But will The Stranger follow suit in endorsing a 'NO' vote on all that light rail?
They're also wrong about this quote:
It is about increasing density, levering us into apartments around rail stations. If we live next to rail, we will drive less and help save the Earth. It is a fetching, utopian vision, but it is not so easy to change the way Americans live.
ST2's light rail stations are all going to be surrounded by gigantic permanent parking lots, not apartments.
ECB, can you please document the claim that the Times editorial board lives on the East Side? Thanks in advance.
Transit use already is higher around here than anyplace else. Thing is, all transit is not created equal. What ST is proposing is not worth it, for financial reasons.
I'll take the Portland model of light rail, thanks. No new sales taxes. The tax subsidy for the system is paid by businesses.
That's the way to go about it.
That's bullshit. Plenty of light rail stops will have no parking AT ALL. Some, however, will have park and rides. Why is that? Because PEOPLE ASKED FOR THEM. That's the first thing folks in Federal Way ask about after the Sound Transit presentations: where are the park and rides? Besides, park and ride lots often turn into apartments. Just look at Overlake station in Redmond.
So, don't build the roads and the 1 million extra people here in 20 years won't bring their cars?
Not. Going. To. Happen.
The cars are coming. Bitch all you want about road expansion. The cars will come and they will be jammed into the existing aging infrastructure.
ECB, can you fact check the claims about PDX?
Seattle may deny this, but the surest way to reduce congestion on roads is to build more lanes. So says a report issued by State Auditor Brian Sonntag last week...
Wow, it's so great to hear Brian Sonntag is spending our taxpayer dollars giving himself on-the-job training as a transportation planner. He might want to publish his breakthrough findings in a peer-reviewed transportation journal.
The only Seattle Times' Ed Board members who live in Seattle are Joni Balter (Seward Park) and Bruce Ramsey (Phinney Ridge, but grew up in Edmonds.) The others live in Kitsap County, Kenmore, Mercer Island, Sammamish, and Bothell. Two of the staffers' neighborhoods are not listed, but one of them, Kate Riley, has 17 years of Eastern Washington experience.
You can find this out here: http://www.seattletimescompany.com/editorial/staff.htm
I'm thinking this vote is going to be incredibly close, although I'm not enough of an optimist to give it a better than 50-50 shot.
But you know, if it does go down, I'm going to look back at Seattle's visceral resistance to any kind of change that actually might improve our transportation system and land use practices, whether it's light rail or monorail or tearing down an elevated freeway cutting through a downtown. I'm going to look back at all this Sisyphean wasted political effort, and I'm going to think:
Messrs. Vesely and Ramsey, you win. I give up. It's your Seattle, and how dare such impetuous outsiders like me intrude? I'm moving to _____.
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear. And I'll make sure not to let the door hit my fanny on the way out.
P.S. Yes, we will have our nice, little starter line in 2009. But at this point, we'll be lucky (or you all will be lucky) to see that nice, little starter line reach Northgate by 2020.
You can fact check about Portland here:
What that shows is how Sound Transit’s financing model is completely wrong.
In Portland, there has been a minor tax on businesses (depending on payroll size), but no other new taxes and no sales taxes. That is how TriMet pays for light rail, and we deserve a deal that is just as good for people.
You can also fact check here about how in the Twin Cities light rail was built for NO NEW TAXES:
In Minnesota, they just diverted portions of existing tax streams, plus used federal grants. What are we, chopped liver? We don’t need no more stinkin’ regressive sales taxes.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, but Sound Transit even thinks about trying to pay for light rail with $60 billion in sales taxes. We already pay much more regressive taxes than anyplace else in the country.
Wake up, people. Do not fuck your poor neighbors by voting for this.
A) Tri-Met's payroll tax looks an awful lot like an income tax. Good luck with that.
B) Tri-Met gets a load of funding from bonds backed by lottery revenue. Good luck either diverting education funding or adding video slots to boost revenue.
