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YES on Sound Transit, NO to RTID
October 23, 2007 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Proposition 1 - Sound Transit & RTID: Dan Savage is for it ("I want 50 miles of light rail so bad, I don’t give a shit if they pave 180 miles with baby mice," sorta), while the Sierra Club is against ("It wants to support the Sound Transit/light rail portion of the ballot issue, but not the Regional Transportation Improvement District part, which seeks more money to expand and repair roads and highways"). On November 6, voters in Washington's King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will decide.
posted by kliuless (37 comments total)

 
Will this include some kind of monorail?
posted by mullingitover at 5:19 PM on October 23, 2007


Did you say Monorail?
posted by eyeballkid at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


no! :P
posted by kliuless at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2007


Not that I mind local news on MeFi... but, wha?
posted by mwhybark at 5:32 PM on October 23, 2007


And that's a good thing, too. What a crock that was--from start to finish. As for Dan Savage, he's been on the wrong side of ballot issue I can remember.
posted by y2karl at 5:35 PM on October 23, 2007


Every ballot issue relating to land use, that is...
posted by y2karl at 5:36 PM on October 23, 2007


but, wha?

for anyone interested in regional transportation issues and the politics behind it?
posted by kliuless at 5:49 PM on October 23, 2007


It's interesting that Dan Savage is Pro prop 1 but the Stranger officially recomened voting against it.
posted by lucasks at 6:09 PM on October 23, 2007


You can't even tag this as "Seattle?"

This seems marginal for MeFi.
posted by dw at 6:53 PM on October 23, 2007


I always get my Savages mixed up, which makes for some pretty funny conversations. I assume this is the talk show guy, not the sex columnist?
posted by cali at 7:31 PM on October 23, 2007


Hey, y'all want to read about plans for the bit of highway between my town and the next? It's really exciting stuff, I tell you!

That said, I gotta wonder how people think the roads are going to improve — y'know, the ones they're always bitching about? — withing spending money. It can only go three ways, guys: either you pay it through taxes, or you pay it in tolls, or you lose it altogether.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 PM on October 23, 2007


No, it's the sex columnist. We really like transportation here. Really like it. Sweet, succulent light-rail...
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:43 PM on October 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


You can't even tag this as "Seattle?"

done :P

This seems marginal for MeFi.

it may seem marginal, but i think it should be relevant to anyone whose time and cost of commuting is rising; how seattle deals with traffic, while of course unique to its situation, might offer some lessons for other local governments dealing with (public) transportation issues in their communities... we're all connected after all :D

btw, i don't live in seattle... i'm thinking about moving back to portland tho!

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 7:52 PM on October 23, 2007


It's not a transport issue in seattle if theres not fifty votes on it, each representing oportunities for the entire project to be screwed wasting millions of dollars that have already been expended.

Seriously, screw democracy, just plan it and do it.
posted by Artw at 7:54 PM on October 23, 2007


I've always assumed that Seattle has some Stalin-era central planners on life support "dealing" with traffic.

My only question is - where are the mass graves?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:58 PM on October 23, 2007


This is not the first time in the last few days where a video on youtube linked in the comments here has been pulled for "copyright violation." I think we have some Big Media pet lawyers reading the site.

Pitchforks! Fire! Burn them! Burn!
posted by maxwelton at 8:12 PM on October 23, 2007


Tolls to Pay for Transit: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
...related to but distinct from congestion pricing like those in New York and London, in which drivers entering the central business district are charged a toll; because traffic in places like Seattle and San Francisco is more diffuse, a region-wide tolling system makes more sense than one that focuses on the central city. Transportation planners estimate the new system could generate annual revenues of $1.6 billion in current dollars, or $36 billion over 20 years. With the region expected to have $40 billion in transportation needs over the next 20 years, spending that money will be easy. The hard part will be convincing state regional leaders that linking disincentives for driving to maintenance and transit improvements is a fair and equitable way to distribute our transportation dollars.
posted by kliuless at 8:24 PM on October 23, 2007


Having lived in Seattle for a while, and gotten out, I would like to take this opportunity to say I don't care and neither should you.

Seattle local politics, especially the mass transit stuff, is a total clusterfuck. You have never seen so many committees in one place.
posted by blacklite at 8:30 PM on October 23, 2007


I was thinking about this on the bus ride home today.

