APRIL 7, 1997

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Opinion

Rural roads for rural areas

rural roads Ms. Ochoa (Opinion, March 24) believes the county has no intention of widening the Woodinville-Duvall road. I certainly hope she is correct. The county plans adopted for the next six years are prioritized to try and meet the needs for transportation in the urban area.
   The six-year shortfall is currently estimated at $860,000,000 to meet urban needs. That is the shortfall--it doesn't include the funds that will be spent during that period. Ms. Ochoa should not be berating the county, she should be lobbying for increased gasoline tax so some of the necessary transportation in the urban area can be completed.
   Regarding her commute and the exponential growth on the Eastside: The county plan does not call for exponential growth on the east side of the valley. Only Duvall is experiencing the exponential growth outside of the planned transportation improvement area. Snoqualmie, North Bend, Issaquah, Woodinville, and Redmond all have growth and transportation problems, but are addressing them in conjunction with the county and state. If Duvall wants to have exponential growth, why isn't Duvall contributing to the cost of widening the roads?
   Yet Duvall is east of the agricultural and rural areas of the county. And the transportation plan calls for rural road standards in the rural and agricultural areas. Ms. Ochoa should be thankful she has nice pleasing countryside to commute through. She should plan accordingly, leave early, and enjoy the rural lands. Alternatively, she could be sitting somewhere on I-405 looking at all those noise barriers, barriers not needed (yet) to dim the roar of traffic in the country.
   But maybe the best thing for Ms. Ochoa would be to move back to the urban area. Then her commute wouldn't be on winding, narrow country roads. The traffic on the rural roads would be less by at least one car. And we could all support her request that the county fix her transportation problem.

Steve Hallstrom, Carnation