The city of Seattle is—once again—facing another embarrassing transportation mess. The city recently requested nearly $1 billion in levy fees to fund transportation projects over a 10-year period. The primary purpose of these projects is to get people out of their cars and into the public transportation system.
Specifically, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Mayor Ed Murray want to fund a “streetcar system that connects through downtown Seattle by 2020 and an extension for a Capitol Hill streetcar.” The cost to connect downtown Seattle is estimated at $112 million. And, the cost to extend to Capitol Hill is $24.5 million.
Here’s the embarrassing part, city officials are asking for money to start new project. Yet, they cannot even manage to get the First Hill Streetcar up and running on time and on budget. This week, city officials were forced to admit that the streetcar would be delayed yet again. KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz explains,
“Originally intended to begin operating in early 2014 (about two years after the project began), now, to save themselves from more embarrassment, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) director Scott Kubly won’t even give the public an updated start date.
“This, after the revised 2015 start date came and went. ‘(We’re) not putting out a starting date until we’re confident,’ Kubly told KING 5, which reports the delay is due, in part, to ‘water damage in the inverters’ for all seven cars. I wonder what stopped them from putting out start dates over the last year?”
“But this administration can’t deliver what they promise; and what they do deliver is sub-par (and in some cases, dangerous to the user). Which is bizarre. They have an ideological agenda to get you out of cars that they’re hell-bent on achieving, yet they can’t even support the projects they want us to abandon cars over.