To get eastside legislators to sign off on that, Murray says, he’s appeasing their concerns about light rail on I-90, and putting the brakes on it, so voters there have time to air their concerns.
What Eastside legislators? Names, please. I thought Eastside light rail had almost universal support at least among the city governments on the Eastside.
I'm starting to think that the Tom Friedman rule on Middle Eastern politicians has to be applied to Ed Murray. Friedman of the NY Times says only believe what a Middle East politicians says in public to his constituents; don't believe the spin he gives the press or intelligentsia in private. You take what Murray wrote in that letter at face value and it just smells. Anyway, at some point you have to judge elected officials by their actions, not by their labyrinthine explanations for their actions.
Again, this is the same guy who slipped in the "anything but monorail" language into a bill concerning the Seattle monorail MVET and then tried to pass it off as something that legislators in the rest of the state insisted on. I am really afraid there's something Ed Murray is not telling us.
Let me pose this question to other commenters, who are these "eastside legislators" that Ed Murray claims to be appeasing?
And how does Sound Transit 2 go to the ballot without Eastside light rail? What will there be for anyone outside Seattle to vote on? It's like Murray is saying to Sound Transit, "You get your wish. You get to go to the ballot on your own. (Oh, and you get to go to the ballot with an eviscerated, cockamamie package that is sure to kill whatever political momentum you may have.)"
Josh writes: Again, all of this is a bit ironic given that state Rep. Ed Murray (last year) was the one who tied light rail and RTID together. He has since renounced the idea blaming it on a compromise solution he was forced into.
So we already have one 800-pound gorilla of a reform that Ed Murray proposed that -- wink-wink, nod-nod -- backfired. And now we want to trust him to come up with some more reforms?!
Is this going to be some annual ritual?:
Pulling East Link out of the mix would likely kill Sound Transit at the polls - that's an absolutely key component for both Eastside voters and Seattle commuters. The cities of Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue all sent letters to Sound Transit last year supporting light rail in the 90 corridor.
So, who benefits from keeping those express lanes open? Mercer Island residents - who are allowed, unlike anyone else, to use their single occupancy vehicles in our HOV express lanes. Who are they represented by? Judy Clibborn, chair of the House Transportation Committee. This is blatant politicking - Murray should represent his district, and Clibborn should be taken to task for trying to extend the unfair exception Mercer Island residents are getting at the expense of everyone else in the region.
There's more here: Support for Murray's regional governance bill came largely from anti-rail and anti-transit activists like John Niles and John Stanton. They also want to kill light rail to the eastside. They pretend to offer "bus rapid transit" as an alternative because it doesn't get votes - and because asphalt can be converted back to general purpose highway lanes in the right political climate. A convenient way of getting transit money to build you more roads, eh?
Murray coupled ST and RTID, and we told him them that RTID would go down the tubes. Sound Transit is a balanced, regional package - letting political pandering at the state level interfere with regional decisions will destroy the work we've done to get this far.
Murray coupled ST and RTID, and we told him then that RTID would go down the tubes. Sound Transit is a balanced, regional package - letting political pandering at the state level interfere with regional decisions will destroy the work we've done to get this far.
See, this is what's so scary. The powerful foes of transit like Kemper Freeman are still out there, still working behind the scenes. But now they know that transit has become more and more popular. Fervid transit opponents and freeway supporters like Jim Horn have been voted out of office. So the rail foes have to take a more insidious tack and line up politicians who claim to be transit supporters but really are not.
The Jim Horns of Olympia have been replaced by the Ed Murrays. And the Ed Murrays are that much more dangerous because you don't realize they're the enemy.
I don't actually think Murray is against transit - I just think that he's angry at Sound Transit for not putting more stops in his district (seven, with three in major residential cores, isn't enough) and he refuses to accept that the 520 interchange is not as good a station site as the hospital/university/Husky Stadium.
