Critics would rather fly pigs than ride rail

Awww, what a sweet sentiment:

Light rail, like mass transit itself, has its share of earnest doubters and critics. Now that this crucial decision has been made to expand light rail, we hope that critics of the mode itself can shift away from debating the premise of light rail and focus on ensuring that its implementation is as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

Yeah… when pigs fly.

Many of light rail’s most vocal critics are the same people who ridicule efforts to mitigate the impact of global warming. They are obstructionists pure and simple, who simply do not want real mass transit. I guess they think it’s un-American or something.

Comments

  1. 1

    ArtFart spews:

    The last time I took Shuttle Express to the airport it took over an hour and I almost missed my flight. The guy they’d put behind the wheel was an out-of-towner and the next fare he had to pick up after me lived in Laurelhurst–at something like “48th and 56th”–and the dispatcher hadn’t bothered to determine which was the street and which was the avenue! If they’d sent this poor sot to pick someone up in Kirkland he may never have been heard from again.

    I’m just amazed at this point that Kemper Freeman has allowed a mass-transit proposal involving the Eastside to remain on the table for more than 18 hours without mounting a gigantic campaign against it. Kemper wants all those people coming from Seattle to work in the “tech corridor” to bring their cars, so they can go buy stuff at Bellevue Square on their lunch hour.

  2. 2

    zip spews:

    Benjamin,
    Sound Transit Link is not “real rapid transit”, that is the problem.

    Seems like you dismiss bus rapid transit pretty easily considering we’ve already got most of the HOV lanes built. And give us a break with “They are now under budget”. That is a meaningless statement given the system that was voter approved in 1996.

  3. 3

    Richard Pope spews:

    No point in worrying about all of this.

    The voters in November 2007 will reject a $3.9 billion tax increase to build 11 miles of light rail across Lake Washington — especially if it is part of a larger Sound Transit package.

    Under the law, if the Sound Transit package fails, so does the highway improvement package. Both have to pass in order for the tax increases to take effect.

    The net result will be that almost none of the major projects partially funded by the 9.5 cent gasoline tax increase will get built. The 2008 legislature will then be free to repeal a significant portion of the gasoline tax increase.

  4. 4

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    …whereas Craig Herman shows us a great example of what happens when syphilis goes unchecked.

    Commentby dj— 7/17/06@ 9:48 am

    Damn dj: I thought you were a direct descendent of Al “Syphilis” Capone!

  5. 5

    Skagit spews:

    You have hit the pianful nail on the head. Why should I, who live in Seattle close to work, pay for you guys who move miles out of the City? Tell me why?

  6. 6

    Skagit spews:

    If they find a tax that is prorated so that the users pay for it, I’m all for it. Hey, let’s do a user fee! Now we’re talkin’!

  7. 7

    dj spews:

    Conservativefirst @ 51

    “Comments like demonstrate why your blog is dying Goldy.”

    Oh Brother. Another ignorant wingnut who cannot even bothered to look up the numbers.

    Goldy’s traffic is double what it was a year ago. This blog had its second-best month ever in June which beat out May as the second best. (The best month was from the “Brownie post” that drove an exceptional amount of additional traffic.)

    Quit making up shit and do some basic research, jackass!

  8. 8

    REP Pat Kennedy [D-Bitchslap the Black Security Guard At LAX] spews:

    no there [they’re?]just cheap basterd [bastards?] that only care about “them selves”? and keeping there [they’re] taxes as low as posible [possible?]

    Commentby The Socialist […………………………………………………………………………Please note “The Socialist” gives us a great exapmle why Democrat NEA union controlled public education is a total waste of money and a total social failure.]

  9. 9

    ArtFart spews:

    The traffic/commute situations in Los Angeles and the Bay Area might look the same from your perspective if you’re a driver stuck in freeway traffic. On a geographic basis, they’re very, very different.

    The LA Basin is one huge land area, crisscrossed not only with freeways but with 6- and 8-lane boulevards from everywhere to everywhere else. My daughter commutes every day from Beverlywood to Culver City in about 20 minutes on surface streets. Where there are geographic bottlenecks, it’s another story–we once took all day getting from her apartment to the Ikea in Burbank and back.

    San Francisco, the CITY, has twice the population of Seattle crammed into half the land area. Between them and all the other people who work in the city and live elsewhere, if they all drove they’d have to tear down half the houses to make room for the cars. Furthermore, that city is surrounded by water on three sides. Seattle is a little more like that.

