Nah, let's go car-free instead, turn all the street parking lanes into transit and bike lanes, and stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry instead.


If Sawant wants to get reelected, she should tell the lunatic urbanist fringe to stick congestion pricing up their asses, because anybody with two brain cells to rub together recognizes that it is the "third rail" of Seattle politics, and that it will cost any damn fool in elected office who promotes it their job.


Who’s is the ‘high-income’ target of the author’s proposed legislation? Middle or low income residents and seniors on pensions who drive into the downtown because there is no transit alternative, or the young hipsters who take rideshare taxis everywhere because their incomes are supplemented by their parents, or because their employer provides unlimited rideshare taxi rides? Who is it?



Just like you idiots said about every fucking thing Sawant proposed —from the $15 minimum wage tot he head tax — in THE LAST TWO ELECTIONS SAWANT WON.

Look. Eventually she's going to lose. She'll lose if she trying to run for mayor or state senate or something.

I have no idea if congestion pricing will work. Neither do you. But you wildly underestimate how desperate an ever younger group of voters are for real solutions to our problems. And you are blind to the fact that the centrists and corporate suck-ups are not solving shit. In fact are only making shit worse. You keep trying the same shit over and over and nothing changes.


The traffic really isn't that bad to warrant it.


I don't think that congestion pricing is a bad idea per se, but I would expect more for my dollar if I have to pay to drive in downtown, or deal with increased traffic on the outlying streets because of the cheapskates who are trying to avoid the toll.

For instance, I would like to see an abandonment of the mindset that created ridiculous streets like Broadway.

Also, I really want to see the city abandon this stupid idea that in the future we will all walk and bike, thus developers don't need to provide parking. That sounds all well and good, but it's nothing but a big, fat, sloppy kiss/giveaway to developers - something that saves them millions of dollars in construction costs, and makes our parking situation much worse. Let's have a real-world solution like this: Developers can limit parking ONLY if they agree to provide a certain number of units of affordable housing for the thirty years after the building is constructed? That will accomplish much more than any pubic housing or "tiny house" push.


"If done right, which means targeting high-income single-occupancy drivers during business hours and exempting or reducing tolls for lower-income carpoolers and off-hours drivers, then charging cars heading into downtown Seattle would be a tax on the rich and a boon for working people who rely on our extensive bus system to get around the city and the region." --Gregory Scruggs

Well that's a Bingo.
Perhaps Council Member Sawant might do both -- congestion pricing AND defense attorneys for those without funds.

More on congestion, and what to do about it, from the NYT: "Cities Worldwide Are Reimagining Their Relationship With Cars."

One comment from the NYT article about the absurdity of the horseless carriage:

"Beijing is the poster-child for the absurdity of automobility. It got along fine with bicycles until recently. Then there was an all-out push for cars, not because they were a more practical mode of transport than bikes, but because it was impossible to mark one's status just riding a bike.

Now they have to limit cars or get rid of them so people can breathe. It just goes to show that the embrace and ferocious defense of the automobile has little to do with practical needs, and a lot to do with the owner's (self) perceived status in the world."
--'Al from PA,' PA, Nov. 14


Seattle, where all good ideas go to die. We're all progressives here until inconvenienced by tolls, duplexes, avocado toast price increases, lack of homeless housing (in someone else's neighborhood), anything that smacks of new technology, or god forbid having fun, fun fun until Kshwama takes the TBird away.



Just try it and see what happens. I dare you.


"Also, I really want to see the city abandon this stupid idea that in the future we will all walk and bike, thus developers don't need to provide parking. "

Where is all this magical new land for parking going to come from? You think underground garages are cheap?

If you want to force developers to provide parking ( and that is what you're asking) you're going to double the cost (price) of housing.

So. Either you have houses for cars or houses for people. It's that simple. You can't have both. you can't have affordable housing and massive parking garages. Not in Seattle in 2019 you can't.


@13 you guys see saying that. You said that all summer. And Sawant got re-elected. You're gone have to come up with better solutions than just "SAWANT IS AN EVIL SOCIALIST!" Tell me how we're gong to solve our intractable problems. Quit telling me who can't get elected when plainly THEY DO.


@14 it's ok to build dungeons for cars, though. Like if you build 6-110 story buildings, you can dig down beneath to provide parking.

Then the crocodiles will have somewhere nice when Seattle floods.


