The editorial "City's Parking, Transit Proposal Would Drive People Away" (April 4) is spot-on.
Indeed, there's more to it than just inconvenient parking and transit. It means thousands of dollars in savings to developers, if they're allowed to cut parking spaces in their developments.
Further, developments are being built close to existing light rail as properties become available. Not everyone can afford these apartments and condos, and it will be years before the light-rail system is completed to really go anywhere except the current downtown to the airport, with community stops in between.
As the editorial relates, not everyone lives in Seattle but commutes elsewhere to and from different areas. Nor do the commuters necessarily live next to transit to get to colleges, hospitals or their workplace.
The upshot is, even at $4-plus [per gallon] gas, people would rather go to the malls or other venues they like — at least with free parking and no tolls.
To digress, in my view, [building] the state Route 99 tunnel was a big mistake from the get-go (remember, even the mayor was against it). Again, many people do not work in Seattle but commute north and south, further to be complicated by all that commuter traffic hitting surface streets and also paying huge tolls. We have seen how that toll fiasco went on the [state Route] 520 bridge, etc.
Many have said we should have just built a new viaduct and improved streets, which undoubtedly would have cost one-half the price of the tunnel configuration, with no street congestion.
At any rate, we will see how these grandiose plans work out as they come home to roost. I am all for progress, but let's not see deja vu all over again.
Leonard (Lenny) Larson Beacon Hill
Recently, I have noticed that there has been a lot of hype about budget cuts to our school districts. I think that it is especially important that this funding is supplied now.
I think that, even if we do not receive more funding, a relatively simple solution to these problems would be having a board of students, as well as teachers, contributing suggestions for the use of the limited amount of funding that we have. If the boards included students and teachers for specific areas, it would be even more effective because it would be catered to a specific area.
I think that it is not effective at all to have government officials deciding where this limited money should be going because it isn’t them who will be affected by it. Also, if they used these boards, it would be an easy way for them to stay connected with the communities that they strive to represent.
In our school, we can’t even get better working laptops for our computer lab, and yet, somehow, we can afford to buy smartboards for our classrooms, where they sit unused.
We need to reconsider how and where our precious and limited money is being used instead of taking it away altogether. We can make these small amounts work; we just need to take the time to channel it more effectively.
Sivan Tratt Montlake
All my life, my parents have told my siblings and I stories of how they used to play with their neighbors: organizing games of Hide-and-Go-Seek [and] Kick the Can and putting on plays for each other. But until now, I haven’t realized just how much things have changed.
Most older kids likely can’t even remember the last time they spoke more than a “hey” or “hello” to any one of their neighbors — the ones that they once played with on hot summer days and joked with when the weather kept us in. They were once inseparable, always side-by-side, but with time, those bonds that once held them together slowly fizzled away into nothing.
Every once and a while, I see my parents shoot a quick e-mail or Facebook message to the kids they grew up next door to, but at the rate at which modern generations part from their childhood BFFs, there is no way we will be able to stay in touch.
This issue has led me to think, how can I fix this? What can we all do to stay in touch with those who once meant everything to us? I believe that the solution is quite simple: We need to have more social events within our neighborhoods that are directed toward kids of specific ages and allow time for kids to “catch up.”
This could mean that, a number of times a year, there is a movie showing at the local community club for kids from age 13 to 18 or organized Capture the Flag games in the summer at the nearby park.
The only thing these get-togethers require is an activity that targets teens. A simple thing like this could bring the neighborhood together and create an atmosphere never thought to be possible.
Delaney Connor Mount Baker