Readers discuss the real affect of lead and traffic in downtown Renton

Letters to the editor for the week of June 7, 2019

Reader has the traffic blues

Dear editor,

I’m hoping you can bring some attention to two specific traffic issues in Renton.

The first is the stop and go traffic on Sunset Boulevard. It is so inefficient, both time wise and in creating unnecessary emissions, not to have these lights timed to improve the flow of traffic. Many times traveling Southwest from 12th Street, by Walgreens, to 10th Street, by the library, the whole traffic flow will come to a stop because one or two cars are entering that intersection.

Another log-jam is on Northeast Sunset Boulevard and Logan Avenue North, by The Landing. Again, traffic is stopped because of a car exiting 10th Street, from The Landing, onto Logan.

These are only a couple examples, and there are many more places that could improve with signal timing.

The second situation is at Renton Issaquah Road and 164th Avenue Southeast, by Jay Berry’s Cafe. The fact that this road isn’t a four lane-highway from Renton to Issaquah is perplexing enough, but that there isn’t left turn lanes on this road at 164th is insane. How hard would it be to widen that area and help alleviate a major traffic jam?

I know there are budget constraints and other challenges to finding remedies for these issues, but there has to be other projects that are less important.

For example, we paid a city employee to weave colored decorative strips through the chain link fence by the Sunset Community Church. It took days to complete. If your stuck in traffic there, take a look.


Dave McGuire


Editor’s note: A portion of Northeast Sunset Boulevard is now named Southport Drive North.

Lead emissions from airport is ‘hardly a problem’

Dear editor,

Your article on lead in aviation fuel is long on concern, but short on perspective. Remember that in the 60s every car on the road burned highly leaded fuel. The emissions of today’s 167,000 small aircraft that now use low-lead fuel is insignificant in comparison.

Most airplane engines need fuel with a higher octane rating than unleaded can provide. I believe the information given about which aircraft require leaded fuel is wrong or at least misleading. Virtually all newer airplanes require leaded fuel. The few older ones that can burn unleaded fly little and consume a very small portion of the fuel used. Unleaded auto gas is available at a handful of airports but the market is tiny despite its lower price.

Aviation is regulated on a federal level and Renton receives many federal dollars supporting the airport. So the ability of local activists to affect any regulatory change on this is very limited. Curtailing leaded fuel sales at Renton airport would have zero effect anyway. Pilots will go where they need to to buy the required fuel.

As stated, two oil companies are working on formulating a fuel that will deliver the needed octane without lead. Their progress looks promising, but obviously testing must be very thorough. Eventually it will hit the market and this last little bit of lead will be gone. In the meantime, there is little that can be done about what is hardly a problem, that is already well on its way to being remedied.


Gary Winn


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