The stunning hypocrisy of the Seattle arena ‘no’ vote
Why do we call people fans? Because they’re fanatics and they won’t soon forget the stunning hypocrisy behind the vote to deny a simple street vacation to build a new Seattle arena to house a future NBA and NHL franchise.
There were two main reasons behind the votes from the Seattle City Council against the arena, and both are untenable.
First, the claim is the arena in Seattle’s SoDo district would cause traffic. However, studies suggest minimal traffic impact so these concerns are bunk. But yes, we’d get some more traffic in the area on game nights (though the council ignores the fact that so many use transit to get to the stadiums, not cars). But traffic? So what? These would be temporary traffic jams, mostly in the evening or on weekends.
The council suddenly cares about traffic congestion? The City of Seattle actively creates permanent traffic jams with bike-only lanes on busy streets that can’t handle the cars, let alone bike lanes that 3.4 percent of the commuting population uses. Yet we’re going to continue down the path of creating more traffic jams with bike- and bus-only lanes. The city has actively recruited major companies to call Seattle home, such as Expedia, which will cause even more nightmarish traffic jams. Suddenly the city council cares about traffic? Right.
The second claim is that this will hurt jobs at the Port of Seattle. No, automation and technological advances are hurting port jobs. But, more alarmingly, saying “no” to the future arena cost thousands of people living wage jobs.
Not only would there be considerable construction jobs, but the arena would have employed many jobs for people living in the community. Particularly, it could have catered to low-income communities that would have been served by the very easy and cost-effective way to get to the arena: light rail. There would have likely been a boom around the arena that would have also helped create jobs and improve the economy. But we’ll get in the way of progress to appease unions working at the port?
This was a ridiculous vote. I don’t say this as a fan of NBA. I wasn’t even a fan of bringing another arena to the area (I think the region would be better served by an arena on the Eastside, Tukwila or Tacoma). But faulty, hypocritical reasoning? That bugs me.