Roads and Transit Roads

It didn’t take a genius to figure out the strategy of the anti-rail/pro-roads camp. Of course, they wanted most of the proposals in the RTID package — and more — but they knew they’d get most of it without Prop 1… eventually. So while cockeyed optimists like Josh and Erica appear buoyant at the prospect of a transit-only measure appearing on the ballot sometime this decade, “Plan B” is moving quickly apace. And yes, there always was a Plan B, as outlined in an editorial Sunday in the Seattle Times:

  • Highway 520 has to be redone before it falls into the lake. While redoing it, it must be expanded to accommodate traffic to job centers in Bellevue and Redmond. Pay for it in part with tolls.
  • Replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, either with a new structure or a sensible surface option.
  • Perhaps extend light rail to Northgate. The density is already there, but this may have to wait until the first light-rail line opens.
  • In Snohomish County, do key interchanges to Interstate 5, expand Highway 9 and improve Highway 2. Pick only the must-dos.
  • Pierce County: Do Highway 167. Make that the priority.
  • Bring on congestion pricing to change motorist behavior at peak times. In other words, get the most out of roadways we already have.

Huh. Sounds pretty much like the bulk of the major projects from RTID, with the Viaduct thrown in for good measure. As for light rail, perhaps we should extend it to Northgate… you know, if we can get beyond the fiscal reality that Sound Transit lacks sufficient taxing authority to even bond the half-billion dollar a mile project from revenues in the Seattle sub-area alone.

If I were to make a proposal like this, I’d just be talking out of my ass, but the Times editorial board has always been an official organ of the Eastside political establishment, so I’m guessing it was pretty well vetted before publication. And the very next day, surprise….

Now that Puget Sound-area voters have killed the ambitious roads and transit plan outlined in Proposition 1, the state will take back responsibility for replacing the state Route 520 Bridge, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday.

“I’ve already asked the Department of Transportation and the Office of (Financial Management) to come up with a new financing plan,” Gregoire said. “We will split off from the Regional Transportation Improvement District, because the 520 Bridge can no longer wait. It needs to be replaced.”

Gregoire said she wants to keep her commitment to begin construction on the 520 replacement by 2012.

If you think the timing is just some lucky coincidence, I’ve got a floating bridge to sell you.

The Kemper Freemanites’ opposition to rail wasn’t just ideological, it was politically pragmatic, for with light rail extension effectively killed for the foreseeable future, that frees up additional tax and toll revenues for other items on their asphalt wish list. They might not get everything they want — the Cross-Base Freeway and the mythical I-605 will likely never see the light of the day — but they’ll get most of what they want, including “hot lanes” and congestion pricing for those who can afford it. Meanwhile, we’ll buy a few buses, append the “Rapid Transit” suffix, and tell the common folk they’re getting a good deal for their money. Sweet.

But then, what do I know? I’m just some dumb blogger, not a savvy political strategist like those polar bear clad geniuses at the Sierra Club and their fellow travelers at The Stranger.

Comments

  1. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If WSDOT can build a 5,400′ suspension bridge in Tacoma for $843,000,000 they oughta be able to build a 7,600′ pontoon bridge in Seattle for $1,186,444,444.44 ($843 million x 7600/5400).

  2. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Well, c’mon Goldy, you KNOW they’re not going to let the defeat of Prop. 1 get in the way of replacing the 520 bridge. It is, after all, a state highway. So is 99. So, these two projects really are the state’s responsibility. I don’t understand why 520 was on the Prop. 1 list in the first place.

    As for light rail, car drivers pay for highways through MVET and gas taxes, so why shouldn’t light rail commuters pay for light rail through farebox revenues? At $30 a ride, each way, every day, it’s probably still competitive with the costs of owning and commuting by car.

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against light rail, and I’m not even against paying for light rail with an extra sales tax, provided the extra sales tax is on gasoline (and only gasoline).

  4. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4204 Still Trails

    According to tallies posted by SOS at 8:15 AM today, Init. 4204 is closing the gap by still trails by slightly more than a thousand votes:

    Approved 703,228 49.9632 %
    Rejected 704,264 50.0368 %

  5. 7

    George spews:

    “Now that Puget Sound-area voters have killed the ambitious roads and transit plan outlined in Proposition 1, the state will take back responsibility for replacing the state Route 520 Bridge, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday.”
    What about the other State Highways choke points that was told to the people in order to pass the 9 1/2 cent gas tax along with the prior gas taxes.How about the Governor’s cry to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with money in hand to pay for it before it falls.
    All State Highways are to be fixed by the state, but they feel the counties and cities should pay for them so the State has more cash to play with.

