Mike McGinn was a halfhearted supporter of light rail while he was mayor, and it looks like the halfheartedness continues now that he's an ex-mayor.

Question for anyone out there. Does this transportation package include the remaining billion dollars or so to complete the western approach of the new 520?
The sprawl is being driven by the desirability of the region vs the lack of building/ building space. If you want people to stop living in Tukwila or Everett and commuting via car, you need to make it economically possible for them to live nearer to where they work. Adding a couple little train lines isn't going to solve this issue, you're just going to spend many times over what it would cost to create some grade-separated bus roads that would do essentially the same thing- slightly relieve car congestion at some peak times. It doesn't solve the devouring of our green-space, it doesn't account for the massive numbers of trucks that bring in and take out every thing this city needs or creates. If you want to actually make a difference you need to set a 5 year moratorium on single family dwelling construction, incentivize high density developments, reduce setbacks, and increase off-street parking so streets can have travel lanes added. Sorry. This is the lesson that walkable, bike-able, good trasit having cities all over the world have having cake and eating it too.
McGinn's signature Seattle legislative victory was overturning the panhandling ordinance. All the guy -- and Sierra Club by extention -- knows how to do is oppose things.

McGinn had an opportunity to produce something, anythint, for Seattle and he blew it. His administration was a series of failed opposition and progress happening in spite of him.

There wasn't much reason to listen to him when he was mayor, and even leas reason to listen to him now.
Aww, I wouldn't mind supporting highways too but I'm more concerned about not being able to pay for education.
I live in S Seattle and work in Eastlake. I live 8.5 miles from my job.

It takes me 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to work if I use Public Transportation.

It takes me 35 minutes to get to work if I drive. (That includes parking 3/4 of a mile away and walking the rest of the way).

Public transportation in this city/region is TERRIBLE and we're going to need more roads anyway at the pace our region is growing. If we can get more Light Rail with some extra freeways as a trade off, I'm all for it.

McGinn lives in lala land. His ideas sound great, but they never work in the real world.
@2 Christ, spot on. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about proposals that would simply shut the city off to everyone who couldn't afford or didn't have a practical need to live in Seattle.
Have to agree with Mike on this.

New highways just feed the pig.

Time to wake up and insist on a 80/10/10 split for transit/bikes/highways.
Mike McGinn never met a proposal he didn't want to say no to in favor of spending more time talking. The assumption is that more talking (arguing) necessarily begets a better plan. It's a failed assumption.

Mr. McGinn, what makes you think next session is going to be any more productive than this one? If you had it your way, we'd all sit on our hands all the time waiting for the perfect set of 167 people in our elected legislative and executive offices to magically appear in order to arrive at your vision of a perfect plan. Arguing for (and participating in the creation of) gridlock is not a tenable public policy position.
@7 says a guy who can afford to live in Seattle where he works. For the multitudes being pushed out to the suburbs by economic factors, a few light rail lines will help some but not most. The worsening commutes become another way of punishing the poor for being poor. We can't talk transportation without talking about the housing crisis.
The only thing "light" about light rail is the horsepower of the engine pulling the passenger train. It's a 19th century transportation solution for long distance commuting that has to be heavily subsidized at the expense of the buses that serve neighborhoods.

If you'd like to jump to the 21st century, what infrastructure might we need to take maximum advantage of new technology? Perhaps a fleet of self-driving transit pods using electric or some other cleaner power source, GPS/digital road bed controls for navigation. Some way to maximize quick and efficient short and long range commutes on a well designed road infrastructure that has to be there anyway for commerce and public safety use.
Sue Lani @10, could we hook you up to a lie detector to check if even you believe the fantastical garbage you're spouting?
The sub-headline is misleading. If the legislature passes (and the governor signs) a transportation package, there will be no money for light rail. It will simply authorize the agency to put a proposal to voters for them to approve. This means that if voters don't like what they propose, we get nothing from a light rail standpoint. This is important. The easy stuff has been done (light rail from downtown to the UW, or from downtown to Bellevue). It is much harder to come up with new plans now (e. g. should we extend light rail further north and south, even though buses will actually be faster?). In other words, it is quite likely that we will get a big freeway package (complete with really stupid new freeways) and then the voters will reject a new Sound Transit proposal.

I think we should consider this possibility (that I personally think is very high) before we automatically assume that this is a trade-off. On the other hand, we should consider what happens if there is no long term transportation package. The short answer is that we "kick the can down the road" or simply continue the current work we we are doing. We might even pass a scaled down, maintenance first budget. This means more waiting (which I know is very frustrating) but it also opens up the possibility of a much more friendly legislature -- the one elected during a presidential election year. Then the state could pass something a lot more reasonable. It could actually authorize money for transit, or it could allow Seattle proper to pay for what it wants (and not be tied to suburban interests). Seattle pays for its share of transit -- all areas pay for their share of transit on a system called subarea equity -- but if the legislature allowed it, we could have independence as well. This means that Seattle voters could approve light rail from Ballard to the UW without having to hope that voters in Snohomish County wanted light rail to Everett or Mukilteo.

This is reminding me a lot of "roads and transit". I originally wanted that because I thought it was worth the trade-off, but I was glad that it was voted down. Eventually we got something better -- much better. The same is true here, but it is happening at the state level, not the regional level. The tide is turning. Folks are finally understanding that spending billions on new freeways is not a good idea. By all means we need to maintain our freeways -- and in many instances we need to add new lanes, overpasses, and the like -- but we should not throw huge amounts of money at new freeways and assume our commute will be hunky dory. It won't be. Putting money in light rail, especially smart light rail, is just a better value once a city gets as congested as us.
@9 -- If you think the roads package is going to make suburban driving any better, you should read the bill again. There is some stuff in there that is decent -- overdue probably. But the two biggest items (509 and 167) are a joke. Huge amounts of money for highways that will simply add to the congestion.

It should be obvious why those two freeways are in there -- they are in swing districts. Representatives from both sides of the aisle really want those seats, and they are bending over backwards to please them. They don't make sense; they won't improve mobility much at all, but they are part of the bill because neither side wants to lose control of the legislature.

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