Saying nay to Sound Transit naysayers

To the editor:

This letter is in response to your lead article, "Raising flags about light rail's impacts" in the Nov. 30 issue of the Capitol Hill Times. Well, it has been only a few weeks since the election and the same old naysayers are at it again!

Your article mentions comments by a so-called expert on transportation. These days, I am especially cynical of experts.

This expert mentions the impact of dirt. Well, when the freeway was built wasn't there a lot of dirt then? This is a non-issue. Of course, the fill should be removed in a way that has as little impact on the neighborhood as possible. But give me a break.

The following comment was made: "If the funding to go to the University District isn't there - a big if - the Broadway station could serve as a temporary terminus." This comment is very misleading. Why would Sound Transit do this? It has a plan to build North Link from Downtown Seattle to the University District. I doubt Sound Transit would stop part way. Why would they even start North Link without full funding? By the way, from what I have read, Sound Transit basically has it almost sown up for further funding. Nothing is for sure until it occurs. But we have been given the highest ranking. Why do those NIMBY's forget to mention this? Do they have ulterior motives?

We may be facing stiff competition from other areas for transit dollars. However, if we have been given the highest rating for a transit agency and the money is almost in the pipeline, why put up roadblocks now? Again, are there ulterior motives by these same transit circles?

Those so-called transit advocates (CETA) are anything but. They propose Bus Rapid Transit. What a joke! Do you really think people, many of whom drive cars, are going to vote for such a system? Especially when they find out that current highway lanes could be dedicated to buses only? Also, what happens to those so-called rapid buses when they leave their dedicated lanes? That's right, they get stuck in traffic. Why don't those Bus Rapid Transit supporters mention what happened in Houston. Apparently, in Houston, some designated bus-only lanes have been turned into HOV lanes. There goes the rapid in Bus Rapid Transit. Just another good reason to have light rail. With light rail, you have dedicated track.

Light rail is a proven mode of transportation. Why must we fight for it for so many years? Will it solve the transportation problem? No. But it will be a start to an integrated system covering most of the central Puget Sound area. These so-called experts always forget to mention the cost of freeways. They cost much more per mile than any form of public transport. Light rail will encourage even more in-fill development in Seattle on other communities nearby. Freeways and buses encourage more sprawl. Look around anywhere in North America. The proof is out there. Good development doesn't happen near bus stops or freeway offramps.

I am a firm supporter of Sound Transit, light rail, almost any mode of public transit. I still believe the monorail could have been a good idea. It was sabotaged by visionaries without fiscal smarts. But mostly it failed because too many want to destroy a good idea rather than rescue it. People like those in CETA are trying to do the same with light rail. What is their beef? Are they propagandists for the highway lobby, the bus drivers union, bus manufacturers? It makes you wonder.

Keith Boe

Capitol Hill

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