I-976 would hit 62 different jurisdictions across Washington state, devastating basic transportation service. (Credit: No On 976 campaign)

Don’t stop there. Tell everyone you know to vote no on I-976 as well.

Halloween might be over, but the most frightening day of 2019 has yet to come. On November 6th, Washingtonians could theoretically wake up and confront the nightmarish reality that office-chair-thieving Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 (I-976) has passed and our State’s transportation budget has been gutted to its core. Just think $60 billion in funding that pays for the basics like road maintenance and local transit service in 62 different Washington cities, gone. $1.5 billion in ferry vessel improvements, wiped out. $20 billion for light rail expansion, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail, annihilated. 

And while all that might sound like a lot of money, it pales in comparison with I-976’s total price tag. According to its Fiscal Impact Statement, if I-976 passes, almost $2 billion ($1,921,901,238 to be exact) will be stripped from the state’s transportation budget in just the first six years. 

Extend those figures out further, and the future of transportation in Washington gets more and more bleak.

(Credit: No on I-976 Campaign)

The pain will be real, and not just in Seattle. Counties and cities across the state will suffer as municipalities discover they have lost funding for programs that serve their most vulnerable constituents like Safe Routes to Schools and special needs transit for people with disabilities. 

Don’t let Eyman’s nightmarish fantasy become a reality. Vote no on I-976. And once you’ve mailed your ballot, get out the word about the threat the initiative poses to people across Washington state. Yes, only a few days remain until election day, but that doesn’t mean it is too late. The No on I-976 campaign needs volunteers to phone and canvass against I-976. Including today there are still four whole days in which you can fight for Washington’s transportation future.

Transit service would be eviscerated if I-976 passes. (Photo Credit: Oran Viriyincy)

To sign up for volunteer opportunities, go to No on I-976’s website and register for a volunteer shift. You can even sign up to phone bank remotely in the comfort of your own pajamas at home.

It’s not too late. Voters in Arizona banded together to defeat a Koch brother’s funded initiative that would have sabotaged light rail expansion in Phoenix. Similarly, Washingtonians can reject the twisted logic of I-976 and preserve billions of dollars in voter approved investments in a multimodal transportation future for Washington State. Vote No on I-976.

Article Author

Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is a reporter and podcast host at The Urbanist. She previously served as managing editor. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.