  10. 10

    The Socialist spews:

    Republican don’t care about light rail because 1. they will never use it and 2 they don’t want to pay taxes for something they will never use. Oh but an estate tax there all over that like stink on shit .

  11. 11

    Jesse P spews:

    Consider the new proposed Eastside-Seattle rail link. It will probably use a tunnel through downtown Bellevue and certainly won’t have an right-of-way issues in the I-90 express lanes. It’s not like the trains are going to get stuck in traffic. Compare the 34-minute light rail transit time to the likely time it will take to commute from Seattle to Redmond, or Redmond to Seattle, after we add a million or so more people to the Puget Sound area.

    Think 520 sucks now? Wait 20 years, don’t build transit, and see how that works out.

  12. 12

    zip spews:

    Jesse, If you think that they are building BART for you, you are mistaken. For one thing, BART has a dedicated right of way (so it can go fast from station to station) and our trolley will run down the middle of Rainier Avenue.

  13. 13

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    I wonder why the KC moonbats haven’t banned cars in King County? All the CO2 and hydrocarbon spew, Seattle could make a statement. Since I don’t go there much, no skin off my nose!

  14. 14

    Jesse P spews:

    A better comparison than Portland’s ‘street car’ is San Francisco’s BART. BART stands for “Bay Area Rapid Transit” and it is as advertised, moving people in and out of the city efficiently. BART attracts more than 300,000 riders daily and deserves most of the credit for San Francisco’s ability to avoid LA-style traffic nightmares despite commuters entering the city from relatively long distances.

    In fact, one of the biggest reasons the ST board decided on light rail over BRT was ridership – more people will ride trains, and that’s why big cities all over the country use it. Is it expensive? Yes. But once built, it’s much cheaper to operate. I think our kids will pay a steeper price for our inaction than if we build a system that has proven effective in city after city. I don’t want this to become another Los Angeles.

  15. 15

    killatroll/saveablog spews:

    I liked BART. It worked for me when I was in SF. It is closely integrated to the busses and trollies. SF has terrible topology. But then, so does Seattle.
    Think about it folks. With public transit you pay a premium in time. It used to be with a car you paid a premium of money. Now, with public transportation you will still take a hit in time, but with $4.00/gal. gas on the horizon, you will pay a premium in both time and money in your car as the congestion comes up to the aggrevation level of the gas price.

  16. 16

    Dr. E spews:

    18
    “Wonder how I’d do that on a bus let alone light rail?”

    No need to wonder. Visit tripplanner.metrokc.gov.

  17. 17

    Two Dogs spews:

    51 — The gas tax is NOT a user fee. It’s a tax I’m forced to pay to drive my car. Then, when it’s used for roads instead of bike lanes and transit, which I would prefer, I’m forced to drive my car even more. Cut the gas tax and charge people directly to drive on the roads. Then other transportation options could compete more fairly.

  18. 18

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    Ivan sez:

    You right-wingers don’t utter a peep when Bush sticks our children and grandchildren with the bill for this war that we’re losing, and with welfare for the children and grandchildren of his rich corporate supporters. But somehow it’s wrong for working people to have mass transit.

    Keep posting here, Zip. Let your hypocrisy and utter lack of practical solutions be seen by all.

    Commentby ivan— 7/17/06@ 8:16 am

    Ivan: Do you realize we in Iraq stops Iran from sending weapons to Hezbollah? They have no way to get there. I didn’t think so because you are geographically deficient!!!

  19. 19

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    Lefturdy sez: Yes it is pretty obvious that the inbred righties want to have it both ways.

    They don’t want any public transit and they don’t see any problems with a sick environment. They also want to do away with abortion, but they want to make it hard for gays to marry or adopt.

    It’s part of a sick cycle.

    Commentby LeftTurn— 7/17/06@ 5:41 am

    You are such a dolt. If we had a BART system I’d take it over the bus any day of the week. You moonbats have to do:

    Environmental Study
    Take A Crap Study
    Rabbit Pellet Study
    Donk Displacement Study
    Let’s Make a Deal Study
    Payoff the Moonbats Study
    ELF Study
    GLA Study
    Hamas Study

  20. 22

    zip spews:

    According to Goldy this is “real mass transit”. Tell us that after you bump along from downtown to the airport in twice the time it would have taken you to take Shuttle Express.

  21. 23

    Skagit spews:

    Or a bike? Think how much healthier you’d be, RR. BTW, thought you did a good job on the radio . . .

