Archive | At the Polls

Reading the Tea Leaves

Proposition 1 up in Puget Sound, with $30B in transit funding and $16B in lane-miles for roads, went down Tuesday. There seem to be a variety of theories on why:

  • Voters were just saying “NO” to new taxes.
  • Voters wanted to pick and choose projects, rather than buy into a bundle.
  • Perhaps most intriguing, the Daily Score suggests that voters wanted an accounting of climate change impacts of the investments, and cites a number of ‘no’ recommendations from environmental and progressive organizations.

Roads to be Issue in Wilsonville House Race

The Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that Associated General Contractors’ lobbyist Jessica Adamson will announce today as a Democratic candidate for the Oregon House seat being vacated by Jerry Krummel. She will make transportation a central issue in her campaign, according the headline of the article.

On the Republican side in the same race, former Cascade Policy Institute staffer Matt Wingard is already declared.

But both candidates expect transportation to take center stage in the 2008 campaign.

The district is mulling several large road projects, including the controversial Newberg-Dundee bypass, a widening of Tualatin-Sherwood Road and construction of a link between Tualatin’s industrial district and Interstate 5.

“The issue across the district is people want the roads,” Wingard said.

More Election Coverage

Update: Willamette Week also has an article about the rising clout of cycling in Congress today.

Jeff Mapes has a nice piece in the O this morning looking at how the bicycle lobby will likely have increased clout in DC come January.

And in the Clackamas County Commission race, which looks a lot closer now than it did on election night, Lynn Peterson continues to hold a lead of just over 1,100 votes with a few thousand ballots left to count.

Reading the Tea Leaves

So what do the election results mean for transportation here in the region? Here are a few guesses/questions:

Nationally, Oregon will now have two strong majority voices on the House Transporation Committee (with DeFazio probably the vice-chair), which should be a great position for earmarks. Will a Democratic House mean more emphasis on alternative modes? The Republican House was already at odds with the White House on transportation issues, the new House won’t feel the same need to exercise restraint in their disagreement with the President.

At the state level, does Democratic control mean more programs like Connect Oregon? Hard to say.

Locally, will the strong positive response to Measure 26-80 and the election of Kathryn Harrington, who is reasonably in alignment with the current Council (compared to her opponent who essentially ran against Metro), give the Metro Council some confidence to keep moving a progressive transportation agenda forward? It’s also likely that at the JPACT table Clackamas County’s voice will change an octave or so as the County Commission will have a majority of two progressive women.

Interesting times. What do you think?