I-90 bridge tolls? 4 ways to speak out, this week and beyond

January 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 70 Comments

In case you haven’t heard – the state is thinking about charging tolls on the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington, to help pay for the new 520 bridge; the old one on 520 is already charging tolls. WSDOT is trying to get the word out about three open houses this week as part of the “environmental assessment” of the plan, and a way to have a say online, to. The meetings are tomorrow on Mercer Island, Wednesday in Bellevue, and – the closest one – Thursday at Yesler Community Center – all from 4-7 pm. They’re drop-in format; if you want to read up on the proposal, various documents and presentations are here.

If you can’t make it to a meeting, there’s an online form through which you can comment through February 22nd – find it here. (Note; WSDOT is advertising on WSB and other news publications to get the word out about this comment period.)

P.S. Opponents of I-90 tolls have set up a website – see their side of the story here.

70 Comments

  1. Hell to the no! Not paying tolls on I90. I’ll drive around if I go to the eastside.

    Comment by A — 4:51 pm January 28, 2013 #

  2. How about these 4 ways? NO! NO! NO! and NO!

    Comment by Mike — 4:57 pm January 28, 2013 #

  3. It’s about time drivers started paying their fair share! As a cyclist, I’m tired of subsidizing all these free-loading drivers through my property and sales taxes!

    Just kidding ;)

    All jokes aside, though, tolling I90 seems very reasonable to me. In a state with such organized populist opposition against any attempt to equitably raise needed revenue through taxes or other user fees, it makes sense to charge the actual users of the infrastructure which we must build and maintain.

    Comment by LWC — 5:05 pm January 28, 2013 #

  4. Don’t we pay enough taxes for infrastructure? Between the already existing tolls, gas taxes, sales taxes.. exactly how much more is needed before we can find a happy medium? I say no to tolls on I-90.

    Comment by Gregory — 5:51 pm January 28, 2013 #

  5. LWC – ‘In a state with such organized populist opposition against any attempt to equitably raise needed revenue . . .’

    Seriously??! This state and Seattle particularly vote for every democrat and tax hike/levy without fail.

    How long before I-90, the WS bridge, and any other attractive major roadway also has a toll? Should it cost me $15 any time I dare to venture across the bridge?

    Let’s start looking at revenue mismanagement and political kickbacks before demanding more and more and more and more and more and more. . .

    Comment by A — 5:51 pm January 28, 2013 #

  6. I just would think twice before heading over the Bellevue or the eastside.

    Comment by Bonnie — 6:05 pm January 28, 2013 #

  7. Everything should be free.

    Comment by We Were Here First — 6:07 pm January 28, 2013 #

  8. Eastsiders wouldn’t come here so much and I and most Seattlites wouldn’t go there so much. Things would change, just not sure how. I definitely would not take a job over there unless the trip was subsidized by my company. I also volunteer in Bellevue most weekends; that would stop. Hiking would take place off of Hwy 2 or down near Cle Elum rather than Snoqualmie. I am already at the point of voting for the challenger no matter the incumbent, this may do it.

    Comment by CandrewB — 6:21 pm January 28, 2013 #

  9. What happened to $0.25 tolls? Charge each and every car $0.25 to cross, $0.50 during rush-hour, and you could raise a little money while keeping the masses quiet.

    Or, go ahead and enrage everyone by implementing another $2.50 toll.

    Comment by thoughtful — 6:25 pm January 28, 2013 #

  10. What a silly idea. Federal Highway Administration doesn’t generally allow tolling federal highways. Washington would have to seek an exemption to pull this off. Other areas of the country have tried this slight of hand without success. If the revenue is for 520, why not toll something else related like 522? Or a capital improvement levy on residents of Medina, who rely on 520? Oh, silly me. I forgot that we don’t tax the rich.

    Comment by PSPS — 6:30 pm January 28, 2013 #

  11. @A – Highway projects are paid for from state funds, not local funds. And with Eyman et al. doing their darndest to keep the state from addressing its current revenue problem, the state has to get creative. With income tax off the table, sales & property tax all but maxed out, gas tax politically untenable, vehicle excise taxes capped, and all of the above hamstrung by an unconstitutional 2/3 rule, tolls are just about the only remaining option to keep our highways from crumbling away. But don’t worry: I’m sure Eyman and pals will go after that soon enough.

