Politics More Problems with that Seattle Times Editorial
posted by October 16 at 16:19 PMon
Yesterday, both Erica and I pointed out the problems with The Seattle Times’ Sunday editorial, in which the suburban daily came out against the $17.8 billion roads and transit initiative.
The Seattle Times explained that they don’t like transit, and they want more lanes for cars.
While Erica and I took on the the ed board’s logic, we forgot to point out a factual error. The Seattle Times writes: “Many Portlanders are proud of light rail, but the last three times new light-rail plans have been on the ballot in the Portland area, the people rejected them.”
So, the people of Portland rejected light rail three times?
Let’s go to the video tape, shall we?
Between 1994 and 1998, there were three Oregon votes and one Washington vote on financing light rail.
In 1994, voters in the TriMet service district—Multnomah County (that’s Portland), Washington County (west of the Portland metro area), and Clackamas County (south of Porltand metro area)— approved a light rail line from Clackamas County into Clark County (Washington State). If you’re keeping score, that’s the People of Portland voting for light rail. +1
In 1995, Clark County (Washington) voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised $237 million for the Washington State portion of the South-North light rail line. This vote didn’t involve Portland. So, the score remains, People of Portland for light rail. +1
In 1996, Oregon voters statewide rejected a package that included bonds for the South-North light rail project and millions of dollars for rural transportation projects around the state. While the measure failed statewide, it was approved by a majority of the voters in the TriMet region, which includes Portland.
Score? The People of Portland for light rail, +2.
In 1998, TriMet Service District voters rejected a new measure on the South-North light rail line funding. The measure failed in Clackamas and Washington Counties, but it passed in Multnomah County. Portland is the Multnomah County seat. People of Portland for light rail, +3.
So, The Seattle Times editorial got its facts wrong. The people of Portland did not reject light rail the last three times it was on the ballot.
Thanks for the info Light Rail Now!