Bong hits (and misses): The Stranger endorses a “no” vote on roads, light rail to Tacoma

It’s not expected: The Stranger is voting “no” on Prop 1. Why?

For roads, this package is the last gasp. No one in his right mind looks at the environmental realities we’re currently facing and says, “Let’s build hundreds of miles of new roads!”

I don’t think most voters consider “environmental realities” when voting on things. People think mostly about things they think affect them directly. Things like the length of time they have to be in their cars between their job in Seattle and their house in Federal Way. That’s why expanding light rail outside of Seattle makes so much sense. Deliver dependable, speedy transit to the places that don’t have it and you will change things for the better.

But not so says The Stranger:

The light rail in this proposal would be paid for with a regressive sales tax instead of user fees (like tolls). The line itself (through a low-density area) may feed sprawl in south King County, instead of promoting the dense urban development that will grow alongside light rail stations in North Seattle.

What, like this?

symphony.jpg

The city of Federal Way is remaking it’s downtown. They are turning parking lots into housing and shops and parks. They are doing everything Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit would have them do, yet The Stranger tells them to “fuck off,” and that they don’t deserve light rail.

If we’re trying to convince people to embrace density, urbanism, and transit, wouldn’t it make sense to bring all of these things to the people who don’t have them?

Let’s look at that last quote again:

The line itself (through a low-density area) may feed sprawl in south King County, instead of promoting the dense urban development that will grow alongside light rail stations in North Seattle.

First, Federal Way is inside the urban growth boundary. That’s where growth is supposed to happen! Second, does transit really create sprawl? Of course not, (unless your name is Knute Berger, in which case transit creates “vertical sprawl,” which is not even a thing). Light rail creates density. That’s the whole point! You put light rail where you want people to live or work! That’s why Ron Sims fought so hard to put light rail down MLK and not Rainier Avenue South. (You are forgiven if you don’t remember that, some years ago, Ron Sims was a die hard champion of light rail.)

I do respect some of the people who are against Roads and Transit. But to play the “useful idiot” for Kemper Freeman Jr. by killing our first chance in 40 years to create a regional mass transit system, that’s too much.

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    Yes, we need to get light rail to federal way.

    But this plan takes 20 years to build it, and the service between federal way and seattle will be slower than existing express bus service.

    We can do better, and ditch the highway expansion while we are at it.

  2. 2

    Piper Scott spews:

    How about facing up to the fact that, as a locally untried and untested transit option, light rail is way too expensive for way too little product?

    More bang for public buck is available with busses; call it “bus bong buck bang.” Say it 10-times and it’s yours.

    Nice thing about buses is their ability to make the occasional left turn off their usual route when the occasion demands it. Flexibility is a wonderful thing!

    When Prop 1 is dumped, a new transportation planning and decision making matrix will have to decide between a reasonable combination of roads and buses versus no roads and light rail. Pick one or the other, but not both; life is filled with disappointments, so trying to toss a bone to all factions is both a fool’s errand and cowardly.

    Reasonable and responsible stewardship of a LIMITED public purse demands something way better than Prop 1, the biggest pig in the poltical pen.

    The Piper

  3. 3

    eugene spews:

    I’m not surprised they came out against it – but I am stunned that they repeated the Sierra Club’s BS talking points about the South King County line. As two individuals who are usually very smart on urban development issues they should realize that because of the Growth Management Act, development must happen within the boundary – in places like Federal Way. They must realize that this line would spur greater density in South King County, infill development such as that which has been such a boon to Portland.

    I’m really stunned that they fell for this BS.

  4. 4

    spews:

    @2
    How about facing up to the fact that, as a locally untried and untested transit option, light rail is way too expensive for way too little product?

    Hey, my unicorn just started chasing my leprechaun!

    (a nod to the brilliant South Park episode last night)

  5. 5

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    I’m not stunned at all. I haven’t seen evidence that Barnett or especially Feit are as bright as some others seem to think. In fact, from time to time over on Slog I have seen clear evidence to the contrary.

  6. 6

    RLL spews:

    What in hell is going on with the mighty regionalists in Seattle? I expect stupid opinions from Kemper. He was opposed to building sidewalks 10 years ago. Idiot. First the Sierra Club, then Sims, now the Stranger (oh, yeah, and that daily paper that endorsed George Bush) are opposed to building light rail through the region because it encourages sprawl!? What the hell? Rail encourages density. Roads don’t. Buses don’t. Rail does. If you are anti-sprawl you want rail. If you are anti-rail, you are either just cheap or you favor sprawl. Or you are so damn Seattle centric that you don’t give a crap about the rest of the region now that Seattle has its rail.

    There are parts of the roads-transit package I disagree with too. But if anyone thinks voting this down in favor of the a better package later is the answer, they haven’t been paying attention. It took 15 damn years for the legislature to raise the gas tax. In the meantime, we voted once to fund a regional transportation system and once to keep the gas tax, but voted four times against regional transportation and in favor of reducing transportation funds.

  7. 7

    spews:

    Bicker on my trivial friends. Bicker On. Buy that gas.

    Why is this great metropolitan area unable to build a modern public transit system in a timely manner? How many more years must we wait.

    How many more hairs must be split

    I suspect the Stranger thought Prop 1 was not HIP enough.

  8. 8

    TacomaRoma spews:

    I think their non-endorsement is more about the roads part of the package. I agree with that. Roads are not the way to go. I can’t speak for their weird logic around light rail causing sprawl, other than they want people building more housing in Seattle, and not Federal Way, so the prices there will go down. Federal Way may not be cool enough for the Stranger gang.

    Light Rail is the new black. It’s a buzzword. Light Rail is nothing more than a trolley, and you don’t ride a trolley 40 miles to work. We shouldn’t be building trolleys from Seattle to Tacoma. It’s stupid.

    We need a train from Olympia to Everett with stops in Tacoma and Seattle. Each county and municipality can build its own transit system from there. Light rail isn’t going to accomplish that. We need to either lay new track or get a better deal from BN for the track that’s already there. The Sounder works. It needs to be expanded and more trains need to be added.

    As to busses, well, busses are bullshit. They’re just as subject to congestion as automobiles and they contribute to the problem. Sure, they can take ‘alternate routes’ but I’ve tried that in my car and my motorcycle and all it does is result in me driving through someone’s neighborhood to avoid the traffic on the freeway. It doesn’t get me home any quicker.

  9. 9

    Piper Scott spews:

    @7…Aristdogboy…

    “How many hairs must be split…?” I don’t know…Ask Roger Rabbit; you can start with him.

    The Piper

  10. 10

    michael spews:

    Get out the paint, make up some signs and turn the HOV lanes on I-5 into BRT lanes. Cheaper and it shouldn’t take 20 years to do.

    Good post though, Will.

  11. 11

    michael spews:

    @8

    Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) means taking the buses out of the congestion by giving them their own lanes. BRT isn’t end, it’s good transition for the time between now and when we get the rail lines built.