Why the hell is the light rail tied to the entire roadways system.

Ask people if they want to spend $X dollars on lightrail, and $Y dollars on roads, instead of $X+Y on both.

This bothers me considerbly.

Did you know in the 60s, seattle was pushing for a complete rail system to connect tacoma to everett and everything in between, and had the majority until 3 weeks before the vote. It would have been done by the 80s, paid off by now, and covered more than the lightrails. 3 weeks before the vote, GM showed up in downtown with super buses with fake jet engines on the back, to show 'how fast and better busses will be than rails'. Obviously enough people were swayed (or decided to vote against this obvious waste of money, i mean, GM is our friend!), seattle's public transportation sucks and the busses are filled with crazy people. The busses of course, are made by GM. (this of course came from a crazy bus riding person, and i myself and one of them also, so I can't find sources to back it up, but a good conspiracy makes for an enjoyable bus ride).
posted by mrzarquon at 8:37 PM on October 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


GM also killed the electric car...
posted by kliuless at 8:42 PM on October 23, 2007


as an aside, even though we are a city, each little faction has its own isolated walled community, so the ballard people don't want a lightrail for columbia city at the expense of their monorail, or people on capitol hill don't want to pay for roads for those assholes in bellevue, etc. So each fosters their own groups and their own agendas, and things just never get out of planning. In fact it kinda reminds me of the democratic party.

We need a benign dictactorship of transport, to take 40 billion for the next 20 years and make our roads better. To screw up an old saying "say what you may about mussolini, but atleast he made the trains run on time for once."
posted by mrzarquon at 8:46 PM on October 23, 2007


Also included in this week's issue: The Stranger's endorsements for the upcoming election, which includes, as always, a "handy voter cheat sheet" listing all of the editorial board's picks. Handy is right: Simply note whom they've chosen, and vote the opposite.
The Stranger: A Critical Overview

Boy, if Savage is for it and the paper against, A. Birch Steen must be spinning in his vampire's coffin. But he's right about slagging Savage and crew for being a pack of addled stoners as he usually does.

Sometimes it so obvious--like the time Savage turned over a whole column of Savage Love to hyping--get this!--the craptacular sci-fi schock fest Independence Day! I mean, he practically wanted people to sell their cars and children in order to found a religion based on its awesome coolness, he was so sure that it was the total kick ass blockbuster of all time. All this just from seeing a preview at a theater.

Man, what was he smoking? He turned a whole column over to that turkey sight unseen. There's some judgment for ya. He also thought the invasion of Iraq was a good idea before the fact. Yeah, like people should heed his opinions on anything outside the realm of his stoned leprechaun Dear Abby act. As if....
posted by y2karl at 8:55 PM on October 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


The busses of course, are made by GM.

I hate GM as much as the next guy, but the last Seattle bus I took a close look at was a MAN bus. (insert joke here). MAN owns Scania who used to be part of SAAB, which is owned by GM.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:19 PM on October 23, 2007


b1tr0t- right you may be. But it makes for a better conspiracy.

Also, if you've seen this it makes it clear that car company ownership is anything but clear.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:27 PM on October 23, 2007


That graphic makes car company ownership look more complex than it really is. (The big car companies own lots of little car companies, but it isn't really as confusing as the chart makes it look)
posted by b1tr0t at 9:54 PM on October 23, 2007


it may seem marginal, but i think it should be relevant

btw, i don't live in seattle

Fine, fine, you want to go down the rabbit hole with us, come along. Caution: It's 40 years of razor blade lined hell.

Seattle local politics, especially the mass transit stuff, is a total clusterfuck.

That's simply not true. Only on a clear day can you can see total clusterfuck from here.

Seattle politics are so screwed up that Iraq thanks Allah every morning they're not us.

Why the hell is the light rail tied to the entire roadways system.

It's in the legislation that created the RTID. Eastside wouldn't let us have the vote without the roads. Yeah, it's downright silly to tie the two together, but them's the breaks.

But he's right about slagging Savage and crew for being a pack of addled stoners as he usually does.

Thing is, they have some quality reporters mixed in the chaff there. The problem is that Savage has spent way too much time being the class clown and letting his agendas and vendettas drive the Stranger that it's really pretty unreadable now.

