At today’s press meeting with Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson, he talked briefly about I-985, the Tim Eyman initiative du jour.
The initiative would require all revenue generated from red light cameras to go to the state. If that’s the case, not only is Tacoma losing out on a chunk of cash, but the red light camera vendor also loses.
“If all revenue goes to the state, we don’t get revenue and we won’t have money to pay (the vendor) to do it,” Anderson said, which makes it “mutually impossible to go forward.”
Red light cameras don’t operate themselves, you know!
So the city’s thinking of canning the whole deal if the initiative passes.
There are more questions to be answered. Here’s one: Didn’t we just hear that red light cameras are preventing accidents in Tacoma? If true, are the number of accidents prevented enough to offset the cost of running the cameras? (Anyone?)
We also talked a bit about the Broadway/St. Helens Local Improvement District, also known as “the reason the streets between the Theater and Stadium districts are torn up” and “the harbinger of Tacoma’s first urban village.”
The city’s view is this: If you widen the sidewalks (up to 16 feet in some areas), put in more trees, add chic lighting and spruce up the infrastructure (bigger solid waste pipeline!), the urban village will sprout.
What’s an urban village? Think Pearl District in Portland: The kind of place that makes you want to congregate and spend more money on home goods and happy hour than you normally would.