Vote No on Prop 1 [April Fools']

PRT on Ballard Ave (artist's rendering)

PRT on Ballard Ave (artist’s rendering)

[UPDATE 11:11 amApril Fools', obviously! If you would like to know what we really think about Prop. 1, here's our actual endorsement. The title above is altered if anyone is in any way confused.]

STB staff writers are free to take whatever positions they’d like, and many have done so by arguing forcefully for the passage of Prop. 1 to maintain existing service levels.

However, in the opinion of the editorial board, buses are not the future of public transportation. Newer technologies are on the horizon that will not only be cheaper to operate, but will actually turn a profit. It makes no sense to double down on a tax structure that will one day be irrelevant.

I’m referring of course to Personal Rapid Transportation, or PRT. Imagine a vehicle that delivers you with no wait from where you are to where you want to go. This vision is possible with just a little leadership from our elected officials.

We can’t help but notice that Prop. 1 gets us no closer to the future. In fact, it dedicates valuable taxing authority to ephemeral service hours when we could be using it to make a permanent investment in transit.  The Editorial Board is disappointed to learn, via a public records request, that not a single councilmember from either the City of Seattle or King County has visited Morgantown, WV.  Had they done so, they’d find a shining example of the kind of transportation that could revolutionize our Emerald City. It’s one of many ways in that Morgantown is a city Seattle should emulate.

Moreover, if bus service is worth paying for then we should all chip in to pay for it. The King County Council’s low-income car tab rebate and new low-income fare are a huge giveaway to the working poor from scarce transit dollars. Unless we nip this sentiment in the bud, they’ll expect that the legislature actually tax them less than their job-creating, hardworking bosses when PRT comes up for a vote.

The desire for a stopgap is understandable. But King County voters should keep their eyes on the prize and demand a solution to our transit problems that won’t be obsolete in five years. Vote no on proposition 1.

Comments

  1. Gabe says

    Wow, I thought STB had lost its collective mind! You had me until the line about the job creators.

  2. Adam Parent says

    Really STB? REALLY?! I expect this sort of behavior from Publicola, but YOU? :-)

    • mic says

      I saw some work done by the Corp of Engineers on filling in Lake Washington recently. They are concerned about the Seattle fault running through it, cracking during the next EQ, and emptying the lake into the Seattle and all the tunnels there.
      Lowering the Lake and filling in the rest would create the needed land for Seattle to continue on the building boom it is experiencing, and allow many more transit spokes to connect to the CBD Hub.

    • Glenn in Portland says

      Lake Washington?

      Hell, think about how much money it would save in ferry maintenance if they would just build a fill across Puget Sound in a few key places. It would be a lot better than bridges that might sink. It’s only a few hundred feet deep in places, and you wouldn’t want to fill all of it. Just enough fill to support a major highway or so.

      • William Aitken says

        An would have the additional advantage, if placed correctly, of eliminating competition from the Port of Tacoma.

      • aw says

        You could use the spoils from boring the SR-99 tunnel to build a causeway from Alki Point. If that’s not enough fill, put Bertha to work boring twin bores and put I-5 underground through downtown.

  3. Craig D. Eakins says

    Why did you post this April Fools joke you idiots!! This will be posted on social media and used to confuse people Jack Wagons!!! GAWD!!! Get a clue!

  4. RapidRider says

    It was instantly an April Fools joke when mass transit was shown in Ballard :(

    • Brent says

      The one-story buildings in Real Ballard are also a dead giveaway. Ballard is being invaded by multi-story apartment buildings, and slacker renters who watch soccer all the time, playing their vuvuzelas at all hours of the morning.

  5. Stephen F says

    Not a great April Fool’s joke. The headline will be spread. I urge this post be taken down even if it’s in jest.

    • RossB says

      I’m not too worried about it, but I think it is a mistake. We certainly don’t want any confusion regarding the proposition. I think a Hyperloop proposal by itself (without the initiative) would have made a funnier and far more harmless joke. For example: Replace Sound Transit Light Rail with Hyperloop Now.

    • David Lawson says

      I don’t think there will ever be any doubt about where STB stands on Prop 1.

      • Stephen F says

        I disagree. This is poor editorial behaviour. Opposition to Prop 1 is not something the STB should ever joke about if it intends to have credibility and purpose. Martin should not have allowed this.

      • Martin H. Duke says

        The April Fools’ Post is a long-standing tradition here, a moment of levity in a year of unrelenting seriousness. I’m willing to entertain the idea that we’ve outgrown it. Perhaps next year.

      • Becky says

        I can already say this headline has been passed around in non-STB-wonk circles, and people might actually be confused.

      • Sherwin Lee says

        I initially had mild concern about the headline too, but if Prop. 1 opponents were to ever use this in their campaign, it would be their credibility (and dignity, I might add) that would be at stake.

      • Glenn in Portland says

        but if Prop. 1 opponents were to ever use this in their campaign, it would be their credibility (and dignity, I might add) that would be at stake

        I have had reason to question the existence of both traits BEFORE today’s post ran.

    • Kyle S. says

      Seriously, posting this is incredibly stupid. The main opposition to Prop 1 is a shell organization with the deceptively innocuous name of the Eastside Transportation Organization. Their entire MO is to support plausible but inviable alternatives to investments in public transit. They are currently the sole organized voice speaking out against a proposition that would save drastic cuts but also continues to paper over systemic flaws within Metro and with respect to our entire urban transportation framework.

