Rosebud last night was home to an unlikely collection of transit activists. They had come together to celebrate the end of a long battle - for some, only two years, for some as much as eight - against a transit agency which ignored the realities of the system they proposed and tried to move ahead without adequate funding or disclosure.
After I-83 failed (possibly because people thought a "No" vote was "No" on the monorail), the system finally was brought down by an almost 2:1 vote. This couldn't have happened without these people's dedication to informing the public about the shortcomings of the system, the people running it, and the financing plan. Richard Borkowski of People for Modern Transit handed out awards to volunteers and activists who had put hundreds of hours of their lives into phone banking, research, time before the SMP board and on committees to keep SMP honest.
Before and after the awards, discussion was largely about the future of local transit - now that the monorail is dead, we can get back to what we'd all prefer to do: Find solutions to move people and implement them. With Link under construction and Sounder ramping up service, it sounds like people in the area are starting to stop asking about profitability and start realizing that a transit system is within the highway paradigm - an investment to generate economic growth. It was nice to see.