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.

Edmonds

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Sunday, May 19

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

Snohomish County Councilmembers Nate Nehring, left, and Jared Mead, speaking, take turns moderating a panel including Tulip Tribes Chairwoman Teri Gobin, Stanwood Mayor Sid Roberts and Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell during the Building Bridges Summit on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at Western Washington University Everett in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Candidates, voters have campaign promises to make

Two county officials’ efforts to improve political discourse skills are expanding to youths and adults.

Eco-nomics: What it takes to take carbon out of energy

The transition to clean energy demands investment in R&D and the grid and streamlining processes.

Goal isn’t to ban plastic but to use much less of it

A recent letter lauded the use of plastic in health care. Plastics… Continue reading

Do newscasters need some help with pronunciation?

Having been a teacher in public schools, I am appalled at the… Continue reading

Recycle that uncivil tone along with your plastic

I write to request two things: that writers of letters the editor… Continue reading

More races to vote in besides U.S. president; please vote

I am hoping most people will vote in the next election. I… Continue reading

Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks to a reporter as his 2024 gubernatorial campaign launch event gets underway in Seattle, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. ( Jerry Cornfield/Washington State Standard)
Editorial: Recruiting two Bob Fergusons isn’t election integrity

A GOP activist paid the filing fee for two gubernatorial candidates who share the attorney general’s name.

Comment: Passing I-2117 would blast hole in transportation fixes

The measure would cut $5.4 billion in funding from work underway on roads, ferries and more.

Amtrak Cascades train 517 from Vancouver to Portland arrives at Everett Station Thursday, March 9, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Forum: Taking the train must be made better travel alternative

State officials need to make the Amtrak Cascades route faster, increasing its value as an option to I-5.

Foster parent abstract concept vector illustration. Foster care, father in adoption, happy interracial family, having fun, together at home, childless couple, adopted child abstract metaphor.
Editorial: State must return foster youths’ federal benefits

States, including Washington, have used those benefits, rather than hold them until adulthood.

Making adjustments to keep Social Security solvent represents only one of the issues confronting Congress. It could also correct outdated aspects of a program that serves nearly 90 percent of Americans over 65. (Stephen Savage/The New York Times) -- NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH NYT STORY SLUGGED SCI SOCIAL SECURITY BY PAULA SPAN FOR NOV. 26, 2018. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED.
Editorial: Social Security’s good news? Bad news delayed a bit

Congress has a little additional time to make sure Social Security is solvent. It shouldn’t waste it.

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.