Here are STB’s endorsements for the August 17th primary election. As always, these picks are meant to reflect solely the performance and positions on issues covered by this blog, not by their broader political philosophy, progressive or otherwise.

While many state legislative races are happening this year, there are typically only a few candidates that make a real, positive difference on transit and land use. If you don’t live in the districts of these candidates, we strongly encourage you to donate or volunteer for them.

STB’s editorial board consists of Martin H. Duke and John Jensen, with valued input from the rest of the staff.

Marko Liias (21st District, Edmonds) was the champion of the transit funding bill that died in the Senate in 2010. Together with Simpson, he is one of the two best pro-transit legislators in Olympia at the moment.

Chris Reykdal (22nd District, Olympia) is unusual in not only supporting more transit  investment, but also understanding that more highways work directly  against the objectives of that investment. His relevant positions include “uphold the core values of the Growth Management Act – focus on  urban  density to avoid rural sprawl”, “adopt constitutional and  statutory changes that permit gasoline taxes  to be used more flexibly,”  and “move our focus away from increasing highway capacity and towards  more sustainable public transportation options.” That’s a slam dunk.

Jake Fey (27th  District, Tacoma) is a Tacoma City Councilmember and serves on the  Sound Transit board. Over 6 years of service in Tacoma, he has advocated  for mixed-use transit-oriented centers, Complete Streets, and the Bike/Ped Plan.  Olympia needs more representatives that understand urban land use and  transportation issues, as well as the issues facing Sound Transit. If  that weren’t enough, he’s been endorsed by 27th District resident and Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl.

Joe Fitzgibbon (34th District, West Seattle/Burien). His primary governmental experience is as legislative aide to outgoing Representative and Senatorial candidate Sharon Nelson, one of the few legislators to understand transit and land use issues. Fitzgibbon has won her endorsement. On his website he has the most explicitly pro-transit, pro-rail platform in any race: he is for extending Sound Transit’s taxing authority to accelerate an ST3 vote, the right position on the single most important issue in the legislature for rail activists. He also wants to extend taxing authority for other transit agencies.

Geoff Simpson (47th District, Covington) has for years been the most reliably good legislator. The correctness of his positions is all the more  astounding given his rural/exurban district. As a result, his seat is always under threat and he could especially use your help.

Stan Rumbaugh (Supreme Court Position 1). It’s always hard to discern judge positions due to judicial election norms, but Rumbaugh claims to be an environmentalist, and his opponent, Jim Johnson, has a horrible track record on issues important to transit advocates. With the Kemper Freeman lawsuit against East Link coming, the Supreme Court will have a big impact on the region’s future. Johnson dissented from rulings that allowed the condemnation of property for construction of the Seattle Monorail and Link. He also tried to strike down the MVET used by both ST and the SMP, and tried to enforce I-776 at the cost of impairing ST’s bonds.

Patty Murray (U.S. Senate), who as a senior member of the  Senate Appropriations Committee, is well-positioned to deliver  competitive federal transit dollars to Washington, a capability she has  frequently demonstrated. She is one of the few central figures in  getting Link built, and deserves to continue to help make our local tax  dollars go farther.

Intercity Transit Authority Proposition 1: YES. It goes without saying that we’re in favor of maintaining the current level of transit service in Thurston County by raising the sales tax rate and restoring gross revenue to previous levels.

82 Replies to “2010 Primary Endorsements”

  1. Not to knock this list – it’s a good one, but Jake Fey (27th LD) has been sitting on the issue of streetcars in Tacoma for three years. He chairs the environment and public works city council subcommittee there, but hasn’t done very much to move the issue forward. I’d actually say that he’s been one of the primary doubters of the project to extend Tacoma Link.

    He’s good on bike-ped issues and climate change, but hardly gets the relationship between quality transit and land use. If he’s elected to the legislature, at least we’ll be able to replace Tacoma’s member on the ST board and one of our PT board members.

    1. No one can be good on “climate change” and be pro-rail. The carbon footprint of the construction overwhelmingly eliminates any environmental benefit of “light” rail.

      Not to mention, cars are approaching zero emissions, even the gas powered ones. But, electricity, which is used to run ST’s “light” rail, is significantly generated by coal, even in WA. That makes it a NEGATIVE towards the environment.

      Face it, “light” rail has never been and never will be about anything more than control. Political, physical, extreme. It is the antithesis of freedom in every aspect and avenue, from design to taxation to usage. It also the antithesis of environmental freedom.

