Real estate salesman Dino Rossi will introduce his transportation plan Tuesday morning, and I can’t help but wonder what it might include. More freeways and wider bridges? Foot-ferries and monorails? An utterly fucking ridiculous deep bore tunnel? Well one thing I’m pretty damn sure it won’t include are HOV lanes, because as he told KUOW’s Ross Reynolds back in January of 2003, Rossi doesn’t believe in rewarding drivers for (gasp) carpooling.[audio:http://horsesass.org/wp-content/uploads/rossi_hov_2003-1-8.mp3]
REYNOLDS: Wouldn’t opening up the HOV lanes during the middle of the day make it harder for those who have voluntarily decided to carpool or those who’ve decided to ride buses – those who some would argue are being good citizens by not driving on the highways – wouldn’t it make it harder for them to get to their destinations when some would argue they should be rewarded with a single lane that they can use exclusively during that part of the day?
ROSSI: Well, you’re absolutely right that there are tie-ups in the middle of the day and much of that is because there are car accidents during the middle of the day, and the whole point of spacing these cars further – improving the capacity on state 405 – would probably relieve a number of those congestion problems, because people wouldn’t be getting hurt and getting in car accidents. Picking people and rewarding them for what you believe or others believe is the proper way to commute I don’t believe is the right method.
There you have it… transportation expert Dino Rossi pinpoints our congestion problem on too many car accidents! So why hasn’t Gov. Gregoire done anything about that, huh?! (I bet it’s because she’s in the pocket of Olympia’s powerful car accident lobby.)
As for carpool lanes, who needs ’em? After all, according to WSDOT, they only “move approximately one third of the people on the freeways in only 18 percent of the vehicles, and carry approximately 52 percent more people per lane than other freeway lanes during prime commuting hours.” And while a 2004 survey showed that 96% of Puget Sound drivers use HOV lanes, and an overwhelming majority consider them a good idea, convenient, and a fair use of taxpayer money… well… I suppose Rossi and his advisers at the Discovery Institute simply know better than us common folk.