  22. 24

    zip spews:

    “Real mass transit” not a trolley. We spemd a fortune on bus transit around here which wil always move a lot more people than light rail. Put the billions into dedicated bus ways.

    Go ride the streetcar in Portland and tell me it’s worth multi-billions to build one here. You could ride a rickshaw faster from point a to b.

  23. 25

    Skagit spews:

    Killatroll . . . you are leasing my small chunk of concrete for you to creap-n-beep on. If you don’t pay for my seat, I’ll drive. . .and you’ll have even less concrete to be marooned on.

    Sorry, but I don’t get what you are saying here? Just like those of us in Seattle pay taxes for things that benefit us, people who choose to live many miles away should pay a subsidy for that. I don’t owe more taxes to help you get to the city. I am all for a viable rail system that can move people quickly and cleanly. People who live in Edmonds, Bellevue, other pockets outside the city should be transported in an environmentally-friendly system. But, you should also pony up extra bucks to pay for it. Getting you off the roads may help us as well; but, it is brought on because of choices you make.

    Granted, too many people in the region and expensive land prices. But, nobody ever promised every person everything they want. Don’t take money from me to help you save gas money.

  24. 26

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Commentby killatroll/saveablog— 7/17/06@ 3:55 pm

    “I’ve always said that trolls like ConJob are what is killing Goldt’s blog.”

    Refuting arguments with facts is so detrimental to reasoned discourse. (That was sarcarsm, in case you missed it).

  25. 27

    killatroll/saveablog spews:

    conJobFirst, and Skagit, you simply don’t grasp a simple reality. . .you are not subsidizing my riding transit, you are leasing my small chunk of concrete for you to creap-n-beep on. If you don’t pay for my seat, I’ll drive. . .and you’ll have even less concrete to be marooned on. We have congestion. Get used to it! We have $3/gal oil. Get Used to it. We have too many people. We’ll have even more. The advice the Chinese didn’t take is the same to us. . .Stop F–king.

  26. 29

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Commentby ivan— 7/18/06@ 7:56 am

    “Iran is not an Arab country. Most of us know the difference.”

    Here’s the speech puddy was talking about:

    http://tinyurl.com/fe7r6

    “In a recorded television speech on Sunday evening, Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah urged Arab states to come to the organization’s aid.

    “Where are the Arab nations?” he asked, moments after declaring that Hizbullah wouldn’t ask for help from anyone.”

    Hezbollah already gets help from Iran, why would Nasrallah need to ask for it? I’d expect he’s looking for help from Syria, since they have an Army, and are hostile torwards Israel. Syria is also not separated from Israel by Iraq and the US military deployed there.

  27. 31

    dj spews:

    J Craig Herman @ 24

    ‘“The Socialist” gives us a great exapmle why Democrat NEA union controlled public education is a total waste of money and a total social failure.’

    …whereas Craig Herman shows us a great example of what happens when syphilis goes unchecked.

  28. 32

    REP Pat Kennedy [D-Bitchslap the Black Security Guard At LAX] spews:

    I say we round up all the republican corporate criminals confiscate their fortunes and replenish our treasury .

    Now you can see why the Rich people are a feared of the Socialist

    Commentby The Socialist [……………………………………………………………..Roger Rabbit, Are you “The Socialist”?]

  29. 34

    zip spews:

    Come on Goldy, stick to partisan political bashing and don;t cheapen transit planning by “weighing in” in such a partisan hack manner.

    Belief in the cost effectiveness of the light rail plan around here requires a huge “leap of faith”. The way transportation planning has been managed around here, it’s entirely understandable that a large number of critics won’t take that leap. The part of this that you don;t get (and never will) is that our ability to tax/pay for transportation improvements will eventually hit a limit, and we are betting too huge of a chunk on light rail. Our kids are the ones who will pay the price if it does not work. You may be willing to “bet the farm” on the ST trolley but many other are not. So you decide to slam them on the internet, accomplishing what?

    Why do you feel the need to bust the critics’ chops? How can you be fairly reasonable on the radio and such a butt in “print”?

  30. 35

    Skagit spews:

    Depends on how much my taxes go up to do this . . . why don’t we make em buy bikes?

  31. 36

    BRT spews:

    JC Bob: that cluster-fuck on 50th is about the dumbest thing I have ever seen the city do. They tried that in the West Seattle Junction about 10 years ago and it caused backups for miles. It was undone after only a few weeks.

