June 29, 2007
Transportation Ballot Questions
** UPDATED **
A couple questions came up in the comments on yesterday's post on the roads and transit measure up for a vote this November worth answering in a separate thread.
Essentially they were "Who is voting on the measure" and "what are the actual details?" Given the variety of ideas and proposals bandied about in the press in the last couple years those are good questions.
This map gives an approximate answer to the first question. If you currently pay Sound Transit taxes then you'll be voting on both the RTID and Sound Transit portions of the measure (both described here). If you live in the portion of Snohomish County indicated on the map noted above, including roughly Monroe, Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Marysville, and Arlington then you'll be voting on only the RTID portion. Clicking on the appropriate part of this map lets one examine the project list in different parts of the region.
Besides the pro-package website there's this opposition site for those looking to do a little research. Anyone aware of additional information worth sharing on the ballot measure on either side can post it in the comments and I'll update as appropriate.
UPDATE: I knew I was forgetting something with the original post: the work of Michael Ennis at the Washington Policy Center opposing the package found here, here, and here.
Also related to the boundaries of the ballot measure noted above is this map showing how I-776 lost within the Sound Transit bondaries - and not just in Seattle. Those were days when Sound Transit had considerably worse PR than now. Coupled with the mood of the voters more recently expressed with I-912 in that voting area, it's a reminder that while the current ballot measure certainly has its weaknesses, the public may be increasingly willing to vote "yes" anyway. It probably depends heavily on how effective the pro and con campaigns turn out to be in the coming months.
Posted by Eric Earling at June 29, 2007
09:47 PM | Email This
The whole participatory type of decision making that worked for Puget Sound back when it was a cow town just can't cut it any more.
What we need is a "Robert Moses" type to grab the reins and impose an architecture on the soggy urban blancmange that we live in.
For myself, I believe the only appropriate mass transit instrument are computer dispatched, shared taxis, such as the "texxi":
"texxi is a Demand Responsive Transit Exchange. We use advanced scheduling technology to make the most of existing transport resources at times of peak demand. Use of the scheme extends well beyond club night transportation and will provide a myriad of solutions to well known problems. Anywhere, anytime there are a lot of people to move from a single location as efficiently and safely as possible, texxi will provide a good solution to a perennial headache. "
How about posting the actual ordinances ST and RTID are going to be putting before voters?
You know, the laws that actually will be approved or not approved.
All you've linked to is marketing fluff.
Do everybody a favor and post:
- the current ordinance ST is operating under (Res. 75 and the complete 1996 version of Sound Move that the voters actually approved that year);
- the resolution and plan ST will be putting on the ballot in the fall; and
- the resolution and plan RTID will be putting on the ballot in the fall.
Some folks were surprised to learn years after the 1996 vote that what they thought ST was going to deliver in fact was nothing like ST's actual, minimal obligations under Res. 75 and Sound Move.
To try and head off comparable misunderstandings, why not just post the actual ordinances that will be shoved in front of voters.
As far as I know, ST and RTID do not plan on providing voters with copies of what they actually will be asked to approve. That is what happened in 1996 - ST didn't give the voters copies of Res. 75 or Sound Move. SMP didn't give voters copies of that ordinance they were voting on in 2002 either. All that these local governments have to do is mention the names of the ordinances in the ballot title.
As you can see from that prior thread on this subject Eric, there's a lot of BAD information floating around. Post the REAL ordinance documents, so everybody can start reading off the same page of sheet music.
This post from two days ago shows how ignorant of the real law a half-dozen or so screen names can be:
Those screen names actually think ST has a blank check to spend tax revenues implementing the 1996 system plan!
Once they saw what the voter-approved Sound Move actually says, they realized they'd been suckered by disinformation from ST's PR team. The truth is that ST already has maxed out on the amount of local tax revenue it can spend implementing (what it was able to) of the system plan approved in 1996.
Who says the truth won't set you free?
