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Seattle Port Commission adopts resolution opposing Tim Eyman’s I-1125

The Port of Seattle’s governing legislative body today joined with the city councils of Redmond, Kirkland, and Renton in urging a no vote on Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125, which would jeopardize crucial transportation projects around the state by imposing senseless restrictions on tolling.

In a unanimous vote, the five port commissioners responsible for governing the Port (Gael Tarleton, Bill Bryant, Tom Albro, Rob Holland, John Creighton) adopted a motion urging Washingtonians to reject I-1125 and emphasizing the importance of tolling to the future of the state’s highway system.

(Full disclosure: Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton also serves as President of NPI).

The motion adopted by the Port read as follows:

SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION MOTION
TO OPPOSE PASSAGE OF INITIATIVE 1125
OCTOBER 11, 2011

  1. The Port Commission expresses its position that toll revenues have been identified as an important component of funding of transportation infrastructure necessary to creating jobs, maintaining healthy ports and ensuring the state’s competitive position in the global economy.
  2. The existing authority of the Washington State Transportation Commission ensures a stable and predictable process to provide revenues sufficient for transportation project needs, set tolls to maximize efficiency and reduce congestion; and further provides appropriate security for bondholders, thus keeping costs low.
  3. The Commission urges the state’s voters to reject Initiative 1125 on November 8, 2011.
  4. The Port Commission directs the Chief Executive Officer to disseminate this motion to appropriate Washington State officials and interested parties, including but not limited to, the Governor of Washington State, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the House Minority Leader, the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Republican Leader, the Washington State Transportation Commission, the Puget Sound Regional Council, the King County Executive, the King County Council, the City of Seattle Mayor, the Seattle City Council, the Association of Suburban Cities, the various Chambers of Commerce in King County and other business, community, labor and environmental organizations.

As the motion indicates, Keep Washington Rolling, the coalition working to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1125, is one of the broadest and deepest ballot coalitions in state history, encompassing business, labor unions, environmental organizations, civic groups, and the Democratic Party (NPI is a proud coalition member).

The reason so many different people and institutions have come together to stop I-1125 is simple: it threatens our future. Our future prosperity. Our future mobility. Our future freedom. It is vital that we move forward with projects to repair and replace crumbling roads and bridges. I-1125 threatens our ability to do that by crippling an important funding mechanism: tolling.

We urge all Washingtonians to join us in voting NO on I-1125 this autumn.

2 Comments

  1. Posted October 12th, 2011 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    The 18th Amendment to the State Constitution was approved by voters in 1944, and protects gas taxes for highway purposes, never light rail.

    It is unfortunate that these various local governments and private corporations do not respect the wishes of the 1944 voters, when the amendment passed by 70% in 1944.

    Furthermore, suddenly tolling freeways that were previously not tolled is a disaster. Pepople will suddenly drive on surface streets, causing horrible congestion. And, variable tolling is not fair to the poor, even if it’s only $3 during peak time hours.

    Therefore, I advocate these four (and other) progressive proposals:

    1. Do not toll any existing freeways. Instead, index the state and federal gas taxes to inflation, to pay for adding more freeway lanes to 520, 90, 405, I-5, etc.

    2. Consider raising the State gas tax by a very modest amount, and then exempting the poor from paying (i.e. by submitting a special I.D. at gas stations, for example).

    3. Only use tolls to pay for new connecting freeways, that will reduce congestion on I-405 and I-5. These north-south parallel arterials would be those indicated by Dr. Bill Eager, including widening SR-18, SR-167, and several new freeways in the Snoqualmie Valley, and north of Redmond to Everett.
    See the map HERE – from Dr. William Eager – http://www.tdanet.com/tda_inc_downloads_page.htm

    4. Provide bus rapid transit in the entire region, including distant rural roads leading to suburban areas where people suffer long commutes, such as SR-164, SR-410, SR-169, and SR-18.

    Thanks for the info.
    Tom Lane

  2. Nathalie Wittlin
    Posted October 27th, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Does NPI have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions you might be interested in hearing. You’ve got a great site and I look forward to seeing it grow further. Looks like you’ve been keeping The Advocate going for a long time!

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  1. By Morning Rundown for October 12th, 2011 on October 12th, 2011 at 9:41 AM

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