There’s a fiery new debate about light rail over Mercer Island. Judy Clibborn is standing right next to it with a can of kerosine. If you haven’t heard, Judy is proposing that we not begin light rail until we have HOV lanes across I-90 (the express lanes are to be used for the light rail). Of course, if you’ve seen the system map, you know that I-90 is the critical link in the regional light rail plan, connecting Seattle and the East side.
It may seem that since voters approved Light Rail in Prop 1 last November, and since it’s mostly funded, it’s a done deal. That does not seem to be the case.
The main issue seems to be timing: does light rail happen before or after there’s an alternate HOV solution for Mercer Island? But in politics, a delay can often lead to major changes or death for a plan. The Seattle Times suggests that’s the motivation of many in the state legislature.
I wish I could add a cool survey plugin, but we’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way. Add a comment if you’re in favor of HOV lanes first, or just getting on with light rail over I-90.