  12. 12

    James spews:

    “I don’t think most voters consider “environmental realities” when voting on things. People think mostly about things they think affect them directly. Things like the length of time they have to be in their cars between their job in Seattle and their house in Federal Way.”

    This is correct. But Roads and Transit will not reduce congestion from today, according to RTID. It will reduce it in 2028 if nothing is done (if you believe projections this far out), but that’s a totally different proposition and one that I don’t believe a lot of people understand. The glossy RTID brochures do nothing to clarify this vital distinction. If people support RTID because it provides an alternative, that’s fine. But let’s be sure we understand what we’re getting for our tens of billions of dollars.

  13. 13

    Piper Scott spews:

    @12…James…

    “Tens of billons of dollars?” How about hundreds and hundres, given that Prop 1 leaves unfinished some projects and begs the existence of Prop’s 3 to eternity.

    The process by which Prop 1 was developed is what has to be completely replaced before anything reasonable is possible. Prop 1 is like designing a horse by committee: seven legs, three humps, two udders, trunks on both end, and a back large enough to accommodate a saddle for several hundred riders.

    To say it’s the best that can be done is to say that those who crafted it aren’t capable of much.

    The Piper

  14. 14

    drool spews:

    You can get on a bus from Feral way and make it to Seattle just fine right now. That is EXISTING infrastructure.

  15. 15

    scotto spews:

    @6, Please check your facts. You’re confusing the Sierra Club with the Seattle Times editorial board.

    The Sierra Club opposes Prop 1 because it will make global warming worse.

    This is due to the sprawl and driving increase caused by the massive highway expansion in Prop 1 — not because of light rail, which the Sierra Club supports.

  16. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I’m NOT going to say, “Why should I pay for light rail to Federal Way?” because that’s the wrong question, wrong attitude, wrong response. We’re all in this together. The right question is, “Why build it by taxing those least able to pay, and who will use it the least?” The Stranger’s position appears to be this thing should be built with USER FEES, and given our deeply regressive state/local tax system, that makes perfect sense. It’s also hard to argue with The Stranger’s rejection of vast — and misdirected, they could have added — new spending on roads if you believe mass transit is the wave of the future. Prop. 1 is a deceptive, flawed, proposal that has the wrong priorities, taxes the wrong people, and leaves one of the region’s most critical projects — 520 — undone. The Stranger got it right at many levels; Prop. 1 should be defeated, and this entire package of proposals and taxes needs to be rethought and reworked from square one.

  17. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s another thing: Light rail won’t work unless you provide enough park-and-ride lots at the rail stations. This is one of the mistakes that killed the monorail. Parking for riders is not optional; if you don’t build it, they won’t come. The number of people who will live within walking distance of light rail stations is squat. Cars feed into bus lines, and the same is true of every other mode of mass transit. Cars are the vital link between where people live and where they get on the bus/train/el/subway/submarine/whatever.

  18. 18

    James spews:

    “The process by which Prop 1 was developed is what has to be completely replaced before anything reasonable is possible. Prop 1 is like designing a horse by committee: seven legs, three humps, two udders, trunks on both end, and a back large enough to accommodate a saddle for several hundred riders.”

    “To say it’s the best that can be done is to say that those who crafted it aren’t capable of much.”

    This is absolutely correct, and says much about our regional transportation leadership. In addition, this leadership has not been upfront regarding what Prop 1 will actually achieve in terms of congestion relief, either in their brochures or opinion pieces. The Times’ Andrew Garber had to interview RTID regarding congestion numbers for a piece he did. This should all be readily and clearly available at RTID and in the brochures. Voters should think twice about RTID not only because of what it won’t achieve, but especially because of this unwillingness to be upfront.

  19. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 “If you are anti-rail, you are either just cheap”

    Some people (and park fauna) are cheap because they have to be. For them, it’s a choice of paying for rail they can’t afford and won’t ride, or buying toilet paper. Which do you prefer:

    [ ] 1. A brown rabbit with a cute white cottontail;
    [ ] 2. A cute white rabbit with a brown smudge on his ass.

  20. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The Great (And Foolish) Toilet Paper Tax

    Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to tax the shit out of toilet paper to pay for (other people’s) transportation. Makes much less sense than taxing the shit out of (other people’s) smoking to pay for kids’ health care. That’s why I’ll be surprised if a whole slew of Republicans don’t go out and vote for the Toilet Paper Tax. Not that they have any intention of riding the rails. They hope YOU will ride the rails so they can zip along a shiny new uncongested 6-lane freeway through the Kent Valley in their Beamers and Porsches.

  21. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    A 9.5% tax on Toilet Paper is just the kind of tax Republicans love, if they have to pay taxes at all. They can afford it. Sure beats an INCOME TAX. And, better yet, taxing the shit out of Toilet Paper puts a de facto lid on taxes — an idea they embrace, so to speak — because voters hit the pain threshold pretty quickly when they’re staring at Double-Digit Toilet Paper Inflation. When you have to pay for stuff like this with Toilet Paper taxes, the masses will vote “no” every time, and Republicans just lap up this shit, so to speak! What we really need to do is scrap our regressive, patchwork, dysfunctional, Rube Goldberg tax system and enact a state income tax. Then we’ll be able to pay for the things we need by taxing Republicans their fair share. Right now they’re getting a free ride at the expense of us brown-butters.

  22. 22

    john mc loughlin spews:

    “Wrong!Wrong!Wrong!Wrong! and Wrong! The solution to traffic woes is strict population control. Less people, less traffic!

    Next topic: Should pygmy DNA be engineered into the human genome so that humanity will take up less space and use fewer resources?

    Eleanor Clift, we’ll start with you.”

  23. 24

    spews:

    TacomaRoma @8 says “We need to either lay new track or get a better deal from BN for the track that’s already there. The Sounder works. It needs to be expanded and more trains need to be added.”

    Look at a BNSF map. There are no unused BNSF lines aside from the branch line that King County is already pursuing for potential use as a bike/rail corridor (unless you want a line out to Snohomish from Everett). Building new tracks is going to be at least as expensive as light rail and no faster. Sounder could be expanded south to Olympia but that’s mostly a state/Thurston County deal as most of the remaining line is in Thurston County.

    Light rail is our cheapest option for getting rail to the rest of urban Puget Sound, and it will attract a lot more density than commuter rail, which makes infrequent stops that provide fewer redevelopment opportunities. The light rail plan in ST2 has no bad lines–all are areas where future density is needed. The only problem I see with it is that it doesn’t do more.

    NoRTID in the first post is against this because it doesn’t do more. But the reality is that voting no doesn’t speed up light rail construction, and that every project on the ST2 list is necessary in a complete system. If you want more, the way to get more is to vote yes on Prop 1 and then put together a new package to speed up construction and fill in the rest of the system as soon as possible. Voting no causes delays and cost increases.

    It would be great to vote no on the roads half so that there was more for transit. But that’s not the political reality–these measures are connected, and might very well do worse if voted separately. This is our best chance at light rail, and a 2 year wait for another vote is the best case scenario.

