There is one sure-fire way to tell that we have passed Labor Day, and that campaign season is in full swing – elected officials and bureaucrats not on the ballot start showing up with editorials pushing whatever spin that is provided them to advance whatever taxpayer-funded initiative is on the ballot.
As Shift reported last week, the PR machine at Sound Transit got a jump on Labor Day by providing a ghost-written piece for Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarret last week in the Seattle blog Crosscut. Amazingly enough, he agreed with his boss, Dow Constantine, that we all need a light rail train to call our own.
And today, in another liberal Seattle blog, Seattle City Councilwoman Lorena Gonzalez shows up to keep spreading the falsehood that voting for the $54 billion dollar Sound Transit 3 boondoggle will actually do something about traffic congestion.
Gonzalez, unlike Jarrett who hails from the suburb of Mercer Island, can perhaps claim ignorance of traffic problems outside the big city, since her job doesn’t require her to actually venture outside Seattle’s city limits. However, as a public service to this freshman council member, Shift wants to provide her with three truths about the Sound Transit PR spin that appeared over her name.
- “The Sound Transit 3 ballot measure is our chance to create the quick, reliable regional transit system.” Umm, actually using the word “quick” when referring to Sound Transit’s work is a real non-starter. After all, the agency will still be working in 2020 to complete the projects that voters approved in 1996, and which were promised by 2006. And the proposition on the ballot this November will take 25 years to complete – calling that “quick” is like calling the Seattle City Council “business-friendly”.
- “Link light rail has already proven itself to be a reliable transit option that gets commuters off busy roads and to their destinations faster.” Actually, light rail has proven very adept at getting people off of buses and onto rail – and an extremely high cost. But calling a system “reliable” that delivers projects 10 years late and at twice the estimated budget – like the new University of Washington station – is stretching the truth a bit. Also, a fixed-route light rail system will get you to your “destinations”, as long as they are ones that the bureaucrats at Sound Transit have picked for you. If your destination is in Everett, or Federal Way, or Issaquah, or Renton, you are out of luck for a very long time – but if Sound Transit 3 passes you will get to keep sending $1,000 or more a year to Seattle so they can build their train set on the suburbs’ dime.
- “With our city and our region continuing to grow rapidly, we know we are not going to be able to expand our road capacity significantly.” The reality is that road capacity could be added simply and immediately, starting with giving back to taxpayers the toll lanes that were built with their money on I-405. And, if Sound Transit wasn’t taking away the reversible lanes on I-90 next year, as a construction area for light rail projects, capacity would continue to exist across that busy bridge. Anyone paying attention knows that the bureaucrats at Sound Transit, and their allies in the environmental community, are doing everything they can to keep any“road capacity” from being built. That way they can try to force even more people onto fixed-route light rail (if you can find your way to station).
You’ll have to excuse Councilwoman Gonzalez from not knowing these truths, as they were not in the propaganda prepared for her by her friends at Sound Transit. But if she strays outside of Seattle of Seattle any time soon, perhaps these truths will become evident to her.