UPDATE: For more up to date information on the Silver Line and The Rapid, please visit our friends at http://www.itpwatch.org.
The ITP/Rapid transit agency is again asking taxpayers for a tax increase on Tuesday, May 5th. Once again, they are using an off-election date to try and get as few voters as possible. If you live in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Wyoming, Grandville, or Kentwood, you should vote no on May 5th.
The new “silver line” that is proposed is what’s called a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. What’s that? Basically, they will cut off two of the four lanes on Division and squeeze regular traffic into one lane each way so that these new “rapid” buses get their own lanes. Did you think rush hour was bad before? If this passes, Division will be a traffic nightmare.
Some common-sense reasons to vote no:
- This is a $70 million tax increase in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression – plus another $40 million in taxes that will be spent from the Federal and State governments – bringing the cost to over $110 million for buses
- There is already a bus line that has the exact same route
- The residents of Grandville, Walker, and East Grand Rapids will see absolutely no benefit for their increase in taxes
- How many people do you think live and work right along Division Avenue? This is another waste of money on a ineffecient and inconvenient fixed-line bus system
- As previously mentioned, the “Silver Line” will absolutely choke up traffic on Division during rush hours
Since this original post, I’ve had several people contact me with more information:
- The Rapid Silver Line will travel 9.8 miles from 60th Street to the Rapid Station near downtown. The total travel time is 36 minutes, which factors out to a whopping 16 miles per hour! Wow, Bus Rapid Transit, indeed!
- The Silver Line will eliminate crucial parking along Division that small businesses depend on.
- The pro-Silver Line web site names one source for their claim that this spending will result in a 400% return on investment. However, a quick search on the Internet reveals that this “source” is just a three page article with no data to back up the claim.
- The Rapid has supposedly done years of studying of this issue. Why don’t they publish any of that information on their web site? What do they have to hide? The Rapid has a history of not publishing data – they still refuse to publish their budget online.
- The Rapid claims that this project will create up to 189 direct and indirect jobs. This project is costing $110 million (assuming it comes in on-budget). This means that there is a cost of $582,000 per job! Where do I apply?
See our other posts on this subjet:
For more info, visit the new ITP Watch web site: http://www.itpwatch.org