By posting the actual ordinance the voters approved in 1996 and the draft ordinance terms RTID and ST want approved in November, you'd be doing a big service.
We could compare what we've been living under for a decade with what ST and RTID want to foist on this region for six more decades. This is a one-vote deal: if it is approved, there's no way any future change of circumstances will cut off a massive and rapidly growing tax stream to those boards made up of political appointees.
And nobody knows what is actually in the terms of the laws they want approved. Just look at the discussion at the link posted above: seemingly intelligent posters casting extremely bad assumptions around simply because they wouldn't look at what the existing law says.
Did you know the draft ordinances ST and RTID will be putting on the ballot allow those boards of appointees basically unlimited discretion in prioritizing the funding of an indefinite set of "improvements," none of which have been designed and none of which have full funding?
Come on - look at the real ordinances that will appear on the fall ballot. Those proposed laws are designed to facilitate bad decisions. They would eliminate ANY possibility of holding those board members accountable. The political appointees who would be imposing the limitless taxes, and signing off on the partial funding of whatever improvements seem like a good idea to them decades from now, will have ZERO accountability for dumb and self-interested decisions. What they are offering is no way to plan and execute transportation system infrastructure upgrades.
Post the actual ordinances. We should discuss those, not the marketing fluff at those websites you linked to.
4. Evergreen is right about that....looking at that website, it makes it look like this vote will fund expansion of I-405 and the 520 bridge, when in fact MORE taxes would be required in order to finish those projects. Alot of people on the eastside voting for this probably think those projects will be funded by this vote, but they are only partially funded by it. Most people here know better, and won't be voting for that boondoggle anyway.
5. @4: I'm correct about how ST already spent all its authorized local tax revenue during the implementation phase, right palouse?
Good summary Eric. We have a few weeks before people focus on this bond issue.
I can't believe all the farmland within the RTID property. I bet those farmers are going to demand pickups for their cows.
RTID is a total and unequivocal disgrace to our state. What in the world are they doing in rural areas?
Rails, do you have a copy of the 1996 plan? You say that we should ask for it from ST, but the way you speak of it, I would have assumed you had a copy. By the way, did you ever look at that PDF file I found? It was more detailed than anything currently on ST, but is it in fact a treu representation of Sound Move?
Has the new plan been published? My guess is that it will be "still in draft form" until about November 10th (after the election).
Your posts have been a bit confusing, but if I get the drift, you're basic premise is that ST plans are ONLY about spending money (tax and spend) and have no basis in reality for actually delivering a product with definable boundries.
8. Still a big no in November
9. Stefan should have PDFs of the original SoundMove material today they were sent by mail on a CD Wednesday. Bgack in 1999 I figured that someday having this available might come in handy. It seems someday is here. I have the originals archived at an undisclosed location. Try to pry these documents out of ST and they deny their existance or say they have no knowledge of them, they are pre-ST and bla bla. Examine them carefully and you will see what was promised, and then ask YOUR jurisdiction for the video of Council meetings from 95 and 96 to see that the project list was opresented as a "promise." Then ask your self this question: If ST has convinced the Courts to allow them unconstrained latitude in how they interperate this list, why should the public put any faith in what they have to sell this time as being representative of what will actually be built?
10. You're right that the marketing fluff that's on that website is meaningless, and is only being used to sell the project to the public that won't read the detailed law. The same thing happened the first time this was approved in 1996, which is why the public believed they were buying 21 miles of rail.
11. Palouse, "the public believed they were buying 21 miles of rail" because that is exactly what they were promised. The video is available of the City and County Council meetings from this era. It is quite clear what was presented was being presented an a promise, when there were skeptics who ask about whether or not what being presented was a realistic expectaion - the rebuttal was that the cost estimates are so conservative that there is absolutely no doubt that the projects on the list can be delivered on time and under budget. Hey, don't get stuck on the light rail 14 vs 21 or what the cost of the 14 mile light rail will actually be and forget to ask about all of the Express Buss service, Parking Facilities, HOV Dirrect Access etc which has been truncated from current list of "on time and under budget" projects ST trotts out as "evidence" of how they are "actually" delivering what was promised to voters in '96.
