Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why Kitsap Needs To Remain In The PSRC

The value of Kitsap County’s membership in the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has been questioned at length over the past year or so — perhaps most vociferously by the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners (KAPO) — and in this space as well. The main question has been whether Kitsap would be better off forming a similar alliance with Mason, Jefferson, and Clallam Counties for the purpose of regional transportation and growth management planning, as opposed to remaining partners with I-5-centric King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

After sitting through a presentation at KRCC where the five transportation alternatives for PSRC’s Vision 2040 plan were outlined, I’m convinced we need to not only remain members of PSRC, but to get our people in leadership positions so we can not only slow down, but derail what is being envisioned for our future.

Among the plans PSRC outlined is a new, 25 to 40 cent per gallon gas tax — increasing our gas tax to nearly a dollar per gallon. Very little of that money is being designated for new roads, or congestion relief — except HOV and HOT lanes primarily utilizing existing roads. Included in one version, is a HOT lane from I-5 to Poulsbo that uses one of the existing lanes of SR-16. So we’ll get to pay to use the roads we’ve already bought and paid for, while the congestion in the remaining free lanes becomes intentionally worse.

Another part of the plan calls for a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax. How that will be implemented and monitored is still unclear. They also envision tolls on all major freeways — including I-5 — as well as state highways, and even city streets.

These folks are as serious as a heart attack about implementing their “vision” for us. They have zero compassion for non-city dwelling rural residents, or for automobile owners, and religiously believe the financial burden their plans mandate is a small price we are obligated — and should cheerfully be willing to pay — for our non-urban lifestyle. When I asked if they didn’t expect resistance from non-urban dwellers, the answer was a condescendingly smug, “So what?”

I’m not sure what planet PSRC imported these folks from, but they aren’t going away. In my view, they’re the best illustration of why we need to not only remain members, but become much more active than ever before.



  1. I am hoping this is satire. If it is not the only sure way is to leave.

  2. There's no satire here - this is the reality of what "social engineering" is all about.

  3. Then we must op out of this organization.

  4. Then we must leave this organization immediately.

  5. If we abandon organizations when we don't like the direction they are taking, who does it hurt? We would no longer have a seat at the table and the decisions would be made without us anyway.

    I'm not a fan of the direction the PSRC is going, but I agree that we cannot abandon our seat at the table because that effectively gives up and gives in.

    Perhaps the key here is to get more reasonable members at the table and be persuasive in expressing different options rather than abandoning ship.

    Abandoning ship is an inappropriate strategic move if the ship will be taken and used against you.

    Kathryn Simpson

  6. I guess my point is that if Kitsap leaves then they cannot due unto us. The likely hood of getting more reasonable members is zero.

  7. One also has to look at this holistically. When PSRC was supporting regional eonomic development projects which benefitted Kitsap County, our leadership was all over it. Also, Vision2040 is not simply about the transportation piece.

    Get rid of something when it doesn't work for you, but don't pout and withdraw when one piece of a much larger whole is found wanting. Engage and advocate for improvement from within.

    -Registered Voter