Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mass Transit Now unveils terrific radio ad explaining the benefits of Proposition 1

Earlier this month (as we knew they would) wealthy right wing special interests, including Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman Jr., launched a deceptive radio ad filled with lies about Proposition 1, Sound Transit's regional plan to expand bus service, build light rail, and extend commuter trains.

The "No to Prop 1" ad distorts and exaggerates the cost of the plan, without even attempting to discuss the merits of the proposed projects.

It also tries to depict Sound Transit as a failure:
Prop 1 is more Sound Transit promises, but can you name one promise they have kept?
That's a false rhetorical question we can easily debunk... with visual proof:

View of the front of a Kinkisharyo light rail vehicle

Light rail isn't open to the public yet, but it's coming. As promised. Now it's time to utilize the lessons we've learned from this groundbreaking project, which has been well-managed after what was a rocky start.

What the "No To Prop 1" ad doesn't mention is that Sound Transit has a superb track record of delivering projects on time and under budget. In fact, since the early 2000s, Sound Transit's Board has had an official policy of under-promising and over-delivering, which ensures that the agency can build what voters approve.

Ironically, the people behind "No to Prop 1" - including Kemper Freeman, Jr. but also Mark Baerwaldt, John Niles, and Bruce McCaw - have been hindering Sound Transit's progress for years by filing lawsuits, driving unfair media coverage, and urging federal officials not to give Sound Transit any money.

Nevertheless, since 1996, Sound Transit has successfully deployed a region-wide network of express buses that provide an alternative to driving through congested corridors, launched and extended the immensely popular Sounder commuter rail service, and has almost finished construction of Central Link light rail, which is over ninety percent complete and due to open next year.

In addition, Sound Transit is set to begin work on University Link, which will bring light rail across the Montlake Cut. (The University Link project is already funded and is not part of this year's Proposition 1 proposal).

To help voters understand the incredible value of Proposition 1, the Mass Transit Now campaign has unveiled a concise, informative, and appealing radio ad that beautifully lays out the benefits of investing in alternatives to the automobile. We think it's one of the best ads of the 2008 election cycle.

But you don't have to take our word for it. Click play to have a listen:

The emphasis on the Express bus service improvements is excellent, because we at NPI have heard from more than one voter who seems to think this package only encompasses rail projects - and that's not true. If Proposition 1 is enacted, a hundred thousand additional hours of Express bus service will be added starting in 2009 - a big and critical increase in service that will help overcrowded routes.

That's immediate relief that commuters would get in just a few short months.

The great thing about Proposition 1 is that it addresses both our short and long term needs. All of the money ...all of it... will be invested in attacking gridlock where it's the worst: in the key north-south and east-west corridors that many of us rely upon to get from home to work and back.

A vote for Proposition 1 is a vote to wisely spend our tax dollars building a transportation system that will give us all choices and get cars off the road.

Even if you have no intention of ever setting foot inside an Express bus or a Link train, you benefit from Sound Transit's Proposition 1... because less traffic means a more reliable commute for everyone.


Blogger cvandyk5 said...

Unfortunately, Andrew, you are falling for the propaganda on this one. For an alternative analysis from a progressive point of view, go to

This isn't a right wing or a left wing issue. It's about spending billions to dig tunnels -- or more efficient uses of transportation dollars. Transit Now -- two years ago -- no opposition from these folks. Why don't you include Ron Sims in the list of right wing evil doers?

In the interest of disclosure, I am the creator of the NoToProp1.Org media campaign. I also have Democratic party campaign credentials going back to 1972 - the McGovern campaign. Being Progressive doesn't mean flushing dollars down toilets.

October 24, 2008 10:36 AM  
Blogger Ben Schiendelman said...

Ah, it's Chris Van Dyk. The same one who lies and claims he somehow took over Sound Transit's domain!

This man has been on a tirade against Sound Transit for ages. He doesn't understand cost-effectiveness - if he did, he might realize that the federal government ranks transit projects on exactly that, and the University Link project (entirely tunneled) is the most cost effective light rail project in the country - why the feds are bankrolling 40% of it, or over $800 million.

But he doesn't care. He's just interested in buses, buses buses! They must be cheap, right?

October 24, 2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Gaius Julius Caesar said...

Wendell Cox is NOT a progressive source by any stretch of the imagination. He is actually a paid shill for the highway lobby and apologist for the automobile. I don't know what his personal politics are, but his public politics on urban and transportation issues is strongly from the right wing libertarian camp.

October 24, 2008 3:34 PM  

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