Update: Second round of results out for Proposition 1; county leaders say they’re planning for cuts

April 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 48 Comments

4:23 PM: “Yes” on Metro/roads-money Proposition 1 gained a bit of ground in the second round of results just released but “no” is still leading, now by nine percentage points. Current tally:

No – 224,441 votes, 54.51%
Yes – 187,324 votes, 45.49%

5:22 PM: County leaders have issued a news release saying that they’re now making plans for Metro cuts. County Executive Dow Constantine is quoted as saying, “We gave the voters a choice, and presented a proposal for saving Metro Transit and maintaining our roads. They have chosen a reduced level of service, and we will carry out the will of the voters. Tomorrow I will transmit legislation to the King County Council to reduce service by 550,000 hours and eliminate 72 bus routes.” The County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment committee will have public hearings on the plan before taking final action by the end of May. The draft version of the 550,000-hour reduction is in our election report from last night.

48 Comments

  1. Let the bus users pay for their bus service. Over the past 4 years car lanes have been converted to bus-only lanes and/or bike lanes, our gas tax is one of the highest in the country, bus ridership is still low, and “officials” want those driving cars to pay for the mess that the “officials” created? Have them cut their own salaries, ride bikes, or walk to work. We’re crammed into these “urban villages”, living on top of each other, and “officials” can’t understand why we don’t want to pay more taxes while getting less and less. They’re clueless. Clueless. Their little Socialist State of Seattle isn’t what they expected!

    Comment by JS — 6:03 pm April 23, 2014 #

  2. The vote outcome is going to have a very negative impact on those that depend on the bus.

    This vote result saddens and frustrates me.

    Comment by Teri Ensley — 6:12 pm April 23, 2014 #

  3. Now they say it will cost more to fix Bertha then it did to buy the toy tunnel boring machine. Time to pull the plug on the tunnel and rebuild the viaduct and with the billion plus saved give it to Metro and tell King County to spend it wisely.

    Comment by Max — 6:22 pm April 23, 2014 #

  4. Funny how folks like to complain about people not paying their share to ride the bus, when it would be unacceptable for me to complain about paying for your children to attend school.

    Comment by JEM — 6:52 pm April 23, 2014 #

  5. Wow, JS. You are really off on two points. Prop 1 passed in Seattle. And bus ridership is up – all time high. Cars are dinosaurs, fed by fuel that is getting harder and more dangerous to get out of the ground. Until battery technology – or something else entirely – becomes mainstream, we need to support other forms of transportation (ie; bicycles) and modes that efficiently move lots of people that lower emissions as well as need less fuel (ie buses). And ultimately light rail/trolley. I will say that Metro needs new leadership, and that must be something that is talked about in seriousness moving forward with funding.

    Comment by AmandaKH — 6:53 pm April 23, 2014 #

  6. Make the state legislature do its job and pass a statewide transportation funding plan.

    Comment by Wes Cider — 6:57 pm April 23, 2014 #

  7. Max, that’ll never happen. Seattle is firmly in the grip of developers who want their waterfront playground and it’ll be paid for with our money.

    Comment by Civik — 7:03 pm April 23, 2014 #

  8. So. Bertha cost $80 million.

    But it is going to cost $125 million to fix it.

    How does that make sense in any world.

    And it is these people (directly and indirectly) that help discredit this state’s transportation issues.

    That should infuriate EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS CITY, COUNTY AND STATE for forcing this boondoggle on us.

    Comment by Ray — 7:18 pm April 23, 2014 #

  9. @ Amanda if prop 1 was raising fare to the people who use the service it would have passed. Raising taxes when you have more revenue coming in does not make sense and the people understood that.

    Comment by chris — 7:34 pm April 23, 2014 #

  10. What Wes said.

    Comment by quiz — 7:42 pm April 23, 2014 #

  11. JS Your comment was dead on, you said it all. I think any contractor that builds a condo without any parking should have a minimum of a million dollar fee on their permit with 100% going to Metro. It makes me sick of all the out of control growth in West Seattle and other parts of the city. About 20 years ago when the bird brains started talking about Urban Villages a survey was done on the WS Bridge and at that time we were told the bridge was at 120 or 130% of capacity and that was before we loss a lane to the busses.

