In my opinion, and I've stated this other places, the answer may be most of the above:
I was a Surface proponent but that thing got wider and wider, and had all those stoplights, pedestrian friendly stoplight timing, that a bypass tunnel looked like a needed thing. In fact, I was, and to a great degree still am, a believer that we will end up with both (of some sort).
I-5 "improvements" means eliminating a downtown exit. That may be something we look at having to do in the future anyway.
What we are not ever going to get from the state is a through-tunnel after a surface option has been developed.
What we would get with going surface is the State always having a say in anything we run on the surface, anything.
Bury the state through-tunnel first, work on surface transit next, make getting through Seattle completely the state's problem. That is the last thought, or statement, that I have had on this subject.
Roger Valdez, Tunnel hater, is this week's Seattle upzone cheerleader, by me, August 7, 2010
Today the Seattle Times woke up to the fact that a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct would put a lot of cars on surface streets absent a significant transit component.
That is the next step in building a complete alternative to what we have today. A bypass tunnel, a wider surface street for local traffic, and an obvious need to mitigate people movement with more mass transit is where we are at.
No matter what the option was going to be, we will need more mass transit going into the future. It is unfortunate the the Mayor of Seattle has chosen the the path he has, for he has hurt this city's ability to lobby the state legislature for more taxing authority.
From today's Seattle Times:
No proposal exists for Highway 99 buses between Sodo and South Lake Union. James Kelly, co-founder of the new pro-tunnel group Enough, said transit should operate in the tunnel.Tunnel would mean more traffic on waterfront, Seattle Times Newspaper
The pedestrian group Feet First and operators of Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour have worried about seemingly vague ideas for managing increased traffic through historic Pioneer Square. Tour CEO Sunny Spiedel urges the city to demand answers before the state signs its construction contracts.
"Done poorly," she said, "this could ruin either our fragile neighborhood or our connection to the new waterfront."
Ample off-street bicycle trails appear in the Sodo design, but the plan from Pioneer Square to the Olympic Sculpture Park at the north end of Belltown remains a mystery. Some bike lanes, or a raised "cycle track," would be part of the boulevard, said Eric Tweit, a Seattle transportation project manager.
Off-street trails are to be decided. Seattle has hired design firm James Corner Field Operations to consider such things, as it designs nine acres of promenade between the boulevard and Puget Sound.
David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said the state traffic predictions tend to assume long-term growth when, in fact, overall driving in Seattle was flat through the 2000s.
Two things there: a plan has resources, like money, so there isn't an intracity bus plan to mitigate the people movement. Somehow the Surface+Transit Option would have gotten state support for transit and the Tunnel+Transit Option never will.
The Tunnel opponents are both saying that the Tunnel+Transit Option dumps too many cars on surface streets (as if a surface option wouldn't) and that there will not be as many cars on the road as the state is predicting.
There either will be too many cars, or not. Glad we have that settled.
After the transit portion is secured the next effort should be to go after eliminating one of the I-5 exits under the Washington State Convention Center to increase throughput on I-5.
If people care to remember, I-405 was supposed to act as a bypass around a constrained I-5 running through Seattle. The real answer there is to increase the throughput on I-5 no matter what option was to be chosen.
The answer is:All of the above.