Monday, September 12, 2005

Washington state gas tax update

It looks like the gas tax in Washington State is in serious trouble. As gasoline prices rise, it is easy for a large segment of the population, particuarly the eastern, conservative half of the state, to resent a tax which will seemingly benefit King County.

It is fair to say also that for the time being, Peak Oil isn't on the agenda for State and Local officials, so some of the proposed infrastructure (new bridges, etc) take on the aspect of a boondoggle when traffic can be expected to be significantly thinner in 10 years.

More later, after the initiative to repeal the tax is voted on. If it is dumped, discussing what is done with the money (a very important topic) will be moot.

4 Comments:

At 5:18 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger UNplanner said...

Well, it doesn't look like I will end up in WA so this isn't an issue I have payed more than cursory attention to. So my (admittedly) simplistic answer is, what the heck, would it be so bad if it failed. Afterall, what would the long term value of improved road infrastructure really be?

What is your real opinion, being (1) peak oil aware and (2) a WA state voter on whether this tax lives or dies at the ballot box?

 
At 9:48 PM, September 13, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Well, I am generally for it, because we aren't going to run out of cars any time soon, and the gas tax, such as it is, added to OTHER gas taxes, barely keeps up with inflation. (Inflation, ironically, driven in large part by underlying gas prices.)

I am against using the money to build massive underground freeways next to the seattle waterfront, and perhaps statues of the mayor, as seems to be proposed.

 
At 6:15 PM, September 17, 2005, Blogger Stomaphagus said...

...against using the money to build massive underground freeways

Oh, you lack faith, MG! Don't you know that removing the viaduct (currently the best cheap view in the city, dazzling our out-of-town visitors as we would drive them up the viaduct to Ballard), why, its removal will end the shadowy blight that has descended upon the waterfront -- restoring it to its "historic Seattle" vibrancy and zest! Minus the smell of rotting fish and creosote. Oh, and fewer whores.

(Or, at least it'll clear out some great space for a thousand $25/hr. Diamond parking lots and a mile-long wall of Tuscan-themed condos. That's how ya get a statue these days.)

Next we'll get around to depaving Yesler and restoring it to the original (and quaint) "Skid Row" -- in theme park form, a tourist bonanza!

Seriously. We Washingtonians may be regarded by the rest of the country as Ecotopians, but the fact is we take our voting cues from SoCal, and always have.

 
At 11:36 PM, September 18, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Thanks Stomaphagus --

You know, it is true that the ride up the viaduct, North into the city is a great drive. And I could give a rats ass about the shadowy waterfront myself.

In practical terms, we live in Earthquake country, so the viaduct is coming down one way or another.

I guess the cynical question is, if we have a truly devastating earthquake, will we need the viaduct?

Inquiring minds want to know. I suppose it would be marvelous to build a modern underground freeway that can survive a 8.5 earthquake, only to have a city in ruins around it.

It's not like the alaskan way viaduct is the only crap freeway in the seattle area. It is certainly amongst the spookiest -- I'd rather be on a sinking 520 span than pancaked under the southbound lanes on the viaduct...

:)

 

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