Are we on the right track?

While sitting stuck fast in traffic on I-405, it’s easy to sympathize with Connie Lewis’ frustration with the transportation mess that is today’s Puget Sound traffic (“Sound Transit audits: Time to build system,” Letters, Sept. 18). However, anyone who has been paying taxes for more than a few minutes should take a cleansing breath before pushing blindly on with Sound Transit’s plan.

Ms. Lewis’ letter drips with the often-used do-something-do-anything provocation so often used to stampede an overwrought public into doing something precipitous. Sound Transit wants you to spend billions over decades to obtain something whimsically termed “choice.” Perhaps we’ll feel better knowing we’re spending all that money to achieve choice. Feelings aside, lurching forward without a results-based plan may well leave us still collectively stuck in traffic, poorer and more frustrated. Exhibit A: Los Angeles.

Choice might, after careful analysis, prove to be part solution. I can’t tell. Apparently, neither can anyone at Sound Transit. We might end up with a choice of various transportation means, all similarly gridlocked. That’s not a choice I want to pay for. What’s needed is a pay-as-you-go, phased transportation plan with measurable benefit – improved traffic flow – at each and every phase. Since we taxpayers are paying the freight (no pun intended), we can and must insist on getting real results for our time and money. That’s not too much to ask. We do so in our financial lives every day.

Let’s not be panicked into billions of dollars and decades of time to achieve – nothing. No good tries are acceptable. No “at least we’re doing something” nonesense. No moral victories. The stakes are too high. Let’s not find ourselves looking back in 2010 or 2015 wondering what we were thinking in 2000. No one will remember today’s cliches then.


Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

RGB version
Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Feb. 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Jaime Benedict, who works as a substitute teacher, waves to drivers on the corner of Mukilteo Speedway and Harbor Pointe Boulevard while holding a sign in support of the $240 million capital bond proposal for Mukilteo School District on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Bar set unfairly high for passage of school bonds

Requiring 60 percent approval denies too many students the schools and facilities they deserve.

Comment: Presidential primary launches state’s election season

With ballots in the mail, here’s what to know and how to prepare for making your choice for U.S. president.

Keep Clark Park gazebo; it holds memories for many

Just want to put my two cents in about the removal of… Continue reading

Focus more effort on preventing opioid addiction

A recent Herald editorial cited a report from U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen’s… Continue reading

Navalny’s death loss for Russia, world

The world was informed recently that Alexei Navalny died in a Russian… Continue reading

Comment: Primaries offers chance to judge vote-by-mail’s success

So far, state caucuses and primaries have seen low turnout. Will mailed ballots see higher participation?

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Feb. 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Editorial cartoons for Tuesday, Feb. 20

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

A leasing sign in visible outside of A’cappella Apartment Homes on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Cap on rent can keep more people in their homes

The legislation balances affordability with the need to encourage growth in the stock of housing.

Election signs line a section of Mukilteo Blvd. in Everett. (Sue Misao / Everett Herald)
Editorial: Switch of local elections may be premature

Adding local elections to even-year ballots could boost participation but election officials have concerns.

"Law & Order" cast members (from left) S. Epatha Merkerson, Jeremy Sisto and Anthony Anderson are shown with episode director Marisol Torres on the show's set in New York, in April 2008. (Bernadette Tuazon / Associated Press file photo)
Editorial: Leave the interrogation ruses to the TV cop shows

A House bill would limit the use of deceptive interrogations that have resulted in wrongful convictions.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.