Background

Citizens for Seattle Tube was started by David Petrich, Editor for Puget Sound Magazine, in early 2007 to encourage Seattle voters to turn down Measure 2 which would have given approval to construct a new elevated viaduct along the city’s waterfront. At the time, a cut-and-cover tunnel option along the waterfront was deemed to be too expensive as it was compared in scale and complexity to Boston’s “Big Dig” project.

With a previous career in design and engineering, Petrich believed that a simple solution was being overlooked by state and city officials–(that is to build an alternative route while the other remains in use during construction). It was envisioned that upon completion of the new route, Seattle could then partner with developers to create a world-class waterfront that would be on par with other major tourist destination cities.

After discussing the idea with a few city engineers and conducting an informal site survey, Petrich proposed that the most obvious location for the new route was to bore tunnels under 6th and 7th Avenues to connect the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel with South 6th Ave on the east side of Quest Field. An elevated expressway over Seattle’s south industrial areas was envisioned to connect Spokane St and 1st Avenue South.

These ideas, were initially mentioned in an article published by Puget Sound Magazine (PugetSoundMagazine.com) The positive response from public supporters prompted Petrich to launch SeattleTube.org. After Measure 2 was defeated, it seemed as if the Washington State Department of Transportation and Governor Christine Gregoire had heard the message loud and clear–the public did not want to lose a critical arterial route through the city during a prolonged period of construction. Seattle voters also recognized that Seattle had the opportunity to build a much more welcoming destination and did not want to doom the city to another fifty years of traffic along the waterfront.

Since then, the SeattleTube.org web site was maintained to remind voters of other options. Until recently, it seamed that common sense was going to prevail at WSDOT. However, here we are again saying “NO” to building a new viaduct along the waterfront. Hence, this December 2008, Petrich went back to work to promote the idea of an uptown bored tunnel option to show Seattle residents that there is another option. With a background in media communications, Petrich plans to participate as an interim information officer for Citizens Seattle Tube.

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