Friday, November 11, 2005

''The Mayor's Next Moves''

Yesterday he covered the Seattle City Council. Today, Belltowner turns his attention to the Mayor's office: "Greg Nickels will be returning for another four years as Seattle's mayor.

You might be tempted to file that under "s%#@ I knew six months ago." He's got a lot on his plate, to be sure: viaduct replacement, downtown urban growth, crime, mass transit, and more.

The Viaduct

The Mayor will get his 2 billion dollars from the State of Washington, with the defeat of initiative 912. He must now find an additional 2 billion. Some will come from the Federal government, Army Corp of Engineers, but most will be drawn regionally. The folks in the know are saying 2006 will include a transportation initiative to pay for the rest of the viaduct replacement, state route 520, and state route 405. It is likely to include funds for an expansion of Link Light Rail to Northgate.

Downtown Development

The Mayor has been successful in pushing his policy of building more residential housing downtown. But what form will new development take? Will new downtown construction look like The Newmark, an ugly soviet style condominium? Or something better, such as a few of the new Belltown area buildings? New parks in the city should look more like the new Cal Anderson Park, and less like the old (and current) Denny Park.

Public Safety

Unbeknownst outside the downtown area, their is a serious problem with crime. Their are a great many drug-addicted, homeless individuals who are ill-served by our current system. Mayor Nickels would be wise to listen to council gadfly Nick Licata, whose Civil Streets initiative was ignored in an election year.

Mass Transit

Not certain is the city's response to the implosion of the Monorail. Will Sound Transit serve West Seattle or Ballard. Will the city expand the streetcar beyond South Lake Union? Who knows what Greg's thinking. Why not run a streetcar down first avenue? Why not anywhere else besides SLU? Argh..."-from Pike Place Politics.

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