Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Reading Tonight | Too Good To Be True »

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Take That, Tim Eyman (and Dino Rossi)

posted by on November 6 at 10:38 AM

Now that Tim Eyman’s proposal to prohibit tolling on I-90 to pay for a new 520 bridge and Dino Rossi’s proposal to build a massive new eight-lane 520 replacement have gone down in flames, the reality-based community is getting together to talk about how to actually pay for the damn thing. On Monday in Redmond, the 520 Tolling Implementation Committee will release the latest results from its ongoing evaluation of tolling across Lake Washington at Redmond City Hall, from 3 to 5 pm (info about the options available here). Also, all next week, they’ll be holding open houses on the various proposals; a list of times and locations is below the jump. The tolling plan is still a work in progress, but it’s nice to know that the nightmare scenario—a huge new bridge proposal with no money to pay for it—is off the table.

November 12 Bellevue, 3 to 7 p.m.
Bellevue City Hall
450 110th Ave NE

November 13, Seattle 3 to 7 p.m.
University of Washington, Gould Hall
3949 45th Ave NE

November 17, Mercer Island, 3 to 7 p.m.
Stroum Jewish Community Center
3801 E Mercer Way

RSS icon Comments

1

How many times does Eyman have to get his ass kicked before he takes the hint? Move to Oklahoma, Timmy, those are your people down there. You've lost, what, ten in a row? GO THE FUCK AWAY, TIM EYMAN.

Posted by Fnarf | November 6, 2008 10:44 AM
2

Second that, Fnarf. Maybe I'm too new to the area, but why does Tim Eyman exist? Just to keep the shit bucket sufficiently stirred with idiotic ideas?

And for the record, Rossi can suck it too.

Posted by unclaimedfreight | November 6, 2008 10:52 AM
3

@1 He's making a good living being an asshole. Why would anyone give that up? Sounds like my dream job. I wonder what liberal initiatives I could get passed.

Posted by Andrew | November 6, 2008 10:52 AM
4

Why can't they have these things during non-work hours? Say, 5 - 9 pm? So that the people who get home at 6pm have a chance to actually see something if they go?

Posted by Emily | November 6, 2008 10:59 AM
5

I think his efforts are good for the community... the ideas make us closely reconsider the status quo. The bad ideas go down in flames, as they should. The better ones maybe stick a little. I see it all as working the way it's supposed to. I see no problem so long as we diligently evaluate the initiatives.

Posted by sean | November 6, 2008 11:01 AM
6

Tim Eyman wouldn't know a good idea if it crawled up his pants leg, Sean. He wastes millions of state dollars with his bullshit, and has in many real ways crippled government's ability to do their job effectively. TIM EYMAN IS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY FULL OF SHIT, right up to his hairline.

Posted by Fnarf | November 6, 2008 11:05 AM
7

I've lost track of where the Stranger stands on this. Does it support an expansion to 6 or 8 lanes without dedicated bus (and possibly later sound transit) lanes? Where does it stand on public vs private financing schemes, when much of the traffic woes are a direct cause of Microsoft choosing a suburban location for its campus and serves the economic interests of a solidly Republican, anti-tax Bellevue elite?

Posted by Trevor | November 6, 2008 11:05 AM
8

Tim Eyman isn't going anywhere until we reform the initiative process.

Posted by elenchos | November 6, 2008 11:15 AM
9

When his main funding source called it quits Eyman said he was going to mortgage his house to get funds to continue pushing the initiative. Did he really do that or was it just a smarmy ploy tp get pity donations? I hope he did, he needs to learn that these things aren't just cash cows for him to milk. Maybe if he starts going into the red ovr these things he will finally go away.

Posted by inkweary | November 6, 2008 11:23 AM
10

@8: Make the primary petitioner a de jure candidate and constrict their ability to take money or profit from the campaign, tie this in to the outcome by retroactively penalizing them if it should be determined by a majority in the courts that the initiative covers more than one topic.

