Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, July 08, 2005

BREAKING: 420,000 signatures total for I-912

NPI has learned that John Carlson, Kirby Wilbur, and their fellow anti-roads campaigners have announced that the total number of signatures gathered for Initiative 912 is 420,000.

190,000 additional signatures were turned in today, adding to the 232,000 already submitted earlier this week.


The Associated Press:
An ambitious $8.5 billion, 16-year transportation program would help finance "mega-projects" like replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle and building a new state Route 520 bridge across Lake Washington. It also would provide cash for hundreds of highway and bridge projects, rail, ferries and other improvements.

The level of early support for the initiative just means gas tax increase supporters will have to work harder, said Lily Eng, spokeswoman for Keep Washington Rolling.

"... We're going to have to get out there and work harder to explain to the public why this transportation plan is necessary for the state," she said.

Tax increase foes say the tax increase won't ease traffic congestion.

Eng responded that the increase isn't about easing congestion, it's about keeping roads safe.

If I-912 passes, it could put on hold a number of repairs for roads such as the U.S. 12 in Walla Walla, Eng said. The Alaskan Way Viaduct is structurally unsound and needs to be addressed immediately, she said.

"These projects are all in jeopardy" if the initiative passes, she said.
Lily Eng is absolutely right.

With the news in, it looks likely that Initiative 912 will be on the ballot, though we won't know officially for several weeks.

In response, NPI has approved immediate measures to improve and expand its Washington Defense website, which will now remain active through November.

We're going to turn this challenge into an opportunity to show that the citizens of Washington State support the gas tax increase and the benefits it brings - like safer roads.

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