    Vote yes.

  24. 25

    spews:

    I do respect some of the people who are against Roads and Transit. But to play the “useful idiot” for Kemper Freeman Jr. by killing our first chance in 40 years to create a regional mass transit system, that’s too much.

    But it exactly what you’d expect “let’s not do anything because it isn’t the perfect thing, or it is in my back yard” Seattleites to do.

    I still think enough people who are tired of no solutions, will embrace this solution, despite the fact it doesn’t promise world peace, because it is a solution, and we’re tired of waiting for one.

  25. 26

    michael spews:

    @17

    Light-rail would work grand at getting people from residential neighborhoods around downtown Tacoma into down town to work or to use the transit that exists there. Not only does Prop 1 not do this it soaks up so many tax dollars that there wont be the money their to build light-rail into downtown. If Prop 1 passes Tacoma will get a light rail line in 202? that dead ends in downtown that they will have no way to get to.

    Lovely!

  26. 27

    Piper Scott spews:

    @25…DK…

    “I still think enough people who are tired of no solutions, will embrace this solution, despite the fact it doesn’t promise world peace, because it is a solution, and we’re tired of waiting for one.”

    This is typical new math thinking: there is no right answer; one and one equals whatever feels good to you.

    Prop 1 isn’t a solution, it’s a massive problem disguised as one. Creating a financial burden perhaps unprecedented in American history, it’s a total crap shoot roll of the dice from the likes of people who’ve chiseled Puget Sounders on this stuff for years!

    You know something stinks when opposition to it surfaces from every persuasion in town save members of the Lower Leschi LaLeche League, whose opposition to Prop 1 will be debated at their next scheduled mass breastfeed-in.

    While I join with Roger Rabbit in opposing Prop 1, I take issue with him that Republicans are indifferent to raising the sales tax to 9.5% to pay for it. I’m opposed to raising ANY tax to pay for it. When we do get a transportation package worthy of consideration, I would be opposed to increases in the general sales tax to be for those, too.

    Most of the alleged “thinking” behind Prop 1 is typical Seattle-area PC unvisionary dogmatism. There are options and alternatives out there heretofore unexplored and unexamined because they fall outside of what the area “leaders” think are appropriate. Time for them to get off the box they’re on as they preach to us and then think outside of it.

    There are legit and valuable points of view out there in the political wilderness, but they’ll remain unheard and unheeded so long as the same “minds” are the responsible for crafting crap like Prop 1 and presenting it to the voters.

    Prop 1′s does, indeed, stink…

    The Piper

  27. 28

    otterpop spews:

    Will says “I don’t think most voters consider “environmental realities” when voting on things. People think mostly about things they think affect them directly.”

    I disagree.

    I do think people consider the environment when they vote. They do not only vote out of self-interest and say screw the environment. Maybe you do. If so, that’s a bummer for you.

    Also, countless polls in our region suggest that the environment is one of the prime motivators of voter behavior. It’s one of the main reasons why Slade isn’t a Senator and why many other anti-environment politicians have been shown the door.

    I think people do understand that environmental problems like global warming affect them.

    Will, it seems that you have created a world where everyone that believes that we should stop building roads (even if that means waiting a year or two for light rail) is actually against light rail and in bed with the road builders.

    So you say the Sierra Club, Ron Sims and the Stranger are all suddenly against light rail? Huh? No one believes that.

    And then you defend this pretzel logic by telling everyone that disagrees with you to “fuck off.”

    On the other hand, maybe it’s you that’s wrong.

    Maybe people are waking up on global warming. Maybe they’re starting to ask questions about how we’re going to reduce our C02 emissions by 80% in King County by 2050 if we keep building highways (hint: it’s not even remotely possible).

    Maybe some brave elected leaders like Ron Sims are starting to realize that if they’re going to promise to dramatically reduce C02, then they damn well better make sure they don’t commit to a multiple decade plan of building more highways. (note: in the Puget Sound, more than half of our C02 emissions come from transportation)

    Maybe we’re finally realizing that we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

    A politician taking on everyone – the unions, big business, all the major donors – to say we have to look at the carbon impact of what we’re doing is a hell of a step in the right direction.

    I know how bad you want light rail. So do I. But maybe there’s a better way to get it built – even faster – without having to break our commitments to C02 reduction.

    My guess is we’re going to reject the legislature’s attempt to blackmail us into building more highways. RTID is going to fail. And as The Stranger says, its death will be the end of major road building projects in our area.

    “I don’t think most voters consider “environmental realities” when voting on things.”

    I urge you to take a step back and listen to what you’re saying.

    The campaign’s almost over. Let’s start toning down the rhetoric and start working together on Plan B.

  28. 29

    Piper Scott spews:

    @19…RR…

    I’m confused…all the rabbits I’ve seen or owned (the late Peter is buried out back next to the playhouse) left calling cards of a kind that didn’t require TP. Hard, compact, and pretty damn near impossible to compost, they were so gravel-like nary a skid mark was ever seen around or near the orifice from whence they cometh.

    I would submit to you that a better example is not an accessory to sanitize, but, rather, an essential to be consumed on the front end of the process.

    Prop 1 will take food off the table in some households. It’s a stupid plan stupidly payed for.

    The Piper

  29. 30

    My Left Foot spews:

    Piper:

    How do you feel about the Viaduct? It is going to crumble down, sooner rather than later. Where are those buses going to turn left?

    I realize the Viaduct is not the subject, but transit is and without that viaduct 1000′s of commuters are going to wish for light rail to zip them past the ensuing traffic FUBAR that is going to occur when, not if, the Alaskan Way Viaduct turns back into powdered cement.

    Unless of course you would have all the minority construction businesses down at the water front rebuilding the AWV by hand using electric mixers. Which you would justify as being good for the economy.

    Reminds me of a line in the movie Armageddon. While sitting in the shuttle waiting for lift off, Steve Buscemi’s character, Rockhound, says, “You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?”.

    Ever been to Boston, Chicago or New York, Piper? The have rail. It works. It might take a generation to pass before it is embraced here in Seattle. But it will be embraced.

    Why do conservatives always stick their head up their ass when it comes to tomorrow. Everything is for today. No forward vision. You all need windectomy. A window implanted in your stomach so you can see where you are going.

  30. 33

    Piper Scott spews:

    @30…MLF…

    Some fair questions, some typically stupid ones…

    The Viaduct should be an issue. That it’s not is a problem.

    My position? It needs to be rebuilt or retrofitted, which-ever is the safest, most cost-effective solution.

    Those 100,000 some odd Viaduct trips won’t be eliminated by light rail. Not everyone who uses it is going where the train goes, and that’s part of the problem.

    I don’t see light rail as a “future” as much as I see it as somebody else’s “past.” Because another city does something isn’t a reason to replicate it. What’s a success in Chicago may not be here.

    Aside from New York’s Staten Island Ferry, why don’t Boston and Chicago have commuter ferry systems of their own? Hmmm??? Could it be that geographic differences don’t make ferry commuting viable or an option? Could there not be here geographic limitations on light rail those other cities don’t or won’t every experience?

