Opinion: Why I support ST3

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A number of years ago, while I served on the Edmonds City Council and as a member of the Sound Transit Board of Directors, I was asked to participate in a district Republican debate about ST2.

Frankly I was stunned by the people in the room who opposed spending that would benefit a future generation more than their own. I could not believe my ears.

There are many things where private business can be much more efficient than government. But, there are some that cannot. Take streets, roads, water, sewer and public transportation, for example. These fall in a different category all together. And the investment in this important infrastructure almost always benefits future generations more than the one footing the bill.

I did not contribute a single penny to the construction of Interstate 5, or Highway 99 or the very street that runs in front of my home here in Edmonds. I paid nothing to have the municipal water system and sewer system installed in my street and delivered to my home. Yet I benefit each and every day from the spending of previous generations!

So what gives me the right to withhold spending to improve the transportation infrastructure in the region? In truth, the road structure we have today was designed for a fraction of the traffic we have in the region today. And it will get much worse if we don’t act now.

As a member of the Sound Transit Board, I spoke frequently that we need to keep in mind that eventually we need to push light rail all the way to Everett. If not, we shortchange everyone.

I cast my ballot in favor of ST3 and hope that you can find it in your heart to invest in the future too.

— By Richard L. Marin

Capt. Richard L. Marin, US Navy (Ret) served on the Edmonds City Council from 2001 to 2008. He also was a member of the Community Transit and Sound Transit Boards of Directors. He and his wife, Ann, have been a one-car family for over 10 years and ride public transit extensively.

2 COMMENTS

  1. In my opinion, Rapid Transit Buses are doing a fine job. A great deal of expenditure has been put into our bus system. Buses can travel to more areas and are not limited by a rail system. Provisions have been made for them to travel in HOV lanes to cut travel times. Access buses run both North and South and East and West. Millions have been spent on Park and Rides in all three counties! In 2030, the Light Rail is supposed to overtake buses in ridership. At that time, I believe buses will only be handling 20% of commuters and the rest will be riding light rail. What happens to the billions of dollars spent on a Rapid Transit Bus System? What happens to the modern buses, both tandem and double-deckers? How do people travel to and from the rail system? Where do they park? Will there be less money to pay for highway and bridge construction? It is my understanding that the rail cars will be full to overflowing and not as comfortable for people! Contrary to this, people say the newer buses are very comfortable and room to sit down. That will not be the case for light rail at rush hour time! Lastly, our economy is stagnant, middle class people would like to have a raise and senior citizens cannot keep up with expenses on a meager increase in social security. There is no end to fees, tolls and taxes! Cities, schools, fire departments, police departments, libraries, etc. on a local level, all will ask for more money in the future. I’m not sure a 54 billion dollar project will serve our communities as well as you might think. Plus, so much of this money will go to purchase expensive property for right-of-way (property values have sky-rocketed in recent years!). Some on the Eastside like the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce do not approve of ST3. I believe the Seattle Times also has not endorsed it. Both our children and their grandchildren will pay for this as well, so it isn’t a vote against them….maybe they will blame us if we pass it!

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