Lynn Peterson is Jay Inslee’s Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Secretary. She is an energetic advocate for bike lanes – her focus when she worked in Oregon before joining the Inslee team in 2013. But, she is still grappling with understanding that her job here is primarily to make it easier for cars and trucks to move on Washington’s roads.
Peterson demonstrated that she still has a way to go in learning what matters in transportation (beyond her favorites, bikes and transit), as reported this week by the Yakima Herald.
To anybody paying attention, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) has been clear since Peterson was appointed that the public had lost faith in WSDOT’s ability to meet its minimum responsibilities – building (and repairing) roads on time and under budget. That needed to change before the public would accept a gas tax increase to improve our transportation system. “Reforms before revenue” was the saying that everybody was hearing.
Evidently, that very simple approach was lost on Peterson. She told the Herald that, “I think one of the seismic shifts is we’re not talking about WSDOT reforms anymore.”
That head-in-the-sand philosophy by Peterson and her fellow Democrats has held up a transportation improvement package for the last two years. The person leading Inslee’s transportation department must not have read the bills that have been re-introduced in the Senate this year calling for reforms to make WSDOT more accountable and efficient. These bills have been submitted once again because Speaker Frank Chopp and his Democrat-controlled House of Representatives won’t consider bills that might offend the special interests that fund their campaigns (like state employee unions).
Perhaps Peterson should read the article that her inaccurate quote appeared in, as the writer pointed out, “Senate Republicans are still calling for more reforms.”
Even more distressing, Peterson glosses over the failure of the Inslee administration to negotiate a transportation package over the last two years, suggesting she thinks “people are trying to find out where that happy medium is that they couldn’t find before.”
The reality is that legislative Democrats, like former Senate Transportation Committee co-chair Tracey Eide, demanded a raise in taxes before consideration of reforms to a broken and inefficient WSDOT. If Peterson wants to find a “happy medium,” maybe she could try fixing her department and then asking for more tax dollars.
Another FAILURE by Inslee.
Tim Schaeffer says
When you elect an dim bulb like Inslee into office, what do you expect?
Wouldn’t call the quote inaccurate…more like idiotic.
Eastside Sanity says
Liberals are idiots.
Why is it we don’t have a Right to Work State? Why is it we have to pay 30 to 40 percent more for our road and highway projects because of Prevailing Wage (Davis Bacon) requirements. Why? It is a complete waste of TAXPAYER DOLLAR$ !!!!
Clark County rejected literail says
At transportation hearings, freight and mobility are highlighted. However, bus or light rail transit and bike lanes demands for taxpayer $$ for a few are pushed more than roads for all, including freight. Priority needs to be affordable roads for all.
New strategy by the radical progressives? Unacceptable demands, inept appointed officials, whine about the opposition, executive action, free stuff for supports and contracts to reward their donors instead of what is good for Washington. We see it in the White House and the Governor’s mansion.
Bicyclists have more rights than motorists in WA. I think it’s time for a tax on bicycles.
Michael Soloman says
TAX THE CYCLO-FACISTS ON BICYCLES, MAKE THEM PROVIDE PROOF OF INSURANCE WHILE WE ARE AT IT !!!
bike lanes are great ONLY IF THEY ARN’T TAKEN OUT OF THE REGULAR TRAFIC LANES. Its gas taxes which pay for the regular auto traffic lanes and I haven’t seen a bike lane which was paid for by any kind of bike taxes.
“That head-in-the-sand philosophy by Peterson and her fellow Democrats has held up a transportation improvement package for the last two years.”
The flailing failure of the Senate Majority Coalition to pass a transportation bill was their failure, and theirs alone:
But Senate Republicans haven’t been able to agree amongst themselves on a package. Last year , they were so consumed by internal squabbling that they weren’t even able to produce a plan in committee prior to the end of the second special session. Nor did they take up the proposal passed by the House of Representatives.
However, we in Seattle ultimately benefited from the incompetent clown show that was the Senate Majority Coalition’s abject failure to govern; their inaction precipitated a series of events, resulting in more of Seattle’s tax dollars being spent on transportation in Seattle, rather than sending that money to Olympia for dispersal around the state.
The person leading Inslee’s transportation department must not have read the bills that have been re-introduced in the Senate this year calling for reforms to make WSDOT more accountable and efficient.
Why would anyone bother reading old bills that were never voted upon in the first place?
These bills have been submitted once again because Speaker Frank Chopp and his Democrat-controlled House of Representatives…
My representative, Speaker Chopp, and his chamber, have actually passed a transportation bill. How about the Senate debate that bill, instead of re-submitting old work it failed even to vote upon during the last two years? Maybe then, after they have actually done the work we are paying them to do, they can talk about their cherished “reforms” — the work they want other, real functioning state employees, to perform.
Senate republicans came together today, making a bold move, getting rid of a big WSDOT problem. Hoping Peterson is the first of many liberals to get canned. But knowing Seattle, the trend of incompetence will continue.
More bike lanes, more rainbow cross walks,more money, big bertha stuck,more homeless camps along freeways,more traffic congestion but wait we are all hands joined together singing praises of our wonderful progressive democratic clown circus leadership. So grateful not living in the seattle clown circus but currently having a lot of time traveling i-5 home at a 2 mile an hour rate enjoying the wonderful views of homeless camps and human debris.
Are you residents proud of this?