Would Poor People Pay a $5 Toll?


Words fail me. "Switching to transit" when Metro is looking at a 17% cut. "Alternate routes" where exactly? They can't have it both ways. They're not funding any work on I-5 or the Seattle street grid to provide 'alternate routes'. So neither of those options are valid.
You mean transit we can barely fund? The transit being gutted by the state? The transit we're fighting hard for? The transit vetoed by the governor?

Oh, okay.
According to SurveyUSA, a vast majority of King County residents are pretty deadset against tolls, 13% saying they'd move to avoid tolls.
These PSN people are so freakin' disengenuous it's unbelievable. Every one of their main people supports tolls on 520, and most of them have at one time or another (the Mayor, O'Brien, Schiendelman...) have explicitly said they think regional tolling is right for Seattle.

OK. But you can't have it both ways. This ploy is cute, sure, but it also shows they are so desperate that they will get in bed with car-loving conservatites for the off-chance they might be able to take out the tunnel. It's a giant f'ing lie.

By the way, Dominic, you clearly cannot read/understand the FEIS. You sould ask one your cohorts, ooops I mean the people at PSN, to check their facts.
Allowing people to make a choice between paying a $5 toll or eating a shit slider is a much better option than just forcing them to cram down a footlong shit hoagie.
@2 Are you trying to think again? Just sit and look pretty and everything will turn out OK.
Of course, they could just replace the Viaduct with an elevated structure with the funds already allocated.

Problem solved!
People are such selfish pigs.
Dominic, at least the $5 toll gives options. Is the tunnel going to eliminate the surface street option? Won't it make the surface streets a little bit easier?

Your argument here is "Poor people wouldn't choose to pay $8 each way to use the tunnel, so let's not give ANYBODY the choice to use the tunnel."

Meanwhile, building the tunnel would at least give one more additional transportation option: drive on the existing roadways, take public transit, or use the tunnel. And, building the tunnel will make the surface streets easier to use for the poor people who choose not to pay to use the tunnel.

P.S. For logistical and cost overrun reasons, I am completely against the tunnel, and would have preferred another big ugly viaduct. But, I hate shitty arguments against it.
They should base the toll price on each vehicle make and model. No way some rich bastard in his Lexus should be paying the same as an unemployed gal on her way to a job interview in her Kia.
@9 or, you could actually build a means of transporting the bulk of commuter traffic through the city, rather than a perk for the upper class. Just a thought.
@10 I would totally support this, and I can already tell you that Tim Eyman and his ilk would find a way to spin it so that the poor would vote against it.
I just love how everyone jumps to the $5.00 toll number instantly. If you read WSDOT's report "SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Updated Cost and Tolling Summary Report to the Washington State Legislature" the $5.00 amounts are estimated tolls for the year 2015. More specifically, "Peak period tunnel toll rates could range from $2.75 to $5.00 in the year of opening (2015 dollars)".

Let's scare everyone right off the bat to vote no and give us another go-nowhere project. Keep moving forward people... approve the tunnel!
@12 - Speaking of Tim Eyman. So you're against tolls, then, meaning you would support his initiative.

Let's get this straight, PSN is in bed with

A contingent of people who want a rebuilt viaduct
Tim Eyman?? (my god people!)
Fiscal conservatives who hate transit
@14 Are you retarded? I very clearly stated right off the bat that I support progressive tolling. moron.
Whew! My error. I'm glad to hear you understand the value of regional tolling, then.

What I what to know from people is: help me understand why tolling is bad in this scenario? Or do you not agree with Dominic?
@11 Viaduct. I said it in my P.S. But, apparently you didn't read that far. I also said I'm completely against the tunnel, but I'm against shitty arguments as well.
Tolls will pay a portion of the tunnel, maybe for 30 years. Then its followed with 100+ years of toll free usage. If you complain about the tolls, then you are complaining about something small in the extremely long life of a road project. Long term planners will listen toyour complaint, when whip out a tiny violin and play to you the worlds saddest song!

Its either that or raise the property or sales tax for the entire state. Wont that float well with the people in Spokane, or Pullman, or Moses Lake.
@9: Says the guy that suggested we jack up bus fares further, cementing our place in the high end of fare ranges in the country.

@16: All tolling is good or bad? Or is it a values judgement? I think you are ignoring that there are varying needs and purposes for tolling and sometimes they are strongly inadequate and potentially damaging. Like the current single-bridge tolling plan for 520 -- far cheaper per mile for drivers, but dangerous for 90 as polling confirms. The one that has gotten so much push back from those folks you're clawing at.

Humorously enough, a large number of folks signed on in support of the tunnel are right-leaning and/or have supported Eyman. Hell, our local version of the BIAW is backing the tunnel.
@18: A 130 year freeway tunnel? Uh, probably not. Nice try, though.
@18- 130 years without major renovations? You are one optimistic motherfucker.
Kinison, actually, the FEIS shows that maintenance costs will be higher than expected (about double originally proposed), so the toll will likely be indefinite.
droppin' $3 or $4 billion to subsidize the travels of the wealthy is a no brainer. esp., when it is paired w/ cuts in service for the masses. duh, this is still america, isn't it?
Take another look at the variable tolling numbers. A North End resident working in the south, traveling during commute hours, pays a round trip toll of $7. A South End commuter working in the north pays $9 for a round trip.


