The Times reports this morning that Tim Eyman’s measure will definitely be on the ballot.
It would create a traffic-congestion-relief fund by tapping car-sales taxes, revenues from red-light-camera tickets and the money set aside for art on transportation projects.
The initiative also would require cities to synchronize traffic signals and open car-pool lanes outside rush hours.
There really isn’t enough time in the day to go through all the things wrong with this proposal, although the total lack of attention to road maintenance — with bridges threatening to collapse all over the state — is pretty galling, even if you’re pro-road.
If you read this blog, you’re probably pretty strongly disinclined to vote for an Eyman initiative anyway, but I’ll also point out that opening up HOV lanes to general traffic is a direct assault on the Express Bus system, and the potential for any Bus Rapid Transit line. The position of various public figures on I-985 will be a pretty good discriminator between those who genuinely believe BRT is the best transit solution in the region, and those who merely use it as an excuse to attack light rail.
I personally believe that many BRT advocates (Doug MacDonald?) are arguing in good faith, and we’ll find out who those people are real soon.
Furthermore, the existence of the kind of sentiment expressed in I-985 is a good argument against BRT in itself. When you construct asphault for the sole use of buses, there’s always going to be some segment of the population agitating to turn it over to cars. That doesn’t happen with train tracks.