Last week’s column by Scott St. Clair (criticizing light rail) was way wide of the mark.
Light rails and public transit in general do not limit the movement of people. They actually remove the limits.
I went to a university in Austria for a year and found the combination of the big trains and local/regional light rail in Europe incredibly liberating. For the entire year I was there, I never had to get in one single car. Their system allowed me to visit Budapest, Prague, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Florence, Rome, Berlin, Montpellier, Amsterdam, Brussels and more on a whim.
No planes or cars needed.
And to get to closer places, they had light rails and electric buses that went nearly everywhere. Many people there do own cars, but use them more for fun and larger errands instead of living in them; or for them, depending on how you look at it.
I’m limited here. If I want to go somewhere, chances are I need to drive and find parking. I do love my little classic car and will not get rid of it. But I would use a rail into Seattle or Bellevue or Redmond in a heartbeat.
I would use any form of shorter transit inside Kirkland too, if any were to ever exist. A little bus from my neighborhood to a farmer’s market would be great; or to my daughter’s school even better; or a martini night with the girls would be cake icing.
That argument about light rail being against the concepts of our founding fathers by limiting our rights makes even less sense than his argument that global warming isn’t real because it’s cold where he lives.
~Dana Fos, Kirkland