November 10, 2005
I-912 and mass transit, then and now

October 24 "Daily No On I-912: Transit untouched":

The campaign in support of Initiative 912 is rife with fallacies and falsehoods. Here's one of them:

Voting for I-912 will choke off money to those transit, light rail and monorail projects.

November 11 "With I-912 dead, transit plan lives"
"I think it's time to put together a bold regional plan," Murray said. "I think it's time to integrate transit and roads and put together a plan that doesn't pit roads against transit."

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at November 10, 2005 11:36 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Well they just blew 200 million more of our tax dollars studying a Monorail that never traveled a mile. And now instead of selling the property so they can retire the debt early and cancel the added car tax for the Seattle folks, they may want to keep the property (meaning the debt would go on forever again with nothing to show for it) for more of their boondoggle maybe-if-we projects.

Posted by: GS on November 11, 2005 12:00 AM
2. I see that Murray is trying to groom "the masses" to accept his RTID package that you showed will force people to spend money on transit in order to get their big projects finished. They'll find out they were hoodwinked bigtime. And lots of us will be saying "we tried to tell you"

Posted by: Michele on November 11, 2005 01:33 AM
3. The election is over, and, for better or worse, Olympia will take an extra dime out of our wallets for each gallon of gasoline that we pump. Instead of continuing to debate the merits of I-912, fiscal conservatives need to focus on two things:

1. Reducing OTHER taxes, which go into the General (a.k.a. slush) Fund instead of the more focused Motor Vehicle Fund (hey, it's been abused and mismanaged by the same crowd that's been in Olympia for the past 20 years, but it's still better than the General Fund); and,

2. Working to get better transportation officials elected and appointed to overcome what national observers recognize to be the worst regional transportation planning in the country (The Economist, June 30th 2005).

Cutting or raising taxes alone will not solve our transportation woes...it's time to focus on the real problem: leadership.

Onward and upward, as they say.

Posted by: Chris from Lakewood on November 11, 2005 05:55 AM
4. When the RTID comes for us next fall 10's of Billions of dollars will be on the ballot. YOU must add billions to mass transit. It is not a package of just roads but Seattles desire to push Mass Transit packages down our throat. All with one vote. I have read through their ideas and like Stefan said earlier they have not added in any money for mass transit. May be the monorail will become part of the package. That is why they dont want to sell the properties. Voters say no now like the stadiums the powers to be may just deceide that the three counties have to pay for it because they could not afford it out of Seattle Drivers. We are all going to have to be watch what is planned and watch for a bait and switch. They will claim it is all for roads but all the money will go to Mass Transit projects first not roads. Lets collect billions of dollars for the VIADUCT but delay its start for 5 more years and move this money in to mass transit. Oh yes we can not make up our minds on the new 520 bridge lets move it out a decade from now. Since we are not starting the project we must fund these new light rail projects. 5 years from now when they have spent this money on mostly Mass transit projects and found they are over budget they will just delay the road work more. Because the only emergency is mass transit. Roads well secondary to the overall picture. I am estimating that the package presented for the next decade will be between 15 and 30 Billion dollars. With cost overruns maybe a secondary request of another 20 billion dollars in 5 to 10 years. With most Road construction in KC delayed for years due to litigation over Road Plans. The money will be collected yet spent on other projects and so items we are voting on will never get done because of the bait and switch.

Posted by: david anfinrud on November 11, 2005 06:13 AM
5. What is this love affair with mass transit?

Why does transit have to be so linked between Bellevue-Renton-Bothell and Seattle? And then down the road, we are taxing Snohomish County and telling them that after we are done we will do the same for you with Seattle-King County money. The current Sno Co people are in lockstep with this.

Finally, someone said that by next year or so, we are going to know how much of a boondoggle Sound Transit is (as even compared to today).

I can faintly see and understand the thought that the population will double in the next 50 years (or sooner) and when that happens, the infrastructure has to be in-place. It is cheaper to build today than tomorrow. BUT NO ONE IS MAKING THAT ARGUMENT.

I think they think it is a good thing for today. How else can they justify the old joke of the Sound Transit commuter train from Everett-Seattle that has an outrageous cost per trip?

Posted by: swatter on November 11, 2005 07:05 AM
6. Sound Transit is a boondogle that will make the Monorail project look tame.

The kinds of exasperated statements from various design professional's I have heard about mismanagement and waste at Sound Transit is very high. And these statements were from folks on the collecting end of Sound Transit Contracts who felt bad about how tax money was being wasted, even though they were on the recieving end of some of that waste.

