In this Seattle Times article, they let say “If you believe the multibillion dollar roads and transit package on the November ballot would shave time off your highway commute, think again.” Why should that be the measurement of success of a transportation package? They make the same argument in their “Reject Prop 1” editorial.

Transit is about giving an option not to sit in traffic. It has nothing to do with “reducing congestion”. That’s a very automobile centric way of thinking about transportation. The article does make this point:

Here’s a specific example. Research by the investment district shows it takes about 20 minutes on average to drive from Renton to Auburn during the evening commute on Highway 167.

That same trip is expected to increase to 24 minutes by the time all the Proposition improvements are completed two decades from now.

However, if Proposition 1 fails and none of the work is done, the trip in 2028 would take 32 minutes, the investment district estimates. That’s a 60 percent increase in time.

At least it’s not an entirely negative article, only mostly negative, from the Times this time around. Unlike the “Can you trust sound transit” slam piece.

3 Replies to “Cutting Commutes? The Times critera seem wrong”

  1. I imagine the reason The Times dinged Prop 1 for its failure to reduce congestion is the fact that Prop 1 supporters are trying to sell the plan with the promise that it will reduce congestion — even though their own numbers show it won’t.

    In the long term, induced demand being what it is, there really is no sane way to build our way out of congestion — no matter how much tax we pay. We are just going to have to learn to live with it. Still, it was fair of The Times to debunk a false claim.

    I really wish they had also debunked the false claim that Prop 1 is somehow “environmental.” It’ll make global warming worse, and that’s as far from green as you can get.

  2. I know that Sound Transit has never claimed that this system will reduce congestion. In all the literature I have read and the meetings I have been to, they have never said such things. They have said that this provides an alternative to sitting on those congested roads and freeways. This makes sense, because with the population growth it will never slow down. Sound Transit knows that, I know that, and most people know that. This is an alternative. The transit side of Prop1 is green and environmental, I don’t get where you think it isn’t? Electric LRV’s vs. Bus or car is way more friendly to the environment. The Seattle Times is also in a business of media and trying to sell media. If you rely on the media for knowledge you may get trapped by their tactics. They play off words and it isn’t right! Shame on them.

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