This op-ed from Aubrey Davis and Jim Ellis, pretty much sums up my feelings about prop 1. If you don’t know Mr. Davis, he was a Washington State Transportation Commission chairman, here’s a previous post about him. You definitely should know Jim Ellis, if not, read this history link biography. Mr Ellis is a long time Seattle Civic leader; in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s he fought for projects that would have brought us rail, did get us the old Kingdome, cleaned up Lake Washington, established Metro, constructed the Seattle aquarium, Gasworks Park, and the list goes on and on. Here’s Ben on the pleasure of meeting him – I concur, it really was a pleasure – here’s a post linking to a crosscut article on Ellis, and here’s something about Jim Ellis from last year’s Prop. 1 vote.
I don’t have much to add, but I really like this passage from the piece:
It would take 150 buses an hour driving across I-90 to carry the passengers of 15 light rail cars. And where would those buses turn around in downtown Seattle and Bellevue? Only light rail can accommodate our expected population growth without crimping our economy. By 2030, 70 percent of our population and 85 percent of our jobs will be within easy reach of light rail or commuter rail by foot, bike or a single bus trip — no transfers.
Mass transit doesn’t solve congestion. It just solves it for you, by offering you a choice: Either you can take fast, reliable light rail, or you can pay for gas, sit in traffic and try to find parking. We are confident the system will be popular the day it opens.
The cost of not doing anything is heartbreaking. We all know this region passed up $1 billion in federal funding for mass transit in 1970, and that money went to Atlanta. By acting sooner, we could have saved billions of dollars and millions of hours lost to traffic.
Let us not look back in regret after this election. By voting for Proposition 1, we will wake up on Nov. 5 with renewed civic pride and a way to keep our region moving. We are presented with an opportunity for a bright future. We must embrace it.
Emphasis mine. Jim Ellis has fought to bring rail transit to this region for the past fifty years. Please vote yes, so when Ben, Martin and the rest of the STB gang are Ellis’s age, we don’t have to write articles convincing people rail transit is worth the investment.