Dan Bertolet notes that Downtown business and labor interests have launched a new website that promotes the SR-99 tunnel as good for transit, and then he points out that it isn’t good for transit at all. Just another case of transitwashing.
The Metro funding we were promised isn’t coming. The First Ave/Central Streetcar has next to no political support and no funding. West Seattle RapidRide is sold on the site as if it’s funded by the tunnel project when in fact it’s funded by the 2006 Transit Now vote. In fact, the biggest concern from transit activists with the SR-99 tunnel is the expensive project costs so much that it effectively prevents nearly anything from being invested in transit.
The so-called “Tunnel+Transit” effort looks like an effort to cynically confuse the public into thinking the project has anywhere near the transit service of a better surface/transit option. Maybe those who say we don’t need to open up the viaduct replacement debate again are right, but that’s no excuse to mislead the public about transit service that isn’t going to materialize. Notably, The Seattle Times is listed as a member organization of the effort.
[UPDATE 2/13 (Adam here): I sent some e-mails out inquiring about the website and if the creators of the website had permission of the sponsors and organizations to put their names on the website. There certainly is a difference in saying that someone supports the three-way agreement between the city, county and state, and saying someone supports a website that so blatantly mischaracterizes and bends facts.
The response that I got from e-mailing the website came from Gary Smith of Smith & Stark who said that he understands my concern and he will look into it.]