by Goldy, 04/29/2008, 2:00 PM

Former Mercer Island mayor Aubrey Davis is no crank, and when it comes to regional transportation issues he sure as hell knows what he’s talking about. I once had the opportunity to watch him moderate a candidate forum on transportation, and there didn’t seem to be a single detail he didn’t have at his fingertips.

So when Davis, also a former chairman of the Washington State Transportation Commission, critiques Dino Rossi’s transportation “plan” as he does in today’s Seattle Times, his is a voice of wisdom and experience that deserves a good listen.

“To stay on track,” Aubrey argues, “we must pursue transportation projects that are affordable, doable and forward-thinking. Dino Rossi’s proposal is none of the above.” And to prove his point he focuses on “two serious flaws” in the Rossi plan: an eight-lane 520 bridge, and the lack of transit options for the East King County.

I spent several years chairing a regional 520 executive committee that produced a very strong east-west consensus on the six-lane alternative with later capability for additional high capacity transit. [...] Engineering studies show that dumping eight lanes of traffic from 520 onto an already congested I-5 and I-405 would virtually shut down both freeways and create gridlock across the region. I-5 and I-405 would become the most expensive parking lots on Earth. Connecting an eight-lane 520 to I-5 and I-405 would be like trying to connect a fire hydrant to a garden hose, and the ones getting wet would be us, the taxpayers.

It has been estimated that billions of dollars in new lanes on I-5 and I-405 would be needed to make this fire hydrant-to-garden hose connection that Rossi proposes even remotely possible. These costs are not accounted for in Rossi’s plan and funding is not available.

And oh yeah… Rossi’s claim he can build an eight-lane bridge for less than the planned six-lane alternative…? Davis says it’s a crock of shit. (Though not exactly in those words.)

The second serious flaw is Rossi’s proposal to “hijack” Sound Transit money currently reserved for Eastside transit, and spend it on state highways instead. Davis says this proposal is not only illegal, but ill-conceived.

By taking money dedicated to East King County light rail and express buses and spending it on highway lanes, Rossi is in effect telling this generation of Eastside residents that light rail and superior bus service aren’t in our future, ever. With our region approaching $4 a gallon gas, we need more transit options, not fewer.

Anyone who has even just peeked across the lake at the massive construction cranes dominating the city of Bellevue’s skyline knows that Bellevue is a city growing toward a 2050 land-use and community vision, not a 1950s automobile-dominated past. With more downtown workers and residents, Bellevue and its surrounding Eastside cities need more transit service, not less. Rossi’s transportation proposal would give East King County 50 more years of the same crowded highways and limited choices for getting to work, school and home.

I know the conventional wisdom was that by pitching a transportation plan—any plan—Rossi would push Gov. Gregoire back on her heels on one of the highest profile issues concerning regional voters today. But I’m pretty confident voters know that they can’t commute to work on promises and pixie dust, and with near universal condemnation and/or ridicule coming from the local media, they now understand that’s exactly what the Rossi “plan” offers.

32 Responses to “Rossi transportation plan: “none of the above””

1. Roads Fairy spews:

Rossi can pay for all of his projects…he’s a Magic Man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUG6UKIJPZs

2. Daddy Love spews:

He might as well have said “crock of shit.” It is, after all, what Dino Rossi’s full of…

So on one hand we have an experienced governor, and when I say that, I man someone who has oh, you know, run several departments in state government before, unlike certain members of the Rossi family. After all, she was
- Assistant attorney general under Attorney General Slade Gorton
- Our stste’s female deputy attorney general
- Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology for four years
- Elected and re-elected to three four-year terms as state AG before becoming governor. Republicans will suddenly think that AG stuff is real important when Rob McKenna runs against the incumbent Governor in 2012.

On the other hand, I think Dino Rossi may have been a state legislator at some point, but it was so long ago I can’t remember any more.

3. Steve spews:

Rossi? Hell, nobody has a plan. I gave up on the I-5/405 corridor a few years ago. It’s madness I tell you, madness.

