Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Tired of our traffic? Time to act

| September 26, 2020 1:00 AM

Frustration, anxiety, stress and anger are all emotions that can be produced simply by taking a trip to work, school, running an errand or driving to an important appointment. How many times have each of us slammed our steering wheel and shouted “this traffic is ridiculous, why doesn’t somebody do something!”

Well now you can do something to help. Vote yes for the Traffic Relief ballot proposal in this coming election. That’s right; there is hope and a solution to our growing traffic problems.

It is no wonder that we are experiencing the congestion that we currently face when you consider that the last real major transportation investments here occurred in the late 1960s and early '70s. Population growth since that time has increased astronomically, as we all know. For a variety of reasons, funding has simply not been made available to complete the necessary projects identified by our local transportation experts and local elected officials.

The solution is this: Take the unique opportunity to establish a local funding source that will create revenues that are locally controlled for transportation projects identified by our local transportation experts and approved by we the voters. These funds are bondable and will be used as cash match with state and federal monies to complete up to 12 projects valued at over $850 million. That is serious money available to help solve our serious problem.

So where does this magical money originate? By establishing a local option registration fee of $50 per year for cars and light trucks for a period of 20 years, our community will raise over $200 million that then will be matched to fund the over $850 million worth of much-needed improvements. This is an investment of only 14 cents a day. Surely your time is far more valuable than that.

Thus far I have only discussed the individual commuter’s issues. If you aren’t yet convinced that voting yes is the right thing, consider the added costs you may be paying for goods delivered by commercial trucks to your favorite store or to your home from Amazon. Typically it costs a commercial carrier $75 to $100 per hour to operate one of their vehicles. Time wasted in traffic congestion costs money. Money that is then passed on to each of us by the price of goods we purchase. This certainly costs much more than 14 cents a day.

To learn all the specific details of the 12 projects and to find out the answers to some of your questions, I encourage you to visit the website After doing so I encourage you to vote yes.

Steve Wilson is a Worley resident. He previously served as president of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce.