It is official. Refusing to listen to voices that urged a consideration of better transportation options for our region, the unelected Sound Transit board unanimously voted to send its $54 billion scheme — (ST3) — to the November ballot.
Sound Transit officials will face an uphill battle convincing voters to pass their latest scheme. ST3 includes multiple regressive tax increases – raising the sales tax rate to 10% in much of the greater Seattle area and 10.1% in Seattle, a property tax increase of 25 cents per $1,000 valuation, an increase in car tabs, and (adding insult to increase) the fact that these taxes will never end.
Snohomish County residents will pay the highest sales tax rate should voters make the mistake of passing ST3. That’s thanks to passage of that county’s Proposition 1 (a transit measure) last November.
Snohomish County voted to raise the sales tax rate by 0.3 percentage points for a total of 9.8 percent in much of the county. Should ST3 pass, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, and north Bothell would pay a whopping 10.3% in sales tax. Mill Creek would pay a staggering 10.4% in sales tax.
To put it all in perspective, ST3 would cost the average King County homeowner about $20,000 over 25 years. That money taken from every homeowner will pay for a system that, by its supporters’ own admission, will only increase transit’s share of daily trips from 3% today to 4% in 2040.
That’s right, $54 billion dollars, to increase use of transit by 1%!
Given the high cost and low pay-off, the Seattle Times’ editorial board recently urged Sound Transit to tap the brakes on their plan and take the time to consider other options/alternative plans. Unfortunately, few expected the liberal bureaucrats running Sound Transit to heed that sound advice.
Improve traffic congestion around Seattle (downtown) and save tens of billions:
What if Seattle were to ban ALL cars? No cars allowed in Seattle means no cars commuting to Seattle and the roads would be wide open. Without the car traffic, more buses could be added where and when needed – all workers would be required to ride the bus to work in Seattle.
No taxis from the airport – all airport traffic into Seattle would have to be the existing light rail. All taxi traffic in Seattle would have to be bike-taxis.
Close all the I-5 on and off ramps through Seattle.
Could $54 billion remove the I-5 squeeze in Seattle? Could it reconfigure the 520-Mercer interchange? Could it make a smoother merge from 45th to 520? Could it produce express lanes that actually aim at moving traffic through Seattle vs only into Seattle?
Would fixes in these areas improve traffic flow and reduce congestion, at a lower cost, for more people than the choo-choo?
“will only increase transit’s share of daily trips from 3% today to 4% in 2040.
That’s right, $54 billion dollars, to increase use of transit by 1%!”
This is crap logic. Transit use will increase by a lot more than 1%, because the total number of daily trips in 2040 will be a lot higher than it is today. I don’t know what the actual figures are, but suppose there are 200,000 daily trips today, and in 2040 there will be 400,000. That would mean that today transit is used for 6,000 trips, and in 2040 it would be used for 16,000 trips. How will the growth in our area be accommodated if we don’t build transit?