I know we all have to limit our skepticism and cynicism sometime, but today I don’t feel like it. I’ve been perusing the Proposition 1 overview pamphlet I received the other day and I find it annoying.
Proposition 1 to me seems like a lot of the same rubbish I’ve noticed in Seattle for the ten or so years I’ve lived here. Briefly, here’s my take. I’ve read the bit in the papers about it, and maybe it was just the PI or the Times depiction of it, but the few things I noticed about it really has the hairs on the back of my neck raised.
1.) …of all the various debated “actual” costs of this thing, each projection is A LOT of money. Too much money honestly—likely too much paycheck padding for some undeserving bureaucrats. Of all the proposed quantities of money collected through taxation, they all just about indebt several generations of Seattleites.
2.) …it’s not even definitive. I can admit that nothing in life is definitive, but couldn’t we at least try? Prop 1 doesn’t really give a quantifiable amount of the money needed for these proposed projects. These projects, outlooks, estimates, and supposed benefits: they’re all proposed. That’s why it’s called a PROPOSITION. The government is merely proposing these roads, transit, ease of life, commute benefits, environmental gains, etc. Proposing doesn’t mean promise, no guarantee. Proposing doesn’t mean anything has to be done, let alone began or ever completed. There are no guarantees with Proposition 1. Trust the government? I don’t think so, these people are literally trying to sell us a bridge.
3.) …the only thing that IS guaranteed with Proposition 1 is my point #1 above. The fact that we will be taxed and that they will collect whatever quantity of taxed dollars they want. There’s our guarantee.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that while it touts environmental benefits it is still endorsing and supporting more roads and how this fact contradicts these environmental gains. They plead with us stating that it’ll move us forward into the future, the future is going to happen with or without Prop 1. Envisioning an actual change on our streets is a real vision of the future: having fewer cars on the roads is the future I would like to happen. Adding more roads ALWAYS puts more cars on those roads—that doesn’t sound like reduced congestion. According to the pamphlet it’s not even aiming high with the road improvements. Their key corridors are proposed to be reduced in travel time by “up to 15 minutes.” What’s the rush? If I’m going to be part of spending billions of dollars on something that’s going to save me time, it had better save me more than that and I had better not have to sit in a car while I’m at it.
Let’s not guarantee the government a pile of money for something they cannot even guarantee in writing themselves. They don’t need a blank check, these taxes are not ever going to go away if they’re enacted. There’s differing statements as to how long this debt will last, I’ll either by 67, or 87 years old when it’s “paid off” by two accounts. Either way, I’ll still be riding my bike to get around. Besides why write a blank check to someone with an already bad track record. Let’s not forget this city’s history of “indecision”: did we want those paired stadiums in Sodo? Where’s our monorail? Are we going to have bike lanes on Stone Way or sharrows, evidently this decision hasn’t been made yet, regardless of the fact that the street has painted one method already. I’m sure there’s copious other examples.
(…this message is paid for by Cranked Magazine).