  32. 37

    ArtFart spews:

    The point I was trying to make above is that the situation in Seattle is sort of like San Francisco, it hasn’t become quite so untenable yet, but it’s likely to get even worse if we keep trying to act like we’re Los Angeles. Paving Lake Washington somehow seems like a ridiculous approach. It’s going to cost a lot less to move a human body than to move a human body plus two tons of steel.

    The knee-jerk anti-transit fanatics keep hollering that they don’t want their taxes to pay for someone else to ride a bus, train, trolley, oxcart or rickshaw–just to make a nice open stretch of concrete for them to drive their cars. Apparently it just doesn’t register that it might cost them less to take the car in front of them off the road and put its occupant in some other conveyance. Oh, yeah–then comes the mythical argument that nobody rides mass transit. I’d suggest getting on one Metro’s downtown commute runs during the rush hour, but of course, those folks wouldn’t dream of actually stepping on a bus themselves–they’re only for losers.

  33. 38

    BRT spews:

    I don’t understand the obsession with slow light rail – which has a fixed route and extremely high cost.

    Why take the I-90 express lanes, which serve large numbers of commuters now, and make them rail-only.

    Fixed rail has it’s place, for sure. Long distance commuter trains – like the Sounder – lend themselves to people coming to a central station to catch a train for a long haul.

    Bus Rapid Transit could be implemented for much less, and do about as good – saving money for other transportation projects or keeping our kids schools open.

  34. 39

    Benjamin spews:

    -“Many” covers a great deal of ground and offers plausible deniabiliy. But the there are/were serious problems with Sound Transit’s plan and it was by no means only conservatives which pointed it them out. In fact quite the contrary.-

    David Sucher makes a good point. The Greens and lefties pushed monorail for a long time (along with other “light rail alternatives” like the always-silly PRT.)

    As did hardcore monorail enthusiasts like David Sucher.

    But the “conservatives” paid for the light rail haters’ campaigns and lawsuits. David Sucher and his rag-tag “people’s train” team didn’t pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees with bake sales. The only time CETA had to report where their money came from came with the Trust In Transit Initiative. It came from parking garage developers, commercial and industrial property owners, and other anti-transit forces. Of course, Sucher still has Tim Eyman fighting for him.

    But Sucher also provides the perfect example of how we got into this mess: Sucher and the “monorail-or-nothing” mass transit “supporters” turned a discussion about transit into pitting one mode of fixed guideway technology over another. For whatever reason, Sucher thought his monorail was an innately superior mode for regional transit, and decided he would do everything he could to stop a proven technology from being built, despite the fact the voters had approved it 1996. And he still is.

    Since when did transportation become an ideology, David? And how is it that you spent years second-guessing the light rail project, but immediately bemoaned the “unhappy with any decision” crowd when obvious flaws in the monorail plan were identified?

    Now, the mantra of the anti-mass transit and anti-light rail crowd is “Bus Rapid Transit,” which doesn’t exist.

    When I look at all the elevated light rail track going up near the airport, I can’t help but notice how much it looks like the monorail (with more than twice the capacity of monorail) So why were the monorail jihadists so obsessed with delaying and stopping the light rail trains? Cost? Well, as it turned out, once realistic cost estimates came in, and the monorail had to face the real world, costs for light rail and monorail ended up being about the same (but light rail didn’t have a $8 billion finance plan).

    Sucher joined a group called CETA, which has existed for one simple reason: to stop the light rail project (despite the fact it’s already half done). No other city in the country (with the possible exception of Austin) has gone through this inane debate where one group of transportation jihadists decided to put a short two-car Disneyland monorail up against real high capacity transit.

    -May I suggest looking a bit further into the history of Sound Transit before making a statement which indicates such lack of familarity with its history? –

    You’re stuck in the past, Mr. Sucher. You’re talking about mistakes that were hatched nearly 10 years ago. Since then, nearly the entire board and all of the staff leadership have turned over. They are now under budget for all the projects, from what I’ve read, and have apparently learned the lesson of using rosy predictions to guide their work (which the monorail authority couldn’t even do, despite their – and your – promise that monorail would be the “anti-Sound Transit”)

    If it’s sour grapes Mr. Sucher is pursuing with this post, then I would have to say he’s succeeded.

    I’m more interested in real rapid transit than the vindictive “eye for an eye” approach, as practised by Mr. Sucher and the rest of the bitter monorail gang.

    Move on.

  35. 40

    Living in the 8th spews:

    It’s crazy to spend so much money on rail when it won’t ease traffic. More lane capacity makes sense. Lanes that EVERYONE can use, that is.