For example, maximum limit of 10% of the filing cost can be paid by contributors or sub-petitioners to the campaign head with a double-penalty assessed commensurate with the amount of additional issues addressed by the measure. Plus court and legislative costs.

Violation would require total payback of overage plus penalties. So, suppose it's $16,900 and Timmy gets his normal $70,000. He immediately owes $53,100 and court costs.

Posted by AJ | November 6, 2008 11:29 AM
11

@8: Make the primary petitioner a de jure candidate and constrict their ability to take money or profit from the campaign, tie this in to the outcome by retroactively penalizing them if it should be determined by a majority in the courts that the initiative covers more than one topic.

For example, maximum limit of 10% of the filing cost can be paid by contributors or sub-petitioners to the campaign head with a double-penalty assessed commensurate with the amount of additional issues addressed by the measure. Plus court and legislative costs.

Violation would require total payback of overage plus penalties. So, suppose it's $16,900 and Timmy gets his normal $70,000. He immediately owes $53,100 and court costs.

Posted by Reform? Reform! | November 6, 2008 11:29 AM
12

Man, we really need to be able to add subjects to our posts. This "awesome special purpose" name thing isn't cutting it. Leads to FAIL.

Posted by AJ | November 6, 2008 11:31 AM
13

Why is an eight lane 520 bad again? The thing is backed up eight hours a day, even on weekends.

This is another 50 year plan, are we planning on carrying less traffic over it in the next fifty years? If so, what is the plan for determining how that traffic gets across?

Posted by StC | November 6, 2008 11:48 AM
14

Yo, Tim E!

Move to Paraguay with the rest of your Comrades in the Socialist Red Bushie party!

You won't be missed!

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 6, 2008 11:49 AM
15

Now that the election is over, Erica is right back to her bullshit misrepresentations.

Just because Eyman's dumb-ass initiative, which had all kinds of other bad shit in it, deservedly failed, that does not necessarily mean that ANY other road other than 520 will be tolled to pay for 520.

If limiting tolling only to the roads that the tolls would go to repair had been the sole subject of Eyman's initiative, it would have passed by a landslide, with my active support. But it wasn't, and it didn't.

People voted against 985 for all kinds of reasons, Erica, and you can't demonstrate that the vote was a referendum on tolling. So please insert your bullshit spin in the usual place.

Posted by ivan | November 6, 2008 11:59 AM
16

Listening to Eyeman explain the logic of "I'm stuck in traffic, yet there's an empty HOV lane I'm not allowed to use!" was really kinda mind blowing. He should be a character on the office.

Posted by Dougsf | November 6, 2008 12:49 PM
17

@13, as has been extremely well-known to all serious people who have been trying to figure out what to do for years now, there isn't any place to put the cars that come off a wider bridge. You could make it 100 lanes wide and congestion would not be relieved. Montlake can't absorb them; I-5 can't absorb them.

Believe it or not, there are smart people studying this problem and ones like it. Traffic engineering isn't just a bunch of guys standing around going "goldurn it, just make the damn thing bigger and ever'thing'll be fine".

The real backup now isn't the bridge, anyways; it's the approaches from the east. Every onramp creates more congestion, as the new cars are absorbed into the system. Ever notice how it tends to open up a little once you're on the bridge itself?

Posted by Fnarf | November 6, 2008 12:57 PM
18

@13 An 8-lane 520 is bad because I-5 and I-405 are already at capacity (not to mention Montlake, et al). Beyond that, an 8-lane 520 will cost significantly more (despite Rossi's opinion on the matter) and have a much larger environmental impact. No offense, but I'm gonna trust WSDOT's opinion on the matter rather than an armchair traffic engineer.

@15 You can't justify an equivalent toll on I-90 if those dollars can ONLY go to I-90. Therefore, I-90 doesn't get tolled (or it gets tolled significantly less) while 520 does. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out which bridge people are going to choose in that scenario.

Posted by T | November 6, 2008 1:29 PM
19

@17,
yes I know it is the approaches. 520 is a story about bottlenecks. The idea is to create maneuvering room.

