by Will, 11/03/2007, 12:02 PM

26 Responses to “Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak endorses “Roads and Transit””

1. JANE BALOUGH'S DOG spews:

Anytime you want to invest in something that will not work you need democrats leading the way.

Seattle public Schools- Invest thousands and thousands per student and yet 40% pass up free eduction.

Welfare System- FUBR

Every other liberal program- FUBR

2. Marcel spews:

Hello, is Seattle perhaps more right wing, than the new conservative French government?

###
Road-building turns a corner
By Christopher Caldwell

PublRished: November 2 2007 19:20 | Last updated: November 2 2007 19:20

“For 30 years, we’ve built a lot of roads and a lot of highways,” Jean-Louis Borloo, the French environment minister, said at the end of a two-day summit last week. “That’s over. Our road capacity is not going to increase further.” …

“We are the first generation in the history of humanity,” President Nicolas Sarkozy grimly warned, “whose mission is to rescue the generation to come.” …

Plans include new high-speed rail lines, a halt to airport construction and the laying out of 1,500km of tramways in 30 cities. ###

3. jsa on beacon hill spews:

JBD @ 1:

OK. Where are some conservative-run places that are big success stories?

Let’s see…

NYC? Oops. Nope. Bloomberg can only be a Republican in that city. Anywhere else he would be chased out of the GOP. Oh, wait. He already left.

Ummm.

Alaska? America’s ginormous welfare state?

* scratches head *

Where is it?

I know Conservative government works somewhere. I just don’t know where…

4. joe pine spews:

Keeping what you have in good repair is not roadbuilding. Improving an existing structure is not roadbuilding. Putting in light rail is not roadbuilding. Building neumatic plasticine tubes with cold-fusion magnetic drive and transport pods that go 600 MPH is not road building.

DAMN! I gave away our secret Liberal plan to spend everyone’s tax money!

My bad….

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

Looks like Hail Mary time for Will. Wonder if he’s seen a new poll that I haven’t? If Prop. 1 needs an endorsement from Minneapolis’ mayor, it’s on its last gasp.

6. Piper Scott spews:

Will…

Make sure the Minney-soota mayor gets a bill for his share of the Prop 1 tax bill.

Putz comes to town to tell us our business; he ought to be sent packing with nary a block heater to his name.

Know what summer in Minney-soota is, don’t you? Two weeks of lousy ice fishing.

I’ll bet the peckerwood has more carbon footprint leaving toys (boat for Lake Minnetonka, snow mobile, wood stove for his ice fishing hut, another stove for his duck blind, and still another for his deer camp) than the next 10 Norwegian bachelor farmers.

He’s taken one too many dips in Lake Woebegon, and the leeches have sucked on his brain.

The Piper

7. michael spews:

Yay, @ #4!

I want my tube!

Lets put what little money we have (last I checked the personal savings rate has been a negative # for a while) into fixing and improving what we have.

Pierce and Snohomish counties still have sprawl/ poor land use planning issues and the RTID package will make them worse.

8. correctnotright spews:

I hope all the morons who are against prop. 1 are sitting in traffic and can’t take a train for the next 20 years to get where they want to go. These naysayers can keep their pittance of tax money and car tab fees and waste more gas sitting in traffic waiting on a 520 bridge that was never built and a rail line that didn’t reach to their homes. It ain’t perfect – but I have yet to see these idiots propose another plan that won’t cost more and do less.

These are the same fools (like Dory Monson) who opposed rail from the beginning and insist that buses are great. Buses stink!!! Anyone who rides buses knows they get stuck in traffic and hold up more traffic than they are worth.
remember – Seattle would have had a rail line in 1978 – but some idiots argued that I-5 would never be full – it is the same group that is arguing against this package. think about it – these people can’t see past next week – they have no vision and just complain.

Also, if we wait it will cost more and do less. Yeah, you fools can revel in your polls that says Prop. 1 is going down – but you and the suckers that vote it down will be sitting in a living hell of traffic and do nothing to fix it.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

I wonder how much Mayor Ryback knows about Prop. 1. Has he really analyzed its project priorities, costs, and where the tax burden falls? Or is he just endorsing the concept? I support the concept. For example, I support the idea of the Mariners winning baseball games, but I don’t support wild pitches, strikeouts, errors, or base running errors. Prop. 1 isn’t so go when you look at it closely, and I seriously wonder if Ryback has done that.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 All of these arguments are good reasons to support a transportation package that prioritizes projects correctly, uses money wisely, economizes where possible, and pays for it all with a reasonable mix of user charges and non-regressive taxes. Prop. 1 fails on every one of these counts.

11. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 (continued)

“I hope all the morons who are against prop. 1 are sitting in traffic and can’t take a train for the next 20 years to get where they want to go.”

