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The state House returned to work this week, and one of their work items is the transportation package passed by the state Senate [“State Senate OKs transportation package, boost in gas tax,” Local News, March 2]. Unfortunately, the package takes money from non-gas tax sources to pay for wasteful road projects.

These projects would just increase sprawl, as people arrange their commutes, houses or businesses out into sprawling areas to use the new roads even before they are completed. Will we keep building until we are another Los Angeles?

Every morning I walk my daughter to elementary school. In a few blocks, we breathe exhaust from hundreds of cars. Then I smell more vehicle fumes just walking from the bus stop to my office in Seattle.

Instead of talking about cleaning up the air, we are talking about expanding roads. The Senate’s transportation proposal raises the gas tax, but not enough to build all the roads. So, it egregiously takes voter-mandated Model Toxics Control Act funds away from environmental cleanup. It hurts critical shoreline environmental requirements, and takes sales-tax revenue from the general fund. It doesn’t fund needed transit and maintenance.

We need to do better, and we can.

We really only have a traffic problem at rush hour. So, we should create more express bus routes, priority traffic signals for buses and work on serious transit plans. If we have good and fast transit options, enough people will use them so the rest of us will have room to drive our cars. We can all stop wasting money on expensive roads that won’t help us.

Kristen Bryant, Bellevue