I'm not surprised. Their outreach efforts have been pathetic compared to ST. But then, the more people learn, the less attractive this will look. The "Blueprint For Progress" calls for:
$750 mil for widening US 2 & SR 9 in Snohomish County to further rampant sprawl.
Connecting 167 to I-5 in Tacoma for $1 billion. However, this is only to buy the land. Needs another $1 billion. Where's that coming from?
Cross Base Highway. Funded, but already under siege, costs will likely escalate.
520 Bridge. $800 million. That leaves us about a billion short of the preferred option.
Alaskan Way. $800 million. Ditto.
I-405. $1.3 billion to add lanes I-90 to Renton. The biggest single item? This makes no sense to me. 405 is not going to fall down or sink in an earthquake.
If this POS has to stand on its own its DOA fo sho.
The reason the legislature linked the two measures was to head off the “roads vs. transit” argument. So what does Sound Transit do? It highlights and worsens that schism by paying for and distributing a roads vs. transit poll.
Sound Transit is dissing the legislature.
And RTID should not have access to King County attorneys to draft proposed legislation for it.
Plus, Sims is on ST’s board, so he shouldn’t be using his staff to work for these other separate governments.
Slogged below is this finding of the Sound Transit poll:
“Findings (from Evans McDonough)
"Though support drops when voters hear the specific taxing mechanism, it rebounds once they hear the average household cost. The challenge, then, is linking the benefits of the package with this cost."
The “average household cost” apparently is a “sellable” number. That figure must be derived by some kind of algorithm.
Let's have a look-see at the assumptions and the data. I'm curious how this marketable value is derived.
Seattle Monorail Project used algorithms to come up with its tax assumptions. Those turned out to be about a fifth of reality. The tax amount Seattle Monorail Project said it wanted before its election was only 20% of what it disclosed it intended to collect in June, 2005 - two years AFTER the election. In other words, the voters were told an extreme lowball number, and then SMP taxed for two years without disclosing the real costs.
Monorail passed, so ST undoubtedly intends to use the same “false cost data” method to pitch the neverending taxes ST2 would give it.
The “average household cost” figure probably could persuade enough voters. That figure does not indicate the extent of the new taxing. The taxes might be unlimited. When would the new taxes stop, and how much would have been collected by then, if the voters approve ST2? Those are some questions that should be answered. ST would impose high new sales taxes, and that is the most regressive form of tax.
ST just wants to give out cost placeholders. Seattle Monorail did that too. Those placeholders sold the voters, and ended up costing Seattle residents something like (present value) $210,000,000.
look a little closer my friend. the rtid is King County. It is made up of King (and Pierce and Snohomish) county councilmembers. They are the governing board. So why shouldn't their lawyers be assisting them in getting this right?
You'd rather have them spend additional tax dollars on different lawyers?
Norm--there is a huge difference b/w the monorail financing and Sound Transit. ST has learned their lessons and is fairly conservative in their assumptions.
As for "average household cost", that is the best measure for the public. Most people understand how a mortgage works. They want to know how much they will pay a month and how many years they will pay it. The monorail failed because the length of the proposed taxes exceeded the public's will to see the meager result of all that investment.
"ST has learned their lessons and is fairly conservative in their assumptions."
We can verify whether you are correct or not. ST assumed constructing all of Phase 1 (buses, park & rides, 2 kinds of trains, etc.) would cost $3.9B and all of it would be operational in ten years. That figure included interest on bonds.
Can you locate from any source how much more than $3.9 billion ST now expects to spend constructing Phase 1 (including interest)?
The reason I ask is that all those ST supporters out there don't seem to know about how far off ST's cost assumptions were. Before deciding whether or not to support ST2, ST's performance on the cost side of Phase 1 needs to be examined. And ST seems to be all too coy about disclosing those numbers.
BTW, monorail repeatedly said its cost estimates were conservative, then after the vote they skyrocketed (they were several multiples of the pre-vote cost figures).
ST Lies: BTW, monorail repeatedly said its cost estimates were conservative, then after the vote they skyrocketed (they were several multiples of the pre-vote cost figures).
Dear "ST Lies," you're not doing your "Sound Transit lies" argument any help by declaring as loudly as possible, "Hi, I haven't the faintest clue what I'm talking about." Or to put it a little less charitably, "Hi, I'm a liar myself."
When you say the Seattle Monorail Project's costs "skyrocketed several multiples," you're talking about something like a 500% explosion in costs. Actually, their costs went up only about 25% when all was said and said. The problem was that they had underestimated revenues by about a third.
Do you have a source for that 25% increase figure?
When you compare the tax costs SMP gave before and after the vote, the 500% increase is close to accurate (but it is low).
Here is the monorail’s supposedly conservative cost estimate, released several months before the vote in 2002. This is from the "ETC Seattle Popular Monorail Plan." On page 2 it says: ". . . the ETC estimates that project costs to build the Green Line would be $1.29 billion (in year 2002 dollars) and that all project capital costs - including project costs plus financing costs, agency costs, project reserves, a construction escalator to account for construction over time, and a planning allowance - would total $1.749 billion (in year of expenditure dollars)."
So the voters were told $1.74 billion (before the vote). Two and a half years AFTER the vote, SMP released new numbers. Those called for about $11,000,000,000 in taxes.
But let’s forget about monorail. Cressona, you are a Sound Transit supporter. Can you find any current tax cost estimate for all the Sound Transit costs relating to Phase 1? How much tax does ST now expect to take in to build out Phase 1? I can’t find that anywhere. If ST is hiding what its tax costs for Phase 1 are likely to be, why should we trust any of its guesses about Phase 2 tax costs?
In addition to its nonstop fuck ups and its nonstop claims to have finally gotten its act together, Sound Transit has its own public relations office that spends tens of thousands of dollars a month trying to make itself look good.
Any poll results reported by Sound Transit deserve to be taken with a huge corn kernel of shit.
Louis G., tell you what, I do have to retract and even apologize for my response in post #8. The actual contract costs for the monorail did only increase about 25% over estimates, but when it comes to the costs that matter to the taxpayer, they did skyrocket -- thanks to Joel Horn's crazy financing scheme.
As you say, though, the monorail project is academic at this point. As for Sound Transit's Link light rail, I think you could make a pretty solid case that their actual costs for building the initial segment proposed in 1996 will end up about three times the original estimate in 1996. That's a 200% increase. Part of this is a result of delays, part of it is incompetence, part of it is the result of the explosion in construction costs in recent years what with China and Katrina and the Vancouver Olympics. But I am convinced another part of it is that the people behind the Sound Move initiative deliberately lowballed -- yes, lied about -- the costs in 1996 to get the project passed. They did so in the wake of their previous, more ambitious and expensive ballot measure that was voted down.
And yeah, so they lied to you. So what. And you have utter faith in WashDOT's cost estimates? Or should we only selectively apply scrutiny and skepticism to the projects we don't like? Sound Transit's past misrepresentations don't make the truth that the Seattle area is long, long overdue for mass transit any less true. If anyone has a better way to ensure that Sound Transit lives up to their cost estimates, I'd be glad to know. In any event, I have a sense that voters in this region are prepared for realistic cost estimates from Sound Transit, and I have a sense that Sound Transit has learned the lessons from its past mistakes.
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