If we vote for Prop. 1, we’ll be sitting in traffic anyway, because even with Prop. 1 congestion will get worse, and we won’t be able to the a train anyway because it will take 20 years to build. Passing Prop. 1 won’t make a Tacoma-to-Everett light rail connection magically appear overnight.

In fact, Prop. 1 arguably will make congestion worse by allocating scarce transportation dollars to a transportation mode that Sound Transit estimates will carry only 2% of the region’s commuter traffic.

“These naysayers can keep their pittance of tax money”

The $37 billion cost of Prop. 1 isn’t a pittance. That amounts to $1,350 per household per year, for the next 20 years. And that doesn’t include operating expenses or maintenance.

“and car tab fees and waste more gas sitting in traffic waiting on a 520 bridge that was never built”

Prop. 1 won’t build the 520 bridge. Prop. 1 doesn’t fund 520 replacement. That’s one of the reasons I voted against it. Prop. 1 throws $27 billion at light rail while failing to fund some of the region’s most critical transportation priorities.

“I have yet to see these idiots propose another plan that won’t cost more and do less.”

Pass a road-and-bridges package that fully funds 520 and other R&B projects that MUST be done. Do key freight mobility projects.

I favor waiting with more light rail until Phase 1 is completed and we see what the ridership is, i.e., does it have market acceptance. In addition, before we expand light rail, we should compare its cost effectives to other mass transit alternatives. If reasoned analysis points toward light rail expansion, avoid throwing large sums of money at low ridership expansion like the SeaTac to Tacoma link, and avoid building it in the most expensive way possible, e.g., undergrounding the 5-mile U. District to Northgage link. And make sure you have adequate parking at the suburban stations. It won’t work without parking.

“These are the same fools (like Dory Monson) who opposed rail from the beginning and insist that buses are great. Buses stink!!!”

I commuted to a downtown Seattle job by bus for years, and it beat hell out of driving. All the commuter buses I rode on were always full, standing room only, so buses have proved to be a popular form of transportation compared to car driving, carpooling, or the other available alternatives. Buses also have the advantage of flexibility: You can change the route at little expense if population or ridership patterns change.

“Anyone who rides buses knows they get stuck in traffic and hold up more traffic than they are worth.”

If you are against cars, why do you care if buses hold up car traffic? The suburban express buses to the downtown core don’t get stuck in traffic as much as cars. They use bus lanes and HOV lanes, and the bus commute time was typically half the car commute time, in my experience. Buses work better than cars for commuting to a downtown office job. Light rail might be incrementally faster, but at what cost? Light rail will cost $25 to $35 per ride, mostly at taxpayers’ expense, and the only people who could love THAT are those who aren’t paying the taxes to support it.

“remember – Seattle would have had a rail line in 1978 – but some idiots argued that I-5 would never be full – it is the same group that is arguing against this package.”

To believe this nonsense, you have to believe everyone who lived in Seattle 29 years ago is still here, and no one has moved here in the last 29 years.

“think about it – these people can’t see past next week – they have no vision and just complain.”

Bullshit. Opponents, such as myself, have used fact-based reasoned arguments to make our case against Prop. 1.

“Also, if we wait it will cost more and do less. Yeah, you fools can revel in your polls that says Prop. 1 is going down – but you and the suckers that vote it down will be sitting in a living hell of traffic and do nothing to fix it.”

Long on rhetoric, short on facts. Basically you are appealing to people’s emotions instead of reason. You are saying we should pass a deeply flawed transportation package that misallocates resources, squanders money, and doesn’t solve our transportation problems because we can’t do better by sitting down and revising this proposal to remove its flaws. That’s a pretty insulting attitude toward your neighbors. It’s also wrong.

12. James spews:

“I hope all the morons who are against prop. 1 are sitting in traffic and can’t take a train for the next 20 years to get where they want to go.”

ok, fair enough. But what curse are you placing on all the morons who are for it?

Will, on a slightly more serious note (but only slightly), do you own a car?

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

I-5 is aging and eventually will have to be rebuilt. The logical time and place to build Tacoma-to-Everett light rail is down the middle of I-5, between the north and south lanes, when I-5 is rebuilt. The public already owns the right-of-way, which is the biggest expense.

Light rail should work to move commuters from bedroom communities to key destinations, such as major sports facilities and concentrated employment centers. Light rail connecting suburbs to downtown office cores, SeaTac, Boeing, Microsoft, and the University of Washington makes sense. If costs can be kept down by using the express lanes for rail instead of car traffic, this might make sense, especially if rail can move six times as many people as cars can in the same physical space. Here again, the public already owns the right-of-way, eliminating one of the major costs.