    Comment by LWC — 6:40 pm January 28, 2013 #

  12. I am strongly opposed to yet another toll – we pay enough for services, and many of us are financially burdened as is. I filled out the form. Heck, I wonder how much they’re paying for the “study.” Another sign of b.s., from the form:
    “The assessment will consider the relevant areas of the built, natural and social environment. Areas of particular focus will likely include: Transportation, Social/Environmental Justice, Land Use/Economics, Cultural/Historical, and Energy/Greenhouse Gases.” Oh, please! And I say this as an enviromentalist!

    Comment by Sonoma — 6:47 pm January 28, 2013 #

  13. I rarely go to the east side, but why should I have to pay a toll on I-90 to cover the cost of a bridge on 520 that I probably use less than once a year (and that was before the toll – I’ve never used it since the toll).

    Coming from NYC where there are high tolls on all the bridges, I knew this was only a matter of time. Once a toll was approved anywhere here, I knew the floodgates would open in terms of what they can get away with.

    Comment by Sue — 6:55 pm January 28, 2013 #

  14. I just did an interesting calculation. The 520 bridge was built about 50 years ago, and is costing about $4 billion to replace. Currently, there are 65,000 trips across the bridge per day. This means the depreciation cost of the bridge is on order $4 billion / (50 * 365 * 65000) ~ $3.40 per car, per trip (though because of population growth, this is grossly underestimated). So each time you drive across the 520 bridge, it costs the state (on average) $3.40, plus any maintenance costs. I90 is probably similar.
    .
    So, toll detractors: why do you think that expense should be covered entirely by the state’s general fund, rather than being offset by the drivers who are actually using the bridge? And where do you propose that money come from, if not from tolls (see my previous comment)?

    Comment by LWC — 7:05 pm January 28, 2013 #

  15. Wow, CandrewB, great you have a choice for your weekend activities. Some of us have jobs for more than 20 years in W. Seattle. We can’t choose to take a job that will be subsidized by our company.
    Good for you that your only impact will be your hiking locations.

    Comment by Deblynn — 7:11 pm January 28, 2013 #

  16. Every road should be tolled and gas taxes should be double what they are.

    Comment by Velo_nut — 7:24 pm January 28, 2013 #

  17. Regarding federal highway tolls … without even resulting to Google, I can think of the Carquinez Strait and Bay Bridges in the SF Bay Area, which are part of I-80. With Google, I brought up this list:
    .
    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/tollpage/t1part1.cfm
    .
    Fairly long.

    Comment by WSB — 7:25 pm January 28, 2013 #

  18. Tax every bicycle $25.00 yearly.

    Comment by TaxBicycles — 7:47 pm January 28, 2013 #

  19. Oh, @TaxBicycles… such a clear attempt to troll and hijack the thread! I’m predicting my fellow West Seattlites will ignore this sad display as I will, starting…. now.

    Comment by LWC — 7:53 pm January 28, 2013 #

  20. LWC – your calculation neglects to account for the 520 tolls already in place, not to mention all of the other taxes (gas taxes, etc.) that are in place supposedly to defray the costs of highway maintenance. Not to mention I-90 is a part of the federal interstate system, which should have federal funding with yet more federal taxes (likely managed poorly as well).

    Why not let the 520 expenses be handled by the 520 tolls, and those who use it. In the meantime, make an effort to more efficiently use what funds are there for I-90 rather than immediately jumping to ‘more revenue!!!”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if household budgets worked that way – ‘hey we’re spending too much so let’s make our neighbors give us some money!!!’.

    Comment by A — 7:59 pm January 28, 2013 #

  21. Deblynn, I read your statement about four times and I still don’t know what you are saying. By definition, all jobs are subsidized by your employer.

    Comment by CandrewB — 8:08 pm January 28, 2013 #

  22. If we allow tolls to be applied where ever for what ever, we remove even the remote possibility of the thing, whatever it is, ever being “paid off”.
    The original 520 bridge was a toll bridge that was paid off and the tolls were removed.
    Now, will we have this unaccountable bureaucracy levying taxes on us with no accountability, no oversight, no recourse?

    Comment by old timer — 8:10 pm January 28, 2013 #

  23. This looks serious to me. Petition time, big time: (from WSB source above)

    The Federal-aid Highway Program, Title 23 of the United States Code (23 U.S.C.), offers States and/or other public entities a variety of opportunities to toll motor vehicles to finance Interstate construction and reconstruction, promote efficiency in the use of highways, reduce traffic congestion and/or improve air quality. In addition to providing States and/or other public entities the authority to toll motor vehicles, the Value Pricing Pilot program is unique in providing grants for pre-implementation and non-construction related implementation costs of tolling, and for non-highway related pricing activities.