    Comment by Max — 8:17 pm April 23, 2014 #

  12. I assume the “it-should-fund-itself-pay-as-you-go” crowd are all in favor of tolls on every highway and city street.

    Comment by KBear — 8:30 pm April 23, 2014 #

  13. Do not punish the developers. The city is the one responsible for the permits. Blame them for not requiring parking. The builders are just doing what they are allowed to get away with.

    Comment by Ray — 8:41 pm April 23, 2014 #

  14. This is what happens when our elected officials do not have consequences at election time. A democrat running in Seattle is going to win every time. Doesn’t matter his/her position on any issue. A monkey could run in Seattle as a democrat and it would win elected office. What incentive is there for any elected official to have political courage and make difficult decisions? They can simply not rock the boat, put every difficult and controversial decision up for a vote to give them selves political cover and never have to worry about being re-elected. Same goes for republicans from eastern washington

    Completely agree with those above that say all of this can be avoided if the state legislature simply did it’s job.

    Comment by Reality — 8:42 pm April 23, 2014 #

  15. What on earth does Bertha/SR99 have to do with this link? Just more ranting by ignorant folks who apparently can’t pay attention. Prop 1 had nothing – at all – to do with the DBT. Jeez people, pay attention.

    Question for all the “let them eat cake” morons who are arguing bus fares should be higher – who, exactly, do you think ride the bus? Rich folks? My mind boggles at the selfishness – if I don’t ride the bus, then why subsidize others? And for all the car-only drivers (me included) and who voted “no” – didja happen to catch the part of Prop 1 that paid for roads repairs. Notice how crappy our roads are getting? Be nice if we could fix them … but apparently we don’t want to pay for that either. So stupid.

    Comment by gdig — 8:56 pm April 23, 2014 #

  16. I have to wonder what Amazon is thinking now that they have committed to moving here only to have transit yanked out from under their employees. One way or another transit will have to be fixed. Do we have to be building a rep as an unreliable city that cant make up its mind?

    Comment by cj — 9:14 pm April 23, 2014 #

  17. Ummmmm. Amazon has ALWAYS been here.

    Comment by Ray — 9:26 pm April 23, 2014 #

  18. Did we truly have a choice? My bus route was cut 18 months ago and rather than spend 1.5 hours each from WS to the UW, I now drive part way and bus the remainder. Do I want to? No, but do I want to spend 3 hours per day commuting within the city to my job? No! I could commute quicker to and from Tacoma – until these cuts!! Rapid Ride is a joke – why was money spent on buses that are only full during the commuting hours in the am/pm? I routinely see Rapid Ride C buses about 1 minute apart on Fauntleroy every evening with 5 people or less! Poorly run system!!

    Comment by patricia — 9:43 pm April 23, 2014 #

  19. Please, Seattle isn’t remotely socialist. You’re thinking of Denmark.

    Comment by datamuse — 9:46 pm April 23, 2014 #

  20. Jay, who do you think Smart Growth Seattle lobbies for? I’ll give you a clue, it isn’t ‘Smart Growth’. It was created by a guy who runs a capital investment firm who funds most of the developers and construction that is pissing residents off. It is there to help shape law so one person can make more money.

    Blame the developers. They are in on the Con as well.

    Comment by Civik — 9:54 pm April 23, 2014 #

  21. This might not do much, but perhaps they can add fare enforcement to the RapidRide and lightrail. I noticed that the downtown transit tunnels don’t have any pay turnstiles, as they have with other large city transit (such as BART/Muni in the Bay Area), you really can just ride for free. Also, the RapidRide doesn’t enforce payment, it assumes you’ll pay at the stations under the new bus shelters, and there’s no requirement to pay when you board the bus.
    .
    There will always be some level of fare avoidance, as you can’t easily enforce fares on out of tunnel light-rail stations. However, I’m baffled Metro has decided to build new rail and buy new busses that don’t require you to pay.

