Thursday, October 27, 2005

I-605 NIMBY'S:


DON'T PANIC! You haven't missed another initiative! But if you aren't familiar with I-605, you may have missed something far more important. Interstate Highway 605, if constructed, would have far more long-range impact on the State of Washington than most legislation. Bypassing the Seattle urban core with a four-lane, state of the art freeway, I-605 would completely change transportation dynamics in the Puget Sound region.

If constructed...

And that's not likely, considering the OVER MY DEAD BODY atttitude of many prominent Seattleites.

The proposal isn't new. The idea has been kicking around for years. More recently, in May, 2003, this plan, known to some as the "Kemper Freeman plan," was released. Politics being what it is, the plan has come to be associated with David Irons, the Republican currently attempting to pink-slip Ron Sims and a long-time supporter of the plan.

So it's David Irons' Highway...

Enter the NIMBY's...

Washington Conservation Voters opines, "The resulting sprawl in rural King County would devastate the quality of life for thousands of King County residents."

Jumping on the bandwagon, David Goldstein, local liberal pundit [and windmill jouster] wrote on October 25th "With I-605 would come the unmitigated sprawl that accompanies all freeways… exactly the kind of land use policies Irons’ financial backers in the building industry were looking for... So if you want to transform rural King County into an endless swath of strip malls and sub-divisions… vote for Irons.

I've taken the liberty of editing some of the anti-Irons invective from "Goldy's" remarks as unnecessary. Those familiar with Seattle politics will already be aware that Goldy would crawl a mile over broken glass to get another crack at Irons... Furthermore, the personalization is collateral to the issue and the attitudes it generates.

NO, NO, NO! NIMBY!!! Not in my backyard! And not in YOURS, either!

Welcome to liberal Seattle, the land of no... A place where denial seeks to hold back the growth nothing can stop.

Oh, they have their own non-solutions. Most of them have the word "mass" in them, as in mass transit for the masses... Rails: One, two, light, heavy... Busses! Something to get all the masses out of my lane on the Interstate!

Solutions for the other guy. Solutions that are at best poor substitutes and at worst don't work at all.

Liberal Seattle's transportation plan: Patch up MY 520 bridge, rebuild MY viaduct, finish MY HOV lanes, and get your ass on that bus!

Mr Goldstien, I'll personify this and address you directly, even if it means putting words in your mouth - something I'm certain you have done to others:

You know what Seattle is to me? It's a TROLL! A giant one-eyed monster sitting astride the most important north-south road in my state. And every time I have reason to drive north of the troll, I pay a toll: A toll in time, a toll in convenience. A toll dictated by bad planning and growth mis-management spurred on by your denialistic attitude. If Dwight Eisenhower, the great patron of our interstate highways, could see the way your bunch has mis-managed this, he would roll in his grave - with laughter.

I want a way out, a way around. I want I-605.

And I want to remind you of a few things. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Alaskan Way Viaduct. You and others have advocated shutting it down due to safety concerns. While this is obviously cheap grandstanding - common sense says the only thing that will close it down is seeing it reduced to rubble in an earthquake - Let's say we do. Or let's say that quake happens.

Where do the cars go? Back to the main interstate highways. And where does the traffic already there go? It doesn't. You think we have gridlock now, just wait. Just keep waiting - that's what your bunch does best.

Not me. I want that alternative. Every major city in this nation with a properly functioning transportation infrastructure has a beltway-style freeway which bypasses the urban centers. Sure, there are possible downsides. But these days we build with an eye to minimizing impacts and maximizing utility, which is the main reason our roads are so costly.

This much is certain: The alternative to I-605 is unacceptable. The status quo is the alternative, an alternative bound to the past and offering only a continuing deterioration as a future.

If not rural King County, then where? Nowhere, that's where.

You know, when you look at things like this, it's easy to see why there is a Cedar County movement.

Quoting you, Possum:

"Those familiar with Seattle politics will already be aware that Goldy would crawl a mile over broken glass to get another crack at Irons..."

LOL! I'd LOVE to see the DOT build this strip of road for Goldy's enjoyment...except that we'd have to wait 20 years!!!

By the way, this post is the best description of this outrageous transportation fiasco that I have ever seen. Man, you NAILED it!

Mr Write
Great post. Now I'm just a dirt road sagebrushing kind of guy, but isn't 405 supposed to be the beltway over there? So you're thinking of another one?

Actually makes sense. Ever been to Houston? Beltways there form concentric circles with FM (farm to market) spiderweb-spikes joining the city with outlying areas.

I think they are right that it will open up E county areas, but what's the alternative? Keep squishing everyone into one horrid corridor? Put everyone on a Disneyworld Monorail? (wait I think I'll use that last one)
Couldn't agree more, and haven't heard a better description of the situation from anyone!

Sign me up as a supporter of I-605!
Some have looked at a foothills (if you want to call it SR-9 morphing into I-605)transportation corridor that would contain a major N-S freeway with few offramps, maybe rail, natural gas, oil, and electric lines.

This could do a lot of possitive things to get people past King County quickly.

It should happen, but if it did a lot of King County and Seattle politicians would not be happy.

From a long term perspective we do need some Vancouver to Vancouver N-S new transportation routes that bypass the congestion that is happening in the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett-Marysville corridor.
Actually, the SF Bay Area doesn't have a beltway, nor is there really anywhere to put one.

Since I'm too lazy to actually read that .pdf (at least before work) how exactly would the proposed I-605 get past/through/around Issaquah/Samamish without getting up into the mountains?
The real reason Seattlites do not want to open up East King county is that this would increase the supply of houses and the hyper-inflated housing market in the city would implode.
Just like in San Francisco where the only reason they have such high housing prices is because of crippling developement restrictions.
The Seattlites are working their way toward the same thing. If there was all of a sudden hundreds of square miles of land that is able to be developed, convenient and feasible as well, that would kill the $450,000 price tags for the 1000 square foot fixer upper that you see all around Seattle.
Their only hope is to use their socialist policies to keep artificially inflating their prices and then proclaim they are doing it for environmental reason. I bet most actually believe they are doing it for benign reasons, it is typical liberal reasoning. It doesn't matter what the implications are, as long as you say you are doing it because you care.
David Goldstein takes on windmills?
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