      1. “Not to mention, cars are approaching zero emissions, even the gas powered ones. ”

        A zero emission gas powered car? You haven’t ever studied chemistry have you? It’s impossible to burn a hydrocarbon without producing CO2, it’s the basic combustion equation. In fact, the more efficient the process the more CO2 is produced.

        “But, electricity, which is used to run ST’s “light” rail, is significantly generated by coal, even in WA.”

        98% of the the electricity produced by Seattle City Light, from whom Sound Transit buys electricity for Link, is from carbon-free sources.

      2. Understanding chemistry makes me a leftwing whackjob? I suppose having a degree makes me a “liberal elite” right? If that’s the best insult you can come up with, I’ll take it.

        BTW, respiration is functionally a closed carbon cycle, combustion of fossil fuels is not. Big difference.

      3. [ad-hominem, comment policy complaining]

        Most college grads for some twisted reason are leftists. Indoctrination. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, brainwash.

        Argue the facts: Cars pollute so little, and their pollution/maintenance costs so insignificant, they overwhelm trains, electric or otherwise. The pollution level for cars compared to trains for the benefit gained is an overwhelming win for the auto.

      4. I did argue the facts. You’re the one who has stooped to spiteful rhetoric and stereotyping in every one of your comments so far.

      5. Vere_veritas,

        Calling someone a wackjob or indoctrinated is not debating.

        Zed definately did argue with facts, but there are a few more to consider.

        First, the road footprint. Roads pave up a lot of land to transport people, and engineer society to pave a lot more land in unnatural sprawl. This means less trees to deal with greenhouse gasses, and a lot of untreated storm-water runoff. (the number 1 cause for dying fish yields, dying whale-watching industries, and dirty water in the Puget sound region.) All costs to be added to the pricetag of a car, not to mention the cleanup costs.

        Second, as I stated earlier, roads, especially when subsidized as much as in this region, engineer sprawls and force people to go farther to get what they want or need. This means more energy has to be used to get people places, no matter how you get that energy. Going completely against the efficiency idea.

        Third is that we have been told that electric cars are just around the corner for decades now, and they still aren’t here.

        I am not against cars, they have been a boon to society, but you need a balanced transportation system with cars, trains, busses, bikes, pedestrian improvements, and ferries when appropriate, not one that taxes one form of transport (rail) and subsidizes another (roads)

        One more question: If cars are so efficiant, then why are road heavy countries (USA) pollution more than rail utilizing countries (EU, Asian Countries)?

        Please answer these questions, I want an honest debate with you.

      6. “Third is that we have been told that electric cars are just around the corner for decades now, and they still aren’t here”

        They *are* just around the corner now. Nissan’s Leaf is arriving in the US right now. Ford’s electric Focus will be here next year. Every car company is introducing one or two models and they are looking *very* viable. I’m considering one for our household to replace the Prius.

        That said, they are best suited for multiple car families or single car families with a ZipCar membership for longer trips. They deal very effectively with pollution and foreign oil dependence. On the other hand, they do virtually nothing to suppress urban sprawl except keep people who buy them tethered within a 30 or 40 mile range of a park & ride or urban center. King county will even be subsidizing sprawl at Eastgate park & ride since there are free electric car charging stations there, as well as the Metro employee garage downtown.

        Electric cars are a massive improvement on our current situation but not a panacea.

      7. Forcing everyone to buy a $10,000 car to get anywhere is the epitome of freedom?

      8. Forcing everyone to pay for a tinkertoy train that is statistically unavailable to 95+% of the area for half the transportation dollars is economic slavery.

        Next time you need a cop or a fireman, I suggest you call the train. They’ll be right there. Never.

        Trains sole significant contribution is i moving massive quantities of cargo over great distances. And, only if the schedule for the product is insignificant. FedEx, UPS and everybody else uses overnight air or the freeway for important stuff. Only if the product is inconsequential to economic success is it moved by rail.

        On the West Coast, there isn’t a single passenger rail system that approaches the successful economic model of roads. So, the answer is obviously busses. Multiple uses, flexible routes and schedules. Scaleable. And, as noted, cheaper (unless run by ST).

      9. “Only if the product is inconsequential to economic success is it moved by rail.”

        You mean like coal, grain, fertilizer, oil, chemicals, automobiles, lumber, steel, ore, and most of the container traffic from the ports?

