Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sierra Club Letter Blasts RTID Plan

Submitted by Paul Ellis

A recent post on this blog chronicled the Sierra Club's over-the-top rhetoric in opposing inclusion of any new road projects in the regional Roads & Transit ballot proposition that will be submitted to voters this November. In a recent letter to Sound Transit Chair John Ladenburg (who is also the Co-Chair for RAMP), the Seattle chapter of the Sierra Club says it will not support the draft proposal now under consideration.

The group's list of problems with the draft package is a long one, including project selection, ballot structure and the revenue sources currently identified to pay for the project. The Sierra Club opines that user taxes--including a new local gas tax--make the most sense for the plan.

The letter concludes with a scathing assessment of the draft package and a recommendation that transit improvements be presented for voter approval independently road projects. "The RTID package contains inappropriate projects and is fraught with structural defects that require changes in the authorizing legislation," the Sierra Club contends. "We do support allowing Sound Transit to proceed separately to the November 2007 ballot."

Paul Ellis is lead staff for RAMP; an employee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Ellis led the Pierce County Transportation Advisory Committee (PCTAC), the community's largest transportation planning effort.

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