Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft – and love it – at the Overlake Campus. I can’t imagine using this overpass for anything except visiting the new company store, which I do just a handful of times a year.
A project that would build a 520 overpass near Microsoft’s Overlake Campus is slated to receive $11 million in PSRC highway stimulus money, and apparently this is upsetting some “tax payer watchdogs”. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a national organization who lobbies against corporate subsidies, says that Microsoft should be footing even more of the bill than they already are. Currently, Microsoft has agreed to contribute $17.5 million for the project, which will cost somewhere around $40 million according to WSDOT.
Now it may be true that the majority of the trips across the overpass will be made by Microsoft’s employees and partners, but so what? Every transportation investment is a subsidy for the residents and businesses the project serves. If we stopped subsidizing transportation projects that served businesses, we’d have very little transportation infrastructure at all. Microsoft is chipping in nearly half the project’s cost, so I don’t see a whole lot to complain about. Or would we rather Microsoft spent the $17.5 million on transportation projects for a development center in India*? The answer seems obvious, and the complaints about this particular project seem misguided.
*Nothing wrong with that. The question is “would we rather”…