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Monday, June 11, 2007

Freeman: Transit Proponents Are Socialists, Terrorists

posted by on June 11 at 16:30 PM

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 [1] 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 [2], 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 [8], 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.[9]

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. [10]

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 [11]

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.

RSS icon Comments

1

"Probably no other single element in the past century more symbolizes the meaning of American freedom than this one invention."

I thought it was the birth control pill.

Posted by elswinger | June 11, 2007 4:34 PM
2

Hmmm... not like Kemper's got a personal stake in roads versus transit, by any means... :)

So personal mobility is an important issue, but I really hate the idea that I have to be dependent on the car to have it. Better to improve the transit system and encourage walkable neighborhoods than to be inextricably tied to something that's a leading cause of air pollution, unsustainable resource use and fatal accidents.

Posted by bma | June 11, 2007 4:41 PM
3

That guy's an ideologue and a nutjob. And here I thought the moonbat concept was trademarked by the left.

Posted by Jay | June 11, 2007 4:49 PM
4

Did you get this from Seattle Transit Blog?

Posted by ! | June 11, 2007 5:00 PM
5

Nah, a friend at the county tipped me off to it.

Posted by ECB | June 11, 2007 5:04 PM
6

Oh dear. He just had to bring diapers into this discussion, now didnít he?

Posted by Seamus O'Riley | June 11, 2007 5:12 PM
7

Hahahahahaha what a nutball.

Ever catch those anti-transit radio PSAs where two people are hypothetically talking about how the state's spending half their funds on transit and that's bad or something?

Posted by Gomez | June 11, 2007 5:22 PM
8

Why does Freeman hate America so much, and love the terrorist-financing oil nations instead?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 11, 2007 5:23 PM
9

I don't have a car and I can accomplish every task he listed in less than 15 minutes travel time, thanks directly to the two things this charlatan most reviles - density and public transportation.

Posted by Dougsf | June 11, 2007 5:23 PM
10

That guy is a nut. He spoke at a "Preserving the American Dream" conference against density and transit while he builds 42 story condo towers in Bellevue.

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 11, 2007 5:40 PM
11

I find it Ironic the ECB Bolds where factual errors.

ECB, does this mean that all of your posts will now be written in Bold?

Please take off the tinfoil hat and pour the coolaid down the drain.

BTW, whatever happened to your cub reporter Angela Valdez? Wasn't she writing an expose on how there are no actual gangs in Seattle?

Posted by True Story | June 11, 2007 5:42 PM
12

Hey True Story, It's Koolaid with "K," not coolaid with a "C." You're dumb.

Posted by Hey Koolaid | June 11, 2007 5:48 PM
13

True Story: So you agree with the crank she's talking about?

Posted by Jay | June 11, 2007 5:48 PM
14

God, I hate Kemper Freeman. The man purposely drives any sort of independent feeling right out of downtown Bellevue, preferring the most generic "upscale" possible. If he hates it, then I love it... not that I didn't love transit before, it's just that I'd love more transit in the suburbs, where I can afford to live, work, and go to school.

Posted by Jessica | June 11, 2007 5:51 PM
15

Even the linked document's stats ECB put in response to the 3% trip statistic are misleading, because they are measured in Vehicle Miles Travelled, which is not the same as trips. Someone driving from Spanaway to Redmond counts the same as a fifteen people riding the bus from Ballard downtown or five people riding from the city to Redmond. Plus, all other commute options (biking, walking, skateboarding, etc.) are left out.

Finally, if all you care about is congestion (as Kemper Freeman alleges to), trips taken at midnight don't effect congestion, so why consider the 3% statistic when talking about congestion? We care about number of commute trips during rush hour, that's what congestion is. Not the number of miles travelled by people. I can drive from LA to Seattle and that won't cause congestion, but driving across 520 during the middle of rush hour will.

Posted by Transit Man | June 11, 2007 5:52 PM
16

The sad part is that people believe this. They really, really do. People I talk to are SHOCKED! that I don't own a car. They simply can not comprehend life without a car.

Life sans automobile does suck at times, but so does sitting in stop and go traffic in a stick shift.

Many people I talk to think that transit is a waste of time, and a waste of money. Freeman is just enforcing their beliefs.

Posted by Original Monique | June 11, 2007 6:05 PM
17


Unfortuntely, Kemper Freeman is extremely powerful and influential in our region.

