Some months ago I stood by at a local grocery while a paid signature gatherer convinced passersby to sign for Initiative 745. Her message was that doing so was evidence the signer was a “good citizen” doing her or his part to “improve traffic congestion in our region.” When I asked in what ways an initiative that requires 90 percent of all state and local transportation funds to be shifted to building roads would improve congestion, the signature gatherer was mute.
I went on to explain that the initiative was funded by asphalt paving companies, oil companies and road contractors who stand to make millions from increased road work and auto use. They spent over $663,000 to hire paid signature collectors to put the initiative on the ballot.
I continued, to the distress of the signature gatherer, to note that cutting public transportation services to fund more roads would not ease congestion at all. It would only force those using buses, DART (Dial-a-Ride Transit) and vanpools to either reduce their activities or use an SOV (single occupancy vehicle) and further clog our roads. Besides anybody knows more roads just means more cars will move in and exceed any projected additional space.
If Initiative 745 passes, 90 percent of money that has and will be voted on locally for transit will automatically be shifted to building more roads. It overrules local citizen choices on how that money will be used. What will happen to those 130-plus bodies that ride our 60-foot commuter buses each morning and afternoon to and from Seattle? Gee, I bet they’ll take their SOVs and clog up our roads. Remember when you moved to Snohomish County for the quality of life – clean air, clean water, open spaces. It’s a no-brainer. Vote no on I-745.
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