  36. 41

    Living in the 8th spews:

    and I assume that you all here are riding the bus already, are you? If not, why not????

  37. 43

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Commentby killatroll/saveablog— 7/17/06@ 3:13 pm

    “conJobFirst, and Skagit, you simply don’t grasp a simple reality. . .you are not subsidizing my riding transit, you are leasing my small chunk of concrete for you to creap-n-beep on. If you don’t pay for my seat, I’ll drive. . .and you’ll have even less concrete to be marooned on. We have congestion. Get used to it! We have $3/gal oil. Get Used to it. We have too many people. We’ll have even more. The advice the Chinese didn’t take is the same to us. . .Stop F–king.”

    Comments like demonstrate why your blog is dying Goldy.

    Commentby Harry Tuttle— 7/17/06@ 3:12 pm

    “What do you mean by highly subsidised?”

    What a subsidy is, should be pretty clear. The money that people put in the fare box when they ride mass transit, covers a fraction of what it costs to run the service. The Sounder Train, for example, recovered only 12 of their operating costs from the fare box in 2004. This reflects only the subsidy of operating the trains, not capital costs, which are 100% subsidized in the case of the Sounder Train.

    The fares for Metro buses cover about 25% of the cost of running the service.

    Those are both pretty hefty subsidies.

    “Roads aren’t free either, you know.”

    I never said they were. But, they are paid for by user fees, i.e gas taxes. They are also not subsidized from the general fund, at least at the state level.

    “In the situations were persons need to make a repeated trip, like commuting, and the speed and frequency is adequate, people prefer to ride the train over driving.”

    Do they? What’s the difference between a bus and a train in this situation? The vast majority of commuters use their cars, in the Seattle metropolitan area. Light rail will take very few cars off the road, even if Sound Transit’s projections are to be believed. They’ve been far off on the projects they’ve completed thus far.

    “As far as cost comparison to other forms of public transit, light rail costs 45¢ per passenger mile, compared to 55¢ on buses.”

    Where did you get this information? And does it include capital costs?

  38. 44

    sgmmac spews:

    Gidget,

    Yes I saw the original movie……… I wanted to be just like her, but joined the Army instead.

    Had they used the getting across the Interstate for water as a reason to build the critter bridges, I would have been much happier, but the stories I read in the papers never mentioned water, just increasing the gene pool.

    I like safety for a reason, who wants to slam into an elk going 70 mph? But the last time, I looked at the plan it was for 9 different critter crossings……….

  39. 45

    ivan spews:

    JC Bob at 21:

    Oh, you want somebody else to solve your problems for you? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned red-blooded American inititative, spunk, gumption, self-reliance.

    Find your own god damn bus route, idiot. No one is claiming that mass transit solves all problems for all people. But it solves a hell of a lot of problems for a hell of a lot of people.

  40. 46

    killatroll/saveablog spews:

    Skagit, when you get in your car and travel anywhere in a single family vehicle, your are clinging to a profligate energy model. If you can afford it, go for it. But part of the price you pay is for less profligate energy usage, such as public transit. . .almost any form of people mover.
    We are exporting far more than jobs when we cling to outmoded transportation models. We are exporting capital.

  41. 47

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    44.

    What do you mean by highly subsidised? At the federal level, 80% goes to highways with 20% to public transportation. The issue of raising local tax revenue for public transportation, when put to voters, pass big time – 84% approval in 2005, 80% in 2004.

    Roads aren’t free either, you know.

    In the situations were persons need to make a repeated trip, like commuting, and the speed and frequency is adequate, people prefer to ride the train over driving.

    As far as cost comparison to other forms of public transit, light rail costs 45¢ per passenger mile, compared to 55¢ on buses.

  42. 49

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    Those HOV lanes look prettty empty, too. The three person requirement on 520 catches us from time-to-time, but, usually, its free movement forward.

    Maybe if you car lovers started taking some people with you, there’s be less need for transit.

  43. 50

    ivan spews:

    You right-wingers don’t utter a peep when Bush sticks our children and grandchildren with the bill for this war that we’re losing, and with welfare for the children and grandchildren of his rich corporate supporters. But somehow it’s wrong for working people to have mass transit.

    Keep posting here, Zip. Let your hypocrisy and utter lack of practical solutions be seen by all.