Posted by yup | June 11, 2007 6:20 PM
18

I don't understand the whole notion of freedom with cars. I have never owned or driven one, yet I somehow manage to get anywhere I want to go in the same time frame one would with a car. If it's too far, take a taxi. I know my infrequent, short distance taxi rides and my bus pass cost less than if I were to pay for insurance, gas, etc,.

I feel free in the knowledge that I do not have to be tied down to a stable job in order to pay for the "freedom" which would be allowed by having a car. Phooey.

Posted by freedom is free | June 11, 2007 6:34 PM
19

Kemper Freeman is the Paris Hilton of the eastside, only uglier and older.

He lucked out on having parents who owned a strawberry farm or something that they later built Bel Square on.

I just don't understand his thinking, however: Transit to downtown Bellevue can only help the area. Even if you want to be the coarsest of conservatives, transit helps bring the servants in.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | June 11, 2007 6:37 PM
20

Kemper Freeman is a right wing knob, but 68% of Seattle residents still drive to work - and this post is little more than a transparent guilt by association hack job (granted, that sort of thing is far from unusual at the Stranger nowadays).

Posted by Mr. X | June 11, 2007 6:38 PM
21

Nowadays, Mr. X? It has always been thus.

Posted by Dan Savage | June 11, 2007 7:13 PM
22

Oh! Oh! I worked for Kemper Freeman as a traffic officer in five of his downtown Bellevue parking garages. I visited his personal collection of fancy cars parked in various corners many a lazy afternoon... The man loves cars, loves power, loves the word "freedom." His company (Kemper Development Company) is one of the most inbred, corrupt organizations I've had the pleasure to work for. Given this crowd of readers/commenters, you probably (sadly) would not be surprised at the hush-hush operations and sleazy power moves happening daily at KDC. Gotta love the oh-so-treacle-sweet/patriotic propaganda such as this video at which KDC excels... EVERYONE is using the word "clusterfuck" these days, but it's truly the most apt word for what's happening politically with KDC and the GOP. Ugh. And more ugh. I absolutely hate this shit.

Posted by low-level anonymous insider | June 11, 2007 7:26 PM
23

And he's got a ridiculous toupee. Shows why he's pissed off...

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 11, 2007 7:28 PM
24

Angry Andrew:

That guy is a nut. He spoke at a "Preserving the American Dream" conference against density and transit while he builds 42 story condo towers in Bellevue.

catalina vel-duray:

I just don't understand his thinking, however: Transit to downtown Bellevue can only help the area. Even if you want to be the coarsest of conservatives, transit helps bring the servants in.

Actually, transit -- as in high-quality mass transit -- brings in the high-end clientele too.

And this is what's so puzzling about Kemper Freeman's continued obstinance. Getting light rail to Bellevue is overwhelmingly in his economic self-interest. Especially if Sound Transit goes underground through downtown Bellevue, as they should.

Well, at least we know where Kemper Freeman stands on this fall's transportation measure.

Posted by cressona | June 11, 2007 7:55 PM
25

...at least since Dan took over as Editor.

Posted by Mr. X | June 11, 2007 7:59 PM
26
Especially if Sound Transit goes underground through downtown Bellevue, as they should.
If money were no object, yes, but building that tunnel means there wouldn't be enough funds left to extend the rail to past overlake to redmond. If great cities like Chicago and Tokyo can run elevated trains through their downtown, Bellevue (which is not great and barely a city at all) can too.
Posted by Andrew Andrew | June 11, 2007 8:15 PM
27

Wow... After reading the intelligent, mature arguments against cars I've decided that your right.

There should be no cars in Seattle. If it can't be delivered by bicycle, it's just worng.

BTW, what City is Dan lecturing in tonight? He must ride his bike REALLY fast.

He lives in a properly dense condo right? No chnace he has a single family home with a car in the garage, right?

Posted by True Story | June 11, 2007 8:19 PM
28

If anyone wants to make an opposing video, I'd be happy to share my story about taking Metro to the hospital to give birth. (And I got there with time to spare.) We now go to a different doctor/hospital, a five-minute walk from home.

Posted by LAB | June 11, 2007 8:23 PM
29

LAB, seriously? Head over to Seattle Transit Blog and leave a comment with the story! That would be completely awesome

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 11, 2007 8:42 PM
30

LAB, seriously? Send me a mail @ tokodaisumisu@hotmail.com because it'd be a pretty good post for my blog.

