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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dino Rossi Lies to Dave Ross on the Air.

posted by on April 24 at 12:35 PM

Last week, when Dino Rossi released his transportation plan, I wrote this:

Rossi says his eight-lane 520 plan will cost $3.3 billion. Thatís a billion less than Gregoireís 6-lane 520 plan. Does math work like that?

Evidently, KIRO talk jock Dave Ross didn’t understand Rossi’s math either.

Rossi went on Ross’s show this past Monday, and Ross asked him point blank: “Basically what you have said is … that your method of building the 8-lane bridge is cheaper than their method of building the six-lane bridge. Is that what you’re telling me? … Is there a simple way you can make people understand why the cost estimates you released for an 8-lane bridge appear to be less than the cost estimates for the 6-lane?”

Rossi went through a series of somersaults before eventually saying he never estimated the cost of an 8-lane bridge.

Ross: You do not know what the 8-lane bridge would cost?

Rossi: No. We don’t have those numbers.

Ross let him off off the hook by saying, “Well, that’s clearer…”

But it’s also not true. Rossi did give a cost estimate for an 8-lane bridge. It’s on page 6 of his transportation plan:


Indeed, his plan estimates that an 8-lane bridge will cost $3.3 billion. This is less than Gregoire’s six-line option, which is between $4.4 and $5.3 billion.


I’ve left a message with Rossi’s campaign spokeswoman Jill Strait to get an explanation.

RSS icon Comments


And the cost Rossi doesn't talk about: more lanes on 520 brings more cars into already-crowded highways and streets, increasing congestion.

So to have a permanent gain in capacity on 520 you also need to widen I 5 going north, I 5 going south, 405 both ways, and so on. Then you need to widen all the arterials. We have thousands and thousands of lane miles of roads and streets and just adding 100 or even 200 new lane-mailes by undertaking highway widening here and there in the system, only increases the capacity of the overall system by a miniscule fraction.

While there are some linkages you could think of and some improvements that would improve the flow, the whole system is basically pretty much built out.

So it's not just faulty numbers. It's not just envrironmentally irresponsible. It's also fraudulent in the central claim that widening highways is congestion relief. That claim should be attacked head on. Brining more cars to I 5, to Mercer, to downtown, to the UW-Hop In area, is congestion worsening not congestion relief.

Posted by Cleve | April 24, 2008 12:41 PM

Rossi races motorcycles for a living! Fuck Josh, why do you keep playing these gotcha games with the man? Go bother a guy who knows about building bridges with these bridge questions. Ask Rossi what he thinks of the new Michelin tires this season.

Posted by elenchos | April 24, 2008 12:47 PM

I truly wish somebody worth listening to was running against Gregoire.

Posted by Cale | April 24, 2008 1:08 PM

So, not only is Rossi a liar, he'll bust the budget to fulfill his "promises".

Sounds like a Red Bushie to me.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 24, 2008 1:41 PM

Rossi clearly demonstrates his alliance with the modern Republican party by disregarding more than a decade of citizen involvement in shaping and focusing how SR520 will be rebuilt, by indicating that he'd prefer to ride roughshod over everyone, imposing his executive will and the power of the government to destroy public involvement and dissent.

A relatively small number of people, who absolutely deserve to be heard and cannot be disregarded, want an 8-lane bridge. A relatively large number of people want a 6-lane bridge. Why an 8-lane bridge? To move more cars. Despite the best research by both Republican and Democratic administrations that show that more lanes don't move more cars, they simply increase sprawl and congestion. Despite the fact that there is no room for 8 lanes to connect to the existing highway grid on either side without tens of billions that aren't available being spent. Despite the fact that federal policies, still lightly enforced, along with existing agreements, make it incredibly hard to do anything in and around the Arboretum, Foster Island, and protected wetlands.

So, thanks, Mr. Rossi, for making it so abundantly clear that you aren't a cut-spending, small-government, listen-to-the-people Republican. See, I may be a Democrat, but I am very interested when people talk about sensible plans for governments to spend less, because governments observably spend too much and too inefficiently. I would prefer to cut spending to reduce taxation rather than simply cutting taxes to force spending reductions (that results in inequitable cuts, nearly always).

But Rossi, like Bush, isn't interested in smaller government, accountability, and cooperation. He's looking for executive fiat, bigger plans (despite his "smaller," contrived price tags), and more government control over decisions and our lives.

Would a real conservative please stand up? I'd like to shake your hand.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman | April 24, 2008 1:43 PM

His numbers are probably pulled out of thin air, but I remember reading a comment somewhere that said if no lids were built on the new sections of 520 that you could basically save anywhere from 500-800 million by not constructing those like they have on Mercer Island. Would this happen? Probably not, as the neighbors alongside any widened 520 want a ton of mitigation work done to lessen the impact. So if one didnt goldplate the freeways and just built the the actual basic road and bridge, it could probably be done for somewhat less money.

Posted by Brian in Seattle | April 24, 2008 1:49 PM

Actually, Rossi's document creates a bridge that is "capable" of becoming an 8 lane bridge (i.e. probably a 6 lane bridge), and directs the WSDOT to figure out the cost of an 8 lane bridge.

So for $3.3 billion you get a 6 lane bridge and an estimate for the cost to do more.

He doesn't appear to cost out the 8 lane bridge, but he certainly hasn't been clear about it.

Posted by Daniel K | April 24, 2008 2:17 PM

Here is how Rossi does it:

Posted by magic man | April 24, 2008 3:02 PM

To sum up, Rossi is a liar AND a whore.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | April 24, 2008 5:40 PM

ohhhh BURN!

Posted by jameyb | April 24, 2008 8:57 PM

Rossi's plan could be presented more clearly, but Josh Feit should be more careful about labeling him a liar. Josh cites page 6 of Rossi's transportation plan and includes an image of that page which cuts off the bottom section where Rossi states this is would be for future 8 lanes. A person might get the idea Josh has not been entirely honest either.

Posted by Dan H | April 28, 2008 11:20 AM

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