Personally, yes, I'd like to see RTID and ST2 delinked - but if we have to break up the ST2 package to do it, we should keep them together and put our efforts into supporting both. Even RTID is building HOV, and that's right-of-way that our bus system depends on.
Enjoy the RUCKUS of today's transit problems. The problems will only get worse.
The latest figures from the UN's population division predict a global upheaval without parallel in human history over the next four decades.
There will be billions more people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Of these, tens of millions will migrate to Europe and America, while the indigenous populations of most countries in the rich world will either stagnate or decline.
Vote “no/no.” Like zombies, they’ll take the bullets, and come staggering back.
But next time it will be a better package. Look at how surface + transit is in the works after that “no/no” vote.
Tell us who they are so we can read them the riot act from their own district voters.
The reality is that everyone wants I-90 lightrail.
But Ed's right, RTID is currently going to go down - and it will take ST with it if it isn't decoupled - and FAST.
Just Say No:
What do you propose we do "better" about the Sound Transit 2 package? We're going to build light rail in these corridors eventually, no matter what - and those expansions have to be done in the order in which we're doing them regardless. That's the majority of the ST2 package.
@9 - no, we'll vote Yes for ST and No for RTID - and everyone who has done any polling of likely voters knows this is exactly what's going to happen.
These projects need to get started: light rail to north, south and east, plus HOV lanes and buses and some new roads. We can work on improving the mix and tweaking the financing later.
One lesson of the Seattle area's gridlock is that it's not going to get any easier to start if we delay.
The new roads are what's killing the package.
If he wants to decouple them to help Sound Transit, why not just support a simple decoupling? He can still claim it's because there are questions about both, but that voters should be able to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each component (road or rail) on its own.
The only reason to talk about taking I-90 rail out of the picture is to kill the popularity of ST2 by removing its most popular piece. So long as that's Murray's position, he's either fooling us or fooling himself.
Well, gridlock's going to get worse and worse with or without transit. The availability of transit doesn' really affect gridlock one way or the other. Yes, a few people leave their cars, but not enough to make any difference. Telling people "this will solve gridlock" is a lie, no matter what you're selling; the only thing that eases gridlock is economic collapse.
Transit is about options, not easing car traffic.
Fnarf: Transit's impact on people leaving their cars is high, but latent demand fills those spaces on the roadway. That's why traffic hasn't improved in LA, despite their expansion of I-5 from 8 to 10 and then 14 lanes (seriously outpacing population growth, I might add).
Cascadian: A simple decoupling won't pass without the House Transportation Committee chair's approval. Read my earlier, longer comment.
Good lord, the perfect IS the enemy of the good.
I would like to see them uncoupled. But really, if they are coupled, do you really hate RTID *so much* that you're willing to block ST just to spite it?
RTID has lots of warts -- but as Ben suggests, a lot of it is HOV improvements that help the transit system. Another big chunk is projects like 520 that everyone agrees have to get done. So you're holding up the entire regional transit plan, incurring further inflation costs (which reduces service delivery), because you don't like - what - the Cross-Base Highway?
And you have confidence that the political system is going to, in a timely fashion, produce *exactly* the package you want?
As I said in the other thread: it's too late for good ideas. Either we agree to a basically good package that's on the table -- or condemn ourselves to process hell and years of religious road vs. transit wars.
Ben, you wrote,
"That's why traffic hasn't improved in LA, despite their expansion of I-5 from 8 to 10 and then 14 lanes (seriously outpacing population growth, I might add)."
I don't quite follow.
-traffic hasn't improved
-expanded to 14 lanes
If trafiic hasn't improved with an expansion like that, what, if not population, has caused it? But actually I'm not even sure if you mean that it's the expansion that has outpaced population. Not being a smart-ass, I just can't see a logical thread, which is probably my fault, not sure.
If it's possible to abolish auto gridlock with transit, perhaps you could point to ONE city in the world where the presence of a mass transit system has made driving through the city a breeze at rushhour.