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 11, 2007 8:44 PM
31

Cars? Buses? Outlaw them all! Put Kemper Freeman in jail! Clean the air! That is what you want, right?

Posted by I gave birth on my bike | June 11, 2007 9:17 PM
32

"There are some people who want to slow this country down and do this country harm."

Kemper, slowing this country down will do it GOOD, not harm.

Of course, i have 3 cars (all in use tonight by various family members), so what do i know?

Posted by maxsolomon | June 11, 2007 9:22 PM
33

The reason great cities have awesome public transportation that seems to go forever everywhere and giant massive cool looking downtown districts and buildings, is because it seems to me they had to start over from new ideas and perspectives. Tokyo was bombed, but they rebuilt in super speed something we could only debate about and argue over here. Chicago and San Francisco didn't they have huge fires and catastrophe and just up and build and build, and tunnel right after? Germany and other parts of Eruope as well seem to have all that subway action and transit as well.
What I'm getting at is it seems people when they have to or are forced to rebuild, rebuild big.
This is the modern era. Why does this compacency exist? Is it because we do not want to lose the old timey feeling of Seattle and its surrounding areas? Thats the problem people.
Whats wrong Bellevue, Ballard, don't want tunnels and progress to build them slow you all down? viaduct demolished gonna hurt some feelings.
Build Build Build. What makes the Japanese people so committed to shaping their cities after so much destruction. And to this day without it they still build. Happily.
So did Chicago and Frisco.
Seattle slow as hell isn't going to do anything until the third generation of your kids gets tired of seeing the same old same old, and get tired of hearing you all as grand parents whine and argue, no different than Freeman, and not get a damn thing done.

Posted by DreadLion | June 11, 2007 9:37 PM
34

ECB except for new urbanist sites do you have a reference to the "fact" that you can't build your way out of congestion? It's the lack of ceteris paribus that leads to more trips and much of that is caused by increasing population. Most likely if population were not increasing more roads would decrease congestion.

The same theory would have it that any form of transportation that moves people faster and/or with time certainy will increase sprawl. In other words if it is made less costly to get farther from the urban centers people will move there, thus causing sprawl. Light rail to Redmond will increase spawl.

Your neutral reference to Lightrailnow doesn't discuss how the LR in Portland is affecting sprawl.
The key to Portland's "success" is zoning/growth management.

I personally am most concerned about a 6 lane 520 which will do untold damage to a beautiful part of Seattle and will bring cars to the city that will cause even more congestion.

Was the link at page 15 supposed to show the percentage of trips by transit? I didn't see current transit mode split, could you point to the number.

Posted by whatever | June 11, 2007 9:42 PM
35

33: You're somewhat right. Seattle is unnecessarily bound by provincialism and tradition. Unfortunately, that's pretty much par for the course for most cities, especially in the second tier. The examples you cited required catastrophe, and it can be argued the results of their forward leaps are mixed, especially in the rather extreme case of Tokyo.

A good sized earthquake could decide the future of Seattle's transport layout though heh.

Posted by Jay | June 11, 2007 9:50 PM
36

"Cars? Buses? Outlaw them all! Put Kemper Freeman in jail! Clean the air! That is what you want, right?"

Actually, if I was running the state I would have him publicly executed. Then I would install people movers everywhere ala Epcot Center, place draconian and strictly enforced urban growth boundaries on all cities, force all developers to build only walkable mixed use neighborhoods under pain of death, connect every major metropolitan area with bullet trains, and disassemble the highway system with my labor army of political prisoners. Cars will be confiscated and launched into the sun to sate the tireless thirst of Nanauatl. I guess it's a good thing I'm not Supreme Leader.

Posted by Jay | June 11, 2007 9:59 PM
37

#35 exactly, and the thing about it that is most sad is people find new attitude and adjust with great spirit to do something for their futures and
commerce, and whatever gets their goat after something catastophic happens. Before such an event everyone is just sleep walking and nothing is ever achieved, except the words I hate the most..... We can't do it, Since when did the words we can't do something ever stop a city from growing into something better than it is. Why can't people go into a board room and meet on this transit thing and just do it. Because it going to slow business down is all I hear. Well slow down everyone will ya.
thats all I got to say about that.

