Letter: Other cities have resolved debate



I lived in the Washington, D.C., area during the raging arguments over construction of its wonderful light rail/subway. I was in the San Francisco area when San Mateo County finally accepted the need to pay a huge premium to acquire previously rejected light rail (BART), and in the Seattle area during debates that stalled and inflated costs of the light-rail system that is finally underway there. In each case, reality and necessity finally triumphed.

Drivers didn’t want their taxes wasted on such a thing, nobody in a suit would ride, etc., but almost everyone did seem to accept the need for bridge tolls and, eventually, light rail. There seems to be more emotion and less rationality in the local debate than in any of those areas. Opponents scorn light rail, however, they believe bridges for their own use should be paid for by taxpayers, not even partly by themselves. In fact, they seem willing to destroy the bridge project if they don’t get their way.

I don’t recall political candidates in those three areas who used their resources to impose opinions on a gullible electorate, and perhaps that is the critical element here. It would be nice if voters took a step back and thought for themselves.

George Cheek