City Freeman: Transit Proponents Are Socialists, Terrorists
posted by June 11 at 16:30 PMon
Can you spot the misrepresentations, shaky claims, inconsistencies, and just plain nuttiness in this video produced by Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman’s anti-transit organization, End Gridlock Now? I’ve helped you out by putting a few of them in bold; citations are included in cases of factual errors.
[Cheesy, Bruce Hornsby-esque music plays in the background as shots of traffic flash across the screen.]
Narrator: The personal automobile. Probably no other single element in the past century more symbolizes the meaning of American freedom than this one invention. To Americans it is likely the single most defining measure of individual freedom and mobility.… The truth is, Americans have always considered personal mobility equal to freedom, because our love affair with personal mobility began even earlier in the days of the horse—which later became “horse power.”
Freeman: I think private use of the car has been critical to the mobility in America and worldwide  and it allows us to go where we want, when we want, with whom we want, and to do it any time of the day, seven days a week. Itís very important , whether youíre running to the convenience store for diapers at 11 oíclock at night, or whether youíre running to the church service on Sunday, or whether your friends are getting together to go to a restaurant together or go to a movie or go shopping or go to the hospital—just think of all the trips you take. How many of them are accommodated very easily any other way except for a car?
Narrator: Today, many people attribute much of our success and prosperity as a nation to the automobile and the ability of people to move about freely in commerce and recreation. Others even point to former socialist nations that have failed economically and their overdependence on public transportation, which narrows and sometimes even removes choices of commerce.
Freeman: The automobile and everything to do with the automobile is a huge piece of the economy of our country. Iíve heard that itís as much as 20 to 25 percent of the entire economy is directly related to the car [3; see page 36] and use of the car.
Narrator: Some favor a stronger dependence on public transportation.
Freeman: Public transit is a very important small piece of the puzzle. In our three counties, where public transit is more effective than any place else in the state, it only moves something less than three percent of trips. [4; see page 15]
Narrator: Others favor moderately increasing our highway lane capacities as the best and fastest way to relief.
Freeman: The plan calls for a very small amount of new road construction. Six percent of new lane miles in the right places will actually reduce congestion 36% from todayís level and accommodation of about 3 million new trips today that arenít even on the roads. So thatís a major change, a major relief to congestion and accommodation of the new trips that are coming to this region. [5 , 6, and 7. RTID calls for 1500 new lane-miles on state highways and arterials, a 13 percent increase. Freeman’s plan, in contrast, would add 2,000 new miles of pavement. The principle of induced travel holds that you can’t build your way out of congestion.]
Narrator: To many commuters here at home in Seattle, traffic congestion has nearly reached the point of intolerance.
Freeman: We stopped building roads in 1970 , and in those days we built out a system that had 20 years of capacity upon completion—in other words we built out a 20 year future. So comes 1990, weíve used up all of that capacity that was planned for in this region in the 50s and 60s and finished by 1970. Over the next two decades everything worked, we rode on momentum, and then came 1990. We ran out of capacity.
Narrator: And some others want light rail added into the transportation mix.
Freeman: If it worked, Iíd be the leading proponent for light rail. Light rail is in general a huge boondoggle every place itís been tried in the state and, frankly, in the country and around the world. 
Narrator: Losing faith in governmentís ability to deal with our traffic crisis, Kemper Freeman, Jr. began his own study four years ago, investing more than a million dollars to find answers and develop a regional transportation plan to reduce congestion.
Freeman: Itís a plan that will accommodate the growth in trip capacity Ė weíre going from 11 million trips a day to 14 million trips a day. [I couldn’t find any source for this claim anywhere.] We also reduce congestion by 36 percent for everybody. [Addressed above.] Itís a very modest investment that produces huge results [Addressed above] … Our plan is generated by an authentic study of where the problems are. … You ask anybody, you say ‘where are the pinch points?’ and everybody knows where those are.
Narrator: To most people the end of the age of the automobile and personal mobility will spell the end of the American dream. Perhaps on equal ground with private property rights, personal mobility has everything to do with the future of America and individual liberty 
Freeman: There are some people who want to slow this country down and do this country harm. Picking a fight with the automobile is a pretty good way to do it.