Just minutes apart, WSDOT sent two news releases that relate to tolling. The first one is perhaps of the most interest here – the committee that’s going to discuss tolling for the future Highway 99 tunnel, and how to reduce the likelihood it will lead to “diversion” (people using other roads instead), has its first meeting set for tomorrow. The second one – Tolling on the 520 bridge across Lake Washington is now set for December 29th. For full details, here’s the 520-toll-date news release; read on for text of the news release about the 99 tunnel tolling committee:
Seattleites advising the city and state about ways to reduce anticipated State Route 99 tunnel traffic impacts will meet for the first time this week.
The SR 99 Tunnel Project’s Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management meets from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Puget Sound Regional Council board room in Seattle (1011 Western Avenue).
The committee was created by the Washington State Department of Transportation and city of Seattle and will assist in exploring ways to reduce traffic diversion due to tolls and meeting the project’s funding goals. It will also investigate non-tolling strategies for reducing or mitigating traffic diversion.
“We need to ensure that the tunnel replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct operates in a way that serves both the needs of SR 99 users and the surrounding community,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “The expertise on this advisory committee will play a key role in achieving our traffic management and funding objectives.”
WSDOT, Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council each appointed five members of the 15-member committee. Members represent a wide variety of those potentially impacted by the project, including freight, residents of adjacent neighborhoods, transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians.
“This committee and their insight will be critical as we further our tolling analysis for the SR 99 tunnel,” said Seattle Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen.
“We are giving this committee an important and difficult task – recommending ways to minimize impacts from traffic diversion on city streets while maintaining tolling revenue required to fund the project,” said Mayor McGinn.
The public is welcome to attend committee meetings to view the information presented and submit written comments. Committee materials will be available following each meeting at www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.
The advisory committee will submit its initial recommendations to the Governor, Legislature, State Transportation Commission, Seattle Mayor and Seattle City Council by December 2012. It will finalize its recommendations in December 2015, when the SR 99 tunnel is scheduled to open and tolling begins.