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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Great Debate

posted by on October 17 at 18:46 PM


As Erica and Dan have already slogged, our endorsements are out.

One controversial endorsement is our recommendation to vote against the $17.8 billion roads and transit package (Sound Transit and RTID Proposition No. 1)

Tomorrow, we’ll be posting footage from our editorial board interview, when we had the pro and con sides in to duke it out and answer questions.

It was a heated, hour-long debate, and Kelly O. and I spent today editing it down into two 10-minute videos. (YouTube regulations.)

Part One includes the following chapters:

“If we vote ‘Yes.’”

“It’s disingenuous.”

“I’m going to be completely disingenuous.”

“If we’re going to reduce it.”

“So, you guys say.”

“Politicians don’t get to say.”

“And in response to Sandeep’s Qustion.”

“What the Sierra Club has done.”


Part Two concludes the debate with the following chapters:

“I want 50 miles of light rail so bad.”

“The revenue source.”

“If we don’t take this opportunity.”

“I’m not a political genius.”

“I just don’t think it’s realistic.”

“Holy shit.”

RSS icon Comments


So, like... more or less nerdy than professional video gaming?

Posted by elenchos | October 17, 2007 6:54 PM

so you guys just read the comments for the last 2 weeks out loud?

Posted by Cale | October 17, 2007 7:00 PM

Beyond the time constraints, were there other reasons sections were edited out? Gratuitous violence?

Posted by Gidge | October 17, 2007 7:12 PM

A bunch of Seattlites who would rather bitch about problems than actually do something about them? At least you're doing something original :)

Posted by Clint | October 17, 2007 7:19 PM

They are, Clint. They're reporting them.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 17, 2007 7:38 PM

Do David Hiller's man tits ride their own bike to work every day or do they fit on his handlebars? Just curious.

Posted by ? | October 17, 2007 7:39 PM

I got a Sierra Club mailing with a nice picture of a cute cuddly polar bear on it today. Polar bears are neat, but if you get too close they will eat you.

More to the point, they don't work for a paycheck, take their kids to daycare so they can cover the mortgage, and they sure as hell don't vote. Joe and Jane Sixpack DO do these things, and they aren't going to give a rat's ass about fucking polar bears.

They want to know they can get around, spend as little time as possible commuting and as much time as possible taking care of business. Voting no on prop 1 pushes them and us in the way wrong direction. Voting yes moves us in the right direction- of getting things done, making the commute more bearable, and getting ourselves out of this fucking mess we're in.

Mark my words: ST2 will not be back alone. Not next year, not ever. To think otherwise is naive in the core. Vote yes for a real transit system and some reasonable road improvements.

Posted by clarity | October 17, 2007 8:49 PM

Yes, I am just going to quote clarity because that is exactly right:

"Mark my words: ST2 will not be back alone. Not next year, not ever. To think otherwise is naive in the core. Vote yes for a real transit system and some reasonable road improvements."

I will add also to think otherwise it to completely ignore Seattle history when it comes to mass transit. A No vote, however, is perfectly in step with our tradition as a do-nothing, regional-class city.

Posted by exelizabeth | October 17, 2007 9:11 PM

Oh for Christ's sake, of course ST2 will be back. The first time Sound Move was on the ballot, in 1995, it failed, it part becuase it was $7 billion. The movers & shakers pared it down to $3.5 billion and tried again, and it passed overwhelmingly, thanks to a better written plan.

the first time monorail was on the ballot, in 1997, it only got 51.7%. After the city council tossed it out (2000), it was "re-elected" with 57%, thanks to a better written plan.

This is a bad plan. I love polar bears, but I also want my grandkids to be able to afford to build transit lines -- especially to all the places IN SEATTLE that aren't included in this particular version. And I sure as hell don't want all these highway lanes. Fix 520, fine. Ditch (pardon the pun) the rest.

Dig a grave for Prop 1. It's so dead.

Posted by Not Prop One | October 17, 2007 10:05 PM

@9, So victory is getting less light rail? And while yes Sound move came back, forward thrust did not. Not to mention that the worst road project in the Plan, 405 is going to be built anyways, it just might take longer. 520 as well is going to be replaced, just without HOV or bike lanes. Go actually read the fucking plan most of the roads projects are local intersections and the like.

