1. Over at Seattle Transit Blog, Erica C. Barnett has an interesting follow up to yesterday’s Fizz report on a Republican bill in the state senate that ignored data in favor of cranky anecdotes about express toll lanes. It turns out, the bill, sponsored by Republican state senator Andy Hill (R-45, Kirkland) along with six other Republicans, has one Democratic cosponsor: state senator Cyrus Habib (D-48, Bellevue).
Habib says his constituents complain about another impact of the tolls: They’re regressive. “The absence of light rail and inadequate state of bus rapid transit has made it, combined with the 520 toll, financially difficult for the working poor and students, who have the least flexibility and resources,” he says. Habib says he’d like to explore the idea of converting one of the two existing HOT lanes to HOV-transit lanes “to give the program a chance to first develop on one lane.”
Meanwhile, WSDOT provided me with another set of data that highlights the success of the program.
2. Re: that sinkhole (can this get any crazier, or scarier, frankly?): I asked mayor Ed Murray (the former state legislator who sponsored the tunnel authorizing legislation and, well, the mayor) for a comment yesterday.
I haven’t heard back.
3. EMC Reasearch, a polling firm founded in Seattle in 1989 that has emerged as a key player in local public opinion—often releasing key data on local big deal issues—has merged with Hamilton Campaigns. Hamilton Campaigns, founded in 1964, is regarded as one of the pioneers of modern political polling. Both firms are national in scope.
A press release said:
The new national firm, operating under the name EMC Research, will continue to focus on public opinion research. The firm will have more than 40 professionals with offices in Columbus, OH, Fernandina Beach, FL, Irving, TX, Oakland, CA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C.