do with in. Six year later, it looks like there is a solution.
So what do you do when presented with a chance to undo a terrible design flaw? What do you do when you have the opportunity to reconnect the city to a vibrant waterfront? Waht do you do when you have the opportunity to bury the traffic, improve mass transit, reduce noise, and improve porperty values/tax revenue?
Well, if you're Seattle, WA, you throw out the opportunity like a used tissue. And you decide to tear down the Viaduct and replace it with a new Viaduct.
We've done this before. We had 4 public votes in favor of the new Monorail. But just to be sure, we had a 5th to kill it. We could have had a fantastic transportation system that would have lasted decades and established Seattle as a 21 Century Class city.
Instead, because we are too cheap and afraid to do something cool, we squander. We cheap out on our infrastructure. We take the opportunity to really improve the city and treat it like a homeless person coming to the house of Thanksgiving. Sure we'll talk to them and maybe offer to give them some food, but really, the other people in the house are trying to sneak him out that back door, becuase it might not work out well.
Seattle will never be a world class city while it is busy cheaping out on its infrastructure and short changing the future.