Northwest NEWS

August 10, 1998


Are traffic and soccer field problems really self imposed?

   It's weird how the King County Council (purposely) fails to admit that many of its traffic/soccer fields problems are self-imposed.
   The council has purchased and obtained, free from developers, thousands of acres of open space land in which, by Council-passed law, only passive recreation is permitted. No roads or athletic fields are allowed.
   And even in parks purchased for active use, such as the 628-acre Section 36 Park on the Sammamish Plateau, purchased originally for "46 much-needed sports fields" and for bicycle trails for cyclists, shut out of the 4,000-acre Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in which sportsfields also are forbidden) the sports areas are whittled down to such as the eight fields now allowed in Section 36.
   And there's the redone master plan for 630-acre Marymoor Park which shorted the soccer fields there, too.
   As to traffic tieups, in April the Council prohibited linking two access roads through Section 36 Park that would have solved a lot of traffic congestion east of Redmond.
   Likewise there's no through traffic allowed on the road already built in Marymoor Park, which could act as a much-needed bypass to Redmond's massive traffic congestion, at least during weekday commuting hours.
   The County Council and the County Executive have no compunction whatever about placing high-cost, public-benefit burdens on private property owners as a condition of obtaining building/development permits which are the chief factor in driving up housing costs and taxes.
   But when it comes to public land, the goal is to limit as much as possible public use of that land.
   And then they whine because the Growth Management Hearings Board wouldn't let them use Sammamish Valley ag fields for sports fields, and wring their hands about traffic congestion.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville