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1

Good idea! Because the problem with Washington is that people aren't driving enough. More roads! Bigger roads! Nevermind that by the time most of these projects are completed oil will be $600 a barrel and nobody will be able to drive.

Posted by Jerod | April 15, 2008 12:01 PM
2

Criticize Rossi all you want, ECB. At least he is offering a plan to solve the gridlock crises and not be an obstructionist like you. It seems to me that replacing 520 and the Viaduct is a much better plan than wishing away all the stinky cars and putting a pretty meadow in place of the viaduct so the kiddies will have a nice place to play.


Posted by montex | April 15, 2008 12:01 PM
3

ECB,
2 things:

1) Please leave with Josh
2) Grow up and explore more of Washington besides Capitol Hill.

That is all

Posted by midnightrider | April 15, 2008 12:06 PM
4

Gov. Gregoire is already moving forward on a 6-lane 520 bridge, she's got the business and environmental communities playing on the same team. I don't think Rossi would find the same reception.

Did I read that right, Rossi wants to dig a tunnel on the waterfront? Very progressive.

Posted by six laner | April 15, 2008 12:12 PM
5

In Erica's mind: Washington State = Seattle.

In the voters minds Washingtons State includes: Clarkston, LaCrosse, Washtucna, Vancouver, Blaine, Asotin, etc.

So much for a representative Democracy.

Posted by Jeff | April 15, 2008 12:13 PM
6
In the voters minds Washingtons State includes: Clarkston, LaCrosse, Washtucna, Vancouver, Blaine, Asotin, etc. In the voters minds Washingtons State includes: Clarkston, LaCrosse, Washtucna, Vancouver, Blaine, Asotin, etc.

...and I'm sure voters in those places are going to be just thrilled with the service cuts that result from diverting all that sales tax revenue to buy billions of dollars worth of concrete for Puget Sound...

Posted by cdc | April 15, 2008 12:18 PM
7

@5 - you also forgot Kahlotus, Connell, Basin City... :)

ECB - I'll remind you that the Alaska Way viaduct replacement vote last year was touted as an "Advisory Vote" and had a poor turnout.

Posted by notonthehill | April 15, 2008 12:22 PM
8

The Cross-Base Highway is SO going to be built, Erica. you can't demonstrate that it would be "environmentally ruinous." You haven't even been in the Frederickson area, I'll bet. you're just parroting what some other Green Taliban mullah told you.

I'll say it again, Erica. Quit pretending you're a reporter, or any kind of journalist at all. You're just a propagandist and a shill, and not even a very good one.

The amount of industrialization and new housing in the Frederickson area is happening whether you like it or not, and if the Republicans retain control of the Pierce County Council, that growth will continue unabated.

If Cross-Base doesn't happen, the pressure will be on to reroute or widen SR 167, which would be far more environmentally ruinous, because it would displace productive farmland, instead of crossing a FUCKING ARMY BASE!

Stick to what you know about, whatever that possibly could be, because when it comes to rural Pierce County, clearly you do not know jack shit.

Posted by ivan | April 15, 2008 12:23 PM
9

That is a very interesting proposal Dino. So you would have the state pay for the whole thing. Already gas tax payers from across the state would pay the cost of going back with a raised structure and now you would tax everyone another 5 billion in order to build a hidden road that would raise Seattle property values and generate Seattle tourist dollars but cost Seattle nothing. How will that play in the far reaches of this state? Without a state wide vote?
This political ploy is DOA even before anyone gets around to asking where this money would come from cuz you would propose no new taxes right.
So, tell us Dino just what would you cut in order to generate the 5 billion you would earmark for this project? I am sure you would start with health care for kids and cut teachers pay and raise class sizes, but that would no where near cover the cost. So how many thousand sex offenders would you release in order to cut prison expenses?

Posted by Particle Man | April 15, 2008 12:30 PM
10

montex @2: Criticize Rossi all you want, ECB. At least he is offering a plan to solve the gridlock crises and not be an obstructionist like you.

Rossi's not an obstructionist?! I guess so long as you don't count Sound Transit.

This is a bit like saying Republicans are fiscal conservatives, as long as you don't count:

  1. Military ventures in oil-producing countries.
  2. Building massive new freeways.

Posted by cressona | April 15, 2008 12:30 PM
11

The interesting thing is going to be seeing how this plays out. Rossi is blatantly coming out as 100% cars, screw transit. There are a lot of people in this state who are going to be strongly in favor of that idea. And the thing about this kind of spending spree is, if you are heavily in favor of any ONE of these proposals, you're going to vote for him, even if you think the others are dumb. Spokane, for instance.