  44. 51

    killatroll/saveablog spews:

    Conjob, Sounder is adding another train. Ridership doubled when gas hit $3. More basic research!
    One of the wingnut talking points is to call for “user fees”. Right down your alley Conjob. However, the gas tax IS a user fee. If you don’t use gasoline for transport, you don’t pay it. The proceeds are apportioned. Calling for another fee IS a conjob.

  45. 53

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    DumbASS@71: Why did the Lebanese Hezbollah leader ask for help in his latest speech from other Arab nations? Oh you mean it wasn’t in the Seattle or NY Times? Maybe moron you should read the Jerusalem Times or other web sites where you can read the un-librulized untarnished truth. DumbASS!

  46. 54

    Skagit spews:

    #18 JC Bob:
    I noticed is that NW 50th between the freeway and Aurora has been changed from 4 lanes to 2 lanes plus a continuous left turn center lane.

    That is a huge problem. On Greenwood at NW 85 they’ve done the same thing. Now through traffic is backed up two blocks sometimes just to get through that intersection. I don’t know who the wunderkinds are that devise these travesties.

  47. 55

    JC Bob spews:

    Ivan @ 20.

    Gee, Ivan, I would have thought you would have at least given me the bus routing for just one of the four trips I had to make. I guess you prefer to call me names rather than figure out a real solution.

  48. 56

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Commentby killatroll/saveablog— 7/17/06@ 5:58 pm

    “Conjob, Sounder is adding another train. Ridership doubled when gas hit $3. More basic research!”

    Does that mean that the percentage of cost covered by fares increased? Or is the ratio always going to remain the same so that the more people that ride Sounder mean that the population at large provides an even larger subsidy? I’m not sure what you are trying to say here, or how it refutes my original point that mass transit is highly subsidized.

    “One of the wingnut talking points is to call for “user fees”. Right down your alley Conjob. However, the gas tax IS a user fee.”

    Here’s what I said (Commentby ConservativeFirst— 7/17/06@ 3:49 pm)

    “I never said they were. But, they are paid for by user fees, i.e gas taxes. They are also not subsidized from the general fund, at least at the state level.” (my emphasis)

    Looks like you are trying to tell me something I already know.

    Commentby dj— 7/17/06@ 5:15 pm

    “Oh Brother. Another ignorant wingnut who cannot even bothered to look up the numbers.

    Goldy’s traffic is double what it was a year ago. This blog had its second-best month ever in June which beat out May as the second best. (The best month was from the “Brownie post” that drove an exceptional amount of additional traffic.)

    Quit making up sh*t and do some basic research, jack*ss!” (expletives deleted).

    Don’t hear what I not saying. I wasn’t commenting on traffic. Maybe others have. My comments in this vein were directed at the quality of the content in the comment threads. See my comment at 53. I’ve made such comments previously as well. I’v never commented on site traffic. If you want to get mad at me for something I didn’t say and add to the volume of nonsense on the comment threads, Goldy gives you the freedom to do that.

    Commentby Two Dogs— 7/17/06@ 8:38 pm

    “The gas tax is NOT a user fee.”

    It’s an indirect user fee. In general, the more gas you buy, the more you use the roads.

    “Cut the gas tax and charge people directly to drive on the roads.”

    Does that mean just the freeways? Or tolls for every road?

  49. 58

    sgmmac spews:

    JC Bob,

    That would be the South Sound, cities like Olympia and Lacey. Reducing capacity and increasing congestion pisses people off and then they fall easily to cries for tax increases that they mistakenly think will ease congestion.

    Instead of easing congestion we get 100 million spent on cable barriers that don’t stop accidents, 135 million for critter bridges to enable animals to cross the interstate to mate, 100 million for landscaped lids over roads, 100 million plus for sound barriers on our interstates and the list goes on and on and on………

    They are going to put light rail on a floating bridge and then they are going to put a landscaped lid on top of that. Is is still going to float????????

  50. 59

    Skagit spews:

    #19
    135 million for critter bridges to enable animals to cross the interstate to mate,

    C’mon smeg, I agree with the rest but killing animals via slow death by preventing them from getting to water is okay? No, I can afford to help ‘em get to water . . .

  51. 60

    killatroll/saveablog spews:

    I’ve always said that trolls like ConJob are what is killing Goldt’s blog.

  52. 61

    ArtFart spews:

    The comments about Portland’s light rail system appear to have been made by someone who’s never ridden on it. It’s actually a sort of “hybrid” that runs on streets in places like downtown where it has to make a lot of stops anyway, but runs elsewhere in tunnels or on its own right-of-way paralleling freeways or on abandoned railroad lines–and in those areas it goes like a bat out of hell.