Sound Transit is all about pork barrel politics....making sure that the local elected officials feel like there are bright shiny visible things in their back yards that have been paid for with Sound Transit dollars. You will note their prominent signs on the freeways indicating that Sound Transit is doing great things.

Yes, soon we will learn the awful truth about Un-Sound Transit. We have already heard a few stories about their dismal train ridership.

Now as to election promises by elected officials who are democrats.....are we surprised that the story is changing after the election. We shouldn't. We should be holding the other voters, the moderate democrats and independents accountable for their failure to think prior to going to the polls. We should remind them as things come crashing down that had they listened and thought carefully, that the problems and need for even greater tax money to solve the problems that were suppose to be solved by the gas tax, they might have forced WDOT and the legislature to make critical choices and to reprioritize its spending.

I loved yesterdays story about the first gas tax project likely being a bicycle trail/overpass in the Moses Lake area. Kind of puts things in perspective of business as usual.

Posted by: Bob on November 11, 2005 08:01 AM
7. The Economist actually said that Seattle (not the region), because of the monorail, "probably" has the worst transit planning in North America. If you really think the Economist knows anything about transit planning - go to London. All they were saying is that Seattle has been slow to build rail systems and in the process wound up with two, light and mono.

Now that the Monorail is dead, we have an opportunity to make sure it never happens again. The Economist blamed the Monorail on the "political culture" not transportation planning. How can we argue with that? Our political culture has produced a roller-coaster of wasteful initiatives - including the "popular" Monorail, born out of an Initiative.

In rejecting I-912 (whiich blew $100 million via delay) and killing the Monorail (which blew $200 million via hubris), voters in Seattle and the rest of the region (who voted 60% no on I-912) said enough is enough. All Ed Murray is proposing is that we take the next steps to assure that the Monorail waste does not happen again and that I-912 style waste is put in check.

What's not to like?

Posted by: Thor on November 11, 2005 08:15 AM
8. Seattle Liberals Rule!

Posted by: Smoking in the Boys' Room on November 11, 2005 08:33 AM
9. Hey Bob, what about those cable guard rails that don't work? They must be spending billions on them with this new gas tax money (tongue in cheek). That is another use of that money.

And Thor, you can pay for mass transit. I don't live in King County and Snohomish County doesn't have and never will have the density to make it work. Stay out of my county!!!!

And Thor, Sound Transit is already the boondoggle times 5 that the Monorail is. Concentrate on where the concentration is and pay for it yourself (oops, I alread said that, didn't I).

Posted by: swatter on November 11, 2005 08:43 AM
10. Is he taking away the 100 million for critter bridges over I-90?

Is he taking away the 80 million for landscaped lids on the 520?

Is he taking away the 100 million for filmsy cable guardrail?

Is he taking away the millions for soundwalls?

Is he taking away the millions in state taxes which will be funneled into the general accounts?

Posted by: sgmmac on November 11, 2005 08:48 AM
11. I would like to see a map showing the legislators who voted for this tax compared to the counties for voted for this tax.....

They are the ones that the GOP should target for replacement next year!

Posted by: sgmmac on November 11, 2005 08:50 AM
12. Spending on transportation isn't the issue, it's the lack of priorities in the legislature.

Everything that passes in this session will be a special favor to labor unions and speical interests.

Posted by: Andy on November 11, 2005 09:12 AM
13. I believe that Sound Transit is a boondoggle.

As others have pointed out - the monorail spent 200 million without doing anything (to speak of).

I don't know where Thor's 100 million number I-912 delay comes from, but it worries me that it can cost us another 100 million by doing nothing. Maybe our transportation groups have too much money.....

Murray thinks that a regional plan in 06 might be too soon. He thinks we should put together a better plan and present it in 07 or 08. I wonder if he will be blamed for hundreds of millions lost in delays?

What happened to the emergency? Why didn't this bill produce ONE actual plan, with dollars attached to it for the viaduct? The viaduct has 5 proposed plans with the final decision still being contingent on an RTID acceptance vote.


Posted by: SouthernRoots on November 11, 2005 09:28 AM
14. We already have mass transit... it is called the car. People use it, people like it and people want it. Now, lets put some energy and money figuring out how to make it work better instead of trying to shove a system down our collective throats that we don't want.

