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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I-5 bridge collapse

Transportation costs comparable to utility costs

Bryce Kenning, survivor of the I-5 bridge collapse, watches his dog Buzz yawn in Mt. Vernon. Both only got 45 minutes of sleep last night, the dog staying by Kenning's side all the time. Kenning, who eventually got to sleep at 4 a.m. for a brief time, said every time he closed his eyes he relived sailing into the air as the bridge fell. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Bryce Kenning, survivor of the I-5 bridge collapse, watches his dog Buzz yawn in Mt. Vernon. Both only got 45 minutes of sleep last night, the dog staying by Kenning’s side all the time. Kenning, who eventually got to sleep at 4 a.m. for a brief time, said every time he closed his eyes he relived sailing into the air as the bridge fell. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

The average car in the United States drives 13,476 miles per year and the average passenger car fuel efficiency is 22.4 miles per gallon, as of 2006 [“7 low bridges hold similar risks,” page one, May 29]. Washington state and federal gas tax is 37.5 cents per gallon. This means that on average in Washington state, each vehicle pays $225 dollars per year to drive on our roads and bridges. Most households pay about that much for Internet, TV and cellphones per month.Given the economic and social importance of our transportation system, we can and should pay more to improve our aging roads and bridges.

Claudia Hirschey, transportation engineer, Newcastle

Reverse anti-tax mentality

Adding to the comments of Cynthia Samuel-Zulch’s Northwest Voices letter, we have more than just bridges to worry about [“Don’t sacrifice safety for lower taxes,” Northwest Voices, May 29].

On Highway 101, north of Raymond, the road beds are collapsing beneath the pavement. They can’t just keep paving over them and hoping for the best. Current funding won’t allow much else until a complete disaster happens.

There are many other examples that most people reading this can add to. We really need to rethink this anti-tax stance that affects our infrastructure. Do we really want to be those people, the ones who sit around complaining about taxes — withholding funds whenever and wherever possible — then screaming when a key piece of infrastructure fails and inconveniences us personally? Then we have the temerity to complain even more because funding for repairs doesn’t exist.

Reverse the anti-tax mentality shackling our Legislature. Step up and pay your share for what everyone uses. Safety first — it’s a simple concept.

Dave Keizur, Long Beach

Comments | Topics: bridge collapse, I-5, infrastructure

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