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.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sound Transit uses illegal push-polling

Sound Transit is accused of push-polling

By Lisa Albers

The widely promoted Sound Transit survey has more bugs than bang, say critics.

My blog linking to the survey gleaned excellent critiques posted by our Crosscut readers. I just got word that Will Knedlik, state-rep-turned-transportation activist, has asked Sound Transit to shut down the survey, charging that it constitutes push-polling and calling for disciplinary action. This happened at a Sound Transit board meeting on Feb. 28, and you can watch the action here. (It's about 15 minutes in, after a Link safety report.)

Where does this leave the transportation quandary? Does anyone have a word in defense of the survey? Any suggestions for what Sound Transit should have done to properly solicit public comment, and through what means? As a possible contrast, remember that Puget Sound Partnership is holding workshops this spring to do the same. Should Sound Transit have opted for a method more sound?

Feb 25 08 on Crosscut
A rush 'hour' that lasts all day?

By Lisa Albers

The folks at Sound Transit really want you to take an online survey to help them do what voters said shouldn't be done via Proposition 1. To get you into proper survey-taking mood, the entry to the survey page states: "Studies show that by 2030, rush 'hour' could last all day in many places." A startling statistic, no doubt, but one begging several questions: What studies? Which places? How are they defining 'rush hour,' and what does that mean, really, that it would last all day? A few links to more information would go a long way here.

But don't judge them too harshly. This portion of the Sound Transit Web site — devoted to system expansion — is new. Hopefully, improvements are forthcoming.

There's a little bit of passive-agressive, subtle Northwest attitude in the survey prompt, as well. For example:

In November 2007, voters turned down a large package of road and transit investments. Now, the Sound Transit Board of Directors is taking a renewed look at what transit service expansions would make the biggest and quickest improvements for commuters for the least cost.

Here's my straight-talking, Midwestern translation: You voters killed our last, best hope for a solution, so now you're going to have to tell us what you want. Since the pundits surmise that you torpedoed Prop 1 due to cost, we'll try to give you the moon for as little cash as humanly possible.

Snarky comments aside, you should take the survey. If only to help them "develop good answers to vital questions." Translation: Your ideas could prevent a day-long rush hour in 2030.

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