      10. The American economy is more reliant on rail than any other nation in the world. We just focused on what, for us (large distances to cover, sparse population) made the most economic sense. Somewhere along the line regulation (I’m thinking unions) got in the way. Why can’t we attach at least freight express cars to the back of freight trains, provide inter-modal connections for UPS, Fedex, etc. drivers? All sorts of perverse government regulations. It’s good to see WSDOT at least trying to make freight and passenger service complimentary.

      11. UPS is one of BNSF and UP’s biggest customers. If I remember correctly, any UPS trailer that’s traveling over 400 miles goes on to a trailer-train. A few years back UP was having a helluva time keeping up with UPS’s demands for 48-hour transcontinental service, and ended up off-loading a lot of it to BNSF. I remember reading in Trains a few years ago about one of UPS’s intermodal yards in Illinois, it was quite the operation. Something like 1000 UPS trailers per day going on to BNSF trains at that one location alone.

      12. Bernie, I’m thinking you meant to say “least freight express cars to the back of *passenger* trains”

        Agreed. If Unions got in the way, it may have been competing Unions that represent Amtrak employees vs. freight rail. That’s possible, and stooopid, but my money would be on operations issues. I do know that Amtrak was working on carrying mail, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, etc… but I don’t know how much they carry. They do offer Amtrak Express – a city to city freight service for pallets up to 500 lbs.

      13. No one can be good on “climate change” and be pro-rail. The carbon footprint of the construction overwhelmingly eliminates any environmental benefit of “light” rail.

        Well, if you want to go down that “road” then what about the carbon footprint of building freeways, or even adding lanes to freeways?

        cars are approaching zero emissions, even the gas powered ones.

        Interesting, I have a Subaru with a PZEV badge. It’s really cool. Not as cool as the GT badge on my ’65 Mustang but I regress. With all the catalytic converters and whatnot it’s said that in a polluted DT LA situation the emissions coming out of the tail pipe might actually be cleaner that the air going in. Wonderful, except that it neglects the cost of delivering the gas to the station where I pump it, the cost of oh say drilling the well where it came from, the cost of refining the crude to gas…

        Face it, “light” rail has never been and never will be about anything more than control. Political, physical, extreme.

        Maybe not, roads to a great extent are also guilty of this. Our transportation future and quality of life are linked. For the most part this is a political decision. In that respect building new roads “has never been and never will be about anything more than control. Political, physical, extreme

  2. Joe Fitzgibbon also chairs the Burien Planning Commission and has been an outspoken leader on transit- and pedestrian-friendly issues there.

  3. Fitzgibbon has also received endorsements from Marko Liias and Geoff Simpson – and tons of environmental groups.

  4. Regarding Jake Fey in the Tacoma 27th leg dist. He is my city councilman and sent me a thoughtful email regarding the whole Sounder D-M berm debacle down here. It was clear that he understood the issue fully, and didn’t get wrapped up in the localized hysteria on the issue.

    I think for walkable neighborhoods and bike lanes etc, he has been a great proponent for these things. He actually hasn’t been on the ST board for very long so to blame him for our inability to extend TLink seems a little harsh. Jake’s been doing good work on the ST board and should be the better choice (compared to those running against him) as a transportation supporter. IMO.

    1. None have a particularly great record on transit, or they’re in uncompetitive races.

  5. These are all leftwing politicians and ST takes public tax dollars. How can ST be endorsing candidates when they receive millions in tax dollars?

    1. Mindy,

      When the state Republican party comes up with a pro-transit,pro-rail politician, believe me, we’ll trip all over ourselves to endorse him or her.

      1. The GOP IS PRO-transit. We understand that ROADS provide MORE benefit than ANY other type of transportation. Busses can use the roads. Delivery trucks can use the roads. 9-1-1 can use the roads.

        Vanpools are far and away the most effective, efficient and inexpensive MASS transit entity available for consistent, every day use. And, they use the ROADS!

        Trains are EXTREMELY limited. Can’t put a new washer and dryer on the train. Can’t carry 10 bags of groceries on the “light” rail. Extremely unfriendly to even carry luggage to the airport on the “light” (heavy on the wallet) rail.

        Rail, like the sundial, had its day.