    The question needs to get down to whether light rail is the most cost effective transit option, and there are many who say it’s not.

    A lot of the pimping on behalf of light rail smacks more of “keeping up with the Jones’” rather than a wise stewardship of public money.

    And I continue to bristle at the notion that light rail is a good way to social engineer people into living lifestyles dictated to them by others. There’s a whole lot not to like about that from a freedom and liberty standpoint.

    While I’m at it, there’s something simply creepy and scary about light rail on a floating bridge.

    I don’t like the general, non-transit-using public to have to pay that much to convenience transit users. If light rail is such a great deal, then let it pay for itself with minimum to no subsidies. If it’s such a “if you build it, they will come” hot to go deal, then fare revenue should cover its costs. Price light rail such that it’s not a burden on the general public. We have too many such burdens already.

    I have more thoughts, but the lights are flickering, and I want this posted before the power goes poof! Sometimes, Geov, the weather is a big story around here, despite you desire that it not be.

    The Piper

  31. 34

    eugene spews:

    What people don’t understand is that the region can build as many more roads and lanes as it wants to, but it will NOT necessarily lead to the massive increase in driving that people fear.

    Why not? Peak oil.

    The projections that “43 percent more driving will happen” assume that 2007 conditions remain static, especially gas prices. But they will not. Since 2000 gas prices have doubled. Because of shrinking global supply and rising global demand, it is fully reasonable to expect prices will continue to rise – another doubling could indeed happen in the next seven years.

    As gas prices rise, people will drive less. So even if there are new lanes and freeways, nobody will want to use them.

    The “roads are evil so we should vote against Prop 1″ argument, then, is a massive exercise in ignorance.

  32. 35

    SouthSeattle spews:

    To Piper and everyone else who is unhappy with the process and the resulting compromise. This is American democractic politics. There may be a better process. But for now, this is it. If we want a regional solution, we need a regional political compromise. Yes, a committee. The county council, city council, all those other Boring Government people. They sit down and fight it out, and then we get to vote on what they come up with. We could just do our own little deal in King County, but then we wouldn’t do anything about the miserable mess just outside the county line.

    I’d be in favor of some kind of transportation czar, as long as it’s me. Otherwise, this is the best system we have for making complex regional investments.

    The American political system sucks. But it’s ours.

  33. 36

    Piper Scott spews:

    Is the possible failure of Prop 1 what’s driving those on, or who wish to be on, the seattle city council (Mayor Quarters has determined that no capital letters are to be used when referring to that organization) to drink?

    First Richard McIver, and now Venus Valezquez? http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ez18m.html

    The next transportation package better include funding to make roads, transit, and government dui-proof!

    Yikes!

    Wind is still blowing like a banshee…

    The Piper

  34. 37

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @18 “This is absolutely correct, and says much about our regional transportation leadership. In addition, this leadership has not been upfront regarding what Prop 1 will actually achieve in terms of congestion relief, either in their brochures or opinion pieces.”

    They’ve also been dishonest about what it will cost. They’re stating costs in 2006 dollars (which are already out of date) with the disingenuous excuse that it’s “easier for voters to understand.” The actual cost is $38 billion + $9 billion in additional costs later + operating subsidies.

    The fishwrapper lays bare other deceptions in that taxpayer-funded glossy brochure, such as representations that RTID/ST2 will pay for projects that in fact are already funded via state gas taxes. It also omits any mention of the fact Prop. 1 provides only about 20% of the funding needed for the proposed 520 bridge replacement, concealing from voters the fact billions more will be needed for that project from additional tax hikes later.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....re18m.html

  35. 38

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “let’s not do anything because it isn’t the perfect thing, or it is in my back yard”

    Dumping the tax burden creating by this massively expensive project on those least able to pay and least likely to use these transportation improvements isn’t an imperfection; it’s a deal breaker.

  36. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @29 By the time a rabbit is 60 years old his plumbing ain’t what it used to be, and the pellets come out squishier than they did when he was 10.

  37. 40

    Sanjaya Milhous Goldstein spews:

    Woke up this mornin’ and found myself in bed with the Sierra Club, EnRon Sims, and The Stranger. I mean, damn. Strange bedfellows get no stranger than Stranger Savage, Sims, and Sierra, who are stopped-clock proof that even dipshits can sometimes get it right, but only for the wrong reasons.

    But what’s a nice boy like me to do after waking up with Doorknob Dan? I feel so shamed, so used. Even worse, I feel like Stormin’ Norman Stamper who went to bed with Dan after patent-leather BINGO night, turned Seattle over to Oregon anarchists, and then became a dumpster-diving furry freak brother in their anArchy commune.

    Actually, I feel like I should gargle … not with Joe Pine’s razor blades, but with acid. Carbonic, maybe, since there’s a lot of CO2 blowing around.

  38. 41

    Piper Scott spews:

    @35…SS…

    It’s an excercise in political courage to walk away from the bad then work to embrace the good. It’s an excercise in pandering and political chicanery to embrace the bad and contend that there never can be a good.

    The process by which transportation decisions are made in this region is fatally flawed. Prop 1 is its product. It smacks more of the earmark system in Congress than it does an intelligently crafted compromise solution.

    How many here, irrespective of whether you’re a roads or a transit affecianado, think John Ladenberg’s include-it-or-I’ll-quit cross-base highway is necessary to solving the region’s transportation woes?

    There’s a difference between political compromise and GOB logrolling.

    The Piper

  39. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @33 “Sometimes, Geov, the weather is a big story around here, despite you desire that it not be.”

    Not if you have a generator.

  40. 43

    James spews:

    “I still think enough people who are tired of no solutions, will embrace this solution, despite the fact it doesn’t promise world peace, because it is a solution, and we’re tired of waiting for one.”

    A solution of what? I would hazard a guess that most people believe it’s addressing something that it’s not, viz., reducing the congestion we see today, and if they could look ahead and see what their tens of billions of tax dollars had bought them they would recoil. You don’t make these types of investments for the sake of any solution, and a bad one at that.

  41. 44

    Piper Scott spews:

    @39…RR…

    Cheese…More cheese in the diet; it will bind you up tighter than Toto’s butt! You can then supplement your income selling the pellets to Pioneer Sand & GRAVEL.

    The Piper

  42. 45

    Piper Scott spews:

    @41…RR…

    Without opposable thumbs, how does a rodent run a generator? Or use tools or weapons?

    The Piper

  43. 46

    spews:

    Otterpop/rtidstinks @ 28

    Surveys of people in our area tell us that people care abot transportation more than anything else by a 5 to 1 margin. It’s not even close.

    I’m not discounting “environmental realities” entirely, I’m just putting them into perspective- like most other people in our region.

  44. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @34 I agree that long-term gas prices will go higher in real terms. The reason is the world’s supply of cheap, easily accessible crude is winding down, and the process of supplementing and replacing it with expensive, hard-to-get crude is only beginning.

