Commuter Gridlock is a GOOD thing
There are two people in Washington State who actually believe this. One is a spoiled multi-millionaire — Kemper Freeman, Jr., who pretty much owns Bellevue, WA — who always gets what he wants when he wants it. The Simon and Garfunkel song Richard Cory could have been written about Kemper Freeman, Jr. Unfortunately, Kemper Freeman, Jr. hasn’t yet followed through with the last line of that song. Oh, and there’s one other difference: Kemper Freeman, Jr. didn’t build or create any of his own wealth — he inherited it.
And the other half of the team is Tim Eyman, Washington’s famous “initiative-for-profit mercenary.”
Here’s another link.
Tim Eyman absolutely HATES taxes. That is, when said taxes go towards financing icky things like schools, libraries, fire departments, infrastructure or mass transit projects. Tim Eyman and Kemper Freeman, Jr. are bringing us the latest example of rightwing millionaire populism: “I’m mad as hell at the unwashed masses and I’m not gonna take it any more!”
Tim Eyman’s and Kemper Freeman’s love child is Initiative 1125. Basically, any and all attempts to ease commuter gridlock will be prohibited if I-1125 is passed by voters. Variable tolling — higher tolls during peak commute hours — Gone. And no more using toll revenues from one freeway or bridge to pay for another highway/mass transit project.
And most importantly — to Kemper Freeman, Jr. — I-1125 will prohibit using highway lanes for “non-highway” purposes. For the Seattle area, this will sabotage a light rail project that’s been in Stop-Start On-Off mode for decades — mostly because of Kemper Freeman, Jr. using one stalling tactic after another. Light rail is all well and good, mind you, but the transit agency will have to build a new bridge to put it on. And by the strangest coincidence, the bridge that’s the most clearly affected by I-1125 is the bridge into Bellevue, where Kemper Freeman owns the gargantuan Bellevue Square.. He wants you to DRIVE over the bridge; that sissy light rail thingy might not stop at HIS mall. Sorry your trip into Bellevue was ninety minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic instead of a ten-minute train ride. Peon.