Posted by DreadLion | June 11, 2007 10:00 PM
38

One of the problems with Seattle is the endless discourse, the neighborhood-centric NIMBYs, and the typically western referendum/initiative aspect of Washington State. At the risk of sounding like an anti-democratic curmudgeon, City planners should be charged with planning the city, not the voters. Transportation experts should debate only among themselves about transportation plan pros and cons. The neighborhood input on large scale planning decisions should be limited to oversight committees, community input meetings, and petitions. Voters are finicky bastards and are given far too much authority. I admit that this could lead to a development centric city government, but I find that strong municipal governments get things done. The western states debate themselves out of doing anything.

I've lived in Vegas and have had extensive dealings with LA. Like Seattle, these cities have serious problems with weak municipal governments and largely unnecessary debate about every issue on the table- the people effectively detooth laws, cut funding on projects half way through, and waste time and money on frivolous initiatives and referendums. It's a wonder any city planning gets done at all. Sometimes democracy is best kept representative.

Posted by Jay | June 11, 2007 10:19 PM
39

Voters are finicky bastards and are given far too much authority. I admit that this could lead to a development centric city government, but I find that strong municipal governments get things done. The western states debate themselves out of doing anything.

Thank your lucky stars that you're not living in San Francisco, where astroturf organizations are trying to recall three city supervisors. That's "democracy" taken to an illogical extreme.

Posted by bma | June 11, 2007 11:17 PM
40

"When you ride the bus your riding with MAO." --Kemper Freeman

Posted by Giffy | June 12, 2007 12:48 AM
41

OK, some people get attached to their cars because they had sex for the first time in their cars.

After watching that Nazi-esque propaganda video, I'm now convinced Kemper HAD SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME *WITH* HIS CAR.

What else would convince the cult-like Kemper following behind these

Reminds me of those inbred redneck types who hate themselves more than they hate everybody else.

.....and by getting a taste of Kemper Freeman's twisted world view, you can tell he has some weird issues going on here. But instead of calling Old Swampt his home, inbread moonbat Freeman leaves his trail of slime in Medina.

Kinda creepy.

These yahoos need to leave their Neocon bubbles more often.

Also watch out for Kemper Freeman's other hired guns: John Niles and Emory Bundy www.bettertransport.info/pitf who pretend to support public transit, while actually working on behalf of this Dinosaur bottom feeder.

Kemper Freeman's other clones include:

Jim "greasey" Horn (booted out of office for drinking the Kemper Kool Aide)

Richard Harkness (pretend BRT hack)

Jim MacIssac (so smart he was kicked out of the firm he founded)

Bruce "I get paid to lie" Nurse

Bill Eager (Personal Rapid Transit loon)

George "elect Kucinich" Kargianis

Phil "monorail forever" Talmadge

FYI: The Washington Traffic Coalition is just a bogus name for: "Kemper Development Corporation, dba s PaveThe eart that com/

Posted by Billster | June 12, 2007 1:10 AM
42

Wow, how come Billster wasn't invited to take part in Freaky Friday?

Posted by Paulus | June 12, 2007 1:39 AM
43

Are you trying to generate hits to your website?. I don't think I'm a socialist or a terrorist, or just stupid. No wonder
there will never be decent public transportation.

Posted by No Name | June 12, 2007 3:47 AM
44

"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."

Yeah, the Twin Cities built a light rail line back in 2004, and its been a TOTAL boondoggle: completed on budget, ahead of schedule, and met its ridership expectations and then some. (http://www.metrotransit.org/rail/facts.asp) Given that its such an obvious failure, I can't imagine why we're pushing to build two more lines.

Posted by MinneapolisKid | June 12, 2007 6:20 AM
45

You know you can always count on me to bring it back to the eastside rail line, so here it goes:

Converting the rail line to a trail means that it will never, ever be returned to a rail line, no matter how many ladles of feel-good we pour over it. People like dear Kemper are one of the reasons why.

Once it becomes a trail, it will be impossible to return to rail service. Doubt me? Think for a moment what would happen if they tried to make Burke-Gilman a rail line again.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | June 12, 2007 6:24 AM
46

CATALINA Wrote:
"Think for a moment what would happen if they tried to make Burke-Gilman a rail line again."

We'd possibly have an effective and
small-cost-to-create transportation line serving the northern half of
the city. But it won't happen because it makes too much sense and we
wouldn't be spending enough tax
dollars.

--- Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | June 12, 2007 7:56 AM
47

@45: Agreed Catalina. There would either be uproar over converting a "park" to transit, or any alternative (like ripping out some houses to provide for a line) would be political dynamite.

