In the never-ending soap opera that is the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) under Jay Inslee’s hand-picked appointee Lynn Peterson, she had to apologize for misleading the public when she said that “literally, one person was ready to commit suicide because of their life and how it was being impacted by I-405.”
Her bad judgment in making the story up, according the MyNorthwest, “was weighing on Lynn Peterson’s mind. So much so that on Tuesday, the CEO of the Washington State Department of Transportation apologized. ‘Ever since I left the station I thought it needed to be clarified having re-read the email,’ Peterson told KTTH’s Todd Herman.
She claims that her story “needed to be clarified” since last week, but she let it stay out there instead. Finally, she realized the truth might be helpful, in case she was questioned again. “That wasn’t an accurate account, however, as Peterson explained Tuesday. Rather, the email in question related a sad story of a Puget Sound commuter stuck in the grind of life. But suicide was not a feature of the letter.”
Secretary of Transportation Peterson– who identifies herself as “C.E.O., aka Secretary of” WSDOT in what can only be a way to puff up her resume by not using her actual title – was a bike lane enthusiast from Oregon before joining Inslee’s cabinet. She has had many problems surviving her new job without inventing new ones by misleading the public and media.
The latest challenge to her was a press conference today by State Senate Ways & Means Chairman Andy Hill and Representative Mark Harmsworth from the House Transportation Committee, announcing their bill to eliminate one of Peterson’s vaunted toll lanes, and let the drivers who paid for it through gas taxes use it as a general purpose lane. It also would make other changes intended to reduce congestion on the busy roadway, rather than follow Peterson and Inslee’s social engineering ideas for forcing people on to transit.
As the Seattle Times reported, “Just as state tolling managers dig out from a billing mess, a pair of lawmakers near Interstate 405 now propose to slash that freeway’s new toll lanes…
“Harmsworth’s bill applies to new lanes between Bellevue and Bothell, where last week toll rates reached $10 in severe congestion. The lanes are funded by state gas taxes, so the entire driving public deserves access, Harmsworth argues. A citizen website, Stop405Tolls.org, says it has gathered 24,414 signatures…
“ ‘It’s incompetence, it’s inability to execute, inability to manage,’ ” Hill said in announcing plans to introduce a bill when the legislature convenes January 11.
It remains to be seen whether Peterson can go that long without giving lawmakers any more reasons to change the way WSDOT operates. However, Democrat leaders seem willing to hope the problems will disappear, at least until after the legislative adjourns.
From the Times, “House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, last week said traffic patterns will take time to settle. ‘This is really new. We don’t really know what it’s going to look like in seven months,’ she said.”
Judging from past results, in seven months I-405 is likely to look even more like a parking lot, than a freeway. But at least then Secretary Peterson will be able to keep up with traffic flow on her bike.