Fix our roads? Yes, please

By Brittany Hale

It’s nearing: November 5th.  And that means more and more signs littering the sides of the road, telling you to vote yes on this, or no on that. On my way home from school one day, I noticed fifty or more signs urging me to vote no on Proposition 1. I began to wonder what is this Proposition 1, and what about it is so dangerous that it needs to be denounced at every single traffic light. After a little research, I discovered that Proposition 1 is a measure that would fund things like safety improvements near schools, pothole repairs, and basic street maintenance.  It turns out the funding for the measure is what has people, or more likely corporations, up in arms. However, with a little research and some common sense, most individuals will agree that Proposition 1 will ultimately be beneficial to our community.

According to the City of Tacoma’s website, Prop 1 receives its funding from a 2 percent utility company earnings tax. Opponents of Prop 1 contend that the dent in the utility company’s earnings will undoubtedly be passed on to Tacoma area residents. However, the City Council of Tacoma would need to approve any rate change by Tacoma Power. Even if they did pass the full costs along to consumers, it would only equal an additional $4.70 per month. Although many individuals are hesitant or resistant to additional costs, the state of our roads and communities demands immediate action.

Anyone who lives in Tacoma can attest to how awful the roads are. The roads make my morning commute dangerous, especially while trying to sip my coffee without suffering second-degree burns.  Besides the inconvenience of commuting on deteriorating roadways, a general disinterest in our surroundings indicates that we just don’t care about our communities. Don’t forget that revenue generated from Prop 1 would also go to safety improvements for schools and things like ADA accessible sidewalks and flashing school-zone lights.

Some opponents of Prop 1 argue that we should wait for some other, more comprehensive legislation to provide a fix for our roads while offering solutions for the city’s financial issues. These are pretty common objections to just about any piece of legislation; it’s not good enough, not comprehensive enough, or addresses the wrong areas. If we sat around waiting for a perfect piece of legislation that satisfied everyone, nothing would get done. Forgive me if I don’t have faith that another solution to these issues will soon present itself.

Despite the dissenters, I think that most everyone who reads Prop 1 will find that it isn’t as contentious as it appears. I have faith that I’m not the only Tacoma resident who’s tired of defending our broken roads and general lack of infrastructure to visiting friends and family. It’s time that Tacoma residents take responsibility for their community and vote yes to Prop 1.