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Friday, October 10, 2008

What Does This Man…

posted by on October 10 at 14:22 PM




… Want to do with your tax dollars?

Find out on Slog, where we’ll be posting exclusive video of the Stranger Election Control Board’s interview on I-985, Tim Eyman’s latest initiative.

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Oh man, the eyman voodoo doll will be out and ready to be tortured.

Posted by scharrera | October 10, 2008 2:35 PM

If he could get his hands on any of the actual monies he would probably embezzle them. He diverted funds from a previous campaign to pay personal expenses, which is why he had court-ordered comptroller.

Posted by inkweary | October 10, 2008 2:40 PM

Ah yes, Washington's reigning king of the "Waaah! I want the government to do things for me, but I shouldn't have to pay for it!" crowd.

I hope he has a heart attack and the ambulance takes five hours to arrive.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 10, 2008 2:47 PM

You actually allowed him into the offices?

I hope you locked him in a closet or something. Or sent him into Value Village to suffer.

Posted by Dave | October 10, 2008 2:52 PM

@1 I've already been working the Tim Eyman voodoo doll this year. See that second photo? They took that right after I shoved a lit match up the doll's ass. Apparently ol' Timmy likes it hot down there.

Posted by Hernandez | October 10, 2008 2:54 PM

Flamingbanjo wins.

Posted by swedish fisherman | October 10, 2008 2:54 PM


Posted by Greg | October 10, 2008 3:00 PM

wow! i'm suprised he agreed to come in

Posted by Keo | October 10, 2008 3:10 PM

Gadfly, thy name is Eyman...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 10, 2008 3:10 PM

I'm normally the most mellow non-violent guy you'll ever meet. But if I ever met Tim Eyman in person, I'm not entirely sure I could resist punching him in the face.

What. An. Asshole.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | October 10, 2008 3:19 PM

I want to blow a load all over that forehead...mmmm

Posted by Ohya | October 10, 2008 3:31 PM


Posted by Greg | October 10, 2008 3:32 PM

Hey Tim Eyman.

I know you posted a link a while back claiming to have proof I asked for that anybody, anywhere was able to actually reduce congestion.

I read your "proof" and saw that in fact it was nothing more than some traffic engineers prematurely giving themselves credit for the success of their own project which had only just gotten off the ground. Pathetic.

Nobody has ever reduced congestion, and you've given no reason to believe that Seattle will become the first city to do so.

Posted by elenchos | October 10, 2008 4:10 PM

From: Tim Eyman

Seattle has shown it can reduce congestion with traffic light synchronization:

From the Seattle PI on July 2: In a separate set of changes, the city last year resynchronized signals at 193 other intersections around the city; and based on subsequent checks, travel times there improved an average of 40 percent during morning peaks, 28 percent in afternoon peaks and 33 percent at mid-day, the city said.

FROM THE SEATTLE TIMES on July 2: Seattle transportation officials say they've synchronized the traffic signals at all 258 downtown intersections for the first time in two decades.

Computer models predict an overall 40 percent reduction in wait times, said Brian Kemper, electrical systems manager.

-- END --

Not only can it be done, it can be done even better - this story was published in the Everett Herald on August 31:

What it takes to keep traffic flowing in Lynnwood

A high-tech system helps workers keep an eye on the roads and adjust signals accordingly.

By Oscar Halpert, Everett Herald
Published: Sunday, August 31, 2008

LYNNWOOD -- You're stuck in traffic. It's 5 p.m. and you're tired of waiting for that left-turn signal to turn green.

Employees who oversee Lynn­wood's Intelligent Transportation System say they understand the frustration.

Their job is to monitor traffic and make sure streets run as smoothly as possible.

"We're committed to giving a better driving experience for everyone," said Paul Coffelt, project manager.

When the traffic management folks do their jobs, drivers shouldn't notice, public works director Bill Franz said.

Working from a cramped collection of cubicles inside City Hall, these techno wizards operate what at least one outside expert considers to be one of the best traffic management centers around.

They oversee the computers that synchronize street lights and walk signals and give police, firefighters and buses green-light specials when needed.

"The whole system is coordinated to give the best possible outcomes to traffic flow," deputy public works director Jeff Elekes said.

To monitor the city's 67 intersections involves high-tech coordination. Each intersection is equipped with a video system that provides immediate feedback on the number and frequency of vehicles at an intersection. That information feeds into the computerized controller, which can make automatic adjustments.

All that data is useful, Coffelt said, because it helps engineers make decisions on how to redirect traffic or change the signal timing.

Last March, for example, feedback from traffic cameras at Highway 99 and 174th Street SW allowed traffic monitors to reroute vehicles following an accident in the highway's northbound lanes.