There are many cities with transit systems, gas taxes, and land use patterns a Seattle urban planner couldn't achieve in his most fevered imagination, and I bet they still have gridlock at 5pm.
I don't like the Cross-Base Highway either, but it's been pointed out to me that it won't drive sprawl simply because there's a base there - it'll be mostly freight and existing users.
I'm willing to accept that for ST2.
The problem is, most people aren't. RTID refuses to accept that yes, a lot of voters will simply kill both rather than have to see highway expansion.
MHD, I didn't say you could reduce auto gridlock. I said that a lot of people get out of their cars.
Other people come to take their place on the roads.
It would be great if one of your reporters could actually, you know, report on what's in the RTID package. I think people have a vision of 14-lane highways around the region, and although there are some bad projects in there, it's really not all that.
MHD - yes, reporting has been a huge issue. Nobody's covered the ST2 or RTID packages at all - the excuse is "the packages aren't done!" but the reality is that the main projects aren't budging.
I just quickly reviewed the RTID "Blueprint for Action" and I see very few HOV projects: SR 520 of course, a couple HOV direct interchanges on SR 167/I-405 and another in Snohomish, along with a direct access ramp in Pierce at Tacoma Mall. That's it. Most of the regional HOV projects have already been funded by the state gas tax increases.
Regarding Cross-base Highway, I used to able to just hold my nose on that one. But, as I've gotten more involved in fighting global warming, I just can't do it anymore. Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state and that's where we have not just stop increasing emissions, but cut them pretty dramatically. Building new lane miles as the answer to congestion when it doesn't work anyway is not just a waste of money, it's immoral.
There is already a lot of sprawl in that area, but there's also room for a lot more with a new highway. And, Cross-base is not the only bad RTID project in this respect, it's just the worst of the worst because it creates a brand new corridor. There are more sensible ways to improve access in that area like getting the I-5 HOV lanes down to 512 (which is already funded), putting HOV lanes on 512 and beefing up bus service on that corridor. Maybe even BRT on SR 7 from downtown Tacoma.
It would suck to make ST2 wait a year, but it would be a lot better than digging our climate hole much deeper (and spending billions of precious tax dollars in the process) with a joint ST2/RTID package (which based on the potential RTID campaign funders' own polling is doomed to fail anyway).
Josh has 'drive': The increase in auto usage has far outstripped the increase in population, because a lot more people have cars, people have a lot more cars, and people drive their cars a lot more. Not just in LA. In the Seattle area, we have twice the population of thirty years ago, and the number of cars is twice that, and the number of miles is twice that, or eight times as much. Roughly speaking. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this kind of increase won't continue, barring total gridlock. If traffic in any urban area is at less than gridlock, it WILL expand to the point of gridlock just because it can.
I remember reading about the traffic projections for the Long Island Expressway (which was famously gridlocked on the very day it opened), where they tried to calculate the optimum width for free movement of cars, and the only limit they ran into in the calculations was the width of Long Island -- traffic would literally continue to expand in the model until the freeway's width approached that of the island, and which point it started to go down again (because there would be no room for houses then). Literally, the only way for free moving traffic was upwards of a couple hundred lanes. And that was without taking into consideration the connectors, i.e., where would all the cars go when they reach Manhattan.
That's the problem they're having with 520 bridge projections -- the only way to free up traffic on the bridge so overloads the Montlake connectors that traffic backs up again. All the fancy interchanges they're talking about here fail to take this into account; where do the cars go on the other end? Montlake, Pacific Street, and 25th Ave NE can't take them all. People who think a new bridge isn't going to be backed up with traffic are dreaming.
Good points, Fnarf. In fact, Seattle has more cars per person than most suburbs do.
But, unless RTID is seriously changed it's going to die a quick death from the voters - and the major death knell will be led by Seattle voters.
What most people don't grok is roads packages only pass because of the margin in Seattle - and if we turn it down it will die a quick death. Suburbanites say they want roads, but won't vote for them by massive margins, so without our support, no RTID will survive.
