|Count 'em! A bridge will cost at least ten Courthouse Squares|
|Marion St. Bridge = 29.7 rating, "structurally deficient"|
collapsed Skagit Bridge was 57.4
The Center St. Bridge (61.8) is only marginally better than the Skagit!
|Traffic and congestion is not growing right now|
Who again is peddling inaccurate or inadequate information? Who hasn't sat down for a formal meeting with critics of the bridge? Who argues circularly from prior commitments that "we need a bridge because we need a bridge?"
Seriously, where's the fiction and fallacy?
(For more on this see Hinessight and the collated comments.)
So, now that we've exhausted (at least temporarily) the well of irony, outrage, and snark, a more interesting question is: What will it take to be persuasive?
The sentiment for a bridge is mostly a political discourse in which facts are nearly irrelevant. The political discourse swirls and moves practically independent of fact; it's like this autonomous system with its own inertia and motive force. It's much less a conversation than the mirroring of like speaking to like in the partisan echo chamber.
It is not anything remotely resembling a "scientific" discourse. It is more like a religious discourse, with articles of faith and a priori assumptions that exist in a non-falsifiable domain apart from any question of verifiable fact or actuarial probability.
It may not be possible to be persuasive with fact and probability. Critics of the bridge have been trying that for a few years now.
But if we pretend the discourse is still amenable to fact, I'd love to see the SJ write a piece, "what it would take to convince us the bridge is a bad idea." Let's see the contours and evidentiary burden of that case laid out.
For real - Under what conditions would you finally agree the proposed third bridge is a bad idea?
|Walking - overrated!|
- Decreasing carbon emissions is no longer necessary; either we've solved climate change or we've learned that we were wrong all along - or we just plain give up on climate change
- The plateau in the past decade of car miles traveled and trips is definitely past, and disruptive technologies like the google car (and google scooter!) mean everybody's "driving" lots more and we need a huge expansion of road. The fourth bike boom of the early 2000s was just a blip among urban hipsters, and stinky seatmates on transit are definitely out of favor
- We've solved our road funding problem, and not only have enough to repair and seismically maintain all our bridges and roads, but have transportation budget surpluses to build and invest in a whole bunch of expensive shiny new things
- And in light of Bent Flyvberg's research that shows very large cost-overruns on mega projects are highly likely, anticipated cost overruns on the third bridge will still be worthwhile and our surpluses are so great, overruns of 100% or more are trivial and won't affect other budgeting
- Walking is shown to be overrated, and wanting things like "walkable neighborhoods" and "walkable downtowns" is a quaint relic of neo-Victorian, anti-modern nostalgia. Obesity and diabetes and other public health problems are licked. The future is the suburb and exurb that doesn't require walking at all
I think those are the main points. I'd love to see that pro-bridge argument.