The light rail over the bridge case has been decided on the side of Duh, Of Course They Can.
Not surprisingly, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled against Kemper Freeman Jr.’s long and futile legal struggle to block the construction of light rail across the I-90 floating bridge. In a 7-2 opinion (pdf), with the Johnson brothers dissenting, the court ruled that Sound Transit’s fair market lease of the bridge’s center lanes, and its reimbursement of WSDOT’s contribution to their construction, means that no state gas tax dollars are being spent in violation of the state’s 18th Amendment.
Article II, Section 40 says that all vehicle fees and gas tax revenue must be “placed in a special fund to be used exclusively for highway purposes.” The purposes of this Motor Vehicle Fund (MVF) do not include building light rail. But, the court ruled, because “any money that was previously expended from the MVF will be reimbursed, the language of article II, section 40 is not violated.”
Of course. Of course, of course, of course. Of course! I’ll look forward to going into Bellevue and shopping at a non-Freeman area. I’m glad of the region getting the chance to be a bit more connected. People in Bellevue will be able to experience game day light rail, one great thing about city life. In many ways, the East Side will get a little closer to Seattle, and Seattle will be a bit closer to the East Side. I’m glad this hurdle was cleared, and, frankly that it wasn’t really that much of a hurdle.
In the linked article, Goldy also makes mention of another section of the ruling that this may be an even better ruling for proponents of transit than it appears now. And it appears pretty good now.