Now that the Sound Transit board has rolled out the latest version of its very expensive train set plans – think billions with a capital B – local newspapers are coming on strong for their city’s “needs.”
And, boy do they want to spend your tax dollars.
As Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said, in what he perhaps meant seriously since it doesn’t involve spending his own money, “It’s better to go long to make sure that everyone who has a desire for light rail or transit sees that it’s going to happen.”
That’s right, “everyone” who thinks a train should come by their house, the 2016 Sound Transit package is for you. Thanks, Fred!
Now, we all expect Seattle to try and grab every available dollar for its grandiose desires– a second train tunnel under downtown, expensive spur lines to West Seattle and Ballard, etc. – but don’t forget about us, say Tacoma and Everett.
At the News Tribune a writer muses about just how many different places trains could go, once they make their way beyond King County – the Tacoma Dome, Puyallup, DuPont, Orting, and/or Tacoma Community College.
How do you pay for all this – go after your kids’ and grandkids’ piggy banks, says one very liberal transit junkie: “What we are trying to continue to push (Sound Transit) and local government to think about is to do the economic analysis over not just five, ten or 15 years. … Really think this as sort of a 50- to 100-year analysis,” (Shefali) Ranganathan explains.
“It’s not often that we get to make these sorts of investments.”
That same attitude pervades the Herald’s editorial board in Everett, where Sound Transit “must connect with Paine Field” in next year’s ballot initiative. Yes, it’s the most expensive Snohomish County option, “estimated between $4.5 billion and $5 billion”, but cost doesn’t matter to the ed-board.
“A less expensive option that doesn’t serve major job or population centers and carries fewer riders is no bargain.”
That’s right, what’s an extra one or two billion dollars among friends?
Especially when we are spending other people’s money, of course.