Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Light rail: ‘dangerous’ neighborhoods, free fares and noise

Columbia City isn’t as dangerous as it was portrayed

In her column [“The riders’ line on light rail,” NWTuesday, July 21], Nicole Brodeur felt some guilt at driving part way to the Columbia City light-rail station before heading downtown. “Next time,” she wrote, “I will get up early and walk to the station, and pack brass knuckles for the walk home at night.”

I’d like to thank Brodeur for her candid assessment of the dangers of our shared neighborhood and her suggestion that Columbia City is too dangerous for working people.

Yes, Columbia City is dangerous. So, for safety’s sake, please stay home, and stay out of my way — I hate crowds!. There is no need to risk life and limb to patronize Columbia City businesses. Unless, of course, you like good (but dangerous) food, good (but dangerous) drink and friendly (but dangerous) people.

Heck, some thug might actually say “Hi.” What would you do then?

— Chris Osburn, Seattle

Free fares for light rail would boost ridership

Congratulations Seattle on your new light rail. It may not be perfect, but it’s a tremendous step forward.

Anyone who’s had a chance to ride it knows what a smooth and comfortable ride it offers. The city and region will really benefit when ridership starts increasing.

However, we’re told target ridership is 25,000 on weekdays –a year from now. I would argue the goal should be more aggressive.

Increasing ridership must be one of the primary goals of mass transit. That’s how we get people out of their cars and make our air cleaner and communities more livable. To accomplish this, there should be no fares for riding light rail.

This would make it so convenient, I’ll bet the ridership goal could be reached in a month. With greater ridership and improved convenience, there would be even more demand for expanding light-rail. The benefit and overall savings from more mass transit would more than offset the increased subsidy for fare-free rides.

Why wait? Seattle and the region can seize the opportunity. Free fares for more light rail!

— Demian Godon, Seattle

Light rail coming to your neighborhood? Fight noise before it’s too late

I am in the small minority of Seattle residents who have had a negative reaction to the new light rail. This is due to the fact that my home is right above the Mount Baker station, where every squeak and squeal of the trains can be heard from early morning until late at night.

Imagine someone dragging their fingernails over a chalkboard every seven and a half minutes. The impact on our quality of life has been distressing.

Many of us who attended the public meetings when light rail was in the planning stages raised our concerns and were told new technology made noise from metal wheels on metal tracks a nonissue.

Now, we’re being told the screeching was “not anticipated.” Obviously, light rail is here to stay, and only a few of us are adversely impacted by the noise, which means the probability of anything being done for those of us in Beacon Hill is zero.

I would, however, urge those of you who will experience light rail in your neighborhood in the future to come hear the racket it makes, and begin lobbying your public officials to make sure they deal with this in their plans for the next stage of light rail before it’s too late.

— Joyce Mork-O’Brien, Seattle

Comments | More in Light rail, Transportation


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►