Pave The Lake
Finally, Lake Washington has a third bridge, which will handle our cross-lake traffic needs well into Tuesday, January 9th, after which it will be bumper-to-bumper 24-30 hours a day, just like 520. What to do? Expand 520? Build another bridge or two? Population on the Eastside will grow to fill every meager lane we can string across the lake. "How about more diamond lanes?" you might ask. Please get a clue, at gunpoint if necessary. Most commuters show the same enthusiasm for car pools that young boys show for Back-to-School clothing sales. Besides empty busses, diamond lanes are used chiefly by solo drivers who think the diamond lane is what you use when you are really really late.
Like a literary Kreskin I anticipate you asking "What about light rail?" Please do not make me snort with such derision that I discharge large wads of nasal matter. All light rail would provide is more jobs for people with lax hygiene habits and disturbing facial expressions who are hired by automakers to ride public transportation, mumbling to themselves, bugging you for change, and falling asleep on your arm in a pool of drool, thereby keeping ridership down and auto sales up. It has happened to busses; it would happen to light rail.
"So what's the solution?" At last, an intelligent question. And the Pave The Lake movement has the answer: Stop denying the inevitable and pave Lake Washington now, while we still have enough petroleum. Building one bridge at a time makes as much sense as buying a bag of rice one grain at a time. Adding bridges one-by-one across Lake Washington will merely keep us at a constant level of traffic agony. What we in the PTL advocate is a completely paved lake. The sooner we start, the better, for as they say in the highway department: "The present is the past of the future", and the future, my friends, is spelled A-S-P-H-A-L-T.
How much longer will our community stand idly by, twiddling the thumbs of indifference, while our frazzled commuters are bullied by an overgrown puddle? Man the steamrollers, citizens! Let's correct this glacial mistake; the time has come to Pave The Lake. What is now Lake Washington could soon be State Routes 520 through 1800, but only if we work to make it happen.
Now some of you might say "Hey, I'm a misfit who lives and works on the same side of the lake, and hence harbor no hate of the hydraulic hegemony hassling our harried commuters. What's in it for me, besides acres of beautiful new pavement to enjoy?" To you I say the bounty of community advantages is almost without end:
Lakefront property more affordable
Pesky milfoil problem solved once-and-for-all
Seafair hydroplane races slower, safer
Drownings drop drastically
Hands Across the Lake fundraisers possible
Many expensive fish and wildlife officers axed (possible new employment in pavement maintenance)
Joe Diamond's parking monopoly crippled as Union Bay Park-O-Rama opens
Expensive, exclusive water-skiing gives way to Moto-skiing, an everyman's sport that will create bonanzas in the sporting goods and health care industries
Mercer Island becomes hub of The World's Biggest Traffic Circle. Tourism booms
Everyone wins, because: "All will be well, when we PTL." Unfortunately, few share this vision. But we shall not be swayed by the derisive comments of the majority. They laughed at Columbus. They laughed at Galileo. They laughed at The Brady Bunch. None of these people deserved laughter, and neither do we. However, in the interest of fairness and other principles we have only a vague theoretical knowledge of, it's time for letters representing opposing views:
Q: Dear pinhead: Lake Washington is a precious natural resource. Don't you think covering it piecemeal with bridges is still far better than paving the whole thing?
A: OK, so it's a "precious natural resource" (as if we didn't have enough water around here already). What better way to protect it than with a loving layer of asphalt, made from Nature's pure petroleum and gently applied by trained professionals? It will still be there, you just won't be able to see it.
Q: What good is it if you can't see it?
A: Many good things are not visible: justice, love, brotherhood, truth.
Q: How about moving Lake Washington somewhere else?
A: That's the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard.
More PTL news later, but in the meantime, do your part to ease traffic congestion: stay off Lake Washington till it's paved. For information on how you can become a part of PTL, drive around the lake to our Eastside headquarters and sign up. So far, there are no dues or meetings or silly hats, but this could change at any moment (especially the silly hats). To get your official Pave The Lake T-shirt featuring our friend, the Steamroller of Progress, just send $15 (and specify S, M, L, XL, XXL, or Dirigible) to PTL, Box ____, Seattle, 98118.