Letters to the Editor

Don't depend on the feds to fix our traffic problem at the ferry landing

Regarding your story, "Funding for gridlock solution," July 28:

Why are we waiting for the federal government to solve our local ferry traffic problems? Can't our fine state and local engineers design a simple lighting system to guide cars and walkers on and off our ferries?

In my experience, Washington state pedestrians and drivers honor lights or four-ways stops to the extreme ("no, YOU go first"), but absent clear guidance, anarchy naturally prevails.

More to the point, whatever happened to the original idea of federalism, divided powers? Is the Constitution a dead letter? The 10th Amendment clearly states that local governments are responsible for powers not specifically designated to Congress. In practical terms, why ask a faraway legislator to solve our local problems? In financial (and moral) terms, why do we demand that taxpayers in Nebraska fund Friday Harbor's flow of traffic? Turning the question around, why do Nebraskans lighten our wallets to build new bridges or pay farmers not to plant soybeans? Can't locals in all 50 states solve their own problems better than bureaucrats 3,000 miles away?

Sadly, we won't solve our deepening deficit problems until we stop asking the federal government to fund all of our purely local challenges. Let's make the evening news: Design a simple system and then send the $230,000 back to the Treasury.

Gary Alexander
Lopez Island

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