Everyone knows that who does polling.
Read my lips: double local transit in Seattle and stop trying to build roads we won't vote for. Or they die. And messily.
Fnarf, thanks for making that point clear - the usage of cars outpaces population, not the outpacing of highway expansion. Cool. Gotcha. Still though, the massive boom in people will only exponentialize the usage of cars one would think. Who knows?
Hey, do you like R.Crumb comix?
This image is pretty cool, it can be enlarged to read. http://renewnorthfield.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/Peak%20oil%20as%20seen%20by%20R.%20Crumb.jpg
-top panel reads my likely prediction
-middle panel feels like some transit cheerleaders
-third panel (am i too naive to hope?)
One of the benefits of the SB 5803 approach is that it gives planners congestion-tolling as an option. If there were costs associated with driving a SOV during peak periods on the bridges or I-5 in Seattle or I-405 in Bellevue, people would not do it. That would not only raise revenue, but decrease throughput needs of those highways. Let's get the right revenue raising tools in the hands of accountable officials who can prioritize and plan from a position of power. Now we have little fiefdoms throwing bloated wish-lists at voters and no one can say where the next tax hit would be coming from. Let's say this ST2 + RTID thing passes. Well, what additional taxes is the State going to impose to close the $3 billion shortfall? Cressona? Ben? Would the voters be given any say in those additional taxes? Would they be regressive or progressive? Obviously you RTID/ST2 supporters don't know.
Not only that, you don't even know what the bonding limits will be for either the RTID or ST2 sets of projects, because those details are being kept secret. If you don't know the price, you can't support a public project (unless it is on a faith-based basis).
Murray's letter is Exhibit A on why his regional government dream will never work. If the new government doesn't do exactly what legislator's want, they make big trouble and kill it.
And itsn't the purpose of a letter to make your position clear? Why would anybody write a
letter that needed so much explaining?
And just how does Murray plan to pay for the 520 bridge? Which is a state freeway?
Let's just vote this fall and move on. Murray can feel free to throw up roadblocks after that.
R. Crumb is interesting sometimes, but that comic is ridiculous. No one who's lived in an area of dirt roads would describe it as any kind of -topia. Think two seasons: dust, and mud. And of course his Ecotopia, like all utopias, presumes that 90% of the population dies off. It's every bit as unrealistic as a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Thanks for the response, I agree.
I truly enjoy realistic painting. It's good and bad that it gets both mocked and ignored by the contemporary scene. Have a nice weekend.
Sen. Ed Murray has publicly acknowledged that coupling RTID-ST2 and delaying the vote was a mistake. So decoupling it seems to make some sense. However, killing off the I-90 light rail (as part of the R8/A option) project doesn't seem to make sense. People on the Eastside WANT rail to get into Seattle, especially on weekends, when I-90 is terribly congested.
The RTID folks are trying to fund $62 billion of highway projects with $5 billion worth of money. Needless to say, they haven't much success.
It would be like someone in Seattle trying to finance one of the big new multimillion dollar condos with a part-time job. It's not going to happen. It's delusional.
The other delusion of the highway-oriented lobbyists like John Stanton is that you can build your way out of congestion. You cannot.
Out of curiousity, where will the
proposed I-90 ST Link meet up with the Central Link?
TIA for any and all replies.
Jensen- According to ST's docs, east link will connect to the line currently being built at the International Dist station, where it turn north on the existing track, providing a one-seat ride from the east side into downtown all the way north thru CapHill, UW, Roosevelt, Northgate on up to Lynnwood. They are adding a digital-age solution to an otherwise analog transportation grid. Check it out:
All of Senator Murray's points are valid on both RTID and ST2.
The RTID Blueprint for progress is terrible. The proposal comes from a government designed by Senators McDonald, Finkbinder, and Horn aimed at expanding the I-405 general-purpose capacity. They are out of office, yet their monster government lumbers on.