  6. 8

    TacomaRoma spews:

    Maybe we should start a voter initiative to shut down this 520 rebuild stuff. I’m less-than-pleased that my governor has decided to ignore the will of the voters and go ahead and rebuild that bridge anyway. Clearly, the voters want transit but all the politicos want to push out are roads.

    I see a great opportunity here for voter-driven initiatives. Eyeman has used them for years to obstruct every progressive change put forward in this state. Why can’t we use them to obstruct every attempt at increasing asphalt?

  7. 9

    TacomaRoma spews:

    @7

    Hell — what happened to the I-5 HOV lanes that were supposed to go from Everett to Olympia? Locke promised that, and so far, the HOV lanes stop at the King/Pierce County line. And that was just finished this year! Prior to that they stopped at the top of Southcenter Hill.

  8. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 Do you have some FACTS to go along with your SPEW? For example, do you have any information that ANY project that was to be funded by the 9 1/2 cent gas tax is NOT being funded by that tax? Your comment sounds like uninformed, nonfactual, gratuitous governor-bashing to me.

  9. 11

    spews:

    http://seattlejew.blogspot.com/search?q=prince+jet

    The obvious answer we sell private boxes and the naming rights to a new FLOATING Husky stadium Prince Alaweed for Saudi Arabia. He just spent 1/2 bill on a to be-finished A380 so this makes sense as the next big thing.

    Of course I 520 would need to be rebuilt as an access road with a private landing strip for the A380!

    I suspect tin will be easy for the new Stadium to restrict itself to Hallal stadium dogs!

    One concern .. as a devout religious man, the prince can not stand dogs … the uW will need a new mascot. I suggest Hamatsa and will be happy to share beer with anyone here who figures out what THAT is!

  10. 12

    spews:

    To accomplish his goal of paving everything in sight for Hummers and SUVs to drive on, Freeman and his pals played the pitifully-naive Sierra Club like a violin. He got O’Brien et al. to guilt many liberals into voting against their own (and all of our) interests … a slight majority of the voters in the 43rd supported Prop.1, but it would have been at least 65% in my LD — and similar in the 36th, 46th, 37th, and 34th — without Kemper’s useful-idiots.

    And now Freeman, Blethen, and (it seems) Gregoire will grind the Sierra Club into the dust along with the rest of us who want to see mass transit in the Puget Sound.

    Thanks for nothing, Mike.

  11. 13

    spews:

    The Sierra Club were just tools, and ECB and Josh Feit are not the sharpest tools even in the rust shed that is the the stranger.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll never get rail now that the “progressive, green left” has thrown it’s hat in with the pavement people.

  12. 14

    spews:

    @12, 13

    I want rail too but what rail???

    Goldy and others talk fondly of the metro systems in Boston, New York etc … but these intra city systesm are very different from intra suburb systems or intercity systems.

    WADR to both the right and the left on this issue, in some ways the Guv et al remind me of GWBush .. their intentions are less impressive than their incompetence. IF THERE IS A REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN, THAT PLAN IS BETTER SECRET THAN THE WHEREABOUTS OF OBL CHANEY.

    My gripe was never with the plan, it was the arrogance of a system that would not tell the voters what the overall plan was and would not discuss how the long term costs were to be born.

    HOWSA about this for nightmare? What happens if Dino comes up with a comprehensive plan?

  13. 15

    Right Stuff spews:

    I see a great opportunity here for voter-driven initiatives. Eyeman has used them for years to obstruct every progressive change put forward in this state. Why can’t we use them to obstruct every attempt at increasing asphalt?

    Knock yourself out!
    What would your ballot title be? “Initiative 9xx, An itinitiative aimed at facilitating the demise of the SR520 bridge”?

    “Freeman and his pals played the pitifully-naive Sierra Club like a violin. He got O’Brien et al. to guilt many liberals into voting against their own (and all of our) interests “

    Puuuhlease! what, did they use the ol’ “jedi mind trick” on them….Or are you saying that the Sierra club should just shut up and tow whatever line the “progressives” offer…mindlessly…?

  14. 16

    Right Stuff spews:

    “Now that Puget Sound-area voters have killed the ambitious roads and transit plan outlined in Proposition 1, the state will take back responsibility for replacing the state Route 520 Bridge, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday.”

    The only reason the Gov is coming out with this statement now is becuase the vote of last Tues put transportation issues on the front burner of the 2008 Gov race. Whe wants to appear strong…..decisive…..realy entertaining political theatre.

  15. 17

    spews:

    @14

    New York is way bigger geographically than Seattle. Queens to Manhattan might be “intra muncipality” but is not intercity, Queens is a completely different place, and the distance there is farther than Seattle-Overlake.

    And uh, dude, Boston’s T is intercity. So is BART. So is CTA. Look it up!

