In November, Snohomish County voters will be asked to fund Edmonds Crossing, a proposed new ferry terminal, that is on the Regional Transportation Investment Districts (RTID list of road projects. The cost will be $157million: $127 million from RTID and $30 million from Sound Transit.
A new terminal is wasteful. The existing one was rebuilt in 1995 and will be in good shape for several years. Because of the new sites bad location, millions of dollars must be spent to correct exposure and access problems. These facts have been known for a long time.
Recent action by the State Legislature has further complicated the matter. It placed a two-year moratorium on terminal construction while the accuracy of readership and cost figures are reviewed. Approval of the November ballot measure would provide funding for a terminal that may receive no priority. The ferry project has always been Edmonds idea as the Washington State Ferry System has consistently refused to fund that old pipe dream.
Money appropriated for a needless ferry terminal would be better spent fully funding those state highways that can now be only partially upgraded because of increased construction costs.
Vote No in November, RTID is gambling that it can please every one by putting their pet project on the roads list, and then get the measure passed because of voter fear that its their only opportunity to approve worthy projects. Not so. By law, RTID is allowed three chances to get it right. If it continues to reject real need as the chief criterion for requesting voter money, let it come back with its list a few more times.
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