4. proud leftist spews:

Which term better characterizes Dino–liar or lightweight? Mr. Davis’s critique of Dino’s transportation “plan” suggests Dino didn’t have a clue what he was talking about; rather, he was simply pandering to the rightwing, anti-global warming fringies who refuse to consider any transportation agendas but roads. The critique is devastating in pointing out in simple, undebatable terms how nonsensical Dino’s plan is. The fire hydrant/garden hose metaphor is most apt. The question arises–did Dino give any thought to his “plan” before he started yapping other than what political gain he might obtain?

5. FreedomLover spews:

As usual ya’ll have no solutions, just whining. Ya’ll would stuff us all in 100-story condo towers like sardines. That’s what ya’ll would do if ya had yur druthers.

6. GS spews:

When’s Gregoire coming out with her plan?

We’re waiting?

7. memyselfandI spews:

Has anyone ever traveled on a tolled road? Do you know what it’s like? My friends and I went to Wisconsin for a football game. we landed at O’Hare and traveled via the tolled roads of Illinois to Wisconsin. We hated it!!! We mentioned several times in our journey about NOT coming back to the state of Illinois and how we were (now ) happy to pay the higher gas taxes in Washington than to suffer on the tolled roads of Illinois. There was no such thing as ‘free flowing traffic’ as they speak of when they boast about tolled roads. We were always in traffic back-up s at some point and we were always guessing at how much change to get ready from toll bridge to toll bridge We were constantly going through our pants pockets and luggage carry ons to find loose change; it was a pain! needless to say, We won’t be going back to Illinois because of their roads. The following year we went to Dallas who just finished adding 4 lanes to their highways and traffic was flowing fine and we will be heading BACK to Dallas due to the ease of travel.
When we make travel plans now, we always exclude cities that have tolled roads!!!
so long tourism

8. ArtFart spews:

Hey, I got it….just widen 520 to eight lanes and have ‘em all empty directly into the Bellevue Square parking lot.

9. ArtFart spews:

5 That’s going to happen anyway, sooner or later, and you can bet your britches the BIAW members are going to be more than happy to build them.

10. George spews:

#6
It’s still being studied & studied & studied

11. Redundantly heartily projectile spews:

Yes, thank you, Aubrey, for your years of service getting us to the fine place we are today, stuck in traffic.

No matter how you feel about Rossi’s plan, Aubrey is hardly the fellow to crow about how much he knows about transportation. Are you the father of our roads, Aubrey?

Great job.

12. rhp6033 spews:

7: Yes, I’ve travelled toll roads in Japan. It’s quite expensive to travel by car in Japan, you really can’t go anywhere without paying substantial tolls. They do this on purpose, to encourage you to take the train/monorail systems instead (which really are quite excellent and affordable). Of course, they live in a much more dense environment than we do here, I figure they are entitled to their own solutions to their own problems. But as for me, I also HATE toll roads, and I hate HOT lanes even more (lanes dedicated for use by those who can afford the priviledge). I reluctantly concede that occassionally, toll bridges might be necessary for a limited period of time.

13. 2cents spews:

I see zero defense of Dino-saur’s transportation plan. It’s easy to criticize, but not so easy to find answers.

Transportation solutions are simple more roads and more transit. The hard part is finding money (read taxes or tolls) and politic will (read environment, NIMBYism, agency infighting and political turf wars).

It’s sad that Dino can only come up with sad retreads of past transportation plans. What has he been doing in his “think” tank these last four year?

14. EvergreenRailfan spews:

I heard Dino on the Radio last week tell how his plan was about choice and Freedom. Freedom to chose a car, and he even said Light Rail. So I guess if/when he is elected, he will let Central LINK get started, as it will be about ready to begin service in January of 2009. I just got an update in the mail from Sound Transit, saying that the Overhead Catenary that the LRVs will draw power from, on MLK Jr. Way, has been energized.(Great Safety tip, stay away from it if the wind knocks it down. The vehicles will draw 1500VDC, do not know how much power will be going through those lines, and I do not want to know). Now I would like to know when the vehicles will be tested on the line.

