VIDEO: ‘Congestion pricing’ tolls on Seattle roads? Just part of Mayor Durkan’s announcement

(Raw Seattle Channel video of mayor’s announcement on Queen Anne this morning)

“Congestion pricing” – tolls on city roads – is getting all the buzz from the mayor’s announcement today about what she wants to do to fight climate change. But that’s only part of the announcement. Here’s the news release from the mayor’s office:

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced new bold actions in Seattle to reduce carbon pollution from our transportation and building sectors and make Seattle a national leader in fighting climate change. As part of Seattle’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, this set of short-term and long-term actions provides a roadmap for our City to act in the absence of federal leadership, particularly on leading contributors of greenhouse gases: transportation and buildings.

“Seattle can lead the world by taking bold action to reduce our carbon footprint while protecting our communities from the worst impacts of climate change. We are already seeing these impacts – from wildfires that choke our air to extreme rain events flooding our streets – and they are being disproportionately felt most in communities that are already disadvantaged,” said Mayor Durkan. “Our actions to reduce emissions from transportation and buildings will help create a healthier and more just city, with a stronger economy.”

Two-thirds of Seattle’s climate emissions result from road transportation. While Seattle is leading to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips, this strategy identifies actions that will reduce the climate and air pollution from Seattle’s cars and trucks by using Seattle City Light’s carbon-neutral electricity, including:

Improving mobility through congestion pricing in the upcoming years. At the conclusion of a new SDOT-led study, the City will develop a strategy over the next few years to address congestion and transportation emissions through pricing, coupled with investments in expanded transit and electrification in underserved communities.

Electric vehicle readiness ordinance for new construction. Mayor Durkan will transmit legislation requiring the inclusion of electric vehicle infrastructure in new construction or renovation that includes parking.

Green Fleet Action Plan update. Already a national leader in building a clean energy fleet, the city will update the Green Fleet Action Plan to phase out the use of fossil fuels in all fleet vehicles.

Ride share and taxi fleet electrification. The City will work with stakeholders to develop recommendations for electrifying all rideshare vehicles and taxis in Seattle. …

After transportation, building energy is the second largest source of climate emissions, which is why Mayor Durkan has introduced two bills to unlock more energy efficient buildings:

Creating the City’s Most Sustainable Buildings. Announced by Mayor Durkan in her first State of the City, this pilot will offer additional height and floor space incentives for up to 20 major renovations in urban centers for significant upgrades in energy and water use, stormwater management, and better transportation efficiency based on the standards to create carbon neutral buildings.

Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaS). Expand City Light’s successful, first in the nation, pay-for-performance energy efficiency pilot program to eliminate barriers that keep building owners from investing in deep energy efficiency upgrades. …

With many buildings and homes still using fossil fuels as a primary energy source for heating and cooling, the new actions that address building energy use include:

Oil to heat-pump conversion. Develop a funding strategy to accelerate the transition of 18,000 homes from heating with oil to an electric heat pump, including financing the switch for low-income residents.

Extending and expanding municipal building energy efficiency program through 2025. Currently on track in meeting the 20 percent by 2020 goal, Mayor Durkan will nearly double the funding through 2025, aiming to cut energy use and carbon emissions nearly 40 percent in our buildings. …

Finally, as part of the City’s ongoing commitment to leading by example, the strategy calls for City departments to assess the GHG emissions and cost impact of City plans, policies, and major investments. The Office of Sustainability & Environment will be responsible for tracking the progress of these climate initiatives and reporting back to City Council.

The ellipses above mark three spots where we omitted non-mayoral quotes for length. The full news release, including those quotes, is here. You can also see even more details in this PDF that is linked in the release (elaboration on congestion pricing, for example, is on page 14):

SIDE NOTE: The congestion-pricing study was mentioned here while the council was going through the budget process last fall, specifically in relation to whether it might help with diversion once the Highway 99 tunnel opens. The only other mention of the phrase in our past coverage was 10 years ago, also during discussion of the post-Alaskan Way Viaduct future.

