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Monday, September 19, 2005

Backlash

Posted by on September 19 at 9:50 AM

By saying he’s pulling or canceling the monorail transit way agreement, Mayor Nickels’s monorail advisory ballot asks the same question that voters took up last year w/ I-83óshould the city refuse to grant the monorail city right of way? The voters trashed that question last year with 63.5% saying build the monorail.

Now, given the bad news about the finance plan, Nickels (cynically, I think) is rolling the dice that siding with the anti-monorail crowd is politically smart. He may be in for a surprise. Here’s an e-mail that came in from longtime Seattle activist Curt Firestone that frames this November pretty accurately:

Not everyone agrees with having a monorail constructed from Ballard to West Seattle. But, we all know that the voters approved the idea of a monorail on four different occasions.

Now the mayor wants you to vote on it once again. This is a lame answer to a financing crisis. Instead, if he was sincere about ending grid-lock, he would be helping to resolve the crisis.  What could he do? Here are just a few thoughts:

1. Direct as much City money to the monorail project as the city is directing to the light rail project. This is at least $50 million.

2. Fund a monorail instead of a South Lake Union street car. Monorail moves Seattle’s commuters and residents. The street car will move downtown workers to restaurants for lunch.¬†

3. Cancel the requirement that the monorail must pay $ 1 million a year to run its rail though the Seattle Center.

4. Forgive all city sales taxes during construction.

I fear that our mayor may want to be remembered as Mayor Gridlock. What a shame when he could have given real leadership to our mass transit problems. 

Curt