The Seattle Times is talking about $4 a gallon gas and the possibility of a ballot measure this year, this time with a twist: the northern light rail expansion, so-called North Link, to Lynnwood instead of stopping at Northgate, and South Link going as far as Federal Way. I love it. It’s a compromise between the package from last year’s Prop. 1, and the fast-package being considered this year. If they can guarantee rail to Overlake Transit Center, the package would prove popular. Apparently, the board has until the 12th of August to decide.
I’m unhappy with a bit of the reporting. From reading this passage, you’d barely know there was a massive road expansion on that ballot measure:
Last year, voters in urban Snohomish, King and Pierce counties trounced the $38 billion “Roads & Transit” proposition that included a 0.5 percent sales-tax increase to build 50 miles of rail over 20 years.
After the loss, Sound Transit began studying a scaled-back, 12-year approach, with only 18 to 23 miles of new Link light rail, and perhaps a slightly lower tax increase.
The other thing that annoys me is this quote from Mark Baerwaldt (at least he wasn’t called a transit advocate):
Some Sound Transit skeptics argue that if the problem is gasoline, the answer is to increase buses and toll lanes, which can be done relatively fast.
“The relief cannot be provided by Sound Transit; it takes decades to complete their mission,” said Mark Baerwaldt, a leader of last year’s opposition campaign.
No challenge on the assertion that buses can be done faster? King County Metro has been waiting more than 3 years now for its last order of buses, and the coach manufacturers have more orders coming online than they did three years ago.