Back to my point. How will their be choice in transportation, if there are few if any choices other than the car? Also, I wonder how much Seattle City Light charges Metro for the power for the trackless trolleys(I am not opposed to these vehicles, I love them, I prefer the 7 over the 39 not just because the former is frequent, but also because it is a trolley route), and compare it to how much they are paying for their Diesel Fuel(in there case, the ULSD-B20 Blend)? It probably is in the single-digit cents per Kilowatt/hour, but I would like to know. I am not sure how much the Diesel they pay for is, but it will be lower than $4.45 per gallon, since it will be minus the excise taxes, and probably purchased in a bulk contract. I heard on a podcast of Pittsburgh station(KDKA(got curious, by the way, oldest commercial radio station in North America)Morning News) an idea what it can be on the East Coast. THe Port Authority of Allegheny County, which runs buses and light rail in Pittsburgh(and Bus Rapid Transit on dedicated busways, one of the first), were paying $2.27 per gallon. The cost per Kilowatt/hour was not given, but I think it would be a little more expensive than out here.

Now one thing that anti-transit people have not given Metro credit for, is the re-capitolization of the articulated trackless trolley fleet. The 4000 series had problems, and were controversial when they first went into service in the late 1980s. The manufacturer, MAN, basically took the diesel model, and put in the trolley motor. Only they forgot something, the Diesel engine was mounted on the center axle, the trolley motor was mounted in the rear-section of the trailer. Naturally without ballast, they would hop up and down on the center axle while stopped. They fixed the problem and got 20 good years out of the buses. The replacements? They rebuilt 60 retired Tunnel Buses, stripped out the Diesel Engines(or just immobolized them as ballast) from 60 of them, and downgraded the motors to run on the surface trolley voltage.(the difference was only 100VDC). There was a net gain in the conversion, as the number of trackless trolleys being retired was 44. A new bus always cost more. ALso, the criticism would have been good to bring out, that they chose to replace the buses, when the oppurtunities for joint orders with Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Vancouver lapsed. Did Metro do a joint order before for electric buses? Yes! In 1978 they bought 109 40ft buses from AM General, as part of a joint order with SEPTA in Philadelphia.

Another reason why Diesel Costs should be factored in, is that most Light Rail lines in the US are electric. I say most, is because 4 cities in North America that wanted to save money chose a new import from Europe, Diesel-powered Light Rail. Austin, North San Diego County(the San Diego Trolley is still Electric, as it has been since it was started in 1978, Sprinter the Diesel is operated by another jurisdiction, the North County Transportation District), Southern New Jersey(Camden-Trenton River LINE), and Ottawa. Also what might make operationally better Light Rail is that up to 4 cars can be run in train by one driver. Each bus requires a driver. Now Portland has a drawback that limits their system to 2 car trains, because of surface running and short city-blocks.

15. Daddy Love spews:

6 GS

Um, Chris Gregoire has a plan, it’s called “four years of leadership while Dino Rossi was warming a chair.”

16. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Also, in defense of Republicans, not all of them are pro-roads only, some are pro-transit, more importantly, pro-transit when it comes to their own constituents. I do not know Senator Orin Hatch(R-UT)’s position on transit, that if he supports rail transit, or only for Salt Lake City, or opposes it but would not mind being at the dedication ceremony for it getting built. Here is some photos I found on a rail advocacy site from the opening of Salt Lake City’s new Commuter Train on Saturday. Senator Hatch was there. I wonder, Would a Governor Rossi attend the start-up of service of Central LINK?

http://www.railpac.org/2008/04/28/utahs-frontrunner-inaugural-photos/

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@14 Oh don’t worry about the overhead lines. States that formerly used electric chairs for executions found that 1500 volts often failed to kill the prisoner, and they used AC not DC, which is much safer.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

Why not drain Lake Washington, use it as a landfill, and after it’s full pave it over? Then you won’t need expensive floating bridges.

