Here’s a great opinion piece in the PI from Geoff Simpson (D-Covington) about our regional transportation woes and the crock that “governance reform” is. Simpson also minces no words saying that that effort is solely about finding money for roads instead of transit.

Simpson rightly points out that voters are not going to like congestion pricing when they figure out what it means: basically paying for driving. I promise if any elected official implements congestion pricing on a large scale, he/she will be voted out of office and be replaced by a officer whose entire platform is getting rid of congestion pricing. As he says, increasing the gas tax is a much better way of tackling the issue of paying for roads.

On the so-called “governance reform” side of things, there seem to be some mixed messages about the efforts of transit-haters. Josh Feit is convinced Mary Haugen is pushing that bill through the legistlature, and Ed Murray says the bill is dead. I hope Ed Murray is the correct one.
Update: It looks like Josh was right.

5 Replies to “What Gives On Governance? Geoff Simpson, others”

  1. Yeah, because things have worked out so well with the system we have.

    There’s something you’re really not getting here- the way things are now, the state highway department calls the shots. Of course they would like to see the gas tax simply raised and the added money put in their budget. Believe it, they are not going to be suddenly saying “You know, we really should be using this extra money to build light rail.”

    You could get a clue from the fact that Simpson is a rep from the Maple Valley area. This area is pretty much your poster child for the “if we build the freeway, they will buy the suburban lots” school of governance.

    As for his idea that the rest of the state will suddenly give Seattle their fair share of road money, that is the purest moonshine. The best outcome you could hope for there would be a brand new freeway where the Alaska Way Viaduct was. That’s what letting the highway department call the shots means.

    I’ve been around so long that it looks to me like the same old Seattle story- pepper your speech with references to shadowy Mr. Bigs and the “greedheads” that surround them, and Seattle “leftists” will agree to anything.

    Who do I think is more pro-transit? I’ll go out on a limb and say that Senator Kohl-Welles, from Queen Anne, is probably more pro-transit than Simpson from Maple Valley.

    That’s just a guess, but Simpson didn’t provide any actual facts in his opinion piece, so guessing is all we’ve got, here.

  2. I believe Sen. Murray was referring to the specific bill I linked to; I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new bill come up soon.

  3. catowner, I promise you, Simpson is being quite sincere. He is no friend of the pro-freeway, pro-development community. He is very much a supporter of public transportation.

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