1. On its blog, the Cascade Bicycle Club argues that the proposed $8.4 billion state house transportation package falls far short of meeting the needs of people who get around by means other than driving alone.
Pointing out that less than 3 percent of the package would meet the needs of people who use transit, bike, or walk, and that the local transit funding authority it authorizes would expire in just a few years, CBC's Matthew Green writes that the revenue proposal "would mainly build more highways, leading to more sprawling, bicycle-unfriendly development and more climate pollution."
Indeed, the vast majority of the funds in the proposal would go toward highway expansion instead of cheaper alternatives to driving.
2. The Spokesman-Review speculates that the legislature will have to go into special session to come to agreement on several major outstanding issues, including the state budget (the Republican-dominated senate wants a budget with no tax increases; the house has proposed eliminating tax loopholes to pay for education) and the transportation budget (the house and senate are billions apart on the appropriate amount the state should be spending on transportation).
A special session would be bad news for state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43), who's running for mayor; under state rules, he can't raise any money while the legislature is in session. It'll also make it hard for him to be up in Seattle glad handing, which he needs to start doing—witness yesterday's Fizz.
3. US Attorney General Eric Holder is considering whether to attempt to overturn Washington state's marijuana law, the AP reports.
Holder, who's opposed to marijuana legalization, says he's particularly concerned about the impact legal pot will have on children, along with "factors such as violence connected to trafficking and organized crime." Washington state plans to start issuing licenses to grow and process marijuana in December.
4. The Washington City Paper weighs in on the (so-called) (nonexistent) "war on cars" today, in a lengthy exigesis that begins, "If the District of Columbia is in the midst of a war on cars, then last month was its Gettysburg"—a reference to the increasingly frequent talk among local pundits and auto advocates to a "war" that consists of things like tickets for illegal parking, the lifting of mandatory parking minimums, and policies promoting walking, biking, and transit.
Check out one of PubliCola's more recent posts on the whole "war on cars" meme (we've written several) here.
5. Finally, in today's obligatory NBA/Sonics news, the PI.com reports that the NBA board of governors now plan to delay a vote on the fate of the Sacramento Kings until at least May 1—although comments that leaked from yesterday's NBA meeting indicated that Sacramento's bid to block the Kings' relocation to Seattle, where investor Chris Hansen has proposed building a half-billion-dollar arena, is "less than ideal."
Meanwhile, the NBA is apparently becoming more open to the idea of creating an expansion team for the city that loses the bid.