THE SEATTLE WAY: Why Prop 1 Failed


pROP 1This map shows clearly why Proposition 1 failed.

People living across the lake… Bellevue, Medina, Redmond and Issaquah … choose to live there because they love cars.  They do not want to pay for all those buses running around urban Seattle. These people are commuters.

The commuter attitude toward Prop. 1 is no different than their opposition on the east side  to toll roads.  Why should they be taxed  to pay for getting into Seattle?   Or for that matter,  for commuting between Issaquah  and Microsoft?  Or for driving around Bellevue?

The other class of people affected by Prop 1 might be called residents, that is residents of Seattle. Residents of Seattle’s affluent neighborhoods voted overwhelmingly for Prop 1. I am a bit more  disappointed in the poor vote  from residents of poor neighborhoods.   People living in White Center or the areas around SeaTac  are  the low pid workers Seattle is  targeting with their $15  minimum wage campaign.   These residents ,  need buses to get to work.  Unfortunately, in Seattle as elsewhere , poor people do not vote! 

Finally, the distribution of votes raises a very important question for the UW.   Where do UW staff and faculty live?  The turnout for this election was, as expected for a special election, lousy. About 37% of the voters exercised their privilege.  237,000 voted against the proposition and 202,000 voted for it.  My question is:  how did the UW community vote?  This map does not answer that question at all. Few b our community, by which I mean the faculty and staff, are residents of the green tinted areas around U District and Wallingford.  A very large number of us live on the Eastside or north of University Village.  How did these people, estimated to include 30,000 votes exercise their privilege?  My bet, with no way of actually accessing the data, is that the UW vote looked pretty much like this map.

Frankly, I think the answer is obvious.   The time has come for Seattle  to pull out of Metro .  The interests of voters in suburban Seattle  are not consistent with the interests of voters  within Seattle .  As Seattle streets turn into canyons bounded by multistory apartment houses,  people living in the city  are generally affluent,  These residents , need and want transportation to get around the city .  The needs  and wants of Seattle residents are very different from commuters  who see buses  and trolleys  as an alternative  to their automobiles  only  when there is a need  to teleport into and out of the city

There is no reason that the commuter population  should not pay full fare for their Metro buses .  THE SEATTLE WAY


Seattle, needs its own transportation district.  I suggest that we  pattern this after the  Upass system,  the University of Washington uses  Upass to encourage commuters  to use public transportation .   Upasses are sold, given as incentives to car pools,or included in parking fees.

The city system would be called  Way Pass and be marketed as part of “THE SEATTLE WAY .”

THE SEATTLE WAY would be funded in three ways.

1. Residents of Seattle would ay  an annual real estate tax.
2. Owners of parking spaces would pay a tax their fees.
3. Businesses could purchase Way Passes for their employees or, in the case of hotels, for their guests.  Museums and arts facilities might include THE SEATTLE WAY in their mmeebrship fees.

The taxes paid by residents of Seattle would be reimbursed  by receiving a  Seattle Way Pass .  The  Way Pass would give greatly reduced fares  to people living  in Seattle.  Commuters,  coming into the city,  would pay full fare  unless their employers decided  to purchase.  Way Passes might also offer reduced fees for other Seattle based facilities such as the museums, the soo, and Seattle Center.


202,162 45.99%

No 237,420



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