@18 Maybe Seattle is a land of fairytales and wonder, but I have never seen any transportation department willingly give up funds by removing a toll from a bridge or a tunnel, regardless of how often they say, "Oh, the toll is just until we pay it off." There's repair and renovations. Repainting. Resurfacing. And then after 20 or 30 years, a complete renovation and expansion with a doubling of the toll.

Same goes for that "range" of tolls available for 2015. You really think that the transportation officials are going to say that the drivers should only have to $2.50? They are going to go for the max allowed.
@25, it's no secret that the 520 bridge and the original I-90 bridge were each tolled during their first decade or so to help pay for them. Once their job was done the toll plazas were removed - in 1949 for I-90 and in 1979 for 520.

No one ever asks the question.

Why are people always in the wrong place?

To wit, I have often proposed that what we need is not mass "transit" but mass stasis.

Let's figure out how to keep people in or near their homes, and never have to go anywhere or do anything more than walking distance away.
@26: check your math on 520. 16 years is closer to two decades ;)

Also, what about the Hood Canal Bridge? They were forced to end Illegal tolls by the courts.
@19 so says the guy who thought Seattle rents haven't been going up out of proportion with Seattle wages.
@9 - I don't see how the tunnel will make surface streets "easier to use" for poor people. All the studies seem to say that the tunnel tolls (combined with a lack of downtown exits) will cause the tunnel to carry less than half the traffic that the viaduct handles now.

Unless you were referring to some other aspect of road use. Roadside begging? The cars will be moving slow enough to make that easier.
@27 That's cool if there was company loyalty. Would you want to move every time you changed a job? Or would you rather have a home?
@30 Even something holding half the traffic is better than nothing at all.
Poor people? I thought they all took da' bus with earnest white liberals they occasionally mug

Good to see Seattle's transit loonies suddenly opposing tolls. The laffs never end with you people.
As far as I know, the 106 year old tunnel that runs under Seattle, has never undergone any renovations. It has never needed to be re-enforced due to any weaknesses in the tunnel itself.

@28, fair point on my math - 520 was tolled for sixteen of its fifty years, and I-90 for nine of its fifty years, so I used "a decade or so" thinking it might fairly cover both. Didn't mean to minimize them.

I hadn't heard of that Hood Canal Bridge tolling lawsuit you mention. From what I can find by Google it looks as though the suit was to stop the state collecting tolls on the bridge to pay for anything but construction or repair costs on that structure. In this case the bridge replacement (after the original was lost in a storm) had been paid for already, and the state had started using toll revenue there to repay some sort of federal emergency relief funds from the earlier bridge collapse, and also prop up the operating budget for the ferry system.

That may be one reason why the legislation authorizes 520 tolling only to help pay for the 520 replacement. Interesting to see your mention of Hood Canal Bridge though, lost in a storm like it was. A good reminder that the state's replacing 520 only because it's grown likely to sink in a storm itself - or collapse in an earthquake.
This sucks. I think the city/county/state should make the viaduct safe, tax more and give us public transportation that kicks ass.
@22 My recollection is that the original estimate did not include insurance, by design. So while the current estimate is higher than the original maintenance only budget, the numbers were an apples/oranges situation and not a 'miss' per se.
@35: Also worth noting that 520 is the only WSDOT overwater route of significant length that hasn't sunk.

@38, we do favor low-profile floating bridges to the suspension kind, don't we? Of course, even with the regular sort, we did have Galloping Gertie in 1940: here's the best version of that I've seen on video:
@29: Keep trying to score. ;)
@34: It's also less than half the size of the proposed DBT.

And in 2007 it was the focus of questions of fire safety and will eventually need extensive upgrades.
For all the whining about tolls on SR99, there is zero whining about tolls on SR520.


Because y'all politically oppose a tunnel but not a rebuilt bridge.
@42 SHHHH. They thrive on hypocrisy around here.
One thing I don't get: I thought progressives liked tolls as a disincentive to driving and a way to make drivers shoulder the true costs of their transportation choices. Would all you anti-tunnel folks flip out if the city started doing congestion tolling, too? That would also hurt poor folks more.
@42- Was that supposed to be a revelation?
If we had gotten the rebuilt elevated viaduct that most of us who actually use the viaduct would have preferred, we would have gotten a nice new viaduct that the State would have fully paid for.The people who are benefiting most from this stupid tunnel are not the ones who are going to use it - they are the people who live in fancy condos on the waterfront. We lose our beautiful view, downtown exits, greater access, and get to pay up to $5 for the privilege. I think it's stupid and it stinks.
I for one welcome Jean Godden to the debate and her comment "Have their driver pay for it"
@42: Exactly? A bridge is necessary, a tunnel is not. Are you retarded?