Monorail: A Failure of the Public Initiative System?


Today on KUOW Weekday, their Canada correspondent reported on Vancouver’s plans to expand their elevated rail to include service to the airport. During the report, he hinted that perhaps Vancouver’s success in creating their elevated transit system is due to the fact that there’s never been a public vote on it. He seemed to be saying that city officials need to drive this kind of project in order for it to succeed. Is it possible he’s right? Is the failure of the monorail evidence that our system of public initiatives is flawed? Or are our elected officials to blame. Maybe it’s someone else’s fault. What do you think?

5 Comments so far

  1. macpro (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 1:07 pm

    The people in Seattle ought to be congratulated on taking this bold step to stop wasteful government spending on the monorail boondogle. Yesterday’s vote was a great step in saving the taxpayers from an expensive project that will never alleviate traffic congestion.

  2. Kelly (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 4:13 pm

    I think that too many votes and too many revisions, plus a city council very against the monorail and pro-light rail, is what killed this. And it’s sad, because light rail isn’t going to help. We need a grade separate/elevated system to relieve traffic, and until we get it fixed we’re going to be the laughing stock of everywhere with better transit (which, at this point, is an awful lot of places).

  3. josh (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 5:39 pm

    Another monorail problem might have been message control. “MACPRO” says that it wouldn’t have alleviated traffic congestion. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I don’t really care. An elevated rapid transit system would have improved the quality of life in the city and reduced some people’s dependence on cars. This, in itself, is an admirable goal.

  4. Eldan (unregistered) on November 10th, 2005 @ 10:36 am

    I don’t think it’s the initiative system itself that failed, because the first 4 votes would all have had the monorail built. The problem is that initiatives can’t really be used to force the local government to do something, because as they have demonstrated this week they can always find ways around the direct mandate.

    The problem is that the same people who voted for the monorail 4 times voted these clowns into office, and the failure is there.

  5. Brian (unregistered) on November 10th, 2005 @ 11:56 am

    Stucy something, study it again, study the study, vote, vote again, vote on the vote.

    7 years later and the cost has tripled… go figure. Seattle politics at its best.

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