Politics To Play or Not to Play
Like some of the transit purists, I too have trouble swallowing the idea that Transportation Choices Coalition is making nice with RTID. (I’m a dues paying member!) In particular I don’t like TCC’s willingness to make lemonade out of the added auto capacity lemon. But TCC does deserve credit. Moderating their message (playing politics) has resulted in some good.
Check this out. Previous state legislation prevented RTID from funding transit programs. During the 2006 session, however, TCC was able to add language into the legislation (TCC executive director Jessyn Schor actually wrote the provision) that eliminated the prohibition and allowed RTID money to be spent on “mitigation”—meaning stuff like increased bus service hours, bus pass programs, and trip reduction incentives.
Amending the authorizing legislation set up TCC to make its first demand on any RTID package: Any investment in roads must be coupled with a “meaningful investmentâ€ť in transit in the same corridor.
While I agree with people who say this demand is a bit squishy, at least TCC has reframed the debate so that RTID isn’t just about roads. That’s a push in the right direction, and one that didn’t happen previously because TCC was relegated to nay saying from the sidelines.