    After hearing about Newt coming to town over the weekend and proclaiming that World War Three is officially under way, I wonder if someone should start a company that buries peoples’ Escalades and turns them into bomb shelters.

  53. 63

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    Lotta talk about the Northend, but the light rail in question goes South from King Street Station to I-90, then East to Bellevue.

    Someone said that trains would be going down Ranier, but that doesn’t make much sense for one station at I-90 and Ranier.

  54. 65

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Commentby Jesse P— 7/17/06@ 1:48 am

    “deserves most of the credit for San Francisco’s ability to avoid LA-style traffic nightmares despite commuters entering the city from relatively long distances.”

    You’ve obviously have not commuted in both LA and the Bay Area. After having spent time commuting in both, I’d say their traffic problems are about the same. At least that was my experience.

    I like BART, but like every large scale public transit system built in recent years, ridership is heavily subsidized. Sound Transit light rail will be no different. If this is supposed to be a “tax” to reduce greenhouse gases, so be it. But it’s never been advertised or promoted as such.

    Even using Sound Transit’s own figures (which have been less than accurate in the past, the traffic congestion reduction provided by light rail will be nominal.

    So for the billions being spent, exactly what is is the benefit of light rail anyway?

  55. 66

    rhp6033 spews:

    I’m not that big a fan of lots of money being spent on “landscape covers” and “sound walls”, myself. But the “landscape covers” are being proposed on 520 to try to get the project past the rich Mountlake people, who have kept improvements to that bridge in limbo with their threats to sue. “I got mine, and I’ll sue to keep it just as it was in 1950, everybody else be damned” philosophy of civics. Given the number of corporate lawyers living in the area, and their litigious history, the threats are taken seriously.

    In my mind, its another example of the working people who cannot afford to live close to the city having to pay twice for the priviledge of commuting to work – once for the actual commuting expense, and once again to build the highway in a manner where the rich folk’s won’t have their view and peace and quiet disturbed by all the hoi paloi going back and forth to work each day – to work for those same rich folks.

    As for the sound barriers, I thought it was justified in areas where you put in a new highway. But I don’t like it when people living near the freeway have already paid a reduced price for the property and then get the government to spend money to make it quieter, and thereby increase its value. To me that’s another form of double-dipping at the taxpayer’s expense.

    I thought it was rather interesting that on I-5, just south of Everett on the west side of the freeway, you can see new homes being built right next to the sound walls. You can see them because only their first floor is blocked by the sound wall. Their second floors (presumably the bedrooms) look right out over the freeway. I know housing is tight, but gee whiz, are people really that desperate to buy? And once they buy, are they then going to insist that the sound barrier be doubled in size because now its too noisy for them?

  56. 67

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    31.

    Not long ago, I was visiting relatives in the Bay Area. I flew to Oakland, took the BART Shuttle to the Coleseum Station, and called my brother to let him know I had arrived and ask him for a ride to his house.

    It turned out that he was just getting on the Bay Bridge, and he suggested he pick me up at the BART station, but I said let’s see who gets to Pleasanton first, so we had a race.

    I won. Mid-afternoon traffic is a bitch.

  57. 68

    Skagit spews:

    #20 Ivan – you haven’t thought this out and you haven’t addressed the problems brought up on this thread.

    I’m pretty open minded about social issues which incoudes transportation needs. But, I don’t believe in throwing money at everything – probably because I’m not a microsoft millionaire. I own a home which is my only asset and I’m hoping to be able to retire in it. So, you guys can balance the books for every little thing you want on my back and, as long as you don’t know me, it’s fine. But, you know a lot of people like me and sometimes things have to be thought out before you throw money at it.

    You disrespect of the points JCBob made (and your’s Dr. E) are not worthy of the discussion.

  58. 69

    Skagit spews:

    KillaTroll: i’m all for transit. Just pay for it with user fees so those that use it to travel 10, 20, 50 miles pay for the mileage that they required. Probably be as cheap as gas prices for them.

  59. 70

    REP Pat Kennedy [D-Bitchslap the Black Security Guard At LAX] spews:

    I am a Socialist not a demarcate oh brilliant speller

    Commentby The Socialist [………………………………………..GBS, Is that you??????]

  60. 71

    JC Bob spews:

    I wonder if all the fine folk who think it is great that Seattle is reducing the traffic capacity of it’s streets also think it is great for cars to be spewing excess pollution and carbon dioxide by idling in congested traffic?

