Get ready Puget Sound drivers, your trip to SeaTac could get a lot longer—and a lot less reliable.
It doesn’t matter whether you take a shuttle, a taxi, a bus (even the vaunted 194), or ride with a friend: starting in 2009 you’re going to need to leave earlier. That’s because Initiative 985 will eliminate carpool lanes except for some very short periods during rush hour. All those airport conveyances are going to see their reliability go right out the window.
Excited? I know I am.
It gets better. Traffic engineers say there’s a very good chance that even solo drivers—the well-heeled who can afford airport parking — will also end up with a longer trip. That’s in part because under 985 drivers will be sharing the lanes with buses and shuttles and cabs. And because those high-occupancy modes won’t make as much sense—they can’t offer a real advantage without carpool lanes—a lot of those travelers will just opt to drive alone. Which will mean more cars on the road. And more congestion. It’s also in part because some HOV facilities will have to be configured, or even closed, to accomodate 985’s requirements.
It’s maybe worth mentioning that only 4 counties in Washington have carpool lanes. But what’s really super about a statewide initiative is that all 39 counties will vote—even though 35 of those counties have no stake whatsoever in the outcome. That’s right: voters in Goldendale, Moses Lake, and Clarkston will tell drivers in King County whether or not they can have carpool lanes. I’m sure this will work out wonderfully.
I hope you get consulted to write the script for the No on 985 TV ads.
It is time those Eastern Counties get even with the Western WA councties after all we screw them up with higher taxes and other things they have no need for— also hate to bust your bubble but people aren’t going to drive alone– we have gas prices to think about –not car pool lanes.
So if every intitiative has a reason, what is this one’s? And more to the point, who is paying the “pro” advertising and lobbying?
Nice post! Interesting way of shining ligh on some of the unexpected results created from how we vote as a democracy. It seems like our society wants simple solutions but this is a great way of reaalizing that it is often not as simple as we would like. BTW…I just do not buy that this is a result of the East taking vengeance on the West! I do understand that there can be a battle and the the public does not often agree because we do not understand one another completely. However, I need hard facts before I can believe that part of the state is voting purposely to punish others.
Is Quinn just being saccastic? How does Western Washington make Eastern Washington pay higher taxes? Considering that most state sales tax is generated by the metropolitan areas (i.e., Western Washington) and that a good portion of those tax dollars are distributed throughout the state, Eastern Washington should be pretty happy with Western Washington. What’s the reason for this initiative? Good question, Erik. I believe it’s Tim Eyeman’s joke on the stupid, greedy people who keep signing his initiatives and, of course, it keeps him employed.
How do we manage to roll back all the progress we’ve made in urban planning and environmental protection in the last 30 years? Measures that some have worked so hard to achieve? It’s the short-sightedness we embrace so often. We save a few dollars on our license renewal and then sit in ferry lines for hours. Can’t people see the outcome of these actions?