The News Tribune and the Everett Herald both take a strong editorial position on the transportation package and the governor’s weighing of the “poison pill.”
This year’s important gains in alternative transportation shouldn’t be sacrificed for the instant gratification of an executive fuel mandate. In this state, it’s possible to get more alternative transportation and less carbon. But it’s got to be done the hard way, by selling it to the public and at least some of the skeptics.
We’ll add our voice to the mix: Mr. Governor, don’t swallow the pill…But swallowing the pill comes at too great a cost, particularly for programs that also have value for the environment and our communities. The poison pill threatens to pull back more than $1.1 billion in funding for what are inelegantly called multi-modal transportation projects, spending that would support public transit grants, some state ferries funding, money for counties and cities, the state’s rail program and even bike paths and sidewalks for neighborhoods and school kids. More than $150 million is designated for a program called Complete Streets that seeks to make communities’ main streets accessible to pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles and freight. That money would instead be diverted to road projects.
A decision is expected soon.