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Other factors to blame

Your front-page story about how bad Seattle drivers are [“Seattle drivers worse than they’ve been in a decade,” Sept. 1] draws inappropriate conclusions from the cited data. Accident frequency is in part a function of driver skills, of course, but Seattle is among the most difficult cities to drive in nationwide. The congestion, the lay of the land, the forced intermixing of bicycle and road traffic, and poor infrastructure maintenance are all contributing factors, and all but one of these factors are getting worse.

Rather than blaming drivers, the conversation should be about addressing these problems.

Stuart Weibel, Seattle

We’re all in it together

Thank you for Gene Balk’s article “Seattle drivers worse than they’ve been in a decade.”

Driving is a civic responsibility that allows private citizens to travel on public roads. A sense of unity of common purpose is absent in drivers today, and it shows in the evidence Balk cites. Seattle pedestrians, too, have an important role to play in re-animating an ethic of unity and civic-mindedness; enough with the ambling, coffee drinking and texting while in the crosswalk.

Our roads and walkways tether us to one another in ways obvious and subtle; it would be a shame to allow those bands to continue to erode.

Katherine Voyles, Seattle