Posted by: Huey on November 11, 2005 09:43 AM
15. It’s not only Seattle that has its transportation woes. Here in the Couve the powers at be are gonna to build a 10-lane bridge on the 5 into Porkland. The constituents, WA state constituents that is, have spent $50 million just to study the darn thing. (I would have done for half of that)

Not only is there going to be a super huge bridge, but light rail (LR) will be included on this monstrosity. In 1995 Clark County overwhelmingly vote NO on light rail. But hey, Ore-ee-gon owes the feds $400 million if LR doesn’t come over to this side of the river.

So, yea, not only do I get to spend more money for petrol, I also will get the pleasure of paying a troll on any bridge of my choice into the land of “Beyond the Loony Left”.

What are the infamous words the president who doesn't know what the meaning of the word "is" is? (biting bottom lip) "I feel your pain"

Posted by: kim in vancouver on November 11, 2005 10:04 AM
16. Whatever are they doing with the FIRST 23 cents of this gas tax? They talk about the nickel, but we never hear what they're using the 1st 23 cents for. A lot of us would like to know.

Posted by: Michele on November 11, 2005 10:31 AM
17. CLOWNstein and the other LEFTIST PINHEADS including the MSM are attempting EXACTLY the spin I expected from the CLOWNS.
Current SOS numbers show:
STATEWIDE(incl KingCo)===== I-912 is defeated by +91,835
KINGCO ===== I-912 is defeated by +110,325
Other Counties (combined)== I-912 PASSES by +18,490

Gregoire and the MSM claim STATEWIDE SUPPORT????????
Bullsh**!!
Plus there was an incredible amount of Republican Business interest support on defeating I-912 out of desperation to do SOMETHING! These folks will NEVER vote for Gregoire in 2008. NEVER!!! And when the folks STATEWIDE (incl KingCo) see that nothing improves the next 3 years….that this is a bait-and-switch list of projects…..and it is clear that this 9-1/2 cents was a drop in the bucket and they want much, much more……GREGOIRE WILL PLUMMET!!!!!!!!!!!
The anti-912 folks & Gregoire OVERPROMISED!!!! And will be held accountable in 2008.

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on November 11, 2005 10:40 AM
18. Let's hope we have a pocketbook when the boondoggle is exposed. It needs to be done within two years.

Posted by: swatter on November 11, 2005 10:52 AM
19. Gregoire DISAPPEARED on I-912 until the $3 million to defeat it worked it’s magic. What leadership specifically are the CLOWNS talking about??? The fear-mongering regarding the AWV which won’t start construction until 2009???? And then take 7-8 years????
I’ll bet it doesn’t start until 2011….the LEFTIST PINHEADS will spend years and billions arguing about the ridiculous TUNNEL of LOVE….that pads the pockets of Seattle’s elite developers like Paul Allen.
Watch the bait-and-switch….it’s coming.
Start the projects….the HUGE tax increases to finish them.
The only thing is, the next round of HUGE tax increases will be defeated. Then Gregoire will have half-finished projects to explain. It will be clear by November 2008 that Gregoire massively overpromised and mislead voters. She will be defeated by Rossi or McKenna.

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on November 11, 2005 10:54 AM
20. I predict that the folks trying to get money for the viaduct will take tons of the money that was supposed to go for other projects, saying 'they need it more than those other projects', and people will be left scratching their heads wondering what happened and why the stuff they wanted never got built or finished. But by then, they'll forget what happened back in '05.

Posted by: Michele on November 11, 2005 11:05 AM
21. They did it before and they will do it again- as in I90 sucking all the other State projects.

If you thought Mercer Island got too many millions in bennies, wait till you hear these.

Posted by: swatter on November 11, 2005 11:14 AM
22. People don't forget there are legislator positions up for election next year why not send a message and vote out as many of CG's cronies as possible (republicans who went no on 912 included!)this could help with removing these entreanched politicians & leave Queen Christene a lame duck governor like Mike Lowry!!

Posted by: Laurie on November 11, 2005 11:47 AM
23. The problem with the Republican scenario of throwing out the bum is that a Republican will not run against another Republican incumbent. It's one of the flaws in the two party system.

Posted by: swatter on November 11, 2005 11:57 AM
24. The voters have given the State Legislature and Fraudoire more than enough rope by which to hang themselves in advance of the 2006 election. If the Dems and the legislature keep trying to manipulate laws and bilk us for more taxes, then they will face the consequences.

The passage of I-900 will help us get to the truth, and watch the Dems squirm when their pet programs are found to be the primary money wasters !

Posted by: KS on November 11, 2005 02:16 PM
25. KS, I wish you were right.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as "consequence" for a Democrat in this state.

Posted by: Renee on November 11, 2005 10:47 PM
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