      2. I might agree with you if Republicans/Conservatives would get behind a fully completed HOV system with 3+ HOV rules, dedicated ramps, and a comprehensive *true* BRT system. It’s a mystery why none have since it seems like a fiscally conservative no-brainer. In addition:

        . Charge for parking at Park & Rides – Seriously, why are we giving away *free* parking when people would pay for it? $3 at a P&R is a lot cheaper than $10-$25 in downtown Seattle

        . Pile money into bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure where it makes sense – No, I’m not trying to force YOU to bike or walk, but I’d like to have the option. I pay plenty in taxes and use these options whenever I can. It’s cheap compared to forcing me to drive one of my 2 cars everywhere.

        . Implement demand based tolling on the *entire* freeway and highway system. If I really want to drive my car at rush hour, I can – it will just cost more. If you give me another option, like bike lanes/bus/rail/tram/whatever, I’ll use it – I drive for a living so the last thing I want to do is drive home.

        Hey, this isn’t even some sort of lefty tax the rich scheme. Use the revenue generated from these ideas to pay for the ideas I’ve outlined above. Use the rest to eliminate the B&O tax, cut property taxes, or whatever else you want to keep it revenue neutral if that floats your boat. I’ve voted for a LOT of Republicans over the years so don’t try and paint everybody here as a bunch of left-wing rail loving crazies, Ok?

        Republicans like Dino Rossi lost me when he suggested carving off even *more* of the general fund to be used for roads. Cars are already receiving too many subsidies and frankly, I’m sick of it. I just don’t get why “conservatives” want to lavish even more subsidies on roads when we have an adequate road network as is – If you would just *charge* for it.

      3. Cars do NOT receive ANY subsidies. The taxes generated by all things automobile far outweighs the amounts spent on their use and infrastructure. Car taxes pay for “light” rail, busses and every other form of “mass” transit. There’s no usage fee for any of ST’s useless projects that pays for anything else. And BTW, ST missed by a MILE their projections for charging users for services. The Sounder is attrocious at $14 per trip. “Light” rail is horrific at $8!

        Who has paid for any of the bike trails? It ain’t the bikers. They pay no taxes. Anyone over the age of 16 should be paying a vehicle license tax for a bike. Register them.

        Remember: Next time you need help, don’t call 9-1-1. They’ll send a car of some sort. It would be hypocritical of you to accept a ride on a roads system. Also, don’t buy any products that are delivered to any store via roads. Wouldn’t want you to be caught talking out of both sides of your mouth.

      4. “Who has paid for any of the bike trails? It ain’t the bikers. They pay no taxes.”

        Bicyclists don’t pay property taxes, sales taxes or income taxes? You think there’s not a single cyclist that also owns a car, and therefore pays gas taxes? Most of the cyclists I see on the I-90 trail are riding along on bikes that cost many thousands of dollars, I’m sure that they pay their fare share of taxes.

      5. “Cars do NOT receive ANY subsidies.”

        Yeah, uh-huh. I suppose you still believe in the tooth fairy?

        “Who has paid for any of the bike trails? It ain’t the bikers. They pay no taxes.”

        Wait, you mean those checks I’ve been sending to the IRS and County each year for income taxes and property taxes didn’t pay for the [relatively inexpensive compared to the roads you drive on] bike trail I use to get to work most days? Damn. Sorry about that. Where should I send a check to?

      6. It ain’t the bikers. They pay no taxes.

        So for tires (last about 1k miles and go $40 a pop +/-), Chains (Wipperman I just bought was $70 on sale and hope will last two years), brakes, lube, tools (no AAA for bikes), helmet (required by law), lights (also required as a vehicle by WA law); I can get my sales tax refunded? And to think all this time I was required to pay taxes. Let’s see; how much damage does a 200# bike + rider do to roads and the environment vs a 2-5k car that leaks oil, antifreeze, A/C refrigerant, etc.

        Now, to be fair I do own cars. In fact the latest one I bought was a 2009 Subaru. We traded in an ’86 Crown Vic I paid $5k for in ’91 and drove 150k miles. The government gave me a $4,500 Cash for Clunkers inventive (thanks Patty!). Damn, I wish the government would do that for bikes.

      7. “Damn, I wish the government would do that for bikes.”

        Me too! I’ve got my eye on a BMC that would pump about $300 into the state’s coffers.

