I-912: Repeal Gas Tax: Vote NO (State Initiative)
This initiative would dissolve a transportation funding package the Sierra Club fought hard for this year in Olympia. This package is much improved over the one the legislature put before voters in 2002 through the justly defeated Referendum 51. Positive changes in state transportation priorities produced a more sensible approach to transportation funding this time, and passage of I-912 would wipe out those gains.
The current plan directs money at projects that need it – such as replacement of the Alaskan Way viaduct, SR 520 bridge, other decaying bridges. It would also makes our roads safer by retrofitting bridges so they can better withstand earthquakes, straightening dangerous curves, and adding guard rails and other safety features that will help reduce head-on collisions. Best of all, it allows the transportation department to add wildlife-saving designs like those proposed for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass improvement. And the package places the cost burden where it belongs – on motorists.
The various constituencies promoting progressive transportation ideas will be hamstrung just as badly as road-building interests if the state doesn’t create a stronger revenue stream for transportation. Creating more state dollars to address critical infrastructure needs will help allow the Regional Transportation Improvement District (RTID) to boost investments in mass transit and other alternative congestion-relief strategies.
A “no” vote on I-912 tells the Legislature that the public approves of the new direction it has taken on transportation funding and refutes I-912 backers’ anemic contention that the legislature wants to waste taxpayer dollars on frivolous (read: Puget Sound-area) projects.