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November 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM

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Legislature prioritizes transportation in state budget

Inefficiency of bicycles

Memo to Chuck Ayers regarding his “more efficient” bicycle plan [“Connect city with network of bikeways,” Opinion, Nov. 18]: It is the antithesis of efficiency to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on facilitating a hobby enjoyed by a tiny fraction of the city population.

For the vast majority of Seattle's residents who need to move fast and safely in a predominantly rainy climate, wearing expensive office clothing and carrying briefcases, purses, etc., nothing is less efficient than a bicycle.

— William Slusher, Okanogan

Expand mass transit

In response to Bruce L. Nurse's op-ed, Seattle's physical geography, not an ideological “war on cars,” is the cause of most of its traffic woes [“We should stop waging a war on cars,” Opinion, Nov. 18].

Look at a map. If you stacked two bottles, neck to neck, Seattle is right at the center. The isthmus that Seattle is built on is the most valuable real estate west of Chicago, north of San Francisco. It is so built up, that some buildings actually cover the freeway.

The cost of expanding Interstate 5 through downtown is so astronomical, that it is no wonder why Seattle has been pursuing other options.

No one questions the convenience and freedom of personal automobiles. No transit option can compete with that. However, in this densely packed, double-bottle-neck region of nearly 4 million inhabitants, something has got to give.

Turning more priceless real estate into concrete slabs is not the most efficient use of our scarce budgetary resources. According to recent data, 40 percent of downtown commuters arrive by mass transit. This is good news for those driving alone.

Since I-5 expansion is unviable, expanding mass transit is the most efficient use of transportation dollars. Most of the great cities of the world have also reached this conclusion.

— Nick Anderson, Seattle

Don’t expect everyone to bike

After reading Chuck Ayers’ opinion on how the city of Seattle should connect the city with network of bikeways to solve the city's traffic problem so “everyone, from an 8-year-old child to her 80-year-old grandmother” can ride bikes wherever they need to go, all I could picture was a little old lady furiously riding a bike in the pouring rainwith her drenched paper sack falling apart while trying to escape some young thud chasing her down the street.

Thanks for yet another brilliant idea. You may very well build it, but don't expect everyone to ride. The existing bike lanes the geniuses running this city have already forced upon us are proof enough of that.

I live in the Northgate area and one rarely sees a bicyclist on the many bike lanes they've added here taking away valuable car lanes while the population rises and automobile traffic continues to get worse and worse.

— Judy Darrow, Seattle

Conflict of interests

The opinion articles regarding transportation do illustrate what's wrong. The bicycle interests would close off I-5 for their exclusive useif they could, yet can't seem to obey the traffic laws they are subject to. With Seattle's mayor in their hip pocket, things will only get worse.

The piece on stopping the waging of war on cars was right on.

The piece on the need for preserving and maintaining the transportationwe have iscorrect, except the Washington Department of Transportation speaks out ofboth sides of its mouth. It uses public money on the latest fancy electronic gimmicks rather than maintaining even I-5 to a pothole-free status. It is always looking for that next great project, while I, for one, would settle for maintaining what we have.

— John Christensen, Edmonds

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