December 3, 2013 at 6:37 AM
Car-tab fees have risen dramatically
It is time for King County Metro to start operating like a business and stop feeding at the public trough [“Poll: How should King County fund Metro public transit?” Online, Dec. 2].
Voters passed a $35 car-tab measure and since then car-tab fees have only continued to rise, to the point where tabs can cost nearly twice the amount voters approved.
Metro has stated that in order for them to make enough to not cut routes and service, it would have to raise fares $2 each way.
Well, do the math. Even if it costs another $4 a day for commuters, they would pay it, because they easily save that much in gas and parking. Cheap parking downtown Seattle is more than $10 a day, so even another $4 means commuters still save more than $6 a day.
It is time for Metro to pay their own way, and to stop penalizing car owners with higher tab fees. I pay to support Metro and it doesn’t even service my part of the county.
— Ron Hopper, Carnation
November 23, 2013 at 7:38 AM
DOT needs to focus on more important projects, such as traffic congestion
Today the news contained mention of a likely deal coming in the next several days to raise the gas tax in this state by either 10.5 or 11 cents [“Big issues remain, but Senate GOP open to gas-tax hike,” Online, Nov. 12].
The reasons are varied for why this is something that must be done before the regular legislative session in January. (Though, as I understand it, the tax would not be raised before that time).
If you try to slip this under the radar during the holidays and pass this gas tax increase, I will be the first one on Tim Eyman’s front door insisting he help me put together an initiative for next November’s ballot to repeal it. And, I suspect I would get the required number of signatures in very short order.
November 20, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Where’s the accountability?
The Times seems to blindly advocate for the proposed statewide gas tax increase. If passed, it would give our transportation departments more money “to play with,” and that’s what they’re doing [“Big issues remain, but Senate GOP open to gas-tax hike,” Online, Nov. 12].
November 19, 2013 at 7:19 AM
Don’t penalize those who own cars
It amazes me that when money is needed for Metro buses or new roads, the only solution seems to be to “penalize” those individuals who own cars [“Voters may be asked to raise car-tab fee to block Metro cuts,” NWFriday, Nov. 8].
When the Skagit River bridge went down, we were told how very important I-5 and our roads were to commerce and the lives of all Washingtonians. So the question is: Why are only those who own cars required to pay? For once, let’s think outside the box.
November 18, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Cyclists in Seattle are self-selected
In response to Michael Hosterman’s letter [“Bikers provide a source of justifiable revenue,” Online, Nov. 12], I would like to offer a counterpoint.
As a cyclist, I hear the same complaint from motorists over and over. The bicyclists they see take extreme risks disregarding their own safety. Many of these motorists don’t understand the reality of braving traffic with little protection save a pair of blinking lights.
Even the most cautious rider takes on significant risk when he or she hits the road. Everyone is comfortable getting behind the wheel of a car, but many people don’t feel safe biking in Seattle. In the Netherlands, where there is bicycle-friendly infrastructure, one is likely to see diversity among bikers. In Seattle, the bicycling population is mostly self-selecting: risk takers will be risk takers.
I don’t consider myself to be a risk taker, but I do bike to work. A recent AAA study estimates the yearly cost of owning and driving a car to be $8,776. By bike commuting, I am saving myself money to pay down my student loans while also saving the environment by reducing emissions. Despite these benefits, many are still unwilling to risk biking every day.
As there are so few cyclists, I doubt the effort it would take to implement and enforce licensing would justify any licensing fee. As it is, cops can and do ticket reckless cyclists. Punitively enstating bicycle licenses will only result in fewer opportunities for those who need low-cost transit most.
I would like everyone to have access to low-cost transportation, but unless the roads are equally acessible to cyclists, people will remain in their vehicles.
Johanna Robertson, Seattle
November 12, 2013 at 6:27 AM
Bikers provide a source of justifiable revenue
Since in King County we are bent on decreasing traffic lanes and increasing bike paths, why not consider licensing and taxing bicycles that use roads that cars pay for currently [“Voters may be asked to raise car-tab fee to block Metro cuts,” NWFriday, Nov. 8].
