Transpo 2015: Beware attempts to get around 18th Amendment

I’ve already noted some of my objections to the idea of financing transportation projects through a cap-and-trade carbon tax rather than a gas tax (see Gov’s transportation plan isn’t honest about who will pay). We’ll be exploring a few more reasons this week that this is the wrong idea at the wrong time. It’s fair […]

Gov’s transportation plan isn’t honest about who will pay

It’s been a busy week in Olympia, one long on hyperbole and short on details. Gov. Inslee unveiled his education plan, transportation plan, a new cap-and-tax system for limiting carbon emissions, and his overall budget proposal that includes new taxes. It’s a bit strong to say that plans were unveiled, if “plan” means a fleshed-out […]

Drive for low carbon fuels standard has cost, logic hurdles to overcome

The Governor’s Office has made no secret that it wants, through legislation or executive order, a low carbon fuels standard (LCFS) in Washington. The goal of an LCFS is to reduce the carbon intensity of automotive fuel. This would likely be achieved by blending more biofuels in our gasoline. The current cost projections for an […]

Not investing in transportation costs money, too

Negotiations in Olympia over a new statewide transportation package have been ongoing – in fits and starts – for almost two years, but have been dormant while the key players wait to see if next week’s election changes the balance of power in the capitol. There’s no doubt Washington needs a new round of transportation […]

Metro bus system: cuts to service hours well below predictions

When King County leaders put the Prop. 1 tax measure on the ballot to further fund the Metro bus system this past spring, they went into full-pessimism mode, warning of draconian cuts. That’s a standard tactic when government is trying to convince voters to raise taxes, but it’s rarely effective. It certainly wasn’t with Prop. […]

WSDOT needs an overhaul

Trouble has been brewing at the Department of Transportation for some time now, and that means trouble for all of us in Washington State. As one of our most important state agencies, WSDOT plays a critical role and has a major impact on our state’s economy and on our own daily lives. We all need […]

Prop. 1 campaign is over, time for state leaders to talk transpo again

King County’s Proposition 1, a car tab and sales tax hike to fund bus transit and local road projects, lost handily on Tuesday night. The proposal would have tacked on an extra $60 for car tabs and raised the sales tax by .1%. Voters were not convinced it was worth it to pour more money […]

Divided government isn’t going away – time for leaders to step up

When the gavel came down earlier this month to end the 2014 legislative session, it also signaled the potential end of the Rodney Tom-dominated Senate, and the certain end of Act I of former Congressman Jay Inslee’s governorship. Presidents, Governors, and State Senators may be elected to four-year terms, but we elect a new Congress […]

They’re reforms, not “so-called reforms” or “leverage”

In the quest to reach consensus on a transportation package, Republican members of the Senate Majority Coalition have moved toward the Democrats’ position significantly. As a result, the Democrats’ edifice of excuses for delay is collapsing. In the latest proposal from Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima): Republicans have called for ending the practice of putting sales […]

Where is the leadership on transportation?

If you listen to the press releases and sober-minded sound bites coming out of Olympia, you would conclude that everyone in the state capitol wants to find consensus on a transportation package that will move our state forward. It’s clear, though, that to many in the state capitol, the November elections are much more important […]