Our district is more geographically constrained than most, and the citizens of the 34th face a unique set of transportation challenges as they move around our region. Vashon and Maury Islanders depend on the state ferry system to get to the mainland. West Seattleites have only a few ways to leave the peninsula, and when the bridge is blocked, their options are even fewer. And Burien and White Center residents who rely on the 1st Avenue South Bridge may soon find that corridor even more congested when the structurally unsound South Park Bridge closes at the end of June.
While our transportation needs are urgent, making transportation decisions looking one or two years in the future doesn't work. Our region needs durable, flexible transportation solutions. I'm committed to building ways for people and commerce to move in and out of our district that will make sense thirty years from now.
*Big projects that affect our community need to move forward. The South Park Bridge is exactly the kind of project that federal stimulus dollars should be funding, and I am encouraged to see governments in the region, including the City of Seattle and WSDOT, finally getting behind King County's request for stimulus funding for the South Park Bridge.
The state, county, and city have made their decision with regard to the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the SR 99 tunnel should move forward. However, I oppose the provision requiring Seattle residents to pay for potential cost overruns with the tunnel and will work to repeal it.
*The Washington State Ferry system is a critical piece of our statewide transportation infrastructure and is a lifeline for the residents of Vashon and Maury Islands. In the coming session, the Legislature is going to have to make some big decisions in order to keep our ferry system afloat and affordable.
Ever since Tim Eyman's Initiative 695 passed in 1999, the Legislature has tried quick fixes and band-aid solutions to our ferry system's capital needs. We can't kick the can down the road anymore, and it's time for a long-term solution to the ferry crisis. I am looking forward to fighting to fix our ferry system and am proud to have the endorsement of Rep. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island), the Legislature's acknowledged leader on ferry issues.
Passenger-only ferries are a critical part of our transportation solution as well, and I will fight to keep passenger-only ferry service to West Seattle and Vashon.
*West Seattle and Burien need rapid transit. The next light rail line built in Seattle needs to go to West Seattle, and the next light rail line in South King County needs to connect Burien and Renton. Light rail provides the predictability, speed, and comfort that make transit work, and I will fight to give Sound Transit the revenue it needs to send Sound Transit 3 to the ballot. Building these lines will create good construction jobs and make it easier for all of us, those with and without cars will benefit from better transportation options to our communities.
*King County Metro and other transit agencies throughout our state are facing serious service cuts due to the downturn in sales tax revenue. As long as our transit agencies are funded exclusively by sales tax, transit riders will continue to face service cut after service cut. Transit agencies need long-term revenue solutions that can keep buses serving our communities.