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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Light rail

Light rail a relief for Beacon Hill commuters

Editor, The Times:

As a resident of Beacon Hill, I was disappointed in your article [“A light-rail wonder,” front page, June 15] about the light-rail station and its description of our neighborhood. Specifically, I couldn’t believe you summarized Beacon Hill by saying we have “many small ethnic shops.” How about the phrases “a diverse collection of locally owned businesses” or “a growing business district”?

Overall, the coverage seemed to be seeking negative angles to report. Yes, there are some hefty price tags associated with every aspect of the project. That’s true of every major infrastructure development. Of course there are people who might not ride the train — also true of the bus.

One lighter note that made me smile: The article said it takes 11 minutes to go downtown on Route 36. Your reporter obviously research the article by taking the bus.

From the bus stop located at the light-rail station to Westlake Center on a typical morning, it’s at least 20 minutes. Riders often have to wait for at least one full bus to pass before we can even board — adding to the overall commute time. The buses are crowded, almost always standing-room only. Beacon Hill residents use transit. We will ride the rail.

Light rail is going to change our city. It’s going to change my neighborhood. Change is scary, but it’s part of life. Instead of focusing on the “trippy” art with the $800,000 price tag, how about focusing on how much money Seattle will save on street maintenance when people get out of their cars?

Report on how much faster the buses will run when people can take the train. Report the positive, not just the snarky.

— Melissa Jonas, Seattle

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