Rantz: At its own political peril, Seattle council pushes tolling, bike lanes
Despite being fiercely unpopular, Seattle City Council members and the mayor will continue to pursue congestion pricing and bike lanes. They will pay a political price for their position.
I suppose a positive impact these foolish moves will have on Seattle politicians is that they’re making moves that will devastate their political future. But it’s weird how upset they generally get when they pursue unpopular positions and we have the audacity to call them out.
Polling showed the job-killing head tax was deeply unpopular, so the council and mayor’s office secretly negotiated its recall, though some council members angrily lectured voters about how wrong and misguided we were.
Now, polling shows their anti-car positions are just as unpopular. But this time, they show no signs that they’re willing to stop biking down the transit path they’ve laid out.
A recent Elway Poll, detailed by The Seattle Times, indicated massive numbers of disapproval for congestion pricing (70 percent) and more infrequently-used bike lanes (59 percent).
And yet, the city will continue to force these changes on us, purposefully ignoring the will of the people because, for some like Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena Gonzalez, they arrogantly think they’re smarter than us.
For others, like Rob Johnson, he believes it’s a moral crusade to get you out of your car. In the case of Mike O’Brien, he just loves biking and wants to force his hobby on the rest of the city.
Of course, in the process, these virtue-signaling “progressive” politicians hurt the very people they pretend to care about. Those most impacted by congestion pricing, of course, are low-income, working-class Seattleites who rely on a car to get to and from the two jobs they hold down to afford high rents that the Seattle City Council created.
Who won’t be hurt? The wealthy, who can afford the congestion pricing. And people like Mayor Jenny Durkan, who is driven around the city because, well, she can’t practice what she preaches; she needs a car when you, apparently, do not.
They’ll tell you to look at London to see that congestion pricing works, though they ignore the extreme cost of living and fact that they have a massive, complex, and fully-functioning subway system. That’s in addition to their buses that somehow manage to be on time, while King County Metro operates 44 minutes late at 6 p.m. on a Friday night, right after Mayor Durkan implores you to take the bus.
For some council members like Johnson, Sally Bagshaw, and Bruce Harrell, they don’t care who they hurt or how their votes impact their careers.
They’ve been run out of office, each of them saying no to a second term. For the others, save Deborah Juarez — who seems reasonable even when I disagree with her positions — they simply don’t think you’ll have the political will to boot them from office.
Given how deeply unpopular Kshama Sawant is, and how Lisa Herbold barely won her first election, it’s pretty clear they’re underestimating the political opposition to their outrageous, damaging positions. Something tells me the anger with them will hold until November.
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