Mayor wants vote on Ballard-West Seattle light rail

Back during the Mayoral elections, now Mayor Mike McGinn brought up the idea of a Ballard-West Seattle light rail line. According to Seattlest, McGinn is hoping for a public vote in August or November to fund the planning stages, which are estimated at about $10 million. “Sound Transit has already promised to study these lines with the passage of Sound Transit 2 in 2008, but the vote would put the project on an expedited timeline,” the article states. You can read the entire article here.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

42 thoughts to “Mayor wants vote on Ballard-West Seattle light rail”

  1. wait, they will have consultants conduct the study at 100K. so in response to spg, $=jobs for those consultants that continue to make obnoxious sums of money and not the middle class that really need it. there seem to be just as many consultants as there are attorneys these days.

  2. I believe we have already been there and done that. It was called the Monorail. Shoved down our throughts. Paid extra in car tab fees, people lost their businesses and homes to “make way for the monoriail.” And we got_____ RIPPED OFF

  3. Well said. That cost taxpayers around 120 million. “planning stages” for about 10 million. Yeah, sounds like a good plan McGinn. Not.
    How about trying to finish just one project completly, like the viaduct/tunnel, or whatever it is this week.

  4. what are you talking about? first of all, consultants have a wide range of incomes. they hire people like me…recent grads…who certainly can’t get a job anywhere else. well actually i don’t need to say anything else…key words = they hire. not many others are doing that. second of all, a project like this would generate potential public sector positions. because those crappy consultants need a client to overcharge, afterall. so really, this kind of public work would create jobs which in turn would create public gain. By the way, a consultant is a general term that could include a larger group of technical staff…engineers, scientists, architects, the list is pretty long. Some of these people are actually useful if not essential to our growing society, shocking enough.

  5. dear mayor mc nugget, please grow a pair and start leading this city. stop asking for permission every time you are faced with making a decision. you were elected, man up.

  6. Oooooooh I hate all those greedy surveyors! They think they’re so cool with their fancy orange vests! Don’t even get me started with those civil engineers. They may be engineers, but they’re hardly civil. And architects are the worst! They just get paid money to sit around and draw all day! A four year old could do that!

  7. You know what else is “essential to our growing society”? A shift key. Without it society can’t capitalize the first letter of a new sentence.

  8. I love the idea of a train, but I am tired of having to vote on what are decisions made more appropriately by engineers. Tunnel? I don’t know, sounds cool. Is that how major civic investments should be made, by a yahoo like me who thinks it sounds cool? The flip side is, this renders those who will not directly benefit likely to vote no. Should I vote on a tragic light over in West Seattle? Why do we have elected officials and city engineers if they are going to ask me to make the decisions.

  9. Well, property taxes, of course. Let’s overtax the already overburdened property owners for it. I’m seeing my taxes go up $700 dollars this year, and that’s just with the current levies.

  10. Well, property taxes, of course. Let’s overtax the already overburdened property owners for it. I’m seeing my taxes go up $700 dollars this year, and that’s just with the current levies.

  11. Let’s wait for the rapid bus system we voted for…oh wait, Metro has decided to take THAT money to make up short falls. I still don’t understand how that is legal. Anyway, I will withhold voting for more transit until we get what we were already promised.

  12. You been to Ballard recently? They’ve been cramming high density condos down our throat ever since they promised us high speed, high capacity transit. In the meantime, there’s no high speed, high capacity transit, but tons of condos and density and the existing means of transportation are overburdened.

    I’m not against density, but you can’t force density into an area until it has the capacity and means to handle it

  13. “overtax the already overburdened property owners ”

    Sounds terrible but too bad it’s not true. Just you think you’re overtaxed doesn’t mean you are – it simply means you’re another ignorant Seattlite who has no clue about the rest of the country. King County property owners are not overtaxed compared to property owners in the rest of the country. That’s not my opinion, that’s an absolute statistical fact. There are 793 counties in the USA and King County is ranked 427th when measured by taxes as a % of home value. If you measure taxes as a % of median homeowner income the number jumps up to 153rd on the list but keep in mind this is also in a state where you pay no state income tax! BTW, this information comes from the Tax Foundation, a conservative organization and not some liberal think tank.

  14. Is it possible for people in Seattle to wipe their own a** without having an election??? Seriously, why do you idiots need to vote on everything multiple times? We saw it with the monorail (hint: when you’re idea for mass transit is a Disney ride you’re probably taking the wrong approach!), we’ve seen it with the viaduct, and now we’re getting it with light rail??

