Letter to the Editor: Unswayed by the City's car dealership tactics

Monday, October 22, 2018

To the Editor:

Since moving here in 2012 I've lamented the dearth of sidewalks, especially in neighborhoods between my home and 15th Ave NE. But that’s not what Prop 1 is offering us for $60M worth of regressive taxes. This proposal would spend our money to build new sidewalks on arterials such as 15th (which already has a sidewalk on one side), not the residential streets entirely lacking sidewalks.

That’s a steep price for 4.2 miles of sidewalks on arterials that don’t necessarily see many pedestrians; money that could be better spent repairing existing sidewalks, many of which are severely deteriorated. As a neighbor recently pointed out, Prop 1 is akin to being told that you need to take out a loan to buy a pricey new car rather than maintaining the car that you already have. This metaphorical new car is shiny and loaded with all the latest bells and whistles, but you can only drive it on 4.2 miles of Shoreline’s roads. Your old car may need new tires, brakes, etc., but still gets around. The salesman will point out that you can’t afford to perform all the needed repairs at once without borrowing money, so why not borrow ten times as much and splurge on that shiny new car? But you don’t need to do your maintenance all at once; you can spread it out. The same applies to sidewalk repairs.

I’m unswayed by the City’s car dealership tactics, and would like to see them prioritize maintenance of existing infrastructure; I’m voting ‘No’ on Prop 1. But if you’re looking forward to seeing a few miles of new sidewalks around town, don’t despair — light rail will bring $4M worth of sidewalks near the stations, and other developments will include millions more in new sidewalks — you’ll still get your ‘new car.’

Joe Elliott
Shoreline


4 comments:

pedro October 22, 2018 at 9:50 AM  

AGREE with Mr. Elliott.. A NO as well.. After several close hits in CrossWalks Would like to see SAFER CROSS WALKS

Anonymous,  October 22, 2018 at 12:39 PM  

I was under the impression that Sound Transit has pulled out of their agreement to provide sidewalks in the light rail station areas, except for direction AT the station and the useless, redundant, dysfunctional bum-trail along the rail. Have they actually recommitted to more sidewalks in the subareas beyond the immediate stations?

Unknown October 22, 2018 at 5:31 PM  

Repair and Replacement of existing sidewalks was voted as more important than new sidewalks by the Sidewalk Committee. For this reason Staff requested, and Council approved, financing through the Vehicle License Fee. That enabled funding to move ahead while waiting for the public vote on new sidewalks. The members of the Committee spent a lot of their own time walking, or attempting to walk, the existing sidewalks buckled from tree roots, tilted due to improper installation or soil erosion, or missing completely. Just driving past doesn't give you the experience of trying to physically navigate the current sidewalks.

Anonymous,  October 23, 2018 at 3:40 AM  

I've lived in Shoreline for 15 years, and walk daily approx. 2 miles of non-pedestrian friendly sidewalks, some are actually dangerous. My vote was a NO on the proposed tax for the new sidewalks as it doesn't address Shoreline as a whole.

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