So, to summarize...
1. ST2 and RTID are pitching a set of solutions that legally they know they don't have to implement.
2. ST and Sound Move were marketed to make the public believe 21 miles at under $2 Billion (and a bunch more transit improvements) but in actuality could do as little as they chose.
3. We're being given a full-court press again to approve new spending with the same set of sky-high promises.
4. You can't find the original laws/information anywhere.
Yeah, if a private business did this they'd be busted in seconds and shut down for fraud, false advertisement, etc. But ST can do as they please?
Voting no on all taxes, and voting against all incumbents. It's time to not only throw the bums out, it's time to completely cut off all funding until they can show a little fiscal restraint and honesty...
13. Relax Edmonds Dan - "You can't find the original laws/information anywhere" - yet, but their informational packet used to sell it to the public through their various City/County Councils will be available soon.
Hey when I click on the linnk titled "this map" what do I see in the upper right hand section "easing congestion in the central Puget Sound region" Funny thing is this plan as presented to "transit advocates" is presented as "really won't do a thing to ease congestion, we realize that congestion is necessary if we are ever going to get the population densities our urban villages need to support transit. however in order to get the votes we need we have to present it to the public as though there will be congestion relief. In the future we can allways point to how much congestion would have been if we are presented with data which shows that congestion has gotten worse."
Seems someone fiddling with the truth here to me.
15. Thanks. Still confused though. Would someone just Northeast of Duvall (unincorporated King County) be responsible for any additional costs (taxes and license fees) if this sad thing passes?
Until I see a map that shows my home and what this massive tax increase will take from me, I will vote Hell no on the whole thing.
It is nothing but a massive and I do mean massive tax on every person in every family in this area.
mb - No, I don't believe Duvall is included. My understanding is that anything east of Redmond and Sammamish in that neck of the woods is outside of the boundary.
swatter - I have to disagree with you on the "rural" issue. Drive out on Hwy 9 or Hwy 522 or the Hwy 2 trestle during rush hour and you'll see why the RTID boundary was extended out there. They have suburban traffic with rural infrastructure. It makes I-5 and 405 look fun by comparison at times.
18. Thanks Eric. Wonder if the boundry will extend more towards the Cascades in Sammamish...to include the whole city. As it stands, home owners on the east side of 244th Ave NE don't pay the RTA. Residents to the west give until it hurts. You should see the fist fights this causes at the local Ale House.
I'm voting no. The solution to our transit must include more buses, and more roads. Rail would only serve a tiny fraction of the population. And jobs continue to move to suburban and even rural business parks and even homes, none of which are served by rail. There's no reason to waste billions on a 5 day a week transit mode for a tiny fraction of the population when we could instead spend the money repairing and expanding on the investment in roads that has been made over the past 60 years.
Rail in the Sound is a joke. Don't fall for it.
Looks like I get to escape this one. In fact, it looks like most of East King CO. falls outside the RTID/ST voting area.
That of course means two things.
First, the fight against rail funding will ALL uphill without the more conservative voters from Enumclaw to Duvall on the Eastside.
Second, those of Eastside won't see any new roads for a long time.
Good luck to those of you further west.
How the hell does this single ballot over two jursdictions work?
They combined the two different ballot measures (roads and transit) into one, so you just just yes or no on one thing.
But how does this work when the ST area is smaller than the RTID area?
What if the outcome is one way considering the larger area and another way in the smaller ST area?
Ex. no. 1: the "yes" vote is just barely above 50% in the smaller area (ST); but the yes vote drops below 50% in the larger (RTID) area.
Ex. no. 2: The no vote is barely above 50% in the smaller ST area....but in the larger area there is a yes vote overall.
