Letters to the Editor, Aug. 2, 2019

Pak; bike lanes; traffic; parks

No one hears the middle

I’m just a regular guy, retired U.S. Coast Guard, run a steel fab business in Seattle and live in Bellevue.

I get so frustrated when I read articles like (Samantha Pak’s opinion piece, “We’re better than this,” published July 26, 2019). When everything becomes about race and identity politics, it all becomes gray noise. I used to be a Democrat, then an Independent and now I am a solid Republican.

People are just getting fed up with the entire mess. That’s why we got President Donald Trump. The far left and far right seem to only listen to their side. The middle, I feel, actually listens to both sides, but no one hears them.

It was no surprise to me that Trump won. My Democrat friends were in shock. Unfortunately for them, they will again be in shock in 2020. The extremes on both sides are killing this country. Since the extremes are so noticed and get all the attention, no one is looking at the American side — very sad to me.

The more I hear about the “Squad” and their history, it disgusts me. It is not because they are women of color. Their ideas are detrimental to this country and their extreme views scare the hell out of me.

Kerry Tim


In support of bike lanes

I would like to respond to Diane Howell’s misplaced anger with the bike lanse expressed in “Bike lanes don’t make sense” (a letter to the editor published July 19, 2019).

Bellevue already has a significant traffic problem and development plans point to increasing congestion. The only viable solution is to offer more alternatives for people to get around — and that includes safe, accessible bike lanes.

The truth is that bike lanes work and get more people cycling for transportation. Study after study shows that they make everyone safer, from bicyclists to cars to pedestrians. I personally have seen how 108th has added more safety for everyone, and it meets the city’s 2009 vision in its Pedestrian-Bicycle Plan. But it needs to connect with other bike lanes or it won’t meet its goals.

I live at 105th and Main Street and ride my bike and walk to commute and to get around town. I know people would have more mobility if they felt safe cycling. Without connected bike routes that protect us from traffic, these potential bicycle commuters are hesitant.

It’s time to stop delay on the Main Street bike lanes and connect our city, especially with light rail and the Eastrail connection coming. The Transportation Commission has met four times to decide on a design. Any further delay will only serve to limit the number of people who feel safe getting around the city on foot, on bike, and by transit.

As Ms. Howell mentioned, Amazon is coming, and that will add to our traffic — all the more reason to give people alternative ways to get to work and home via a safe, protected and connected Main Street.

Michael Stark


Reducing Eastside congestion

The way to reduce Eastgate area congestion is to reduce the number of vehicles on the area’s roadways. Thus it’s doubtful the sorts of traffic projects described in Friday’s Bellevue Reporter will have a significant impact.

The major reason for the congestion is the nearly 40,000 Microsoft workers who commute through the area to and from their Redmond Campus. Any Eastside resident attempting to use the area roadways from West Lake Sammamish to 140th will encounter huge lines of traffic for several hours every morning and afternoon.

Yet Microsoft plans to provide room for 8,000 more workers with an additional 2.5 million square feet and by renovating another 6.7 million square feet. The Bellevue City Council should work with the Redmond City Council to use the building permit approval process for Microsoft’s expansion to limit the number of parking stalls on the Redmond Campus.

Limiting parking would “encourage” Microsoft to expand its current Connector program to where some 30,000 employees would no longer drive through the area. That’s the way to reduce congestion.

Bill Hirt


Support the parks

Ballots are arriving for this Aug. 6 Primary Election and we all need to make sure to vote for the King County Parks Levy, also known as Proposition 1.

Why should we all do this? Well maybe we all shouldn’t, but if you like to get outside and take a hike on one of the thousands of King County trails, or if you appreciate Bellevue’s park system, then you probably know that they get significant funding from the county levy and you should take out your blue pen and vote “Yes.”

If you like biking to work or taking a walk on a summer evening, then you should vote for this levy and ask for a yard sign because this levy will fund a large section of the EasTrail, a 44-mile multi use trail that runs right through the middle of Bellevue.

Perhaps you just want the kids out of the house. If this passes then they could be on one of the many sports fields that will be improved with this levy or in one of the hundreds of programs that use county facilities or playing in the pool that this levy will help plan for. So if that is you, then you should be voting for this and writing letters to the editor.

But wait, there’s more. If you join the majority of voters this Aug. 6 in supporting the levy you also get investments in the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium and thousands of acres of new open space all for the same low price of 18.32 cents per thousand of assessed value, or about $7.60 per month for the owner of a home valued at $500,000. A bargain at twice the price.

Bill Finkbeiner