We are not Amsterdam
As a retiree living in the suburbs, I understand exactly what Brier Dudley refers to as the “shock-and-awe campaign” against cars every time I visit Seattle [“A traffic model that doesn’t add up,” Opinion, May 24]. Having spent several years living in Seattle, unlike many of my suburban peers, I am comfortable driving in and around Seattle.
I would use light rail if it served my area or if there were enough parking at current stations. But, of late, I visit less frequently as finding parking becomes more difficult and rates increase.
The message is clear: My car and I, and my disposable income are not welcome there. But why bother? There are fine restaurants and entertainment venues in Tacoma and other South Sound locations with convenient parking and easy access that welcome my patronage.
A word of advice to the traffic planners: Seattle is not Amsterdam and never will be. No number of bicycle lanes will erase the hills or change the culture so that more than a dedicated minority will regularly commute by bicycle. Seattle is a commercial hub for the whole region. If you think traffic is bad now, just wait until you take down the viaduct and replace it with a tolled tunnel.
Ann Caughey, Federal Way
Build a livable city
Seattle is growing. I’m excited to see what the future brings. And our streets are growing with us. We have a choice now:
We can build safe streets that let us choose to efficiently walk to school, bike to shops, share cars, take transit, use mobility-assist vehicles and support the smooth movement of our freight, service and emergency vehicles. Or, we can, as Brier Dudley insists, continue to focus our limited dollars and public space on moving each of us through our dense neighborhoods and congested downtown in single-occupancy vehicles.
How to submit a letter
Letters to the editor are an important part of the Opinion section. Our readers share a wide range of perspectives on current issues.
I know what kind of a city I want to live, raise a family and grow old in. It’s an easy and responsible choice to build vision No. 1.
Let’s grow Seattle into a great, connected, livable city.
Cathy Tuttle, director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Climate change urgency
There’s a fairly well-known poster in the circles in which I travel showing how much space the same number of people take using various modes of transportation. When they’re all in cars, they fill up the entire roadway as far as the eye can see. When they’re using any other mode — walking, using transit or biking — they leave a ton of empty space on the roadway.
Evidently, Brier Dudley has never seen this poster — or if he has, he considers its conclusion “debatable.” He thinks the solution to congestion in Seattle is to open up more and more space for cars to take up — a losing cause simply because of the looming prospect, indeed reality, of global warming accelerated by continuing dependence on fossil fuels. And even if our streets filled up with self-driving, compact, electric cars, they’d still take up much more space than the same number of people using other transportation modes.
Encouraging the use of these other transportation modes should be precisely what Dudley wants because it’s the only truly effective way for our transportation system to meet demand as the city grows.
Morgan Wick, Venice, Calif., (formerly of Seattle)
Stay out of Seattle
Brier Dudley accurately explains Seattle’s war on cars. This has been going on for some time over several administrations and City Councils.
Simply put, the people that govern the city just don’t seem to want people driving into their city. Based on this, I suggest that everyone who lives outside of Seattle and doesn’t need to drive into Seattle for work should just not drive there anymore.
Support your local businesses. Attend the local art scene. Eat at local restaurants. I’m sure that every city and town from Auburn to Bellevue to Lynnwood would love to have you spend more time, and your money, locally.
Why give your money, through Seattle city sales taxes, to a group of people who really don’t want you? Maybe, when sales revenues drop enough, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce will step up and convince the city government that its war on cars is a mistake. Maybe it will realize that a small subset of the regional population who rides bikes or takes the bus everywhere are not enough people to support a city the size of Seattle.
Robert Oberlander, Issaquah