  16. 18

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    @11:

    Hamatsa. Duh. That’s what teh Google is for. No beer for me, thanks, bu I would like a light rail expansion to Everett.

  17. 19

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    The Sierra Club were just tools, and ECB and Josh Feit are not the sharpest tools even in the rust shed that is the the stranger.

    See, I’ve been saying that for months.

    As for the Sierra Club, the next time they come to my door asking for money, I’m going to give the nice young person a blank look and say: “Sierra Club? Hmm…your organization was founded to protect ecosystems in the Sierras? [wait for them to respond] And Lake Tahoe too? How’s that working out for you?”

  18. 20

    Post meridiem spews:

    Okay, due diligence time, folks.

    Everyone who is concerned about the future of light rail in this region needs to stop blogging for a few minutes, sit down, and write the Governor, their state legislators, and their county council members. Now. Tell them that transit would have passed without the roads expansion, and that we deserve a chance to expand our transportation options via rail while fixing the roads that need fixing.

    While you’re at it, send a version in brief to you local newspaper(s) as a letter to the editor.

    Then complain all you want.

  19. 21

    TacomaRoma spews:

    @15

    How about a play from Eyeman’s book?

    “An initiative aimed at facilitating inceased regional transportation options.”

    You like that? I have more.

    “An initiative aimed at facilitating greater commuter freedom.”

    “An initiative aimed at bringing greater transportation choices to Puget Sound.”

    Here’s a classic for you, as a bonus:

    “An initiative aimed at reducing your property, MVET and gasoline taxes.”

    I could do this all day. Now all I need to do is convince Soros to pay me a salary while I sit around in my underwear thinking up fucked-up anti-roads initiatives and calling them whatever I feel like.

  20. 22

    David spews:

    How about thinking through this process in a ‘conservative’ mindset. Since we have to build rail, let’s build it as cheap as possible.

    See, we WILL have rail transit connecting all major points eventually. It’s only a matter of when. Seattle is simply ‘locked’ in and can’t grow. Chicago can just eat up hundreds of miles of corn fields and keep building more loops of freeway, we can’t. Like Manhattan, we’ll never grow. We’re locked in with water on two sides of Seattle, existing cities on the other ends…and the entire ‘region’ itself is bound by water on the west side and mountains on the east…with the only corrodore being a slim north-south passage. Their just ain’t not more places TO build freeways even IF you said you wanted them. No more freeways will EVER be built north/south through Seattle. We’re done. It’s over. NOW add a million more people. How exactly does that work? Rail transit, like EVERY other city our size on the planet (duh). So now the question is, why wait? EVERY year we wait the property becomes more dense, land values increase, construction costs, inflation, etc all increase. WHEN we build out our light rail in 20 years, EVERYONE can shut the f__k up about how much it costs and how we would have saved billions IF ONLY we had started in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 2000…but we didn’t.

    So WHEN I’m 65 and I hear the first “conservative” bitch about how expensive it is to buy land and build a rail line in 2025 I will punch them in their f__king face…(as hard as 65 year old can).

  21. 23

    compassionatelibertarian spews:

    Those million people won’t be living in Seattle. Trust me, the NIMBYers whose condo views would be blocked by additional construction will make very sure that they are shipped off to Snoqualmie or some other far-flung hell on earth.

    Rail won’t work, we don’t have the density. Its that simple.

  22. 24

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Mind if I ask what the 9-1/2 cent gas tax increase was for?
    I’ve forgotten…it was sooooooooooooo long ago.
    Isn’t anyone interesting in looking at what was promised by the promoters of that increase?
    Seems to me it’s been a long time ago and there is some serious “bait-and-switch” going on trying to get local government to honor the State’s commitment.
    Oh well………….

  23. 25

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    From the Seattle P-I 10/4/05
    “I-912 would torpedo an $8.5 billion investment in rebuilding the earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Evergreen Point Bridge and hundreds of highway safety projects around the state. It would also negate one of Gregoire’s biggest successes in office. Gregoire resurrected the omnibus transportation bill after a bitter partisan standoff in the Legislature nearly killed it.”

    Sounds to me that Gregoire tried to pawn off what she promised the 9-1/2 cents/gallon increase would pay for.
    Bait-and-switch!

  24. 26

    My Goldy Itches spews:

    When only 20 something % of commuters take public transportation, rail and bus service only does a limited amount of good. Like it or not, most people drive to work and will do so no matter what. I know this flies in the face of the HOV ideology of Seattle liberalism, but this is an inescapable fact. More roads are needed and 405 needs to be widened to 4 lanes + carpool in each direction. Only a Seattle transportation planner would design a freeway with just 2 general purpose lanes.

