Prop. 1 opponent Mark Baerwaldt takes credit here on page 1 for killing the monorail, and on page 2 takes credit for helping create the monorail.

He can’t make up his mind, but he’s heavily involved in the decisions on transportation in our area. With leaders like this, no wonder we have gridlock, both figuratively and literally.

10 Replies to “What?”

  1. A reader in Roosevelt askes will Prop 1 help the commute along the I-5 corridor and mentions the frequent yet unreliable Metro service which takes an hour to go 5 miles.

    Mark Baerwaldt’s answer: No

    What kind of answer is that? I thought Mark knows the Prop 1 plan. I guess he doesn’t have anything to say because it’s so true.

    Prop 1 answer: Roosevelt to Downtown on Link in 12 minutes, anytime, everyday.

    I can think of a political attack ad sounding like this…

    Can We Trust Prop 1 opponent Mark Baerwaldt?: When he was for the failed Monorail project before he was against it.

  2. Ya, pretty loopy. If he can’t even get his past right, should we really trust his opinion on the future?

  3. This is my favorite question:

    Q: Gene, Seattle

    At a recent forum at the U.W., Sound Transit said that they expect their light rail to cost about $1.24 per passenger mile to operate. Metro buses cost about $0.75 per passenger mile to operate.

    Is it true that Sound Transit light rail will cost about two-thirds more per passenger mile to operate than Metro buses?

    A: Alex Fryer

    Hi Gene. I think you may have some incorrect figures. According to the National Transit Database, light rail in the Puget Sound area will cost $0.15 per passenger mile to operate. By comparison, buses are $1.12 per passenger mile to operate. That’s because it takes ten buses to do the work of one train.

    A: Mark Baerwaldt

    [blah blah, something about ST’s numbers being low] “The operating cost per passenger mile is in excess of $3…”

    Wow – a 20x difference in numbers from either side. Will The Times jump on this one and tell us which of these three numbers is right? I doubt it.

  4. Mark Baerwaldt never makes sense, for good reason:

    This entire fight against light rail has been a personal vendetta, which began against Ron Sims.

    See, Baerwaldt was fined and shut down for filling in wetlands while developing suburban sprawl on the Sammamish plateau.

    At the time, Ron Sims was touting growth management, environmental stewardship, stadiums and light rail.

    Since Baerwaldt was so personally and financially offended by Sims – yet he knew public opinion wasn’t in line with his anti-environment activities – he decided to hit Sims on his other controversial policy perogatives.

    Baerwaldt became the sugardaddy for wannabe Eymanite Chris Van Dyk, and Citizens for More Important Things, which led the fight against public financing for the Mariners and Seahawks stadiums. Once Baerwaldt lost that fight, it was on to personal grudge #2: Baerwaldt became active with Sane Transit and CETA, financing the lawsuit and appeal against Sound Transit over light rail plans, with the hope of delaying/killing off the project.

    Baerwaldt also embraced the monorail, since Sims opposed it. The personal obsession turned into a compulsive jihad, to the point where he continued down the anti-transit path, even though Sims eventually walked away from his support of light rail.

    Baerwaldt keeps complaining about the personal attacks leveled against him by transit supporters. I’m just surprised he never heard the phrase “what comes around goes around.”

    This has never been about transport policy. It’s always been about Mark Baerwaldt…and his tiny/big rich guy ego.

  5. Baerwaldt like buses, because he can use bus zones to illegally park his car in parking-challenged Belltown.

    Interesting Bundy and Baerwaldt both tout bikes, buses and vanpools for (other) people to get around. Neither of these guys have had a job to commute to for a long, long time….

  6. Mark Baerwaldt was also touting his “Plan B” concepts on the radio today. He made specific reference again to the column he and Phil “the Monorail” Talmadge co-authored. This guy is so high on himself, he thinks people actually paid attention to their highly unpopular (25% support) plans. How far did Plan B get in terms of political support? Nowhere. And how’s about that SWIFT BRT plan and “Eurobuses” he keeps promoting, yet knows nothing about? I wonder if Baerwaldt has even bothered to check the estimated travel time between Everett and Shoreline. Or, whether he has bothered to drive the route, and see what a farce BAT lanes can be on a typical SR-99 mess of a day.

    If Prop. 1 goes down next week, Baerwaldt can feed his ego a bit. And he could really care less what the outcome is for this city, or for the region. Why should he care? He made his money pumping oil out of the sea, and doesn’t have a job to go to. Gridlock suits Baerwaldt just fine.

  7. The terribly frustrating thing is that the entire debate over transit in this region has been hijacked. Prop 1 is far from perfect. There are a number of issues that rail advocates should have with this plan, not the least of which are insufficient station-area access and squandered TOD potential.

    Unfortunately, it seems that we can never really get into a debate about those sorts of issues because the entire public debate has been hijacked by road-warriors and rail-worshipers. Even the Bus v. Rail debate can never really be had because half the bus advocates are really road-warriors in disguise. Meanwhile, the internal politics of the ST board his completely hijacked by an obsession with sub-area equity to the detriment of the entire system.

    It seems we can even discuss the merits of a plan, because we can’t agree on a goal. Now is a time when real leadership is needed. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any yet.

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