Clarification: The funds for R8A have been taken out of the 2009 budget and moved into a far future budget. Ben in this post is discussing the removal of the funds from the 2009 budget.
R8A still does not have enough funding to be completed. This state project is necessary for light rail on the Eastside to open on schedule. Adding two-way HOV across I-90 will also immediately boost the speed of buses during rush hour. We implore Representatives Eddy and Clibborn to move money for I-90 Two-Way HOV Stages 2 and 3 back to the original funding time line.
Original post: Let’s have a close look at that economic stimulus bill from the state legislature, shall we?
Looks like it passed, great, that means money for all sorts of projects…
Wait just a minute. What’s that amendment (PDF)? It’s from Representative Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), whose constituents voted for light rail over the I-90 bridge?
Oh, I see, it screws over light rail across I-90. Again. From section 304:
11 (3) Within the amounts provided in this section, (($1,895,000))
12 $11,363 of the transportation partnership account–state appropriation,
13 (($2,147,000)) $505,099 of the motor vehicle account–federal
14 appropriation, and (($10,331,000)) $11,031,179 of the transportation
15 2003 account (nickel account)–state appropriation are for project
16 109040T as identified in the LEAP transportation document referenced in
17 subsection (1) of this section: I-90/Two Way Transit-Transit and HOV
18 Improvements – Stage 1.
She doesn’t miss a beat. Apparently, for her, the interests of a few rich folks who have whispered in her ear overwhelms the interests of the majority of her district. That’s right, $2,825,359 suddenly gone from I-90 Two Way Transit and HOV improvements, or “R8A” – the one state project we’re dependent on to build East Link.
In fact, we’re ending up with almost $700,000 less than we had before the federal stimulus money.
Thanks, Judy! We appreciate that you’ve been bought and paid for by a few rich constituents – using the express lanes as single occupancy Mercedes lanes into the city is a great use of our infrastructure. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were replaced with a legislator who actually represented the district you’re supposed to represent, instead of taking money away from projects that help your constitutents? I wonder what, say, the Bellevue Downtown Association thinks of this?
And people blame Seattle for not being able to get anything done. Whenever we do, the state kneecaps us.