C) Tri-Met has been a beneficiary of federal largesse unlikely to be repeated. We blew our federal funding wad on tunneling to the UW.
Clearly, streetcars are the answer.
I sure hope the Stranger is more forward-looking, pragmatic, and reasoned than much of the “no” crowd and will endorse a YES vote for Prop 1. Infrastructure propositions like this are easy to criticize as people generally don’t see the big picture, they’re usually quite expensive, and it’s easy to find something to be against. Now is the time for actual progress in regional transportation! The stake-holders have been consulted, the negotiations have occurred, and a payment package is set. Politics is the art of compromise and though this bill is 20 years late, that’s generally the pace of government. YOU ARE DELUSIONAL IF YOU THINK A BETTER PACKAGE WILL BE IN FRONT OF VOTERS IN THE NEER FUTURE. Any package that is opposed by both Kemper Freeman and the Sierra Club must be doing something right. This bill actually makes improvements of both roads and transit.
Our state's pathetic tax structure is to blame for the sales tax being used. It was the only real tool given the ST board by the legislature.
It is clear the fools at the Times have never been on a bus or a train and the closest they have ever been to riding one is the Wiki Wiki at the Honolulu airport.
Apparently the legislature is to blame for the "tens of billions of sales taxes or no more light rail" choice. Well, I'll vote no on that choice. Let the legislature give us a better option.
With each passing day, global warming, traffic, pollution, fuel prices, and congestion get worse. The need for rapid transit is urgent now, but next year it will be even more urgent.
So why is this our last chance? Won't it be even easier to show the need for transit next year? And if not next year, the year after. And it will be even harder to justify all those new roads. I keep hearing how this is a 'once in a lifetime' thing, but nobody says why.
Thanks, me- it looks a full one of the board are east siders- damn you Sammamish! Not really the teeming hoards alluded to by ECB.
Ummm... so let me see if I have this straight... because a million cars are coming in the next twenty years... we shouldn't build more roads? Because there's no difference between terrible traffic and fucking nightmarishly awful traffic?
The legislature is united by two things. Disdain for Sound Transit and disdain for Seattle. The Seattle delegation down in Olympia is a collection of nutjobs and ineffective representatives that can't even agree on the priorities for our city.
They are not likely to give us better taxes or a transit only ballot. They are likely to dissolve ST and form a new suburban-dominated transportation board. And then we can all wait years before they get their shit together and return to the ballot.
But keep on wishing for that perfect world, I am sure it is right around the corner.
Besides more traffic lanes, Sonntag’s report states that
“…over the next five years, taking the following actions could reduce hours of traffic delay by 15 percent to 20 percent…”
Those actions are:
• Investments to improve vehicle flow using existing infrastructure and resources.
• Increasing efforts to have people use carpools, transit and telecommuting.
• Coordinating traffic lights on major arterials.
• Continuing to improve operational efficiency.
I’m expecting a joint Sierra Club/Cressona press release any moment saying WTF?
elenchos- let me try to answer your question.
The rest of the state doesn't give a fuck about global warming or sprawl. They're only willing to throw you this mass transit bone because it's a package deal with what they understand- roads. They think you've fucked up the mass transit opportunities that you've had, and there's no god damned way they're going to give you more money straight up.
It sucks, but it's the truth.
I should point out that when they built light rail in Greater Vancouver, BC, they didn't build many park and ride lots.
Once people get in cars, they tend to stay in cars.
Bike racks? Sure. Kiss and ride and taxi and bus spots? Sure. More park and rides - nah, studies show that only encourages sprawl and more congestion (I could explain the whole concept, but hope ECB or someone else does a piece on this much later).
We won't get another chance because...
because... well because they say so. Got it.
The million people will live within walking distance of the 40 LR stations.
Leaving town - Portland, Austin, Milwaukee or Denver would be good picks.
The audit was done by consultants out of Portland not Sonntag.
The tax structure with no controls on ST for the next fifty years is just plain bad.
Old line Democrats that usually vote for every project are telling me No on 1 - this could go down big.
