Danny Westneat’s got it exactly right in talking about British Columbia’s continued success at building mass transit, versus our Sisyphean struggles:
In the past decade, British Columbians have voted directly on transit issues exactly zero times.
Meanwhile, we here in Puget Sound have voted on transportation issues 12 times. Twice on light rail, five times on monorail, twice on gas taxes and three times on Tim Eyman transportation initiatives.
Anyone else sick of all this voting?
I know I am. And judging from the decisive defeat of I-912 (yes… 7 points is decisive) coming from an electorate with a history of supporting anti-tax measures, it looks like a lot of other people are getting sick of all this voting too.
WA’s highest paid politician, Tim Eyman, promises to come back next year with yet another $30 car tabs initiative, which like I-776 before it, is mostly intended to undermine light rail. I suppose there might be a place for direct democracy, but constantly subjecting complex transportation projects to vote after vote — even while under construction — is a surefire recipe for gridlock, both political and otherwise.
So I’m with Danny:
How about we butt out now and see if government can make work what we’ve got?
Yes watchdog ’em, audit ’em, make ’em do it right.
But enough with the people power. It may make us the envy of the world, but when it comes to transportation, we’re only the laughingstock of Canada.