76 Replies to "VIDEO: 'Congestion pricing' tolls on Seattle roads? Just part of Mayor Durkan's announcement"

  • gxnx April 4, 2018 (2:53 pm)

    Told ya

    West Seattle Bridge toll  $50

    Alki Beach toll $30

    California Ave toll $40

    I509 will be $60

    Welcome to the Island of Paradise, West Seattle

    • The King April 4, 2018 (5:28 pm)

      The plan is coming together. Create congestion with road diets, punish drivers with tolls. At the same time eliminating more middle class who can still think for themselves, they don’t need US around. They also will keep the poor out of vehicles and on public transportation where the city leaders feel they belong. All while hiding behind the guise of saving the earth. Genius. 

      • Bradley April 5, 2018 (3:09 am)

        Exactly! Well put.

    • JiggleBoots April 5, 2018 (8:39 am)

      Have either of you ever been to a true city. Much worse than here. Things are changing, either deal with it or move. Btw, those toll numbers are just plain dumb. Not even in NYC are they even close. I’m assuming you’re being sarcastic, but come on.

  • Also John April 4, 2018 (3:02 pm)

    ” Electric vehicle readiness ordinance for new construction. Mayor Durkan will transmit legislation requiring the inclusion of electric vehicle infrastructure in new construction.”

     With no off-street parking required in new construction?  How will this work?  How can the electric vehicle get to the plug-in with no place to park?????  My mind is spinning.


    • CAM April 4, 2018 (3:47 pm)

      The new parking regulations only apply in areas that are deemed to have access to frequent transit. There are still plenty of places that will require new buildings to have parking and there will still be buildings that include parking despite not being required to. Also, most new development includes at least one EV spot in their garage. What would be nice is if they were to put in whole walls of them and limit them to individuals with EVs. That would allow say a neighbor who doesn’t have the funds to install the equipment at home to have the opportunity to rent a space that does have the equipment, particularly now that those spaces will be available for rent to non-residents if they are vacant. 

    • KBear April 4, 2018 (3:58 pm)

      Read the rest of the sentence:

      Mayor Durkan will transmit legislation requiring the inclusion of electric vehicle infrastructure in new construction or renovation that includes parking.

    • buzz April 5, 2018 (10:20 am)

      She will implement wireless charging for EV cars, it will be free.

      • Jethro Marx April 5, 2018 (1:18 pm)

        If Mayor Durkan can charge cars wirelessly she will have some materials science engineers blowing up her phone, ’cause wireless power transmission at high output is the fn holy grail of a furtive few, over the years.

  • AngryMom April 4, 2018 (3:05 pm)

    Stop bleeding families dry.  We don’t need  more fees or property tax increases. People are fed up. 

    Mayor is not thinking cleary.

  • Mike April 4, 2018 (3:17 pm)

    This is a great idea. We have so many ways to get around town. The important part here is that the City is transparent about the funding to enact these ideas and where future revenues go — ideally, to the communities that need more transit options and are most affected. 

  • John April 4, 2018 (3:22 pm)

    Let me start this off by applauding Mayor Durkan’s bold announcement.

  • KM April 4, 2018 (3:40 pm)

    I love the idea of congestion pricing. I hope it takes off, and that it’s the start of more tolling in region. Purchased a G2G pass for the car too, in preparation for the tunnel opening (a few years late, hah).

  • Chuck April 4, 2018 (3:52 pm)

    Money grab much? Not saying that reducing our carbon footprint is not important, but the pretense of it is used by politicians the same way a pick-pocket uses sleight of hand. Folks, we are being fleeced here, pure and simple. Enough! This won’t do CRAP for the carbon footprint in any significant way, but for sure will raise funds for our crooked city. I can understand a toll for the new tunnel. But if gouging us for going about our lives in our (gasp!!) cars is going to be penalized to death, it’s time to vote these morons out.

    • Wait, really? April 4, 2018 (4:47 pm)


      I’m not sure why this wouldn’t have any impact on pollution.

      Do you have any logical argument or studies that support your claim?  I’m not disputing it–I’m really just curious why you think these measures wouldn’t make an environmental difference.


