I emailed the following to the Seattle Times in response to Sunday’s (11/18) editorial page. I’m posting it because I’m sure they’ll ignore it.
Opinion “frightful traffic fix”,
The Sunday Times devoted one entire editorial page to the question “What’s one big fix for frightful traffic?” The answers still managed to ignore the one easily available option that would greatly alleviate congestion on the east side. That option is to “persuade” Sound Transit to install bus rapid transit (BRT) across Lake Washington center roadway rather than light rail.
Any competent analysis would quickly conclude BRT was infinitely better than light rail with higher capacity, greater accessibility, far less cost, and could begin carrying commuters in 6 months not 10 years. The increased capacity would allow express bus routes for commuters from every P&R on the eastside directly into Seattle. Attracting addition commuters to public transit would reduce congestion throughout the entire area.
The WSDOT secretary’s solution “we look for ways to make a corridor operate more efficiently” ignores the fact the WSDOT is a major culprit to allowing ST to proceed with spending billions on an East Link program that will devastate parts of Bellevue, eventually gridlock the I-90 bridge, and do nothing about SR405 and I-90 congestion.
The Kemper Development Company spokesman laments the money spent on public transportation including light rail, proclaiming the need to add more highway lanes along 405. He criticizes light rail across I-90 Bridge but ignores the fact that public transit, namely BRT, is the only practicable way to alleviate congestion on the bridge or the entire I-90 corridor.
The answer to the “frightful traffic” problem facing most daily commuters is not to build more highway lanes but more P&R lots and better bus service. Attracting commuters to park their car near where they live and use a bus and existing highways to commute is better than providing them with another highway lane to get to an undoubtedly more expensive parking space near where they work.