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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: transportation

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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 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 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

December 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

How much abuse should Metro drivers take?

Frequent crimes on buses should send a message to Metro management

At a time when the number of bus routes in Seattle has been reduced and more frequent violent incidents on Metro buses have been reported in the media, we are now treated to the news that a hardworking man simply doing his job — in what must be a trying and potentially dangerous circumstances — has been fired for reacting to a personal attack [“Metro bus driver fired after assault on passenger,” NWSaturday, Dec. 14].

Exactly how much abuse should Metro drivers take from an increasingly uncivil public? I would feel much safer taking the bus if I knew that the bus driver has the authority to maintain order — yes even to the point of self-defense or retributive violence.

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0 Comments | More in Metro, Transportation | Topics: metro, transportation

December 3, 2013 at 6:37 AM

King County Metro should stop feeding from the public trough

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.

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0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: Car-tab, metro, transportation

November 23, 2013 at 7:38 AM

Gas tax increase

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.

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0 Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: transportation

November 20, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Gas tax increase falls on Metro, not the state

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].

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0 Comments | More in Economy, Transportation | Topics: metro, transportation

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