The RTID proposal have several fatal flaws. 1. It add four unpriced general-purpose lanes to I-405; that would induce more sprawl. 2. It would use one-tenth on the sales tax. That would be unfair (not related to use), inefficient (would not send a price signal to roadway users), and politically risky (the sales tax is already quite high). 3. They do not propose systemwide dynamic tolling and that should be a condition of support for large highway expansion. 4. If the SR-167 extension to the Port of Tacoma and the SR-509 extension to SeaTac are designed for freight movement, they should be tolled. If tolled, they could be smaller and less costly. 5. The cross base highway would lead to sprawl in east Pierce County. 6. There are more important transportation needs to fund that are not highway expansion. How much of the limited taxpayer capacity should be devoted to expansion when we do not have a way to pay for the long-term maintenance of I-5 in north Seattle or to fill the sidewalk deficit in all the communities developed after WWII? The RTID legislation requires that90 percent of the funds be spent on major highways. 7. We should not fund the fifth and sixth lanes of SR-520 without first funding the replacement four lanes.
ST2 is also flawed, though in more subtle ways.
n Pierce County, an extension of the Tacoma streetcar to both TCC and PLU would attract more ridership and support growth management better than the extension of Link LRT to Fife. Have you seen the anemic ridership forecasts for the south line in 2030? Another worthy Pierce project left off would be two-way all-day commuter rail between Tacoma and Seattle via the Green River Valley. This is funded by the Pierce and South King subareas. ST got burned by BNSF in phase one. It should ask the state and ports to help and bring UPRR into the discussions.
In South King County, the extension of Link LRT is a weak costly project. In phase one, Link LRT is deviated to MLK Jr. Way South for ridership. That deviation slows the line down and makes it ineffective as a regional transit spine. ST should give up that dream and invest in long-distance express bus and commuter rail. That would build more effectively on the phase one investments including BNSF capacity and the South 312th Street center access ramps. ST, RTID, and the state should work together to implement systemwide dynamic tolling of the limited access highways. The distance between Tacoma and Seattle is great and better suited for express bus and commuter rail than for LRT.
Murray may have been referring to Representative Jarrett, R-41st. He is skeptical about Link LRT on I-90. There are probably others.
ST2 has studies east Link LRT enough to learn that they cannot afford it all the way to downtown Redmond even without considering the tunnel question in downtown Bellevue. The ridership forecasts are modest.
ST is suggesting a nine-minute headway (minutes between trains) on East Link LRT in 2030. The central Link LRT between downtown Seattle and Northgate would have three minute headway. Does using the entire center roadway of I-90 for one train in each direction every nine minutes pass the laugh test? That would leave a lot of empty space.
Link LRT would be a wonderful transit system. But Murray fears are probably correct: it would not be the best use of scarce ST2 funds or I-90 space.
Instead, ST2 should implement R8A on I-90 and improve bus flow in both directions. All the lanes on both I-90 and SR-520 and other limited-access highways should become HOT lanes. the ST2 East King County funds not spent on LRT should be spent improving the several East King County bus lines to BRT service frequency. they are on SR-522, SR-520, and I-90. A center access ramp could be provided at Issaquah. Diesel LRT could be built along side the trail in the dinner train track between Renton and Woodinville via Bellevue, Overlake Hospital, Kirkland, and Totem Lake. an elevated wye could connect the line with the Bellevue Transit Center.
Senator Murray is also correct about north Link LRT: it is the best transit project on the table. South-first Link LRT was a tradgic mistake of the ST Board in 2001, as they feared for their existance.
Note that the three Snohomish County reps on the ST board voted no on the package out for review.
Why did the two boards not work more closely together to alter each others' projects? They are simultaneous but not integrated.
Yes, the East Link LRT line would join the north-south line at International District station.