  61. 72

    LeftTurn spews:

    Yes it is pretty obvious that the inbred righties want to have it both ways.

    They don’t want any public transit and they don’t see any problems with a sick environment. They also want to do away with abortion, but they want to make it hard for gays to marry or adopt.

    It’s part of a sick cycle.

  62. 74

    The Socialist spews:

    no there just cheap basterd that only care about them selves and keeping there taxes as low as posible

  63. 75

    spews:

    “Many of light rail’s most vocal critics are the same people who ridicule efforts to mitigate the impact of global warming.”

    “Many” covers a great deal of ground and offers plausible deniabiliy. But the there are/were serious problems with Sound Transit’s plan and it was by no means only conservatives which pointed it them out. In fact quite the contrary.

    May I suggest looking a bit further into the history of Sound Transit before making a statement which indicates such lack of familarity with its history?

  64. 77

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    While the arguing over Light Rail to the Eastside was going on last night, in the Ranier Valley construction crews were continuing construction. In SODO, the line is reaching completion, even the overhead wire is now being installed, to give them something to iron out the first LRVs on. The Emerald Mole continues to chew through Beacon Hill. Also, a few months ago I saw the construction going on in Tukwilla, the elevated spans were only around S.154th ST, the Overhead Gantry Crane has been hard at work, with very long days, 6 days a week, and they are now approaching Interstate 5.

    I wished two lines across Lake Washington were possible, and perhaps a Design-Build-Operate-Maintain contracts. If seperate teams won, and a 520 line were part of the bridge replacement, it might foster competition.

    Denver is building Light Rail. Wait, they have built there first line, it was 10 years ago. Their next major line goes on-line later this year, taking the system from 20 miles to 40 miles. In 15 years they will have 120 miles of rail transit, and 20 miles of Bus Rapid Transit. I would like to see Metro be under some of the same requirements that the Denver RTD does. A decade ago, they were required to contract out 20% of there bus services. Now it is 50%, and the state legislature is about to mandate the same for the Light Rail lines. With more service expected over the next 2 decades, it will work. Denver RTD was able to keep 45% of there bus services running during the 1 week strike of ATU Local 1001. The Light Rail network was not part of that, but now that will change. They have enough service now to make contracting out the service worth it. Construction costs looked like they were going to be putting FastTracks into jeapordy. What did Denver RTD do? They started re-evaluating the first projects due for construction, trimming material-hogging parts of the project. Checking if they really need a tunnel in places where they were planned. It will pay off in the long run.

  65. 78

    Puddybud Michael Kennedy spews:

    Dipshit below:

    Dumb ass GOPer gomer @ 72:

    Iran is not an Arab country. Most of us know the difference.

    Commentby ivan— 7/18/06@ 7:56 am

    Ivan: He asked for help from all Arabs. Go read goober!

  66. 79

    sgmmac spews:

    Maybe Seattle should sell their rail idea to a foreign company who can raise the money, build it and soak all of you for fees for the next 100 years or so………..

  67. 80

    JC Bob spews:

    I’m spending way too much time in Seattle recently.

    Have to take my Mother to see the doctor. 175th and Dayton to 2150-NE 107th. Wonder how I’d do that on a bus let alone light rail?

    Went to granddaughters Baptism at 20th NE and NE 45th. Wonder how I get from Edmonds ferry terminal to there on light rail or a bus while dropping my Mother off at her home at 175th and Dayton?

    Went from Baptism to daughters house at 20th NW and NW 65th. Wonder how I do that on the bus?

    Picked up two daughters and grandson at 20th NW and NW 65th and drove to Edmonds ferry terminal. Wonder how I do that on light rail or the bus?

    By the way, one of the recent traffic ‘improvements’ I noticed is that NW 50th between the freeway and Aurora has been changed from 4 lanes to 2 lanes plus a continuous left turn center lane. I guess you fools in Seattle thrive on traffic congestion. Maybe one of the enlightened can tell me what other city has gone out if it’s way to reduce the traffic capacity of it’s streets like Seattle has.

  68. 81

    righton spews:

    libred

    ok, ya got me, that links reads like they actually might make this sucker have some value.

    That said, $93 million for a mile of track/station. Wow. I think most of that lenght doesn’t require property acquistion, so man…must include some spectacular artwork or something..

  69. 85

    Robert L. Crocker spews:

    Goldy : How do you “mitigate” something that’s been
    a total political fabrication from the get go???