This year on the ballot in the Puget Sound we have Proposition 1, a traffic package that will raise taxes by the "largest local tax increase in state history", according to King County Executive Ron Sims. Here in the Seattle area we have some of the worst traffic in the country. In fact, when they compare all major cities we average 2nd place. Which is why people feel so strongly about reducing the amount of congestion. But if history has shown us anything, it's shown us that no matter how often we approve traffic taxes, the traffic never gets better.
The major point in prop 1 is that it will allow them to expand the light rail system they are building. If anyone remembers; we had a monorail system they were building, that was voted on and approved, spent millions of dollars on, and never got built. Now they are trying to do it again with this proposal under a different system.
They are also saying the money will go towards roads, and bridges. Yeah, right! Our local government is completely inept when it comes to these items. Instead of asking for more money, why don't they take the money they currently get and use it correctly. The proponents say it will "Repair Seattle’s most vital bridges." that's right, not replace, not expand, just repair. Why are they saying this, because a bridge collapsed a few months ago, and they are trying to use scare tactics.
Last year I occasionally took the bus. Over in the Canyon Park area of Bothell, they built a walking overpass near the transfer station, and re-routed the southbound buses for it. The bus driver told me, it reduced his time by about 5 minutes. So millions of tax payer, road construction, release congestion dollars, cut about 5 minutes off the bus rout. Near my house, they are building a roundabout. After driving that road for 2 years, I can honestly say, traffic didn't get backed up, there weren't accidents, and as far as I can tell absolutely no need for this roundabout that has now caused congestion, where there wasn't any.
If you are thinking about voting for this because it's said to only last 9 years, and then it will expire. Come on! When was the last time you saw a tax expire? Personally when I get my property tax bill, I've never seen it go down. I've never gone to the store and noticed a reduction in the sales tax. And the only time I saw a reduction in my car tabs, was when we voted and approved reducing them, not because the current taxes were expiring.
So if you are a local resident, please be smart for once and vote no in this proposition.
Check out these links for more information.
- If you only read one thing about the tax, read this one. It's by the guy who should know. "The roads-and-transit plan: so much cost to do so little" by Ron Sims
- The Seattle Times opposes
- The Stranger opposes