Those of you bursting with feedback on Metro cuts more than our blog comments can handle will be given an opportunity live in-person with three upcoming public hearings held by the county council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee:

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00 p.m.
Kirkland City Council Chambers
123 Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, July 12, 6:00 p.m.
King County Council Chambers
516 Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Seattle

Thursday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.
Burien City Council Chambers
400 S.W. 152nd Street

If you’re more technologically inclined, you have the option of submitting written comments, but I tend to believe that verbal testimonies have an impact that written words don’t.  More of our coverage on the Metro cuts here, here, here, here, and here.

16 Replies to “Upcoming CRC Hearings”

  1. And, as a reminder, STB comments do not count as public testimony. There may be 150 comments on here supporting the fee but unless you a face and a name to it at these meetings, you don’t exist.

  2. When I see the acronym CRC, I think of Columbia River Crossing. Could you spell out Congestion Relief Charge, please?

    1. I thought it stood for ‘Council Requesting Cash’, which is a more honest acronym for the tax.
      If it’s truly an additional charge to relieve congestion, then they should at a minimum be prepared to say how much relief and for who. Then the math becomes simple for reducing congestion area wide.
      The very title sets them up for a flop at the polls, as voters can smell a disingenuous rat a block away.
      That’s a shame too, because Metro really does need the cash.

      1. When I see CRC my first thought is Cyclic Redundancy Check…

        The charge will relieve congestion — on buses for bus riders. Because with Metro cuts there will be some serious crowding. I don’t think that’s what they’re intending to communicate, of course, so it definitely sounds disingenuous. It’s also a real shame that we have to choose between major transit cuts and yet another regressive tax.

      2. I would have called it the Congestion Mitigation Charge. Of course, CMC itself has its own IT meaning, namely CBC Mask CBC, wherein CBC stands for Cipher Block Chaining. Virtually any collection of letters means something…

      3. It’s Congestion Reduction Charge.

        I hate the name as it doesn’t reduce pre-service-cut congestion levels. Maybe they should call it the “Mobility Preservation Charge”. Many people in Pierce County can no longer get to work because of service cuts, representing a loss in mobility.

        This isn’t a tech blog even though many of the writers and commenters are techies. I do agree that acronyms should be spelled out.

      4. “When I see CRC my first thought is Cyclic Redundancy Check…”

        That works for me too, but not in a transportation context…

  3. Keep in mind the goal of the hearings: Convince the county council to pass the Congestion Reduction Charge. It’s not a good place to offer a laundry list of unpicked low-hanging front, which, as we know, pales in comparison to the magnitude of the proposed cuts, nor to complain about Metro incompetence this Metro stupidity that.

    I’ve heard from at least one co-worker who opposes the charge simply because she doesn’t ride the bus, and thinks the tab is primarily on people who don’t ride the bus. I think this is the primary argument we have to counter if we are to make any headway.

    Yeah, we can bring up all the fare increases, but I don’t think that does much to convince non-riders. We can bring up the percentage of riders who pay the tab, but, again, I don’t think anti-transit non-riders will care. That argument certainly hasn’t opened minds about bike lanes.

    So, let me offer this approach: The state promised to allow the county to fund infrastructure improvements downtown, as part of the viaduct replacement deal. This is the one and only vehicle the state has offered to provide that local funding.

    We have an urgent need to streamline the bus system through downtown, and hold transit harmless from the effects of the viaduct closing. If we don’t do it, transit is going to be stuck in the traffic jams, fewer people will ride, and the traffic jams will only get worse as a result.

    Now is the time to invest in dedicating some downtown street right-of-way to transit, and to put in place the infrastructure that will enable the dismantling of the Ride Free Area (a move which will restore some additional revenue in the future). The more transit we can put smoothely on Third Ave, the more lanes that will be left over on other streets for private vehicles.

    These improvements are a one-time capital investment, which makes them a good use of a two-year car tab that will go away.

    There are other capital improvements that have been held back and need to happen, like replacement of the trolley fleet. Some of the CRC money ought to get that rolling. As trolleys are replaced by new low-floor trolleys with rear-facing wheelchair slots that don’t require strap-down time, there will be noticeable service hour savings. Likewise, retrofit of those buses that can be retrofitted with the rear-facing slots, starting with the newest buses that have been designed for easy upgrade, is a one-time capital expense that will yield years of operational savings.

    The CRC isn’t (or at least shouldn’t just be) about keeping Metro service as is. It is our best tool for streamlining and modernizing the bus system so it *can* operate with the same or better level of service (not to be confused with keeping low-performing routes) but to do it with fewer service hours.

    1. Great analysis Brent. It will likely go to an election, made up of 10% bus riders, 10% walkers, bikers, and the rest 80% car users.
      Convincing 8 out of 10 that having fewer bus riders being crammed into a bus is worth 20 bucks a year to them is like selling swamp land – a tough sell.

    2. What do infrastructure and the ride free area have to do with each other? You can’t really argue that if we made one or two specific improvements, the RFA can go away, because everybody has different ideas on what would be sufficient to deactivate the RFA. I say just deactivate it now. Every other city has pay-as-you-enter and it doesn’t cause gridlock, so why should Seattle be the only place where it would?

      1. With so many cash fumblers, going to pay-as-you-enter downtown would create a serious bottleneck. Metro is under the impression that putting enough ticket machines downtown would be a major expense.

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