Opinion

Legislators need to listen to public on transportation needs | Editorial

It’s not surprising that a large crowd turned out Tuesday night in Bellevue at a transportation forum by state Senate leaders. It’s also not surprising that they aren’t happy that the Legislature didn’t pass a transportation bill in the last session.

Like all things in politics, there’s lots of blame to go around for that legislative lack.

Yes, the House did pass a transportation bill last session. That doesn’t mean it was perfect or solved all the pressing problems.

And, yes, the Senate coalition didn’t pass a version of its own, so no compromise could be worked out.

Adding to the problem was that too many legislators were holding back their vote on a transportation bill in an attempt to pry something else out of the session. When the session ended, many people were left wanting – including residents throughout the state.

It’s easy to pick at any piece of legislation. Nothing is ever perfect. But the reality in this state that more money needs to be spent on transportation and that money is going to have to come from more taxes.

Forget the mantra of “let’s be more efficient.” Paving a road is pretty efficient as it is.

Senate lawmakers will hold eight more transportation forums around the state. We bet they’ll hear cries for transportation fixes at every stop. The state has problems – and needs – everywhere.

There’s talk of a special session this fall to deal with transportation. It should seriously be considered. All legislators need to do is listen and they’ll understand the problems clearly enough.

 

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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