I'm proud of the initiative that Seattle is taking to build itself a monorail as part of the city's expansion of mass transportation capacity and reduction of petroleum dependency. I was pleased to vote for the Monorail Authority in 2002, the first election where I cast a ballot as a Seattle resident (although I am a native Washingtonian). I am delighted to observe the development of the project and how it is maintaining high standards of accountability in terms of the project and in the response of the City of Seattle planning and development organizations.
Although the construction of the monorail was approved in a sequence of public ballot initiatives culminating in the November, 2002, go-ahead for the Monorail Authority, there are those who want a do-over and repeal. This is instead of holding to the built-in accountability and cost-tracking that is part of the oversight for this long-term project. The device by which the monorail is to be blocked is by preventing the City of Seattle from providing any public right-of-way for use by a monorail. It's a devious parliamentary-end-run maneuver to earn reconsideration where it is neither available nor warranted.
Some people have concerns and objections that are perfectly sensible. These are masked by the outlandish shouting against the continuation of the project. It's also costing all of us in Seattle almost another million bucks to have the latest initiative on the ballot. Those funds would have been far better spent in seeing how to address the genuine, practical questions that people directly impacted by the plans might have.
Because there is so much noise sprayed at the Seattle Monorail Project, I wanted to satisfy myself about the actual facts without taking anything on faith. Most claims are easily checked and either verified or refuted through public sources. My responses take the form of small articles that address specific questions and concerns. Sometimes they are my questions, sometimes they are the questions to which others are offering too-easy answers.
I'll begin, in my next post, with the simplest question of all: Exactly what was the vote in 2002?