Opinion

Vote YES on Prop. 1

As you wait patiently for your morning coffee at your local cafe, consider this.

Where does that smiling barista live? How long did it take her to get to work this morning? How long will she stay in a low-paying job while paying over $3 a gallon for gas or spending an hour or more each day on the bus? Who will her employer find to replace her when she leaves? The lines at the counter or at the drive-through will get longer, the service a little sketchier.

Ready or not, more people and more traffic are on the way. Roads and bridges that need repair cannot wait. More minutes and more hours will be lost as people sit, unmoving, in traffic. Businesses and industry will not remain in the Puget Sound region if it is too difficult to move goods — the housing close to urban centers is too costly, the commutes too long and the pay too low to entice workers.

It is time to recommit to improving transportation in the Puget Sound region.

We urge voters to vote yes on Prop.1, the Roads and Transit measure.

The decision is not an easy one.

Contradictions remain. Can we protect the environment while adding more roads? Will people ride mass transit? Is the money being spent in the right places, at the right time?

All agree that changes are needed. But is the proposed way correct? How can we know? Ask anyone and each will have a different answer.

Ten years worth of work has led to Prop.1, which includes funding for projects such as improving bridges and roads, adding more light rail, expanding park and rides and dozens of projects that stretch north and south; east and west. The proposition represents a hard-fought compromise between the myriad stakeholders in the region — cities and towns, government agencies, citizens and groups that champion the environment as well as those that represent industry and business.

This huge investment has a long time horizon, 50 years or more. No doubt there will be changes in priorities and design along the way. But we must get started.

This measure will affect the quality of life for all of us.

And about that coffee. How did those beans travel to your cup?

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