    Comment by dsa — 8:12 pm January 28, 2013 #

  24. The tolls mentioned above by WSB are related to new construction or added capacity of the highway being tolled and must be used for that new construction or added capacity. Since tolling I-90 now doesn’t involve either of these (in fact, it would be for a completely different highway,) a specific exemption would have to be granted by the Federal Highway Administration. Others have tried this, like in Pennsylvania, and have been denied. But in these days of “capture,” anything is possible.

    Comment by PSPS — 9:00 pm January 28, 2013 #

  25. @A – my calculation neglects none of that. It simply gives an estimate the average depreciation cost of the bridge per driver crossing. As I mentioned, the money has to come from somewhere. Why not tolls, as well as all the other pots of money you bring up?
    .
    Before you talk about cutting spending, please look at the numbers: Washington state’s tax revenue as a percentage of income has been shrinking steadily for years. We have a revenue problem, not a spending problem.

    Comment by LWC — 9:30 pm January 28, 2013 #

  26. Oh boy, you know I’m just feeling kinda broke lately…I just added up all the parking I paid last month (downtown and school street parking) and it came to about $150 and a toll on I-90 which I have to cross to get to my class at BC just adds to that ….$4 to park and pick up and friend in Cap Hill, $5 to go to dinner downtown, $10 to park on the street and use the UW architectural library…kinda adds up. I’d take the bus but the commute times are almost double for me…it’s getting more and more expensive to live here. It does make me reassess where I chose to buy my home (and I love living in WS) but maybe I need to live closer to where I work (near UW).

    Comment by Heather — 10:49 pm January 28, 2013 #

  27. LWC

    In your post above you mentioned the general fund. And there we have the root of the problem. I don’t think the populace is against paying for roads and services. They are against what has been shown to be one of the most regressive tax systems in any state. The reason income tax didn’t pass previously is because people don’t trust the politicians in this state. It seems to most of us that everything goes on to the general fund to then be dispersed for pet projects with little or no accountability. And now because of a historical lack of accountability and trust they are pulling out all the stops for revenue generation. The state auditor is a toothless tiger as well. It doesn’t matter what malfeasance his office finds, there is no enforcement authority. This sounds like the tax and accountability system of a monarchy. So they can’t raise taxes very easily because of Mr Eyeman. Bring on the feeeee$$. As my accountant once joked “What would you like that number to be?”.

    The unwatched cookie jar is the empty cookie jar.

    Comment by WsEd — 11:23 pm January 28, 2013 #

  28. Why the hell is there a $1.4 billion budget shortfall for the 520 bridge?

    Comment by Dick — 11:30 pm January 28, 2013 #

  29. Dick,

    Because they forgot that automobiles have steering wheels and people could avoid the tolls by taking another route. Hence increased traffic on I 90. I remember that after the toll began 520 traffic was down by up to 50%.

    Comment by WsEd — 11:38 pm January 28, 2013 #

  30. I just filled out the form. Good grief….one of the reasons listed for the “study” is to assess “cultural/historical” impact. What a bunch of BS and a waste of money. Here…. I have a cultural hand signal for you State, hope you don’t need an interpreter

    Comment by Cat Woman — 4:36 am January 29, 2013 #

  31. wow. so many people who are openly hostile to their own government.
    .
    you don’t even flinch at the price of a triple latte or a microbrew, but when it comes to paying for a new bridge and improved infrastructure, i guess the toll is just too high.

    Comment by redblack — 5:57 am January 29, 2013 #

  32. @WsEd – OK, so you don’t trust the government with your money. Fine. But the fact remains that each crossing of the bridge costs around $4 in depreciation plus untold maintenance costs, state tax revenues are down, and Eyman and others have crippled the state’s ability to raise revenue in any other way. Revenue is so low that the state can’t even meet it’s constitutional requirement to fund education (see the McCleary decision).
    .
    Where do you propose the infrastructure money come from, if not from tolls? Or do you think we should just let our infrastructure crumble away? What’s so infuriating about directly paying a portion of the cost of the things you use? Griping about the government is easy, sure, but I’m still waiting for these questions to be answered by you, A, and others.

