July 02, 2008
Yes we can!
I am cautious in my optimism, but the Seattle Times reports that Seattle city government has actually done something useful: "Downtown traffic signals updated for better flow, less waiting":
Seattle transportation officials say they've synchronized the traffic signals at all 258 downtown intersections for the first time in two decades.
Why did it took two decades to do this? Perhaps it was an enormous undertaking.
Then again, maybe not:
About 18 months and $300,000 went into the downtown project, funded by the voter-approved "Bridging the Gap" property-tax increase, said Grace Crunican, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.
That explains the decades of procrastination. If it only cost $300,000, then it wouldn't have generated enough pork barrel spending for anybody to make it a priority.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at July 02, 2008
04:49 PM | Email This
I have long been of the view that the City has not made an effort to synchronize the lights as they view increased congestion as an incentive to the voters to authorize more tax revenue.
2. Broken clocks and all.
3. I am amazed it took them this long to do such a simple thing. You have to wonder why so many people get brainwashed into thinking a bunch of liberal politicians will be able to fix everything in their life if it took them 20 years to do something this basic.
From: Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor
Here's an excerpt from today's announcement that our transportation initiative, which includes as one of its major provisions a requirement that cities and counties synchronize their traffic lights on heavily-traveled streets and arterials, will qualify for the fall ballot:
RE: Congratulations - anything higher than 275,000 was needed, we turned in
299,019 signatures yesterday - YOU DID IT!
YOU DID IT! Thanks to all of you, 299,000+ voters voluntarily signed an Initiative 985 petition. Such a huge number of voter signatures guarantees I-985 will be on the ballot.
We have a message to our thousands of supporters throughout the state of Washington: thanks to your months of hard work, persistence, and consistent support, yesterday the Initiative 985 campaign submitted 299,019 voter signatures to the Secretary of State's office in Olympia. We said that anything higher than 275,000 was needed, so there's no doubt that this
299,019 guarantees I-985 will be on the November ballot. We couldn't be happier. We really appreciate everyone's extraordinary effort. We look forward to advocating for its approval by voters this fall.
I-985 implements the State Auditor's recommendations to reform the Department of Transportation and reduce traffic congestion by using existing public resources more effectively. It opens carpool lanes to everyone during non-peak hours, requires local governments to synchronize traffic lights on heavily-traveled arterials and streets, and increases roadside assistance funding to clear out accidents faster with the implementation overseen by the State Auditor. These policies are funded by taxes and charges we already pay: 15% of vehicle sales taxes, revenue from fines generated from red light traffic cameras, and a percentage that previously went to art on transportation-related public works projects. Finally, I-985 doesn't impose tolls, but it institutes critical taxpayer protections if tolls are created and levied.
It's a smart, balanced, reasonable proposal that the voters are clearly eager to approve this November.
For many years now, Jack, Mike, and I have worked really hard with all of you. Of the 16 initiatives we've pushed over the years, 11 have qualified for the ballot (I-985 is the 11th), and 8, so far, have been approved by the voters. I-985 will the 9th. We've provided common sense solutions to our most vexing public policy problems -- and we've let the voters decide. By working together, we've dramatically lowered vehicle tab taxes twice, capped property tax increases twice, instituted performance audits of state and local governments, shrunk the size of the King County Council, required government to treat everyone the same without regard to race or gender, protected the initiative process, made it a whole lot tougher to raise taxes, and repeatedly spotlighted politicians' efforts to take more of the people's money.
We've helped give the average taxpayer an equal voice in the process.
Our taxpayer protection initiatives have saved taxpayers over $11 billion so far (through 2008).
We don't win every battle, but we feel extremely gratified by the progress we've made so far. The snakepit of politics is the dirtiest, meanest, nastiest arena ever conceived. Political activism is very difficult but also very necessary. No one can be successful at it without facing scathing, virulent attacks. We're accustomed to that. In fact, we wear it as a badge of honor. If we were ineffective, the powers-that-be would ignore us -- our initiatives are never ignored.
Jack, Mike, and I are very proud of our effort, very proud of our supporters, and very hopeful the voters of Washington will support I-985 in November.
Congratulations on getting I-985 on the ballot - we look forward to working with all of you to get it approved by voters.
5. Brilliant, Tim! Yet another attempt to run the state into the ground with an initiative. To spin a phrase, you've got a $50/barrel attitude in a $150/barrel world... and you do nothing to benefit this community with a mindset like that.
6. I guess after 24 years of Demo Kid's friends running the show we should have transportation utopia to show for it shouldn't we? I think the kid has been drinking downstream from the herd.
Hey Demo Kid... Did you know the BEST way to reduce oil consumption is to reduce the amount of time people spend on the road?
Guess what - cutting congestion will do JUST THAT. Shorten trips, save fuel.
So I take it you're all for increased gas prices by keeping demand ever-increasing? You're for increased pollution because of the amount of cars and trucks and buses idling in traffic?
This is a common-sense way to reduce oil consumption, lower pollution, and help the average person by reducing time spent in traffic. What's wrong?
8. There is a reason they were not timed, and another reason the are now timed. First, they were not timed for 20 years because Seattle wanted taxpayers to approve levies to re-do Mercer St. NOW, they're timed because someone figured out that cars waiting at unnecessary lights is worse than bonfires at Alki Point regarding Global Warming. The libs are SO brainwashed about Global Warming they actually forgot for a second - that the whole need for the Mercer Street tax increase was a ruse - and went ahead and did the right thing.
9. The only reason they did this was to try and head-off Eyman's initiative and say that there is now no use for it.
10. On target Michael.
A paltry 300k when you compare it to a WonderToilet.
11. Demo Kid: Get a job!!!
Huh, I thought Paul Schell's only claim to fame (other than being a fool) was that he synchronized Seattle's traffic signals.
Good job Tim.
Eyman is right @4. His initiative is the real reason the lights were synchronized now, and not long ago. The politicians are trying to take some of the appeal out of his initiative by claiming that it is less necessary because part of it is already enacted. They hope the initiative won't pass because the other parts are less appealing to them.
Well, it is going to pass anyway! :)