  25. 27

    correctnotright spews:

    @26: MGI (then scratch it – only a republican would advertise personal hygiene issues and think it is clever)

    When oil prices top $10.00/gallon and the economy is sinking (caused by the idiot republican president), then no one will be able to afford to drive.

    I hope you get to work by walking.At least then, you’ll only be intellectually lazy.

  26. 28

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    correctnotright:
    You are intellectually lazy.
    Hasn’t it dawned on you that our dependence on foreign oil, skyrocketing oil prices & sinking economy might be caused by the LEFTIST PINHEADED KLOWNS blocking any new domestic drilling and any new refineries???
    Are you saying these policies that came from the LEFT have no impact on gas & oil prices and our trade deficit/sinking dollar??????
    Talk about intellectually lazy!

  27. 29

    ArtFart spews:

    As I live and breathe….Mr. C! It’s starting to seem like old times around here.

    I just wonder if they’re going to fill in the chuckhole a couple blocks away from us before my neighbor has to help his Labrador climb out when the poor mutt falls in there.

  28. 30

    ArtFart spews:

    Maybe we need a nine-and-a-half cent per can tax on dog food to pay for the asphalt. Somehow the gas/sales/property/booze/inheritance/car tab taxes haven’t done the job.

  29. 31

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Hey ArtFart–
    The only problem with Washington is taxes are not high enough. No one should ever question our local bureaucratic cesspool about results.
    Just give ‘em more money.
    Now the chore of seperate folks from their hard-earned money will fall on the schools.
    It’s pretty easy to get 50% when some 10%+ of the folks voting are EXEMPT from paying (i.e. Senior Low Income. Exemption).

  30. 34

    George spews:

    Roger Rabbit says:

    @7 Do you have some FACTS to go along with your SPEW? For example, do you have any information that ANY project that was to be funded by the 9 1/2 cent gas tax is NOT being funded by that tax? Your comment sounds like uninformed, nonfactual, gratuitous governor-bashing to me.

    11/13/2007 at 12:46 pm

    The money was there, but the Governor pulled back on the replacement after the Seattle Mayor Boss hog stepped in, the governor went back to Olympia. The money is there for the replacement, but she does not want to spend it.

    2005 Transportation Partnership Funding Package
    King $4,058.8
    $2,000.0 2010
    Downtown
    Seattle
    SR 99 – Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Project
    This project will construct a 6-lane facility between Spokane Street and the Battery
    Street Tunnel. The project will replace the existing seismically vulnerable viaduct
    with a new 6-lane cut and cover tunnel and provide a connection to a refurbished
    Battery Street Tunnel. The project will also include reconnection of the city street
    grid over SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel. The cost to replace in-kind this
    seismically vulnerable structure is between $2.0 and $2.4 billion. (This figure does
    not include the cost of replacing the seawall or work north of Battery Street tunnel. It
    is expected that the seawall replacement and work north of the Battery Street tunnel
    will be funded by others.) The Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall are both at the end
    of their useful life and at risk of sudden and catastrophic failure in an earthquake.
    Improvements are required to protect public safety and maintain the transportation
    corridor

  31. 35

    George spews:

    # 10

    The money was there, but the Governor pulled back on the replacement after the Seattle mayor Boss hog stepped in, the governor went back to Olympia. The money is there for the replacement, but she does not want to spend it.

    2005 Transportation Partnership Funding Package
    King $4,058.8
    $2,000.0 2010
    Downtown
    Seattle
    SR 99 – Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Project
    This project will construct a 6-lane facility between Spokane Street and the Battery
    Street Tunnel. The project will replace the existing seismically vulnerable viaduct
    with a new 6-lane cut and cover tunnel and provide a connection to a refurbished
    Battery Street Tunnel. The project will also include reconnection of the city street
    grid over SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel. The cost to replace in-kind this
    seismically vulnerable structure is between $2.0 and $2.4 billion. (This figure does
    not include the cost of replacing the seawall or work north of Battery Street tunnel. It
    is expected that the seawall replacement and work north of the Battery Street tunnel
    will be funded by others.) The Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall are both at the end
    of their useful life and at risk of sudden and catastrophic failure in an earthquake.
    Improvements are required to protect public safety and maintain the transportation
    corridor

  32. 36

    compassionatelibertarian spews:

    This region needs a complete overhaul of its public transportation governance structure, and quite possibly its governance structure in general.

    I don’t think that we can get those east of the lake to ever see eye-to-eye with those west of the lake on transportation issues, much less anything else of import in the region.

    Details to follow…

  33. 37

    Jarvis spews:

    Prop 1 lost for the simple reason that it was a bad package all around. The roads portion had too many sprawl-promoting road projects like cross-base, SR-522, and SR-9. The light rail portion went too many places that rail simply doesn’t make sense as a cost-effective option.