Doesn't someone lose their equal voting rights in this scenario ? Doesn't this effectively change the ST boundary and result in taxation contrary to representation ( it gives non-ST-area taxed-people a role in the fate of the ST program)? Doesn't this go contrary to the vote that set up ST in 1996, revise its area and contradict the provisions that you need another vote in this area to go to ST2?
Thoughts? Anyone want to lawyer up?
Eric writes: "while the current ballot measure certainly has its weaknesses . . ."
After the 1996 measure passed, Sound Transit was legally able to scale back the length of the light rail line, drop stations, etc. That is because what the voters actually had done is approved an ordinance that allowed ST to do that. ST had not provided copies of the ordinance in advance (it is called Res. 75 and Sound Move).
swatter says it has weasel words. Others claim ST lied in Sound Move. ST doesn't have Sound Move up on its website (only some some text from it is there).
CETA just put out a new website, that Stefan linked to in the following thread:
CETA has a chart showing "what we were promised" vs. "what we are getting."
So there is a big, big disconnect between what people think ST's responsibilities are, and what the law the voters approved actually says.
Nobody can trust the daily papers to tell them what actually is in one of these ordinances that the voters get: the papers get paid to omit key details.
So Eric, if you say the measures in November have weaknesses, fine. Maybe we'd disagree, maybe we'd find other things in the actual ordinances we like more.
Point is, why not post the actual ordinances?
Here's what I sense: the politicians do not want the public to know what the actual laws they will be voting on say. It may be that you are more interested in keeping the actual terms of what will go on the ballot out of the public eye. You may be part of the problem, and not part of the solution.
I am sure the state Republican leaders (as well as those on the other side of the aisle) do not want the terms of the actual proposed RTID and ST2 ordinances posted here. Is that why you have not posted copies of the ordinances that the boards of RTID and ST approved several weeks ago?
This is a fairly notorious website. Go ahead, post the following so the public can actually see what the law is that ST must operate under now, AND what the actual law is that voters will be asked to approve in November:
- the current ordinance ST is operating under (Res. 75 and the complete 1996 version of Sound Move that the voters actually approved that year);
- the resolution and plan ST will be putting on the ballot in the fall; and
- the resolution and plan RTID will be putting on the ballot in the fall.
All you've linked to is marketing fluff. Second-hand statements from proponents and opponents of the measure don't begin to tell the story of what ST and RTID actually are putting before voters.
Let's look at what they really will be putting up on the ballot. Unless you want to keep that quiet, Eric . . .
@ 12 - Those are four good points you itemize.
If you think about it, they all relate to what proponents of these measures NEED to get voter approval.
Those who'd make money off these (including R and D politicians) need the public ignorant.
All the whining now about how ST is not delivering on its promises? That is because 99% of those voting in 1996 did not know what was in the actual law they were being asked to approve.
Anyone think there might be a good reason for Eric or Stefan to NOT post the actual 1996 voter-approved law ST must operate under now, AND what the actual law is that voters will be asked to approve in November?
Perhapses in fantasy land one can predict with compete accuracy cost, revenue, and traffic patterns over 10-20 years. Unfortunately in the real world all you can do is make your best estimate then revise accordingly. Perhaps the cost of steel will double, maybe the construction boom will intensify and the cost of labor will rise. On the other hand land prices could tank making corridor acquisition cheaper. Sales tax and to a lesser extent MVET, are very economy dependent.
If any of you can tell us with 100% certainty how these things will play out then I have some money I would like to invest with you as we could make a killing.
The fact is we can guess and make extrapolations, but we can't know for sure. What we have now is a plan that is a best guess on what will happen. Not sure if you saw the story in the PI about the 787. In the 1990's Boeing was talking about the sonic cruiser. However they adapted to changing circumstances and developed the 787 which to has been modified becasue of unforeseen circumstances.
Locking ourselves in to an unchangeable and highly specific plan would be asinine. Instead voters will vote on the recommended plan which if need be can be changed as circumstances change.
