According to the Office of Financial Management and the House and Senate Transportation Committees, Initiative 745 would require that 90 percent of state and local transportation funds, including local transit taxes but excluding ferry and transit fares, be spent on road construction, improvement and maintenance.
This sounds like a laudable priority, but one must look at the effects on the other users of transportation funds in the state of Washington.
Roads already get between 60 and 80 percent of transportation funds. If I-745 were to pass, public transportation would lose somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of its funding. Vital transportation services would likely have to be severely cut or eliminated. Thousands of additional cars would be forced onto our roads at the same time these new roads are being built, which sounds like a recipe for grid-locked traffic. Just go to downtown Seattle and see hundreds of transit buses carrying thousands of commuters from Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. Imagine all those people in their cars. Where will they park if they can even get there? And those are the lucky ones. Many people are transit-dependent and do not have a driving alternative. With the changes in transit as a result of I-695, many transit-dependent citizens of our region lost jobs, couldn’t get to vital medical appointments and, in general, lost their freedom to move about.
This whole thing plays out like a Batman movie plot. The Riddler claims that by letting the air out of the tires of transit and adding thousands of additional cars to the roads we will solve our transportation problems. Sounds like some of that fuzzy math we have been hearing about lately. The whole thing just doesn’t add up. Holy gridlock Batman, we’d better move to L.A. The traffic will be better there. Vote no on I-745. It’s a really dumb idea.