      8. The interesting thing is America is building world class bikes. Specialized, at least two teams at the Tour, Trek dominating tour wins for the last decade. Felt, a relative new comer to an industry steeped in tradition. I’m probably forgetting some big names. OTOH, Biachi, I’m guessing more tour wins than any other Italian (maybe any country period) had not one team riding their bikes this year. Helmets, well no surprise the government regulation crazy Americans rule that market with Bell and Giro. Wheels.. Zipp & Hed (we do aerodynamic hi-tech expensive materials). Shoes, Nike (Title 9, we do shoes :=). Now, if we could just do drive-trains… Borg Warner Groupo anybody? My T-10 from way back in ’65 (albeit with the aftermarket Hurst linkage) is awesome. Compared to the POS in my first car, a ’68 bug… well, no comparison. German engineering???

      9. I’m probably forgetting some big names.

        And how could I forget an American company with a bike called the Addict :=)

      10. Yeah, I’ve had a few Specializeds, been pretty happy with them. Never had a Trek, always seemed too commercial, and they never fit me quite right. Felts seem interesting, and my best friend has always loved his Marin mountian bike. I’d buy Zipp wheels if I could afford them! I’m glad that the US bike industry is alive and well, I think that Specialized and Cannondale saved the US industry back in the early 90’s by showing that US-made bikes could be good and affordable.

      11. Specialized obviously has some great road bikes but my son’s Epic is a really great example of technology pushing the mtn bike envelope. Opening up the mtn bike realm, I have a Kona hardtail. Kona is a WA company (not Hawaian as most people might think). For components, they don’t do shifters (yet) but how could I forget Woodinville based FSA!!! And then we’ve also got LP in WA state. And, since this is a transit blog; Thule bought the commercial bus bike rack business from Woodinville based Sportworks.

      12. I didn’t know FSA was based in Woodinville. I have an FSA headset on the bike that I just built, and almost bought an FSA crankset.

      13. I didn’t know FSA was based in Woodinville.

        Yeah, great little company. Bike parts by bike people. Seriously, everyone there has a passion. They design and spec parts and contract the manufacture mostly in Asia. That still creates a lot of US jobs in design, prototype, marketing, distribution and retail. Since this thread is supposed to be about candidate endorsements (and I’m getting “censored” lately ;-) I’ll add that endorsements should factor in candidate’s record on promoting the ability of small businesses like FSA and Sportworks (since bought out by Thule) to compete on the world stage. And as I was trying to point out with my original post to this thread; these industries generate sales tax which pays for roads and transit.

  6. ah, I have mistakenly thought that this was ST. So the endorsements are not problematic from that standpoint. But Geoff Simpson? Really?

    1. Geoff Simpson is one of the strongest transit champions in the legislature. Of course STB is rightfully endorsing him.

      1. vere_veritas,

        Please read the comment policy link at right, and try to comply with it.

        If you cannot comply, you are welcome to stop commenting here.

  7. Leave it to the never ending subsidy Unsound Transit to support the rape & pillage party of democrats who tax & spend us into oblivion; take our money to D.C. and then get a ‘heroes’ welcome from the useful idiot supporters when they lobby for a return of a pittance of what they took in the first place. They’re always putting our money in a black hole and expecting it to fill up.

    We need pro-transportation politicians that first keep the money here so our own economy will thrive, not pork barrel projects from afar. We certainly don’t need the likes of accused wife beater Simpson and his ilk to take anymore of our time or money.

    Unsound Transit is one of the biggest railroading of the taxpayers since the state took over the ‘always in the red’ Washington State Ferry system.

    DOT needs to be gutted and put pro-commerce, pro-transportation, freeway expansion ideology forward which will bring about the economic growth this state desperately needs.

    1. Name a “free”way in Washington that’s been built without money from the federal government.

      1. You’re kidding right? The money you say is from the ‘federal government’ is from YOUR OWN BACK POCKET! It’s the taxpayers money first, then it gets taken from you and sent to the government entity that’s supposed to serve you, only what doesn’t stay here in the state goes to D.C. instead and we have to have legislators lobby to get it back and pay for our ‘free’ ways. It’s absurd. Keep the money here in the first place, in the hands of the taxpayers who can better decide on spending than any legislator can, thus growing the economy ‘here’. The local, state and federal will always get their cut; but don’t be so willing to feed the beast by not holding them accountable and expect that the money from D.C. doesn’t come with a heavy price tag.

