The Enterprise reports that the Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood City Councils are supporting the Sound Transit measure (which, BTW, needs a real name). Good for them.
At the end, there are some choice quotes from rail dissenter and Lynnwood Councilman Ted Hikel:
“We can’t afford to put in a program that is not fiscally responsible,” Hikel said. “Think of how many lanes of bus-only pavement we could put in . . .”
Mr. Hikel, I have news for you: you don’t need billions of dollars to put in bus-only lanes. You can do it with a few buckets of paint and a day’s worth of time from a road crew. However, in the real world it’s often unpopular to devote potential general purpose lanes to transit, and since it’s just asphalt, it’s easy to come up with a measure like I-985 to open those lanes back up to cars. Hence, no developer will build there under the assumption that the “BRT” will be there forever, even if the operating costs could somehow be brought in line with rail.
If Hikel means that we should build new lanes and somehow keep Tim Eyman away from them, perhaps he should check out this old Danny Westneat column, that compares the cost of a highway project and a comparable transit project. And in doing so, he should note that rail ridership projections are underestimates because they assume that no transit-oriented development takes place.