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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: Transportation
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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0 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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0 Comments | More in Metro, Traffic congestion, Transportation | Topics: Bill Eager, king county metro, Lucas Simons

March 24, 2014 at 6:13 AM

Seattle limits rideshare service

Some additional suggestions Kudos to Seattle City Council members for their tough vote capping each rideshare service at 150 drivers ["Council limits number of rideshare drivers," page one, March 18]. Now, let’s see if they have similar spine for capping the number of drug deals going on at any one time at Steinbrueck Park at 150.  Or…

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0 Comments | More in Seattle, Transportation

March 22, 2014 at 6:15 AM

King County Metro needs to live within their income

Last week I renewed the registration for my fourteen 14-year-old car that I drive about 5,000 miles per year [“As bus ridership rises, battle over funding measure heats up,” page one, March 20].

The cost of $72.75 included a Regional Transit Authority tax of $9 and a congestion reduction charge of $20 which went to King County Metro. Now Metro, in Proposition 1 on the April 22 ballot, wants another $60 “… to prevent a 17 percent cut in bus service …” and a sales-tax increase of .001 percent, part of which would go to transit service.

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0 Comments | More in Metro, Transportation | Topics: king county metro, Proposition 1, transportation

March 21, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Pedestrians at risk by motorists in Seattle

There have been a lot of words written about the conflict between motorists and bicyclists in the streets of Seattle [“Why are drivers so angry at cyclists?," Opinion, Jan. 10].

How about motorists and pedestrians? I’ve walked a mile each way from the ferry terminal to my office on Fourth and Pike and back for four years. And I can say with absolute certainty that there has not been one day that either me or someone I’ve seen is nearly run down in the crosswalk by a car running a red light or simply in a big hurry to get through the intersection. The level of aggression and disregard for human safety is stunning.

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0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: motorists, pedestrians, transportation

March 21, 2014 at 6:06 AM

King County Metro funding measure would help all

I object to the Dick Paylor and his Eastside Transportation Association’s view on Metro funding and who pays for it [“As bus ridership rises, battle over funding measure heats up,” page one, March 20].

Paylor makes his living in a subsidized industry (real-estate development) and you would think as a business person he would support viable options for transportation. Should only parents of school-age children pay for schools? Only those who use police and fire pay the full cost of these services?

My point is much of what makes up our civil society is subsidized by the taxpayer and we all benefit from these services indirectly or directly. I reject the Eastside Transportation Association’s libertarian view on taxation and public services. I also object to the attack on driver’s wages. Only a small percentage of Metro operators are making $100,000 a year and that is after working many hours of overtime.

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0 Comments | More in Metro, Transportation | Topics: Eastside Transportation Association, king county metro

March 20, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Vehicle owners: say no to proposed service fee

A bill heading to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk will add a new service fee to all vehicle registrations beginning next year.  [Tuesday Memo: Firefighter’s side of story … Wolf shot … Ferry fee on car tabs," seattletimes.com, March 18]. All of these fees amount to nothing more than a tax on every citizen in Washington state who owns a vehicle.

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0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Car tab fee, cars, transportation

March 20, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Reject cuts to public transportation

As a bus driver I’ve witnessed firsthand how vitally important public transportation is to our local economy, and what an absolute necessity it is for many in the Puget Sound region [“Seattle sees big gains in public transit ridership,” seattletimes.com, March 10].

It is their means to get to work and to medical appointments and to a variety of other basic needs. If service is cut, everyone will be affected, from middle class commuters, to the working poor, to those elderly and handicapped citizens whose only transportation is the bus. This measure may be regressive, but cuts to public transportation will perpetuate the poverty cycle and are regressive.

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0 Comments | More in Transportation

March 18, 2014 at 7:01 PM

KOMO copter crash claims two lives

Dangerous flights Helicopters are inherently unstable and tricky aircraft to fly and maintain. The crash of the KOMO aircraft [“Two victims identified in KOMO-TV news helicopter crash near Space Needle,” seattletimes.com, March 18] was tragic but all too predictable. Why do we need daily noisy, fuel-guzzling and dangerous flights over the city to get yet another harbor…

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0 Comments | More in aviation, Media, Seattle, Television, Transportation

March 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Rainier Avenue traffic lights retiming: A benefit to public health

The Seattle Times report of the retiming of traffic lights on Rainier Avenue South [“SDOT to retime traffic signals on busy Rainier Avenue South,” Local News, March 11] to make them safer for pedestrians, was very good news for our community. It demonstrates three important facts: First, we achieve health and safety not just in clinics,…

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0 Comments | More in Public safety, Transportation | Topics: Howard Frumkin, Rainier Avenue, seattle department of transportation

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