@6, King County actually supports those places with their tax dollars, not the other way around. Some of Washington's smaller counties couldn't even survive without our dollars. Asotin's been getting a free ride for a long time.

But that doesn't matter now. This is a fascinating strategy, and it's quite possibly going to be a successful one. He's already a shoo-in for the religious nuts. Now he's guaranteed himself most of the people who work for a living.

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 12:33 PM
12

AT least half the state will like this idea. And you'd be delusional if you think otherwise.

Posted by Andrew | April 15, 2008 12:42 PM
13

Particle Man @9, nice post.

The other incongruity/irony about Rossi's proposal is that it comes the same day that his party's standardbearer, John McCain, has called for the suspension of the federal gas tax. As a reporter at NBC/MSNBC notes:

Donning my old hat as a transportation reporter, it's worth noting that McCain's call to suspend the 18.4-cent gas tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day also potentially dries up funding to use to pay for highway/public transportation infrastructure.

The 18.4-cent gas tax goes into a Highway Trust Fund, which pays for roads, bridges, subways, etc. So there's a legitimate policy question here: If you suspend that tax, what are you doing to an already-deteriorating infrastructure system? (After all, remember that bridge collapse in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where interestingly the GOP convention takes place in September.)

The Republican message: lower taxes for drivers, more government spending on more freeways.

Now to be fair, the Republicans have already proven that this little Ponzi scheme works. I mean, they've been able to pay for an entire lengthy war while at the same time cutting taxes. All you've got to do is borrow from the Chinese.

I'm a little skeptical that sales taxes on new and used vehicles will even come close to paying for all these roads projects and their financing. But hey, Dino could always make his own pilgrimage to China and try to get them to part with some free money.

Posted by cressona | April 15, 2008 12:46 PM
14

@9,

Well, people outside the Puget Sound area are probably going to vote for him anyway. He might as well pander to voters here.

But I don't see any of this shit happening at all. This might be enough to get him elected, but an 8-lane 520 bridge, a tunnel on the waterfront? Not gonna happen.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 15, 2008 12:50 PM
15

The Ponzi scheme is all the Republicans have to go on, now that "deficits don't matter". Who doesn't want something for nothing?

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 12:50 PM
16

You're a putz, Fnarf. Wanting any one of these road projects in no way equates to a vote for a lamer like Rossi.

This state is going to grow in population and already is growing in a lot of areas not on the radar screen of Stranger staffers, as you yourself have rightly pointed out, several times.

I am for every transit project that has been proposed. If transit-only is on the 2008 ballot, I will support it. Transit should take priority over roads, but even if we build it, highway capacity will still have to increase whether Josh and Erica and the other car-hating Green weenies like it or not.

It's not "what do we need?" because the answer to that is "all of it." It's a question of "what do we need first?" Rossi's answer is not the correct answer. He offers NOTHING for this state.

Posted by ivan | April 15, 2008 12:50 PM
17

Fnarf @11: But that doesn't matter now. This is a fascinating strategy, and it's quite possibly going to be a successful one. He's already a shoo-in for the religious nuts. Now he's guaranteed himself most of the people who work for a living.

Andrew @12: AT least half the state will like this idea. And you'd be delusional if you think otherwise.

Interesting observations, and I'm not about to say this strategy won't work. You could say this is a classic Rove-ian strategy. (A) Do whatever you can to get to 50.1%, and screw the other 49.9%. (B) Push any button you can to incite a culture war. And nothing in Washington pushes the buttons more than roads-vs.-transit.

Posted by cressona | April 15, 2008 12:56 PM
18

Interesting, some of Spokane's north-south freeway has already been in development for at least 2 years now. Not that I'm endorsing or criticizing anything or any one candidate, but it's 25 years past due. If anything, keeping stop and go thru-traffic off Division in the winter, when emissions get caught over the city and don't dissipate, is a major impact on the quality of life there.

Posted by cant go north | April 15, 2008 1:18 PM
19

We need to get back on point. Whether we need certain road projects or not is not the issue. We *do* need certain road projects.

The point is that Rossi's "plan" is dogshit, because it lacks specifics of where the money will come from -- and Rossi will try to keep it that way unless we hound him for some hard answers.

So in a sense, I agree with the Stranger that Rossi's plan is "delusional," but for far different reasons.

Rossi is a fraud, and has always been a fraud, and the biggest fraud of all is that he's running for governor.

Margarita Prentice told me that. Ha ha, Josh.