    Comment by K — 9:58 pm April 23, 2014 #

  22. At least until the Washington State legislature, King County or Seattle government figure out what to do to provide the bus service we need at a cost acceptable to taxpayers, some of us (not all of us) can ride bikes to get places and free up seats on the buses that are still running, and free up space on the roads for those who must drive. Bicycle transportation increases roadway bandwidth without increasing roadway width. Kind of like energy conservation by increasing efficiency — getting more out of the existing capacity. It’ not the whole solution, but it can be a significant part.

    West Seattle Bike Connections is here to help that happen, and to make it safe, attractive and convenient for as many people as possible.

    Comment by Don Brubeck — 9:58 pm April 23, 2014 #

  23. Just pass a toll from those who want to enter or exit the City of Seattle. Those who want to travel within are good. Im sure those who voted no against the proposal will change their mind as soon as they are stuck in the backup. Remember, no one knows how to handle finances like me..just say no.

    Comment by Dale — 11:07 pm April 23, 2014 #

  24. I like how all of these options target one groups vs another.

    Here is another ludicrous one to add to the mix, that makes more sense and is fairer:

    Why not just put a per person tax on every single person in Seattle. We ALL benefit from transportation, as everyone keeps pointing out. The streets are used by car, buses, delivery trucks, mail, etc. Stores are stocked using trucks.

    If Metro/DOT/etc need money, just increase the per person tax on every single person, so that everyone has skin in the game. We are a community aren’t we? Everyone has responsibilities to the community.

    Comment by Ray — 1:16 am April 24, 2014 #

  25. i think metro should cut service to all the places that likely resent being taxed to pay for a socialist county-wide bus system: bellevue, auburn, covington, carnation, etc.
    .
    let those self-reliant anti-taxation patriots drive their carless citizens around.
    .
    KBear and JEM: spot on.

    Comment by redblack — 5:11 am April 24, 2014 #

  26. It has frustrated me since I moved to this city how a commute of an hour or more is acceptable and considered normal! Where I used to live, my commute took 15 minutes (the same distance take me 1 to 1.5 hours here).

    Even MORE frustrating is that I have no options in this city to alleviate the commute time other than quit my current job and find something in my neighborhood. Bus, car, bike… they all take an obscene amount of time to travel a short distance with traffic gridlock.

    I moved to (West) Seattle from my hometown to give up my car, help reduce my carbon footprint, save money, and take the stress out of getting to work, all with the assumption that a city as big as SEATTLE would have it’s mass transit figured out.

    Clearly, that isn’t the case. 1.5 hours each day is about 36,000 hours of my life wasting time in traffic (over 4 YEARS) when multiplied out for the rest of my life.

    Sorry Seattle; I wanted to help contribute to your economy and growth, but I just can’t afford to waste 4 years of my life in gridlock. I’m moving.

    Comment by Valerie — 6:35 am April 24, 2014 #

  27. Re drivers paying for usage of streets and highways. We already do! with one of the highest gas taxes in the country. The problem is that the funds raised for roads by gas tax paying consumers are co-opted for pie in the sky dreams of bicycle master plans, buses and ridiculous tunnel dreams. AND now we get tolls to boot. 520 anyone? At least we’ll never have to pay the DBT toll-as this project will never be completed.
    But yes. Tolls are good. User fees are good. And anyone who would put them in place, please recognize it should be across the board. Yes transit and cyclists – I’m looking at you.

    Comment by 935 — 6:43 am April 24, 2014 #

  28. so much misinformation
    so little facts :(

    Comment by JoB — 7:24 am April 24, 2014 #

  29. Valerie hit it on the head. It comes down to quality of life. Specifically in regards to Seattle’s transportation and “urban village” push QOL has been on a steady decline for years. It would be just as acceptable from a commuting view to live in the suburbs and take I-5 into town. I have experienced the 1.5 hr commute into downtown from west Seattle via both bus and a car. I think the transportation strategy the planners and developers have pushed is simple. Choke everything off, make it horrible for working professionals and families to get anywhere, let it ferment for a while. Once done cooking in this stew the citizens will open up their pocket books and pay for any half baked idea to alleviate the pain.

    Comment by WsEd — 8:19 am April 24, 2014 #

  30. @Valerie: fun trivia I found out recently from exploring Google Maps — the furthest removed part of West Seattle by mileage from the urban core (downtown) is basically the far, far southwest bottom of the hill down in the Arroyos. 9.5~ miles. Every other part and basically every other part of West Seattle is less than 10 miles to downtown, but it takes an hour for many of us to commute. That’s kind of crazy.

