Letters to the Editor

Transportation: World largely relies on bridges

A report in the News-Times concerning the Keystone ferry landing relocation and the size of the boats to be used, included a quote from our district Senator: “The department (WSF) says one size fits all and that they are cheaper to maintain, but I think small boats could be interchangeable too.”

In my experience, when a politician says, “I think...,” it usually means “I don’t know a thing about the subject at hand.” I wonder if our senator has actually ever seen the Keystone ferry slip when a boat is docking in a 30-knot tailwind with a 10-knot tide current running along the beach. It’s even more interesting after dark.

My purpose in writing is not to belabor the pluses and minuses of ferries. Let’s not get out the tunnel vision mode of using ferries exclusively. Why is Puget Sound any different than San Francisco Bay, Chesapeake Bay, the English Channel, Sweden-Norway, and many other bodies of water all over the world? Those locations have bridges and tunnels that go for miles, withstanding earthquakes, hurricanes and ultra-heavy traffic.

Why couldn’t an alternate I-5 be routed from Olympia up the west side of the sound with a series of bridges, puddle-jumping here and there, and therefore bypassing the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett bottleneck. On-off ramps could service places along the way. Whidbey would not have to carry all the through traffic we have on our roads now.

Instead of ferries built to last 75 years, what we need are forward-looking legislators (which we don’t have now) representing the people of Washington in the U.S. Congress. There always seems to be funding available for everything else. Once built, user tolls can pay for it.

Dick Rose

Oak Harbor

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