Over the weekend, the Seattle Times editorial board did what the Seattle Times editorial board does. They made a case that the upcoming decision to put Sound Transit’s ST3 proposition on the November ballot was rushed and that it would be better to wait until they’ve come up with a tighter budget and a list of potential alternatives.
Slow down. A November ballot measure is too soon. Sure, the agency has provided much promotional fanfare around the Christmas list of expansion and new services. But there has been little discussion of other options for investing tens of billions in the region.
Considering the expansion of light rail in Puget Sound is decades overdue and the ramifications (see: traffic) are only getting worse, many folks in the region rolled their eyes at what was seen as a predicatable action by the oft-conservative paper.
Since then, quite a few local outlets have decided to take the editorial to task. Here’s the highlights.
Either out of ignorance or journalistic malpractice, the Times then makes it appear that Sound Transit’s costs have spiraled out of control by deliberately conflating an authorized tax rate with its cumulative take over the lifetime of the package. The deliberate obfuscation here – $15B became $54B! – ignores both inflation and the increased project scope driven by public demand.
The Seattle Times Editorial Board is complaining that new light rail is going to take too long while calling for delays in planning and building new light rail. For fuck's sake.
Instead of bringing up the massive tax breaks we offer to corporations, or the fact that our lack of taxation on the highest earners has created unprecedented income inequality in our state, the Times focuses on scaring reading by explaining that they’ll have to pay a little extra per month to get a massively huge increase in transit that will likely improve property values over time.
...All things told, the editorial is Peak Seattle Times Editorial Board: It’s overly-cautious, it’s out of touch with public opinion, and it’s encouraging the delay of something our region sorely needs.
While most agree that there are good ways for Sound Transit to spend it’s money and bad ways, there’s only one way to settle this issue. See you in November.
- Hold off on Sound Transit 3 ballot measure — give discussion time [ST]
- Seattle Times: After a Century of Waiting, Let’s Wait Some More [STB]
- Let's Talk About that Seattle Times Editorial Claiming Sound Transit Should "Slow Down" on New Light Rail [SLOG]
- SURPRISE! THE SEATTLE TIMES ED BOARD IS WRONG ABOUT ST3 [ish]
- Sound Transit Light Rail Stations Could Be Built Sooner Under Revised Plan [CS]