Re: “The road to recovery: A healthy, equitable economy starts with investments in transportation” [Feb. 12, Opinion]:

Is it the road to recovery or road to ruin? There is no question we need to invest in transportation infrastructure, but first we must reform our ways. With Sound Transit announcing an $11.5 billion shortfall, Seattle’s streetcar $88 million over budget and bike lanes at $13 million per mile, it is clear that the management of public money is lacking.

Our elected leaders are too beholden to the vested interests in these large pots of public funds to provide accountable oversight. The numbers are too large for the public to follow over time. We need to develop rigorous methods to independently review and report on value engineering and cost overruns. Exploitation and wasting public funds is not acceptable and undermines public faith.

Future initiatives need to incorporate strong independent oversight. To do less risks losing public trust and the political will to make these needed investments.

Scott Barnhart, Seattle