    Comment by LWC — 6:45 am January 29, 2013 #

  33. Maybe more of the gas tax we pay should actually go to fix build & help fund our roads & bridges. Currently only 40% goes towards that- the rest goes to mass transit.
    Does anyone know how visitors/ tourists pay tolls? Does a camera take a photo of their license plate & a bill get sent? I would think that lots of tourists would use I-90.

    Comment by Anne — 7:18 am January 29, 2013 #

  34. Tolling one highway, which is already paid off, to pay for repairing another, is nothing more or less than class warfare. Tolls are regressive and punitive, and they fall heavily on those least able to pay.
    -
    The infrastructure money should come from reinstituting the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax, with some modifications.
    -
    In addition to taxing based on vehicle sales price, calculate also on vehicle mileage and vehicle weight, and bring back emissions testing, so that vehicles that produce more emissions pay more in tax.
    -
    These taxes would be graduated, based on these multiple factors, and not the regressive flat rate that tolls impose, on rich and poor alike.
    -
    More yet, vehicle weight, vehicle fuel mileage, and MSRP are all known at the point of manufacture, and to calculate taxes based on these factors requires no snoop cameras, and no hefty fees to out-of-state tolling companies.
    -
    Under this system, drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles pay their fair share based on vehicle sales price. Hummer and Winnebago drivers get dinged for vehicle weight, as they should, because the heavier the vehicle, the more wear and tear it causes on the highways. Cleaner fuel is incentivized, as is better fuel mileage.
    -
    The bicycle clique and the self-appointed transit wonks who infest local comment threads have never once seen fit to address these ideas, because their aim is to drive private motorized transportation from the highways altogether. Therefore they promote these elitist, technocratic, intrusive, and punitive “solutions” like tolling, and the abominable “congestion pricing.”
    -
    Tolling should be rejected, across the board, except to pay ONLY for the highway or facility that is being tolled, and only after a public vote.

    Comment by ivan — 7:29 am January 29, 2013 #

  35. redblack: For those of us who have very limited incomes comparing the price of any fee, toll or tax to the cost of lattes is absurd. I already can’t afford the daily, weekly or monthly specialty coffee or microbrew. Had the state put a much lower toll on 520 and put that money in an ironclad untouchable account for a replacement bridge 10 or more years ago there would be no shortfall or this conflict.

    Comment by westseattlecodger — 7:36 am January 29, 2013 #

  36. Anne: Anyone who crosses without a sticker is supposed to get a bill:
    .
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/HowGoodtoGoWorks.htm

    Comment by WSB — 7:40 am January 29, 2013 #

  37. WSB – thanks- I think I remember that now & that you can’t renew your license until you pay your bill. I wonder what the state does if out of state drivers don’t pay?
    It would be interesting to find out how much the unpaid toll bills add up to.

    Comment by Anne — 7:51 am January 29, 2013 #

  38. The other end of I-90 is tolled throughout the state of Massachusetts. It’s more expensive to drive from Western Mass to Boston than MetroWest to Boston. If there was a variable toll, that would be one thing, but chances are that they’d slap a steep toll that daily commuters couldn’t afford. They’d need to add dual HOV lanes before I’d even consider a toll on I-90.

    Comment by K — 8:18 am January 29, 2013 #

  39. LWC,

    Read Ivan and WestSeattlecodgers comments as they have both covered important points I have missed.

    And a question for you. Do you work for the state because it is sounding like a marketing campaign.

    Maybe I am just old and grumpy but experience tells me that once you are resigned to paying a fee into the General Fund you will always pay that fee into the “GENERAL” fund. Anyone ever hear of bonds? Oh that’s right the state couldn’t float it because they were in denial about the overinflated real estate market and none of these gurus could see the landslide they were standing on. So my house value goes down for four straight years but the taxes go up. And as always the middle class has another pound of flesh cut off.

    If you are old enough you would remember that the lotto was pushed thru on the promise that schools would be flush with cash. Gee seems like that was a little teeny fib a well. The state does not have a good track record when it comes to transparency.

