Law
4:11 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Seattle can vote on viaduct tunnel, judge says

Seattle voters will have a chance to chime in again on the planned deep-bore tunnel that's supposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

That's the word from Judge Laura Middaugh who this afternoon sided with the supporters of a referendum, saying  her goal is to make sure that the voices of the people are heard when a policy decision is made.  She said she had not been able to find any precedents in case law to support her stance.

According Scott Gutierrez, writing on Seattle PI.com, the state and several business and labor groups are expected to appeal.  And it's not clear how this will affect the Seattle City Council's Tuesday deadline for placing a measure on the August primary ballot:

A vote likely would have little real legal effect on the tunnel project itself, but could have broader political implications. The judge ruled last week that only one section of the agreements was subject to a referendum, Gutierrez writes.

Project Seattle Now and the Sierra Club gathered nearly 29,000 signatures in a month to qualify.