Monday, February 29, 2016


On February 5, 2016, the State Senate rejected the confirmation of the Washington Secretary of Transportation, Lynn Peterson, effectively firing her on behalf of all the frustrated citizens across the state. 

It is the Senate’s job to confirm any appointee the Governor may choose for vital positions such as the WSDOT Secretary.  Since February 2013, Lynn Peterson has headed up WSDOT following her appointment by Governor Inslee.

Did Lynn Peterson perform?

Lynn Peterson has been in charge of the following transportation projects since her appointment:

The Seattle Tunnel Project known as “Big Bertha” is being compared to the Boston “Big Dig” tunnel project that was originally estimated to cost 2.6 billion dollars, but finished 8 years behind schedule at a cost of 15 billion dollars. “Big Bertha” is on schedule to beat the Boston tunnel project to be the biggest state boondoggle in the history of the country.

The 520 floating bridge project, or should I say the 520 sinking bridge, has also been a fiasco.

Most recently,  the I-405 reduction of free lanes and the lane tolling program has commuters furious  and has effectively caused traffic grid lock across the entire east side. Strenuous complaints by commuters to the state that traffic conditions have worsened have fallen on deaf ears.

Instead of creating additional regular traffic lanes to ease congestion, the state created 2 toll lanes for each direction with variable rate tolls up to 10 dollars for a trip in the HOV, and reduced the free lanes to just 2 lanes in places in a scheme to intentionally force drivers into the toll lanes.

The citizens waited for someone, anyone, to step up, show leadership, and fix the new system, but only silence ensued from the Governor and his WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson.

The issue of the I-405 “fix” was taken up with a bill written by Senator Andy Hill.  The bill required WSDOT to take one of the toll lanes in each direction and return it to a free lane. Senator Curtis King and other Transportation Committee members stated they would not let the bill pass out of committee to be voted on and that’s exactly what happened.

The Democrats in charge of the Transportation Committee did not let the bill sb6152 come before a floor vote. They do not care about solving gridlock. They do not have the will to solve traffic problems.  Instead, the Democrats will soon push for even more tolling on all highways in the region.

The Republican-led Senate had no recourse but to fire the person in charge, Lynn Peterson.  I support the State Senate’s action. 

Whenever state government turns its back on the people and ignores the needs of its constituents, it’s time to replace the leadership.

There was also a bill originating in the House of Representatives, hb2312 that was a companion bill to sb 6152, and it was also stalled in committee, guaranteeing it would never see a vote on the House floor.

Committees’ members are delegated by members of the majority caucus leadership. In the House of Representatives the House Majority Leader, Pat Sullivan, and the Speaker Of The House, Frank Chopp make all the decisions on who sits in committee and these committee members report to the leadership to decide if the bill will even make it out of committee.

In short, it’s the House Leadership that decides if the bill will make it out of committee. Killing a bill in committee is a great way for Pat Sullivan to not take a unpopular vote.

It’s time for new leadership.

It’s time to elect Barry Knowles for State Representative.

Posted on 6 Mar 2016, 15:51 - Category: TRAFFIC CONGESTION

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