    Comment by WsEd — 8:28 am January 29, 2013 #

  40. Anne – an interesting story on that topic from West Seattle’s own Mike Lindblom, transportation reporter at The Times:
    .
    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2018999519_tollcourt27m.html

    Comment by WSB — 8:48 am January 29, 2013 #

  41. @WsEd – I do not work for the state. I’m simply an informed citizen who prefers to think logically rather than react emotionally. I hear the concerns about privacy and social-justice issues of regressive tolling, but I still haven’t heard you or others offer any real solutions to our revenue problem. Griping about the government may be cathartic, but it doesn’t help us pay for our infrastructure or our schools.
    .
    If you respond, please answer this. Washington state’s revenue as percentage of income is down 30% in the last decade: how do you propose to address this shortfall? I maintain that tolling could be one component of a fair solution. You have not yet offered any reasoned alternative.

    Comment by LWC — 9:31 am January 29, 2013 #

  42. No one wants tolls, but it is dismaying to read so many of the comments here that oppose tolling with no solution offered.

    We don’t have a state income tax here … because of the anti-tax sentiment so prevalant in WA. So instead, we pay exhorbitant sales taxes and user fees … and tolls. An income tax would be progressive to more affluent folks (including myself) who can afford to pay more. Not saying it would eliminate the need for tolls … but it would very likely reduce the amount of the tolls.

    But since that will never happen, we’ll stick with regressive high sales tax and high tolling. Because we have to pay for our roads somehow.

    Comment by wscommuter — 9:39 am January 29, 2013 #

  43. Some middle-ground, where both bridges are tolled but the toll is only .50 or so, seems reasonable to me…I-90 traffic volume would probably return to pre-520 toll levels.

    Comment by anti-obstruction — 9:42 am January 29, 2013 #

  44. @LWC

    If revenue is down 30% in the last decade, why is state spending UP 61.7%? Answer that question and you will get the answer to yours.

    Comment by me — 9:52 am January 29, 2013 #

  45. On the present course, it’s going to happen.
    Read the last paragraph from the fed:
    http://notolloni90.org/pdf/fedI-90response.pdf
    .
    WSDOT will argue reduced congestion as an environmental benefit.

    Comment by dsa — 9:53 am January 29, 2013 #

  46. @wscommuter: well-stated.

    Comment by LWC — 9:54 am January 29, 2013 #

  47. LWC says:
    -
    “I still haven’t heard you or others offer any real solutions to our revenue problem.”
    -
    wscommuter says:
    -
    “No one wants tolls, but it is dismaying to read so many of the comments here that oppose tolling with no solution offered.”
    -
    They ignore, as if it wasn’t right there in front of their faces on this very thread, my comments — which only reinforces my previous point:
    -
    “The bicycle clique and the self-appointed transit wonks who infest local comment threads have never once seen fit to address these ideas, because their aim is to drive private motorized transportation from the highways altogether.”
    -
    They won’t address the very concrete solutions that I have proposed. Because their agenda is not to repair and maintain our highways, it is to punish us for using them.

    Comment by ivan — 9:59 am January 29, 2013 #

  48. Well said Ivan

    And I am not anti toll. I am against allowing an additional toll on I 90 to make up for the snow job budget projections for 520. Then there will be a toll on 405 between the bridges. You know it is coming.

    Aquire and show me the raw budget data before the state puts a creative accounting spin on it. Then I will become a believer.

    Comment by WsEd — 10:41 am January 29, 2013 #

  49. Government overspending, bad budgets, poor allocation of funds: All good arguments.

    Unfunded bridge: Reality.

    Idealism is great for discussion, but we are where we are.

    Toll it. Even out the traffic. Get the 520 bridge done.

    Comment by Toll I-90 — 10:59 am January 29, 2013 #

  50. LWC Perhaps I was not clear, a lower toll, over a longer period of time is much more palatable than the regressive amounts now being collected. It IS easy to complain about waste in the system because there always is some. The primary reason I voted against the proposed income tax was the concern that it would/could be expanded by redefing, “The wealthy”, to any amount. Close the give0-aways for the giant companies first, then come looking to the rest of us.

    Comment by westseattlecodger — 11:45 am January 29, 2013 #

  51. @Ivan – I’ll ignore your fallacy of lumping me into some group that you seem not to like and stick to the actual issues: I maintain that tolling is a logical component of a solution to our current revenue problem. You’ve disagreed, and have given some good reasons why tolls should be avoided (reasons I’ve acknowledged). Your proposal of increased vehicle excise taxes would be a suitable solution, if not for the aforementioned Eyman initiatives explicitly limiting this approach. I’m still waiting for you to propose a realistic and attainable alternative revenue source to cover the cost of our infrastructure.
    .
    @WsEd – here is some raw budget data for you to peruse. I think it does a good job of quantifying Washington state’s revenue problem, though data is only available up to 2010: http://dor.wa.gov/docs/reports/2012/Compare12/Table6.pdf … I’m still waiting for you to offer solutions rather than simply complaining about the government…

    Comment by LWC — 12:23 pm January 29, 2013 #

  52. it’s wrong to toll I-90 to cover costs from 520 bottom line.