Once again the solution is to have good elected officials who make these decisions. I think for the most part we have that now. This is not the same ST board that made mistakes in the late 1990's and so far they done what they can to completely deliver on the original plan given the realities that took place.
"Once again the solution is to have good elected officials who make these decisions."
But ST's board is made up of political appointees. The County Exec's appoint them. Voters have zero say in who gets selected to serve on ST's board, and those in the ST district have no right to join together and vote someone off ST's board for non-performance (or worse).
All those who would be on RTID's board are elected to different positions (district winners of Co. Council races). None of the RTID appointees RAN for the position of RTID board member, none of them faced challenges for their RTID seats, and voters in RTID have no right to vote together to remove a poorly-performing RTID board member.
A transportation planning board that is accountable to voters would be a vast improvement over the appointee system ST/RTID represents.
"What we have now is a plan that is a best guess on what will happen."
So let's get the ordinances these governments want us to approve posted here, so we can compare them with what the voters actually approved in 1996. Maybe Giffy is right and the new ordinances will be superior to the 1996 one. But we can't just take Giffy's word for that. I'm sure Giffy would agree.
swatter insists there were "weasel words" throughout Sound Move. He won't identify those. OK swatter, take a look at the ordinances that ST and RTID are going to put before voters in the Fall? Are there any of those same "weasel words" in the new ordinances?
Giffy: what you've posted in general about the new measures makes sense. It is not "flexibility" that is the problem, and yes steel costs can rise.
But I've got to take exception with the following: "This is not the same ST board that made mistakes in the late 1990's and so far they done what they can to completely deliver on the original plan given the realities that took place."
I assume you have a copy of Sound Move. You can not get one from ST's website, so don't try if you don't have one. Assuming you can refer to the controlling law the voters approved, what makes you think ST can "completely deliver" on the voter-approved requirement that no more than $1.98 billion in local taxes be spent during the system plan implementation phase?
If you are not aware of that limit the voters imposed on ST in 1996 it would be because ST's PR machine has given the impression that ST has a blank check to spend local taxes on the voter-approved system plan. One way ST keeps the public ignorant of the truth on that subject is by not posting an accurate copy of Sound Move on its site.
So Giffy, can you point to any document from ST suggesting it is cognizant of, and will respect, the local taxes spending limit that the voters imposed in 1996?
26. evergreen - people seem to have trouble reading links to basic op-eds and short articles when I include them in posts to make a point. So I don't think large numbers of readers are going to plow through the ordinances if I post them. Besides, this site is about commentary, not providing an online library for those too lazy to do their own Internet research. Besides, Stefan is as big a critic of light rail and Sound Transit as any so if he saw the value I'm sure he'd post them.
27. evergreen: I honestly don't really get what your saying except that you seem to think there is some secret conspiracy hidden in these ordinances. Perhapses you would care to substantiate these claims...
"I don't think large numbers of readers are going to plow through the ordinances if I post them"
They aren't that long. People could use them to just look for what they have questions about: the legal definition of the two districts' boundaries; whether there are any weasel words in 2007 (apparently there were weasel words in the 1996 ordinance); what the limits on taxing and spending would be; if RTID money can be co-mingled with the ST money; how ST2 funds could be commingled with ST1 funds; will the oversight provisions likely be strong enough (look how Seattle monorail spun out of control, for example).
"Besides, this site is about commentary, not providing an online library for those too lazy to do their own Internet research. Besides, Stefan"
Trust me, commentary based on the facts of the ballot offering will be FAR superior to commentary based on the kind of slanted marketing puff-pieces you chose to link to. I'm sure the politicians in the state do not want the public knowing the facts about the actual terms in these several ordinances - is that the only reason you won't gather them in one place, Eric?
You offer the cheeky suggestion that the only reason someone couldn't come up with an accurate copy of the actual 1996 Sound Move from the Internet is laziness.
To my knowledge, the exhibit a to Res. 73 is nowhere online. I know ST doesn't want that correct copy of Sound Move out in the open. Is that why you don't want to post it - you don't want to be the one that releases it? That could torpedo your political career.
