The idea of hosting the summer Olympic Games in the Washington area in 2012 (“Let the Games Begin,” 5/11) is insane, for three reasons:
1. Climate. The combination of high temperatures and humidity, common here in midsummer, is incompatible with outdoor sports, especially track. For those running farther than 400 meters, it eliminates the possibility of Olympic or world records, and poses the danger of collapse. The marathon is unthinkable in such conditions.
2. Transportation. Dan Knise must be joking when he talks about our wonderful public transportation and highway network. We are heading for the status of a transportation disaster area. Before we could contemplate the Olympics, we would need extensive additional Metro lines and new highways such as an I-95 bypass and an outer beltway (on the drawing board in 1967 but never built). These improvements are not going to happen. There isn’t even the money to maintain the present Metro system. When will they fix the broken escalators and purchase the needed new cars?
3. Attracting new business to the area. This is given as a reason to host the Games, but this reasoning ignores the fact that we are in this transportation mess precisely because we have been too successful at attracting new business (and population) to the area, and the runaway growth continues. A significant increase in new business would be devastating.