Letters to the Editor

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TRANSIT: We can’t just keep expanding highways

Letter by Tim Meagher, Fircrest on May 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm with 6 Comments »
May 23, 2011 1:58 pm

Re: “Use that federal rail money to build more I-5 capacity” (Viewpoint, 5-22).

I appreciate state Sens. Mike Carrell’s and Randi Becker’s concerns and acknowledge the increasing traffic morass around Joint Base Lewis-McChord. But I think a simple expansion of Interstate 5 is short-sighted.

America can’t just keep increasing highway capacity every time the roads get crowded. It promotes a continuing automotive dependence with consequences of increased petroleum consumption and pollution.

Not just pollution directly and indirectly from cars, but more cars need more pavement for driving and parking. That, in turn, reduces the amount of ground able to absorb water runoff, which then increases erosion and pollution.

A more comprehensive solution is to promote a system that reduces automotive dependence in general. Whether that is mostly by carrot or stick becomes the question. Pierce Transit’s reduction of services only contributes to the problem.

Mass transit needs to become more convenient, not less. Perhaps a larger portion of those federal dollars needs to go to transit districts. America’s insistence on the convenience of cars for our primary transportation keeps us captive to the politics of nations that control petroleum access.


Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. alindasue says:


    The only thing you left out is the amount of land we keep losing to the building and further expanding of our freeway system and the future funds that will need to be budgeted for in order to pay for maintaining all that added asphalt and concrete.

  2. Ithappened2me2 says:

    Two lanes were fine in 1969. Adding additional lanes in 2011 will not promote additional automobile dependance. It will provide the capacity to support what has been here for the last 20 years. But that doesn’t fit the social engineer’s plan.

  3. alindasue says:

    Ithappened2me2 said, “Two lanes were fine in 1969. Adding additional lanes in 2011 will not promote additional automobile dependance.”

    That’s not the point. The point is that we are running out of room to keep adding more lanes and more freeways to handle the ever increasing traffic load. We need to go beyond not promoting additional auto dependence. We need to find more ways to decrease that dependence and the costs that come with it.

    While investing money in public transit systems may seem expensive now, I believe that in the long run, it will save us money over the cost of added freeway construction.

  4. hensandducks says:

    Right on. Let’s figure a way to get out of our cars!

  5. LarryFine says:

    ” yes we can “

  6. Ithappened2me2 says:

    Thanks Pub

    To answer you, yo mama…..

    I can connect the dots……

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