Bill Finkbeiner, the former Republican state senate majority leader, has an op-ed in the Seattle Times urging lawmakers to give Sound Transit the full $15 billion taxing authority it needs to extend light rail to Everett, Tacoma, Redmond, West Seattle and Ballard.
Today, when we wonder how we are going to get from here to there in the future, the light-rail system, with all of its critics and detractors, looks like our best hope.
Somewhat fortuitously, our new growth seems to be centering in our urban cores. This is a sharp contrast to the last growth cycles, which saw new homes expand to ever distant exurbs. This new density increases the number of people who can realistically be moved in their daily lives by light-rail infrastructure and makes an even stronger case for the transportation solutions being offered by Sound Transit.
The Sound Transit board has asked the Legislature for the authority to present a $15 billion mass-transit funding package to voters in 2016, and the Legislature needs to give them that full authority, now.
Interestingly, the Seattle Times merely describes Finkbeiner as “a former state legislator,” rather than the Republican majority leader that he was (you know, back before the Republican Party went totally tea-bagger crazy). Not sure why they would want to hide this biographical detail from readers, as for all the cogent arguments that he makes, it’s Finkbeiner’s Republican pedigree that is the hook here.
A Republican enthusiastically endorses expanding light rail. That’s the story here.
That it is a story, well, that’s a whole nother story.