    Comment by Brandon — 1:00 pm January 29, 2013 #

  53. maybe they shouldn’t have built a 5 billion dollar tunnel. which im sure LWC supports tolls on as well

    Comment by Nick — 1:29 pm January 29, 2013 #

  54. Why does tolling stop at WSDOT? The City of Seattle should toll all major bridges new or existing. Then maybe we wouldn’t run into funding problems for deteriorating bridges like the South Park Bridge.

    Comment by I ♥ Seattle — 2:00 pm January 29, 2013 #

  55. LWC,

    That is marketing data, anything released to the public is not raw data. Reports are polished.

    Here is a solution for you how about accurate accounting and bond measures including an income tax that is restricted to not redefining wealth to ever lower thresholds. Ivan called that one right, exactly why it didn’t pass. There was no measure to restrict the state from clawing ever more downward into the middle class.

    But alas we know that will not happen because the trust of the constituency is lost so the easy way out is FEEEE$. Tolls, Access Fees, State Park Fees for visitors yes some of these support operations, but they can’t be a fallback position for everything.

    So the middle class is left out in open water with a leaky boat and half an oar. START PADDLING

    Comment by WsEd — 2:00 pm January 29, 2013 #

  56. There’s nothing unrealistic about revisiting the MVET, Eyman or no Eyman. Even the people who voted for I-695 might prefer paying the MVET to being tolled. You don’t know that they won’t, so please do not pretend that you do.
    -
    Besides that, what’s to prevent Eyman, or anybody else, from writing an initiative that specifically limits tolls to the highway being improved? Do you want to bet that one wouldn’t pass statewide, with 60 percent or more of the vote? Thought not.
    -
    You and your clique of technocrats — and yes, that is exactly who you are — might think tolling is “logical,” but politically, I wouldn’t bet that it’s a majority position.

    Comment by ivan — 2:09 pm January 29, 2013 #

  57. @Nick – I have always been strongly against the tunnel. For its exorbitant cost, it doesn’t adequately address the transportation needs of our city — but that’s a discussion for another day. Now that it’s being built, however, I support paying for it without further siphoning money out of things like schools, higher education, and the maintenance backlog for our existing infrastructure.
    .
    Alas, because of Eyman’s initiatives and the general anti-tax populism in our state (which is unfortunately not accompanied by a commensurate anti-spending populism), about the only realistic funding option left is tolling. So yes, you’re correct: I do support tolls on the tunnel, for those reasons.

    Comment by LWC — 2:10 pm January 29, 2013 #

  58. @WsEd – so you think a fair income tax is the best solution? I wholeheartedly agree! But until that passes the 2/3 point in the legislature (or until Eyman’s initiatives are rightly declared unconstitutional), we need to be realistic and figure out how to pay for our new and existing infrastructure in the short term: tolls accomplish that, and you still have not offered a realistic alternative.
    .
    I hope you’re not all talk, and will take the hard route of actually advocating for real tax reform at the state level! It would be a waste if your clear passion for this issue stopped at an anonymous blog comment.

    Comment by LWC — 2:19 pm January 29, 2013 #

  59. @Ivan – I’ve already mentioned the likelihood of Eyman going after tolling next. And I would never accuse the majority of Washington State voters of thinking logically ;)
    .
    I’m not sure what you mean by a “technocrat”, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and take it as a complement.

    Comment by LWC — 2:36 pm January 29, 2013 #

  60. I-90 tolling will affect all, but it will hit the lower income and poor the hardest. At a minimum it will raise the cost of goods and services on both sides of the lake. A 50 cent toll is reasonable, but not the $5 of the 520. That was an insane economic shift that occurred overnight.

