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Why do you think it’s called a freeway?

SUNDAY, DEC. 23, 2007

Gov. Gregoire doesn’t get us.

I know. That’s a given since Christine – excuse me, Chris – is over there on the West Side.

Washington West Siders (with their Ichiro and their Bill Gates and their big needle stickin’ up into space …) don’t have a clue about life here on the more meager unwashed east side of the state.

But you’d think the governor would have the geographical good graces not to insult us the way she did the other day.

I couldn’t believe it.

The subject was her budget proposal for next year.

Gregoire said if we motorists want the imaginary North Spokane Corridor to actually be built we’d have to come up with some of the $3.3 billion ourselves.

What nerve.

We don’t want to pay for a North/South freeway.

The Spokane area’s mission statement can be summed up in two words:

We’re cheap.

Call it frugal, if it makes you feel better. Or tightfisted.

But it’s true.

Many Spokane Valley residents are so cheap they won’t ever drive to downtown Spokane because they’d have to plug a parking meter.

The Fourth of July symphony concert at Riverfront Park is one of the biggest draws every year.

Because of our love for classical music?

Don’t be ridiculous. Most of us around here think Beethoven was a dog movie.

We pack the park because of FREE fireworks.

Years ago (long before that “Near Nature. Near Perfect” nonsense), I held a contest asking people to create a Spokane slogan.

The winner was: “Can I have some extra gravy on that?”

Gov. Gregoire – like all the other professional pickpockets over there – are used to dealing with West Side suckers who are easy marks.

According to a news story, she will ask the state transportation department “to explore options for user fees” to help finance the linking of I-90 with U.S. 395.

Well, I know one thing.

Putting up tollbooths won’t work.

The Maple Street Bridge used to have a tollbooth. Many Spokanites decided to swim across the river to avoid having to toss dimes into the collection bins.

I have a better idea that would actually save us money.

I say we scrap this whole North Spokane Corridor fantasy.

We have been discussing this mythical roadway since the Eisenhower administration.

Bigfoot has more credibility.

The way this idea has crawled along it will be useless by the time it’s finished. By then we’ll all be commuting to work in FLYING CARS.

I kid you not. The first time I read about Spokane’s North/South highway I was a newsboy delivering the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

So ask yourself: Do we really need something we’ve been procrastinating over for 51 years?

If we must spend some loot on our crumbling infrastructure, there is one project that I would support:

Let’s dismantle that ridiculous Thor/Freya couplet the city built a while back.

What a boondoggle. I have no idea what that was supposed to accomplish except for making me angry every time I have to drive around the sucker.

Maybe the North/South Corridor of Good Intentions will happen one day. Just don’t ask us to chip in.

I can’t even get my readers to pay attention.

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