    Wall Street analysts continue to insist that crude prices won’t stay above $60 and while speculators may drive short-term prices over $100 (hit $89 today) this will be followed by a crash below $60. They may be right, short-term, but over the long haul many of the sources of “alternative oil” we’re now turning to (arctic, deepwater, tar sands) won’t be available if prices fall below $60, resulting in a supply contraction that would drive prices up again. So, no, I don’t think oil is going to get cheaper going forward.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that if high gas prices result in less driving, or just people buying more fuel-efficient cars, resulting in a decrease in gas consumption … this will also lead to a decline in state and federal gas tax receipts … which means there won’t be enough money for already committed projects. Because highway lanes and bridges don’t become cheaper to build or maintain as a result of people buying less gas, these revenue shortfalls will have to be made up by raising existing taxes.

    Prop. 1 represents new spending on new infrastructure that, once built, will soak up vast quantities of money for decades to come. Meanwhile, it fails to address some urgent needs to simply maintain our existing infrastructure, which will have to be paid for with yet more tax increases.

    It seems to me we should put first things first. You are going to pay more taxes, whether you like it or not, just to keep what we have now. Whether we can afford $38 billion of more infrastructure needs to be considered in that context.

  45. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @35 Our democratic political system also produced George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Democracy is a noble experiment, but it’s not great all of the time. When the democratic process makes a mistake, do you enshrine the error, or try to correct it? One of the glories of democracy is that it gives you a second chance when Plan A sucks.

  46. 49

    spews:

    Congestion is here to stay – for those in cars. Build light rail, and everyone who lives in all those new, dense places in Federal Way will have no congestion at all.

    There isn’t an alternative. There isn’t some magic solution to congestion – if there were, someone would have built it elsewhere in the world already.

    We’re not going to get a “better” package. One year tacks $800 million onto the $10.8 billion of Sound Transit 2. Remember Forward Thrust, when all this would have cost us a few hundred million? Imagine what it’ll be like in another forty years, when the numbers will have a couple more zeroes.

    We already have buses – and they’re stuck in traffic. Building new right of way for buses costs the same as building new right of way for rail (they’re about the same size, except that trains can be long, and buses can’t).

    Pass this thing – if you’re complaining that it costs too much, I think you have another agenda. If you’re complaining that it takes too long, we *can* accelerate it after it passes (like Dallas and Salt Lake did), but we *can’t* get it back if it fails.

  47. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 What? You haven’t realized yet that warm furry thing moving under your covers is a cute little March hare named ROGER RABBIT?!

    HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

  48. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @44 Yes, I know about cheese; the last time I tried cheese, I couldn’t shit for three weeks.

  49. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @49 “We’re not going to get a ‘better’ package.”

    But we could get a better way of paying for it.

  50. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Okay, all you Prop. 1 boosters, here’s the deal. You want a 30-inch tall, 31.4-lb. rabbit on a fixed income to pay hundreds of dollars a year for something I don’t need and won’t use and which won’t be built in my lifetime, you earn my “no” vote. If you’re still having trouble figuring out why I won’t vote “yes,” write your questions here: [ ]

  51. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Transportation should be paid for by the commuters, truckers, and joy riders who use the transportation. Why is this so fucking hard to figure out?

  52. 56

    spews:

    Roger, that’s like saying children should pay for their own public school. Get past it, we’re not living in the dark ages anymore, we recognize the benefit of public infrastructure, and it’s never going away.

    Want a better way of paying for it? Pay for it today. If we wait until next year, it’ll cost another $800 million, but all the work that went into the package will stick around. This is very similar to the plans that were put into place in 1957, and voted for (they had more than 50% of the vote) in Forward Thrust. We haven’t changed where we live and work appreciably in the last 50 years – and we still need the infrastructure to serve those places.

    It’s not getting any cheaper. However, if you contact me, I will happily pay you the median cost of Prop 1 for as long as you live. We’ll make a contract, I’ll sign it, and cut you a check every year – but only if you stop making idiotic arguments against it.

  53. 57

    TacomaRoma spews:

    @24

    “Building new tracks is going to be at least as expensive as light rail and no faster.”

    I don’t know about the expense. The costs associated with building the current light rail line from Seattle to Tukwilla are defense-contract-unreal to me, so I can’t see how laying track for a heavy rail system would be any worse. Every cost estimate we’ve been given up to this point has proven to be bullshit anyway. How are we supposed to believe the costs associated with the current Proposition, and is it viable to use that cost estimate as a basis for rejecting a heavy rail proposal? I think no.

    I think heavy rail (commuter trains) are the best option for our region. I don’t want to spend 2 hours on a trolley going from Tacoma to Seattle that has to stop every 5 miles for every bedroom community between here and there. That’s not a regional solution. Light rail and busses should be tackled by the communities themselves. Should we have state funding for that? Yes. I think planning assistance at the state level and supplementary funding from the state would go a long way to helping these communities design transit plans that hooked them into the main lines, and would allow them to control their own densities. And destinies.

    I appreciate the desire to get some kind of solution in play now. I’m tempted to vote for Prop 1 simply because it is a solution, even if it’s not very good. All of you are right to point out that there will never be a perfect solution and this issue has been discussed to death and that discussion and vacillation is killing our region. However, going with a piss-poor plan like Prop 1 is going to make things worse, not better. It appeals primarily to those who want roads over transit and busses over trains. Come on folks, 100 miles of road for 50 miles of trains? That’s bullshit and you all know it. The plans for light rail service are vague at best and fall far short of our immediate needs, let alone what we’re going to need in 15 years. The roads part of the package is just pathetic and a blantant pander to the upper-middle and lower-upper class of SUV driving, non-bus riding, no car tab-paying people who seem to have a disproportionally loud voice in our beloved Puget Sound Basin’s politics.

  54. 58

    Alan spews:

    The Stranger staff are a bunch of hipsters and haters.

    Yes it’s another regressive tax, but if we strike something down that basis, we’ll never get anything done. That argument should be put toward starting an initiative to evenly tax Washington’s citizens, not striking down this package.

    Also paying for the roads on the east side is a good thing, it provides opportunity for trucks to bypass Seattle. I’m more than happy to pay for expansions if it lightens the traffic on I-5.

    The environmental argument is lame because in 30 years the majority of us will be driving environmentally friendly cars. Perhaps we’ll be at %100 plug in electrics by then.

    Vote yes!

  55. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @54 Are you talking to me? Of course I’m full of rabbit shit. What were you expecting, Hershey bars?

  56. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Jane Balogh’s dog is full of dogshit. Dick Cheney is full of bullshit, so he must be a cow …

  57. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @58 “Yes it’s another regressive tax, but if we strike something down that basis, we’ll never get anything done.”

    A rather facile slap at those citizens who don’t have the ability to increase their incomes and worry about how they’re going to live, if you ask me. Certainly not an argument that will change my “no” vote to a “yes” vote. If you want my cooperation, you have to do better than this.