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@16 Why would anyone defend Republicans?

20. 2cents spews:

@18
Good thinking. Plus you could develop it and have thousands of homes within 10 minutes of Seattle and Bellevue.

I’ll take a lot in the Lake Washington Addition to Madison subdivision.

21. EvergreenRailfan spews:

18,

Had the Greenies not taken over San Francisco you might have had an example of how to do it! A few months ago I was listening to a podcast of the Morning Program of Pacifica station KPFA(I do not agree with them totally, but sometimes I might find something interesting) and they were interviewing an author that was doing a book on the fight to save San Francisco Bay from un-regulated filling that was about to go into overdrive, and fill in the bay, turning it into a river.

http://www.savesfbay.org/site/pp.asp?c=dgKLLSOwEnH&b=479801

22. Silverstar spews:

Where is the choice going to be when the lower middle class and working class can’t afford to buy gas for their guzzlers, can’t afford a new, fuel-efficient or hybrid car, can’t afford to live in the city where there is transit, and transit isn’t available where they live? The light I see at the end of the tunnel is a speeding locomotive.

I keep wanting to ask these “roads only” bigots who is going to clean the toilets in their office building when the working poor can’t get to work?

23. EvergreenRailfan spews:

As for the Republican Governor of Minnesota, I wouldn’t. I heard something on the podcast of the local program on Air America Minnesota that was disturbing. Governor Pawlenty was at the Ribbon-Cutting for Hiawatha Light Rail, when the previous Governor, an Independent by the way(Yes, it was Ventura)had to fight a Republican-controlled State Legislature tooth and nail to get it built. The story goes, they are against funding it, but do not want to be at the opening. Now in the case of Utah, what has been built could never have been done without Republican Approval, as they control the state. Colorado, that state seems to be going either way.

Now what might be interesting to see, is if McCain, whether he is elected or not to the presidency, will attend the opening of ValleyMetroRail in Phoenix next year? I am not sure how he voted when Phoenix was concerned. The other Arizona Senator has had an on-again, off-again support for Light Rail at the Grand Canyon.(That’s right, they have been talking about it for years, Mass Tourism has really hurt the park, and there are just too many cars. The NPS fought the re-start of the Grand Canyon Railway, now they support it, as each passenger on the GCR, is one less car in the park). It would be Diesel Light Rail, possibly using Biodiesel. (Don’t know if Yellowstone can be helped by something similar because of terrain)

http://www.americantrails.org/resources/planning/PlanGrandCanyonGnwy.html

http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/upload/transit.pdf

24. Jack's Back spews:

Roger Rabbit @ 19:

You defend Republikans every chance you get when the subject of transportation comes up. I am sure they are reserving a special place in hell reserved for BigOil, Inc. sellouts like you.

EvergreenRailFan @ 16:

OK Congressman Ernest Istook became a hero to anti-light rail wingnuts when he held up Sound Transit’s Federal Grant for a year or two (as well as Oklahoma City’s…which has now been revived thanks to the Sonics’ relocation). Turns out, he was just trying to funnel as much money as possible into Salt Lake City (Istook was/is a Deacon in the LDS Church)

But here’s some background to illustrate just how self-serving Kemper Freeman’s temporary savior really was:

Tom Elmore: Well, I’ll tell you why it’s important – because you may recall back in 1996 we tried to get a light rail circulator in downtown Oklahoma City off the ground. It was to be built entirely in Frank Lucas’ congressional district. Congressman Lucas was for it. The senators were for it. Mayor Norick was for it. Everybody was for it – everybody had worked very hard. And that year we only wanted back 13 million of the roughly 30 million we send in every year to the Federal Transit Trust Fund – for use here in Oklahoma City. 13 million in one year. Something stopped that – and that something is a fellow named Ernest Istook

Cara Rice: (Laughs) – uh huh…

Tom Elmore: Anyway, suffice it to say that the money went away. The project went away. Oddly, however, Salt Lake City, Utah came up with a 35 million dollar federal fund for new start for transit. Now, I want you to understand, I’ve got nothing against Salt Lake….

