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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

November 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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Plans for more Seattle streetcars

Look at Portland’s system

I agree with the sentiment in “Back on Track?” that the city needs a solid vision to guide the expansion of the existing streetcar line into a comprehensive system [page one, Nov. 12]. With that said, I think it is too early to start digging one’s heels in to a preconceived position as Councilmember TomRasmussen apparently does when he states, “ ... it has to have exclusive right of way, period.”

I encourage Councilmember Rasmussen to visit Portland to see how a streetcar system works extremely well in narrow downtown streets, sharing the right of way with cars and bicycles. Let’s look at transit holistically and let evidence and logic lead to transit solutions.

— Michael Scarey, Seattle

Look at the mix

Mike Lindblom's article states: “But at this point, the city is plunging into studies without a broader philosophy about which problem a new trackway is supposed to solve.” If any, I would add.

The biggest question is not where cars, buses, trolleys and bicycles should operate, but what mix of the above do we need to move people within and through the city in an efficient, fast and least expensive manner. Instead we are confronted with ideologies pledged to one mode of transportation or another. It's time to stop planning for bike lanes, car parking, trolleys and bus routes individually.

Moreover, the Seattle-centric focus ignores the fact that most people who live outside the city and work in the city will arrive by car. Even park-and-ride planning and construction has not been integrated into regional and city planning. Obviously, both the Seattle Departments of Planning and Development, and Transportation and the mayor's office are clueless, their heads buried in micromanagement of buildings and streets.

— Herbert Curl, Seattle


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I think that many Seattle residents must feel or wonder why so many transportation... MORE
The street car routes would be more economically and efficiently served by busses. MORE

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