      • Chuck April 4, 2018 (5:08 pm)

        Sure, I’ll bite. My “woo” answer won’t be for many, but that’s okay. Yes, human impact (our carbon imprint) is a real thing. But it does not matter, because the Earth is going through a natural cycle of warming, anyway. And here’s the good part–we’re moving (Ascending) from our 3D reality to a 5D reality.  The Earth is literally raising her vibration, and we’re going right along with her.  All these petty little prices gouges are just so much of an annoyance in the meantime. Hardly worth worrying about, and yet it galls me that our politicians manipulate us the way they do. I’d rather they be more transparent about real issues threatening our actual lives, like the Geoengineering happening nearly every day in our (otherwise) lovely Seattle skies. Ever paid attention to those so-called jets contrails that never go away, but instead turn into a thin film of clouds like a marine layers? That’s aluminum and lithium, for starters. Designed to  control the weather, or worse. Do a little research. It’s very real, and very deadly. But no, our politicians don’t want us talking about real subjects like that. So here we are, discussing things that really don’t do anything other than line the city’s coffers. But yes, look at the sky some day. Really, really LOOK. Oh, you’ll still see real jet contrails (ice) that melt in moments. Chemtrails crisscross the sky like the poison they are. But as I said, Ascension is coming and it’s a very good thing. I suggest Dolores Cannon’s Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth as a primer. Cheers! Chuck.

        • John April 4, 2018 (6:02 pm)


          The Three Waves of Volunteers. During her myriad hypnosis sessions, Dolores Cannon discovered that there were three genres of individuals that have been incarnating since the late 1940’s. “

          Whoa!  That is quite a logical argument!!!

        • Jethro Marx April 4, 2018 (6:38 pm)

          Yes! Jet contrail conspiracies! That was even crazier than you prepared me for. I like it when people think the government can get super-organized for conspiracies but shuts down every three months because they can’t sort a budget. If Chemist is actually trained in chemistry, maybe they could chime in here, what?

        • Kathy April 4, 2018 (7:02 pm)

          Armageddon? Or Carmaggedon? I think the latter will be this mayor’s problem unless she shows a little more sense of urgency than this announcement shows with all the imminent construction and transit problems we are facing in center of the city. Kind of like Mayor Nickels and those snow storms.

          Congestion pricing if it ever is implemented will be factored into peoples’ decisions about how to get around town. And it will influence many to use alternatives to SOVs. 

          I would have liked to hear her say when we will be getting  the city center bike network hooked up that they have been stalling on. If she wants to serve social equity, she should put more emphasis on the lowest cost most efficient form of transportation. Talking about electric vehicles but they still take up a lot of room on the road compared to an electric bike. Maybe do like Paris?


          • chemist April 4, 2018 (9:55 pm)

            That reminds me.  Someone proposed a Seattle Ebike subsidy program to the bike advisory board and were kind of chuckled at.

          • Jort April 5, 2018 (9:58 am)

            Why would they be chuckled at? It is at least some way of helping curtail carbon emissions.

            Anybody who has been on an e-bike will tell you that Seattle’s supposed “hill problem” because moot. They are incredible transportation options that have the potential to transform our society. They take up little space, are safe, they can travel at nearly 30 mph, they’re low-impact to the environment and our streets — there are a variety of positive benefits and Seattle should absolutely be encouragig their use!

        • Wait, Really? April 4, 2018 (7:04 pm)


          I’m the one who wrote the first reply, asking you about impacts on pollution, and I just wanted to say thanks for your thorough answer.  While I don’t agree with all of your points I wholeheartedly endorse your civility and willingness to engage in discourse.

          Again, thank you for answering–I imagine you knew you’d get a fair bit of flak for your views and yet you responded anyway, and in what I took to be an earnest and not-at-all-mean manner.  That alone is rare these days, so thank you.

          (As for the other responses–take issue with the comments or the claims, but don’t make it personal.  Manners matter.)

          • Chuck April 5, 2018 (10:27 am)

            Right back at you, “Wait.” I know my answer was a total digression, and other’s responses accurately call that out. But yes, there is always room for kindness and civility. I see there are other “awoke” people in this thread, as anyone who knows of Agenda 21 understands there are some (attempted) global underpinnings being played out right here in the good old USofA. But that’s political side of things, which I have little time for. I’ll take the spiritual path, thank you, where I find nice, polite folks such as yourself. Want to know what Ascension is all about? Nothing more than your kind response here. Higher vibrations. Goodness. We’re all headed that way, and happily, soon. Cheers to all! 