Well, anyway, back to March 11. I’m standing on a platform in Baltimore. The director of Salt Lake Transit walks up. He’s introduced to me, I’m introduced to him. When Tom introduced me to him, he says, “he’s from Oklahoma City.” Suddenly, the director of Salt Lake Transit lit up like a Christmas tree

Cara Rice: Right.

Tom Elmore: And here’s what he said – Gee Tom, most folks wouldn’t believe how helpful an Oklahoma congressman has been to us in getting our light rail system established and set up in Salt Lake City. You know, Istook’s out here all the time. Has been for many years. Has been intimately involved in the development and funding — (laughs) — of the Salt Lake Transit – of the light rail system, from the beginning.

http://www.oklahomacityrail.org/cararicetranscript.htm

25. Jack's Back spews:

ERF: McCain’s transportation policy boils down to this: cut the gas tax in order to scrounge for votes (and take a $10 billion chunk out of already declining infrastructure revenues)

By encouraging Americans to drive more, demand will continue to inflate gas prices even higher.

Since Hillary has now adopted McCain’s idiotic idea, I would like any Hillary Clinton fans to try and defend this stupidity (and explain her support for the flag burning amendment while you’re at it)

26. EvergreenRailfan spews:

I remember Istook, he was egged on by the late Representative Dunn, because she felt McDermott was not representing the will of the voters and blocking that money after I-776 passed. One problem. His voters rejected it! Also, Representative Istook was one that took revenge against his fellow Republicans that went around him to get some extra money for Amtrak over the President’s request for it. Those particular Northeast Republicans only cared about the NEC. Istook probably did not even care about the partnership his state had with Amtrak that had just recently restored partial service that was cut by President Carter in 1979.(The Lone Star is not totally back, but the Heartland Flyer as it is now called, Fort Worth-OKC is a start.)

I once lashed out at all Republicans on a railfan board as anti-rail and anti-transit, only to be reminded by the moderators that there are a few that are pro-transit. Just a few. Now as for a case with Amtrak, there are 4 senators, two Republican, two Democratic, that I was surprised to see voting Yay on the most recent Amtrak bill. Senators Akaka, Inouye,(both of Hawaii), Murkowski and Stevens(both of ALaska). Then it hit me for the last of those 4. Some Alaska communities are reciepients of Essential Air Service. Air Service that is subsidized to the tune of almost as much as the biggest Amtrak loser. It’s a case of I’ll vote for yours, if you vote for me.

Also, the Streetcars in Portland, South Lake Union, Tacoma, and soon Washington D.C.(Anacostia to be exact) all have something in common. Made by Czech companies, and they get around the Buy America Act, as they are something not available here. Well, a Portland-Area Congressmember, with one of those dreaded earmarks that certain Republicans, now that they are in the minority, funded a prototype of a new American-built version, based on the Czech design. Naturally, United Streetcar is an Oregon-based company, and if they don’t get too many orders, I doubt the city of Portland and TriMet will have no trouble finding a use for the car.

http://unitedstreetcar.com/

Also, the Czechs are going to have competition anyway, an Italian company sees their ‘success’, and is going to enter the North American Market. I do not want Seattle to buy from this company, as they are the same one that built the overweight, oversized, and expensive tunnel fleet. (And I am an Italian-American) AnsaldoBreda overcharged Metro for parts that could have been procured locally.

Now I am not saying all Republicans are pro-transit, just a few, and often for their own purposes. I am not totally defending Senator Stevens, as I hope Mayor Begich gets the Democratic Nod, and beats him in November, although as we have seen 2 years ago, Alaska Republicans can unseat people in the primary. Governor Murkowski, as an Anchorage-area Progressive Talk Host loves to bring up, got beat by a girl!