    Here’s a novel idea: have ONE election and then build the damn thing!!! Stop having a million town hall meetings and focus groups to discuss your feeling and have group hug sessions. Fact is some people won’t like whatever you do. Too bad – that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Hey, there were people who probably got the shaft when I-5 was built but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a necessary piece of infrastructure.

    It’s amusing that conservative, Republican Phoenix can build a light rail system passing through multiple cities faster than “green”, liberal Seattle can vote on the issue of light rail! At the rate things are going our light rail is going to make Boston’s Big Dig look like a weekend home improvement project. Why do Seattle natives lack the ability to act decisively? You see it in elections and you see it at 4 way stops where everyone decides to come to a halt because nobody can figure out how right of way works (hint: if the car is to your right you stop and yield. If the car is to your left you don’t stop – is that so hard to remember??)

  15. What point is that? That some people make more than you because they went to school for years and do technical work? Surveyors, civil engineers, architects, etc are hardly rich people, especially the ones working for the city on a project like this. They’re not getting minimum wage either, but they should get paid for the work they do and at a level that matches their expertise.
    The next part of all this and the reason that it’s actually a good idea for the government to spend money in a recession is that it creates jobs all over. The survey crew will buy lunch in Fremont. The architects will meet over coffee in Ballard. All the people working on the project will make their mortgage and rent payments. They’ll buy stuff. They’ll spend that money around town and help everyone do better instead of sitting at home and doing nothing.
    In a recession, the government is often the only one that can spend money when the businesses and people are not.

  16. Washington State used to have U.S. Senators who could bring home federal money for these types of projects – now they don’t. From the $60 billion federal Bridge bill, Murray and Cantwell brought home $100 for some little bridge in Tacoma – and nothing for 520. Arizona has John McCain – he brings home the bacon. Arizona is building redundant freeways with all their federal money, and meanwhile we’ll have to pay $8 per day to go to the eastside. I don’t care if our Senator is Republican or Democrat – just elect someone who can get it done.

    Secondly, Seattle natives are not the majority drivers on the road now – it’s a mix of every different style in the country, so no one knows what the other will do.

    Keep in mind it’s mostly non-Seattle people here now.

  17. On top of that people who make more money pay more in taxes and in a down economy that’s a good thing. The idea that the wealthy don’t pay taxes is pure myth. The top 10% of income earners in this country pay more than half of all the taxes collected by the IRS. People who make more do pay more and that’s a good thing for people at lower income brackets! If you truly are “middle income” the absolute last thing you’re going to want to see is a flat income tax. There’s a reason so many rich people like the idea of a flat tax and that should be your biggest warning.

  18. Well it can’t come from the gas tax, unless you have the voted to rewrite the law.

    By local sources do you mean another sales tax increase? We already did that and Sound Transit is still in the hole.

    Very unlikely the city, county or state will approve a property tax increase to buy Ballard a shinny new train.

    Federal? Yeah, I see that happening…not.

    But keep hope alive! Maybe you can just print money and wave a magic wand.

  19. You got it right. Seattle is mostly composed of very passive aggressive people who don’t realize it. They complicate the issue by being totally incapable of making a reasonable decision and then following through with it. They make it worse by electing virtually only democrats who are total pu*$ys and do nothing but hire consultants and have meeting to check on people’s “feelings”.

    Viaduct- 45 differents consultants hired. Still in discussion. The original 520 bridge? 20 years of discussions. Etc, etc, etc.

  20. The top 10% hold 90% of the wealth, yet they pay half of the taxes? They should be paying 90% of the taxes if they’re making 90% of the money.

  21. True though they did just land that big tanker deal which is going to result in a lot of spending. They’ve also repeatedly protected Ft. Lewis through numerous rounds of base closings – something Arizona’s senators couldn’t do. As for freeways in Phoenix when I grew up they had just 2. They really didn’t start building infrastructure until the early 90’s. Astounding how quickly they’ve been able to build though it’s also turned the area into a hideous mini-LA! At least in Seattle we have the water to keep the sprawl in check.

    The 520 mess still blows my mind. How this region thinks a 4 lane bridge between Seattle and the east side is acceptable is beyond me. Even California is managing to replace the Bay Bridge between SF and Oakland faster than Seattle can decide what to do.

    I also can’t help but notice that the people who seem most vocally opposed to infrastructure spending, mass transit, etc. are the people who were born here and have never lived anywhere else. Their mindset seems to be “we didn’t have XYZ 20 years ago so why do we need it now”. I saw some signature collectors asking me to sign a petition so we can vote yet again on the viaduct and sure enough both were Seattle natives. That and they think there are only two ways of doing things: the Seattle way and the (worse) California way. It’s as if the other 48 states and 100+ nations don’t even exist to these people.

Leave a Reply