  58. 62

    Darcy Goldstein spews:

    55: Answer to your rabbity rhetorical question: Externalities. Free-rider or non-rider benefits that accrue to non-users or indirect users of a public good.

    But, smart little exuberant breeder that you are, you knew that already.

  59. 63

    Piper Scott spews:

    @56…BS…

    Roger may be a liberal, but he’s not stupid. And, as an attorney, he knows that your offer fails to qualify as a contract since there’s no valid consideration. Besides, it’s almost as if you’re seeking to buy his vote.

    And I’d still like to hear what types of dividends, interest, capital appreciation, etc., will inure from what you’ve described in the past as “investments.” I think the SEC has rules about falsely promising returns on “investments.”

    So far, you’re 0-fer, with three strikes, you’re out.

    But I’ll let you whiff a fourth swing: voters and taxpayers aren’t the children to whom you compared them; we’re entitled to make adult decisions on what is or is not a reasonable use of tax dollars and to vote accordingly.

    Children, on the other hand, have no means by which to pay for their education.

    And where is it written that only your infrastructure visions are worthy? Prop 1 is a boondoggle barrel of rancid pork, and it should be consigned to wherever it is we discard all things rotten.

    The Piper

  60. 64

    Goldy Fromage spews:

    Hershey bars, hell. You already admitted that you’re full of Velveeta. Or did you shit in the woods since we last met @ #51?

  61. 65

    spews:

    TacomaRoma!

    150-ish miles of LANES are TOTALLY different than 50 miles of rail! We’re adding WAY more rail capacity than road in this package. That 50 miles of rail is really 100 miles of rail-lanes (each of the 50 miles is double track) and every one of those rails has a capacity of several lanes of highway.

    Why do you think you have to spend 2 hours on light rail to go from Tacoma to Seattle? You’d use Sounder, or Cascades. If you wanted to go to Federal Way, though, we don’t HAVE any heavy rail, nor can we build any.

    It frustrates me greatly that most of the arguments against Prop 1 just aren’t thought through. Are we too dumb to discuss the real issues?

  62. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @56 “Roger, that’s like saying children should pay for their own public school.”

    No, Ben, you’ve taken my argument and stood it on its ear … you’ve got it exactly backwards. We don’t make children pay for public schools because children don’t have any money. Prop. 1 taxes the people who have the least money. That’s ass backwards. Commuters are working; they have more income; moreover, they’re at least in a position to bargain for higher pay to meet higher living costs (including tax increases). Minimum wage workers and senior citizens, who pay a disproportionately large proportion of their income to sales taxes, can’t increase their incomes and can’t afford this massive tax increase. Liberals are supposed to support the economically disadvantaged, not step on them like you and others are doing here.

  63. 67

    spews:

    Piper, you’re ridiculous. If Roger wanted a contract with me, all he’d have to do is contact me. He hasn’t – click on my name, you’ll get my site (no ads, you’re not “supporting” me, don’t worry) and my email address is right there.

    The fact is, Roger just wants to complain.

    You don’t have a clue what Prop 1 does, apparently. How are we going to move the million people who are going to move to our region in the next 20 years? Did you have a plan for fifty billion dollars worth of highway lanes, bulldozing homes and businesses through downtown Seattle? Or did you want to save money, and spend a fifth as much on rail?

  64. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @56 (continued) Let’s suppose we came up with a great package of ideas to improve our public schools, but it was going to cost millions in new taxes, and we decided to pay for it by raising the most regressive of our taxes — the sales tax.

    In fact, that’s exactly what the education dreamers tried to do a few years ago. They wanted to boost local sales taxes by a penny to fund public education enhancements. The voters said “no.” Education is no less appealing or compelling an item than transportation. But it doesn’t matter how good something is, if you don’t get the financing right.

    If you ask people to pay for something they can’t afford, you’re going to get “no.” Some of you need to take this factor far more seriously than you have so far. In most cases when public funding goes down to defeat in our region, it’s not because the money isn’t for a good cause, it’s because the people who put it together got the tax distribution wrong.

  65. 70

    spews:

    What’s really funny here is that if we wanted private transportation, we’d have it – but we don’t. We know, or at least some people seem to realize, that if we actually paid for everything with tolls, we’d have high density everywhere, and no low density. How much do you suppose it costs a rural user then to get into town? We wouldn’t have food.

  66. 71

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    But … if you insist on sending the bills for what YOU want to those least able to pay, you have an obligation, at a minimum, to make the thing as inexpensive as possible.

    Prop. 1 is a bad deal on both counts. Not only does it rely on the most regressive tax possible, but it makes no effort whatsoever to economize.

  67. 72

    Piper Scott spews:

    @67…BS…

    Sheesh! Your “contract” offer doesn’t meet the legal standard for a valid offer. You’re essentially offering to do something in return for which Rog will do nothing. No valid consideration. Look it up!

    As proposed by Prop 1, light rail is a dead end trail.

    Specters of demolishing neighborhoods is appropriate for Halloween: bogeyman talk, and, like candy, bad for your health.

    Other, more cost effective options exist, they’ve been proffered by the likes of Emory Bundy on Crosscut.com, and they should be considered.

    Again, again, again…an infinite number of agains…the process by which Prop 1 was arrived it is the worst of pandering, political pimpery, and pompous posturing. In other words, just a pile of pees.

    I’ll tell you what Prop 1 reminds me of: WPPSS!

    The Piper

  68. 73

    Piper Scott spews:

    NEWS FLASH: 40 – 50 mile an hour sustained winds with gusts up to 60 mph currently blowing against the 520 floating bridge.

    Anyone want to ride light rail under those conditions, albeit across the lake to Mercer Island? I can see the headlines now:

    DOZENS PERISH AS THOUSAND CAPACITY TRAIN SINKS AFTER BEING BLOWN INTO LAKE: ALL ON BOARD PERISH!

    The Piper

  69. 74

    eugene spews:

    But Roger Rabbit, we’re not interested in convincing you. There is no convincing you.

    The Stranger seemed like it might be coaxed into backing this. Instead they used the roads argument – an irrelevancy as far as I’m concerned – to ignore history and sink Puget Sound’s only hope for the future.

  70. 75

    otterpop spews:

    Will@46 – You wrote “Surveys of people in our area tell us that people care abot (sic) transportation more than anything else by a 5 to 1 margin. It’s not even close.”

    5 to 1? Really? 5 to 1 over education? 5 to 1 over health care? 5 to 1 over the environment?

    Do you really think anyone believes that? Would you care to cite those “surveys”?

    And why did you refer to me as “otterpop/rtidstinks”? Are you trying to infer that we are the same person?

    I could tell you we’re not, but since you have the ability to look at poster’s IP addresses, you can figure that out for yourself.

  71. 76

    eugene spews:

    @73: Do you actually believe they’d be running trains out there in those winds? If the bridge is closed to cars it would be closed to the light rail vehicles too.