I should point out that Skytrain travels almost entirely through urban areas of the lower mainland. If you look at the West Coast Express, a commuter oriented rail service serving exurban areas, surprise! All but two stops have P&R's. (PS: Skytrain is not light rail)
PDX is also big on park'n'rides, and the Green Line and the Milwaukie extension continue the theme. As I've expounded at length before, using some of this parking capacity to deploy larger carshare fleets is something ST needs to look at.
We could have voted for a better system than what we're getting with ST2 back in 1968, the year before I was born in Seattle. The system would have been complete in 1985, for less than a couple billion dollars of local funding.
My life is close to half over statistically, and we still don't have light rail in this city. So it's not hyperbole to say this is a once-in a lifetime chance. We vote no, thinking we can just turn it around in a few years, and we make the same mistake that Seattle voters made in 1968. I'm not about to punt mass transit down the road another half a lifetime (the only half a lifetime I have) just because the funding mechanism is bad and there are a handful of bad road projects attached. Let's pass what we can now, and then start working on speeding up construction, stopping the worst road projects, and converting the funding over time to congestion pricing tolls and/or carbon taxes. But damn it, let's get started now.
@25 - by design. On purpose.
The sections that are taking the longest to build - for good reason - are the ones in less urbanized areas.
It's just not a good idea when you look at the real miles travelled by commuters. Making a light rail line go out to the country just encourages people to live further away and commute - the time added to the base light rail commute from the park and ride to the suburban/rural house is about the same as the time they had before the light rail was extended.
Speaking of lives - my son will be retired when this tax goes away. He's not even finished high school.
The light rail works great IF your job and work place lies close to the metro. That takes more care and though into zoning. It's quite nice to have the light rail to take you downtown, really really nice, but not all of the metro areas are connected in Portland. Hillsboro and Beaverton are connected and the traffic is much nicer IF you work either by Nike or downtown Portland. Areas like Vancouver, tualtan, Tigard are not connected especally Lake Oswego. Then the traffic will ensue.
The light rail thing is still in the works in Portland, and christ people do in fact use it!
Wow, so Lynnwood, Tacoma and Redmond are out in the country now?
Will @5: Of course they're park-and-rides. Why else would ST2 be building a historically large number of parking spaces surrounding light rail stations?
ST2 funds 11,800 new parking spaces. RTID funds 990 more. There's also an unspecified number of parking spaces to be built with funds outside of ST2 or with partnerships at the busiest stations (Northgate Mall, Tacoma Dome, etc.)
The Overlake project was the first of its kind in the US, and they still built over 500 parking spaces (not only for resident use).
For anyone who wants to bother to look at the details, here are the project specs and parking lot details for ST2 and RTID:
The Park and Rides that ST2 is building are near Sounder commuter stops, not light rail stations.
And thanks Will for attacking light rail extensions outside of Seattle again. Perhaps you can get Mike O'Brien of the Sierra Club to tell you to be quiet on more time. The Club is already backpedaling hard on their criticism of light rail investments, so you just make their job harder.
If you want to build dozens of dense, walkable communities around the Sound, vote yes on Prop. 1
Erica, even your headline misses the known fact that their is no relationship between News or even the editorial writers at the Times and what the papers owner choses on his own to exploit the paper and endorse.
It's a sham and that is all it is. If you need to know how one paper owner feels about a candidate or an issue before voting then read the Times endorsments. Otherwise look the other way, ask your neighbor or seek imput from any other source.
I would encourage those trumpeting the new improved ST 2.1 that will surely emerge to look at this poll.
Support for "a much greater share of $ should go to transit: 40%"
Combined share of "balanced funding, or much greater share for roads: 58%"
Gee, that rail-only package will is a sure thing, right, Will?
But wait, what if Ron S. gets his way? Support for the 'maximum rail' (ie Tacoma) option is 72% in Pierce, but the medium rail and bus/rail options,(ie Ron's wish: No Tacoma rail) poll 53 and 54% in Pierce.
