Mark Trahant: Standing at roads not traveled

"Two roads diverged in our urban wood -- and we cannot travel both. None of us can even be certain which is the better claim -- yes or no -- because each path is just as fair and just as foul.

But this is not a poet's decision to make. It's harsh politics. Voters must judge Proposition 1 knowing that it is not a regional consensus. It's a plan to move us forward with 50 percent, plus one. Our choice at this particular crossroad is doing something or waiting for a better way.

Whether the Roads and Transit plan passes or not, we still have complex, painful and expensive decisions ahead. We have been standing for years at the road not traveled. We have decided what to do by deciding what not to do. And that has left us with the lousy alternative now on the ballot.

The coalitions working to defeat the Roads and Transit package are a wonderful metaphor for the lack of consensus: There are not enough roads; there are too many roads; the light rail we've already picked is too expensive; or it's not enough rail and not built fast enough.

We're voting no to protect the environment or we're voting no because this plan will not solve traffic congestion.

The arguments are rolled up into one -- a pitch to leap nowhere.

Do something and continue to debate? Or do nothing and continue to debate?

If this were Robert Frost's yellow wood, we couldn't even see the paths before us. The growth is too thick."

Get the Story:
Mark Trahant: Roads, transit: It's time to get moving (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10/7)

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