Paradise Lost, the epic poem by 17th-century English poet John Milton, concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
With apologies to John Milton and with tongue firmly in cheek, we suggest that his Paradise Lost parallels some of the trials and tribulations of our own Kirkland City Council. With a few minor cast changes.
In our story, the roles of Adam and Eve are performed by the Kirkland City Council. The role of Satan is represented by Sound Transit offering the temptation of not an apple, but rather taxpayer dollars from the upcoming ST3 ballot measure (ST3 will ask voters to approve spending of billions of dollars more on transportation in our region in November 2016).
The city council struggles to "get Kirkland our fair share" of the largess. There is a feeling around town that Kirkland has not gotten its money's worth the millions of dollars Kirkland citizens pay in taxes to fund the previous Sound Transit measures, ST1 and ST2.
The Garden of Eden in our story is of course, the Cross Kirkland Trail, threatened by plans put forth by the city council to introduce Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on the trail, thus destroying the tranquil, natural setting enjoyed by so many today. We don't begrudge the council for trying to direct Sound Transit money toward Kirkland's transportation needs. We do, however, think they are misguided in their quest to pave Our Trail.
On second thought, lets not try and compare too closely the lessons from Paradise Lost with our local politics. Nor do we want to compare the writings on this blog with anything ever published (you get what your pay for, remember). The lessons taught and the characters may not match all that well either. The Kirkland City Council is not so innocent as Adam and Eve nor is Sound Transit so evil as to be called the devil. Oh well.
But we do think the temptation parts of the stories line up fairly nicely.
So, back to our story... In our local version, there is a chance for redemption by our city council. Nothing they have done is set in stone... yet. The Kirkland City Council can change course and stop seeking Sound Transit BRT on Our Trail. We hope they will change course.
We support BRT on I-405. We support keeping Our Trail free of buses. We hope we can support the city council in "getting our fair share" for the city.
We suggest they start by lobbying Sound Transit for buses on I-405.
We suggest they keep buses off of Our Trail.