Supporting the $904 million on I-405 expansion in this November’s regional transportation plan (the same plan that Seattle voters must vote for if they also want to expand Sound Transit light rail) GOP King County Council Member Reagan Dunn told the Seattle Times:
The I-405 project, especially, will improve traffic for people who must “drive until you qualify” for affordable suburban homes, said King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “The benefits are real. It will help young people; it will help our future,” he said.
His point is: People can’t afford to live (“live” meaning big houses, big yards, two car garages) in the city and so, to provide affordable housing we have to provide roads for them.
Josh must not get off the “Hill” much. “Drive Until You Qualify” is not some GOP trick. It’s exists. My folks bought land in what was rural King County, built a house, and raised two kids. My parents weren’t rich; my mom was working in social services, and my dad worked at the gas company. Even back then, gas company wages didn’t get you a house in Seattle. Or Bellevue. Or lots of other places. If they wanted a safe places to raise children, they had to look further away to unincorporated King County.
It’s a clever bit of demagoguery because it plays to the truth that yes, housing is becoming more and more expensive in Seattle. However, the GOP solution is a Catch-22. The more you drive people out to the ‘burbs, the more you keep Seattle from addressing its housing and transportation crisis, because suburban development takes dollars and developers away from transit and in-fill density.
No matter how much Josh Feit protests, young families are not going to buy “in-fill density” in Seattle. Maybe some will, but they are the exception that proves the rule. You can’t force young families into condos. Not when they can buy a house in Algona for the same price.
You can, however, give people options. Let’s build transit- lots more- in the city and elsewhere. Let’s expand HOV lanes. Let’s spend a little less time telling people what they should want and more time giving them options.
Josh has too much passion for correcting other people’s behavior (except when it comes to smoking indoors, in which case Josh is a flaming libertarian!). If Josh thinks the winning strategy is to lecture suburban folks, and to accuse them of defiling the environment, then he’s got another thing coming. People can only be “lectured to” so much. They can, however, be convinced. Perhaps we should try to convince people instead of just pointing fingers at them.
Josh will be joining me on “The David Goldstein Show” tonight at 7PM on 710-KIRO. Will knew that when he posted this. But I guess Will’s not man enough to come down to the studio and say to Josh’s face. He’s afraid of Josh’s passion.