      And now the innocuously named Seattle Transit Blog has posted a big, unqualified “No On Prop 1″ to Twitter and RSS, and linked it to an editorial statement that endorses an inviable alternative to a proposed investment in public transit. And they rely on readers 1) knowing the true editorial position of Seattle Transit Blog in advance, 2) picking up on the subtle sarcasm that distinguishes this piece as satire, and 3) not presuming that STB might actually be expressing its reservations about the downsides of voting yes on Prop 1.

      Your audience is not STB commenters. Your audience is everyone who gets a King County ballot.

  6. Mike B says

    I AGREE 100%! TRANSIT IS A SOCIALIST PLOT TO GET REAL AMERICANS OUT OF OUR CARS. IF WE WIDEN INTERSTATE 5 TO 10 LANES, ALL OUR PROBLEMS WOULD BE SOLVED. STOP $OUND TRAN$IT AND M#TRO BU$E#!!!!111!!!

      • RapidRider says

        Why they will go to the publicly funded and free 20+ story parking garages, conveniently located on every downtown city block, of course. The garages will be paid for by a 10,000,000% fare increase on public transit.

    • KyleK says

      Haha… STOP YELLING!

      I’m assuming this is an April fool’s troll of STB? Everyone here knows that highways sap money from the general fund.

      • RapidRider says

        @KyleK Pull the liberal blinders off of your eyes brother! That highways sap money from the general fund, is a lie put forth by the public transportation cabal and their agenda. They have been secretly siphoning money from the highway fund to pay for their martinis and caviar that they eat while driving their empty buses in their extensive “carpool lanes” (AKA socialist, elitist lanes), while the rest of us god-fearing, patriotic Americans sit in our “made in the USA”, 8 person SUVs in the quickly dwindling general purpose lanes!

      • KyleK says

        OMG! I finally see the light — I’ve been liberated!!! I need to get out there and thank a job creator!!!

    • Matthew Johnson says

      We were going to just stay out of the debate and not say anything until Bruce Nourish’s impassioned arguement on the merits of PRT and Streetcars and the obsolescence of buses.

  7. Craig D. Eakins says

    Take the post down dumb asses it will be used as tool to confuse the small minded anti tax anti everything crowd!!!

    • Mike Orr says

      They’re already voting no. Confusing them would actually be good, but O’Reilly and Koch will set them straight again. It’s the swing voters who matter, and the transit supporters who aren’t used to voting in off-year elections. The ballots won’t even be sent until later this week, and in two weeks this story will be buried in newer ones. I don’t think Koch will run an ad saying, “Even the Seattle Transit Blog opposes proposition A.” One because anyone who reads the article will realize it’s nonsense, and two because anyone who thinks STB has fundamentally shifted its position will look for collaborating evidence and find the opposite.

  8. lakecityrider says

    Gondolas for everyone! PRT for Mayor! I look forward to the Lake City/Magnolia PRT system. One-seat, one-passenger access to Burien can’t be far behind.

    • Breadbaker says

      Easy to fund it, too. Just require those damn bicyclists who are already clogging our roads to buy licenses both for themselves and their bikes. Problem solved. QED.

  9. mic says

    The artist’ rendering was a dead giveaway.
    1. The cars are suspended between uprights centered on the suspension system. How do you get beyond the pylon?
    2. It’s obvious both cars are on the same suspension line, therefore head-on collisions are unavoidable. This can’t be good for business.

    • d.p. says

      Yet it’s still more realistically drawn than the Union Street Magic Carpet Ride renderings.

  10. Moderate Man says

    The funniest part of the post was the author going all the way to Morgantown WV to find a transit system to make fun of when our own monorail is staring us right in the face!

    • Mike Orr says

      I thought it was our monorail at first. The guideway looks almost the same, just with a blue paint job. In any case, our monorail is not jokeworthy. It attracts riders and runs a profit. The only thing it isn’t is citywide transportation. And it has been slowed down to 2/3 of its original speed in its old age.

    • Glenn in Portland says

      It looks to me like it was a version of the Taxi2000 system. I remember seeing marketing materials put out by Boston University in the very late 1980s about this wonderful new system one of their professors had developed that looks much like an inversion of what is shown
      http://www.taxi2000.com/
      yet, as far as I know, in 25+ years of trying to market the thing they never convinced any city in the world to buy the thing.

  11. Patrick says

    I refuse to support this proposal until the PRT cars are powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

  12. mdnative says

    I would have preferred an article adding certain “trolls” to the editorial board or a point-counterpoint between Ben and DP, Kemper Freeman as a ST board member, etc.

  13. JonCracolici says

    Ive gotta say that I really REALLY hope you take this down. Put up a different joke. Or at least but in “(really vote yes)” in the title. The chance that this gets used by well funded and honesty challenged opponents is not even close to zero.
    There has never been an April election before, we have no idea what the turnout and electorate will look like, and honestly, its not in the bag yet. I spend time calling voters and passing out handbills on the street trying to get it in the bag. Most people dont really know anything about it. If a voter just peruses your site, reads only the headline, and doesnt bother to check the date, they will think that the consensus opinion on STB is to vote no. That is bad bad bad.

    • Martin H. Duke says

      I really doubt that people that don’t know us are moved by our endorsements, but to assuage to fears of you and others I’ve added to the title.

      • JonCracolici says

        Thanks! I really liked to article, and it is a funny joke, but I have a terrible feeling that prop 1 will have a Gregoire2004 style margin.

  14. Cascadia Bryan says

    I just need to say that if people really wanted to take the bus to work Downtown, then they can simply buy a bus and drive themselves Downtown. Sure, we would need a few more parking spaces and whatnot. But at least we wouldn’t be paying any new tax to the gubment.

    Besides, if everyone drove their OWN bus, then we wouldn’t have these endless debates here about the best routes and schedules.



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