Take the whole Burgess-Della race. Savage spent weeks hammering Burgess over and over again for doing marketing for CWA, and it really started to drive the political coverage. Then the Stranger endorsed Burgess, which just made things even weirder, because you wondered what the Savage screeds were even about if the paper went the opposite way from his to-the-barricades polemics.

The Stranger would better serve Seattle by calling itself the Capitol Hill Stranger and dumping a couple thousand copies on Broadway and 15th. They're myopic now about Seattle. Used to be that I thought they thought Seattle ended at 85th. Now I think they think Seattle's boundaries are the Ship Canal and I-90, with Ballard its only suburb.

as an aside, even though we are a city, each little faction has its own isolated walled community, so the ballard people don't want a lightrail for columbia city at the expense of their monorail, or people on capitol hill don't want to pay for roads for those assholes in bellevue, etc. So each fosters their own groups and their own agendas, and things just never get out of planning.

And that's why I've argued for years that Seattle has to go to a ward system and dump at-large voting. Let each council member represent their vocal neighborhood and not have to listen to every last random group demanding the City Council pull the troops out of Iraq by putting in 18 new traffic circles and oh, they don't want to pay for any of it.

At-large seats in a city like this one are a joke.
posted by dw at 10:45 PM on October 23, 2007


Heh. Folks were arguing about the monorail/light rail back when I lived in Seattle, and I left there in 2001. Public transport in the U.S. suffers from two major roadblocks:

1) People love their cars.
2) People cry bloody murder if someone even thinks of putting a rail line/station near their house. NIMBY, indeed.

/lives in Tokyo
//public transportation will take you anywhere here
posted by zardoz at 10:58 PM on October 23, 2007


Light rail is driving property prices up like crazy, so I'm not sure the NIMBYism applies. If anything it's Not In Someone Elses Back Yard.
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on October 23, 2007


Ah, you don't need light rail in Seattle, Dan. Just Drive The Motherfucker Already. Or you could move to Vancouver and complain about the SkyTrain construction, instead.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:09 PM on October 23, 2007


Jon Mitchell: Have you ever tried driving anywhere in the Seattle area during rush hour? Not only is there no mass transit (other than the Sounder, which doesn't really help, as it's rail with pretty distant stations), the highway design is horrible. Onramps with what seem like 40'-long merge lanes (I guess they might be 60'), left entrances and exits in very bad spots, backups constantly, not to mention the Seattle drivers who are either driving an khaki green Outback and scared of their own shadow, or in some kind of big-engined luxury thing and don't consider you important enough to need to see a lane-change signal.

Vancouver actually has a SkyTrain – complain! Sure! But it's not only built, it's being expanded. Seattle's been working on a ... something ... for years and years and years and years. Nothing changes. Progress is not a priority.
posted by blacklite at 2:39 AM on October 24, 2007


This is why Seattle can't have nice things.

*cough* The Commons *cough*
posted by papercake at 6:18 AM on October 24, 2007


*cough* The Commons *cough*

I, for one, am glad that piece of corporate welfare for Paul Allen got nixed.

Not every visionary real estate scheme is so wonderful. We have also had in my time here visionary schemes to tear down Pioneer Square and the Pike Place Market. Sometimes we have nice things because we fought to keep them. Sometimes not letting something happen is the road better taken.
posted by y2karl at 10:52 AM on October 24, 2007


I, for one, am glad that piece of corporate welfare for Paul Allen got nixed.

But you're OK with the other bits of corporate welfare we've thrown him in the Cascade, including the SLUT?

I'd rather have had the Commons than the endless labs and condos that are ripping down the old Cascade. At least we would have had a big public park as part of the deal.
posted by dw at 11:36 AM on October 24, 2007


And I've said my peace on the whole RTID elsewhere. If you know who I am and where I blog, you can go read it.
posted by dw at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2007


But you're OK with the other bits of corporate welfare we've thrown him in the Cascade, including the SLUT?

Nope. More Sam Israel and less Paul Allen is my motto.
posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on October 24, 2007


Ever since moving to Seattle, and living thru the monorail re-votes, I'm struck at the perverse irony that Singles, the cheesy date movie, had such keen political insight into our transportation future.
posted by nomisxid at 11:47 AM on October 24, 2007


I don't know if anyone else read the Ron Sims article on this, but I think he nails this one pretty well.
posted by efbrazil at 8:59 PM on October 24, 2007


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