Recently we’ve seen evidence of bicyclists showing no regard for speed limits in school zones. As a person who has worked downtown for many years, I have seen continual disregard for traffic laws by bicyclists in general.
Bicyclists need to be licensed and in some manner be identifiable to law enforcement when traffic laws are violated. Now there’s a source of new, justifiable revenue to help offset the Metro situation.
Michael Hosterman, Seattle
Stop taxing car ownership
A $100 car-tab increase to save Metro is absolute malarkey. County and state leadership is sounding like echoes of President Obama on the truth of his health-care program. When the actual facts of any situation are interwoven with political grandstanding and expediency then what is said is justifiably suspicious.
Here’s a deal: King County Executive Dow Constantine should raise car-tab fees by $50, but also raise the cost of Metro ridership by 50 cents (with exceptions for the elderly, retired, etc.). Please cease with this perennial obsession for taxing car ownership.
Tom Ruszala, Seattle
November 11, 2013 at 7:35 AM
Improved transportation efficiency comes too late
Gov. Jay Inslee’s ongoing efforts to improve roadway transportation efficiency to entice Boeing to build its 777X in Washington state is certainly commendable, although a little late coming.
What about all the commuters who have struggled with our traffic congestion for years on end, and who elected public officials to act in their best interest? Shouldn’t their travel dilemmas, as reported each weekday on our radio stations, have been enough to convince “those in power” that action was needed? Where have our leaders been, and just who have they been representing?
Eleanor Kremenich, Puyallup
November 5, 2013 at 4:31 PM
More volume equals more money
I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject of tolls on our bridges throughout the Puget Sound area.
Now there is talk about tolling I-90 because so many people have abandoned using the 520 bridge due to the very high tolls. And the state isn’t collecting enough money to support the new construction.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll keeps increasing every year — probably because people from Kitsap County are avoiding using that bridge because of the nagging toll.
Personally, I would shop a lot more in Tacoma but hesitate because of the high toll I would have to pay. I would like someone to explain to me: Why can’t the state establish a moderate toll on all the bridges that is the same for all people? Instead of having various tolling amounts at different times of the day, why not charge $2 for all the bridges (one way) per round trip. That way, I am sure people would go back to their old routes and stop avoiding bridges, the traffic patterns would even out and more money would be collected because people wouldn’t be so concerned about the number of trips they make around the Sound.
More volume equals more money. I’m sure the state would have more than enough money to support its projects. In addition, people on Mercer Island wouldn’t be so anxious about paying a toll if it only cost them $2 to get off their island. People feel trapped by tolls and feel like the state is gouging them for everything it can get. Maybe people would feel better about the idea of paying tolls if the state would just be more fair.
Lynne Read, Kitsap County
October 31, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Tickets and speeding should be the same for bicyclists as drivers
In The Times recent article about ticketing bicyclists, two items need to be discussed and addressed [“Police speed trap snaring bicyclists, too,” page one, Oct. 30].
First, the fine for speeding through a school zone should be the same for bicycles as for cars. If a speeding bicycle hit a child, it could do a lot of harm.
Second, just because bicyclists aren’t registered with the Department of Transportation (they don’t have licenses) shouldn’t mean that the ticket not be reported to their insurance company. This is just another justifiable reason to have bicyclists register their bicycles with the DOT, and perhaps get a bicyclist’s license.
If they want to use the roads like a car, then they should be treated the same as a car and driver in all aspects.
Robert Oberlander, Issaquah
September 27, 2013 at 6:28 AM
City needs mass-transit system
The recent article on cars apparently deals with only Seattle proper, ignoring the huge amount of daily auto traffic to and from the surrounding cities. [“Cars losing grip on Seattle,” page one, Sept. 25.]
The terrible traffic conditions in Seattle are not caused by people who live and work here.
Of note, also, were the four cities in the U.S. with a higher percentage than Seattle of people who do not drive solo to work. Each of these cities has a subway system that facilitates transportation within their boundaries and from their suburban communities.
One doesn’t see many bicycle riders in New York or Boston.
Glen Kaner, Seattle
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