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November 8, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Car-tab loss: Next time, a bigger 'transit component'

Seattle Councilwoman Sally Clark, fresh off an apparent re-election Tuesday, predicted that voters won’t see another car-tab fee for transportation in 2012.

Proposition 1, which would set a $60 car-tab fee, was clearly defeated in the initial vote count.

During the campaign, Clark says she heard people constantly criticize the regressive nature of the fee — someone with a beater would have paid the same $60 as someone with a Lexus.

“The mayor delivered an $80 fee. We knocked it down to $60. You would think it would help, but it didn’t. I don’t think cutting back to $40 would do better,” she said.

Mayor Mike McGinn took a more optimistic view, saying “I personally believe that if we had a stronger transit component in the ballot measure, that would be appealing to voters.”

By that he meant more rail transit, as McGinn suggested earlier this year in a reference to “high capacity transit” bonds. He pointed to King County Metro’s Transit Now sales tax boost passed in 2006, and the Sound Transit expansion passed in 2008, to support that view that Seattleites will pass a transit-heavy plan. Prop 1 offered road and electrical improvements to help buses run more efficiently, but no significant direct service hours or major new lines.

He wouldn’t speculate as to when a plan might go back to voters.

The defeat hinders efforts by Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw to push for greenways, where bikes and pedestrians use side streets to cross neighborhoods safely, aided by speed bumps, stop signs, or plantings to calm car traffic and reduce conflicts on busy streets. But she said the idea is spreading. “It doesn’t have to be us versus them,” she said.

0 Comments | More in Government | Topics: Election 2011, Seattle

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