Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Politics of Status Quo

Richard Layman covers all of the city races where transportation issues are downing candidates and opposition candidates are making hay of driver unrest and fear of breaking the status quo. Greg Nickels is taken out due to the tunnel and candidates in New York City are already saying Janette Sadik Kahn is out if they are elected. That would be a crime in itself but it shows the fear of change is real.

6 comments:

Jon said...

You could Portland mayor Sam Adams to that list. Though I'm not sure that Sam Adams and Greg Nickels political problems have anything to do with transportation views of voters. Greg Nickels wants the tunnel, one of his opponents who is involved with the Sierra Club wants the surface alignment which seems more pro-transit and pro-urbanism than Nickels Viaduct position.

on streetsblog it seems most democratic voters in nyc hate the nyc democratic politicans. i also understand bloomberg is still the favorite in the polls.

Ed said...

I wouldn't worry about Sadik-Khan, or about livable streets in NYC. Bloomberg is going to win in a landslide, barring something unforeseen. The pandering of the Dems is disappointing and all too typical of the NY Dem party, but it's also ineffective, and a lot of JSK's pro-bike/ped changes have proven popular (e.g., the spaces in Midtown).

Richard Layman said...

I'd say "some" of the races. The thing with Sam Adams isn't fit to discuss in a family newspaper as they say, don't you think that's what has to do with his problems, not transportation?

But the point isn't whether or not to worry, it's about what is happening and the perception. So the reaction to janette s-k by Democratic candidates is very troublesome.

Richard Layman said...

Oh, and I can't claim to really know Seattle in and out, but the tunnel seems to make more sense to me, given the spatial organization of downtown and the centrality of the route, and the amount of traffic running on the highway, which likely you wouldn't want to drop onto city streets ordinarily.

Alon Levy said...

JSK needs to be kicked out, like, yesterday. She's running the city as if it were a theme park.

strassgefuhl said...

I don't live in Seattle, but I have long-term plans to move there permanently and I follow regional planning and politics issues there pretty religiously. I actually think McGinn is refreshing as a candidate and reflects opposition to Seattle's "tradition" of constant political gridlock moreso than any kind of real anti-urban sentiment in a very green region.

I agree with Jon: McGinn's proposal emphasizes transit expansion and a modest widening of Interstate 5, which will be much less disruptive in the latter case, more supportive of good urbanism in the former case and far, far less expensive in both cases. The deep-bore freeway is an ineffective and anti-urban bypass that replaces a skyway that didn't really need replacement anyway.