We were promised more lanes. Voters voted for more lanes. What we have gotten are traffic dots, bike trails, cable barriers and widening of side streets by the capital. Oh- and the companies who funded the push to raise the taxes in the first place also just raised the price of the projects. I have to give them credit, they really do know how to squeeze a grape.
Besides “the life or death” Chehalis bike trail overpass, the state also recently announced that it's granting $4.4 million to a non-freeway project that was not part of the promised 9.5 cent gas tax hike. This is in the wake of recent rumblings that many of the projects promised on the gas tax hike are going to be cancelled w/out additional funding. The Seattle Times and later today Sound Politics (blog) both reported out the confirmation that the new funding request is going to be on the ballot.
This is completely unacceptable. Of course so were the spending habits and the lack of accountability of the DOT prior to the gas tax hike, which is the second biggest reason opponents didn’t want the tax hike. The biggest issue is not more money- it’s that fact that the DOT magically screws off with the money every time and under delivers on promises. It’s as if the DOT were run and managed by college interns with no project management experience at all. Meanwhile, the commute from central Thurston to Seattle is up to 3 hours on some days, even in a car pool.
-Cable barriers may save lives, but they are not extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
-Bike trails are nice, but they are not extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
-Traffic DOTs were idiotic and they were also NOT extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
All of these have been funded since the gas tax hike. Voters are complete financial retards if they give another penny to the DOT without serious reforms going into place about how our roads are built. The real kicker is that they are going to now hit car tabs and property taxes for this mismanagement. Obviously it would be poor sales skills to go the gas tax well again, voters need at least 2 more years to become morons on that one.