John Carlson, in his May 14 commentary, overcomplicates a very simple question. What is “going wrong with transportation in our region, then and now,” is that there are too many people driving alone, on roadways that are not capable of handling the traffic. We already have too much concrete and too many roads; they are just poorly utilized, by single-occupancy vehicles.
John outlines a number of poorly conceived highway construction projects, and somehow ends up implying that building more roads will rectify past poor planning.
The only way, John, to fit us all in is for more people to get out of their private transportation. But I bet John doesn’t ride public transportation, even if it he happened to be going somewhere that it would carry him, at a much lower cost than driving in his car. He does, though, provide ample evidence for public transportation, only one of which is “Yes, the number of actual transit trips is higher, but the number of trips by car has risen more.” That, John, is not something we should be proud of.
I didn’t live here in the ’70s, when John claims that “I-90 was held up by environmentalists.” I have been told by quite a few people who were active during that time period that it was a cadre of politically influential Mercer Islanders who succeeded in ensuring that I-90 was not a Santa Monica Freeway clone. We should all be grateful.
And I wish John could tell me what is wrong with being an environmentalist – of caring for, and wanting to protect our natural environment.
John’s column is a not-so-veiled endorsement of Dino Rossi’s ridiculous transportation package. When he was asked that at a press conference in Sultan last month, one of his colleagues replied, “Elect Dino Rossi and you will find out.” Now, that is scary campaigning!
So John is correct when he says the choices are simple. But he once again is pushing the wrong choice.