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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Transportation
October 15, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Streetcars: Too expensive and permanent compared to buses

Thanks to columnist Danny Westneat to at least whisper the truth about streetcars, and the $56.4 million needed for construction of the South Lake Union line [“Streetcar ridership, revenue still off track,” Local News, Oct. 10]. It takes years and millions of dollars to make just a short line like this. As far as…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: buses, Damon Darley, Danny Westneat

August 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

State ferries: Eyman to blame for ferry woes

The problems with the state ferry system can be traced back to a single source: Tim Eyman [“Lawmakers turn up the heat on troubled ferry system,” Local News, Aug. 19]. The people of this state blindly followed his dismantling of the state highway funding source. You want quality people, from deckhands through management, to…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: highways, Paul Gotz, taxes

July 21, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Road infrastructure can’t fix traffic problems, support public transportation

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…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Department of Transportation, Douglas K. Stewart, public transportation

June 15, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Traffic gridlock: Seattle will pay for viaduct decision

A two-vehicle crash in Seattle on East Marginal Way South near South Nevada Street led to the closure of Highway 99 for hours Tuesday. (HEATHER TRIMM / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

I read with interest the story in The Seattle Times concerning the traffic gridlock resulting from an automobile collision south of the West Seattle Bridge that tied up traffic for well over six hours last Tuesday [“City’s layout can put Seattle one crash away from gridlock,” Local News, June 11].

Without going into whether the event could have

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: congestion, highway 99, Interstate 5

June 12, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Traffic congestion: Get political solutions moving, restore road lanes

It’s time that the driving public of Seattle to take a stand and demand that we get our streets back [“Police to angry commuters, sports fans: ‘Good reason’ for traffic jam,” The Today File, June 11]. So many of our major arterial streets have been reduced in size, which has had such a huge…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: congestion, road diets, Ross Budden

June 11, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Rails to trails: Good use of a corridor is subjective

As noted in Danny Westneat’s Sunday column, the government contends “landowners have always had trains running through their yards, so if anything, a trail is a more benign use” [“Was public railroaded in trail deal?” Local News, June 7]. Actually, this ignores how many owners feel about a public-access trail through their yards. With real estate,…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Danny Westneat, Rails to trails, railway

May 10, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Transportation megaprojects: Road project funding could go to Metro

The billions of dollars we are spending on mega road projects could buy a dramatically expanded public transit system that offered free service to all [“Troubled transportation megaprojects add to political gridlock,” Local News, May 6]. That would clear a lot of cars from the road and make all this construction unnecessary. When one…

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Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: environment, Highway 520, highway 99

May 9, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Transportation funding needs to keep the environment in mind

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…

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

April 2, 2014 at 12:37 PM

King County Prop. 1: Buses are the lifeline of our community

Proposition 1 will soon be put to a vote. It funds public transportation [“Should voters invest in roads, transit?” Opinion, March 30]. Proponents estimate there will be 30,000 more cars on our streets if this proposition does not pass. I am a frequent bus rider. The buses I ride are usually well-used. In rush hour,…

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Comments | More in Metro, transit, Transportation | Topics: Anne Thureson, buses, King County

April 2, 2014 at 6:03 AM

King County Prop. 1: high costs of congestion; serving the underserved

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

The costs from congestion is already too high

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute rates Seattle’s gridlock at six hours per day, with delays costing trucking $546,000,000 per year [“Should voters invest in roads, transit?” Opinion, March 30]. For each of our personal vehicles, it cited $1,519 of congestion cost by 2006. Meanwhile, we add almost 40,000 residents per year.

Fixing the growing problem requires highway improvements and huge spending. Replacing our crumbling viaduct with a 1.7 mile tunnel will total nearly $3 billion. Highway 520 changes cost $4.6 billion. Neither added capacity. That would have cost far more and required costly improvements to choked city streets and parking.

The main alternative is transit. Metro has 400,000 boardings daily. In contrast, Interstate 5 moves only 207,000 vehicles daily at Seneca, Highway 99 moves 60,000 north of the West Seattle Bridge and Interstate 90 handles just 145,000 east of Interstate 405.

There is no cheap solution when congestion costs for just trucking equal taxes spent for the entire Metro operations budget. Rides on Metro almost exactly match the cited number of vehicles on I-5, I-90 and Highway 99 combined. How many of those 118 million annual riders can we force into cars as worsening congestion already costs each driver $1,500 dollars per year and costs trucking over half a billion?

Proposition 1 is cheap by comparison and vital to our roads and economy.

Brian Sherlock, Shoreline

Better transportation for underserved communities

I disagree with guest columnist Bill Eager’s characterization of our transportation system in King County. Public spending on

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Comments | More in Metro, Traffic congestion, Transportation | Topics: Bill Eager, king county metro, Lucas Simons

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