Sorry to beat a dead Monorail, but…

I take back every bad thing I ever said about the Monorail Recall. This includes the time I hollered “Monorail Forever!” at them out the window of a friend’s apartment after the Torchlight Parade. I’d been drinking, you see, and yesterday I got my tab renewal notice in the mail. It seems that my “Voter-Approved Monorail Tax” has gone up from $7 last time to ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX DOLLARS. Ludicrous! Sure, it’s because I’m driving a newer vehicle now, and “we” approved it, but I still very nearly soiled myself.
I admit I don’t have a solution to our transportation ridiculousness, but I can’t help but get a slow sinking feeling about this monorail. If only we had learned a lesson from the Simpsons Monorail episode (which city council staff viewed during earlier planning stages).
In case you want to read some more anti-monorail stuff
Let me fully disclose that I never complained until it affected me personally. And if you live and drive in Seattle, it’s probably gonna chap your hide eventually too.

4 Comments so far

  1. josh (unregistered) on August 27th, 2004 @ 8:09 am

    well, it’s nice of you not to complain until you’re paying, but it’s not as if we can build mass transit with gum and pixie dust. The money needs to come from somewhere, and voters approved a progressive tax to fund it. By buying a more expensive car, you demonstrated that you can pay a greater share of the cost. So celebrate — you’ve got a shiny new car to help you avoid the plight of the mass-transit set!
    (more about the car tax from the Monorail Project [])

  2. (unregistered) on August 28th, 2004 @ 6:30 am

    I must confess up front that I don’t own a car in Seattle, so all the sales tax and property taxes that I pay help ensure that you have roads to drive on with traffic lights and signs that are visible and useable.
    But if you pay $119 to help fund a public project that will benefit people who aren’t willing or able to pony up the funds for the purchase and upkeep of an automobile, we’ll be most thankful for it. Considering how much it’ll cost you if your fuel pump ever dies or how much you’re probably paying annually for car insurance, $119 doesn’t seem like that much money, but perhaps I measure such things differently.
    Additionally, any mass transit infrastucture that the city invests in will help ensure that your car continues to be somewhat useful in Seattle instead of allowing the city to devolve into useless gridlock. So the project actually ends up helping you in the long run even if you don’t use it, and for a price much lower than what you’d have to pay if you were covering the true costs of your use of local streets.
    I agree that the monorail isn’t an obvious panacea for Seattle sprawl, but it’s in many ways a step in the right direction–one model suggested by most intelligent city planning efforts is that of a hub-and-spoke design that puts work and civic attractions at the center with radiating rapid transit lines to move people from outlying mixed-use zones into the city center. Ballard and West Seattle are two communities that in many places fit the mixed-use ideal, but are situated outside of easy access to downtown, so I think they’re excellent choices for the initial monorail routes.
    Finally, I’ve seen the Monorail Recall people speak in public, I’ve talked to the signature gatherers at length, and I’ve struggled to figure out their reasons for opposing the project. I can’t say that I would ever take back anything bad I’ve said about their efforts–I usually only see such wandering rhetoric when drunken prevaricators are trying to get out of a poorly-structured house of lies. I doubt they’re lying to us, but I can’t believe they’re being totally up-front about their motivations.

  3. (unregistered) on August 28th, 2004 @ 8:09 am

    In my humble opinion, if you regularly drive a car in Seattle, you’re blowing it. The Metro bus system really isn’t that bad and it’s almost as trendy as the Cha Cha. Ride a bike, take the bus, and walk. If you’re complaining about the high price of car tabs paying for the monorail, maybe you should also complain about the ridiculous cost of the very little parking there is to be found. Or the giant amount of time you waste sitting in traffic when you could be doing something constructive.
    And consider this:
    … you don’t have it so bad.

  4. Checker (unregistered) on August 30th, 2004 @ 7:01 am

    That’s quite presumptuous of you to comment on the shininess and price of my car. Also, it may have been voter-approved, but that obviously doesn’t mean it was approved by this voter. You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion, but is it necessary to make me sound like a moneybags fairy princess in the process? I can’t say I’ve never had a princess episode, but lots of money and sparkles, not so much.

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