Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Sounder


COAL: Dust’s a threat, and that’s no myth

A letter writer (TNT, 3-17) reports that he never saw coal dust when he lived in Kansas and labels concern about coal dust “a myth.” He recommends identifying “who is pushing the agenda.”

A web search using just “coal,” “dust” and “ballast” will reveal that the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway has research from the University of Illinois that confirms coal dust fouls the ballast that supports the rails, destabilizes the track and causes derailments and that federal regulators have confirmed BNSF’s concerns.

Moreover, the proponent of the Gateway Pacific project near Bellingham has committed to following BNSF’s

Read more »


COAL: Trains endangered by coal dust on tracks

Re: “Coal train issue draws scrutiny over traffic, air” (TNT, 1-8).

Ten thousand ton coal trains will place enormous burdens on our community. At our December 2012, the 25th Legislative District Democrats adopted a resolution reflecting our concerns.

Since then we have learned that these trains not only threaten our peace, quiet, comfort and convenience but also the safety of our communities and our national defense.

Open coal cars leak coal and coal dust that foul the ballast supporting the track. Burlington Northern Santa Fe has already experienced derailments when coal-dust fouled tracks combined with precipitation.

If only

Read more »


LAKEWOOD: Sounder service has an afternoon gap

Back on Oct. 8, I was the first passenger on the new Lakewood-to-Seattle Sounder service. I had been looking forward to the train since I moved to Lakewood and made sure to be there the first day.

While the train ride north in the morning was just fine, Sound Transit has dropped the ball on the return trip in the afternoon. Riders of the earlier morning trains north who wish to ride the first trains south in the afternoon have been left out in the cold.

The first two southbound trains in the afternoon only go as far as the

Read more »


TRANSIT: New Sounder extension is too costly

I am greatly in favor of mass transit, trains, commute trip reduction, walking, biking and working near home. My concern about the new Sounder train to Lakewood is that it just costs way too much and is another example of the lunacy of well-intentioned government decisions.

Sounder to Lakewood is by far the most expensive local transportation project I have examined. The capital cost per anticipated daily user is $325,000 ($325 million divided by 1,000 passengers per day). Our Link light rail was very expensive at $42,500 per daily user ($85 million divided by 2,000 passengers per day), but at

Read more »


TRANSIT: Sounder is being underutilized

Having ridden the inaugural run of the Sounder Lakewood extension, I can say that in my opinion the train is an asset to the region. The traffic removed from freeways, resultant reduction in pollution, and access to transportation for low income and non-driving public from Lakewood all the way to Everett are solid community improvements.

That said, I cannot fathom why such an improvement would be relegated to a truncated commuter-only operation schedule. Not having at least 18-hour, if not full round-the-clock, daily train service to allow for tourist, swing and night shift as well as weekend work, theatergoing, shopping

Read more »


PUYALLUP: Ethics take another hit

Re: “Commuter rail parking lot nears end of the line” (TNT, 6-9).

The Puyallup City Council declared war on Sound Transit’s Sounder commuters by evicting them from the vacant downtown Cornforth Campbell lot, effective Oct. 1.  Puyallup clearly does not need the revenue it receives nor deems it as a public service to support regional mass transit. The city balance sheets must therefore be healthy.

The eviction issue has been led by Councilman Rick Hansen throughout the process. The merits of the argument are debatable, but ethic –  specifically the conflict of interest law – must be maintained. Hansen owns

Read more »


TRANSIT: Commuter just needs to adjust

Re: “Commuters losing essential shuttle” (letter, 6-5).

Another complainer when things do not work out. We are in a recession, fella. Agreement dates get shuffled around when the money isn’t coming in. Read the paper once in a while. You are not the only one taking hits. You are just one of those that do not get it.

I do have a solution for you. Jump on the 594 bus at the same location you board the 599, ride it to the 512 park and ride down the street and jump on the 574, which takes you to the destination

Read more »


TRANSIT: Commuters losing essential shuttle

The beginning of June marks the final days for Sound Transit Route 599 running between the Lakewood Sounder Station and Freighthouse Square.

This is the only route that ST is eliminating in total this summer, under the guise of “low ridership.” This is despite the fact that the route was set up as a temporary replacement for a train when the Lakewood Sounder station opened in 2009.

At that time, Sound Transit officials clearly stated that because train service did not reach Lakewood when the local station opened, they were going to establish this bus route “until commuter train service

Read more »