So, the House transportation budget released today doesn’t just pull the funding from the state’s previously agreed to portion of Sound Transit’s I-90 crossing… it completely bars DOT from allowing Sound Transit to use the bridge at all:
(17) The department shall not sign the final environmental impact statement for the east link project or negotiate an airspace lease with sound transit for the use of the Interstate 90 center roadway for exclusive use by light rail until completion of an independent facility asset assessment by the joint transportation committee.
That’s right, even though ST Phase 2 was overwhelmingly approved by voters, and even if ST were to find the money to fund moving the HOV lanes itself, House Democrats intend to bar DOT from even negotiating an airspace lease to use the center roadway. I mean… what the fuck?!!
Dollars to donuts, a few years from now, when ST is behind schedule and over budget on the I-90 crossing because the legislature intentionally knocked them off schedule and over budget, we’ll hear lawmakers opining about ST’s mismanagement in an effort to justify a “regional governance” package that would gut light rail and take transportation planning out of the hands of those who pay most of the bill.
(Hat tip Seattle Transit Blog.)