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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 13, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Light rail: Is the cost of art and the screeching worth it?

Some empathy for light-rail noise victims

Editor, The Times:

I can almost empathize with those suffering the noisy trains [“Tracks’ din stirs Tukwila outcry,” NWSunday, July 5].

However, there is a large number of us being subjected to 100 decibels on a constant basis due to the third runway at Sea-Tac. The Port of Seattle has said there will be noise studies someday.

The results of the noise studies for the second runway would more than suffice. Just move the western boundary and begin the noise mitigation process.

— Mike Adams, Des Moines

Rail priority shouldn’t be on buying art

I just read the article “Making a big deal of it” [NWArts&Life, July 12] and was so relieved knowing that I’m not one of the taxpayers footing the bill for light rail’s public art.

I can only imagine how much it must have cost for all of these “works of art.” But I can imagine how much more bang for the buck taxpayers might have gotten from those same dollars had they been used in, perhaps, a more practical way; like working on the noise problems we’re reading about or building the parking that’s needed so that people riding the rails will have a place to park those cars they’re not driving.

I live on Whidbey Island where we don’t have the traffic problems seen in the Seattle area. It’s just a shame that all that money was spent to make a few people feel good, but that’s the liberal way, it seems, and the voters voted for it.

If it feels good, then it must be the right thing to do. Glad it’s not on my buck!

— Carolyn Hendry, Oak Harbor

Charging for parking would help light-rail stations stay afloat

As happy as I am about the opening of the Tukwila light-rail station, I’m at a loss to understand the free parking.

Why free? Even if we’re charged a dollar for 24-hour parking — which should hurt nobody — a 500-car average for a year would net $182,500. No great fortune, but it would help in maintaining the station itself.

Free parking is largely a myth anyway. The concept is touted at shopping malls nationwide. But the cost, in truth, is passed along to buyers at the register. Even a customer who walks to the mall (a bizarre concept, I know) or arrives by bus, is burdened by the same higher costs, all to provide for that great American obsession — the automobile.

— John Lyons, Seattle

Dreaming of open roadways

Hooray, light rail has opened. No more congestion on Interstate 5!

Then I woke up.

— Donald F. Padelford, Seattle

Light rail no louder than third runway

It was good to see The Seattle Times’ article on light-rail noise [“Light-rail report: Neighbors right, trains are too noisy,” page one, July 11] as well as Sound Transit’s response to the complaints.

But where was the coverage when the Port of Seattle opened the third Sea-Tac runway, with an impact on far more citizens of King County? The Port might learn from Sound Transit’s ability to realize the detrimental effects their work has on the community.

The Port’s response to date is that it will do some new noise monitoring and will release the information this coming November. The Port’s lack of foresight to realize the third runway compounded with the “unexpected” closure of another runway would cause such disruption is unconscionable.

— Mark Maurin, Des Moines

Comments | More in aviation, Light rail, Transportation

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