ST might wait until 2010 according to PI this article.
Here’s the pros and cons of 2008 vs 2010 in my mind:

2008 Pros

  • Sooner is better.
  • Projects are cheaper if they get started earlier.
  • A large progressive turn out for the general election would help likelyhood of passing.
  • The state would not have yet had a chance to mess around with Sound Transit.

2008 Cons

  • Voters unlikely to approve spending increase in a recession year.
  • If Hillary or Obama self-destruct, we could get another defeat, which could ruin ST’s chances of ever coming back

2010 Pros

  • Global Warming will play more into the debate
  • Congestion will be even worse, which might lead people to approve transit
  • Central Link will be open, which should excite people into building more rail.
  • More time to investigate proposals that could pass.

2010 Cons

  • If congestion gets much worse, people may not want to approve long-timeframe transit projects and would prefer short-time frame projects.
  • If migration slows, taxation models could be off, and projects could cost more money with rising materials costs.
  • Will Sound Transit still exist then?

So I don’t know. Which is better? Obviously, I would prefer getting it built as soon as possible, but I’m not sure getting it on the ballot as soon as possible is the right idea. What do you guys think?

5 Replies to “ST2.1 in 2008? Maybe not”

  1. I lean toward ASAP. Your recession argument could easily extend to 2010 – we’re barely touching a recession now and they often last for years (plus we’ll all have our fresh $800 spending money in pocket).

  2. You have to do it as soon as possible, you get more built sooner, you’ll ALSO get more built later.

  3. Now!

    Why wait? If it fails at the ballot then we know sooner than later that we’re f’d up as a region.

    I don’t think it kills anything if it were to fail, not with commutes getting worse and costing more every year. Eventually people will show more support because they have no choice.

    Still, I think it would pass this year if the proposal is sane and focused. One line or extension at a time so people can deal with it better. Prop 1 was just too big all around.

  4. Well, one of two things will happen in 08- either a Democrat will be elected president, in which case federal funding for mass transit will increase radically, or a Republican will be elected, which will put gas prices in the red zone by 2010. (Economists say people will seriously change their habits when gas reaches $6-7/gallon.)

    We have also seen that in Houston, Denver, and Salt Lake City, voters approved big extensions after seeing the first part of the system in operation.

    All of this points to the possibility of major extensions in 2010. If Seattle residents can keep the state from building a new freeway on the waterfront, it would seem very likely to me that extensions to West Seattle and Northgate would be considered.

    After all, it’s not like people in 2010 are suddenly going to decide that transit isn’t such a good idea after all. What seems more likely to me is that waiting will create the kind of concensus that makes it possible to build extensions quickly.

  5. It seems to me that getting it on the ballot in ’08 would be best. Because it is a presidential election year we will have a much higher voter turnout. This means we already have a high number of democratically minded people (who are probably pro-transit), so we don’t have to do a huge “get out the vote” push.

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