Speed trap is one of biggest money grabs in Seattle history

Sep 14, 2016, 6:15 AM

A plan to increase safety on Seattle’s streets would change the speed limit on all residential st...

A plan to increase safety on Seattle’s streets would change the speed limit on all residential streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. Streets in the “center city” would be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph. (Chad Elliott, Flickr)

(Chad Elliott, Flickr)

Don’t believe all this talk about lowering speeds around Seattle to increase safety. Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly and the Seattle City Council’s latest scheme is one of the biggest money grabs in our city’s history.

The Seattle City Council took a huge step toward approving a dramatically lower speed limit in Seattle on Tuesday. Residential streets will drop from 25 mph to 20, arterials from 35 to 30.
For a lot of people, I think we can wrap our brains around the school speeding zones that drop to 20 mph for a three-block period. If there are kids present, sure, I get that. But you also know what a tedious crawl it is for those three blocks at 20 mph as you go through the zone. Now they want to make every residential street in Seattle 20 mph. They want to turn the entire city into a tedious crawl, knowing that if they ever want to raise revenues, just start ticketing everyone who is going 22 or 23 mph and it will be a financial windfall.

Song: ‘Welcome to Ed Murray’s world’

Here’s what council member Mike O’Brien said on Tuesday afternoon: “If you look at folks who are the most vulnerable users, the folks that are walking, the folks that are biking, they have not benefited from those safety improvements.”

So why do you have a mania to force everybody into the modes of transportation that are the most dangerous? By miles traveled, walking and bicycling are incredibly more dangerous than driving a car. You’ve got complete disingenuousness. This is about an unchecked anti-car zealotry in Seattle, and part of that means making the streets as congested as possible. Making it as gridlocked as possible. Make it so miserable to drive around the city that we will be forced onto their pet mass transit and bike projects.

Here’s O’Brien again: “The trade-offs in this are clear and it’s a smart move. Yes, it may mean we drive a little bit slower to get around the city but a lot of people will be and feel a lot safer.”

Feel. Feel safer. It’s all about feelings. They’ve already made I-5 impossible to drive at the state level and now they are going after the people who jump off I-5 to escape the gridlock. Just more backups throughout the city.

And then there is Kubly, the ethically-challenged head of the department of transportation, a man who is almost criminally over his head.

“We’re doing this because speed matters,” he said.

Yeah, how speedy you can get people’s money. That’s the only speed they care about.

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