Still the silliest argument in all of the the viaduct arguments (which to me is the ultimate in Seattle centric navel gazing) is the world class city theme (whether it be here or here). We should do something because Seattle is “world class.” Well, whether Seattle is world class is open to argument, but to put that argument out, seems to point to other cities and say “not world class.”

Not in the world class: Tacoma and the I-705.

And, I’d like to point out again that when I first complained about this “word class” theme I was wrong to point to Portland, which of course made the right decision when they took down their own waterfront highway and rededicated the money to transit.

Would anyone make the silly argument that Tacoma is a world class city? Of course not, but that it isn’t has absolutely no bearing on whether I-705 was the right thing to do for Tacoma. 705 provides easy access from I-5 into downtown Tacoma, and up into the waterfront in the Stadium district, but at the same time it also cuts downtown Tacoma off from the waterfront. Its also noisy and not that pretty looking.

Whether a particular highway is built should not be based on what a city thinks of itself. On the other hand, one could argue that because Seattle has easy freight access from their waterfront is one reason why Seattle is “world class.”