29. I want to read the full ordinances. I hope Sound Politics will post them, or some of the other transportation web sites. I am very curious to compare the ordinances of 2007 with the previous ones.
Received another colorful mail out from county council members Patterson & Dunn on "Keeping our region moving". How much money is being spend by Sound Transit, RTID and the county for these mail outs for their ballot measures in November?????
Sound Transit should finish the 1996 voted proposal before coming back to tax payer for more revenue. Why would you want to put more money into ST2 when ST1 has not met the expectation that was promised.
Our Representatives in Olympia should dismantle the RTID.
Use the gas tax, which will be 36 cents on Monday to fix the chokepoints that was addressed by WADOT before the 9 ½ cent gas tax was voted in.
Here is a fine example, one of the biggest chokepoint has been the 167 / I- 405. This has been going on for over twenty years. Dot added a HOV lanes on 167. Years later DOT stated the HOV lanes where not being utilized to there fullest. The legislators passed a bill to make the HOV lanes into HOT Lanes ( Cost 14 Mill +++ ). If you want to use them you have to pay (Lone Drivers). The thing to look at is as soon as this passed the work started. Now the new RTID ballot proposal has nothing in it to fix this 167 / 1-405 mess.
The plan is to continue the 167 Hot lanes on to I-405 HOV lanes which all the lanes will become HOT LANES. More money will be used to study the 167/1-405 mess. How many times are they going to study this and how much have they spent????????????
The Voting public had the wool pulled over their eyes when voting in the 9 1/2 cent gas tax.
Don't be fooled again. Vote no
31. Here's the deal evergreen. I don't need a copy of Sound Move in order to understand that light rail serves a tiny fraction of commuters, does nothing to relieve traffic congestion, and is too expensive. Most of the people who post here understand that already and are voting NO. You might try your schtick over at the PI Soundoff boards, where they apparently don't understand (or more likely don't care).
"That could torpedo your political career."
That's quite a reach, and assumes I even have some sort of political career that would be affected by me posting some document related to Sound Transit. The Trilateral Commission called, they want their conspiracy theory back.
That being said, if you have something that is not available to the interested Internet researcher I'll be glad to consider posting it, particularly if it is some sort of official document pertinent to the current debate. You can send it to ericearling at gmail dot com.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." --George Santayana And let me add that the only "history" self described progressives want anyone to "remember" is history as they have reconstructed it.
That summarizes my take on why ST does not want voters to do a side by side - line item by line item, mile for mile, dollar for dollar accounting of what was PROMISED with what was delivered (and if you do not agree with my use of the word PROMISED a pdr of YOUR City or County Council meeting's video archives from '95 & '96 will be instructive). There were promises and guarantees made in front of every local government body in the region that were as convincing to me as Fat Albert's "Iron Clad Lock Box" guarantee from the '92 presidential debates. I didn't believe Al's line and I didn't believe the SoundMove line of crap either.
34. If you can trust these yahooooo's with more money, you need a labotomy.
35. I'd like to see all ad spending eliminated from pub transit budgets before I vote one more dime in transit taxes. Why does Sound Transit seemingly sponsor every 3rd traffic report on KIRO,KVI, etc? We don't need ads urging us to "feel alive, drive I-5" nor do we need to be told to "ride the blue wave."
Remember when Nader-types were warning us about Madison Ave? Now they are Madison Ave's favorite new client.
If you Google for "Sound Move Plan" with no quotes you get the link to the pdf document copy of the 1996 plan that has been posted for many years by Public Interest Transportation Forum, downloaded from the Sound Transit site of bygone days:
Click Here for PDF of 1996 Sound Move Plan
Resolution 75 has been continuously posted on the Sound Transit web for years. Google for "Sound Transit Resolution 75" without quotes.
Click here for Resolution 75 from Sound Transit
The text of the Roads & Transit ballot proposition that we are going to be presented with this fall according to State law is a little harder to find.