27. EvergreenRailfan spews:

25

Good point. How is he going to make the Federal Highway Transportation Fund when there is no money coming in. The Summer Driving Season is probably where they make a good chunk of the revenue for that fund, and also a good reason they need to do road repairs. Central Eastern Montana, where some distant cousins of my mother live, and further East Montana(where my mother was born), counts on Amtrak’s Empire Builder, and Romney won Montana on Super Tuesday, but gave his delegates to McCain. McCain would take away the Empire Builder, and now would eliminate the funding for what the people there really want, US-2 widened to 4 lanes. The way US2 is, and because the USPS had not totally pulled mail contracts off of their trains when they pulled the Railway Post offices from almost all trains, why Great Northern did not file to discontinue the Empire Builder, as their passenger losses were pretty high(somewhere around $8 million in 1970 Dollars), and most of the mail was carried by the secondary train, the Western Star. In 1967, the USPS(actually the Post Office Department at the time), pulled First Class mail from the rails, and put it on planes. That and the introduction of the ZIP Code made the RPOs obsolete, and the cars, which did en-route sorting, had another anachronism on board, the postal clerks were armed, something that is a firing offense today. Now back to Eastern Montana, Senator Burns, I believe was a supporter of Amtrak, had to be, but that is not why he lost, he lost because he fell asleep during Ag Committee meetings(something many Montana Voters do not take to kindly too), and took money from Abramoff. Senator Tester wants to bring back the North Coast, which serves most of Montana’s cities, but not at the cost of the Empire Builder. In Idaho, the other Senator wants to restore the Pioneer, which was axed in 1997. The train was Seattle-Portland-Boise-Ogden-Wyoming-Denver, with a through sleeper and coach to Chicago coupled onto the California Zephyr at Denver.

Also, Hillary, at the same time she is denouncing Obama for refusing to support the gas tax holiday, wants to add a new tax at the same time, the Windfall Profits Tax. Speeking of Oil-based taxes, that is one reason some Alaskan Lawmakers are in jail. The famous Corrupt Bastards Club(they called themselves that), and I believe they were mostly Republicans. If Hillary is part of that Republican-Light DLC, she would not be pushing a tax increase at the same time.

Also, I wonder if the Oil Companies would actually drop gas prices 18 cents a gallon if the gas tax is even suspended. I personally do not think so. Also, the railroads will stop burning diesel if we give them a tax break. They cite one reason they do not electrify their mainlines is property taxes on the substations and other infrastructure.

The last mainline electric freight operation ended in 1981 when Conrail pulled through freight off of Amtrak’s Northeast corridor. There are a few isolated coal-haulers in the west, hauling the coal from Mine to Powerplant that are electric.

Now another case of Republicans supporting Transit when their own ideology might be self-served is Florida Republican Rep. Mica. He is supporting Commuter Rail in Miami and in his Orlando-area district for one reason. The type of vehicle used. He has this idea that it is wasteful to use locomotive-hauled coaches, and is pushing diesel-multiple units. The Central Florida project is going to be exclusively DMU, but Miami Tri-Rail is sticking with Locomotive Hauled coaches, and using the DMUS wherever possible.

http://www.cfrail.com/

Also, why is it that a side that normally might be a Union-Hater is proposing the idea of partnerships with Unions to fund transportation projects? I can’t imagine that it is a sudden change of heart, but possibly a way to defund the union. The Discovery Institute continues to promote that idea.

http://www.crosscut.com/transportation/12005/New+cure+for+collapsing+bridges:+state+and+union+pension+funds/

28. Screwedher Libby spews:

Politicizing roads for God’s sake, makes you look like the lying hack with a weasly voice we know you to be.

Nowhere does this guy say that Rossi’s plan is illegal. YOU made that crap up, because you already know that people are on board with it.

How much you wanna bet that Gregoire introduces a similar plan before too long?

