Opinion

I-985: Want to hear a Tim Eyman joke? | Mirror editorial

How many Tim Eymans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

None: You screw in the bulb while Eyman micromanages the process with an initiative.

Dubbed the "Reduce Traffic Congestion Initiative," I-985 calls for opening HOV lanes to all commuters during non-peak hours, synchronizing traffic lights on main roads and increasing emergency roadside service. I-985 also calls for management, by the state, of money cities make from red light cameras.

The initiative tackles too many issues at once. In addition, a one-size-fits-all initiative is not the way to go when fixing traffic across the state.

In Federal Way, test cameras at two busy intersections show great financial potential: Had the city begun issuing tickets during the recent pilot period, the red light cameras would have generated $288,176 within the first month. The test intersections — at Pacific Highway South and South 320th Street as well as Pacific Highway and South 348th Street — average 77 violations daily.

Last week, the Federal Way City Council established a fund for money generated by the cameras. The fund targets traffic safety, enforcement, education and engineering within the city's borders.

Eyman's convoluted initiative seeks to remove the "profit motive" of red light cameras by funneling money from violations into a congestion-relief fund.

However, red light cameras themselves reduce congestion-causing accidents. Furthermore, Federal Way is already taking steps to promote safety at busy intersections. The city deserves to use money from the cameras as it sees fit for problems specific to Federal Way.

The Mirror recommends voting no on I-985. If the measure passes and undermines Federal Way's efforts, then The Mirror urges Federal Way to fight.

And of course, The Mirror recommends Tim Eyman apply his considerable drive and intellect toward initiatives that expand our rights and freedoms — instead of micromanaging cities.

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