In short, the rail only package would be as DOA as myopic folks like Will love to claim Roads&Transit is.
Implacable anti-transit foes will still be out in force, the base of support for transit-only is smaller, and the inevitably smaller rail plan will greatly diminish support in Sno and Pierce, especially if faux-liberal Seattle voters bring down a plan that will bring rail up and down I-5 along with needed suburban road projects.
Reading stuff like this makes me almost want to support prop 1.
lol, @30 - park and rides do not reduce vehicle miles per se - they actually increase it.
thought experiment ... I can afford to live 60 miles from my job cause it takes me 60 minutes to commute. If they build a fast light rail for 40 of those miles, I can now move further away so i get a bigger house and bigger yard for the kids and they can enjoy a rural life (not a joke, my dad did this when I was little). People behave predictably. Light rail is good within a city, but not past the edges of the urban boundary (or even close to it, or with parking).
tiptoe timmy ... sigh. try telling the truth - a no vote will mean denser walkable communities when we vote yes on ST2.1. in Feb 07.
Why does Erica hate the Eastside?
Who cares where the editorial staff lives?
While your analysis is undoubtedly cogent, that's why we have land use controls! Depriving the good people of Lynnwood rapid transit because it might encourage people to drive in from Marysville is a dumb response to the issue. Especially since this hypothetical exurban commuter is carbon and congestion free once they get on the train.
Not to mention you ignore the fact that people will simply get up earlier and drive alone despite the congestion. We need to tackle the sprawl problem with tighter land use regs, not killing rapid transit.
Poll: Conducted by Evans/McDonough: October 14 – 17, 2006
Wouldn't trust anything they did.
Yet another Seattle Times endorsement contradicted by stories printed in the same paper. I am not sure the editors read their own news.
Still, even a broken clock...
36: I don't hate the Eastside. My point was that an endorsement against a rail project that will benefit Seattle, written by people who don't live in Seattle, carries about as much weight as the Stranger's endorsement for governor of California.
ECB, rail will go through Bellevue out to Redmond. How does this not benefit the East Side?
Also, come on- you hate all of us and would gladly grind us into fine, gypsum-like powder.
Will in Seattle #35, that's my point. ST2's light rail is probably more pro-sprawl than the cross base highway and all RTID road projects put together.
Tiptoe tommy #31, Sounder commuter park and rides are nothing compared to the parking lots being built around every ST2 light rail station. ST2 doesn't use the term "park and ride" for these massive parking lots, but I just used the term because Will at #5 was defending them by calling them park and rides.
A comparison to consider: One Wal-Mart has 669 parking spaces (I don't know if this is average; it's just a figure for one I googled). ST2 is going to build the equivalent sprawl of almost 18 Wal-Marts in King County and the surrounding area, and ST2's lots will surely be full every single day. I'd guess the real number will be at least 25 Wal-Marts including the new parking spaces that aren't enumerated on ST2's project page.
# 42, I don't get it, would you rather have those people's light rail miles turn to car miles? ridiculous.
"Will in Seattle #35, that's my point. ST2's light rail is probably more pro-sprawl than the cross base highway and all RTID road projects put together."
Jesus Christ, jamier. Last time I heard somebody make that dumb statement, it was Rob McKenna talking. Where do you get these idiotic theories from? Sprawl happened over 20 years ago. The idea is to build up density in urban centers where currently there isn't much density. The light rail plan connects all the major urban centers (see: Growth Management). Light rail is not proposed for Duvall.
Get it? Catching on yet? This formula works everywhere else. What part of your small mind makes you think it won't work here? Been out of your basement lately?
"Tiptoe tommy #31, Sounder commuter park and rides are nothing compared to the parking lots being built around every ST2 light rail station. ST2 doesn't use the term "park and ride" for these massive parking lots"
More sheer idiocy from Jamier. Guy, take a look at what's happening right now to the "massive parking lots" at Northgate. They are being converted into transit oriented development in anticipation of light rail. And Ron Sims is doing it. You really need to catch up on your reading and knowledge, son.