The text of it is contained in Substitute House bill 1396 passed by both houses of the State Legislature and signed by the governor on May 15th. The ballot language is in Section 4, and it's easiest to just quote that section:
The election on the single ballot proposition described in RCW 36.120.070 and 81.112.030(10) must be conducted by the auditor of each component county in accordance with the general election laws of the state, except as provided in this section. Notice of the election must be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in each component county in the manner provided in the general election laws.
The single joint ballot proposition required under RCW 36.120.070 and 81.112.030(10) must be in substantially the following form:
"REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT DISTRICT (RTID)
REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RTA)
REGIONAL ROADS AND TRANSIT SYSTEM
To reduce transportation congestion, increase road capacity, promote safety, facilitate mobility, provide for an integrated regional transportation system, and improve the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of Washington, shall a regional transit authority (RTA) implement a regional rail and transit system to link [insert geographic references] as described in [insert plan name], financed by [insert taxes] imposed by RTA, all as provided in Resolution No. [insert number]; and shall a regional transportation investment district (RTID) be formed and authorized to implement and invest in improving the regional transportation system by replacing vulnerable bridges, improving safety, and increasing capacity on state and local roads to further link major education, employment, and retail centers described in [insert plan name] financed by [insert taxes] imposed by RTID, all as provided in Resolution No. [insert number]; further provided that the RTA taxes shall be imposed only within the boundaries of the RTA, and the RTID taxes shall be imposed only within the boundaries of the RTID?"
On November 6th, in the Sound Transit District, and/or in the RTID district, you vote Yes or No on this single measure.
Government leaders of Sound Transit and RTID planning sought this law. The celebration of its enactment is contained in a Sound Transit press release.
Click here for Sound Transit press release celebrating single ballot in November.
This press release provides a marketing fluff overview of what the $38 billion will pay for, without mentioning $38 billion.
They will never mention the 38 Billion, or how much it will cost each man woman and child in this area. Not to mention what it will finish, only what it will start.
Hell No on this one ... All of it...
38. O.K. notice the light rail O&M cost $38 million are listed opposite "fare box" intake of $20 million. And this was a big selling point for light rail - "see how it is so much more efficient than bus service!!!!this really is an investment for the future." and the wowsers bought it hook, line & sinker. Fast forward to today and light rail O&M is not what they sold the wowsers and guess what the fre box on the one service they were able to deliver is a whopping goose egg. WTF is this, you say, from what we have heard, says the wowsers the Tacoma Link ridership numbers are much higher than expected and since each additional rider adds nothing to the "sunk" cost shouldn't we expect the Cost/Benefit ratio to improve? Oh, by the way we didn't tell you since developers in Tacoma have close connections to Tacoma/Pierce electeds and they want to be able to advertise that buying a condo from them gets you a home right along a FREE transit line.... You get where I am going, ST board members are selected from these same electeds and round and round it goes. But the Central Link is supposed to have a "fare box" cost to the riders the more stupid of the wowsers say, not taking into account that there is no way the KC/Seattle/SeaTac/Tukwilla electeds are they are "going to allow riders in Tacoma to ride free while the people they represent..." But what it boils down to is that they also have connections to development interests who also want to transfer money from the tax payers into their pockets via the same scheme. So let's face the fact that there will be NO fare box to offset the O&M on light rail operated by ST anywhere in the region, period, end of story. Now let's compare how dollars spent on light rail are so much better of an investment.
Here's the unfortunate reality; we're trying to perform a cost/benefit analysis of choo choo light when it really just doesn't matter.
The libs with the large voting block just want to be like other cities of the world that have light rail (golden spike envy). In their book, it's for the common good. They don't care about logic or the cost. And the unions counting the votes have a lot to gain from the expansion. So all RTA has to do is paint a vague & pretty picture and let their cronies do the rest.