      2. Actually it’s the government’s money first. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that your way of life, and your income, would at all be possible without the federal government. And I do hold them accountable by voting, writing letters to my representatives, being a member of my local party, and being involved in public processes that affect me. It’s much more effective than making lunatic rants on a blog that no one will see a week from now.

      3. Zed, I think you’ve stumbled on to something here. What a fool I was thinking that the government derives its power from the consent of the governed (yes, I think I read that somewhere). All I have, all I am, is because of the Glorious Fatherland. Without It I am nothing. Without It I have nothing. It is the Fatherland–the Federal Government–that gives me life. I exist only because It wishes me to exist. Henceforth, daily will I bow down in humble gratitude for all that the Glorious Fatherland has given me. I will condemn those who make blasphemous claims about the government taking money from people who earn it. I will strive to remember at every moment that all I have belongs not to me, but to the Glorious Fatherland. Without It I am nothing.

        (I had to include that last tag because, in all honesty, if you’re going to say things like “Actually it’s the government’s money first,” I can’t put any blind trust in your ability to discern reality, let alone humor.)

      4. Take a bill out of your pocket Bob. Who’s name is on it? What would it be worth if you had to trade it for something after the collapse of the government? Try looking up “fiat currency” and while your at it pick up a couple of books on the history of the West. The West and all of its prosperity is a direct product of the Federal Government, Bob. If you want to be a self-made-man move to the Sudan and see what it’s like to actually live the myth that you’re clinging on to. I have no problem seeing the reality of the system that we live under and I have no illusions about my place in it.

      5. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway system was paid for by USERS of the ROADS! It has paid for itself many multiples of times over. It continues to be maintained SOLELY through taxes collected on the users: Gas taxes, vehicles taxes, excise taxes. It has always returned MORE money BACK INTO the system than was necessary to build and maintain it.

        There is NO rails system anywhere, especially in America, that isn’t a black hole of tax dollars. The railroads were originally built with heavy external tax subsidies. And, now the “light” rail systems pilfer money that could be more effectively and efficiently spent on any number of more useful forms of transportation.

        Like the kerosene lamp, the stagecoach and the feather pen, rail’s day has come and gone. It is only supported by intellectual midgets who can’t reach the conclusion that we are now living in the 21st and not the 19th Century.

      6. It continues to be maintained SOLELY through taxes collected on the users

        Just in the last few years, $79.2 billion has been spent from general funds at the federal level to build highways. How have you missed this? You are completely wrong.

        It has always returned MORE money BACK INTO the system than was necessary to build and maintain it.

        Again, incorrect. The federal highway trust fund has a completely unsustainable revenue source, and for years has been running a deficit.

        There is NO rails system anywhere, especially in America, that isn’t a black hole of tax dollars. The railroads were originally built with heavy external tax subsidies.

        Name one highway in America that isn’t a “black hole of tax dollars” or built with “heavy external tax subsidies.” Do you think if we didn’t spend gas tax revenue on highways that we couldn’t use it on other things, like education? The lack of a sales tax on gasoline is a tax expenditure — money we give up to subsidize vehicle transportation. Here’s what it comes down to: the free market isn’t building highways, the public sector is.

      7. Golly. How easy is this? Like shooting the proverbial fish.

        Grab an almanac. Note the revenue the Feds suck up from all things automobile. The various taxes, but especially gas taxes ALONE(!!) MORE THAN cover your pathetic number.

        Hell, The Feds suck up OVER $80 BILLION in Federal gas tax EVERY YEAR! Every year!!! You want to add up several years to get to your 79.6? Sad. I read your cheesy link. Gas taxes OVERWHELMINGLY pay for the boondoggles of “Federal funds” for B.S. projects like ST!! With money to spare!!


      8. Sure, gas taxes pay for most roadway construction but not all of it like you claimed. You are simply wrong.

        The free market is not building roads, the government is. You want the government to subsidize your favored mode of transportation, and so do we. We’re just honest about it.

    2. “rape & pillage party of democrats who tax & spend us into oblivion”

      Nice image, Ed. You suffer under a delusion if you think spending our country into oblivion is purely a Democratic party issue. The Republicans do a fine job of talking fiscal responsibility, but they have been equally spendthrift when they were in power. They just have different toys that they like to buy. Why Bush *never* used a Veto to constrain spending was beyond me.

  8. Perhaps our good friends at Seattle Transit blog took the time to do arduous research and discovered that Geoff Simpson rode the bus or used light rail to go and (allegedly) beat his wife? Clearly any moral or civil crime committed in this case is offset by his paying homage to the Holy Sacrament of Mass Transit.

