Local propositions to increase transit service passing; roads measures failing

State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon writes:

Little-noticed results from last Tuesday: voters in Grays Harbor County overwhelmingly (70.8%) approved a 0.1% sales tax increase to protect bus service, and voters in deeply conservative Okanogan County approved (56.2%) a significant 0.4% sales increase to create an entirely new bus agency.

Meanwhile, roads measures failed in Tacoma, Covington, and Othello. I take no joy in seeing badly-needed road maintenance in those cities fall short, but maybe it’s worth noting (attention Senate Republicans!) that voters even in rural counties are saying that bus service is a priority. Time to listen to the voters?

The Legislature is in the process of trying to put together a roads-centric transportation package that many people think will end up before voters in 2014, either as a citizen-initiated referendum or a legislative-referred referendum.

No proposal has been formally unveiled, but what’s being negotiated behind closed doors is said to be very auto-centric, and will carry a large price tag.