I know I keep coming back to the mass transit thing… And I totally understand why Proposition 1 didn’t fly in the rural areas that are not benefitted and would be paying for the urban transit system. I understand fully the primary groups that are helped by subsidized transit (elderly, low income, etc..)
But I’m interested in this for a Puget Sound reason.
In the Tox-Ick Monster list of simple solutions for helping reduce the flow of polluted runoff into Puget Sound, Action #4 is walk, bike, or ride public transit. Not all the time mind you, just commit to it once a week or once a month to start small. If we make the public transit system prohibitively cumbersome with more crowded busses and longer waits, it is a HUGE barrier for those folks who don’t really need to ride the bus, but are doing it as a commitment to the health of Puget Sound.
Will one car make a difference? No, of course not, but thousands of cars will. In our Citizen Action Training School we had a great presentation by Nat Schulz from NOAA, and he showed us a very colorful map of salmon pre-spawn mortality and correlation to population/road density. Where there were more cars driving, there was more red, and more red meant higher rates of pre-spawn mortality. (Longfellow creek has nearly 100% pre-spawn mortality)
So what i’m talking about is a reduction of density. Instead of a “everyone bike to work day” where we do a big push for one day out of the year, how about we all commit to once a week, walking-biking-riding to somewhere you would have driven out of convenience. Get your friends and family to commit as well. The reduction of density (of driving) over the long term actually can make a difference, or at very least help us hold steady as population increases.
So, Dear Washington State Senate, lets stop messing around with the health of Puget Sound. Make do-goodery for our waterways easier not harder! Help US do the right thing!