While we often disagree with the Times regarding their opinions on expanding light rail, we have give them credit for rightly opposing I-985. Like nearly every newspaper across the state, they have endorsed voting no on I-985. But they’ve gone further and have written another article echoing their no vote which list of ten reasons to vote against the measure. I’ll re-print them here in full:

No. 1 — I-985 would reduce safety. Local communities have installed red-light cameras at dangerous intersections to prevent car crashes with pedestrians and other vehicles. This initiative forces local communities to give camera revenues to the state. Result: Most cities will yank the cameras, so more accidents.

No. 2 — The initiative could cost the state millions of dollars in federal funds, according to a letter from federal transportation officials.

No. 3 — I-985 will increase congestion as the plan dumps too many single-occupancy vehicle cars into HOV lanes during nonpeak hours — peak hours are defined unrealistically as 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Result: More vehicles in HOV lanes, for example, westbound Highway 520; slower travel time; people give up the bus; more congestion.

No. 4 — I-985 robs sales tax revenues on vehicles in Eastern Washington and gives the revenues to the Puget Sound area for traffic relief.

No. 5 — I-985 kills plans for paying for a new Highway 520 bridge. Complicated language supposedly prevents tolling on Interstate 90 to pay for Highway 520. Too many cars will be diverted to I-90 and there will be insufficient revenue to pay for a new bridge.

No. 6 — Traffic congestion relief is best left to the experts.

No. 7 — I-985 zaps the general fund to pay for congestion relief. Result: Further cuts in education and health care.

No. 8 — I-985 allows the state to interfere with local communities’ public-safety decisions.

No. 9 — Direct-access ramps built along Interstates 5, 90 and 405 currently allow buses and car pools to enter and exit the freeway from HOV lanes. Those projects obtained federal approval on condition they not be open to general traffic. Result: The ramps would be closed during the time HOV lanes are open to general-purpose traffic.

No. 10 — The initiative is several subjects wrapped in one. It is headed for court, thus wasting precious time for moving forward with regional transportation improvements.

If you still haven’t voted yet, please read our endorsements to see who is supportive of transit and which measures are most important to our transit future.

8 Replies to “Seattle Times Rips I-985”

  1. #10 is what floors me. You would think that Eyman would have learned this lesson TEN YEARS AGO when I-695 was struck down for violating the single subject rule. You’d think he’d make damned sure that his future initiatives were single subject.

    But no.

    Does he really even care if these things actually stick?

  2. It’s stuff like #10 that suggests to me that Eyman doesn’t actually care if he wins, so long as he gets paid. He’s just in it for the money. It beats a real job.

  3. Ya, when he writes an inititive like this he gets paid up front, then gets to throw some sort of hissy fit when it gets thrown out in court. Then he runs it again with a big dose of anger thrown in and gets paid again.

    Repeat, repeat, repeat…

    Bottom line, he doesn’t care as much about governmental or transportation reform as he does about getting paid. I suspect his watch selling business isn’t doing too well anymore — this is much more lucrative.

  4. I would agree that he probably doesn’t care much about this stuff, but it is amazing to me how well his crazy measures do. Everybody is against this thing and it is still polling near 50/50. As much as I hate to admit it, he is good at what he does. I wonder if some environmental group through a bunch of money at him if he would work on something that actually helps us?

  5. It blows my mind that people actually support Eyman. He’s been the bane of my existence for so long. When 695 was on the ballot I was only in 7th or 8th grade, yet even then it was so obvious to me that the initiative was nothing but trouble, yet it still passed, like so many of his other initiatives. I guess with something like 985 people here “congestion relief” and without doing any research automatically say “Congestion relief? I’m for that! I’ll vote yes; I’d be stupid not to.” I guess he just counts on uninformed voters to keep his ballot measures alive, and unfortunately it has worked for him.

    It drives me insane!

  6. Can’t the state just change the designated times for “Rush Hour” to read 4am – Noon and 1pm – 8pm? or does this requirer voter approval?

    I don’t think that opening the HOV lanes will be a problem at night … just during the day.

    1. I’m not sure how easy it is for the legislature to change law approved by initiative. At the very least, it might be considered politically obtuse.

  7. I’m pretty sure the initiative process is set up to disallow the legislature changing details of voter-passed initiatives — it would undermine the purpose of intitiatives (which were invented as a populist way of working around political machines).

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think Tim Eyman is just in it for the money. I suspect he sees himself as a hero of the people — someone who’s standing up for “what everybody wants” in opposition to the machinery of politics, which in this time and this state means the Democrats.

    Getting a little off topic, but I’d highly recommend Kevin Kruse’s book _White Flight_ for a history tying anti-government conservatism to the white backlash against the civil rights movement in the South.

Comments are closed.