Councilmember Licata left office on January 1, 2016.
This website is for archival purposes only, and is no longer updated.



Urban Politics #307: Saving Artists’ Work Space & the 619 Western Building

February 14th, 2011

The impending loss of the 619 Western Building resulting from Alaska Way Viaduct tunneling presents 3 problems: finding new accommodations for the displaced artists; the building by law must be saved or replaced in a manner that retains the historical character of the neighborhood; and potential impacts on Pioneer Square’s cultural vitality must be mitigated by relocating as many displaced artists as possible within the neighborhood.


Urban Politics #305: The State Legislature and Surface Solution for Alaska Way Viaduct

January 24th, 2011

While the debate will rage on about whether the state will pay for any cost overruns on the deep bore tunnel, the flip side of the issue is whether Seattle would keep the money already allocated to this project for a surface road alternative, as the Mayor prefers.


Urban Politics #294: Tunnel Costs

June 7th, 2010

The question that has dominated the discussion of the deep bore tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been: who will pay for any cost overruns? The answer is the State with regards to the contract for the tunnel. The reason is that the contractor that wins the design-build contract for the tunnel will be signing a contract with the State of Washington, not the City of Seattle. The contract will oblige WSDOT to cover risks associated with the tunnel. The City of Seattle will not be contractually obligated to cover cost overruns for the tunnel.


Urban Politics #227: Viaduct Vote

January 8th, 2007

I have drafted and will introduce, along with Councilmember David Della, a measure for a Seattle public vote on a replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The measure calls for a vote between an elevated option and a tunnel. The measure would implement the Governor’s proposal for a vote of Seattle residents.


Urban Politics #220: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Votes

September 22nd, 2006

The Council voted first in committee, then in Full Council. They delayed the vote on a resolution calling for a funding agreement between the City on the State on who would cover funding shortfalls or cost overruns.

I voted “no” on the ordinance which would proceed with the tunnel option and eliminate an elevated highway option. I voted in favor of a public vote and an agreement on cost overruns. I introduced the funding agreement measure and one of the public vote resolutions.


Urban Politics #219: Public Vote on the Tunnel

August 10th, 2006

On August 3, I announced my intent to introduce a resolution to the City Council calling for a public vote on a tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The proposal calls for a public vote on the following “Yes” or “No” question:

“Should Seattle construct a tunnel to replace the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct?”


Urban Politics #144: Alaskan Way Viaduct Update

December 5th, 2002

This edition of Urban Politics is an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct. I’ll first give an update on events since August, then provide my perspective at the end.


Urban Politics #137: Forum On Replacing The Viaduct

July 31st, 2002

The future of the Alaskan Way Viaduct could be the biggest capital investment the City of Seattle faces in the next 50 years. Cost estimates vary from $3.5 billion to rebuild the viaduct to over $11.6 billion for a tunnel. The City Council passed a resolution favoring a tunnel option, and the Washington State Department of Transportation has announced a tunnel as their preferred alternative. But shouldn’t we be asking if a tunnel is an affordable option?


Urban Politics #136: Viaduct Cost & Neighborhood Gathering

July 17th, 2002

The resolution, sponsored by Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, lists the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Project as a high priority, and lays out a set of principles to guide City actions on the project, such as addressing safety risks, phasing of construction, to funding and design. The resolution prioritizes an underground tunnel “to the maximum extent practicable and feasible,” for the portion along the waterfront, and to a portal north of Roy Street in lower Queen Anne.