Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Proposed arena in Sodo District draws debate
Traffic issues around before the arena proposal
“Bottom line? State tolling rates likely would cause greater traffic effects, for good or ill, than a Sonics game,” [“Arena’s traffic impact: a bit slower commute,” page one, July 12]; there’s The Times’ freakin’ headline! Too bad The Times buried it three-fourths of the way down the story.
Tolling 520 is the primary cause of the new Interstate 90/Interstate 5 jam-up, and everybody knows it, especially the 40 percent of drivers who no longer use 520 — like me. If these highway projects weren’t so overblown, overreaching and underfunded, there would be no tolls and no reason for drivers to create congestion by choosing alternate routes.
You can’t have it both ways; not one single residential project in all the insane density built into this city in the last decade has prohibited anyone from owning or driving a car! Not one! Not all the light rail/transit we allegedly have here (or allegedly will have here) goes anywhere often enough to impact the necessity for people to drive, so they do!
Meanwhile, we allow the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to create “road diets” that slow traffic to a crawl, more than doubling the time it takes for anyone to get anywhere. Which, in turn, doubles the use of gasoline and creates more air pollution, and impacts the economy as a whole. We steal funds from much-needed transit projects to build streetcar lines on routes already heavily served by buses and paint tons of lipstick on the pig that is Mercer Street so Paul Allen, Jeff Bezos and The Times have an inefficient, but pretty, traffic corridor in their front yard. Nice for you, not so nice for the rest of us!
We have the fourth worst traffic congestion in the nation because: we are geographically trapped; have overbuilt without a corresponding investment in infrastructure; have clowns on the City Council who are more concerned with plastic bags; were stupid enough to build a convention center over I-5; allowed ourselves to be railroaded into an expensive tunnel that nobody will use if there’s a toll on it; and — last but not least — everybody drives. They’re not going to stop because Mayor Mike McGinn builds bike lanes — nobody’s going to bike from Shoreline to Sea-Tac.
Speaking as a person who voted for Initiative 91, and remains no fan of the NBA as long as David Stern is around, I happen to like Hansen’s proposal. I like the idea of thousands of jobs returning to a city that took it in the economic shorts when the Sonics left town. I also happen to think The Times’ constant editorializing against it is completely disingenuous. Aren’t you the same Seattle Times that always jumps on the jobs, job, jobs bandwagon? So what’s the deal here?
— Jef Jaisun, Seattle