Posted by ivan | April 15, 2008 1:30 PM
20

We need to get back on point. Whether we need certain road projects or not is not the issue. We *do* need certain road projects.

The point is that Rossi's "plan" is dogshit, because it lacks specifics of where the money will come from -- and Rossi will try to keep it that way unless we hound him for some hard answers.

So in a sense, I agree with the Stranger that Rossi's plan is "delusional," but for far different reasons.

Rossi is a fraud, and has always been a fraud, and the biggest fraud of all is that he's running for governor.

Margarita Prentice told me that. Ha ha, Josh.

Posted by ivan | April 15, 2008 1:30 PM
21

It seems like the land acquisition costs alone for all this widening would eat up a good chunk of that 15 billion. But far be it from me to question these fiscally responsible Republicans. They have such an exemplary track record at managing economies.

What I think is a real pity is that the Washington State GOP party can't get a normal candidate for anything: You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger bunch of frauds and losers.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | April 15, 2008 1:39 PM
22

Some of you are thinking. This is good to see. This Rossi roads thing is 100% cynical politics. He proposes building everything one point of view could dream of, all at once and faster than the projects could get built. This creates the license for his false cost projections.
Then the great wizard Dino suggests that he can fund all of this with existing money. I am sure this story has a ferry god mother in it somewhere.
At the federal level, when Bush says he will do something, build it, bomb it, or whatever, the federal debt just gets bigger and it is left up to the next Democratic President to pay down that debt. As disgusting as this pattern is, the lie is in the debt and the failure to pay as you go.
At the state level a Bushlike tool like Rossi should be shouted off stage when he pretends like he will just print more money to fund such proposals. States MUST balance their budget and so when you spend Billions you cannot in good faith suggest that you will do so by reaching into the general fund unless you tell the people what of equal value you will cut.
It is fine for candidate Dino to play the wizard but the fact is that when folks look behind the curtain what they will see is a little chubby guy perpetuating lie after lie in hopes that he can get elected.
It's fraud really and this tactic has paid off for Rossi before.

Posted by Particle Man | April 15, 2008 2:16 PM
23

This isn't a transportation plan. It's a win votes in the suburbs plan.

On that front, it ain't stupid.

Posted by BB | April 15, 2008 2:22 PM
24

My point, Ivan @16, is that the way this kind of mega-package is structured, it DOES mean that if you want any one of these projects, it probably translates into a vote for "a lamer like Rossi".

Nobody in Spokane knows or cares anything about the bridge and viaduct debates here in Seattle; I doubt the percentage of Spokanites who could successfully identify a viaduct anywhere in the state if asked is more than 5%. But they want their crosstown link, and they'll vote for it, especially if they think Westsiders are going to pay for it.

Nobody in the state has any idea where the money comes from; almost everyone believes that they themselves bear an over-heavy burden, so it's time to get some back. So Rossi's plan will garner all the votes of anyone who wants ANY ONE of these, which is probably a majority, even if any single one of them would be hugely unpopular.

If everybody's getting cake, people won't argue so much over whose piece is bigger.

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 2:26 PM
25

fnarf said:

If everybody's getting cake, people won't argue so much over whose piece is bigger.
unless you're ECB and the sierra club, and the cake is prop 1.

Posted by some dude | April 15, 2008 3:08 PM
26

State Auditor Brian Sonntag's performance audit on the DOT, released in Oct 2007, said if the state adopts his recommendations, it'll result in a $3 billion economic benefit to the state (see below). Our initiative this year (I-985 "ReduceCongestion.org") and Rossi's plan follow the state auditor's recommendations, ours goes with the things that'll help the most in the short-term, his the long-term. I-985 uses 15% of vehicle sales tax revenue, Rossi's uses 40%. Most common comment we get from voters while getting signatures for I-985 is "it oughta be 100%". Voters clearly want their vehicle taxes to go to transportation.

Besides the $3 billion economic benefit from implementing his recommendations (see below), Auditor Sonntag has done 9 audits so far, making 434 recommendations resulting in $3.2 billion in potential savings for state government. He's providing state government with a roadmap to reform government to accommodate any transfer of vehicle sales tax revenues toward transportation.


