Thursday, February 12, 2009

Debate Response.

The oral presentation of the local and pertinent debate surroudning the Alaskan Way viaduct proved lively. To see both sides of the argument explored was interesting, but even more so in light of our current economic recession.

While the safety of our citizens is important, I wonder if spending 4 billion dollars on a tunnel is where our priorities should be focused. With the recent closure of five Seattle Public Schools, infrastructure is not the type priority in our city--the thousands of displaced students are and should continue to be. Granted, we can't ignore our cities infrastructure. However, there are options that would eleviate costs. There was a hybrid tunnel/highway model proposed by a group that would end up saving money and still increase infrastructure safety.

The debate itself was lively. One debater, Nick, seemed as if he was not incredibly prepared. Issues were often repeated (especially the ecological impact) again and again with little gain. When he did mention Seattle Public Schools, however, I began to pay more attention. I realized that the debater themselves do not ultimately persuade. It is rather the narrative--connected through personal experience that attracts listeners. Having worked in schools for years, I have an invested emotional interest in the preservation of our schools. To know that 4 billion is going towards a tunnel rather than our schools is disheartening and automatically put me on the opposing side.

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