That’s what Doug MacDonald and John Stanton, along with the Washington Policy Center, want you to believe. You’re wrong. You make poor decisions. You can’t govern yourself. You need “governance reform”.
That’s why they want to ask the region to build more highways, even after we said no. We said very clearly that we don’t want more roads *and* transit, we just want more transit. The difference between the yes votes in these two elections was in the double digits – crystal, I’d call it.
Then why do I see SB 6064, “Transportation Accountability”? Oh, I see, it would create a “balance” in our transportation dollars, to “prioritize” transportation projects – meaning take money from somewhere and, you know, spend it on something “higher priority” (like expanding I-405). Which money? From committee testimony last week: “the bill does subsume the roles, powers and duties of Sound Transit.” Oh, money we voted for to fund specific transit projects.
What’s going on here is simple. RTID is gone and dead. The state’s plan to ask local voters for a bigger share of highway money failed; we’d rather build more transit than build ourselves into gridlock. The state has put themselves in a poor position by expanding roads before they figure out how to maintain them – and now, Doug MacDonald is admitting his abject failure as transportation secretary by trying to steal money from transit. Sure, ten years ago, we thought Sound Transit might actually need reform – but it turns out it just needed new leadership, and now it’s kicking ass. These guys are manufacturing a crisis.
So, who’s sponsoring this garbage? It looks like nearly the same crew. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island, who apparently still believes that her constitutents are in the Sound Transit district, and Fred Jarrett of Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Newcastle, who as usual wants his constitutents to be able to drive to work alone in his fancy I-90 express lanes. There are some other choice names – have a look at the bill information (linked above). I love how towns like Eureka and Country Home are really interested in state projects being paid for by Seattle. I wonder if they realize they don’t pay enough taxes to cover their own highways anyway?
The icing on the cake is the wording in the bill digest (PDF). A plan to take money from electric rail transit and put it into highway expansion is apparently “for the benefit of … the environment by reducing fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.” No, really. It’s that insulting.
Do you live in the 41st? Please help me out and call Fred Jarrett – remind him that his constituents voted for Mass Transit Now, not “Expand 405 Now”. The 10th? Mary Margaret Haugen is lost in the tulips, please tell her as much. And Ed Murray? Really? Why are we talking about this again?
And next time you hear these guys talk about ‘bus rapid transit’, please remember that they aren’t pro-bus. They’re just pro-asphalt. My favorite quote from John Stanton, completely separated from reality: “we don’t have enough money for roads.” Maybe we would if we weren’t trying to tunnel under the waterfront.