    Comment by John — 4:39 pm January 29, 2013 #

  61. close 520 until they get the funding that’s what they did to us little people who live in south park. wait for the revenue or close it would literally cost an additional car payment for my finance to get to work and we don’t have it

    Comment by Nick — 6:45 pm January 29, 2013 #

  62. I say toll both bridges evenly so that I-90 traffic is reduced. I’d prefer higher gas taxes (well a completely new tax system), but if we toll it needs to be balanced so that 90 isn’t jammed up all the time.

    Our tax system in WA is messed up. We’re supposedly liberal, but in reality we vote more anti-tax than most states. Eyman has really messed up our system and made it hard to balance. Look at senior vs junior levies and how some fire depts can’t get funded.

    I sat cut our sales tax in half, get rid of the B&O which is biased toward big business who can lobby for advantageous rates, raise gas taxes, and bring on the much more fair income tax for both biz and individuals- all at the same total revenue. Our current system is regressive, unfair and too complicated.

    Comment by Jvp — 8:39 am January 30, 2013 #

  63. Never thought I’d be so happy to pay a toll. I 90 congestion was bad before 520 tolling made it even worse.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 8:42 am January 30, 2013 #

  64. One other comment. The current scheme of tolls on 520, but none on I-90, causes I-90 to back up onto I-5, which jams up the WS Bridge/I-5/I-90 interchange.
    .
    I believe that our commute times in the morning would be reduced here in WS if I-90 were to be tolled, and traffic diverted back to 520 at the pre-tolling levels.
    .
    I also believe that both bridges should be tolled, but at a lower fee than the current 520 tolling.
    .
    West Seattle would benefit from I-90 being tolled.

    Comment by JVP — 8:56 am January 30, 2013 #

  65. maybe those of you who make 6 figures would benefit from tolls but us working class people would get stuck with almost a 150.00 month tax just to go to work. that may help your commute but I could barely afford to pay potentially 1500 – 1800 in tolls anually. hey atleast you people who live in alki will have a nicer commute. unbelieveable

    Comment by Nick — 10:16 am January 30, 2013 #

  66. @Nick If you can afford to own and maintain a car, plus the cost of parking downtown, $150/month, while a concern, shouldn’t make or break your financing. I have little to no pity for people that choose to drive and park downtown and then complain about the high expenses that come with it.

    Comment by I ♥ Seattle — 10:51 am January 30, 2013 #

  67. Nick,
    Those fees you pay barely begin to cover the cost of the roads that you use to get back and forth every day. If you choose to live in West Seattle and drive by yourself to the Eastside every day for work, you are choosing to accept the consequences of that choice, including paying for the very roads you need. You can also make other choices: carpooling with one other person would cut your expenses in half; taking public transit would probably cut them even further. This last choice would no doubt take more time, mostly because of the refusal of Seattleites to pay for a decent public transit system. But the point is you have choices, and I have little or no putty for people who refuse to accept the consequence of their choices.

    Comment by WSparent — 11:09 am January 30, 2013 #

  68. I am TOTALLY AGAINST this! I live in North Bend and work in Renton. They not only want to toll I-90 bridge but toll starting at SR900!!!! I get to Seattle maybe 4-5 times a year for a sports event, and usually go I-90. I hardly IF ever go SR520. Why tax I-90 to pay for SR520? The I-90 bridge is already paid for isn’t it? So isn’t this a double tax? Didn’t our founding fathers establist this country and have a revolution because of things like this?

    I have a problem paying for something EVERYDAY that I rarely use. I already have my property taxes increased because of a$$holes in King Co. passing prop. 1 years ago to bring light rail to the Eastside that wont even get to Bellevue at its current rate due to NIMBYS not making their f…ing minds up as to put it under ground or above ground. EVEN IF it does get to Bellevue are the citizens of greater Seattle going to come up with another hair brained idea to pass a tax again to bring the light rail to Issaquah? More than likely so.

    I just have a BIG problem with having to pay for something that I will RARELY use.

    I have 4 ideas for WDOT! NO NO NO AND F–K NO!

    Comment by Ryan Aust — 10:17 am January 31, 2013 #

  69. Seems like there are a lot of eastsiders who are basketball fans .. they should factor in tolls to get to and from the SODO arena when it is opened in 2014/2015 .. about the same time tolls would start. But maybe if one can afford to go to a basketball game, a toll is of no concern.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 4:54 pm January 31, 2013 #

  70. ratsinacage: or we could just put the arena in bellevue and save them a trip across the lake.

    Comment by redblack — 5:43 am February 1, 2013 #

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