          • Mat April 5, 2018 (12:28 pm)

            Dang Chuck. You know, I don’t agree with most of what you wrote on your way to concluding with positivity and goodness, but I agree that the world needs more if it and I try to put it out there too… As much as I can. Keep on keepin’ on neighbor!

    • Seattlite April 4, 2018 (5:00 pm)

      Chuck…I agree with your comment.  And, I might add that Seattle/KingCounty’s solutions to problems are always connected to the  citizens’ pocketbooks whether the money is used efficiently with transparency or not.

      • CAM April 4, 2018 (5:52 pm)

        You may have jumped the gun there, Seattlite. 

  • JayDee April 4, 2018 (5:04 pm)

    Interesting story, confirming what WSB-sters have been saying:

  • JayDee April 4, 2018 (5:25 pm)

    The people leaving Seattle have less income than those coming in, with SF and newcomers having higher incomes.

    • Easy come, easy go April 4, 2018 (6:48 pm)

      Ah, ok.  I was just typing out a reply to your first question, asking you what about the linked article you found relevant–thank you for the supplemental info.

      I actually found another part relevant: that newcomers to Seattle are more educated than the current population.  I think that ties in with what you mentioned.  Income these days, especially amongst the younger folks (and/or those in tech) seems to be tied closely to education.

      But yeah, Seattle ain’t getting cheaper.  But that’s sort of what happens in cities, no?  

  • MJ April 4, 2018 (5:34 pm)

    Congestion pricing is eventually going to be common place.  

    Before this plan is implemented light rail to both WS and Ballard needs to be in place and operating.  Further all residents in the City need to be provided reliable transit service feeding the light rail.

  • TJ April 4, 2018 (5:46 pm)

    This is a absolute joke. Everything that comes out of our politicians mouth involves mire of my money. Sorry, but our contribution to carbon emissions is like spitting in a pool raising the water level. And btw, it is well known car emissions were much higher here in the 1970’s. Cars burn cleaner, not to mention electric vehicles only growing in ownership in the future. “Progressive” cities like Seattle are bypassing the federal government and following the UN Agenda 21 guidelines from the 1990’s. Pay attention people and fight this sham. This was all spelled out in 1991, and playing out here to a T. Change zoning laws, cram people into boxes, enact growth management acts limiting sprawl, try to convince people who can’t look into the lie that climate will drive mass migration here, and do whatever they can to get people out of their cars. Trying to artificially create a bigger user base for future mass transit. These politicians sound more and more like the old lords of Scotland talking to peasants. Hopefully Jenny can fall back to being a attorney as this is political suicide. 

    • Jort April 4, 2018 (7:02 pm)

      I must admit, when I saw “UN Agenda 21” in a comment, I had to do a double-take to make sure I hadn’t stumbled onto Brietbart or a comments section for the Minot, N.D. newspaper. 

    • Jon April 4, 2018 (8:37 pm)

      The sooner Seattle can become more moderate, the better.

  • West Seattle Hipster April 4, 2018 (7:25 pm)

    Won’t happen.

  • Marty2 April 4, 2018 (7:40 pm)

    Just a thought, maybe the City doesn’t want drivers using the downtown city streets as an alternative to avoiding the new tunnel tolls.

  • Rusty April 4, 2018 (7:42 pm)

    Food for thought on our impact on global warming/70’s global cooling/man-made climate change:

    • Junk food, maybe April 4, 2018 (8:20 pm)

      Yeah, I’m familiar with groupthink (phd in psychology, etc.).

      I’m also familiar with science, and I value the thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles more than I value the opinions of these (to put it nicely) bozos.

      You know, Rusty, there are also people who claim the earth is flat.  Bet you dollars to donuts they’re sure the rest of us are just succumbing to groupthink.  

    • Jethro Marx April 4, 2018 (9:32 pm)

      Rusty, I gotta say I expected a higher level of document when I clicked on your link. I couldn’t even make it past the “executive summary.” I don’t care if you believe in climate change or not, but this is poorly written, poorly edited, and comically partisan propaganda posing as some kind of fancy research paper. Bullet points!? Really? But how many sentences can the author start with”But…?”

