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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 9, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 10
Seattle residents petition city officials to conserve opportunities for Battery Street tunnel
Section One
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Seattle residents petition city officials to conserve opportunities for Battery Street tunnel

SEATTLE - A growing number of Seattle residents are adding their names to a petition asking the city to conserve opportunities for new uses for the Battery Street tunnel, 2.75 acres of valuable real estate situated in the high-density neighborhood of Belltown. They oppose the slated landfill of the tunnel but support it being decommissioned as a roadway once the new SR 99 Deep Bore Tunnel opens in the fall.

The Battery Street tunnel, built in 1952, has served the city of Seattle for over 65 years as the primary connector between the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Aurora Avenue North. The tunnel runs for seven blocks and offers 120,000 square feet (2.75 acres) that with modifications could be used for open space, public recreation, stormwater collection, social service programming, bike and pedestrian transit, and revenue-generating private-public partnerships. Current property values of $1,200 to $2,000 per square foot in Seattle's vibrant Belltown neighborhood mean the tunnel, if preserved, could be valued at over $200 million.

The petition asks city officials to pursue alternatives that allow for removal of the viaduct to proceed without delay but hold off on using a landfill to allow time for experts and the public to engage in a pragmatic visioning process that adaptively reuses this asset.

Aaron Asis, co-founder of the Recharge the Battery initiative, notes that it is a reasonable request. 'At a time of unprecedented growth and change throughout the city of Seattle, we are simply asking for the opportunity to explore alternative uses of public land and better uses of public dollars than the current plan to fill the Battery Street tunnel,' Asis said. 'Our hope is that the Battery Street tunnel can become a model for infrastructural reuse around the world, and a valuable asset right here, for our city, [county], and state.'

Interested residents have until April 2 to add their voices to the petition: bit.ly/KillTheFill.

Recharge the Battery is a community-driven initiative working to promote future opportunities for the Battery Street tunnel. Through public engagement programs and community outreach efforts, [it is] elevating interest in exploring the past, present, and future possibilities for this underappreciated infrastructural icon.

For more information, contact Aaron Asis at (206) 406-4044 or aaron@rechargethebattery.org.

Further information about the initiative is also available at www.rechargethebattery.org and www.rechargethebattery.org/press-kit.

Courtesy of Recharge the Battery

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Seattle residents petition city officials to conserve opportunities for Battery Street tunnel
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