29. Bax spews:

When’s Gregoire coming out with her plan?

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects

And more specifically, this list of projects is paid for by the 9 cent gas tax increase she signed into law.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1467D8A9-AD9B-48B5-A26D-36110E911F3B/0/ProjectsbyCounty.pdf

Rossi, of course, did not publicly oppose I-912. His party supported it. It’s unfortunate that the GOP is not in favor of road construction.

30. rhp6033 spews:

@ 28 said: “How much you wanna bet that Gregoire introduces a similar plan before too long?”

Rossi’s own plan admitted that every project he proposes was first proposed by the DOT and supported by Gregoire. Trying to claim that Rossi is in front of the transportation issue requires one to ignore everything that has happened up until five minutes before Rossi introduced his “plan”. Haven’t you been reading the several posts which detail the plans which are in place?

It’s no great secret that we need to replace the Viaduct and the 520 Bridge. The only issue is funding, how many lanes on 520 (related to funding, as well as problems with links to I-5 & 405), and whether light rail is part of the equation. Rossi significantly understates the costs and offers wildely unrealistic funding ideas.

In contrast, Gregoire insists that no project be started without a solid financial foundation to ensure it can be completed – no “bridges to nowhere” on her watch!

Look, I need new siding on my house. I’ve needed to replace the siding for a couple of years, but I’ve put it off until we have funds in place to pay for it. Sure, my wife could get impatient and just say “Just do it! Write a check!”, and leave it to me afterwards to figure out how to make the mortgage payments, utilities, and pay for food and gas. That’s essentially what Rossi is proposing.

I think we have reached the point where the GOP’s vaunted “leadership with private industry experience” has been shown to be a complete fraud. You have a candidate for governor who wants to build large projects with a completely unrealistic financing plan. Any businessman who takes such a business plan to the bank for financing would get laughed out the door. And we have a President who was marketed in 2000 as a “successful businessman” who blames others for his failures, spends money like a crack addict with a stolen credit card, appoints incompetent brown-nosers to handle major agencies, etc.

Is this really the best they can do?

31. George spews:

#29 I didn’T see any skate board lanes.

32. EvergreenRailfan spews:

Now the Republican-controlled Federal Transit Administration was going to kill the WMATA Silver Line a few weeks ago, and now it looks like it is going to get a Federal Go-Ahead. It looked like it was going to be forced to be changed from Heavy Rail to Bus Rapid Transit, but seems something has changed. (How are Republicans doing in Northern Virginia, I don’t know myself, but who knows what bases these decisions are made on lately). Of the three major airports in the DC Area, Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall, National(if you want to call it by it’s new official name, go ahead, I have mixed feelings myself), and Dulles, two have rail access, and it is not the biggest. MARC Commuter Trains and Amtrak serve BWI-Thurgood Marshall, connecting it with Washington D.C, the Metro serves National. Now some are talking of extending the Washington Metro to Baltimore, but I think that is a little extreme, just improve the NEC between the airport and Union Station, and travel times will come down. The NEC can be faster than Metro. Some of the ones fighting for Metrorail in Congress? Rep. Frank Wolf(R-VA), Seantor John Warner(R-VA), Rep. Blunt(R-MO). This is just Phase I, Dulles Airport will not be served until phase II.
http://www.dullesmetro.com/about/facts.cfm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/29/AR2008042902814.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Now it will be interesting to see how easy it will be for people to get to LINK at Sea-Tac when the train pulls up. From what I heard of Portland’s Red Line, it’s easy down there, the terminal for the MAX Red Line is at the Baggage Claim.

LINK should be operating by Next Year, about the time another new Light Rail starter line will be open in the country, Phoenix. California launched the Light Rail craze in the late 1970s, and I am not talking about the upgrade of the legacy streetcars in San Francisco to Light Rail, but San Diego. The latter did it on the cheap, even went without Double Track, but when ridership surpassed projections, they did double-track. They had a different way of doing things than us.