Morning Fizz

Republican Anecdotes Versus Actual Stats

Despite data, Republican state senator Andy Hill denounces express lane tolling.

By Josh Feit January 14, 2016

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I'm in the middle of working on three stories for the magazine right now. So, here's today's installment of: Speed Fizz:

• This hyperbolic quote from Republican state senator Andy Hill (R-45, Kirkland) hyping his bill to undo WDOT’s express lane tolling—“They’ll show you lots of stats saying things are doing better, but if you actually go and drive the road and you talk to people who are driving on that road, it’s an absolute mess”—versus, well, stats:

During the weekdays, both the southbound general purpose and express lanes experience improved travel times during the morning rush peak. The average morning peak period travel time savings between the southbound general purpose lanes and the express lanes was 12 minutes during Fall 2015, compared to 16 minutes during Fall 2014. Travel times improved on the Northbound lanes as well, with two-minute travel time reductions in the general purpose lanes during rush hour and 10-minute improvements in the express lanes during rush hour.

Screen shot 2016 01 14 at 8.55.31 am swqu6e

UPDATE: WSDOT sent me updated data documenting more traffic improvements from the tolled express lane program, including this: overall, an average of 14 minutes has been shaved off the driving commute for drivers taking express lanes.  

• This excellent Olympian editorial opposing state representative Graham Hunt's (R-2, Orting) genital check legislation to undo Human Rights Commission rules which currently allow transgender people to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

• The new 2,000-foot paved trail on Beacon Hill that’s breaking ground today, the first “Safe Routes to Schools” project from last year’s big transportation levy; the levy committed $7.2 million to ped improvements around Seattle’s schools, prioritizing the city’s lowest income schools.

• And this tantalizing email exchange with Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick regarding yesterday’s announcement that the Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stops are opening “in March”:

“‘In March’”… ? Like, what day, man?” 

 “Stay tuned. Zeroing in.”

This issue: criminalizing homelessness

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