The lawsuit about light rail going across I-90 is not against light rail. It is against using roads money to build light rail. In fact, it is a violation of the 18th amendment which says roads money can’t be used for any other purpose.
As Ben has pointed out before, the legal argument is not as open-and-shut as Hutchison suggests. I asked Hutchison to clarify her position on how (or if) the state should be compensated for crossing I-90. She emphasized that she voted for and supports light rail, but there was also this nugget:
We should build light rail on the new 520 with a designated lane. We should not take lanes away from I-90 for light rail.
It’s not generally understood, except by professionals and longtime readers of this blog, that for technical reasons it would be extremely difficult to send Link over SR520 without a new downtown tunnel. And of course, the I-90 alignment has been approved by voters and is in the advanced planning stages.
Full text of Hutchison’s response after the jump.
Throughout this campaign I have said repeatedly:
- I love light rail and have used it throughout the country and the world. I grew up in DC and light rail construction began when I was heading off to college. The Metro subway and surface system has totally transformed that city and suburbs and I use it every time I visit the nation’s capitol.
- We should have moved on building light rail 20 years earlier.
- We made a promise to the voters in 1996 that in 10 years we would have light rail running from the airport to UW. It arrived 3 years later, over a billion dollars over budget, and is not expected to extend to the UW until 2016 (10 years longer than promised).
- All money invested in transportation projects should be tied to results: alleviating congestion, economic development and enhancing safety.
- Our light rail system should have focused on the east-west corridor to provide for commuters to and from Seattle and the Eastside. Instead stations were built in low density areas of Seattle such as Mt. Baker and Park and Rides and bus connections were not even provided.
- My opponent has sat on the Sound Transit board for years and bears responsibility for these decisions
- We should build light rail on the new 520 with a designated lane. We should not take lanes away from I-90 for light rail.
- The first appointment I will make to the Sound Transit board will be a Bellevue representative.
- I voted for light rail.
Martin, I frankly don’t understand what my opponent is talking about [Ed. note– this refers to a Constantine press release about the debate quote]. It is another desperate attempt to distract from the real problems our county is facing because of my opponent’s mismanagement and reckless spending .