A plan that would have built an elevated park in downtown Seattle — while effectively killing the city’s waterfront redesign almost a decade in the making — was strongly rejected by voters Tuesday.
A plan that would have built an elevated park in downtown Seattle — while effectively killing the city’s waterfront redesign almost a decade in the making — was soundly rejected by more than 80 percent of voters whose ballots were counted Tuesday.
The city’s plan to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a two-mile waterfront promenade was jeopardized by Initiative 123, spearheaded by former mayoral candidate Kate Martin.
Martin, who raised more than $400,000 and gathered more than 30,000 signatures last year so voters could decide on her idea for a mile-long “garden bridge” that would connect to a restored and retrofitted 400-foot piece of the viaduct, said she would leave politics entirely after the defeat.
“We’re shellacked,” she said. “You don’t come back from 19 percent.”
Most Read Local Stories
- Microsoft pledges $500 million to tackle housing crisis in Seattle, Eastside
- In Seattle's Sodo district, frustration mounts amid RVs, drugs and skyrocketing crime VIEW
- Where to see the total lunar eclipse this weekend
- Navy dumps hazardous substances including copper, zinc into Puget Sound, Washington state AG says
- Video released of Seattle police sergeant who sat in a chair in front of a man's workplace, seeking an apology WATCH
She had hoped voters would embrace her idea as Seattle’s version of New York’s High Line park.
James Corner, who designed High Line park and opposed Martin’s initiative, will be the lead architect in the city’s plan, which features broad, landscaped pedestrian bridges and nine acres of parks. Its design was about 60 percent completed last month.
Opponents — including Seattle Parks Foundation and Seattle Aquarium — spent more than $300,000 to defeat the plan and keep the city-supported waterfront plan moving along.
Sandeep Kaushik, a consultant to the “No on I-123” campaign, said he was overwhelmed by the support.
- U.S. Senate election results: Patty Murray, Chris Vance
- Jay Inslee, Bill Bryant head to a gubernatorial matchup in November
- Voters soundly reject elevated waterfront park for Seattle waterfront
- $290 million Seattle housing levy approved
- Pramila Jayapal takes lead in race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
- Erin Jones, Chris Reykdal lead in race for state schools superintendent
- Primary is round 1 in contest to rule Washington state legislature
- Adam Smith takes big lead to keep 9th Congressional District seat
- Chief Justice Madsen to face Kittitas prosecutor in general
- Hopefuls vie for lands commissioner, lieutenant governor and other statewide offices
- Snohomish County criminal-justice sales tax trailing
- Comprehensive election results
- Live reactions on election night
“I’ve seen a lot of elections and have never seen that kind of margin before,” Kaushik said. “I think the voters have spoken loud and clear here tonight with this election.”
The initiative had no specific funding plan.
Gerry Johnson, an attorney who is also on the board of the nonprofit Friends of Waterfront Seattle, the largest financial contributor to the “No on I-123” campaign, said that the city already has secured state funding for road improvements.
The rest of the project, estimated at slightly more than $700 million, would be largely funded by a proposed property tax on the downtown central business district — the people who will see the most economic benefit from the city’s newest attraction.
Johnson said the city also will rely on philanthropy to help fund the project.