MAKING IT WORK
April 1, 2003, Volume V, Special Edition
Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide
information, inspire involvement, and make things work
in this great city.
STATE SENATE MOVES ON TRAFFIC DEREGULATION
Republican control of the State Senate has led to a new emphasis on reducing regulations that may inhibit the successful operation of the free market. One such measure that has received relatively little attention is a bill to deregulate traffic signals.
"Straight Ahead on Red" extends the current provisions that allow right turn on red to the next logical level. Under the Senate bill, drivers will be free to proceed after stopping at red lights if there is no traffic on the cross street. Regretfully, the legislation does not mention pedestrians.
"It's time that we cut through the red tape (sic) that is restricting the liberty of drivers," Senate Republican leaders were quoted as saying. "The best way to prevent accidents is to ensure that every driver has to be alert and take responsibility for their actions. Traffic signals encourage drivers to depend on state regulations to control their actions, and this dependence discourages initiative. "Straight Ahead on Red" means more freedom for all of us."
Other bills expected to receive future consideration include one making seat belts, turn signals, and brake lights optional equipment, and another that would allow the use of armored vehicles and small-caliber machine guns to manage right-of-way conflicts.
Back to Contents
ADJECTIVAL CONSERVATION ACT ENUNCIATED IN STATE HOUSE
Environmentalists have hailed the proposed Adjectival and Adverbial Conservation Act as a major step in conserving both electricity and paper. The AACA limits the number of adjectives and adverbs to a fixed percentage of the text on each page of a document.
"If every American conserved just one adjective per page per day," House leaders noted, "the nation would save 600,000 reams of paper annually. If people really and truly care about our beautiful and endangered forests and our fragile environment, they will become increasingly more chary of using superfluous, florid rhetoric, and will return to the more Spartan and succinct simplicity practiced by our thrifty and eloquently far-sighted foreparents."
In the spirit of the proposed act, the chief sponsor of the bill declined to comment for the record. Next steps reportedly include a pilot project which would require newspapers to eschew the use of one letter each day, and a bill that would replace Mr., Mrs., Miss, and Ms with a simple M.
Back to Contents
NORTH SEATTLE ANIMALS BENEFIT FROM MAYOR'S PROPOSALS
In recent weeks, Mayor Nickels has proposed to "Unleash Northgate" and "Lift the Lease Lid" in the University District. Careful examinations of the details of these proposals reveal that the Nickels administration is responding to the demands of animal lovers of all stripes.
The first proposal would make the entire Northgate Mall block an off-leash dog park. The 52-acre off-leash area would be the largest in Seattle. A spokesperson for the Nickels office pointed out that off-leash advocates have often complained about the lack of interesting and challenging environments. "Off-leash dogs will have a fascinating and rapidly changing landscape of vehicles and shoppers," the spokesperson noted. "These wonderful creatures will be able to fully engage their alertness and agility." This park will also be very inexpensive to develop, since there will be no need of fences because the Mall block is surrounded by traffic 24 hours a day.
Observers had been puzzled by the Mayor's proposal to "Lift the Lease Lid" in the University District, since no one has been able to figure out what exactly this phrase means. However, text analysis by a team of deconstructionists has revealed that the proposal is actually misspelled, and is really "Lift the Leash Lid". This apparently means that animals of all kinds will be free to roam in the University District. Students who keep exotic pets have hailed the proposal, and are looking forward to free-roaming ferrets, snakes, and small rodents to create an interesting and ever-changing scene.
The Mayor's Office has denied that the real intent of these proposals is to unleash vulpine developers to allow them to weasel out of their obligations under city land use regulations.
Back to Contents
Citizen participation and
engagement are critical for maintaining democracy --
fostering it is a key task of elected officials. It's my
hope that this newsletter will inform you about issues,
inspire you to get involved, and that together we can
make things work better in this great city. Please send
me your feedback, so we can keep things lively, interesting, and
useful. And please forward it along to friends who might be
Your Seattle City Councilmember
Back to Contents
Back to MAKING IT WORK Newsletters