FROM STATE AUDITOR'S WEBSITE:

October 2007

Washington Department of Transportation - Managing and Reducing Congestion in Puget Sound (file size 5MB)

Audit results

Recommendations: 22

Economic impact over five years: $3 billion in economic impact to citizens, businesses and the environment.

http://www.sao.wa.gov/reports/auditreports/auditreportfiles/ar1000006.pdf


Here's a quick summary of I-985:

I-985 accomplishes the following goals:

illustrates the public's support for making reducing traffic congestion a top transportation priority
opens up carpool lanes to everyone during non-peak hours
requires local governments to synchronize traffic lights on heavily-traveled arterials and streets
clears out accidents faster with expanded emergency roadside assistance
uses a portion of vehicle sales tax revenue (15%) for these policies
removes the profit motive for red light cameras
replaces the percentage spent on public art to instead go toward reducing congestion
institutes critical taxpayer protections on future tolls
and empowers the State Auditor to monitor the implementation of the initiative's policies to ensure compliance.

-- END --

http://www.ReduceCongestion.org

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, www.ReduceCongestion.org | April 15, 2008 4:01 PM
27

State Auditor Brian Sonntag's performance audit on the DOT, released in Oct 2007, said if the state adopts his recommendations, it'll result in a $3 billion economic benefit to the state (see below). Our initiative this year (I-985 "ReduceCongestion.org") and Rossi's plan follow the state auditor's recommendations, ours goes with the things that'll help the most in the short-term, his the long-term. I-985 uses 15% of vehicle sales tax revenue, Rossi's uses 40%. Most common comment we get from voters while getting signatures for I-985 is "it oughta be 100%". Voters clearly want their vehicle taxes to go to transportation.

Besides the $3 billion economic benefit from implementing his recommendations (see below), Auditor Sonntag has done 9 audits so far, making 434 recommendations resulting in $3.2 billion in potential savings for state government. He's providing state government with a roadmap to reform government to accommodate any transfer of vehicle sales tax revenues toward transportation.


FROM STATE AUDITOR'S WEBSITE:

October 2007

Washington Department of Transportation - Managing and Reducing Congestion in Puget Sound (file size 5MB)

Audit results

Recommendations: 22

Economic impact over five years: $3 billion in economic impact to citizens, businesses and the environment.

http://www.sao.wa.gov/reports/auditreports/auditreportfiles/ar1000006.pdf


Here's a quick summary of I-985:

I-985 accomplishes the following goals:

illustrates the public's support for making reducing traffic congestion a top transportation priority
opens up carpool lanes to everyone during non-peak hours
requires local governments to synchronize traffic lights on heavily-traveled arterials and streets
clears out accidents faster with expanded emergency roadside assistance
uses a portion of vehicle sales tax revenue (15%) for these policies
removes the profit motive for red light cameras
replaces the percentage spent on public art to instead go toward reducing congestion
institutes critical taxpayer protections on future tolls
and empowers the State Auditor to monitor the implementation of the initiative's policies to ensure compliance.

-- END --

http://www.ReduceCongestion.org

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, www.ReduceCongestion.org | April 15, 2008 4:05 PM
28

Eat shit and die, Mr. Eyman.

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 4:28 PM
29

Tim's been a big-time scat queen for years Fnarf (his nickname is "brownie" in certain circles) and he ain't dead yet.

Back in the day, he would meet richard curtis at Ellen Craswell's house, have richard put on his heels and fishnets, and then have curtis and craswell squat all over him, after a big dinner of corn, polenta and coffee. It was a huge mess, but they all loved it.

Posted by Old scat queens never die.....they just file initiatives | April 15, 2008 5:20 PM
30

Fnarf @ 28 speaks for me, Eyman, you asshole. You fucked our ferry system over good and proper, and we're going to bring back that MVET and shove it right up your ass.

Posted by ivan | April 15, 2008 6:20 PM
31

From: Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor -- Sorry boys, but I/we can't take credit for the elimination of the state car tab tax. After the court rejected I-695, Governor Locke and the Democrat-controlled Legislature repealed that tax (83-13 in the House and 39-9 in the Senate). Locke promptly signed it into law and promised "$30 license tabs are here to stay."

We sponsored I-695, voters approved I-695, but it was Locke and the Democrats who implemented I-695. Aren't they the ones that deserve credit?

http://www.ReduceCongestion.org

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, www.ReduceCongestion.org | April 15, 2008 7:08 PM
32

For Tim Eyman, it's always Los Angeles, and it's always 1962.

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 7:16 PM
33

The State house was a 49-49 tie in 2000 when the MVET legislation was passed. As usual, Tim can't even get the most simple facts correct.

