As a resident of Spokane's northeast district, may I say a few words in defense of the non-voters and in response to Bob Herold's commentary in the Nov. 29 edition of The Inlander?
Although I did vote in the recent city council election, it was a difficult decision. I care about many issues, and on some of them, Al French represented my views; on other issues, Bob Apple did; yet on others, neither of them did.
It was a tough call, and sometimes I felt it was eenie-meenie-minie-moe. Although I finally made a choice, I can understand why some other people could not and, therefore, chose not to vote.
As for the division of the new districts, I believe the people of the northeast district wanted the districts divided the way they were, as confirmed by comments made at local meetings during the districting process, which were well attended by residents.
Mr. Herold's comments sound like sour grapes to me, because his choice of districting plan was not adopted by the council.
My friends and I decided to take a trip to
the Valley Mall a few days ago. It was nearing 5 pm, so we all had the same thought: we definitely cannot take the freeway. We contemplated which street would yield the best results: not Sprague because there is construction there, so we chose Trent. Great idea, right? Wrong! Construction crews had started yet another project there. Frustrated, my friends and I suffered the traffic inconvenience and finally arrived at the mall 35 minutes later. Do we really need to block every major east/west Spokane thoroughfare at the same time?
Take a look at the busy area on the South Hill where I live. Within the last year, a new road was built extending Southeast Boulevard across 29th and connecting it to Regal. Many Southsiders welcomed the new addition until we experienced the idiocy of the connecting intersection on Regal.
As one travels south on Regal -- and happens to get caught in the right lane during rush hour -- one might get angry to find that the right lane is a "turn-only" lane. As one comes from 29th traveling south on Regal, a mandatory right turn on Southeast Boulevard forces the driver all the way back to 29th from which he or she just came!
I commute to Cheney from the South Hill five days a week. All of us who use the freeway to Cheney have felt the mysterious gravitational pull of the right lane, as it tries to grab and maintain your vehicle on autopilot. These are not alien forces, but massive ruts and grooves in our federal freeway that lock our wheels in as we are going. I understand Eastern Washington suffers from the occasional severe winter, but so does half the nation!
Has any Spokanite been to Canada lately? Highways there suffer extreme winters and heavy traffic yet remain in excellent condition. Perhaps Washington needs to establish current technology and methods for building long-lasting roadways. As citizens, we could petition local lawmakers to inform them of troubling intersections, disappearing divider lines, potholes, ruts in the freeways or other problems.
Is it really too much to ask that at least one major roadway east/west and north/south be left unimpeded? Couldn't these crews unite on one project and finish it faster? Is it really too much to ask for a little bit of planning?
I think if the city is going to lease out Joe Albi
Stadium for private enterprise, as reported in the Sept. 6 edition of The Inlander, it should be put out on bid. I don't think we should give any more to the Bretts than we already have. If Mr. Brett thinks he can do such a wonderful job with Joe Albi, maybe he should just step up and buy it.
I think his hand is deep enough in our pockets right now. I don't wish to bestow any more giveaways to the well-heeled owners of baseball, hockey, football or any other teams. If you want a park -- buy it yourself. Or go public and sell shares in it, as they should have done for the Mariners and Seahawks. I don't think the public can afford any more stadiums, parking garages or Expo centers for the rich and famous.