    Ron Sims is on the right course with the express bus service package included in the Transit Now initiative (please note which passed fairly easily last year). Folks, this ain’t New York. A comprehensive system of greatly expanded local service, express buses (with dedicated facilities as appropriate), and a judiciously focused light rail system limited to those areas where it makes sense (only Northgate to SeaTac, and maybe to the Eastside) is going to provide tons more transit riderhsip per $$$ than just sending trains every which way. The fact that Sound Tranist ditched the First Hill station so that they could sell us light rail to the ‘burbs shows how out of whack their priorities really are. Kudos to Sims and the Sierra Club for seeing things so clearly.

    While reasonable transit advocates can disagree about what I’ve stated above, what I find truly disturbing on this board is the pig-headed intolerence of any viewpoint that strays from the light-rail orthodoxy. You guys remind me of those medieval religious fanatics who roasted alive anyone bold enough to deviate so much as one iota from the “true church.” Maybe if you all listened a little more and sneered a little less you might learn something.

    j

  34. 38

    Jamie spews:

    Jarvis, pitting rail against buses is just plain ignorant, man.

    Every other metropolitan region in the country uses the two in complementary fashion. Only here in Seattle, land of the clueless “I’ve got a plan nobody else has ever tried before” can idiots like Jarvis get away with this shit.

    Yeah, you’re right. Buses on highways can work for another 5-10 years.

    But the idea is, you build your high capacity transit spine ridership with low capacity buses along the way. When the poor saps who have to live with all these naive couch planners’ “off the top of my head” concepts ten years from now look back, they can read idiots like Jarvis who said “Seattle is not New York.”

    Furthermore, it’s well known that people will leave their cars for a train, but not for a bus. This idea that Sims (and the rest of the internal combustion engine fan club) thinks he can get people out of their cars to ride on his shitty buses, and “solve congestion” proves he really has no idea what he’s talking about.

    It’s well known almost all Bus Rapid Transit advocates have never been on a bus.

  35. 39

    Jarvis spews:

    Gee Jaimie, thanks for illustrating my point about pig-headed intolerance by folks like you. I never pitted rail against buses, which you would have understood if you’d taken the time to read my post carefully. Light rail has a role; buses have a role. I simply put more relative emphasis on the later than some others do.

    And just for the record, Jaimie, I take the bus everywhere, all the time. I don’t even own a fucking car and never have — and I’ll match my carbon footprint againt yours any day of the week! They have a word for making wildly erroneous assumptions about people out of thin air like you did just now, its called “profiling.”

    Let the “holy wars” continue!

    j

  36. 40

    Jamie spews:

    “what I find truly disturbing on this board is the pig-headed intolerence of any viewpoint that strays from the light-rail orthodoxy.”

    OK, then, Jarvis. Find some data or arguments put out by somebody other than a paid anti-transit/pro-freeway hack, and we can have a debate.

    When you use such vague terminology like “buses are going to provide tons more transit riderhsip per $$$ than just sending trains every which way.” It’s clear to most people in the know that you’re just making this stuff up as you go along. Monorail style.

    And Jarvis, this statement alone proved to me you’re coming at this entire issue from a point of total ignorance, rather than a position of knowledge:

    “The fact that Sound Tranist ditched the First Hill station so that they could sell us light rail to the ‘burbs shows how out of whack their priorities really are. Kudos to Sims and the Sierra Club for seeing things so clearly.”

    Sound Transit has something called subarea equity, Jarvis. None of the $300 million they saved was exported “to the ‘burbs.” It was used to get to the UW. The ST board dropped the First Hill station because it put a $750 million of federal grants in jeopardy, and carried an incredible amount of riske because of the deep mine needed to build the station. That money was put back into the First Hill Streetcar (again…not “the ‘burbs.” – which would have connected the ID to First Hill, Capitol Hill and North Capitol Hill; yet, ignorant idiots armed with misinformation – like you – helped defeat the dollars needed for that project, which were included in Prop. 1.

    Jarvis, get some real information, come back, and try again. When you get your info through Sierra Clubbed word-of-mouth, it’s almost guaranteed you will embarass yourself using it in public.

    PS, we wouldn’t be so pig-headed if we didn’t have to waste so much time countering people who base their entire arguments on false information and lies. If it looked like you even made an attempt to understand these issues, I – at least – would cut you some slack.

  37. 41

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    I moved to Seattle in 1974.
    Folks will continue to drive their cars.
    It was 1 person per car then…as it is for many now.
    Costly social engineering of car pool lanes, bike lanes & light rail feel good.
    They are not cost effective if enough folks don’t/won’t use them.
    Comprende??
    Do all the wishin’ and hopin’ you can about a massive light rail system…but it will never prove cost effective.