Re: @ 36 --
What is copied there is just the ballot title. That is what voters will see, in the Voters Guide in November. See how it refers to the RTA "plan" and "resolution" and it also refers to a separate RTID "plan" and "resolution?" THOSE are the documents that will contain the actual law.
Niether ST nor RTID have released drafts of their respective "resolutions" that will go on the ballot. All of those who support RTID/ST2 at this point are supporting it without knowing key terms that would control for the next five decades. That's because they are interested in one thing: a massive income stream that will create a slush fund for other governments.
The ballot title posted at 36 suggests there will be new "resolutions" like "resolution 75." That is the document that the Sane Transit folks did not know existed, so they sued because they thought ST had an obligation to complete everything in ten years and only build 21 miles of light rail. John Niles in particular was extremely confused about that - he was "Mr. Sane Transit."
Look at the RTID plan. It is at the RTID.org site (Blueprint for Progress). Take the "spending" in Seattle it sort-of promises. The City will be the lead agency. In other words, whatever amounts the RTID board eventually sends over toward Seattle will just go to partially fund some projects, but NONE of those projects could come close to being completed with RTID funds. Seattle taxpayers would be on the hook for the overruns (on top of the RTID taxes and ST taxes they'd be paying).
It is a system designed to generate massive pools of cash where no politicos are responsible for getting anything in particular done with those revenues. Disgusting.
Drafts of the ST "plan" mentioned in that ballot title posted at 36 can be found at soundtransit.org. Don't look where it says "ST2" on the homepage. Go to About Us, then Board, then Meetings, then Meeting Agendas, then find the board meeting agenda for 5/24/07 and links to some of the actual ordinance terms that may appear on the Fall ballot are there.
But John Niles @ 36 is definitely not correct when he says that what will be voted on is what he posted. As you can see, what he posted refers to other documents -- and those are what will be either approved or not approved, even if voters are not given those documents and they are not posted anywhere on the 'net prior to the election.
evergreen: I am confused about what you are driving at. Could you explain your position? You seem to be in fantasy land.
I will say, if you are aware of "gross mismanagement," you have an obligation to take your accusations to a court of law (and win). Posting nonsense here makes no difference - this is for sharing ideas, not hurling meaningless rants into the void!
This boondoggle only added one lane each way. Of course it won't do anything to ease congestion. Why not study a four lanes west on the old bridge and four lanes east lane configuration can be accommodated. Why was this thing built now if it's 16 from the bridge to I-5 will still be totally gridlocked, would it not have made sense to improve that section of highway first. Who in their right mind would start on an improvement to a transportation corridor that is isolated when doing 16 from I-5 to the bridge would have yielded congestion relief TODAY for everyone traveling westbound but who does not go as far as the bridge. As it is I weave my way to and from downtown Tacoma for twenty five minutes when if 16 were improved it would be five minutes drive between my home and downtown Tacoma. These people are totally incompetent. What is more most people who live over there didn't want the damn thing in the first place, the whole thing was driven by developers and construction unions.
43. So if this boondoggie passes and a home within the RTA boundry was sold, would there be any additional taxes added to the sale?
"would there be any additional taxes added to the sale?"
Look it up on the internet you lazy bum.
45. Yea, that's the ticket "Look it up on the internet" as Proponent Of The Measures suggests. Give me a break, and has anyone noticed how quick defenders of ST are to say "we don't know what will happen with steel prices etc in the future" - funny thing is these are the same people who buy into Fat Albert's prognostications of what the climate will be fifty, one hundred or more years into the future.
The only answer I could get on the internet with 100% certainty is that 'Proponent of the Measures' is a certified horse's ass.
In the RTA tax world, not sure if a home sale is treated the same as a store selling a shovel.
Anyone besides POTM know?
47. has anyone noticed how quick defenders of ST are to say "we don't know what will happen with steel prices etc in the future" - funny thing is these are the same people who buy into Fat Albert's prognostications of what the climate will be fifty, one hundred or more years into the future.
That is hilarious. Well done! :)