And a July mishap involving the collapse of a Snohomish County Public Utility District pole along 196th Street SW also led to quick alterations in signals.

"Those events show the real power of the system," Franz said. "In the old days, we'd have to send technicians out to the (controller) boxes."

Now, Coffelt added, "a couple people can do all the traffic mitigation."

And they can do it from the comfort of their own traffic management center at City Hall.

One man who's been impressed with Lynnwood's traffic monitoring operation is Yin Hai Wang, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington.

He oversees the college of engineering's Smart Transportation Applications and Research Laboratory, which goes by the acronym SMART. There, doctoral students work to solve traffic problems with cutting-edge technology.

"I would say the city of Lynn­wood's traffic sensor configuration is the best in the United States," Wang said.

Lynnwood traffic data has been analyzed by his lab.

"Since we founded this lab in 2003, we've gotten very strong support from the city of Lynn­wood," he said. "And we've found a starting point to integrate our research."

One reason Lynnwood's system is ahead of the pack, he said, is its use of video detection. Most cities still use copper wire loops embedded in the pavement to track vehicle traffic. While that approach works well, it has limitations.

Video detection gives a broader, more detailed overview of the intersection's traffic patterns, Wang said.

"For example, you can always manually verify if this data is correct," he said.

Wire loop systems, unlike video systems, also have to be dug up during road construction work.

"We really do want the feedback from people if they do have an isolated or ongoing experience, we'd like to hear from them," Coffelt said.

"We'll actually do research; we'll look at history and start capturing the detection data history. We follow through with every call that comes in."

-- END --

City, county, and state traffic lights will benefit from I-985's mandate that their traffic lights be synchronized to "optimize traffic flow." Optimum can only be achieved with a substantial spending increase in technology which I-985 provides.

It's clear that everyone in every part of Washington will benefit from I-985's guaranteed funding and common sense policies, especially traffic light synchronization that is proven to reduce congestion.

Posted by Tim Eyman, I-985 co-sponsor, | October 10, 2008 4:47 PM
City staff spent 18 months and about $300,000 making the changes downtown.
Yet again, the same officials who spent our money are giving us their own data they say proved they were successful. I suppose Tim Eyman writes his own report card too, and gives himself straight As.

One of the realities of signal timing is that you have to favor traffic going in one direction over the other. They tout improving north-south speeds, but that makes east-west traffic wait longer. Yet there is no mention of that. SDOT speaks of this in generalities on their website, but where are the detailed numbers?

But the larger question is, what is being compared? Forty percent of what? Over what time period? They might be able to favor a given corridor and show some greater flow for a few months, but what happens to the big picture? Not just that one corridor, but the whole system? Is it less congested, or more?

I've driven downtown this week and I can tell you, it is not less congested. Should I believe Tim Eyman or my own lying eyes?

And most of all, what about induced demand? When bus riders and carpoolers and people staying home notice a slight improvement in traffic flow, some of them will decide now it's worth it to drive. They will fill up any and all gains in throughput with more cars.

Look at Los Angeles. LA is the all time champion of ultra-optimized timed traffic lights, and their traffic only gets worse. The better they make their streets run, the more people drive.

I call that a waste of $300,000 and 18 months. And Tim Eyman wants to dump even more money down that hole, and never take responsibility for the outcome.

Posted by elenchos | October 10, 2008 5:12 PM

Once you let in the vampire @14, it's hard to keep him out again.

I suggest Holy Water and a Cross, personally. Stakes are nice too.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 10, 2008 5:39 PM

A good antidote to Tim Eyman's outmoded thinking is Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic, recently profiled in the Ballard Tribune. Excellently written and truly enlightening.

Eyman doesn't understand (or more like a Republican, doesn't care to learn) that traffic is filled with ironies. Like the perception of safety that makes SUV drivers speed more, use cell phones more, drink and drive more, and use seatbelts less, much of what you do to manipulate traffic induces an unintended consequence that defeats you.

Anyone who has seen the billions we have spent on roads for the last fifty years while traffic only gets worse knows what I mean.

Or maybe we do need garlic and a wooden stake. They don't seem to have learned a thing from their failure in Iraq or the credit panic.

Posted by elenchos | October 10, 2008 6:10 PM

Washington members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) voted Wednesday to oppose I-985. "The best professional judgment of these engineers is that I-985 contains significant flaws that will likely, on net, increase congestion and possibly impact safety on the roads and highways of metropolitan Puget Sound," the ITE reported Tuesday on its Web site.

Posted by Rank Stranger | October 10, 2008 9:22 PM


Posted by Greg | October 11, 2008 4:08 PM

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