We’ve talked about the problems with both Governor Christine Gregoire and challenger Dino Rossi’s transportation policies in the past, but things just keep getting worse.

The Seattle Times ran a story a few days back talking about how neither of them are making Sound Transit 2 a campaign issue.

The most troubling part of the article is this quote:

Meanwhile, Rossi says he considers Sound Transit a local issue: “I don’t even have an idea what they’re interested in doing.”

This shows Rossi’s lack of interest in inter-agency cooperation. Sound Transit and the WSDOT work together on many projects including HOV/transit direct access freeway ramps and the Point Defiance rail bypass. It’s also no secret that most of the state’s traffic problems are within the Sound Transit district, so it’s very disappointing that someone who wants to be governor hasn’t taken the time to educate himself.

Meanwhile over in the PI, Rossi brings up an issue we all wish was over: an 8 lane option for 520, claiming that the cost would be roughly the same (note this correction). This comes years after a state study concluded an 8 lane highway would cost much more and create too much additional traffic, further clogging I-5 and the areas surrounding each end of the bridge.

Both of these issues show once again that although Christine Gregoire is very far from perfect, Dino Rossi could do a lot more damage.

11 Replies to “Governor and challenger continue to disappoint on transit”

  1. If Rossi wins the gubentorial race this fall, it will be interesting to see what stances Hammond takes then, will she suddenly turn pro transit and pro ST to stifle Rossi’s “busses for the poor, roads for the rich” plan? From a political stand point, I can see why both candidates want to distance themselves from ST, its just a shame that neither realize the net overal economic benefits that a modern urban mass transit can do on a regional and state level. While Gregoire’s transportation related direction has been bumbling at best in the seattle area, she could really redeem herself by getting behind a transit proposal like this one. If ST2.1 passes, ST3 is almost a sure thing as Pierce and Snohomish county will clammor for the final LRT connections to Tacoma and Everett. King county will also jump on as well with extensions north along 405 and out toward Issaquah on 90.

  2. Very good points. Even though I don’t like the fact that Gregoire isn’t making ST2 a focal point in her re-election campagain, if Rossi is elected, there is a guarantee that he will do a lot of damage and encourage people to vote against future rail or mass transit policies.

    I strongly feel that if re-elected, Gregoire will get behind future transit proposals but it’s a shame that she isn’t doing that now.

  3. She’s not disappointing me.

    If the local/regional Dems can’t get together, why should she step in? The local pols (Sims, Nickels, etc) are so schizophrenic on some of these issues, I’d be sitting on the sidelines too, if I were in her position.

    We are our own worst enemy, most of the time.

    Meanwhile, she has a state government to run.

    1. Or a government to grow, and punting on replacements for state infrastructure (SRs 520 and 99 ) isn’t leadership

    2. Hey brad, interesting and thought provoking comment!

      I believe Sims is the only major regional leader that disagrees with the ST2.1 plan and light rail in general. The state should not punish us because one guy isn’t joining the parade.

      However, I don’t think for regional transportation plans to move forward, all the leaders have to agree 100%. The Sound Transit board will likely go to ballot with a super-majority of regional regional representatives approving the plan — doesn’t that imply that there’s some sort of regional agreement here? If the plan passes, doesn’t that say that the region is on board?

      The Puget Sound region isn’t just another area of the state: It’s the economic epicenter of Washington and one of the most vital economic regions in the Pacific Northwest.Transportation is a vital part of any major economic region, and for the state to shrug its shoulders on this issue is a bit annoying. Of course, they are involved in some transportation issues: Roads, like SR-520, the Viaduct, I-405, SR-167. Well, what about transit? Oregon, California, Virginia, Maryland — each of those state governments is a stakeholder in regional transit systems and provide state capital because they understand the importance of their respective economic power-centers. Surely we can expect the same from our Democratic leadership in a generally progressive state.

    3. She’s behind a lot of the negative intervention. That whole governance thing comes from the commission she created.

  4. Well, in Washington’s new Top Two primary, your vote is never wasted. So at the very least, you can vote for a more pro-transit candidate and send a message to Gregoire and Rossi.

      1. It’s in mid august I beleive. I think there is 1 other democrat, 2 additional republicans, and the usual mix of green parties, libertarians, and such. Maybe this will send a message to both Chris and Dino, we need a FORWARD thinking governor.

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