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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 5, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Seattle transportation

Start now on the viaduct

Has anyone asked Washington State Department of Transportation engineers what they think of moving the Alaskan Way Viaduct to Western Avenue [“All viaduct options are unfriendly to pedestrians, study finds,” News, Dec. 4]. It seems it could be built while the present viaduct is still moving traffic.

This would only shut this main thoroughfare down for months instead of years. It could be configured to minimize noise and have levels for shops, buses and parks, connecting easily for pedestrians to First Avenue.

This would save the taxpayers a lot of money and inconvenience — plus open Alaskan Way for wonderful connections and possibilities for the public, and tourism from the city to our waterfront. These possibilities could dovetail with the rebuilding of the waterfront’s sea wall.

— John Willett, Poulsbo

Streetcars? Think rural

This new plan to extend the streetcar lines has to be one of the worst ideas our City Council has come up with in a while [“Is Seattle ready for more streetcars?,” page one, Dec. 3].

Anyone commuting to Seattle can tell you this plan will only negatively affect Seattle’s transportation system. There are some major aspects that need to be taken into account before putting this $685 million plan into action, such as the location of the railways.

A big problem with this system is that the City Council is totally disregarding rural communities. The rub is that many of the people who are going to be contributing taxes for this rail system live in the rural communities.

I know the plan is to tax local business but many of these people who are running the businesses are commuting from places like Bellevue, Redmond and Everett. Instead of putting a slow rail system through Seattle, they could put rail systems leading into the city and maybe break up some of the congestion on the surrounding freeways.

What we should do is take ideas from much older cities such as New York City, which has subways downtown and light-rail trains coming from surrounding communities.

— Shayne Mooney, Redmond

Comments | More in Seattle City Council, Transportation

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