I'm late posting this, because after my last Global Warming post, my cred might seem suspect. But Gregoire's plan seems even more suspect. Fast action for climate change, huh? Where's the rail then? Diesel buses sitting in congestion aren't going to get us back to 1990 levels very quickly. Light rail could help.
What's Gregoire's plan? Uh, it's shared rides. I'm all for that, but if you're talking about climate change in a region where most of the electricity comes from zero-emission hydro, you had better start talking about rail, because transportation is the majority of the GHG emissions here.
This is a serious issue. Look at what Jon Talton about Seattle's future, in particular, how lack of transit could break Seattle over the next 30 years:
Muro also looked at his hometown and worries about innovation and productivity growth. According to Brookings data, productivity per job has been weak since the 2001 crash. "Are you keeping up with Helsinki, Frankfurt and Barcelona, your real competitors? It's a tough game now."
How that game will be influenced by Seattle's "way" may be another question. It's not just that Portland builds popular light rail while Seattle dithers and argues or that leaders were apparently reluctant to rock the boat at the Port of Seattle.
It's that top-drawer competitors such as Singapore and Ireland are fast, efficient and agile in drawing capital, building infrastructure and embracing the next waves of wealth-creation.
So it's more than just, climate change, it's a question of our future prosperity. What kind of city will this be in 50 years? Are we really better situated than climate-change-averse cities like Phoenix and Dallas? For all Seattle's "green" cred, I see a lot of enviro-mind people driving SOVs (and SUVs) each day.
What do you think? Am I off base? Is Gregoire right on this and I'm wrong? Let me know in the comments, and let Gregoire know that light rail needs to be a part of any climate change solution in our area.
Update: There's a meeting of the Climate Advisory Team in Olympia on Friday starting at 8:30 am in that is open to the public. There will be a public comment period mid-morning. If you care about rail, will be in Olympia mid-morning Friday with nothing to do, go there and make your voice heard.