The center roadway of I-90 would be used for LRT and HOV lanes restriped on the outside. LRT would also use the D-2 ramps between I-90 and downtown Seattle. If WSDOT does not allow joint bus-rail operation on the D-2 ramps, buses would be forced to use the congested general-purpose interchange at 4th Avenue South. This combination would degrade the trips of bus routes serving Eastgate, Issaquah, Sammamish, Issaquah Highland, and north Renton. The two-plus HOV lanes will slow and probably face a bottlenect in Seattle.
The one-seat ride on Link LRT between the U District and Bellevue would not be as fast as the bus today via SR-520, nor in the future, if either it is tolled or has HOV lanes.
All these commentators saying Sen. Murray is out to "kill" Sound Transit probably are being paid by ST, or work for an ST contractor. The letter actually has two main themes. The tax package is unfairly weighted toward sales taxes, and the combined measure leaves the SR 520 project short of funds. If the public's capacity to pay taxes gets tapped out in November, the legislature can't do what it would need to for the SR 520 work.
This region deserves a more progressive funding package and more prioritization between these major project proposals. Now you just have greedy proponents of different projects trying to claim maximum taxes, no matter the impact on people or any other projects. Sen. Murray is serving his constituents very well by this letter.
appalled at the avarice: All these commentators saying Sen. Murray is out to "kill" Sound Transit probably are being paid by ST, or work for an ST contractor.
Sorry to burst your bubble, "appalled," but you'll be appalled to know that I have no professional interest whatsoever in Sound Transit (work in a completely different field), and neither do most of the names I recognize on this thread.
eddiew: ST is suggesting a nine-minute headway (minutes between trains) on East Link LRT in 2030. The central Link LRT between downtown Seattle and Northgate would have three minute headway. Does using the entire center roadway of I-90 for one train in each direction every nine minutes pass the laugh test? That would leave a lot of empty space.
Wow, this is the first I'm hearing about nine-minute headways on East Link. Eddiew, can you provide a link anywhere to corroborate that? Can anyone else corroborate that? Because I'll tell you, if that's true, that really, really sucks.
The only such limitation I'm aware of with Sound Transit light rail is that Central Link cannot do better than six-minute headways on account of going at-grade through the Rainier Valley and having to rely on the synchronized lights.
I doubt the nine-minute headway is on their web site.
The 2030 Link LRT operating plan was described as having three overlapping lines each with nine-minute headway: Lynnwood to Overlake; Lynnwood to South Henderson Street; and, Northgate to Fife. There would be a combined even three minute headway between Northgate and the International District station. Between Northgate and Lynnwood, the headway would not be even, but three and six minutes. That same uneven headway would be provided between IDS and South Henderston Street. The east line and the south line south of Seattle would each have nine-minute headway.
ST transit has long discussed having the north line trips split at IDS with half its trips going east and half south.
The east and south lines will cost a bundle, about $200 million a mile? Their ridership is relatively modest. Building new transit rights-of-way is quite costly and faces diminishing marginal utility, as there are fewer and fewer transit riders to attract outside the pedestrian-oriented urban centers.
Consider the following East King County ST2 package without Link LRT. It would be stronger. It could be implemented much faster and would attract more transit ridership.
1. After King County acquires the BNSFRR Woodinville subdivision, ST2 could provide diesel LRT between Renton and Woodinville via Bellevue, Overlake Hospital, Kirkland, and Totem Lake. An elevated wye would connect the line with the Bellevue Transit Center via NE 6th Street. There would have to enough double track for 15-minute headway service, but not complete double tracking. The existing track is in poor shape, so it would reqire significant work. Freight and the dinner train service could continue. stations could be modest. There would have to be a signal system upgrade. stations could be built at Renton, Kennydale, Port Quendall, Newport, SE 8th Street, Bellevue Transit Center, Overlake Hospital, South Kirkland, NE 68th Street, Central Way, Totem Lake, NE 145th Street for the wineries, and in Woodinville. Diesel LRT is common in Europe and is in Ottawa and NJ. the Colorado car could be used. The ST regional express routes on I-405 serve a different long distance market than the diesel LRT would serve. The latter would serve an intra East King County market and not a cross subarea or county market. We should take advantage of the available right of way. The I-90 center roadway can be reconfigured at a relatively low cost to move buses faster and more reliably without the high capital cost of Link LRT.