Posted by Dave Coffman | June 12, 2007 7:57 AM
48

"At the risk of sounding like an anti-democratic curmudgeon, City planners should be charged with planning the city, not the voters."

The stupid Seattle voters and activists stopped the RH Thompson freeway that was planned to go through the Arboretum and the other freeways that were planned to blanket the region. In the late 60's Forward Thrust passed well over a billion in today's dollars for cleaning up the lake, building parks and other improvements. This during a time when the economy was bad and in fact, - horrors- people actually were losing value on their houses at the same time as losing their jobs. Oh and the Market and Pioneer Square were saved.

Seattle continues to attract new people, housing prices are solid, jobs are good - so something must be right - people that moved here as adults, by choice and then want Seattle to be more like that place they left seem a bit schizod.

So go forth, move to the ideal city away from horrible Seattle, attack on a personal level those that disagree with you, tell everyone how bad Seattle is and how much it rains here, maybe try Atlanta, after all they got "our transit" it must be great there.

BTW NY, Berlin, Paris, London and many other cities didn't need a catastrophy to build a rail network but
they did do it a hundred years ago or more.

Move to Portland. Join Grant, at least he has made his bed where his mouth is... er something like that.

If you want to work on something check out growth management and zoning. Seattle is doing her part we need the State and region to do theirs.

Posted by whatever | June 12, 2007 8:22 AM
49

Remember who owns Bellevue Square every time you drive - or bus or bike or walk - to one of the stores that's paying him rent.

Posted by Troy | June 12, 2007 8:25 AM
50

Not only that, he's the one who put the nail in Frederick & Nelson's coffin. He was afraid the store that was going to sublet their space was not "upscale" enough for Bell Square. He really is a bastard.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | June 12, 2007 8:33 AM
51

Like being played like a violin, ECB?

Kemper Freeman has massive financial interests in ST2/RTID passing. Huge amounts of taxes from Seattle residents would be spent improving I-405, giving vastly greater SOV access to his properties in downtown Bellevue. Plus, huge amounts of Seattle taxes would be spent bringing light rail directly to his property holdings in downtown Bellevue.

Freeman is trying to put a face on the opposition to the Roads and Transit measure. It is an extremely unattractive face, as ECB is pointing out in detail. He is painting a picture of the opponents of this measure being over-the-top cranks.

He wants the measure to pass. But if he came out with an overt ďproĒ message heíd be (quite rightly) labeled as greedy and self-interested. This is a p.c. way for him to increase the odds the measure passes: anyone who knows him understands this is an easy goof for him to play.

Posted by take a deep breath | June 12, 2007 9:35 AM
52

kemper has a point...to a very small degree. people want convenience- not smelly, inconsistent people movers filled w/ homeless guys and sick people that take 5 times as long to get somewhere vs. a car . i don't agree w/ him on 99% of his views, but my point remains. i have taken metro to work for the past 10 yrs btw. maybe im sick of it- but i do it for the future kids, man. the kids.

Posted by brad | June 12, 2007 10:15 AM
53
He wants the measure to pass

I've met this guy. TRUST ME, he really really doesn't want it to pass. Not even a little bit. Not one fraction of one percent of his brain. He hates this more than you could possibily imagine. He despises transit, and anyone who supports it.

people that moved here as adults, by choice and then want Seattle to be more like that place they left seem a bit schizod.
That's been the nature of human migration for thousands of years. People from Europe moved here and made it like Europe (ask the Duwammish what it was like before), people from Asia moved (and continue) to make it a little more like there, people from mexico do the same, etc.

Any "old time" seattlite who complains about people moving here and changing their old city should get over it. You can't control who moves here and you don't own the city anymore than those people who have moved. My family's been here 125 years, but I don't count any more than you or the guy who showed up yesterday. And the guy who shows up tomorrow...

Posted by Angry Andrew | June 12, 2007 10:35 AM
54

"I've met this guy. TRUST ME, he really really doesn't want it to pass. Not even a little bit. Not one fraction of one percent of his brain. He hates this more than you could possibily imagine. He despises transit, and anyone who supports it."

Anyone remember that old joke "how do you say 'fuck you' in Yiddish?" Ans: "trust me."

Here is what Kemper Freeman Jr. is all about: making money for himself, his partners, and his family. If the RTID/ST2 measure passes, his wealth (based primarily on huge real estate holdings within walking distance of where the light rail line would stop in Bellevue) would INSTANTLY increase, by a LOT.