    Comment by Joe Szilagyi — 8:29 am April 24, 2014 #

  31. I give up, I’m not reading comments on WSB anymore. The ongoing flood of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies from the anti-transit pro-pollution crowd is too infuriating and it’s going to give me a heat attack. I hear by abandon the comments forever to the whiny selfish pro-pollution right wingers.

    Comment by I quit — 8:44 am April 24, 2014 #

  32. JEM – public education costs are the responsibility of the taxpayers under the state constitution. Individual commuting costs are not the responsibility of taxpayers. Apples and oranges.

    Comment by skeeter — 9:07 am April 24, 2014 #

  33. I’m with Valerie. All of these ideas, some bad, some worse – but collectively lacking cohesion or any compromise with the goal of getting to a reasonable solution. Patch job after patch job. Meanwhile, we all sit in traffic.
    .
    I’m moving my family out of the area as well.

    Comment by Jane — 9:25 am April 24, 2014 #

  34. I don’t really want to pay more than we do right now, but I suggest that Metro raise fares in order to keep as many buses running as possible. In Europe public transit is excellent, but it is costly. In London a short ride costs the equivalent of $3.70, more for longer commutes.

    Comment by sardine — 10:28 am April 24, 2014 #

  35. Ha! 1st world problems.

    Comment by brandon — 10:34 am April 24, 2014 #

  36. If the bus riders were to pay for their bus service, each ride would be over $10 one way. So, how about we make the road users (cars) pay each time they drive on the roads that the bus users help support? Say, $20 each way? Seems about right to me. It seems that there are a lot of people in Seattle who love the gridlock that their SOV driving causes. I’m sorry that I don’t share that view with you. I go out of my way to only use my car during “off” hours so I don’t get caught in the gridlock so many of you love. I also use the bus to get to work every day, so I don’t have to jostle with the all the do-do’s driving their SOV’s, with their horrible road rage…no thanks, I’ll stick with a trained driver, who I help pay with my taxes and my bus fare. And those who say bus ridership is low: do you ever read a paper, see the evening news??? Bus ridership is at an all time high! Get ready for the new reality in the King County area, more gridlock than you’ve ever seen before.

    Comment by Livin' in West Seattle '91 — 10:39 am April 24, 2014 #

  37. I keep seeing people complaining about additional taxes, as well as plans lacking cohesion or being patch jobs. A comprehensive plan to put in a subway system, or other grade separated transportation, along with other upgrades to solve our commuting problem are going to, if anything, cost more in orders of magnitude than a $60 car tab.

    An upgraded public transit system throughout Seattle would increase the transit choices for individual commuters, and effectively decrease the distance (in time of commute) to jobs, and overall decrease the time spent in traffic. This in turn, should increase property values. The anti-tax crowd will want to say ‘let the users pay for it’, discounting the fact that improved amenities, be it schools or transportation, will add to the value of their properties.

    I built that!

    Comment by James — 10:48 am April 24, 2014 #

  38. Stereotyping SUV’s won’t bring in votes.

    Comment by brandon — 12:27 pm April 24, 2014 #

  39. Its very sad that prop 1 failed in King County, but do note that it passed in Seattle. Regarding the comment about taking 1 1/2 hours to get from W Seattle to downtown, that seems crazy. Why not ride a bike- even an electric assisted one if you have hills to climb. I can get downtown from W Seattle in 20 minutes on my regular bike, no matter what the traffic. Use the car during off-peak hours. And the bike paths are soon getting better thanks to the recent passed Master Bike Plan. Don’t move away, be part of the solution and get healthy too :-)

    Comment by Nancy R. — 12:36 pm April 24, 2014 #

  40. I voted no, and it was probably my first ever no vote on a tax increase. I have no problem with taxes and paying a larger share for bus service.
    However, my no vote is because there is a lack of accountability. From our screwed up tax system in the state, to the over-development of the city without a plan for transportation, and the lack of a transportation bill from the state, and finally, KC Metro’s complete lack of skill at running a large scale transportation system, these are the reasons why I voted no. And while I absolutely love Dow, he is wrong. I voted no because all city, county and state leaders need to be held accountable for this mess. It is not KC voters fault, and the pointing fingers at the voters or between voters is absolutely wrong. And the service cut threats need to be remembered come election time. Let’s stop fighting amongst ourselves and take some action to tell the politicians to fix this.

