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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Highway 520 expansion

Un-Washingtonian from start to finish

I cannot believe our City Council didn’t request, when they had the opportunity to do so earlier this month, that the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit consider a transit-optimized, four-lane alternative in the environmental-impact study of the changes being proposed for Highway 520.

The people of Puget Sound have to defend the Arboretum and Lake Washington from a monstrous disaster of a freeway expansion.

In addition, the lovely neighborhood around the Arboretum would be devastated just so that we can get more cars into and out of Seattle during rush hour. So what if someone takes a few minutes longer to get to work or a cultural event?

I don’t want to hear the nonsense about the more cars sitting in a traffic jam, the more pollution. They’ll be polluting somewhere, whether they’re in a traffic jam or not.

We as a society are at an impasse with the future. Al Gore recognizes it. Leo DiCaprio knows it. People in the state of Washington obviously do as well. I hope future generations will be able to commend us for our strong stand to protect the environment in upcoming years.

I really have no patience whatsoever with people who want to build bigger freeways to accommodate more cars as the population grows. Again, so what if more people want to use public roads? It’s their lifestyle choice isn’t it?

Why are we as a society sitting on our hands as the climate changes? Why do we keep waiting for someone else to do something about it?

I don’t have the kind of influence at the level of government that a corporate-business lawyer — someone who’d advocate more freeways and a wider floating bridge — has. But, I do know common sense from greed and a stand-patism that won’t embrace radical change to protect future generations from horrible ecological nightmares we can only imagine.

The people of Puget Sound have to make the Legislature and the governor stop the 520 expansion mess they are trying to force on King County in the name of progress.

What kind of progress? Progress for someone who’s going to make big bucks off a wider bridge being built, more cars being sold to drive on the wider bridge and more suburban driveways being built to park all the new cars being driven.

That sounds distinctly un-Washingtonian to me. Increasingly, it sounds like a crime against humanity.

— Tom Hundley, Seattle

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