This week’s state Department of Transportation warnings miss the significance of next week’s traffic snarl [“I-90 closures ahead: Eastside drivers might want to just stay home,” Local News, July 15].
The scenario is not a temporary crisis. It is a view of our future if we choose to continue our present path of highway development to provide urban transportation of persons and goods.
We cannot build enough highways to free ourselves of traffic jams without destroying the region that we came to enjoy. L.A, is much farther down that road — the mirror of our future. Who of you wants to live anywhere near a highway by choice?
To preserve our quality of life, to protect ourselves from traffic-associated air pollution and to be responsible citizens of our planet, we need to move people in public transportation systems that replace trips in the car that we now consider so necessary: commutes to work, school, and venues of public entertainment. In like fashion, we need to consider the whole cost of moving goods great distances and to explore the modernization of trains that now carry primarily coal and oil.
Although not perfect, transportation systems in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Portland are examples for us to consider.
Douglas K. Stewart, Seattle