What I’m saying is, a well-designed light rail system, coupled with cost savings efforts, may serve this region well. That’s not what Prop. 1 will build, however. And that’s why we need to defeat Prop. 1 and send the planners back to the drawing board.

It also must be kept in mind that light rail won’t work at all without a feeder system at both ends. Light rail serves only one narrow corridor, and carries only commuter traffic, so you have to be able to move commuters from their homes to the boarding stations, and from the debarking stations to their final destinations. Rail depends on buses, cars, parking facilities, and other transportation infrastructure and modes to work. You can’t ignore these when you design the light rail system, and to the extent you have to build them, they should be considered part of the cost of light rail.

Rail doesn’t make it sense if it won’t transport people to where they need/want to go, and/or if it will cost many times per ride as alternative modes.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 I wondered about that myself. Public-transportation-regardless-of-cost looks a lot better to someone who’s trying to avoid the costs of owning a car by building mass transit with other people’s money, than it does to someone who won’t use it and can’t afford it but will be forced to pay for it.

15. Been there...done that. spews:

I don’t particularly care what out-of-staters think when it comes to things here.

That said, Rybak knows something about the lack of investment in infrastructure from his state…and we are just getting lucky with the viaduct and 520.

The viaduct has 2.8 billion earmarked from the state, we just need to decide how to spend it.

The 520 needs the 1.1 billion from Prop 1 to complete the funding package.

Methinks this is a bit more important than Roger thinks.

16. Marmot's Whistle spews:

Maybe the good Mayor of Minneapolis is endorsing the R&T Prop. 1 in hopes that the Puget Sound area will spend lots of money on ineffective highway expansions that will worsen our carbon budget and add more sprawl to the region. Then his burg can sell us carbon allowances once the U.S. gets with the program and establishes some kind of cap & trade or other carbon allowance system in an attempt to reduce our global warming impacts. We would do well not to go down this path towards greater liability on our future carbon ledger. Reject Prop. 1. Be smarter and strategic in our transportation investments.

@13:
Are you sure RR that you aren’t confusing light rail with commuter rail? In stating, “Light rail serves only one narrow corridor, and carries only commuter traffic…” you neglect the real reason for building light rail in the first place. It is high-capacity transit, as in all day long not just for commuters. That is why we need to build it where it will attract ridership throughout the day, and that is best done where a complete, well-connected street grid exists and zoning is in place to allow for high density development (if it doesn’t already exist). The extension of LRT north to Northgate certainly meets these criteria. It should be priority one in a follow-up transit plan if Prop. 1 is defeated. Tacoma and Everett also have (or can have with the right zoning) these characteristics and are good candidates for light rail lines that connect residential and job centers.
Building down the median of I-5, while cheaper for construction, won’t generate the high density redevelopment that will provide a ready walk-up market for the high-capacity transit line. Adjacent to the expressway is not a pleasant place to live and play. That is why SR 99 both south in King Co. and north into Snohomish Co. is a better choice for light rail routing than I-5. But the lack of good street grids may make some of these areas poor performers for ridership. Is Fife to Federal Way LRT really a good use of transit funds? If Federal Way is serious about building 24 story residential towers in its central area, and it constructs a more complete street grid over the original auto-oriented strip mall configuration, then LRT from Sea-Tac Airport to Federal Way begins to look viable. If we rely on huge park & ride garages at suburban light rail stations — Prop. 1 would build ~$300 million worth of such free parking — then we have lost on both the sprawl and global warming fronts. It is the ability of LRT to generate walk up and bike up users that makes it attractive from a land use and global warming perspective. We need a smart plan that selects corridors for LRT and other forms of transit based on these advantages. Keep the pet political projects out of the mix, and let the transportation planners do their jobs.

17. James spews:

@14

Public-transportation-regardle ss-of-cost looks a lot better to someone who’s trying to avoid the costs of owning a car by building mass transit with other people’s money.
——————————-

Well, it could certainly steel their resolve, knowing they’re being subsidized by their neighbors.

Indeed, for an average “household” the MVET portion of the household’s contribution to RTID could be roughly half. This is one of those issues it’s difficult to assess because there’s no transparent description of the underlying assumptions that are used in the financial studies that I am aware of (much like the congestion modeling, as I’m accustomed to pointing out).

But, your point is apt: if you don’t own a car you’re probably paying much less than your neighbor for R&T.

Lee, as I recall, doesn’t own a car.

Will?

18. petenice spews:

Here’s a relevant video response.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sts0Ji5lJTg

19. Chris spews:

Will does not own a car, and is a regular bus commuter.

He supports Prop 1 for the right reasons, but I think he, like all reasonable people, will come to loath it if it actually passes.

