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.

8 Replies to “Prop. 1 “Makes Transit Dream A Reality””

  1. Holy crap; the soundoff comments! The anti’s out in force flashing around their fake, debunked numbers, in an attempt to appear to have an argument. The meta-question in all that controversy to me is, “why the fear?” It really sounds like fear to me; their shrill, desperate pseudo-logic, and ad hominen attacks. Fear that when a new, clean, efficient mass transit network is up and running, folks will actually use and like it? Fear of a .5 of a percent sales tax increase (“doubles the existing tax”, “largest tax increase EVER”)?

    Makes no sense to me. But then neither does this: On Sunday, my wife and 10-year-old son went to the Edmonds Sounder Station to wave and hold “Mass Transit Now” placards. My wife said most people were polite and vaguely supportive. But she did overhear the occasional grumble about “wasting X millions of dollars” etc. And this was from guys going to the Seahawks game on the Sounder!

    Like the comments on the PI soundoff, not all that rational. All I can say is thank goodness for the Mass Transit Now campaign and for Ben and Oran in the PI soundoff!


    1. Your wife is awesome for volunteering! I’ve been doing stuff at the Broadway Market and I’ve only heard a few people express disagreement.

      One thought the plan was awesome, but didn’t like the tax method. Hopefully I communicated that lobbying for a state income tax is a noble but unrelated issue :D

  2. Yeah… soundoff is kind of a hotbed for those sorts of comments. I don’t fully understand why those people choose Seattle PI instead of say… Sound Politics, but hey, free country.

  3. Right, the response to the Mass Transit Now campaign has been largely positive.

    I liked Ben’s succinct comment there about the opposition:

    As for the rest of the naysayers here… I’m glad there are so few of you. :)

    There’s a vocal minority out there that’s against transit.

    Like how the No to Prop 1 campaign is funded largely by Mark Baerwaldt and Kemper Freeman. With some money from Suzanne Burke (opponent of the Burke-Gilman Trail), Don Padelford, and the Washington State Paving Association. John Niles gave a pathetic $25 to his campaign. Yeah, the usual suspects.

    1. Suzie Burke is a big Bush supporter who inherited big chunks of Fremont and leases them to Weyerhauser’s real estate division. She’s also credited as the person “who made Fremont suck.”

      But, in typical Seattle fashion, it’s not her Libertarian-Right blue blood pedigree which drives her opposition to light rail. Nope, Suzie Burke – like Mark Baerwaldt – is a die-hard monorail supporter. (John Niles was, too…Kemper Freeman prefers megafreeways and PRT)

      Amazing how myopic these people can be. It’s always about their own, personal pet projects.

      As for the grumpy Seahawks fans, who were just fine with spending a couple billion on stadiums for pro sports stadiums, and a trillion bucks on Iraq: this would be a species known as “the conservative.” This species is a little angry right now – mostly because he’s not gonna get to see Sarah Palin speak in WA. She’s too busy trying to shore up the red states.

  4. Don’t just vote yes on Prop 1. Get out and wave signs, tell people, phone bank, call your friends. I am amazed to find out how many of my friends are confused about politics in general… young, smart people who vote based on the ads they hear. It is sad, but it is reality. We have to fight for this.

    While your at it be sure to rally against 985, that crap is ridiculous.

  5. Hey, I’m a die-hard monorail supporter… and I’m strongly supporting Prop. 1. So are all the die-hard monorail supporters I know.

    Although we’re sad that we’re not riding the monorail now, as we would have been had it not been stupidly and short-sightedly killed, and we know West Seattle and Ballard aren’t getting served anytime soon by anything but buses, we also know that it doesn’t make any more sense to be stupid and short-sighted about regional mass transit than it was to kill the monorail.

    For most of the monorail supporters I know, it wasn’t ever about the specific vehicle, but about the functionality. The monorail and the light rail would have been wonderfully complementary–it’s silly to make it an either-or proposition.

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