Sunday, April 06, 2014

Please Vote for Prop 1


1) We should not be cutting back on public transportation.  It's just ridiculous when so many people count on it especially to get to work.

2) The Times says you should vote no.  That pretty much should be your tip-off to vote Yes.  From The Slog:

Their reasoning? Metro should cut more costs before asking for money, and Prop 1, which includes raising car-tab fees and hiking the sales tax by 0.1 percent, is a regressive tax on the poor.

3) Again, from the Slog:

We admit it isn't perfect. But as our endorsement points out, we're in this mess thanks to a conservative anti-tax crusade in the 1990s that cut a progressive form of taxation based on the value of vehicles. Since then, Metro has already made millions of dollars in cuts and efficiencies. But we still need to help pay for it. And while we detest regressive taxes—and endorsed the income tax on the wealthy (ahem)—cutting transit for the working-class and poor would be more regressive than anything in Prop 1.

4)  I have queried the district on the ramifications to SPS high school students if this measure fails.  I am still waiting for the answer.

I can say that there is evidence, throughout the country, that more and more high school students are choosing NOT to drive (I have one of them in my own home) and prefer to take public transit.  This is actually a good thing but it won't continue if mass transit is diminished.

5)  As I said at yesterday's Seattle Neighborhood event (put on by the City) during a discussion about the next Transportation director, we need to encourage the next generation to consider ALL types of transportation.  That means sidewalks for walking (and waiting for a bus), buses, bikes, light rail and yes, even cars.  But the more difficult public transportation is to access, the more kids will grow up not using it.

I also pointed out that our district has moved to a neighborhood enrollment system and more students than ever are likely to be walking or biking to schools and that we need that awareness as the City creates transportation policy/priorities.


Miss Waterlow said...

Ha. I just opened the site to urge parents to talk about prop 1 vis a vis its effects on student transportation, which the SECB endorsement didn’t mention. Nice to see the post front and center.

You point out that fewer and fewer high school students are choosing to drive to school, but, also, remember, most high school students simply can’t drive to school. This is a major SPS issue, in my opinion. If school bus service were being cut, imagine the uproar.

My son takes the 28 home, which route, along with the 26 and 30 (in Ballard and Fremont alone) would be dropped if Prop 1 doesn’t pass. I just mentioned this to him. He’s still 17, but most of his 12th grade friends are 18 and must have just received their ballots. How many of them know that the very first issue they’ll be voting on is one that so immediately effects their daily lives - their coveted freedom of movement? In fact, how many even know they got a ballot? Or, given the state of civics education, how many even know they can vote?

Prop 1 needs to be discussed in high schools. Even non-voting students should take the info back home to their parents who, I assume, won’t be happy to learn that they’ll have no choice but to drive their kids to school - and everywhere else - next year.

Anonymous said...

There's a discussion going on in the UW community about the significant impact that decreasing bus service would have on the UW student population. The UW student body has released a statement pointing out the importance of transit to students (though they are not allowed to take a position on Prop 1, as I suspect is true for the public schools).


Patrick said...

Metro is very important to many UW staff too, and to some faculty. Parking permits on campus are a significant expense. UW has an agreement with the city dating back to the 1980s or so that UW would keep the number of cars driving to campus down even as the campus grows, but they can't really do that if the bus service is inadequate. The cuts Metro has suffered already have resulted in standing room only on many routes from 3-6 PM every day, and it being routine for the buses to be so full riders can't even get on.