Voters to decide future of Seattle's waterfront

One option is a new elevated park in Seattle that may reuse part of the viaduct.

SEATTLE -- It's been said that the best thing about getting stuck in Viaduct traffic is the view. Kate Martin wants to protect that.

"We have a change to really, really super charge and improve the downtown waterfront plan," she said Monday, while standing in Victor Steinbrueck park.

She's the chief proponent of I-123, which seeks to create a one-mile long, elevated park, to replace the aging Alaskan Way viaduct. Contrary to her original vision, it only includes 400 feet of the aging structure.

She views it as a Seattle equivalent to New York's High Line.

"You can see it all from there, you can barely see anything at street level," she says.

The issue is whether it conflicts with Seattle's current plans for a grand waterfront promenade, to be constructed after the tunnel is complete.

Ivar's President Bob Donegan seems to think so.

"It would end it, and that would be unfortunate. We've gone through 7 years of public process, thousands of meetings, tens of thousands of people have been involved in the process, nobody has been involved in Kate's process," Donegan said Monday.

He's been part of a group of people encouraging people to vote no on I-123. He believes it has few financing details, and only a loose design.

"It's goofy. In the scheme of all the goofy adventures we've gone through, and the viaduct and the tunnel, this is up there near the top," he said.

Martin says she knows there are some "hurt feelings," but discounts the negative attention on the project, saying it's the result of "pretty small cabal."

Voters will decide next Tuesday just whose vision they share.

Copyright 2016 KING


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