Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let me ride but don't slow growth

Liking to bicycle ride does not necessarily mean you like higher taxes, higher spending and slower economic growth. Slower growth means less jobs. The cost is too high for the "let's all sell our cars and walk everywhere" philosophy. Less travel means each person has fewer options for jobs. Walking - a job more than 3 miles away is not an option. Cycling - depending on terrain and safe routes, jobs more than 5 to 15 miles away are not an option, except for athletic 20- and 30-somethings or during the summer. I like people to have jobs, so I am very leery of more spending for Ron Sims and his limo. And he requires higher taxes, then higher and higher. There is no limit. Sound Transit is a fraud. They promised a system and the timeline to build it. We would have been touring the Rainier Valley by rail last year on their promises. BUT They shortened the system and lengthened the deadline. Now they claim they are on-time and within budget. That's not true. I don't want their taxes continued indefinitely for more of the same. No on Sound Transit #1 I drive to work 2 to 3 days a week, carpooling about one of those. Washington transportation has spent tons of money on environmental impacts and such. I don't have the exact numbers, but the nickel increase a few years ago had something like 30% or more going for environmental impacts. But how about congestion? Congestion was not a priority. Oh, they changed the wording last year, but not the priority. They want congestion to force us out of our cars, to be standing on the street hoping a bus will come. But not them. Mayor Greg Nickels drives his limo 100 miles a day seven days a week. (Stefan Sharkansky at Sound Politics discovered and documented this.) They can drive, but you can't. Yes on I-985. It's not how I would do it. But I favor an attempt to overturn the priorities and put reducing congestion on top. If the legislature doesn't like Tim Eyman setting the priorities then they have to lead. They had their chances to decrease congestion AND to make it better for walkers and cyclists. But they chose to favor rail and buses to a lesser degree.