Sunday, May 15, 2011

Continuing BS Artists Against 'Big Dig West'

The Sierra Club anti environmentalists are at it contiunually.

People think of them as about protecting wildernesses.

Yet when it comes to projects allowing and reconciling greater amounts of human activity within a given developed footprint- this is where they instead go the other way. DON'T build ANY new vehicular road capacity. Especially grade seperated, including tunneled.

This is a strategy of employing simple slogans to stir emotions and a disregard of any facts that would be seen as insane applied anywhere else.

For instance "Big Dig West', regarding Seattle's planned Route 99 Tunnel, conjuring up night mare visions of construction and operationable disasters, ignoring variable of construction let alone such basic things as featherbedded non competitive bid contracts, shoddy concrete, and some highly questionble design details, such as a guardrail design, say upon a right turning curved ramp, to sever people's arms, and worse, dropped ceiling of 6000lb concrete panels relying upon mere adhesive with its extremely unforgiving narrow window of acceptable curing conditions.

Are we suposed to think that such matters are unique to the Boston CAT Project, nor not matters of concern with anything else? Shoddy construction and contracting OK with say rail projects and transit oriented development?

Shoddy arguments abound with the Sierra Club arguments:

1. It lacks exits. True, though the tunnel would serve as 2/2 or 3/3 express lanes of a Route 99 with an express/local 'split', with the tunnel's parallelling local lanes being the new Alaska Way waterfront boulevard.

2. It encourages driving. Yes, allowing and reconcling greater human activity within a given developed footprint. It does not stop the development of transit and transit oriented development.

3. It encourages the production of more greenhouse gasses. It might do that, though that hardly need mean the release of such gasses into the general atmosphere, because even though a free-flowing road without traffic lights allowing more traffic, it is also a great way with the tunnel enclosure to concentrate and collect such gases for producing algae fuel.

The Sierra Club alternative of no vehicular tunnel, all vehicular traffic on the surface might well produce just as much- conceivably with fewer autos, but more stop-start events- think of wasted time & fuel and far greater vehicular - pedestrian conflict, and of course a 100% release of such gasses produced into the general atmosphere.

Accompanying this are ideas that are either in their own right commendable, such as more transit, and others that are not thought out to their feasibility. A particularly egregious example being the idea of improving Seattle's parallelling I-5- sure some extra lanes would be nice, but how do they fit beneath Seattle I-95's downtown Freeway Park?

Has anyone instead looked at the idea of a 99 Tunnel with greater capacity, with a larger bore (2 levels as planned but with 3 lane plus a shoulder rather then the planned 2 lanes plus shoulder in each direction), with planning for a future parallel tube with connections to serve as an express I-5 relief route? Drilling bored tunnels beneath Seattle is going to be infinitely less destruptive and a greater value then propping up Freeway Park as downtown Seattle I-5 is widened. The no 99 Tunnel, add lanes to parallel Seatle I-5, idea combination disregard feasibility and bang per buck.

Of course we have the standard doctrine.

But that just happens to serve petroleum by convincing people that there are simly NO alternative, we must tightern our belw while the elites don't.

Must punishing people for the sins of the elites be "environmentalist", or rather elitist?

No comments: