Politics Transit + Roads = Neighborhood Backlash
posted by December 8 at 11:20 AMon
So, I’ve been obsessed lately with the fact that RTID’s $7.4 billion (and about to climb) roads expansion ballot initiative and Sound Transit’s $9.5 billion transit expansion ballot initiative are linked —and may even be linked further if the legislature decides to turn them into one ballot initiative.
My complaint is that transit advocates are being blackmailed into supporting massive roads expansion. RTID roads expansion (much less popular than ST and light rail expansion) is counting on progressive, transit-supporting Seattle voters to carry the day for roads.
Well, here’s the potential Achilles’ heel for that theory: Seattle NIMBYism trumps Seattle progressive values everytime and, unfortunately, a central piece of RTID is the 520 rebuild. The city’s current preferred option is the $3.34 to $5.43 billion Pacific Interchange option—which has several neighborhood organizations including: Madison Park, the U-District, Eastlake, Laurelhurst, Broadmoor, and Ravenna-Bryant pissed about lacking mitigation. These neighbors are active Seattle voters and may very well rise up against RTID—killing light rail in the process.