  38. 42

    klake spews:

    Mr. Cynical says:

    I’m saying it’s easy to vote YES on a tax increase you are EXEMPT from.

    How about taxing the poor so they will feel the same pain that those who pay the taxes? Lets do away all taxes in the state and tax eveyone with a flat tax. No one is excempt, pay on the income that you pay SSI on in taxes.

  39. 43

    Jamie spews:

    “And just for the record, Jaimie, I take the bus everywhere, all the time. I don’t even own a fucking car and never have — and I’ll match my carbon footprint againt yours any day of the week!”

    OK, then. Congrats on the rare air you breath. Just make sure you don’t visit your family on the east coast for the holidays. That would be the equivalent of driving a medium sized car around for a full year.

  40. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I see Mr. Cynical is back. Did you buy NOV at $58 like I told you? The current split-adjusted price is $130. If you didn’t listen to me, you have no one to blame but yourself. Where you been hiding out, C? Too busy “laundering” $100 bills in BIAW’s basement to talk to us? I thought Mrs. C killed you, cut you up in the bathtub, and fed your pieces to the sand sharks! I want to know how your washing machine works. What’s in those rollers that changes $100 of L & I taxes into $100 of Rossi slush funds?

  41. 45

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Hi Rog–
    I do still own NOV.
    I love high oil prices..just like you.
    I’ve been traveling…more to this life & world than Seattle (aka The Anal Canal of the Universe).
    It seems little has changed.
    Traffic gridlock, partisan bickering & the inability of Seattle to get anything built cost effectively.
    Excessive money squandered on process.
    Unkept promises about the gas tax.
    A million & one excuses.
    I could care less about who the elected officials are…unless they are willing to fire all the entrenched bureaucrats.
    Gregoire has done nothing. She seems in love with being Governor…but it stops there.
    Hope all is well.

  42. 46

    Jarvis spews:

    OK, Jaimie, here goes. Here’s some data from that “anti-transit/pro-freeway hack” organization, the Federal Transit Administration. Minneapolis increased their bus service miles by 47% over a five-year period and enjoyed a 40% ridership increase. Salt Lake City did even better: a 118% increase in bus service elicited a matching increase in ridership. But Eugene Oregon gets the prize increasing service by 167% and achieving a 271% ridership increase. Similar results are found in cities like Bakersfield, Portland, and Vancouver BC. If these other cities can get results like this, we can too.

    So, where are your facts and figures Jaimie? I haven’t seen any from you yet.

    We can’t just rely on light rail alone. Sound Transit’s proposed system would’ve been great for people who live in Lynnwood, or Federal Way, or Northgate, but not so much help for those traveling to/from Ballard, or Kenmore, or Renton, or West Seattle. Like it or not, this region is only going to put so much money into public transit. I’m not willing to write off all these potential transit riders by putting all our transit eggs in the light rail basket.

    That streetcar ST wanted to build to serve First Hill is no substitute for a light rail station. Sound Transit should have bit the bullet and served one of the densest urban centers in Puget Sound (as they promised us 10 years ago), even if it meant delaying service to the U-District. But instead of doing the system right, they punted. Because of their short-sightedness, First Hill will likely never get light rail ever.

  43. 47

    Jarvis spews:

    “OK, then. Congrats on the rare air you breath. Just make sure you don’t visit your family on the east coast for the holidays. That would be the equivalent of driving a medium sized car around for a full year.”

    huh?

    Jaimie, dude, you spent a whole hour trying to think up a response and this is the best you could do? I was born and raised here in the Seattle area, so all my family is here. You just can’t help making false assumptions can you? You’re 0-2 now.

  44. 48

    George spews:

    #10

    The money was there, but the Governor pulled back on the replacement after the Seattle mayor Boss hog stepped, the governor went back to Olympia. The money is there for the replacement, but she does not want to spend it. Money is being collected but nothing is being done at the choke points.

  45. 49

    George spews:

    Page 2
    2005 Transportation Partnership Funding Package
    King $4,058.8 $2,000.0 2010 Downtown Seattle

    SR 99 – Alaskan Way Viaduct & Seawall Replacement Project
    This project will construct a 6-lane facility between Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel. The project will replace the existing seismically vulnerable viaduct
    with a new 6-lane cut and cover tunnel and provide a connection to a refurbished Battery Street Tunnel. The project will also include reconnection of the city street
    grid over SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel. The cost to replace in-kind this seismically vulnerable structure is between $2.0 and $2.4 billion. (This figure doesnot include the cost of replacing the seawall or work north of Battery Street tunnel. It is expected that the seawall replacement and work north of the Battery Street tunnel will be funded by others.) The Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall are both at the end of their useful life and at risk of sudden and catastrophic failure in an earthquake.
    Improvements are required to protect public safety and maintain the transportation corridor.