       I haven’t looked around, but if it’s true that “many eminent scientists” disagree with human-caused climate change, there ought to be some more reliable sources out there. Generally, a scientist will not review their thoughts on the latest election before getting down to work.

    • Rusty April 5, 2018 (9:16 am)

      First off, nobody argues against the immutable fact that climate change is real, the question is how much greenhouse gases and mans contribution to those impact the climate as opposed to other causes. This paper is not presented as a scientific research paper – it deals with how the argument has been advanced, and the religious fervor-level of those advancing it.

      In the 1970’s we were told that the next ice age was coming, that human overpopulation would cause widespread starvation and cataclysmic upheaval, and that DDT should be banned because it would kill all birds. Now we have charlatans like Al Gore telling us that the global ice cap should be gone in the summer (by now).

      When not 1 of the computer simulations or dire predictions of global catastrophe come true, might a rational person summarize that ‘the sky is falling’ approach is detrimental to the case? Take the Paris accord – the admitted effect of adhering to a massive restructuring of our economy would have a negligible effect, while India and China are allowed to continue and in some cases increase their Co2 output. We send billions to India, and there are no safeguards to ensure compliance. Sounds like a horrible deal (for us anyway), but it’s armageddon when we withdraw and say so.

      Despite all this, just to question the effects or the current thinking results in charges of rank ignorance and scorn. I am not denying anything – just questioning, which in general is a foundational principle of science. When questions of methods/efficacy of proposed ‘solutions’ and how the debate is being framed is met not with reason but attack, we all lose.

      • Jethro Marx April 5, 2018 (10:46 am)

        I’d love to hear a debate of the science and psychology involved; for voices to be taken seriously in such a debate, they’d have to be of dramatically different quality than this paper.

         Groupthink and fervent yet unfounded belief are rampant throughout society, but one may not prove or disprove an instance by employing the same.

         In short, the paper, and by extension, the deviously named group that published it, aren’t up to my standard, and I don’t think they meet yours either.

        • Dor April 5, 2018 (12:16 pm)

          JM, we can always count on you to beat a dead horse, even after it’s been gutted and filleted. 

          • Jethro Marx April 5, 2018 (2:36 pm)

            Yes, indeed: thank you for recognising my efforts! There are few things one can count on; to be numbered among them is a great honor. Such violent language does not suit those in my sphere, however: we call it rather, making a wholesome stock from the carcass.


             Only I’m dying to dig in to the chemistry of “chemtrails” but it seemed a bit far from our topic. Shall I, after all?

          • Dor April 5, 2018 (10:26 pm)

            Well there, now you turned it around, and got adorable, and won me back! 

            BUT I need to acknowledge that far too many paragraphs in linked “report” do indeed begin with the word BUT. 

      • enough April 5, 2018 (2:48 pm)

        Rusty, a few points:

        First off, nobody argues against the immutable fact that climate change is real, the question is how much greenhouse gases and mans contribution to those impact the climate as opposed to other causes.”

        Unfortunately, many people DO argue against the very concept of climate change, so right off the bat you miss an important point.  

        This paper is not presented as a scientific research paper – it deals with how the argument has been advanced, and the religious fervor-level of those advancing it.”

        Correct.  This unscientific paper is not presented as a scientific research paper.  But given that what we’re dealing with is, well, science, maybe we should stick to papers that are actually scientific research papers.  If they have issue with the science being done, they are free to develop their own theories, publish their own findings, etc.–so the question is why haven’t they?  Why aren’t they writing scientific research papers?  The answer is because the evidence is not in their favor.

        When not 1 of the computer simulations or dire predictions of global catastrophe come true, might a rational person summarize that ‘the sky is falling’ approach is detrimental to the case? “

        To be frank, I have no idea what computer simulations or dire predictions you are talking about.  Without access to your thoughts your point is simply undebatable.  But your straw man sky is falling argument is just silly–you’re essentially saying “worrying TOO much is bad.”  Then I would say well, yes, that’s the definition of ‘too’, but we should certainly worry about pollution and climate change, then you of course agree and say yes, yes, certainly, but we should take a reasonable approach.  Do you see what a silly exchange this would be?

