Morning Fizz: Sound Transit responded

Caffeinated news and gossip starring: Sound Transit, Darcy Burner, gay marriage, and taxes.
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A Sound Transit train chugs into a station.

Caffeinated news and gossip starring: Sound Transit, Darcy Burner, gay marriage, and taxes.

1. Sound Transit responded yesterday to Cascade Bicycle Club's claim that it plans to build a $40 million, 900-car parking garage at Northgate. In an email to Fizz, Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray wrote, "The $40M figure is not accurate. Sound Transit generally estimates structured parking to cost about $30K per stall. The use and costs of the proposed 600-900 stall garage would be shared with the Northgate Mall property owners. At the high end, that puts initial estimates in the $13M-$14M range for the 450 park-and-ride spaces."

However, Gray didn't exactly defuse Cascade's claim that the parking garage investment will be "for the ten percent" — that is, the ten percent of Northgate Transit Center users who will ultimately get to the station by car.

By Gray's numbers, in fact, the garage will actually be for the eight percent — the percentage of Northgate commuters Sound Transit estimates will drive to the transit center in 2030.

2. A new King 5 poll of voters in the new 1st Congressional District — swing turf that stretches from the Microsoft suburbs north through rural Whatcom county — shows that left-wing Democrat Darcy Burner posts the highest numbers among the pack of Democrats going for the seat.

When voters in the district were asked to pick their favorite candidate (including the lone GOP candidate in the race, Snohomish County Council member John Koster, and Independent Larry Ishmael), Burner was at 19 percent, while the rest of the Democratic field was in single digits. Former state rep Laura Ruderman did the best among the rest of the crowded field of Democrats, coming in at 6 percent. 

Leaving the five Democrats to eat away at each other, Koster came out way ahead at 46 percent. (Independent Ishmael was at 4 percent along with Democrats Suzane DelBene and Steve Hobbs.)

Burner also did the best among the Democrats when the poll tested head-to-heads between each Democratic hopeful and Koster, with Koster winning 48-39, a nine point spread. Koster beats all the others by at least 16 points.

3. A noteworthy kernel from the poll — which had Republican Rob McKenna far ahead of Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Mitt Romney slightly ahead of President Obama — 1st District voters (a moderate bunch) would vote to approve the law legislators passed earlier this year making gay marriage legal, 40-37.

Opponents of gay marriage are expected to turn in enough signatures by next week's deadline to put that very question in front of voters in the form of R-74 this November.

4. Some more deep polling data from a different poll. We got into the details on Inslee vs. McKenna from a new poll by local political consultants at Strategies 360 in yesterday's Jolt, but here's an interesting finding we left out: Washington voters support taxes. For education, anyway.

The poll found 57-35 support for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund K-12 education. That's up from 51-43 support last year.

And 53-40 percent support higher taxes to prevent tuition increases in higher education.


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