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Time for Legislature to deal with transportation
The defeat of King County Proposition No. 1, to help pay for transit as well as road maintenance and improvements, puts pressure on the Legislature to deal with this issue on a statewide basis. That’s where it belonged from the start.
But we can’t blame the county from moving ahead on its own. After all, the Legislature had a chance to do this at the start of the year, but ducked its responsibility. Sadly, that’s not surprising, given that most lawmakers will be up for election this fall and don’t want to be on the record as voting for more taxes.
Unfortunately, people here will take the hit for the Legislature’s inaction. Bus service will be reduced, some routes will be discontinued, more buses will be standing room only during rush hours and some people — bus drivers — likely will work fewer hours or, worse, lose their jobs.
Metro ridership has been climbing over the past few years, but obviously most voters aren’t bus riders. And for them, why pay more taxes when they’ve already got comfortable seats and a great sound system in their car to see them through what likely will be a more congested commute.
Comforting words from the president
It was good to see President Obama at the Oso mudslide and even better to hear him praise the first responders and residents there for the effort — and agony — that they are going through. The federal government can offer money — and it has. But equally, if not more, important is the comfort that the president gave.
He met privately with family members who have lost so many and so much. He then met with officials and first responders to rightly praise them for their efforts.
As the president said: “We’ve all been inspired by the incredible way that the community has come together and shown the love and support that they have for each other in ways large and small. And to see the strength in adversity of this community I think should inspire all of us, because this is also what America is all about”