Tell me if this sounds familiar:
SEATTLE — Here in the capital of the Pacific Northwest, where commercial jets were born but now the mayor brags about biking to work, questions over commerce, climate change and community are converging on a couple of fateful miles of asphalt.
Is the Alaskan Way Viaduct overlooking Elliott Bay on the western edge of downtown just an elevated relic, another old road that needs to be replaced? Or is it something more, a symbol whose fate will help shape not only this city but the rest of urban — and New Urbanist — America?
“It’s not just a highway anymore,” Mayor Mike McGinn said. “It’s about the type of city we are and what are our priorities.”
Mr. McGinn, a former state chairman of the Sierra Club, centered his campaign on opposition to the tunnel. (At a time when greenhouse gas emissions threaten our very existence, he asked, why build something that encourages driving?) Never mind that the tunnel had, at long last, appeared to be a done deal. Mr. McGinn said that instead of a tunnel he wanted to replace the viaduct with a surface boulevard and new public transit options.
With polls tight in the final weeks before the general election, Mr. McGinn hedged, saying he would not necessarily stand in the tunnel’s way. Now that he is in office, he is back to fighting it.
What’s that? It sounds remarkably similar to what’s going on in Louisville these days?
Then click here to read the rest in the New York Times.