April 10, 2000
When my husband and I purchased land and moved out here, people thought we were moving to the dark side of the moon. There was nothing here but four-legged wildlife. That's what we wanted. We were sick of the two-legged wildlife of the city where, if it wasn't pinned down or locked up, things had a habit of "walking" away. We even had a padlock stolen off the garage.
Times have certainly changed. It seems there are a "multitude" of people who want to live with us on "the dark side of the moon." It's too bad that they want to move to the country and then retrofit it into the big city they came from. Who says people are the smarter of God's creatures?
Mr. Haley and his "multitude" want the state paved over to make way for cars and people who don't want to carpool. He says, "If we don't build it, they won't come." Seems to me they already have come. And they came without there being six-lane boulevards. So begins the real problem. Paving is often the only knee-jerk response narrow-minded thinkers can come up with in response to people already having moved here. Seems people move and then think.
When we moved out here, we scoped out everything to make sure this is where we really wanted to be. That included how far to work (at that time, we worked in Bellevue) and the routes to get there. We even checked out the weather, river floodings, seismic fault lines, and any coal deposits that could affect our well water.
I know what it feels like to get up at 4:30 in the morning to beat traffic getting to work. It wasn't one of the drawbacks I thought I would have to deal with. After all, who would have thought that so many people would want to live on the dark side of the moon? But I still wanted to live here and not in Bellevue, so I set the alarm clock and dealt with it.
Mr. Haley speaks of light rail being pie-in-the-sky. Sometimes real progress is just that: pie-in-the-sky. The most unprogressive part of Washington's politicians is their propensity to study everything to death and never JUST DO IT! While Washington studied light rail, Oregon built theirs. While Washington studied light rail, Oregon expanded theirs. While Washington studies light rail, Oregon is planning ahead with theirs.
It sounds like Mr. Haley has found a spot on this earth for him: Phoenix, with its six-lane boulevards and 6-8 lane freeways. If he ever gets tired of there, he might try Los Angeles. Last time we were there, they also had boulevards and wide freeways--and traffic jams like you wouldn't believe. After all, if you build it, they will come.
Shirley Ellison, via e-mail