  9. Geoff Simpson really? Charged twice with DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! What would he have to do to not get your endorsement. Rape someone?

    1. “As always, these picks are meant to reflect solely the performance and positions on issues covered by this blog, not by their broader political philosophy, progressive or otherwise.”

      No, all he has to do is stop supporting transit.

      1. Many people who are NOT serial abusers of women support transit.

        *I* support transit. I just do NOT support the waste, fraud and abuse that is Sound Transit! Especially when considering cost, they have not made a dent in transportation issues around here. Except. Except they spend like idiots and get horrific ROI. $14 subsidy per trip on Sounder. Nearly $9 for “light” rail. Hell, even their busses cost taxpayers $6.58 for each and every rider!

        Those are terrible numbers. Should be criminal. And, nowhere near what was promised by ST and their backers.

      2. The numbers you cite are not the subsidy, since they do not include revenue from fares or passes. And they’re out of date.

        As readers will notice, you’ve provided no evidence that the cost per boarding is above what ST promised.

    2. I don’t think any kind of bad behavior could change their minds, as long as the elected official has a D after their name. [off-topic]

      1. You really have no idea what our broader politics are.

        Anyway, there are a lot of Democrats we did not endorse. If there were any local Republicans that agreed with us policy-wise, we would endorse them.

  10. We were linked by a local conservative blog that’s sort of like Drudge. We’re going to get some angry people!

  11. He has to do something pertinent to the content of this blog. Perhaps if you read the post before commenting you would understand what was going on.

  12. What I can’t understand is how a blog that professes to be transit oriented doesn’t endorse a candidate named “Mike The Mover” for United States Senator? He’s even a Demonicrat!

  13. The bottom line is, ST was way too costly, and has not had nearly the ridership promised. Something like only about 1/6 the ridership originally projected. That’s a terrible record. This thing is a giant waste of taxpayer money. hardly anyone’s riding it, and I understand that each rider is subsidized to the tune of $140 per trip by the taxpayers. If you think that’s a good deal, then there’s really nothing left to say except that you like throwing money down the toilet.

    1. First you thought we were Sound Transit. Now you think light rail is called Sound Transit. You’re clearly not an expert on the subject, which explains why the statistics in your post are inaccurate.

      Ridership is not off, as you claim. For the end of 2010, it was projected to be 26,600 and average ridership in June was 23,396. In terms of subsidy: the cost per boarding for Link in Q1 was $7.62. You were more than 1,800% off!

      1. You might as well be ST. Hell, that ain’t no vanpool in the logo. That’s an image of the boondoggle known as “light” rail.

        And, actually, ridership was originally projected to be 107,000 per day by 2006.

        Mindy’s number was off, true. But, ST’s “light” rail charges 400% what the average system charges. The Sounder is nearly double that! Both numbers are beyond being significantly off what you proponents promised in 1996.

        [Comment edited: ad hominem.]

      2. You’re not being intellectually honest. Construction is way behind schedule for what was planned in 1996 — heads have rolled and since 2001 light rail construction been on schedule and under budget. With that in mind, it is intellectually dishonest use ridership projections for the full line when just the initial segment is completed. Ridership estimates are based on miles of track laid and not simply the calendar year.

        How does a light rail system “charge” something? I don’t know what you’re talking about (do you?), and your claims are unsupported by evidence.

        Voters overwhelmingly rejected these tired, dishonest arguments in the 2008 vote for Sound Transit 2. These arguments weren’t persuasive during the silly season of an election, why do you think they’d be persuasive now?

      3. We didn’t vote in 2001. We voted in 1996.

        Had a builder built a house for you using the numbers proposed and delivered, you’d sue for breach of contract. And, win. Intellectual dishonesty is failing to perform up to proposal and then making excuses for it. We discourage that with children, why should it be allowed with the “adults” at ST?

        The initial segment is NOT completed. It was supposed to be completed by 2006 “for certain” at a cost of $1.8 Billion and be over 21 miles long. That initial segment is looking like it will cost way over $8 Billion and be more than a decade late. Without several missing proposed stations, too.

        Actually, voters are ignorant. [off-topic]. They are perpetual losers. Just like ST.

