At Northwest Progressive, Scott has a thought-provoking post on Sierra Club’s case’s denial by King County Superior court. The Sierra Club, an environmental lobbying/political group, had been trying to add their own “con” argument to the voter’s guide because the con argument that goes with the bill is an anti-rail position. The Sierra Club supports the rail portion of the bill, but opposes the RTID roads portion. The court ruled that the planned con section is within legistlative guidelines, and it is too late to change it.
Scott’s point is very well though out:
The Sierra Club is the only major environmental organization to oppose the measure. The Washington Conservation Voters, the Washington Environmental Council, Futurewise, and other groups dedicated to a sustainable Earth strongly support Roads & Transit.
They believe, as we do, that by investing in fifty miles of new light rail, thirty miles of new high occupancy vehicles lanes, enhancements to Sounder commuter rail, and Park & Ride expansions we can decrease single occupancy vehicle use and improve our transportation choices.
Additionally, by removing dangerous choke points that cause congestion, we can improve the reliability of our bus system and make our roads safer.
The roads section of the bill is mostly freight roads, HOV lanes and is chokepoint improvements. It has very little new roads in it, the major new road, the so-called “cross-base highway”, it does not even full fund. My position is that we will never get a fully baked region rail system if we don’t start it now, and we’ll never get expansions and increased rail systems in the future if we don’t start now. Opposing a bill that creates something we need, light rail, because it has something you don’t really like, roads, is counter-productive because the roads projects are likely to get built anyway by politicians, and they are not likely to build rail on their own accord. I feel like if you’re going to oppose roads being built, you should do it where huge roads projects much worse than this are, and don’t oppose those that are tied to necessary transit improvements.
Should we never build more roads? Should we destroy the ones we have? If you hate roads, than that is the only logical step after the Sierra Club’s argument.