Going west there is often a backup on the west side before Montlake. Going east there is a backup on the west side because of lack of merge space. The solution to both is space, and this space issue isn't about capacity on I5 and 405.

The fourth lane of the bridge, westbound could be exit only to Montlake and North 5, currently cars wanting to exit are stuck behind those wanting to merge.

The fourth lane eastbound could be dedicated to cars merged from on-ramps, to prevent the immediate space jockeying that occurs there now.

I know fully well the engineering decisions that have been made, but they often miss the point because they are solely fixated on capacity at the end points, and not providing room to account for bottleneck creating behavior in the middle and access points.

Posted by StC | November 6, 2008 1:30 PM
20

T @ 18:

Time is money. Enough people will spend the money to save the time if only 520 is tolled to pay for 520.

Posted by ivan | November 6, 2008 1:35 PM
21

@18 - an eight lane bridge is great.

IF four of the lanes are light rail or monorail (2 lanes) and bus/HOV (2 lanes).

Otherwise, it just squeezes more cars into a narrow chokepoint.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 6, 2008 1:44 PM
22

For two billion dollars couldn't we just bribe Microsoft to move all of their jobs into the city where they belong?

Yes, I know some of them actually live out there on the other side of the moat, but they can't possibly want to, can they? It's the commute that drives them to it and they'd move into the city if their jobs were there. You could easily relocate 50,000 office jobs for a fraction of what it would cost to sort out that hopeless Lake Washington mess.

Posted by elenchos | November 6, 2008 2:06 PM
23

@19, 100% of the "room" they create would be filled almost immediately. If you create an entire lane for Montlake exiters, it will still back up to hell and back because Montlake can't take them. Same problem with I-5. The rest -- what rest? there isn't anyplace else for bridge traffic to go. You already get to capacity of people trying to cheat by getting off at Roanoke and then back onto 5 from there.

The only way additional bridge car capacity makes any sense is if you build a NEW N-S freeway to take the cars. Maybe eight lanes where Aurora is, connected with massive ramps from an extended 520! Of course, they'd have to actually go somewhere north and south -- maybe a bridge over Green Lake? And it could connect to a new sixteen-lane viaduct!

Surely you see what's wrong with this picture.

Congestion is here to stay. You can't build your way out of it. In Seattle, you can't even have an LA-style gridlock, because we're so restricted by water; the freeways would start to crowd out the city. We're more like New York in that regard; traffic engineers thirty years ago calculated that the only way to reduce congestion on the Long Island Expressway would be to widen it to the point where there was nothing else ON Long Island but expressway -- thus reducing demand. About a hundred lanes would do the trick. Might work here, too; if you completely eliminate all central Seattle neighborhoods -- within ten miles north or south of the Ship Canal, say -- you could probably reduce congestion enough to keep those commuters in what the fuck, Everett or someplace, happy.

There just isn't room to move that many cars in and out of the city at that point. Never will be. Sensible people realize this, and look at other ways to move the people. The cars will always be there, but they will never move faster than they move now. There's no place for them to go.

Posted by Fnarf | November 6, 2008 2:16 PM
24

@19: I see your point, but adding two lanes to a very expensive bridge just to sort traffic isn't exactly a wise expenditure of public funds.

@22: Microsoft has invested a ton of money in their Eastside digs, so I don't know if the public could or should try to buy them out. My guess is that they would want to stay right where they are.

Posted by J.R. | November 6, 2008 2:49 PM
25

The Microsoft building I've seen didn't cost much. Some of them have some cheesy Chihuly glass in the lobby, sure, but that shit's portable. They'd move if you paid them. We're talking about Microsoft here. They'd drown their grandmother if you paid them.

Posted by elenchos | November 6, 2008 3:00 PM
26

Microsoft ain't goin' nowhere as long as Ballmer lives on the Eastside. This is an immutable law of corporate behavior.

Posted by Fnarf | November 6, 2008 6:24 PM

Add Your Comments





Please click Post only once.