The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Friday, March 7, 2008

Sen Haugen doesn't want cars in our future

Published: Friday, March 7, 2008


Haugen fails to address congestion

Tim Eyman's initiative to reduce congestion, I-985, is designed to carry out recommendations by state Auditor Brian Sonntag in his audit of the state Transportation Department (a result of Eyman's I-900, requiring performance audits of all state departments.)

The Legislature has ignored the recommendations from day one. Instead, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and other lawmakers hauled Sonntag into Haugen's office, lecturing him over the scope of his audits, although the law reads no officeholder or employee may impede or restrict the state auditor in conducting audits.

A recent commentary, "Simple non-rail solutions will provide traffic relief," by former Gov. Booth Gardner emphasizes the importance of road travel over mass transit. In contrast, Haugen wrote the commentary "Key part of our past, trains, in our transportation future." She wants us out of our cars.

Eyman's I-985 will open carpool lanes, require traffic lights to be synchronized and it does not impose new funds or tolls, but gets the money from existing funds.

DOT states that in the last six years, there have been no centerline roads constructed in the entire state. Haugen, Senate Transportation Committee chair since the 1990s, has done nothing to correct this. Instead, she finds $5 million to build a temporary train station in Stanwood with no commuter service and only two trains per day. She locates $18 million to build a wider bridge on the Gen. Mark Clark Bridge connecting Stanwood to Camano Island, although the Corps of Engineers had declared the bridge structurally sound, but finds no money to widen the road on either end of the bridge.

Bob Williams, a past Republican candidate for governor and president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, has made numerous suggestions on finding money for solving road problems, but the Democratic legislators ingore him.

After all these years, Haugen says she is going to make congestion her No. 1 priority. Can we believe her?

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