Unless you are being purposefully ignorant, of course, like your buddy WillinSeattle.
The Seattle Times editorial adopted the Kemper Freeman position. Our objective ought not be to reduce traffic congestion, but to improve mobility in the face of congestion. The slog discussion is usually better than that of Fairview Fanny.
It was rather balanced of them to run the two op-eds on the same Sunday: the pro side from TCC and business; the con side from Cascade and the Sierra Club.
#12: The Minneapolis LRT line made use of an abandoned freight rail line. Seattle is right-of-way constrained.
#23: its true that most SkyTrain stations have no park-and-ride, near or at the end of the first line has a large park-and-ride. Note the great density that they allowed next to most of their stations. Note the great intermodal connections provided bus and rail. Also, the SkyTrain lines were built in abandoned freight rail line; even the downtown segment and last two stations are in a former freight train tunnel. Very fortuitous.
#31, TipToe Tommy: ST2 includes budget for park-and-ride at many Link LRT stations, but not all, as Jamier asserted, but probably most. On the north line, there is probably not P&R budgeted for the Seattle stations, but there is for the two stations in Shoreline and those in south Snohomish County. Note that all of them will in the I-5 envelope and will probably never develop into pedestrian-friendly places. At the recent TCC forum, the first question was about that risk. The south and east line stations usually include parking as well. exceptions are downtown Bellevue and the Rainier Flyer stop station.
In theory, P&R creates artificial density to build up transit demand. But the Link LRT alignment is in areas with local transit service and folks could already get to the stations. The P&R will attract additional peak period car trips to already congested local arterials. They also use up ST2 fiscal resources that could be used to provide more bus service frequency, Sounder trips, or even extend Link LRT to downtown Redmond. P&R is probably politically popular, but with less technical merit.
Yes, the TriMet employor tax seems better, as the initial incidence is on firms in rough proportion to their impact on the transport network. But the ulitimate incidence is probably much wider, as it would be passed on in the form of higher prices.
eddiew and his fellow Metro planners say...Ride the bus!!!
@44 - it wasn't fortuitous. My old Army unit built the highway that the first Vancouver Sky Train line was built on top of. The zoning, and the line, was planned.
As to the bus, tt, light rail will not do well without increased bus service. And bikes. And better walking access. And kiss and rides and taxi too.
So, are you Tim Eyman, tt?
"So, are you Tim Eyman, tt?"
Will, that was so incredibly and unbelievably lame and with that said, keep digging buddy. How low can you go?
Induced demand is a vapid economic theory that ignores the reasons why supply is increased, aka in this case roads being built/expanded in areas that are already growing in population, thus a) of course the extra supply is going to be taken up and b) that's why the extra supply is being built in the first place.
@47: Uh, Will, on this vote you're the guy opposing light rail expansion. Are you Tim Eyman?
I'm opposing road expansion. Tim Eyman knows I am not his friend. As do you.
Will is actually Ralph Nader.
Hello friends and kooks alike. If you think that we will get a better plan next year and approve it, think again. We've voted on big transit packages six times since 1958, and only one of those passed. That was the 1996 scaled-back RTA plan.
If we get a super-transit plan on the ballot, of whatever flavor, it will go down in flames in Pierce and Snohomish counties. That's what happened before, and that's what the Elway poll says would happen this year if we had road and transit separated.
Don't bet your transit future on the 0.1 percent of Pierce county voters agreeing with our communist Seattle ways.
Support Prop 1.
Here's what history link says:
"On March 14, 1995, voters rejected the RTA's $6.7 billion plan for a regional transit system, but on November 5, 1996, they approved a scaled-back version valued at $3.9 billion by a 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent margin. The measure received a majority of votes in each of the three counties in the Sound Transit district (58.8 percent in King County, 54.4 percent in Snohomish County, and 50.1 percent in Pierce County)."
Can aynyone tell me where I can find good tires fo my car??
I live in New York.
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