      4. This blog started in 2007, so it had no opinion on anything before that. I personally did not support light rail until the monorail plan was scrapped, because we needed something to take its place. Something that’s rapid and frequent; i.e., rail with proper grade separation. Link may not be ideal but it’s more effective than any of the alternatives that have a realistic chance of happening.

      5. Busses can carry many multiples of the “light” rail, would be considerably cheaper than ST’s busses (how in the hell are their numbers so freaking high for bus service? Way worse than any other West Coast entity!).

        Bus usage is scaleable, routes are adaptable to a wide range of inclement conditions (weather, vehicle wrecks, mudslides).

        ST’s problems include widespread systemic corruption.

      6. I sense the ghost of Norman here… I’m not going down this road again other than to say having driven many “scalable” buses during rush hour, I assure you that they scale to a point and then become very difficult to manage once the crowds get too large. Don’t believe me? Pick a Mariner’s game night and go ride the 550 back and forth and you’ll see what I mean.

      7. Trains are great for moving large numbers of people from one location at the same time. The cattle yards were a big part of Chicago’s success. But what happens at the other end? You let people off the trains at giganormous P&R lot where they’ve driven most of the way to the event and stopped just short of actually having to pay the price of driving (i.e. event parking) meaning more people choose to drive and go out to the event; or, you distribute people at high density stops and provide bus service to the rest of the county. The high density stops sound good but in reality they don’t exist and part of the rail mentality is we’ll build it and then use it as a forced mechanism for reshaping neighborhoods. We’ve seen that in the last election and it’s scary. When you fall back to bus feeder routes it becomes hard to justify the expense of the billions spent on rail when it would be faster, and about the same cost to just run event buses right to the event.

      8. “When you fall back to bus feeder routes it becomes hard to justify the expense of the billions spent on rail when it would be faster, and about the same cost to just run event buses right to the event.”

        You know Bernie, I like you. You think like I do. I’ve really grown disillusioned with park & rides as have many Metro drivers and many on this blog. The difference between you and I, however, is that I see our existing, and one more future, park & rides as a compromise. A last hurrah to the car culture we have on the Eastside. Going forward I envision Link as the spine with cross-town buses and bicycles being the “ribs”. It’s going to take a *long* time to get there, but Link will be there. When the park & rides get full, parking fees will need to be implemented and revenue used for enhancing *transit*, not more $37,000 parking stalls as you like to point out. Having experienced Eastside buses at crush loads on the arterial routes, both as a driver and passenger, I’m convinced we need rail to serve as the spine. Well designed BRT probably would have worked fine too, provided it had a mostly dedicated ROW to drive on. But the powers that be chose rail, presumably because most of the costs were ROW acquisition. I haven’t looked at those numbers and really don’t want to argue about them. Sound Transit is building a rail line over here, and I’m going to focus on the connections to that line for *everybody* along the line, despite what a couple of dozen homeowners in Surrey Downs thinks.

      9. “But, ST’s “light” rail charges 400% what the average system charges.”

        Link Light rail costs $1.75 – $2.50 depending on distance traveled

        Portland’s MAX – $2 – $2.30, Salt Lake City’s TRAX – $2.25, LA’s Metro Rail – $1.50 – $2.45, Boston (MBTA) – $1.70 with Pass, MTA New York – $2.25, Washington DC – $1.95 – $5

        Could you explain what you mean by your statement? Honestly, a round number like “400%” in an assertion like that comes across as something you conjured up out of thin air.

    1. That figure is cost per boarding, not subsidy per boarding. Fare revenue will presumably be subtracted from that figure although I can’t find that reference. Either way, they are under budget. Also, that number is defined as “…the total actual operating costs (including Agency overhead) before depreciation divided by the total number of riders”. With Link’s rapidly rising ridership, that number will only be going down for the foreseeable future.

    2. The cost per boarding has fallen to $7.62 in Q1 and is expected to fall dramatically as ridership grows at 5+% a month. This cost-per-boarding is not the subsidy as you incorrectly imply because it doesn’t include any revenue from fares or passes.

      I’ve seen no evidence that you’ve done anything but make up the 400% number. Particularly because your claim of “charging” made no sense.

  14. Does anybody know about Kim Verde? I’d like to vote against anti-transit Chopp, but Kim is an R and I’m afraid of her joining the “no taxes in my backyard” bandwagon. I googled her and didn’t find anything about her positions or activities. Her campaign site says, “I will work hard for: More Efficient Transportation Solutions” but, uh, that could mean anything.

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