More growth-for-growth's-sake nonsense from Aubrey Davis in the Seattle Times today. The usual "they're going to move here anyway" baloney with claims that paving and trains will "free" us of congestion:
"The upshot of these investments will be reductions in delay; a transit system that provides fast travel times across the region, free of congestion."
Uh-huh. I fell for that one in the 80's Aubrey. I enthusiastically embraced (and helped fund) the I-90 expansion, and all I got was a wider parking lot across the lake. Oh yes -- and Weyerhaeuser profited from a gazillion homes metastasizing across the Sammamish plateau, so at least someone made out well.
Hey guys, tell us about all the local businesses that will profit and grow from us funding transportation, which is a real and accurate benefit -- but PLEASE don't try to con us with this being "free of congestion" silliness.
Davis regurgitates the obligatory "safety" concerns for 520, yet the safest thing to do has been an immediate and inexpensive floating in of a new span. Instead Davis and his gang waste our time pushing ill-conceived 8-lane bridges feeding into a jammed Interstate 5. Years of dithering, and here we are still with a leaking bridge.
Here's the capper:
"Residents of Mercer Island and East King County need the investments more than anyone. Our economic success and quality of life depend on our connections across Lake Washington... the I-90 floating bridges still lack the rail-transit system that was envisioned when it was expanded in the 1970s."
I know of at least two families who have left the state because they couldn't stand what happened to Issaquah after the mismanaged growth explosion triggered by the massive expansion of Interstate 90 affected them. Billions of dollars spent and the new I-90 bridge didn't make commutes better, it just made more of them. Tell me Aubrey, how is the "quality of life" in Los Angeles? They've got a subway and the widest roads in the world.
Tell you what. Tax the heck out of me and pave like crazy. All I ask is for a county-wide building moratorium to kick in when average speed on these improved roads fall below 40 MPH (that's "congested" according to the DOT.) Oh, you won't do that? What a surprise...