This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
The Times op-ed urging a “no” vote on Prop. 1 is absurd. Once more, now, with feeling:
1. “it costs too much to do too little.” I hear this all the time, and it never makes sense to me. Unless you’re alleging that Sound Transit is pocketing billions to build Joni Earl a retirement palace in Tahiti, maybe the truth is that transportation projects are expensive, and it would cost even more to DO even more.
2. “it won’t reduce congestion.” Nothing will reduce congestion. Nothing. Congestion is here to stay. Cities with large transit stystems, like NYC, have congestion. Cities with paltry transit systems, like LA, have congestion. As long as there are roads, there will be congestion. To suggest otherwise is completely disingenuous.
3. The $7B on roads is a “minor part” of the package. Really? minor?
4. “Much more could be done with bus service.” Oh yeah? How many members of the Times‘ editorial board ride the bus to work? Seriously, I’m curious.
In an April 2006 Seattle Times op-ed, the board wrote, “a fast-growing region cannot afford to be blasé about transportation planning. This is a smart time to invest in transportation.”
At the time, they were endorsing the .1% sales tax for Metro bus service. But the support was tepid at best — they wanted to see if there way anyway that Metro could do with even less money. So that’s the Times’ idea of Transit spending for you: do a lot with no money.
I’m always reluctant to attribute corrupt motives to the paper, but I don’t know how else to explain this editorial.
Update: I was worried that I’d come across as too angry here, but after reading Goldstein and Barnett, i realize I was relatively measured. Nonetheless, I agree with everything they both wrote.