  72. 77

    James spews:

    “Congestion is here to stay – for those in cars. Build light rail, and everyone who lives in all those new, dense places in Federal Way will have no congestion at all.”

    “There isn’t an alternative. There isn’t some magic solution to congestion – if there were, someone would have built it elsewhere in the world already.”

    This isn’t the message RTID is passing out in its glossy brochures and opinion pieces, where the message is Roads and Transit is the solution to our congestion woes. And, of course, this is what a lot of voters think they’re getting – a solution to our congestion woes, meaning, our woes today.

    Tell voters exactly what they’re getting for their money – more, not less congestion according to RTID data – and then let them decide if they think this is the best approach.

    “Pass this thing – if you’re complaining that it costs too much, I think you have another agenda.”

    Or, a little common sense.

  73. 78

    TacomaRoma spews:

    Ben @65

    You must have much better knowledge of the specifics than I do about this proposition. I only read it once. I saw that what it promises is vague at best and it’s not immune from future (as in immediately after we vote for it) challenges.

    I’m pretty sure that Sounder is at it’s limit right now and there are only 6 trains per day going north (5 in the morning, one at 4:45pm) and 6 going south (1 in the morning, five in the afternoon). There aren’t enough trains.

    I know the Sounder works. I’m not happy that it makes 5 stops between Tacoma and Seattle, but that’s only five stops and it takes about an hour. A trolley is going to make a lot more stops.

    Again, I understand that you’re seeing this as a chance to do something about the problem. I’m concerned that we’ve all grown so frustrated that we’re taking the first option presented and it’s not a very good one.

  74. 79

    Matchstick Man spews:

    A little common sense could also be applied to the Ron Sims / Mike O’Brien approach, actually.

    On one hand, they claim to be trying to get people out of their cars. On the other hand, they are also trying to make freeways work better (allowing more people to drive) with congesion pricing.

    This contradiction proves neither Sims nor Sierra Cub Scouts have ANY idea what the f#%k they are doing.

    http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/ne.....cript.aspx

    Sims: So we expect that people are going to move much better. You know our goal is to have an average speed of 45 miles per hour, which is a lot faster than they’re going now.

    Ventrella: That’s for sure. So congesting pricing basically allows people to shop for a time of day when it is maybe a little less convenient but certainly less expensive to go.

    Sims: And it works. People should have their lives back. You shouldn’t have to sit there and say, I can’t get home till 6:15 or 6:30, and miss out on a lot of your life. And those commutes are pretty demanding on people.

  75. 80

    spews:

    James. Congestion will be much, much worse without this project. Are you thinking “Oh, either 60mph or nothing”? How about 25mph instead of 35mph?

    Common sense tells me that I can cut the crap and say that RTID/ST2 will help a *lot* of people, especially in the most congested corridors in the region, and all the arguments I’ve heard against it are easy to punch holes in. We need transportation infrastructure. We can’t afford to add six lanes to I-5 – it would cost ten times this. We can afford light rail. $150/year for RTID+ST2 is *nothing* in the grand scheme of things for any of us, except maybe Roger Rabbit – and I’ll cut him a check if he asks. Hell, I’d cut him a check right now if he asked. Why not?

  76. 81

    spews:

    TacomaRoma @ 78:

    The “first option” we didn’t take was Forward Thrust, in 1968/1970. The rail portion of this Prop 1 package looks practically the same as that did. The fact is, the planning 40 years later tells us we need the same things, and that the arguments against then were “We can do it with BRT” (we haven’t because we can’t) and “Rail died with the interurban”, and now the rest of the world is building bullet trains and we’re making the same sad arguments.

    We aren’t getting a trolley (and hi, I recognize you from SkyscraperCity, don’t I?) – we’re getting a fast light rail, the fastest in the US by average speed. We have express service from Seattle to Tacoma – Amtrak Cascades. We can add service to that in the future, you know, but *not* unless we build ridership by making local connections. Interestingly, with only ONE stop between Tacoma and Seattle, Cascades still takes about as long as Sounder.

    This isn’t the “first time” – this is at *least* the third. We’ve hashed this to death for decades. It’s time to build it.

  77. 82

    spews:

    Interesting – actually, the rail plan for Forward Thrust was identified in 1957. We’ve redone the planning with new information and better ideas for a long, long time, and rail is still the best deal.

  78. 83

    Matchstick Man spews:

    “So you say the Sierra Club, Ron Sims and the Stranger are all suddenly against light rail? Huh? No one believes that.”

    Scottorpop, can you really be this naive/stupid?

    Yeah, all three support light rail in concept, but the second a viable plan is put forward, they’re against it. Did you somehow miss the Sims guest editorial???

    Scott Otterson amazes us with his ignorance @75:

    http://www.horsesass.org/wp-co.....itpoll.pdf

    Yeah, it’s 5-1. Leave your bubble some day and find out why. That poll from May closely follows the same results from 05 and 06.

    Let me guess, you just “feel” like that 5 to 1 figure can’t be right?

  79. 85

    James spews:

    “Congestion will be much, much worse without this project. Are you thinking “Oh, either 60mph or nothing”? How about 25mph instead of 35mph?”

    Ben, would you share the study and data that you rely on for this conclusion?

  80. 87

    spews:

    James, seriously.

    Where do those 300,000 light rail trips go if not on light rail? We’re expected to have the same population growth with or without this package.

    Congestion will be worse *without* this investment. Use common sense.

  81. 88

    James spews:

    “Where do those 300,000 light rail trips go if not on light rail? We’re expected to have the same population growth with or without this package.”

    This provides absolutely no insight into what the impact will be on congestion. Moreover, how many of these trips will be from people leaving their cars?

    “Congestion will be worse *without* this investment. Use common sense.”

    On the subject of common sense, we should looking at the cost-benefit analysis and asking what we are receiving for the immense costs. How much worse will the congestion be – where is the analysis so we understand the trade-offs.

    Again, do you have a study you can share?

    And, of course, nobody is suggesting we do nothing as alternative. People are saying there are better alternatives to achieving congestion relief – the primary goal of RTID (at least according to the brochures) and what most voters I would guess are looking for. And that’s relief in comparison to today’s congestion, not congestion in 2028 (a distinction RTID has been less than forthright about).

  82. 89

    spews:

    James! I’m not here to prod you into reading the auditor’s releases.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....-times.gif

    Yeah, the cost-benefit analysis shows that unless you want to do nothing, you have two costs to compare: Three more lanes each way on a lot of our corridors, or light rail. Light rail is VASTLY cheaper. Seriously, what’s the cost of building three new lanes each way through downtown Seattle? WSDOT estimated 25 billion to add ONE lane each way through Seattle (city limits to city limits) in 1997…

  83. 90

    puget sound octopus spews:

    Love it that you stick it to Knute. The man is an idiot when it comes to growth/vision for our future. Nice post. I will vote for RTID and tell all my friends to as well.

