Friday, January 12, 2007

Seattle Voters Asked to Cement Frontrunner Status in Transit Space Race

Today articles in all of the Seattle news papers discussed a bond measure that would go on next year's ballot to expand the light rail system that is currently under construction. The 40 more miles of Light Rail and Streetcars are part of a $17 billion dollar transportation ask. It also has money to buy right of way for a light rail extension to Everett.

The Seattle system even though not complete is already having cities beg to ask for extensions. The cities that don't get extensions or aren't guaranteed stations are upset. This system should when it opens set a national example. If you want to get something done, you have to just pay up and do it. It's for the good of the community and more cars and lane miles on already congested freeways is not going to help people get from point a to point b.

This is a really huge step to expand a system that hasn't even finished initial construction. It also shows that Seattle wants to be a world class city. The transit space race has many of these cities looking to build out serious systems to make themselves more livable and while it seems like it might be a little expensive, the benefits will be returned to the communities multi-fold. Imagine if the Washington DC Subway was never built. It would have been a travesty but it would have also influenced how that region grew out instead of up along the corridors. Hopefully when democratic leaders go to pick a presidential candidate they can see how Denver is shaping up in its bid to win the Transit Space Race.

I'm not sure how to rank cities in the TSR...but if i had to pick some that are doing the best, Denver and Seattle are front runners. Portland has a head start so i didn't count it in that initial assessment but soon i'll do a comarison between the frontrunners listed in the sidebar. But the others in the race don't seem that far behind either.


M1EK said...

Redmond needs to pony up to make this happen instead of whining about it - they've taken far more than they've contributed to regional infrastructure for the last few decades, and they have more than enough local dollars to do it.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Heck Paul Allen is paying for most of the South Lake Union Streetcar so why not have Microsoft be good corporate citizens and help out a bit.