For most of my professional life, I’ve spent about two hours every day traversing the 20-25 miles between my home and office. Jobs have changed and the family has grown and moved, but an inefficient commute has been a constant.
I am not alone. According to an annual study by GPS manufacturer TomTom, Seattle had the fourth-most congested roads in the nation last year. It reports that drivers were delayed 35 minutes per hour driven during a peak period.
There’s a real cost to all the time we spend stuck in traffic or waiting for buses, yet our transportation system remains slow, broken and outdated. Starting today, I’ll be using this platform to explore why. Some of the writing may seem a bit partisan at times, but that is a reality driven less by ideology than by who has been in charge of our transportation decision-making in recent years (and decades).
So stay tuned to read more about the poor planning by WSDOT (Democrat governors have appointed every Secretary of Transportation since 1985), exorbitant labor costs at Metro (Democrat King County Executives have appointed every Metro General Manager since 1994), the cushy consultancies awarded by Sound Transit (Democrat county executives have appointed every Sound Transit Board Member since 2001), and much more.
Given the fact that in my day job I have to deal with some of the folks I’ll be writing about, I’ll be identified on these pages as John Pershing, after the General who is credited with the concept of our country’s Interstate Highway System. Since I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a commuter or transportation-dependent business worker who thinks that Washington’s transportation system is meeting our needs, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about.