  84. 93

    ArtFart spews:

    We’re really getting Hobson’s choice here. If Prop. 1 passes, you’re going to hear from all over the place that “The people have spoken and the message is that they want more roads—Rejoice, the Amerukkan Way of Live has been SAVED!” If it goes down, all we’re going to hear is that “Stupid dumbfuck no-growth commie pinko friends-of-the-terr’ists rail transit went down to defeat once again!”

    What the hell…if we’re going to get screwed, let’s get screwed and save our money.

  85. 95

    Donnie T spews:

    “And, of course, nobody is suggesting we do nothing as alternative. People are saying there are better alternatives to achieving congestion relief ”

    James, proposing politically impossible and totally unviable “alternatives” is the exact same thing as “doing nothing.”

    Except, of course, it gives perma-critics like you an excuse.

  86. 96

    Donnie T spews:

    Ben – I think that $25 billion figure for widening I-5 through downtown Seattle was for 4 lanes.

    I’m sure it would be up to $35 billion, now – TRULY, a “big dig.”

    But, naturally, the people who whine about “cost-benefit analysis” the most have picked this joke of a proposal as their top “end congestion now” project!

    Gives you an idea how batshit crazy Sierra Club sugardaddy Kemper Freeman is!

  87. 97

    James spews:

    James! I’m not here to prod you into reading the auditor’s releases.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/.....sit_travel -times.gif
    ******************

    Ben, I was actually hoping on prodding you into producing a study you’d read as a starting point for discussing what RTID actually will accomplish in terms of congestion relief. The PI chart above is neither an auditor’s report nor a study. It’s a very small set of selected data – data, not the underlying study that produced it – RTID provided to the PI for their story. And that was only yesterday. Do you have anything more?

    ****
    Yeah, the cost-benefit analysis shows that unless you want to do nothing, you have two costs to compare:
    ****

    Or, come up with an alternative. Incidentally, I’m all for light rail and think there’s a place for it. I’m also for getting people out of their cars. However, I have serious reservations regarding what rail will provide us for the money. I also think people need to be provided clear choices on the subject of transit in this region. I think a lot of people have misconceptions about what Prop 1 will do – they think it will relieve today’s congestion, when it won’t – and RTID has aided this. Even the local media has added to the confusion – the story you refer to above had some misleading data that was later corrected, but even then clearly.

  88. 98

    spews:

    TacomaRoma said, at 57:

    “I can’t see how laying track for a heavy rail system would be any worse. :

    Most of the costs of building rail are in labor and land acquisition. The rest is the cost of rail itself–heavy rail is not cheaper than light rail. It’s probably a wash. The reason Sounder so far has been cheap is that the rails were already in place.

    “I think heavy rail (commuter trains) are the best option for our region. I don’t want to spend 2 hours on a trolley going from Tacoma to Seattle that has to stop every 5 miles for every bedroom community between here and there.”

    You don’t have to. There’s already Tacoma to Seattle heavy rail. The light rail is for the people in between who need non-car alternatives and live in areas dense enough to support rail or close enough to get there once rail spurs new development. Federal Way is building a new high-rise downtown along the proposed light rail line. That’s a good thing and does nothing to prevent you from riding Sounder.

    “I’m tempted to vote for Prop 1 simply because it is a solution, even if it’s not very good.”

    What would be better that Sound Transit doesn’t get you partway to? You already have commuter rail. ST2 adds to it for people who can’t benefit from commuter rail. There is no part of the ST2 package that isn’t needed and won’t make a big difference to thousands of people every day.

    “It appeals primarily to those who want roads over transit and busses over trains. ”

    Train funding is more than half the package, and far more than half the expected additional capacity.

    “The plans for light rail service are vague at best and fall far short of our immediate needs, let alone what we’re going to need in 15 years. ”

    And building nothing instead is better why?

  89. 99

    Capitol Hill - Seattle's Only Neighborhood spews:

    Let’s put a measure to expand roads & transit to Capitol Hill on the ballot, I’m sure Josh & Erica would jump on that one – after all, that’s where all Seattleites live.

  90. 100

    James spews:

    James, proposing politically impossible and totally unviable “alternatives” is the exact same thing as “doing nothing.”

    Except, of course, it gives perma-critics like you an excuse.

    ****************

    Bad ideas and critics are constant campanions – would you really expect otherwise? Look, with all due respect the thinking on this topic has been less than overwhelming. Really. When the Times’ Danny Westneat – a former monorail booster – is invoked as an authority on Portland’s light rail after having conducted an exhaustive study of that system that consisted of – hold on – a handful of interviews of riders – a scientific survey for sure – you should become just a little nervous, especially since your money is in play. I have to believe there is more imaginative, incisive leadership on this topic.

    And there are alternatives. If Prop 1 fails – who knows at this point – it will be back to the drawing board whether we like it or not.

    ok, I must sue for peace now (until next week, that is!)

  91. 101

    spews:

    James, we’ve seen basically the same plan for 40 years. Thousands of professionals from all different backgrounds have all come to the same conclusions about the fact that we desperately need rail, and we have very obvious major areas to serve.

    Every argument we’re having here was had all the way back in 1968. The alternative is to build the same thing, later. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  92. 102

    cmiklich spews:

    Man, it is so hard to believe the ignorance and lies of the left.

    Federal Way building “high-rise”? “High-rise” what? And, where? The “light-rail” (heavy on the wallet) will cut from 99 over to the old Silo (bus barn) at 23rd. Which is NORTH of 80% of downtown Federal Way. From there, the “light” rail (“light” on users/riders) will shift to run along I-5. So, there WILL BE NO DOWNTOWN USAGE through Federal Way. Nothing at the Mall!! Nothing at the business district on 336th!!

    Damn, what a bunch of dumbasses. Read the crap yerself! http://www.soundtransit.org

    With stations every 5 to 8 miles, they’re not w/in walking distance unless yer a Kenyan marathoner. Busses can, and do, stop as frequently as necessary. 200 year old trains can’t.

    Wishin’ and hopin’ ain’t the same as doin’. Cars do. Trucks do. Roads do.

    Speaking of which: The very best advertisement for rail can be found in Friday’s News Trib. Look at the picture of that beautiful derailment. Where’s the alternate route for a derailed train?

  93. 103

    eddiew spews:

    Ben,

    you are very sincere, but you should look up the Forward Thrust proposals in the library. there were key differences between it and ST2.

    Forward Thrust would have had majority federal funding; ST2 only is expected to attract federal funding for the north line between Northgate and the UW stadium station.

    Forward Thrust was one county, not three.
    Forward Thrust was heavy rail, mostly tunneled, and completely grade separated.

    The ST2 South extension is attached to the MLK Jr Way South alignment; that makes it slow for long distance between between downtown Seattle and either Federal Way or Tacoma.

    The Forward Thrust south line would have served both South Center and downtown Renton after Boeing Duwamish.

    In all but the MLK Jr. Way South alignment, Link LRT is planned with complete grade separation.

    The 40 years of studies you reference all conclude that the north line would attract the highest ridership and be the most cost-effective. Yet, ST built south first. In 2001, the agency was in survival mode.