  46. 50

    correctnotright spews:

    Mr. Cynical:

    I see Mr. Intellectually vacant is back with the same pathetic arguments.

    Gas prices are skyrocketing as predicted. Other places (europe) have improved their transit, made incentives for small cars and will cope well with higher gas prices.

    The idiot conservatives and free marketers in the US have argued that:

    Gas (oil) is plentiful
    The free market will cope and,
    We don’t need no gov’ment solutions

    They – like you (i want to drive my own car – don’t plan, can’t see past their self-interested noses and react too late to plan anything (like the oil shortage/instability) that everyone with half a brain has seen coming since the oil crisi of 1973.

    So – Mr. Cynical moron – I hope gas prices break you and every other conservative idiot or libertarian who thinks ther isn’t a place for government leading and helping to produce solutions as opposed to the free market falling over its ass and not doing anything until it is too late because it is not “profitable”.

  47. 51

    Jamie spews:

    “Minneapolis increased their bus service miles by 47% over a five-year period and enjoyed a 40% ridership increase. Salt Lake City did even better: a 118% increase in bus service elicited a matching increase in ridership. But Eugene Oregon gets the prize increasing service by 167% and achieving a 271% ridership increase. Similar results are found in cities like Bakersfield, Portland, and Vancouver BC. If these other cities can get results like this, we can too.”

    Jarvis, you are dumb as a post. Almost every one of those cities you mention have light rail systems. Which is the primary reason their ridership increased: the more options people have, the more riders you get. And the key factor with rail is, once your high capacity line is up and running, all kinds of new bus service hours are freed up. So, take Northgate for example. Depending on the time of day, service hours are wasted by buses caught in traffic. Once light rail is up and running, all that service gets re-routed into neighborhoods (e-w) providing MORE coverage than before rail was deployed. Get it? While slow idiots like you try to pit one technology against the other, every other major metropolitan area in North America figured this stuff out a long time ago. Once light rail is up and running, wild guessers like you disappear – bus ridership goes up, rail ridership goes through the roof, and people like me stop wasting time on people like you. But, if you enjoy being a crank with little to say, be my guest.

    Eugene is a bad example, because it’s a town that’s spread out – so, obviously, BRT was the best choice. I can’t imagine why they would even consider light rail in Mayberry. The fact a big federal grant allowed them to make their buses free might have something to do with the jump in ridership…..now that EmX is looking to expand to West Eugene, the neighborhoods it would pass through are vowing a long fight. And Eugene has empty roads everywhere you look. Good luck trying to replicate anything like that here (our local anti-rail/pro-BRT activists are always careful not to go beyond BRT concepts and into specifics)

    “We can’t just rely on light rail alone. Sound Transit’s proposed system would’ve been great for people who live in Lynnwood, or Federal Way, or Northgate, but not so much help for those traveling to/from Ballard, or Kenmore, or Renton, or West Seattle.”

    Uh, nobody said we were going to rely on rail alone. The idea has always been to enhance the overall transit system with grade-separated, efficient, reliable high capacity rail. Just like all those cities you listed off above did. Ballard isn’t a regional destination. Sound Transit was created as a regional transit agency, not as an in-city people mover. Also, ST2 included more bus service, didn’t cannibalize Metro (which won’t be able to keep up with demand without rail) and – again – once those light rail lines are completed, all kinds of new local bus service will be freed up to serve the random set of communities you listed.

    “That streetcar ST wanted to build to serve First Hill is no substitute for a light rail station. Sound Transit should have bit the bullet and served one of the densest urban centers in Puget Sound (as they promised us 10 years ago), even if it meant delaying service to the U-District. But instead of doing the system right, they punted.”

    Punted? Pissing away $750 million in federal funds would have been a punt out of bounds. Not reaching the UW would have been a disaster. All for one station? And, what does “biting the bullet” mean in engineering terms? When you looked at that station on Google maps, it didn’t show you the 200 ft deep mined station, impossible to reach with vertical jet grouting, and super-challenging due to moving soils. Bet you didn’t know they would have had to freeze all the wet glacial till on their way down…details, details. I am truly sorry ST listened to its engineers and tunnel experts, currently learning real-world lessons working on the Beacon Hill shaft, instead of some anti-rail hack with an internet connection.

    Not to mention the fact the First Hill streetcar would have served a lot more than just that one station area. The streetcar would have also provided a faster connection to light rail headed east and south, as well as direct access to Sounder and Amtrak.