It's kind of painful, I want everything sawant pushes for, but I don't trust her to do it right. We don't have details on which strategy of rent control she's pushing for (my guess is the one that effectively incentivizes evictions, given her other talking points), and we don't have any specifics on how she intends to implement tiny housing, who the contracts go to, etc. I don't like buying things sight unseen.


You do realize that the very people who travel most in Seattle are the marginalized sent to the suburbs for affordability?! Right?! Lower and middle class like myself who cannot afford to live in Seattle. Don't tax the poor or middle class!


So your reasoning is, tax the poor who drive to work as a way to tax the rich who don’t have to work?


London has awesome subways, we have overwhelmed busses. Workers use cars too, taxing workers isn't progressive. The middle class commutes, the rich don't fucking work!


Seattle has an affordability crisis right? So taxing the people who aren't rich enough to live in Capital Hill or Queen Anne is progressive? What a fucking joke. You cant have it both ways. Workers commute, trust funds walk.


..."we’ve done a damn good job creating a bus system that will take you from downtown Seattle to just about anywhere that is moderately populated in a three-county region"

Yeah, if you have 3 hours each way to juggle bus lines between counties. No one but a Stranger writer has this luxury.

Mass transit just doesn't exist here on a practical level. Your bullshit saying it does is just bullshit. If you need to get somewhere from the distant burbs - where The Strangers support of bulldozing cheap housing is driving everyone making under 100K a year - you must use a car.

You are completely out of touch with reality. Congestion pricing will hurt the poor and middle class the most.


It's legal under the Washington state constitution to have fees with a discount based on a certain income level (that's how Residential Parking Zone permits work - there's the price, and a "low income" price based on household income). So it seems like the city could require a permit for any private vehicle to enter downtown with (say) a 99% discounted rate if your income is lower than whatever threshold feels fair to lower income households. (Given Seattle and King County incomes, even a $150,000 threshold could probably raise quite a bit!)


Professor History dear, however did you get to the level of professor with such abysmal reading comprehension?

Yes, I am talking about underground or street level parking garages. Yes, I know how expensive that is (as I stated above). The City of Seattle, in not requiring parking, is not making housing any less expensive. It's just letting the developers out of a large expense. They can still charge exhorbitant rent.

So let's try this again. I'll do bullet points this time, to make it easier.....

*Require Parking

*Waive Parking Requirement if building agrees to provide certain amount of lower priced housing in the building in exchange for not providing parking.

There would still have a scarcity of parking, but the city would be adding to the stock of low-income housing in exchange for those construction savings. Stop letting the developers off easy.


All this whining about the poor misses the point. IT WOULD ONLY BE DOWNTOWN. The poor don't DRIVE downtown; if they go, they ride the bus. The azzoles who drive downtown are clueless tourists or narcissists who DO NOT give a rat's hindquarters about anybody else.


Isn't it nice to have a self-appointed expert (Our Dear anandakos) here to tell us about "the poor"?

You'd better watch out though, anandakos - that's CM Sawant's territory, and she doesn't like competition.


Ban private cars from downtown without a pass. Everyone in the area gets 6 or 10 or some other reasonable number a year. Set this number low enough so that the remaining cars don’t get in the way of the buses. If you don’t drive you can sell your passes to someone who really wants to drive. This way everyone gets their fair share of the amount of road use that the roads can sustain.


Also, I just want to go on the record as supporting the suggestion for parking garage-dwelling crocodiles.


@28 how do construction workers, salespeople, basically anyone that needs to drive work in Seattle then?


@14 hmm. Boston does exactly this with housing, and is a bit more expensive than Seattle, but also has significantly fewer homeless. There's lots of confounding factors in all those relationships, but it does pretty well show that your "double" estimate is a huge over estimate.

@19 Thank you. Also the poor who live near downtown in small, older appartments but can't always ride a bike where they need to go, or the poor who live enough North of the cut that the ONLY busses are unreliable express busses, or the poor who need to get to medical services pretty much only offered in or around Cherry Hill...

@ anyone who said the word "pass": hard pass. Seriously though, you want to kill tourism, commerce, and any business with a "catchment area", move on ahead.

And finally, all y'all think traffic... sorry, congestion is a downtown problem? It exists citywide, and makes busses late citywide. The solution is upping the gas tax (or better, replacing it with a rapidly scaling carbon tax that has specific money allocations to improve roads and support and improve transit) and voting in some car tab taxes directly to catch EV drivers in the pool. Also, the carrot/stick of low income housing or parking might actually get some cars off the road.

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