This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
With all these editorials coming out opposing the RTID/ST2 package, you’d think that the fall ballot measure was doomed. But I’m still optiimistic.
Here’s why: the folks who put it together have done their polls, like this one that shows strong support for transit. They made the risky move of dropping the Cross Base Highway to gain support of environmentalists.
Most significantly, the Sound Transit Board was presented with three options for ST2: low, medium, and high investment (a .3, .4, and .5% sales tax respectively). Not only did they choose the most expensive option, they doubled down and pushed rail almost all the way from Everett to Tacoma. it’s a very aggressive, expensive package. Not exactly the kind you’d put together if you were concerned about political support.
In other words, politicians are generally risk-averse. They wouldn’t be going the full monty here unless they were confident that the support was there. Could it fail? It’s certainly possible. Stranger things have happened in Washington politics. But it would take down so many careers with it that it’s hard to imagine the political elites not bending over backwards to salvage it.