Samples of Letters We've Sent
Letter to Sound Transit BoardJune 18, 2002
Dear Sound Transit Council Members;
No doubt you have read the headlines about the LINK Light Rail vote in Tukwila. Is this just a bunch of pols trying for a new angle and more money? Or is this a sign that the transit solution you are proposing isn't working. I contend that this is the beginning of the end for LINK Light rail. But it does not have to be the end of Regional Transit. There are good alternatives which are popular among the citizens and the good news is that they are cheaper, safer, faster and still fall within the original voters mandate. I'm speaking of Bus Rapid Transit and Monorail. Monorail currently has a nearly 80% approval rating in Seattle. If you polled the Eastside you would find that there is also significant support for building a Freeway Monorail and a Bus Rapid Transit system, by extending the HOV lanes.
If you delay the inevitable and instead press forward with the current LINK light rail plan you will cause several things to happen. First, you won't succeed in getting the FTA $500Million. You don't have even local support, nevermind that it looks bad nationally. Second Tim Eyman's Initiative will pass and your alternatives to spend the MVET tax money will go away. Your chance of a second vote succeeding will severely diminish and you will have lost the trust of the people you represent. Thirdly there is very good case law that suggests that you will lose the lawsuit presented by Sane Transit.
It's time to admit that you made a mistake and were misled by your transit staff. Fire a law firm or two for show, you won't need them and declare that its time to take a new look at it. Switch to elevated transit, and rubber tires instead of steel for quietness and you now have a Monorail! The lawsuit from SaveOurValley and Sane Transit go away, Tukwilla will approve as you can afford to go to South Center, and Northgate. You don't have the vibration problems with the UW physics lab and you will prevent folks from wanting to kill the MVET insuring that you will continue to have a supply of cash to build good regional Transit. Plus you can leave the Bus Tunnel for bues and keep good Eastside transit options open.
It's time to run a poll or two, or at least read the Op ed page of the Seattle Times and PI (Monorail over Light Rail 9 to 1) and take the high road out of this mess before it eats the regional money, the Federal money and all the other good things that Sound Transit has done. (ST Express buses come to mind.) Don't let LINK Light Rail kill regional transit.
Gary Powell, Renton
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