Because being there is what's most important, WPC's Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.
Rail Transit Reduces Urban Livability: New Study Reveals the True Costs of Fixed-Route Public Transit
Randal O'Toole, Director, Center for the American Dream, February, 2004
Many policymakers and urban planners claim that rail transit improves urban livability. Proponents of rail transit in the Puget Sound Region used this argument to win voter approval for various forms of fixed-route public transit, including the Sounder commuter trains, Tacoma streetcar line, Link light rail in Seattle and the $1.75 billion extension to the 1962 Monorail. These projects have been plagued by cost overruns, revenue shortfalls, schedule delays and considerable public criticism.
Randal O'Toole, Adjunct Scholar, February, 2004
The results show that rail transit has negative net impacts on every urban area in which it is located. In particular, rail transit offers no guarantee that transit commuting will increase or that transit will increase its share of travel. The twenty-three urban areas with rail transit collectively lost more than 33,000 transit commuters during the 1990s, while the twenty-five largest urban areas without rail transit collectively gained more than 27,000 transit commuters.
Geoffrey F. Segal, Director, Privatization and Government Reform Policy, Reason Foundation & Eric Montague, Director, Center for Small Business, January, 2004
In 2002 the Washington state legislature passed the Personnel System Reform Act which, among other things, allows state agencies to competitively contract for services historically provided by state employees. The competitive contracting provision of the Act, which takes effect in July 2005, offers new flexibility to state managers facing tight budgets and an intense focus on maintaining service levels while reducing overall cost. In many other states, competitive contracting is used to boost the quality of services, while ensuring the best cost for taxpayers.
Eric Montague, Policy Analyst, October, 2003
For three generations the people of Washington shared a single vision for meeting our state's transportation needs: build and maintain a road network sufficient to allow people to get where they need to go in a reasonable amount of time. In the mid-1970s that vision broke down under increasing pressure from radical environmentalists and no-growth activists. For the last 30 years or so, a combination of little or no expansion in highway capacity plus a steadily growing population has resulted in massive traffic gridlock throughout the region.
John S. Niles, Adjunct Scholar, September, 2003
Federal, state, and local officials who support Sound Transit's $2.4 billion dollar plan to build a 14-mile light rail starter line from downtown Seattle to Tukwila frequently trumpet its "highly recommended" rating. For example, one elected official declared on July 24 that light rail in Seattle "will help solve the region's transportation mess and is 'highly recommended' for federal transportation dollars." The rating is based on data submitted by Sound Transit to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts funding program.
Diane Katz, Adjunct Scholar, July, 2003
Addressing automakers, suppliers and the industry press on Jan. 14 in Dearborn, Michigan, the nation’s top auto safety official declared sport utility vehicles too dangerous to drive. While this startling assessment may grab headlines, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
Eric Montague, Policy Analyst, February, 2003
The vital question for policymakers in the wake of the defeat of Referendum 51 is: What does it take to win voter support for costly public projects? Most will agree the answer is clear. State government must implement common sense reforms that change the institutional structure of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and restore competitive efficiency to the transportation system. Only by implementing real reform can state leaders hope to regain voter support for much-needed road projects. Then WSDOT can get back to improving mobility by creating a statewide transportation system that meets the needs of commuters and businesses alike.
Eric Montague, Policy Analyst, October, 2002
The need for increasing the capacity of our state's 80,000-mile network of roads, highways and bridges is clear. Over the past 30 years Washington's road system has not kept pace with the needs of a population that has grown nearly 75% during that time. While there are many opinions about how to keep up with growing roadway demand, few will argue that seemingly endless congestion and hazardous safety conditions severely hamper the state's social and economic development.
Seattle - The independent Washington Policy Center released a new study, "An Overview of Referendum 51," which presents an easy-to-understand description of the $7.8 billion transportation-funding package that will be before voters on Election Day.
The purpose of the report is to inform the public about this important transportation-funding proposal. The report provides a clear summary of Referendum 51's main provisions, including:
Daniel Mead Smith, President, March, 2002
Two years ago, scores of Washington residents were killed by a defective product. The fatality figures for 2001 haven't been released yet, but they are likely to be similarly high. The dangers of this product have been documented for over a decade, and were confirmed by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences last summer. Yet not only is this product still around; it's actually a mandatory component of every new car sold in this country. Worse yet, there's a widespread push to make this product even deadlier.