Why Can't We Vote Too?
Cincinnatians for Progress thinks you must be some kind of crack-head if you believe in voting on passenger rail tranportation. Who do you think you are, wanting to participate in charting the future course of your own city? You're supposed to leave that to the experts...their experts. And they'll tell you what to like and what not to like. They don't think you're smart enough to have your own opinion.
Seattle doesn't have that problem. Their leaders respect the citizens and consult them about major public policy beforehand.
- In November 1996, 57% of Puget Sound voters approved a $3.9 billion mass transit plan including light rail, commuter rail, and regional express bus network. This was Seattle's fourth try at winning approval for rail transit development.
- A 1968 heavy-rail proposal for Seattle's King County attracted a 51% "yes" vote, but state law requires a 60% majority for bond issues.
- A similar plan in 1970 received only 46% in favor.
- King County voters endorsed rail development in 1988 by 69% in favor, but this advisory referendum had no specific plan or financing proposal.
- RTA, created in 1993, attempted to secure approval for a regional LRT, commuter rail and express bus plan in March 1995, but this attracted only 47% of the vote. A revised, scaled-down version of this plan was successful.
- In July 2006 Seattle constructed their 1.3 mile, $52.1 million "South Lake Union Trolley" (commonly known by its acronym) which required no money from the general fund for either capital or operating expenses. Property owners adjacent to the line paid more than half the costs through a special property tax assessment, with the balance from Federal, State and other sources. The city consulted all 750 property owners about the proposal. All but 12 had no objection. It wasn't a formal ballot, but a vote by any other name accomplishes the same thing; the people were involved.
- In November 2008 Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 to build the $140 million "First Hill" streetcar line, which is planned to open in 2012.