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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

At the Anti-Roads and Transit Party

posted by on November 6 at 22:35 PM

ECB again: The mood at the anti-Roads and Transit party at Piecora’s Pizza was, predictably, far more upbeat than the pro-Roads and Transit shindig at the Westin. Despite predictions that there would be an odd mix of anti-transit and anti-roads opponents of the proposal, the room was jammed with enviros, with only about five anti-transit opponents in evidence. I missed King County Executive Ron Sims’s appearance earlier in the night, but I did manage to snag a slice of cold pepperoni pizza and sit down with roads opponents Mike O’Brien and Tim Gould of the Sierra Club and get their take on the results. O’Brien said that he called more than 150 undecided voters yesterday, and the number one concern in their minds was the prospect of expanding roads. O’Brien said he expects the Sierra Club will have a place at the table in crafting a replacement ballot measure. “There’s lots of safety and maintenance needs, so there will likely be a roads component,” O’Brien said. “I hope it’s going to be a safety and maintenance component. I don’t think [elected officials] are going to say, well, we just ran the wrong commercials.” He noted that Sound Transit has the authority to go back to the ballot next year by itself, as do any of the three counties in the regional package. When I talked to Sound Transit spokesman Ric Ilgenfritz earlier, however, he didn’t say anything to indicate a standalone ballot measure was in Sound Transit’s plans.

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Assuming ST has real intentions of revoting next year, how do they plan on funding a transit package?

Posted by Gomez | November 6, 2007 10:37 PM

safety and maintenance roads projects should be paid for by the gas tax if not tolls/congestion pricing. And should be paid statewide; they are state highways.

The light rail component should be voted on by itself.

The lines should not go out so far. Just to Northgate and Fed. Way perhaps.
Step by step, in the end, is faster.

They should hook up West Seattle and Ballard (low hanging fruit) before stretching out to Tacoma or Mill Creek. Ditto for Renton/Kirkland == use the BNSF right of way that is already there.

We need a network, not a longline system that looks like a taffy pull.

Posted by unPC | November 6, 2007 10:46 PM

Wait a minute, Erica - you told us all along that the Sierra Club was right, we needed to stop 70 miles of light rail because of the roads component. Now you tell us that the Sierra going to author a proposal that includes roads?!

WTF is going on here? Do you quit being a reporter when your own political interests line up with your sources? If the Sierra Club is planning to promote roads, doesn't that kind of invalidate everything they said re: Prop 1?

Seems to me that the critics were right: the Sierra Club's real enemy is light rail.

Posted by greenlake | November 6, 2007 10:50 PM

Wait a second, I thought transit was a good thing? Like more busses, light rail and such.

Note to self: never drink and SLOG.

Posted by Brandon h | November 6, 2007 10:51 PM

Nice try @3, but there's a HUGE difference between shoring up existing infrastructure (and paying for it with user fees such as tolls), and ADDING new inftrastructure (to be paid for with a sales tax and car tab tax increase, which would in many cases be paid for by people who don't even drive all that much).

If the roads and transit components had been offered as separate votes, in all likelihood the transit package would have passed; whether the roads package could have stood on its own merits is debatable, but this was a case where the Legislature tried to piggy-back the latter onto the former, gambling that voters wouldn't turn down one, even if they opposed the other.

Clearly they gambled wrong, and this is the result.

Posted by COMTE | November 6, 2007 11:01 PM

GREAT! Thanks Mike O'Brien!! Just what we needed. More loud mouths "at the table" who fancy they know more than everyone else! People like you are fucking up our city's future.

Posted by Cale | November 6, 2007 11:12 PM

I am waiting with great interest for all the anti R&T folks to get together and come up with a plan. They couldn't articulate one during the campaign, but surely they can do it now, can't they? Surely they can. I'm waiting....

