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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 9, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Transportation funding needs to keep the environment in mind

The world’s biggest drilling machine, Bertha, has been stalled at the waterfront since December. Pricey repairs await. (STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES).

The Seattle Times’ front-page article on the problem of transportation ["Troubled transportation megaprojects add to political gridlock," Local News, May 6] highlights a bigger problem associated with the need to address climate change at the state level:

It seems we keep expanding the infrastructure for use by the automobile, generally without public input. Consequently the convenience of car use makes political decisions regarding public transportation and less oil-dependent transportation more difficult as an option.

We have hogtied ourselves with the writing of our state Constitution designating how gasoline taxes are to be used. Further, the very nature of our state’s population distribution makes it absurd to think that a senator or representative from Eastern Washington should understand, much less have a say in solving, the transportation problems we face in Western Washington.

The real tragedy is that the governments of our cities feel no responsibility toward making mobility convenient, except for building roads. For example, planning participation in Sound Transit and tossing in a few nickels here and there is the extent to which city governments support better public transportation.

Transportation infrastructure is expensive and necessary just as that for other utilities. Our collective failure to address the challenge of how we best use financial resources for transportation makes us all environmental criminals.

Reiner Decher, Bellevue

Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: 520 bridge, Gas tax, highway 99


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