Transportation funding: It’s about more than cars

What I discovered when I quit driving is that the world is set up for cars. But just because you don’t drive, your life isn’t over. You still have a lot to give your community.

I’ve had a seizure disorder my whole life; and for many years, I drove. I knew it wasn’t ideal, but I thought I didn’t have a choice. I know a lot of people feel the same way. Then in 1995, I was in a bad accident; and realizing how much more severe my seizure disorder was than I thought, I gave up driving so I would not hurt anyone.

My brother and his family live in Wenatchee and I really hoped to be able to relocate to live close to him. But when I looked into transportation options for non-drivers like myself, I realized there weren’t options that were going to work for me. So, I’ve chosen to live in Vancouver where I have more transportation options.

I am passionate about working to provide shuttle-type transportation services to more of rural Washington. There are so many people who can’t drive, but who still live or have family in more rural parts of our state.

As our elected leaders in Olympia are discussing how to invest in the future of our transportation system, I want them to consider the perspective of people who can’t drive — disability rightswa.org/storymap. People without driver’s licenses make up 25% of the population; and, we know that especially right now in this moment of economic crisis, there are many other people out there who can’t afford to own or drive a vehicle.

We’ve all seen the pandemic and how difficult social isolation can be. We need to be able to get around, to visit friends and family, go shopping and get outdoors.

We need accessible sidewalks and transit, paratransit or shuttle connections in every single community. Let’s make sure our transportation funding priorities reflect this, and ensure every Washingtonian the right to access and connection.

Harry Kiick

Vancouver

Speak the truth, unify the country

I believe that unity begins with truth-telling. No matter what differences of opinion we may have, Republicans and Democrats alike, the truth is the truth.

Kansas City fans acknowledge the truth that Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl. To our Republican representatives and senators as well as all Republican elected officials, tell your constituents the truth that Joe Biden won the election. That you would speak this truth is an essential step toward unifying our nation.

President Biden received 81,283,098 votes to Trump’s 74,222,958 votes. Biden/Harris won by over 7 million popular votes. Biden/Harris won 306 electoral votes to 232 votes cast for Trump (the same count by which Trump beat Clinton in 2016 — another significant truth in our country’s political history).

President Biden and Vice President Harris were elected strictly in accordance with the Constitution. It is a truth. The majority of our country’s secretaries of state are Republican, as are the majority of state legislatures. Each one of these officials and legislatures recognized this truth in certifying their respective electoral votes whether for Trump or Biden. Until all Republican leaders confirm this fundamental truth for their supporters, there will be no hope for unifying the country we love.

Frauke Rynd

Twisp