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Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives

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530 Dayton, No. 202
Edmonds, WA
425 412-3674

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Samples of Letters We've Received

Reply from Congressman Jay Inslee

June 5, 2002

in reply to Letter to FTA Administrator Jennifer Dorn

Dear Mr. Norton:

Thank you for sending me a courtesy copy of your letter to FTA Administrator Dorn. I appreciate hearing from you. I am always concerned about waste within governmental programs and I believe the government has a responsibility and an obligation to make sure the taxpayers' money is spent efficiently and effectively.

Like you, I have concerns about Sound Transit's financial problems - they have an obligation to ensure that they spend tax dollars wisely. Currently, the Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee in the House has indicated that he will not fund the Link light rail project at this time, and Sound Transit is not requesting funding from Congress for light rail this year. Despite Sound Transit's Link light rail problems, I believe it is important that Congress adequately fund Sound Transit's Regional Express Bus Service and the Sounder Commuter rail, which runs on existing rail lines. These are both already in operation.

I believe that in order to maintain a quality of life that we enjoy around Puget Sound, we must take measures to address our transportation and infrastructure needs. A more comprehensive mass transit system is a step in the right direction. There is no question that in the Puget Sound region, we are going to have much greater traffic problems unless we take action. With the absence of an alternative transportation corridor, the increase of busses and cars on the road will certainly overwhelm the already congested I-5, I-90, and I-405 freeways, even if these roads are expanded.

In addition to the financial problems, I am also deeply concerned that the current Sound Transit plan for light rail does not extend to Northgate. Since our region has decided to build an alternative transportation right of way, I believe that we must do it right the first time. I understand that the Sound Transit board is now exploring options to the light rail plan. I will urge the Sound Transit board to find cost savings and will review expected changes in the plan, prior to funding decisions being made next year.

I encourage you to stay actively involved in the legislative process and contact me with any questions or comments. You may reach me at 1-800-422-5521 or Jay.Inslee@mail.house.gov.

Very Truly Yours,

Member of Congress

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