Stan Lippmann for Seattle City Council 2001
During the course of this campaign, I intend to develop a sensible transportation plan for the lower Puget Sound Region. I am doing this because with current leadership of the region left in place, we will continue to follow the conventional path of more taxes, more roads, more automobiles, more pollution, more stress, and more health care expenses from the ensuing mental and physical diseases. I am doing this because this is not the future that I want to live in, and because I believe by taking these steps, I will be personally contributing to a better outcome. The cynicism about politics today is understandable, but there is hope that through rational dialogue about our problems, we together can build the future. The only way to avoid the current path of slowly worsening conditions of life is to face the fact that we have neglected to develop our physical economy in a rational direction. It is understandable that people will prefer to drive their cars as a means of transportation as long as it is the best mode available in terms of a combination of time and comfort. Whereas our current leaders call for us to sacrifice in the face of mounting traffic woes, I believe we can make a mass transportation system so good that most people will prefer it to driving, even without the traffic jams. I propose building a 200 mile maglev monorail system, stretching from Everett to Olympia, including local loops in the City of Seattle, and a line on the Eastside. A fair estimate of the capital cost of this system is $90 million per mile, for a total cost of $18 billion dollars. This is the roughly equal to the expected costs of the I-405 expansion and the 520 bridge replacement alone, yet it will eliminate the needs for these projects since automobile commuter traffic under this plan can be reduced to less than half its current level. The maglev system will be able to pay for itself through the collection of fares, saving commuters money and time relative to automobile travel, and thus the plan will not be costing the taxpayer money but instead saving the taxpayer much of the projected $50 billion in taxes over the next 30 years that the government is planning to spend not to solve the problems.