2. ST regional express bus routes 522, 545, 550, and 554 could be elevated to BRT with improved service frequency, fare collection, and additional priority. They would not require the full grade separation that ST2 studied; they were sham options designed to fail. The ST Board is too interested in reliability. Instead, ST should work with RTID and WSDOT to implement regional dynamic tolling. Long distance buses should use HOT lanes. Both SR-520 and I-90 should be all HOT. Two additional East King County BRT routes could be considered: between Woodinville and Seattle via Bellevue; and, between Renton and Seattle. A bus-based system could be implemented in a few years. The constraints are buses and a base. The Link LRT line would not open until 2020 or 2022. with a bus based East King County system, the Metro routes serving Eastgate, Issaquah, Sammamish, Issaquah Highlands, and north Renton would not be kicked off the I-90 center roadway and the D-2 roadway at the west end of I-90. If north Link LRT headways remained long enough, some bus routes could remain in the downtown Seattle bus tunnel under joint operation.
Under the Link LRT option, ST Route 550 is improved, but several other I-90 routes that carry more total riders are degraded by getting kicked off the center roadway and the D-2 roadway.
3. The RTID, WSDOT, and ST could help bus flow. HOT lanes is one step. additional center access ramps is another. on I-90 at Issaquah seems like a good place. on SR-520 at 108th Avenue NE is another. If SR-520 is not all HOT and its HOV lanes are shifted to the inside, a center access ramp should be provided in Overlake. WSDOT will soon build a braided ramp between NE 10th Street in Bellevue and SR-520 to and from the east. This will allow a fast bus connection between downtown Bellevue and Overlake without requiring the freeway-to-freeway ramps that bust the bank.
4. if the East King County ST2 funds are spread out, they will serve more markets and not just Bellevue. Bothell, Kirkland, Totem Lake, Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, Eastgate, and Issaquah Highlands would all get improved service
North Link LRT is the rail project to implement as fast as possible. This is one of Murray's points.
"The tax package is unfairly weighted toward sales taxes, and the combined measure leaves the SR 520 project short of funds. If the public's capacity to pay taxes gets tapped out in November, the legislature can't do what it would need to for the SR 520 work."
It's "unfairly" weighted that way, because the legislature made it so. You should be appalled, appalled. You're running in circles with your criticisms.
Taking ST's light rail money, and dropping it in to the 520 money-pit also won't fly too well with Ed Murray's constituents.
You are SO in favor of this. So sell me on it. I'm a manager at Microsoft (in Redmond). What does RTID and ST2 give ME?
....and I live in Kent, and usually drive to work.
An honest question to Ed Murray. If 520 is so important, why didn't you fund it in 2003 or 2005 when you raised the gas tax? We knew about the problems with this bridge back then.
You funded 200 different road projects in King County alone in 2003 and 2005. And you say that local officials are spreading things too thin.
So somebody tell me why the House Transportation Chair who represents the district where 520 cuts through, can't find the money to fund 520 and now expects local governments in KC to bail him out?
I think we need state transportation governance reform.
If the ballots are decoupled, I plan to vote note to RTID and abstain from voting on ST. However, if they aren't decoupled, then it'll be a no vote for both. I am willing to sacrifice rail to spite roads.
Rail won't reduce congestion, because of, as people have mentioned, latent demand. However, user charges on roads will reduce demand. Additionally, user charges prevent congestion (which expanding the roads doesn't) and–more importantly–actually earns money for the state, instead of costing it money.
Any new freeway will create sprawl, which is why bypass highways don't work.
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