I’ll be acute. I’ve read the bloody hand-wringing in the post-election comment thread that oh we didn’t get Democrat majority in the State Senate, oh the Republicans are just going to automatically oppose transit, oh the sky is falling. Frankly somebody needs to give a locker room speech. Perhaps this Pete Carroll one is a good start:
You see we’re in the winning business, we need to have a vision to win getting ST3, and as per the proverb “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it”.
Because frankly: We are doing transit and doing a lot of transit mostly right.
On light rail, ridership continues a beautiful climb. We’re about to hit 40,000 monthly average weekday boardings of light rail and 5 years ago it was less than 15,000. No kidding that’s the free market.
On buses, we’re having local communities vote for the bus service they want – just like Proposition 1. That’s local control.
On congestion relief, we could have our transit agencies do a better job. That should be goal #1 – putting our transit investments towards congestion relief. Congestion relief is what the middle class voter wants – and what transit opponents claim to want. Goals for creating congestion relief are what will get Republicans and Chambers of Commerce on board – and we’ve already got a lot of allies in local government. Congestion relief means less agitation for more roads and more sprawl which is as we know 180 degrees from… congestion relief because all those Single Occupancy Vehicles are going to be stuck in a currently inadequate Interstate Highway network.
This sort of reminds me of a locker room speech the actor who played Herb Brooks gave in “Miracle” in which he said the team who would throw the Soviet game back at them of attacking would win. Instead of hand-wringing and hearing how great it is give up… we throw the bipartisan Road Bullies’ anti-transit game right back at ’em. Right back at ’em. Just like Herb Brooks would:
So it’s up to YOU the transit advocate. You want to win with ST3 or not because I got no time for quitters?
So while I’m throwing the Road Bullies game right back at ’em, if I can quote Jonathan Hopkins:
A business with a cash cow would ensure enough investment so that it could power the business for years into the future. As far as state budgets go, that cash cow is the Seattle metropolitan region area comprised of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. This metro region—home to half the state’s population—is the source of 75% of the state’s $381 billion in economic output in 2013 with all the tax revenues that go with such an intensity of people, goods, and services.
For this reason, the metro area is a net contributor to the state’s tax rolls. King County specifically only got back 62¢ for every $1 in taxes it generated the state in 2011. Lack of alternatives to congestion is killing productivity (due to car drivers’ 37 hours per year spent stuck in traffic) and limiting job growth. Sound Transit’s service area includes 80% of the population of the three-county area, as well as an overwhelming proportion of the economic output of the area and the state. Preventing investment to keep the region moving undermines the metro economy and therefore the tax collections that help power the rest of the state.
Furthermore, I traded some e-mails with House Republican ace staffer Mary “Marummy” Lane Strow who told me, “As for an official House Republican position on transit, we will be developing our ideas for how best to allocate transportation funding as session approaches.” Well then folks we better help them along and make our case, shall we? Get ’em on board. Quit whining about hard work to grow because if you don’t put the hard work in, you’ve already lost and I got no time for quitters.
So here’s my vision:
- We get ST3 by hard work and compromise and collaboration so it’s on the ballot in November 2016 with the best chance to pass, period.
- We get long term a transit net that is targeted towards serving neighborhoods and connecting neighborhoods to jobs, life (e.g. civic participation, sporting events, museums), and family.
- We modernize a State Republican Party and make this state a two-party state. That’s better for democracy and that’s better for transit when we put transit on an upward spiral of bipartisan support and continual improvement.
- We let people decide at the ballot box because: “Let’s let the people who want transit pay for it and, and not make people pay for it that don’t want it.” That’s the conservative way. That’s how we’ll win.
So here you go to help you jump-start the effort to get ST3 on that ballot, the Super Bowl we want and deserve:
I hope by now you’re fired up for the ST3 fight ahead. I sure hope so… because if you’re not, if you want to quit… I got no time for quitters.
For the uninitiated: Road Bullies are those whom think transit sucks, those whom want to shut transit down and those whom want just more sprawl. They’re bipartisan and not interested in solving problems but just interested in getting highway pork at everybody else’s expense.