“If no one wants to pay for it, why build it?”

[ Governor Gregoire speaking at the tunnel legislation signing ceremony today at the Seattle Aquarium ]

Mayoral candidate Michael McGinn said that yesterday, in reference to the plan to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct with a deep bore tunnel. Today Governor Gregoire is scheduled to sign the bill that authorizes the tunnel.

The conventional wisdom on this is that the tunnel is a done deal, we should all be grateful that a decision was finally made, and it’s time to move on. From this perspective, McGinn’s anti-tunnel position would seem to be a very risky, and perhaps even foolishly naive political move. But if you ask me, it demonstrates the kind of integrity and leadership we desperately need if we hope to successfully transform our society before it’s too late.

Conventional wisdom doesn’t cut it any more.