Is Burien a Livable City?

As we see progress in the Seattle metropolitan area, the noise, increased air  & light pollution and the density of people increasing is slowly eroding the livability of Burien for all our residents, like death from a thousand paper cuts.

Where we use to hear songbirds, we now hear 747 jets taking off from Seattle-Tacoma International airport.  The air in some communities around the airport smells of kerosene fuel instead of flowers.   I’ve heard some nights you can see the “Northern Lights” from Seattle.  But, you can’t see the Northern Lights and all the stars because the light pollution coming from improper use of LED lights from street lights.  In our future, the streets may start filling up with cars parked bumper to bumper as the density of our population increases as it did in Ballard.

How is the City helping to make Burien better for livability when the City seems to measure progress by dollars collected or dollars spent?   There’s no measures the city defines for making Burien more livable in terms of noise, air or light pollution.  There should be!  This dialog will start when I’m on the Burien City Council!

I really like the community participation and rallying of our citizens and City of Burien resources to take action on the noise and air pollution posed by the increasing volume of flights coming in and out of the Seattle Tacoma International Airport.   It’s great to see our citizens work together with the City to solve problems together.

That said, I found from listening to the the City of Burien lawyers that the power to change this situation is more in the hands of the “Quiet Skies” coalition & citizens than the legal ability of lawyers to change the FAA rules and the behavior of the Port of Seattle.

When it comes to the point you have to file lawsuits, it’s obvious to me that there’s not been good nor sustained communications between citizens, the City of Burien and the Port of Seattle and the FAA.   We really need to see each of these entities establish a joint task force where they can all come together for the mutual benefit of each other.  Or, we’ll just be in an endless loop of litigation between these entities into perpetuity.

I would like to see the City of Burien be more proactive and to get ahead of this situation in a sustained way where they could be working actively to have a strategy for decreasing noise, air, water and light pollution with the City of Burien and not have to be reacting after the fact. 

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