1. In advance of Mayor Ed Murray's planned announcement this morning about his proposal to save Metro service (as we reported in yesterday's Fizz, Murray plans to propose a Seattle-only sales tax increase and $60 vehicle license fee), King County Executive Dow Constantine came out yesterday with his own plan to allow cities in King County to buy additional transit service from the county out of their own city budgets—essentially, contracting out for transit service from King County Metro. Every city would be able to decide how to pay for the extra service.

Of all the cities in King County beside Seattle, only Lake Forest Park voted in favor of last month's Proposition 1, which would have preserved Metro service countywide with a 0.1-cent sales tax increase and a $60 license fee, although parts of Shoreline, Bellevue, and Mercer Island supported the proposal. 

2. Speaking of King County Executive Constantine, he held his annual fundraiser lunch yesterday; it's veggie, by the way (complete with fake sausage), because Constantine is a vegetarian, and per usual, a bunch of politicos headed over to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse "to actually eat lunch," as one attendee joked, a block away at 8th and Pine afterward.

There were about 500 people on-hand at the Convention Center for the popular KC exec. He was introduced by former Gov. Chris Gregoire. And other bigwig Olympia-based Democrats spoke as well: Constantine's former aide, state senate Democratic minority leader Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-34, W. Seattle, Vashon, Maury Island), and Democratic state rep (turned-state-senate candidate) Rep. Cyrus Habib (D-48, Kirkland, Bellevue). Washington Bus leader Toby Crittenden also spoke (both opening and closing the event), promoting the Puget Sound Leadership PAC, which tries to elect more progressive legislators from the region. Every speaker made a pitch to contribute to the PAC, and the remit envelopes on the tables were for the PAC not Constantine's 2017 re-elect. 

A batch of Democratic state senate candidates were introduced too, and as another attendee said: "Much of the program was about winning back the senate [for the Democrats]." 

Which led Fizz—obsessing over the rumor that labor, still fuming at Gov. Jay Inslee for the Boeing contract squeeze and not-so-crazy about Inslee's game of footsie with Arne Duncan, is trying to get Constantine to run for governor in 2016—to scan the audience for Inslee. 

There was a Trudi Inslee sighting (his wife), but no Jay, who was in Olympia.  

Also MIA, joked one attendee: Any mention of Bertha, during Constantine's speech, which focused on climate change and transportation. 

Another joke—this one made by Constantine himself, during his speech—came at the expense of well-known political consultant Christian Sinderman, Constantine's consultant. Constantine joked that his no-name 2013 challenger (Alan Lobdell, who got 21 percent of the vote) got more YouTube hits than he had, quipping that Lobdell, who literally carried around a sledgehammer during the campaign, had a better campaign. He added, though, that Sinderman, who was sitting right there, got paid much more—which drew loud laughs from the Democratic audience. 

Over the past 10 years, while Seattle's population has increased 11 percent, driving has declined 10 percent and transit use has increased 40 percent.

3. While yesterday's Jolt reported on the latest Seattle Department of Transportation report: Traffic—measured by vehicle miles traveled— declined 3.3 percent between 2011 and 2012 while bike use was up 4.7 percent (and we should add pedestrian traffic was up 2.4 percent downtown and 18 percent citywide) ...

... another encouraging stat came to light at last night's City Council transportation committee meeting where SDOT presented the report.

Over the past 10 years, while Seattle's population has increased 11 percent, driving has declined 10 percent and transit use has increased 40 percent.

 

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