NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

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:

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.

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  1. 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 —

    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

    # by Tom Lane :: October 12th, 2011 at 10:59 PM
  2. 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!

    # by Nathalie Wittlin :: October 27th, 2011 at 12:30 PM

One Ping

  1. […] Seat­tle Port Com­mis­sion adopts res­o­lu­tion oppos­ing Tim Eyman’s I‑1125 […]

    Ping from Morning Rundown for October 12th, 2011 :: October 12th, 2011 at 9:41 AM
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