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Regarding Mark Minerich’s Op-Ed, “Soul-sucking traffic and the ‘fixes’ that make it worse” [Opinion, Aug. 18]: While I understand the pain of sitting in traffic, I think targeting transportation improvements by our leaders is not only missing the point but also forgetting our history. The Seattle that Minerich so misses — “mounted horse patrols, the Benson Waterfront Streetcar, … free parking” — also harkens back to the time of our city’s infamous “Will the last person leaving Seattle — Turn out the lights” billboard. The Seattle he looks back on so fondly had crushing unemployment, white flight, and urban disinvestment that led to the growth of our regional suburban communities that now create the very gridlock that he feels is sucking the soul out of our fair city.

Seattle today, on the other hand, is a bustling city full of commerce, activity and the new residents (this letter writer included) that such a wonderful place attracts. I would argue that Seattle today is hardly a place without a soul, but rather a place with much-needed life breathed back into it. However, all of these new residents mean more people moving around and all the challenges that come with a bustling, vibrant urban place.

Some of the proposed transportation solutions that Minerich seems so concerned about are what he misses — the streetcars he longs for are returning. While I am not one to celebrate bumper-to-bumper traffic, I hardly think the easy drive and empty streets to park on are worth returning to the darker times implied by the infamous 1971 billboard.

Justin Resnick, Seattle