We have a once-in-a-hundred-year opportunity to make a grand gesture in favor of the next generation and well beyond as we modify and improve the downtown waterfront. That opportunity cannot be squandered by making our big investment an over-widening of the commercial boardwalk between the buildings on the piers and the designated truck route on Alaskan Way. Yes, the viaduct needs to come down, but that doesn’t mean we need to lose Seattle’s amazing public view resource that the viaduct has delivered for the last 60 years. Cities across the world are creating spectacular elevated parks and now it’s our turn. Initiative 123 would bring a mile-long elevated park on a brand new garden bridge to the waterfront from Pike Market to Century Link Field – the central park our downtown has always lacked – and a Downtown Waterfront Preservation and Development Authority – like Pike Market PDA – that would assure a welcoming environment for all park users and visitors to the waterfront. One architecturally interesting block of the Alaskan Way Viaduct at the base of the Pike Street Hillclimb would be seismically retrofitted and integrated into the design for the park to give us a glimpse of the past and a story to tell. Alaskan Way Elevated Park would be a 6-acre sustainable legacy for the future of Seattle that not only revitalizes the waterfront, but reinvigorates downtown. Remember that the same amount of money will be spent whether we get a spectacular car-free 6 acre open space on a garden bridge or not because Initiative 123 makes strategic improvements to the status quo waterfront plan without increasing the bottom line.
Initiative 123, a triple bottom line winner, will be on the Seattle ballot in August of 2016. Vote YES.