  48. 52

    Jamie spews:

    Since you are transit dependent, Jarvis, I can see where your affinity for buses comes from. Unfortunately, we live in a state where the cars outnumber the people, so you gotta give people an option they WANT to use rather than what they HAVE to use.

    Facts and figures?

    I’ll toss out a couple:

    light rail from Northgate to downtown Seattle, 13 minutes
    Bus Rapid Transit: 26 minutes (today…tomorrow gets much worse)

    Ridership: 150k. How many diesel-spewing buses stuck in traffic would you need to match that capacity, Jarvis?

    And, instead of taking lanes away from already jammed freeways, light rail would create the lane equivalent of 5 new lanes on I-5 north, 4 lanes on I-5 south, and 2 lanes on I-90. http://www.soundtransit.org/Do.....rmance.pdf

    Again, show me a system that can match this people-carrying capacity. The anti-rail goons at Kemper Development Corp have spent almost $2 million over the years trying to stop light rail, and claiming your BRT can do the job… yet they haven’t developed a single plan…ever. Why do you think that is, Jarvis?

    Non-troglodyte Seattle Times columnist Lance Dickey said it best a couple weeks ago:

    “Here is one thing to bank on: The same old opponents of Proposition 1, those who complain that light rail does not solve congestion, dagnabit, will disappear again if the measure fails. They always do. You want their help getting to work? Your best bet is a piggyback ride.”

  49. 54

    Jarvis spews:

    “Jarvis, you are dumb as a post. Almost every one of those cities you mention have light rail systems. Which is the primary reason their ridership increased: the more options people have, the more riders you get.”

    Well, Jaimie, that would be a pretty convincing rebuttal except for one thing: ALL OF THE RIDERSHIP GAINS I CITED CAME BEFORE THESE CITIES EVEN HAD LIGHT RAIL! If I’m dump as a post, that makes you as dumb as the hole they dug to stick the post in.

    “light rail from Northgate to downtown Seattle, 13 minutes. Bus Rapid Transit: 26 minutes (today…tomorrow gets much worse)”

    Terrific! As I said in my original post, I support light rail to Northgate. I voted for the Phase I system that was on the ballot in ’96. Why can’t you get it through your pig-headed skull that I’M NOT OPPOSED TO LIGHT RAIL! I support it where it makes sense, I oppose it where it doesn’t make sense. But I guess that’s too nuanced a position for a ideologue like you to comprehend. Since I don’t agree with YOUR position, that makes me an “anti-rail hack.” That’s just like Rove & Co branding anyone who doesn’t support torturing Muslims as “unpatriotic.”

    Jaimie, the only difference between you and a Bushie is ideology, because you and ‘W’ seem to use the same mental processes. Everyone is either all right, or all wrong! Either you’re with us, or you’re against us! Anyone who doesn’t agree with you 100% — whether it’s Ron Sims, or The Stranger, or the Sierra Club, or me — is branded a heretic to be shouted down! I orginally said that reasonable transit advocates can disagree about the appropriate use of light rail. You’ve demonstrated the corallary that unreasonable people like you can’t disagree.

    So, that’s all from me. I’m clearly not going to convince you of anything, and this thread is so old that I doubt if many more people going to read it. I’ve got better things to do than spend another week in a pissing match with you. So, I’ll give you the final word. You can bloviate away to your hearts content. Bye.

    j

  50. 55

    Jamie spews:

    Since you didn’t include a link for your statistics, how was I supposed to know where you got those numbers?

    Well, I found a link, and it was a bogus GAO report commissioned in 2001 by none other than Tom Delay, father of the modern anti-rail/pro-BRT movement. (I miss poor Tom). And I’m supposed to be the Bushie!

    Rob McKenna and the other hardcore Republicans around here used to parade those numbers around all the time when they were trying to stop the first phase of light rail in Seattle. Interesting that none of the gung-ho BRT guys ever end supporting the taxes needed to pay for BRT…nor do they ever venture to create their own BRT plan, to head-to-head with light rail proposals which have already been heavily analyzed and scrutinized.

    Of course ridership is going to go up when you add service miles. How are we supposed to take that as some kind of ringing endorsement of BRT?

    If you want to force people to ride the bus, go for it. If you want people to leave their cars behind for a transit system they will CHOOSE, add more light rail and commuter rail into the mix of options. Yes, the up-front cost is great…but the long term benefit is even greater.

    There will be people and generations coming after you, right Jarvis? Saying we’re going to do it all with buses is like saying “let the next generation deal with the problems we know are coming.”

    Talk about visionary.

    This idea of “I want mine, and I want it now” is a product of a weird self-centered strain which usually only shows up in right wing cities.