As for the Sierra Club, there political abilities leave much to be desired. Hell Kemper and crew do a better job. Their mailings are dumb and they target the wrong areas. Last weekend they did an oh so environmentally friendly lit bomb in the U-District. Nothing like targeting an area full of non-residents and non-voters. Might as well canvased tent city while their at it.

If Prop 1 goes down the leg is certainly bringing the roads part back first, though not likely in 08. ST2 will have a hard fight to come back. Plus governance reform, which was barely stopped last session will become a near certainty. If you think a panel with lots of rural members all wielding a veto will put together a plan better then this one your dreaming.

Posted by Giffy | October 18, 2007 6:36 AM

You must have relegated the school board races to the 2nd string while Josh and Erica did the big stuff – else how does Sherry Carr go from being a brainy pragmatic white Democrat , and someone Josh wished were running for something

like city council to “an overrated PTA mom”? Because of intelligent design? Hard to keep up with you crazy kids…

BTW, when you all grow up and maybe have families, you’ll figure out that it’s PTA moms who do all the work, and they suck it up to do it because they know it has to be done and no one else will. You’ll see.

You should probably stick to the races where you actually follow the politics and know the issues.

Posted by you kids | October 18, 2007 6:49 AM

Forward thrust transit was on the ballot in 1968 and 1970. Many of the taxes did pass providing sewage treatment plants, Lake Washington clean-up, regional parks, the King Dome and more. The second vote was held during a big economic downturn and was fought by the real estate, labor and anti-tax interests.
It is beyond naive to believe that more transit votes won't be back.

The tunnel to the UW may be started next year - if the proponents are telling the truth and there is enough money to do it - so what's the hurry to put a 50 year tax and a twenty plus year build-out plan on the ballot.

Would we build to Overlake if MSFT wasn't there? Will MSFT be there in twenty years and if so will it be anything like what it today? Why didn't ST put a ten year plan on the ballot? Finish the line to Snohomish County line all with North King County funds.

Why not specify whether the 520 bridge will be a 6 laner with 4 10 foot shoulders and a bike lane making it 131' wide - twice what it is now - with a viaduct going over the ship canal next to the canoe dock, this is actually a new viaduct highway. It is amazing how little the environmentalists care about the damage 520 does to a really beautiful place but were so concerned about 3/4 of a mile along the gritty waterfront.

Posted by whatever | October 18, 2007 8:21 AM

Well, there goes Seattle. Shackling itself to the automobile as it goes over the cliff. Such a shame to see the Stranger, of all people, buying into the BS.

Posted by eugene | October 18, 2007 10:33 AM

The Stranger's staff needs an education on the concept of peak oil. If they understood it they would realize that the new roads projects would be irrelevant.

Posted by eugene | October 18, 2007 10:35 AM

@9, you don't get it. This isn't about something a transportation plan being "better written", this is about creating a regional coalition to build long-term solutions. Your examples are painful, because they are the veritable exceptions that prove the rule. The rule? Puget Sound as a region doesn't support transit investments. The first RTA vote in 1995 failed because our friends in Pierce and Snohomish counties didn't want all that rail. They killed it. It was scaled back in 1996, but it squeaked by, with just 0.1 percent in Pierce county.

The monorail was a Seattle-only vote. We can pass Seattle-only transit solutions anytime we want, but it won't fix the commutes to Redmond, Everett, and Tacoma.

That's exactly why we have a regional transportation authority. But it means we need to bring people in other counties along for the ride. The system is basically like the electoral college. Any plan has to be approved by all three counties. The recent Elway poll shows that in the taxing district, separate roads and transit plans fail badly.

We need a regional compromise, and Prop 1 is exactly that.


Posted by SouthSeattle | October 18, 2007 10:37 AM

My polar bear Sierra Club No on RTID/ST2 sign is hanging out on my porch as we speak.

Want global warming? Vote for it.

Want transit? Vote for ST2.1 in Feb 08.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 18, 2007 11:28 AM

No rail plan is going to be passed that does not provide something for Pierce County, Snohomish County, and the Eastside. Seattle cannot go it alone, and the transit problem is regional anyway.