His cartoonish flailings that are recounted in this blog entry are totally contrary to his measured business acumen. There is no personal downside to him to make like a clown in this way, and trying to portray opponents of the November measure as reactionaries directly serves his personal financial interests.

This is a well-worn tactic: surreptitiously discredit those who would prevent you from getting even richer. It isn't brain surgery, and Kemper Freeman Jr. is the model of a calculating rationalist. He's spending a little dough, and putting on a clown face, to give the appearance that those who oppose the Fall measure are doing so for no good reason.

Posted by oliphant | June 12, 2007 11:01 AM
55

Maybe, but he's still a prick. Just like his daddy was.

Posted by Tlazolteotl | June 12, 2007 11:45 AM
56

Andrew are you saying the Duwamish should have just rolled over? Should they not have pointed out what and why things had value, like nature? When the California invasion occured in the seventies should we have followed their lead and reversed our no new freeway stands made before they arrived? Should we now not point out that decisions made in the past might just have led to making Seattle attractive to those now arriving?

And just because something has been part of human history doesn't mean it should continue. I suggest armed conflict would be a good example.

Clearly people may move here and they can advocate for whatever they want. People that have been here can resist those ideas and educate the new arrivals as to why certain decisions may have been made. I repeat that the under 50% that voted against heavy rail in 1968 were facing a dismal economic situation with a poor real estate market and later things got even worse. Those that said the sky was falling in 68 were right. So those that want something today that failed 39 years ago should concentrate on today and stop pointing fingers at those in past that they know so little about and the shoes they walked in.


Posted by whatever | June 12, 2007 12:20 PM
57

There's a good reason Kemper Freeman wants to kill transit and push us toward more roads, and it has everything to do with Kemper Freeman's bank account. The man is heavily invested in property east of Bellevue, and has been pushing for some 20 years to build the 605 Freeway, about 20 miles east of 405. Building the freeway would open up that whole eastside corridor to large-scale development a la Redmond, and would make ol' Kemper a billionaire.

Want to see beige suburban snout-houses all the way to Carnation and beyond? Kemper's your man.

Posted by Geni | June 12, 2007 1:10 PM
58

Whatever: All I was talking about was the referendum/initiative aspect of the state constitution. It's not original or particular to Seattle, but exists in most of the western states. I find that municipal governments tend to be weak and ineffective when the voters are given what I consider undue power- they may have blocked things in the past, but I'm not talking about victories and failures in the past, but about what I see currently. I'm not pissing on Seattle. I like Seattle, but like any city I like, I'm going to participate, debate, and hold opinions about it. Cities are in flux and strong cities change all the time- Seattle isn't the same city it was even 15 years ago. And as more people come to Seattle, its nature will continue to change and fluctuate. And yes, people like me, are going to find faults with it.

Posted by Jay | June 12, 2007 1:11 PM
59

This is how cities change and sometimes even improve. Fresh arrivals interacting with natives is one of the dynamics that keeps cities afloat. The cities that are experiencing no influx of new people are the ones that are dying right now.

Now, if only Seattle had rent control... ;)

Posted by Jay | June 12, 2007 1:17 PM
60

@19 - Actually, his parents got to buy blueberry farms in what's now downtown Bellevue at fire-sale prices when the Japanese owners of those farms were interned during WWII. Bellevue Square has an even shadier past than most people around here know.

Posted by Wendy | June 12, 2007 1:59 PM
61

@19 - Actually, his parents got to buy blueberry farms in what's now downtown Bellevue at fire-sale prices when the Japanese owners of those farms were interned during WWII. Bellevue Square has an even shadier past than most people around here know.

Posted by Wendy | June 12, 2007 2:05 PM
62

Would you all like to argue that we would not be so much better off right now if everyone was driving something Hitler championed - attack Freeman's ideas.

Adolf Hitler had a keen interest in cars even though he did not drive. In 1933, he demanded that Ferdinand Porsche make changes to his original 1931 design to make it more suited for the working man. Hans Ledwinka discussed his ideas with Ferdinand Porsche who used many Tatra design features in the 1938 Kdf-Wagen, later known as the VW Kšfer - or Beetle.
Changes included better fuel efficiency, reliability, ease of use, and economically efficient repairs and parts.

Posted by whatever | June 12, 2007 6:46 PM

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