    Comment by John — 1:31 pm April 24, 2014 #

  41. Come on Nancy be real. I’m so sick and tired of the bike pushers! Do you know where we live? Where it rains all the time. No thanks. Ride a bike if you want but stop pushing it on others. It’s getting pretty old.

    Comment by A — 1:32 pm April 24, 2014 #

  42. Nancy I do not commute to Seattle. My commute truly is 1.5 hours or more, and my total distance traveled is about 20 miles (very close to my commute distance in my old city where it took me about a third of my current commute time to get to work).

    I’d love to stay in Seattle, but I can’t afford to spend 15 hours every week in gridlock (that’s just getting to and from work, not including travels on my personal time).

    …and I’m plenty healthy, thank you.

    Comment by Valerie — 2:54 pm April 24, 2014 #

  43. brandon:
    .
    SOV = single occupant vehicle

    Comment by redblack — 4:02 pm April 24, 2014 #

  44. A comprehensive plan to put in a subway system, or other grade separated transportation, along with other upgrades to solve our commuting problem are going to, if anything, cost more in orders of magnitude than a $60 car tab.
    .
    Such a thing was advanced, in 1995. Voters rejected it. Then 695 passed, and then 776, and, well. Here we are.

    Comment by datamuse — 4:15 pm April 24, 2014 #

  45. I would vote yes if the Seattle property tax initiative to fund Metro makes it to the November ballot since it’s much more fair than Prop 1 would’ve been. It taxes EVERYONE who lives in Seattle, whether they own a car or not (since even renters will get their rents increased when their landlords pay the $22-per-$100,000 property tax). People own cars so they don’t have to take the bus. Encouraging them to sell their cars and ride the bus would eliminate $60 of funding per former driver.

    Comment by Joseph — 6:16 pm April 24, 2014 #

  46. Livin’ in West Seattle ’91, you must not drive much on the roads these days. You don’t see as many “SOV’s” as you used to. The roads are clogged with Prius’s, Smart cars, shoeboxes on wheels, Fiat’s, Mini-Coopers, etc. And those that do drive “SOV’s” pay for driving them in the form of 38 cents a gallon gas tax to the State. The State want’s to get their money somehow. Gas tax down with all the fuel efficient cars, subsidies for buying a hybrid, so the state thinks about charging per mile driven? We all want good roads and pay taxes for them. We just don’t want the money wasted like it seems to have been in the past and continues to be. For you tax lovers, how much tax is enough to charge????? Are you happy with paying 75% of your income to the state local and federal government? Tax money needs to be spent responsibly.

    Comment by JS — 7:44 pm April 24, 2014 #

  47. JS:
    .
    a prius, mini cooper, fiat, smart car, or other fuel-efficient vehicle is exactly the same as a chevy suburban if it’s occupied by one person. it takes up the same amount of road space.
    .
    the only difference is that an SOV that gets a mere 16 mpg city increases fuel costs for everyone and contributes more to our overall carbon emissions.
    .
    just sayin’…

    Comment by redblack — 6:54 pm April 25, 2014 #

  48. Its sad that people are not realizing it is not about the cost of bus fare. Its about routes will that will be lost. How will anyone on 35th Ave in West Seattle get anywhere. The C line is almost at the end and between Alaska and Barton there will be only 1 bus that crosses 35th ( route 128) and it does not go downtown. With the up and down hills in the area how will the physically struggling people get anywhere. They don’t all qualify for Access service. I wish all those people who voted no to Prop 1 will take time to those needing the service to pick them up and drop them so they can do grocery shopping and or Dr. appointments. One way or another the money will be found, through property taxes or more toll costs, you might have made it worse for yourselves. by the way, I drive but i know it is a luxery and I am willing to help those who are less fortunate.

    Comment by michele — 1:55 pm April 28, 2014 #

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