This Is Why We Told You to Vote for David Hackney



"When I described this bill to my partner, he said, "oh... so they're making the law not stupid?" And that seems like a good way to sum things up."

Interesting. I would have thought the removal of the request-for-proposal process for vetting vendors and the elimination of consideration of social, environmental, and economic impacts might merit some consideration, but, then again, this is the Stranger.


Blue Team supports it! Red Team opposes it! And it'll "ensure equity"! What more reasons could you possibly need?


Matt, you make this sound like it simply diverts existing funds for the monorail to focus on other rail projects whether it be street car or light rail but it does oh so much more. It actually allows the city to create its own transportation district and as such levy new taxes.

"The Authority may also, subject to voter approval, establish a 2.5 percent
excise tax on motor vehicles owned by residents within the area of the Authority; impose a 1.944 percent sales tax upon car rentals within the city; impose up to a $100 fee on vehicle relicensing; impose a regular property tax levy up to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value as a junior taxing district; and/or to impose excess property tax levies for operating funds, bond repayment, and certain other purposes if approved by sufficient numbers of voters."

Owning a car in Seattle is about to get really expensive, that should make the urbanists super happy.


Let’s find a way to manipulate legislation in a way it was never meant to be used then exclaim good government. Oh, and QFC closed two seattle stores today due to a city council the Stranger loves.


@3 No it is exploiting/using a law everyone kinda forgot about. Kinda like the ancient Anti-KKK law that is now being used federally to sue dump and giuliani.


The question Matt's partner should have asked, "Why do backwoods hicks get to vote against projects that only affect Seattle or King County?"


@6 Matt's partner might want to take a look at Article XI, Section 12 and Article VII, Section 9, of the Washington State Constitution.

@3 Those taxing provisions have been codified for nearly 20 years, take a look at RCW 35.95A. This proposed legislation doesn't seem to really do anything different, although I haven't really analyzed it that closely.


@7 yes except they were codified for expanding the monorail only so in essence were meaningless. The point of Matt's post is that this new legislation would enable the city to form the transportation district for a streetcar line or light rail. I would assume they would focus on the streetcar since light rail is Sound Transit's jurisdiction. So now Seattle drivers will have to pay Sound Transit and mini me Sound Transit for a streetcar line that is more vanity project than an actual transportation solution.


@3 It always amazes me how you progressives on the Fascist right hate Democracy. The whole point of creating such a transit district is to allow the people in that district to chose to tax themselves, to pay for transit solutions that serve their community. Someone in Tacoma or Spokane should have no say at all in how folks in the greater Seattle area chose to tax themselves to make their lives better. Of course, you Fascist scum want to keep government broken and underfunded, so you can keep spreading the lie that greedy corporations can better solve the problems of the people.


I say we invest that money back in the nuclear plant!


@9 over react much? Look if Seattle people want to tax themselves to pay for transportation than more power to them and I have no doubt if this is put forth it will pass with flying colors. I just have serious doubts that the city will manage the money effectively and that the projects they are contemplating will do anything to solve transit issues. Why not open this up so it can be used for buses and infrastructure like bridges? What does affordable housing have to do with any of it except to inflate the cost of these projects? It feels more like another slush fund for them to use on whatever is suiting their fancy at the moment and of course once a transportation district is established it will never go away.


@4 Hahaha. riiiight. The stament from Kroger finished with:
"...When you factor in the increased costs of operating during COVID-19, coupled with consistent financial losses at these two locations..."

Yeah. It was those Evil Soshulists on the SCC that made two QFC's close. Two locations that were chronically under-used, on the chopping block and not-profitable for years.

PS. Kroger 2020 operating profit was $792 million which was up 33% compared to 2019.

But that $4.00 per hour temporary hazard pay was just gonna KILL 'em, right?


@5 is correct. There are many laws on our books that were used for Reconstruction or to build electric streetcars that could be repurposed for other good things today.

And be used to crush the Republicans.


Reporting like this is so depressing. This is why transit in this city is second rate. The old law was stupid. This new law is almost as stupid, so now people think it is is brilliant. Stupid Republicans oppose it, so stupid Democrats think it is the best we can do.

The flaw with this bill is rather obvious. It should say "transit", instead of "grade separated rail". This plan would not allow any funding for the mode that carries most of the riders in this city, and will continue to carry most of the riders, no matter how much money we spend on light rail. It won't pay for running buses in their own lanes, or building new bus tunnels. It won't pay for running buses every five minutes, through the entire city. It won't pay for shit, basically, although it will help bail out Sound Transit with its poorly designed, and now poorly executed ST3 plan.

Let me just quote Kevin Desmond, former head of TransLink:

“You just move to the sex appeal,” he explained. “You move to where the billions of dollars go. It’s a natural thing. It’s what politicians want to do. They want to build big things. Buses are not sexy. I took it as a mission of mine, and it started in New York [where Desmond used to work], to reject that buses aren’t sexy and reject that buses are for losers.... If we just assume that all walks of life should use the bus, we can step up the quality of the bus service, and it actually isn’t that hard to do it.”

This is from a guy who ran the best rail system on the West Coast, with about half a million riders a day (more than the much bigger BART). This dwarfs Link in terms of ridership (we have less than 100,000), yet the bus ridership in Vancouver is even higher, with about over 750,000 riders a day. They have a system that carries about half a million more people a day than ours because it just works better. They have invested in both the trains and buses. Both are fast and frequent.

I'm not saying we shouldn't invest in rail. I'm saying we shouldn't limit ourselves to rail, when obviously the greatest bang for the buck in terms of transit is to run the buses more often, and make them run faster. If you, as reporters, actually looked at what is happening in terms of transit -- instead of fixating on Link -- you would realize this.


@3 " It actually allows the city to create its own transportation district and as such levy new taxes."

Of course it does. That is what the old law did. The only difference is that instead of being limited to spending money on a monorail, we are limiting ourselves to spending money on grade separated light rail. The old restriction was really stupid. This is only kinda stupid.

This is a really weird restriction. I don't know of any agency that operates this way. Sound Transit, for example, builds a lot of light rail, but they spend a bunch on bus service as well, along with major bus infrastructure projects. It is really crazy to limit spending to a mode, yet the Seattle Subway crowd convinced a lot of gullible people that this was essential.


@15 can't you fund transportation needs whether it be bus, light rail or a streetcar via voter approved levy's and taxes (e.g. Move Seattle) without creating an entirely new taxing administration similar to Sound Transit? I don't understand why it's necessary to set up more layers of government and give taxing power to an entity that will probably never go away once it is voted in? I'd much rather approve levy's on a piecemeal basis with a defined project list. My faith in the city to not turn this into some giant slush fund is not high.