Anti-tunnel rally in Seattle tries to build opposition to referendum

Aug 1, 2011

At a rally in downtown Seattle late this afternoon roughly 60 protesters marched on city hall to show their opposition to the waterfront tunnel scheduled to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The protestors carried a 25-foot replica of what they said represented the “monster tunnel that eats money.”

A smaller group of tunnel supporters also showed up with props to argue that killing the tunnel would cause too much congestion.

The group rallying in opposition to Referendum 1, the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel replacement measure on the Aug. 16 ballot, urged a “No” vote to send a signal about public opinion of the project. Strictly speaking, the referendum is just an advisory vote regarding the authority of Seattle’s city council, but these folks feel it’s important to send that signal loud and clear. 

The group argues:

  • The project is too expensive and won’t solve congestion. 
  • Expensive tolls (as much as $5 at rush hour) will keep drivers from using it.

Instead, they say money should be spent on more mass transit alternatives.

Meanwhile, tunnel supporters say the decision’s been made, and they’re already mailing out glossy brochures.