Update: Will at horse’s ass sums up the if-we-vote-down-this-we’ll-get-transit-only-next-year argument:

I respect the Sierra Club guys. I don’t disagree with them on most of the facts, it’s their political judgment I question. Most of the people I talked to are convinced that if the Roads and Transit package fails, our elected officials will learn their lesson and give us a transit-only package in ‘08.

In an election year.

With Gov. Gregoire on the ballot.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I find it much more likely that if this package fails, Gov. Gregoire will take care of business. Her business. And that’s SR-520, not Sound Transit. Olympia politicians don’t care about rail, only roads. They’re waiting for an excuse to enact “governance reform,” which will “reform” Sound Transit, alright.

Right out of existence, come next year, if this package goes down

Emphasis theirs.

Original post: I was writing a post about this article when I got a call from my friend at the Sierra club. Basically, she made the same point TroyJMorris made in his comment.

The Sierra Club really doesn’t want it’s name associated with the No on Prop1 campaign, because they agree on essentially nothing other than that neither supports this ballot. And they don’t support it for different reasons, No on Prop1 is a Tim Eyman-style anti-tax agency, especially anti-light rail, while the Sierra Club is actually very pro-light rail and anti-roads.

So the Sierra Club wants to split the ballot up into two proposals, one roads, one transit, so they can endorse the one they actually support, and then there’s a chance that the rail ballot could pass while the roads wouldn’t.

Even if the ballot does get split, I very much doubt that will happen. The roads ballot is almost a sure thing, and splitting them up only weakens rail’s chance.

10 Replies to “Sierra Club tries to split up Roads and Transit”

  1. By the Sierra Club’s rationale, the transit package can’t go on the ballot as one measure either, because Sounder, Link, and ST Express are three different systems serving different populations with different needs.

    I think the Sierra Club is beginning to realize how badly it screwed the pooch when it decided to oppose Roads and Transit, and all these maneuvers–none of which has any chance of succeeding–are just a last-ditch effort to avoid having to make a humiliating about-face.

  2. What about-face?

    Why on this rapidly heating earth would we be anything other than proud of fighting to stop this massive, climate busting highway bill?

  3. Why on this rapidly heating earth would we be anything other than proud of fighting to stop this massive, climate busting highway bill?

    Such a ridiculous argument. People are going to burn those gases one way or another. If we don’t burn them here, Microsoft will create an office in texas and they will get burned there. Nintendo will make an office in oregon and they will get burned there.

    If you care so much about greenhouse gases, turn off your computer. You’re using energy that could be coal, or at least could be moved to somewhere where coal is getting burned.

    And definitely stop buying things, because those trucks and ships and diesel trains create greenhouse gases.

  4. Your argument is “they’re doing it so why shouldn’t we?”

    If you’re on this blog, I can’t imagine that you actually believe what you’re saying. Not the rest, either…

  5. That’s not my argument, my argument is that most of the new roads/lanes in RTID are freight and HOV, and that freight is simply the cost of living life in an industrial society and HOV lanes are not nearly as bad from a greenhouse perspective as normal lanes are.

    Huge highways are getting built everywhere, if you care so much about highways, go fight the big ones that aren’t mostly HOV and freight and aren’t attached to transit packages.

  6. That’s not my argument, my argument is that most of the new roads/lanes in RTID are freight and HOV, and that freight is simply the cost of living life in an industrial society and HOV lanes are not nearly as bad from a greenhouse perspective as normal lanes are.

    Huge highways are getting built everywhere, if you care so much about highways, go fight the big ones that aren’t mostly HOV and freight and aren’t attached to transit packages

  7. Seriously, if all we care about is breaking up greenhouse gas highway bills, why not take it a step further and draft a bill to destroy 5, 520, 90 and 405?

    Why not ban cars all together?

  8. Well, I guess someone came up with a way to ignite salt water, the earth’s most abundant source.

    http://green.yahoo.com/index.php?q=node/1570

    It burns as long as the soundwaves are being used, so it’s pretty darn economical AND non-polluting. So maybe we can can the eco-slams for a minute and discuss congestion?

  9. Yes, switching topics away from climate might be a good idea, as it looks like global warming — the biggest environmental and social justice problem we face today — is not worth pausing to consider.

    Amazing.

    So, on to congestion, where Prop 1 fails just as badly.

    Everybody who has read the literature knows that highways fill up as soon as you build them. The highways that are jammed and falling apart today, were a “solution” to terrible traffic problems of 20 or 30 years ago; the highways Prop1 proposes to build in the next decade will be clogged before we have even finished paying for them — at about the time as the last American polar bear has gone extinct (but apologies for mentioning that).

    A realistic person cannot believe that we can build ourselves out of congestion.

    They figured this out a long time ago in Europe, a beautiful and prosperous place, by the way. Their solution to congestion is a dense urban environment and excellent mass transit. They have very few superhighways, but where they do, you usually pay through the nose to drive on them.

    Our population density is heading in the direction of Europe’s. We should act accordingly, and stop building massive highway systems that we know do not work.

    Now, suggesting that we should get rid of 520 is, of course, crazy. It’s also crazy to vote for a budget buster like Prop1 that neglects to fix it.

    Prop1 almost totally skips much needed maintenance, favoring instead greater highway capacity. We’ll need more taxes later to fix the broken stuff we have now (like the 33 of 34 bridges at 25% sufficiency or below that Prop1 won’t touch). Those new taxes could go to new transit instead.

    Rather than building new roads and shrugging off repairs, we should fix the roads and bridges we have now, and then use them efficiently with congestion pricing.

    Voting NO on Prop1 is prudent and economically sane. Incidentally, it will help save the planet, but you didn’t hear that from me.

  10. You folks make it sound like the earth is like a muffin in a toaster.

    If you hate some pieces in Prop 1, that’s a GOOD thing. That means that other people probably love the things you hate and vice versa. Welcome to the world of politics. This entire package is a compromise. But it’s a good compromise. One we’ll never see again in our lifetimes.

    This package spends 2/3 of the money on transit and 1/3 on RTID. And even RTID has some spending for transit in it. So overall, about $11 billion for transit.

    Why were roads and transit joined together? Because in a large tri-county district, that’s what makes sense. It allows a diversity of projects for a diverse group of people in a geographically diverse region.

    I was part of a group of activists, environmentalists and business people who started down this path of a joint ballot in 2004. Curiously, the Sierra Club was nowhere to be seen when these deals were being struck. And for the next 3 years. Where was the Sierra Club? Nowhere.

    If the Sierra Club wants a different solution, they should have participated in the political process and voiced their concerns. This is a democracy after all, not a dictatorship.

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