David Miller is spokesman for Sidewalks and Streets for Seattle.

Prop 1 is a politician’s dream. They made the spending guidelines so vague they can promise sidewalk people lots of new sidewalks. Bikers? We’re promised biking nirvana. Bus riders? Improvements galore. It’s a shell game with your taxes. Voters don’t know exactly what this measure buys them because, as the Transportation Benefit District (TBD) said when they passed it, “we want the flexibility to do whatever we want.” That makes it easier to sell to interest groups, but Seattle voters deserve better for in exchange for $204 million of our tax dollars.

Own a scooter? You owe $60. Own a $500 Pinto? You owe $60.That dude driving the $75,000 luxury SUV? He owes the same $60. This tax is regressive and all the TBD did to address this social justice issue was pass a resolution saying they’ll look into it.

This tax goes beyond regressive to being just plain mean. This measure funds no new bus hours or routes to make it easier for folks on the financial edge to avoid this tax. After spending over $100 million on “transit improvements” the TBD sticks us with the same infrequent, overcrowded bus service. Mean.

When voters were presented a badly constructed transportation proposal in 2007, we voted it down. When an improved version came back in 2008, we approved it. Do the same on Seattle TBD Proposition 1. Vote down this poorly-constructed measure so we can create a better one actually addressing Seattle’s transportation needs.

Seattle’s missing sidewalk problem is legendary. There is a $600 million backlog in sidewalk construction. If you live north of 85th or south of I-90, you probably have to walk in the street to get to the bus and kids have to walk in the street to get to school. This measure does almost nothing to help, building maybe nine new block faces a year.

Seattle has 115 bridges. 60 percent of them are rated "poor" or worse. This measure has no specific funding for bridge work.

We have an $800 million backlog of street repair work in Seattle and complaints about road conditions are increasing from bus riders, cyclists, and drivers. Yet only 29 percent of dollars raised are allocated to these needs.

We need jobs. The dysfunctional crew in DC isn’t getting it done and the group in Olympia is so scared of Tim Eyman they’d rather eliminate our safety net than talk about raising revenues. Our blue-collar middle class has absorbed the worst of a recession caused by Wall Street bankers. Instead of putting unemployed blue-collar workers back to work building sidewalks, fixing bridges, or repairing roads, we get $18 million in studies. This is unacceptable.

Seattle voters have proven to be generous, but we aren’t gullible. We deserve a transportation measure specifically addressing Seattle’s transportation needs—more bus hours, more sidewalks, safer bridges, and more road repairs.

Proposition 1 isn’t that measure.

It is vague, unbalanced, and regressive. Vote it down and help us come back next year with a less regressive, more balanced proposal.

(Read the Slog post from the other side, arguing to vote yes, over here.)