50 years of taxes to build politically motivated transportation projects, rather than taking care of existing infrastructure first and putting light rail and transit investments where they generate the most riders…. It’s going to look really bad as the global warming crisis continues to unfold.

Oh, and even through Will doesn’t own a car, he probably has a bigger per capita carbon footprint than Mike O’Brien’s family. A couple thousand miles a year in an SUV with the kids plus bike commuting everywhere else is still better than taking the bus everywhere.

20. please pay attention spews:

Marmot’s Whistle is a Metro Bus Planner and Chris works for Ron Sims. Their answer to our transportation needs for the coming decades…

Ride the bus!!!

21. thor spews:

They love light rail now in the Twin Cities after enduring their own version of head in sand debating about it for years.

Just because the dopes at the local chapter of the Sierra Club have whored themselves out to Kemper Freeman and Frank Belthen’s sprawl-and-build-more-roads-for-buses-to-be-stuck-in approach, doesn’t mean that everyone else needs to go along.

The light rail on the ballot is an enormous amount of environmental progress with green benefits that far exceed any damage done by the roads on the ballot.

Thank goodness the tally starts in a couple of days and we can hopefully end this nonsensical fight with some actual progess on transportation. Every analysis shows more greenhouse gases result from no action. It is time to get the no action crowd to shut up so we can all move on.

22. StuartJ spews:

@21 (thor) – The light rail on the ballot is an enormous amount of environmental progress with green benefits that far exceed any damage done by the roads on the ballot.

The issue is certainly more involved than this. Incidentally, thor wouldn’t happen to be thor peterson of Cascadia?

23. correctnotright spews:

RR says:

RR: Prop 1 will not make congestion worse – you are a complete fool. It will get worse if we do nothing – that is your only alternative. You have no argument. If I want to get to the airport I sure as hell am not going to take a bus and transfer 4 times. when the hell was the last time you took a friggin bu anywhere not directly downtowN – it sucks!!! and so does your pathetic argument.

In fact, Prop. 1 arguably will make congestion worse by allocating scarce transportation dollars to a transportation mode that Sound Transit estimates will carry only 2% of the region’s commuter traffic.

“These naysayers can keep their pittance of tax money”

The $37 billion cost of Prop. 1 isn’t a pittance. That amounts to $1,350 per household per year, for the next 20 years. And that doesn’t include operating expenses or maintenance.

37 billion/3 million people/20 years = 70 bucks a person????
How much did the friggin I-90 lid cost for the 4 miles on MI???? didn’t hear you badmouthing that….

“and car tab fees and waste more gas sitting in traffic waiting on a 520 bridge that was never built”

Prop. 1 won’t build the 520 bridge. Prop. 1 doesn’t fund 520 replacement. That’s one of the reasons I voted against it. Prop. 1 throws $27 billion at light rail while failing to fund some of the region’s most critical transportation priorities.

RR says: “I have yet to see these idiots propose another plan that won’t cost more and do less.”

Pass a road-and-bridges package that fully funds 520 and other R&B projects that MUST be done. Do key freight mobility projects.

I favor waiting with more light rail until Phase 1 is completed and we see what the ridership is, i.e., does it have market acceptance. In addition, before we expand light rail, we should compare its cost effectives to other mass transit alternatives. If reasoned analysis points toward light rail expansion, avoid throwing large sums of money at low ridership expansion like the SeaTac to Tacoma link, and avoid building it in the most expensive way possible, e.g., undergrounding the 5-mile U. District to Northgage link. And make sure you have adequate parking at the suburban stations. It won’t work without parking.

Note RR has NO plan!!!! And the longer we wait the more expensive it gets. Delay, stall, pay more later and complain…..yadayda…that is no argument – that is idiocy.

If you actually traveled anywhere eles and realized that almost every other major city has rail (even Portland has it!!) – and only the naysayers here masquerading as intelligentsia are against it becaue….it doesn’t do exacly what they want and they prefer to be stuck in traffic…

24. soNotRight spews:

So, not right, please describe as briefly as possible how long you’ve had a passion for trains.

25. RTID = Stupid spews:

@ 21 (thor) wrote: “They love light rail now in the Twin Cities after enduring their own version of head in sand debating about it for years.”

They didn’t impose ANY new taxes for it there.

Here, thor, I’ll say it again because you just don’t get it: they didn’t impose ANY new taxes for light rail there.

Let ST pull that off, then we’ll like the idea for here. But Forty to Fifty Billion in sales taxes for a dinky little light rail line? No Way Jose.

26. little thor spews:

@23 – your numbers are full of shit
@25 – they didn’t raise direct taxes … they bonded their future away … either way you have to pay.