The polls for the other big transit-related measure on the ballot, I-985 are running close, and I have been pretty happy with the coverage of the measure in local papers. If you’re not familar, I-985 is Tim Eyman’s transportation bill that, among a number of misguided ideas, opens HOV lanes up for general use outside of two brief windows: 6-9 am, and 4-6 pm on weekdays. This would cause huge problems, and costs, for buses that run in HOV lanes.

Yesterday the P-I ran down the opposition to I-985 and criticisms on its costs, in a piece entitled “Is I-985 detrimental?”. The answer is apparently ‘yes’. The opposition list is pretty heavy, including the Federal Highway Administration, WSDOT, and nearly every city council in the state. The article does give a voice to Eyman, who never seems reasonable to me. The nice quote at the end of the piece:

Some have suggested widening freeways. Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, who supports I-985, said at the same event he “would like to see more lanes built.” He supports eight lanes on 520.

King County Councilman Dow Constantine, echoing other policymakers: “It’s just not going to happen. Where would we put more lanes? How would we pay for them? You can’t build your way out of traffic congestion.”

If we could only get quotes like this in pieces about Prop. 1.

Then today the P-I ran an article entitled “I-985 can’t solve one traffic woe: Accidents”. That headline almost implies that I-985 can solve other problems, when in fact it solves nothing. According to the piece, 25% of congestion is caused by accidents, which of course is yet another article for grade-separated transit.

2 Replies to “I-985 Coverage”

  1. The P-I article’s headline was one word too long. it should simply have said “I-985 can’t solve one traffic woe”

  2. the WSDOT traffic engineers said that 4 lanes on 520 would just shift the backup from before the bridge to montlake. There isn’t enough capacity on 5 to support it, and unless we find another $20 billion in the couch cushions, I-5 isn’t going to be changed. And really, it doesn’t seem like the best way to spend money.

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