Posted by Perfect Voter | November 6, 2007 11:28 PM

I know, right? Heaven forbid we build new infrastructure! Just "shore up" the crumbling shit that we have. I won't have to drive on it... until I get priced out of the city. And then I'll have to drive one it.

Oh well. I'm here through 2010 (March, specifically, when my grad program is over) and then I've got plans to split to a city with transit, because Seattle ain't never gonna be that city.

Posted by exelizabeth | November 6, 2007 11:29 PM

Riiiight, 'cause everybody knows the solution to our region's transportation problems is to just keep on building more of a vehicular system that most people won't even be able to afford to use in 20 or 30 years.

Maybe if people like O'Brien had been allowed to sit at the table from the start, things wouldn't be in the complete FUBAR they are today.

Posted by COMTE | November 6, 2007 11:31 PM

Given the environmental costs associated with meat production, it's a bit of a stretch to call this little pepperoni pizza party "jammed with enviros".

Posted by Bison | November 6, 2007 11:52 PM

We will never have a transit system here, ever. Other than buses. Which will be driving along crumbling roads.

Posted by tree | November 7, 2007 12:36 AM

I am anxiously waiting for the Sierra Club's plan for electoral success for rail in this region. I don't see how they are going to get there given their disdain for both the roads and the transit in the package. Good luck--you are going to need it. I feel like it is 2000 all over again. Al Gore wasn't good enough, so we get George. Roads and Transit wasn't good enough, so we get roads...

Posted by tiptoe tommy | November 7, 2007 1:04 AM

COMTE--the Sierra Club was always welcome at the table. They chose not to participate so that they could shoot darts later. Looking forward to your plan...

Posted by tiptoe tommy | November 7, 2007 1:07 AM

@12, nothing the Sierra Club has done actually suggests they support light rail. They will not come back with a single thing. They won their victory.

When in Seattle history have the opponents of a project ever worked to improve it?

Posted by greenlake | November 7, 2007 7:35 AM

oh, and I forgot to say something to tiptoe timmy - sod off.

Yeah, you heard me, you wanker.

Next time don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 7, 2007 10:07 AM
Next time don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

This was funnier when Sean Connery said it. Once. In a movie. You keep quoting it in print, it makes you sound like a cunt.

The mistake mass transit proponents in the Puget Sound are are making isn't bringing a knife to a gunfight -- the mistake they're making is casting pearls before swine. The Seattle metro area is a city of suburbs, populated by people who generally moved here from somewhere else specifically to get away from density and cities and noise and poor people. The population of the urban core, and those within the urban core who want things like mass transit, are vastly outnumbered by people who hate the very idea.

Until that changes, we're fucked.

Posted by Judah | November 7, 2007 11:53 AM

A city of suburbs?

Maybe in the 90s.

It's a new century.

Wake up and look around you.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 7, 2007 12:08 PM

Oh, well, if it's a new century then certainly the population density and the transportation interests of the region have changed. Oh, wait, look at that -- it's a new hour! Surely this transition from one arbitrary temporal marker to another signals the advent of sea change of some sort!

Do you ever actually argue, or do you just make these ridiculous pronouncements and hope the opposition gets bored and leaves?

Posted by Judah | November 7, 2007 12:31 PM

Will, I hate to tell you, but you need to move to the suburbs. It's for your own good. And hey! You'll probably like it. Except for the commute across 520.

Posted by Greg | November 7, 2007 1:00 PM

Nah, I have friends who take the bus across the water. I used to drive from Ballard to Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond for work.

Never again.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 7, 2007 1:26 PM

How much are you people in Seattle paying for gasoline right now?

According to, $3.20 a gallon.

You people are going to be paying more than $4 for a gallon of gasoline next year.

In 2009, you can expect to pay at least $5 a gallon for gasoline.

In 2012, you very likely won't be able to buy gasoline at all.

You people love your cars. Too bad that you are going to lose them. Without cars and without mass transit, how will you people get around?

Posted by David | November 9, 2007 8:14 AM

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