Andrew Villenueve, over at the Northwest Progressive Institute Blog, did us all the public service of transcribing King County Executive Candidate Susan Hutchinson’s remarks at a candidate forum in North Bend last month. Money quote:
The Regional Transportation Commission that was set up by the governor with a bipartisan leadership – Norm Rice and John Stanton – presented a two… uh, a… a study… and, I’ve read it, it’s about a half an inch thick. And in it, after they conducted their study, they made this recommendation, that all of our transportation agencies needed to fall under one authority.
That information then went back to Olympia… and no one did a thing. Nothing has changed.
The 120-page 2006 PSRTC report is not the arch-conservative document it’s often made out to be, as it comes out pretty strongly in favor of congestion pricing and higher taxes. However, Hutchison is referring to its prescription to form a 15-person permanent commission, 60% elected, that would control all road and transit revenue and expenditure, as well as land-use decisions, in a four-county area. The 6 appointees would be appointed by the governor, and could not be a serving elected official. This report, obviously, was one inspiration for the infamous 2007 roads-and-transit ballot measure that failed, largely due to that very linkage. At any rate, this kind of reorganization is well beyond the powers of the King County Executive.
We’ve said bad things about governance reform in the past, and will do so again in the near future.
On another note, Hutchison’s website contains this under the subject of “Transportation”.
Traffic congestion robs King County residents of valuable time with their families every day. Susan will quickly implement simple changes to encourage transit ridership, such as expanded GPS-based bus tracking and a color-route system so public transportation is more accessible and user-friendly for visitors, commuters, and every day travel.
Metro, as many of you know, is already planning to institute full scale GPS tracking in 2010. The Hutchinson campaign did not reply to an email asking for details on these two items, as well as for confirmation of the quote above.
Full text of the question and response after the jump. And please, let’s keep the comments oriented towards transportation and land use. Continue reading “Hutchison on Transportation”