Dori: Every hypocritical panelist at Lynnwood mass transit forum drove there
I get so many exclusive story tips from listeners. Listener Steve in Lynnwood emailed me to tell me that Tuesday night, there was a mass transit forum at the Lynnwood Library with panelists from the City of Lynnwood, City of Mountlake Terrace, Community Transit, and Sound Transit — all big bus and light rail advocates.
As I’ve long said, the biggest problem with all of these transportation agencies and transportation improvement plans is that it’s not about transportation or about people’s lives — it’s about government finding an effective lever with which to pry money out of our bank accounts. And it’s all being run by far-Left Seattle liberals.
The lives of these Seattle liberals have very little resemblance to your lives. I know the demographics of my listeners. Many of you are suburban or rural. Many of you have kids and therefore have very busy lives. I know very well how having a family makes your life incredibly busy. My wife would be taking one daughter to piano lessons while I was racing to coach another in basketball practice.
If you have a life where your kids are participating in sports, doing drama, or playing an instrument, you can’t live your life by bus schedules. Likewise, if you’re a contractor and you need to carry tools for work, you can’t take the bus.
Local government officials and transportation people don’t just have disdain for you and your lives — they have contempt for you and your lives. Because oftentimes, if you want to be an involved parent, a community volunteer, and a well-rounded person in general, you don’t have time to take the bus or train. Now, of course there are people who take mass transit and do all of those things, but for many to most people in the suburbs, that’s just not an option.
What I can present exclusively, thanks to this listener tip, is that a great question was asked at the end of the forum that revealed everything I have been saying to you about the hypocrisy of transportation in our region.
Everyone heard at the forum about how we need to spend much more money on buses and light rail. Then this question was asked of each panelist: “How did you each get here tonight?”
Go to 1:36:00 in the video below to find the moment this question was asked.
That’s a good question. These are all government officials or bus/light rail advocates and planners. Presumably they took mass transit to get there, or they biked, or they walked.
Kamuron Gurol, Sound Transit North Corridor development director, admitted that not only did he drive a car to the forum — he drove a Sound Transit vehicle. So, you and I paid for that gas. He said the “transit options [he] had weren’t competitive enough” and that he “didn’t have enough time” to take transit.
Oh, okay. He had stuff to do on the way to the meeting, so he couldn’t take transit. You and I, the unwashed masses, we don’t have anything important to do, so we can turn a 15-minute drive home into a 75-minute bus ride. Our lives are not as special as the lives of these government and transit officials. They’re busier than we are. They have to drive.
Second was Roland Behee, manager of planning for Snohomish County’s Community Transit. He works for the bus system and would know better than anyone that there’s a bus that goes right by the Lynnwood Library. Surely he would have taken the bus.
Nope — he drove too. He told the audience that he usually rides his bike everywhere, but he had to “make arrangements with his wife to get the Prius.” How noble — he drove a Prius. Oh my goodness, can we do any more virtue signaling? You ride a bike and when you do drive, it’s a Prius.
Next up was Kyoko Matsumoto Wright, the mayor of Mountlake Terrace. Of course she must have taken the bus; Mountlake Terrace is right next to Lynnwood.
As it turns out, the Mountlake Terrace mayor said she “could have walked here from [her] mom’s condo.” But it sounds like she didn’t. She never really answered the question. She did, however, go on to say the following.
I have to say that a lot of elected officials who are also on transit boards have never taken public transportation, which surprised me. And they’re making decisions for you and they’ve never taken public transportation. I own an ORCA card and I do take the bus.
I’m glad she at least acknowledged the hypocrisy of transit officials. That’s refreshing. But then she added, “As a real estate broker, I can’t always take a bus showing houses.” So because of your job, you have to drive. But that doesn’t go for the rest of us, apparently.
How about the fourth guy? David Kleitsch is the economic development director for the City of Lynnwood. He gave a bunch of data and then admitted that “today [he] had no alternative” because he went to “seven different places to go to seven different meetings.” He also threw in that he had to go pick up his son.
So this is what a mass transit forum in the Puget Sound looks like. You have employees from Sound Transit and Community Transit, and city government leaders from Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood, and nobody took transit. Their lives are clearly more important than ours. They want you and me off the roads and onto buses so that the roads will be more open for them and their busy lives. And all the self-righteousness — how can anyone criticize people who drive Priuses and pick up their sons?
Apparently the motto of transportation officials around here is, “What is good for thee is not good for me.”
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.