Anybody who wants rail that only helps Seattle doesn't want rail, because it's not happening without the more urbanized suburbs. That's particularly true within Sound Transit with its subarea equity. For every line added in the city you need to add a similar size line in every other subarea, or else you're not going to get a majority of votes. Even if subarea equity was not formally required, you'd still need regional balance to get the necessary votes. Those are the politics at work here.

The Sierra Club has bad-mouthed Eastside rail, even though Seattle benefits from that rail almost equally because of the large number of people using that rail to come to and from the city. If Prop 1 fails any new proposal will have to have the Eastside line or else it's politically dead. The same goes for South King County--if not a line from the airport south, they'll need something or else people will vote no. I challenge those who want a vote on a different plan later to come up with a plan that's balanced enough to actually pass. If you actually took that seriously you'd end up with something a lot like ST2. So if ST2 has the politically viable plan, why vote against it? It makes no sense.

Yes on Prop 1 is the only responsible vote.

Posted by Cascadian | October 18, 2007 11:36 AM

Will@16: Global warming is happening with or without Prop 1. It will only be stabilized at sustainable levels by measures that have nothing to do with Prop 1 pro or con. That whole line of argument is a red herring. If you want regional climate change legislation, get yourself and your Sierra Club friends cracking on a carbon tax or greater incentives and/or mandates for low-carbon cars and power plants.

If your issue is that you don't want any roads built and you'd prefer the additional cars in the region over the next 25 years use existing roads rather than have a rail alternative, vote no on Prop 1. But don't pretend this is a vote for the environment. It's a vote against cars because you don't like them, real costs and benefits of driving aside.

Posted by Cascadian | October 18, 2007 11:41 AM

Not Prop One @ 9

Oh for Christ's sake, of course ST2 will be back. The first time Sound Move was on the ballot, in 1995, it failed, it part because it was $7 billion. The movers & shakers pared it down to $3.5 billion and tried again, and it passed overwhelmingly, thanks to a better written plan.

"Better written plan"? Is this the better written plan that said that Link light rail would be running in 2006 from the UW to SeaTac at a cost of 1.9 billion dollars? You know, the "better written" plan that was a total lie. The "better written" plan that ended up costing twice as much and doesn't reach the UW. The "better written" plan that was a total load of shit.

The first time monorail was on the ballot, in 1997, it only got 51.7%. After the city council tossed it out (2000), it was "re-elected" with 57%, thanks to a better written plan.

Jesus, you just can't stop shooting yourself in the foot. The monorail, yeah, that was a completely brilliant "better written" plan. Taxes were collected, millions of dollars were spent, property was condemned and nothing was built. Someone made a lot of money from that boondoggle, too bad that it came at the expense of Seattle taxpayers and property owners getting bent over and dry fucked in the ass.

Sound Transit and the monorail passed not because they had better written plans, but because they had better written lies the second time around. Sound Transit backers were either lying or incompetent when they made their claims in 1996 and I don't see anything that prevents them from fucking us over again with ST2 and doing exactly the same thing where they reduce the scope of the project while raising the costs. Sorry, but I'm voting no on Prop 1, it doesn't fix needed roads and giving more money to Sound Transit given their record makes about as much sense as sending more troops into Iraq.

Posted by wile_e_quixote | October 18, 2007 11:53 AM

You guys bitched and moaned about Tim Burgess and his work for CWA, and then endorsed him. Knowing full well that he co owned a company which profited millions for several years from one of the most christian right organizations, which is a very legitimate concern...and you endorsed Tim.I'm not even gay. I'm a straight women who is aware that CWA is anti feminist in addition to anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-public school-I don't like it.You made it clear you dislike David but why didn't you just do no endorsement? Is Tim really the lesser two evils?

You guys are bunch of punk ass bitches, and you need to grow up.

Posted by fuckyouguys | October 18, 2007 1:06 PM

Those additional cars WILL NOT MATERIALIZE. Washington could build all the extra lanes and freeways they wanted to and it wouldn't change the fact that driving is about to become very unaffordable.

So when that happens, we won't have any light rail at all. None. Thanks, Stranger.

Posted by eugene | October 18, 2007 2:10 PM

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