Posted by Bax | April 15, 2008 8:53 PM
34

To: Bax (previous post)
From: Tim Eyman, co-sponsor of I-985

The Legislature WAS controlled by Democrats with Gary Locke as Governor. The repeal of the state car tabs tax passed with a vote of 83-13 in the House and 39-9 in the Senate. Facts are stubborn things -- you're clearly burdened by not having a clue what you're talking about. But hey, the world needs ditch diggers too.

http://www.ReduceCongestion.org

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, www.ReduceCongestion.org | April 15, 2008 9:17 PM
35

You know, if we reallocated all the money for these environmental studies to getting the roads built, my morning commute might not be an hour and a half.

I kinda like that idea.

Posted by Andrew Brown | April 15, 2008 10:02 PM
36

I agree with ivan @16 - Fnarf, you're a putz.

"Reduce traffic congestion" ... get real.

The only way Rossi can win is if the GOP denies him the right to put (GOP) or (R) after his name on the ballot and he puts (Independent).

This is the year when being a Red like Rossi won't win you a vote even in rural areas.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 15, 2008 11:54 PM
37

oh, and Tim, you really do need to eat shit and die.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 16, 2008 12:56 AM
38

Andrew@35,

You know, maybe if you lived near where you work, your morning commute wouldn't be an hour and a half.

Or maybe if you could take light rail to your job, speeding by the cars sitting in traffic, your commute wouldn't be an hour and a half.

Just sayin'.

Posted by Donolectic | April 16, 2008 2:12 PM
39

Donolectic@38,

Or we could just stop wasting money on things that produce nothing (and in fact restrict production) and I could have a good commute and still own a nice home that I can afford within my own means.

Yeah, I think I'll vote for that instead of the things you listed that are pie in the sky.

Sorry bud.

Posted by Andrew Brown | April 16, 2008 3:47 PM
40

How is living near your job or taking light rail a "pie in the sky" activity? New York City, arguably one of the most productive places on this earth of ours, manages to do it.

As for "wasting money on things that produce nothing" isn't laying miles of additional asphalt so you can get back and forth to and from your "nice home" a great definition of that?

Posted by Donolectic | April 16, 2008 4:30 PM
41

Correction:
As for "wasting money on things that produce nothing" isn't laying miles of additional asphalt so you can get back and forth to and from your "nice home" a bit more quickly a great definition of that?

Posted by Donolectic | April 16, 2008 4:33 PM
42

Light rail is pie in the sky. Seattle can't accomplish anything without wasting a significant amount of resources (admittedly, the same applies to roads, probably).

It doesn't help me to say light rail will extend within 20 miles of my house in 10 years. It helps me to improve traffic on our existing corridors, whether I take the bus or my car (By the way, I do take the bus, but I'd much rather drive).

Laying miles of additional asphalt is not a waste at all - if it's done right and results in a quicker commute. We all get to spend more time with our families, the city and surrounding areas can continue to grow, and we can all be more productive at work because we don't have to deal with an awful commute.

Living near my job is not possible if I am to live within my means. I don't like my commute but I deal with it because I want my kid to have a lawn to play on as she grows up. I couldn't afford that in Seattle.

Besides, there is no reason it should take as long as it does. When I moved out to Lake Stevens about 3 years ago, it took me 45 minutes to commute to work. Now it takes almost twice that, because instead of expanding our transportation system, our tax dollars have been wasted on study after study, producing very little in the process.

So no, it's not a waste of money, and I'm looking forward to voting for someone who will actually take their job seriously and stop wasting time with worthless studies that are ignored anyway and get the job done.

Posted by Andrew Brown | April 16, 2008 11:04 PM
43

Andrew@35,

You know, maybe if they spent bazillions to widen every road in existence, you wouldn't HAVE a house, because it would be mowed under for a new freeway lane.

FYI, with very rare exceptions, adding new lanes of asphalt to urban superhighways doesn't speed up commutes and doesn't reduce traffic. It just causes more people to start driving, fewer people to carpool, fewer people to take the bus, and then you have ten lanes of bumper-to-bumper 10mph traffic instead of four. It's called "induced demand", and the induced demand levels are so high in most places that they eat up any benefit from added lanes within months. Look it up.

Rail has an induced demand effect too, but rail has such *immense* capacity -- a fairly dinky rail system like Central Link can move as many people per hour as an eight-lane superhighway -- that it actually makes a dent. And the trains don't get slowed down by congestion until there are *very* large numbers of trains running.

Admittedly there are too many studies. They should just forget the studies, spend the money and *build* the light rail line which goes close enough to your home that you can drive to the station without hitting congestion.

I suspect the problem is that you've never actually ridden a properly designed train (silliness like the streetcar which gets stuck in traffic doesn't count); try Sounder some time and see if you don't prefer it to a bus, or indeed to your car.

Posted by Anon. | April 22, 2008 11:27 PM

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