        Take the Paris accord – the admitted effect of adhering to a massive restructuring of our economy would have a negligible effect, while India and China are allowed to continue and in some cases increase their Co2 output. We send billions to India, and there are no safeguards to ensure compliance. Sounds like a horrible deal (for us anyway), but it’s armageddon when we withdraw and say so.”

        Take a stance–do you think we should decrease pollution?  Or should we just not worry about it?  You bounce back and forth on that issue, under the shady umbrella of just wanting a discussion.  You seem to think pollution is a bad thing, in some sense, and yet your strongest reaction seems to be “Well, we don’t really know for sure if it’s that bad, or at least if it’s causing climate change, so maybe we should just take a step back…”  Take a step back and do what, exactly?  Science?  ‘Cause that’s what we’ve been doing.

        Despite all this, just to question the effects or the current thinking results in charges of rank ignorance and scorn.”

        Sure, some people might call ignoring a bunch of science ignorant.  But others love it–do you really think climate-change deniers don’t get a voice?  Cuz I’ve got news for you…

        “I am not denying anything – just questioning, which in general is a foundational principle of science.”

        No, you don’t specifically deny anything.  Others come out and make straight-forward statements and arguments, but you haven’t done that.  You just suggest maybe we should listen to the other side.  But the thing about science is the other side is omnipresent in the methodologies.  To look at decades of scientific articles–thousands of people who have dedicated their entire lives to studying these issues–and then say, well, yeah, but these other folks (who happen to have no studies of their own) might be right instead?  That’s ridiculous.

        “When questions of methods/efficacy of proposed ‘solutions’ and how the debate is being framed is met not with reason but attack, we all lose.”

        Solutions to what?  And you are somehow now a proponent of reason?  Then why on earth did you, out of countless research studies, choose instead to link to an opinion piece? 

        I’m sorry to tell you, your message, garbled though it is, comes through a bit clearer than you had hoped.  

        • Rusty April 5, 2018 (11:49 pm)

          I think that was a lot more rambling than my post, but I’ll bite. 

          If you can find people that deny that the climate changes, let me know. Perhaps they hang out with the flat-earthers? (not being snide, attempt at humor here).

          The paper, as stated, deals with the reaction to anyone who questions that ‘the science is settled’ regarding the impact we have on the climate. There have been many outlandish claims of doom (‘Inconvenient Truth’, etc.), but questioning dire future predictions is seen as heresy. That’s ‘social science’, and open to comment and observational rebuttal. 

          Climate modelling – it’s common, and they use hindcasting for determining future forecasting. Now that we have more accurate sattelite readings, hopefully going forward we’ll have a better standard instead of using mashups of weather stations, variable ocean readings, and tree rings (might have missed a method, getting late). One look is here.

          The Paris accord response – not clear on your questions. Of course pollution is bad, we all I would hope want clean air and water. We have made great strides in the last 40 years, and hopefully will continue to do so. I am not for some of the wild ideas like mandating 100% renewables in 20 years or other things that will be a) destructive to our economy, b) not easily attainable without quantum leaps in technology (if those happen, great), c) disproportionally hard on the poor, and d) not make any significant difference globally without verifiable means of limiting China and India’s pollution output.

          The point I have been trying to make is that, like all predictive science, it’s complex and filled with a lot more uncertainty than what it is portrayed as. We know that the climate changes constantly (ice age, medieval warming period, 20th century warming trend) – how much of that is because of us, and how much we can impact it are fair questions to ask. Any time someone tells you that you can’t question a hypothesis, that we need to dramatically remake our economy (even when far worse polluters don’t) without any certainty it will make a difference, then yes I am skeptical.

          Using it as an excuse to toll roads seems like an extremely dubious attempt to take more money from citizens who may be on fixed incomes or barely hanging above homlessness now.

  • 1994 April 4, 2018 (8:11 pm)

    Maybe the planners should consider an option to remove all curbside parking downtown except for delivery truck or passenger load/unload  zones curbside. That would free up more space for travel lanes.  I understand the idea in a perfect world is to reduce traffic/emissions but isn’t the idea to keep traffic moving too? 

  • Mike April 4, 2018 (9:16 pm)

    VW should open a new dealership and only sell the eGolf in West Seattle.  Just do an Online sale and pick it up.  They could do like a vending machine, make a building like the VW museum and have big elevators that bring you your car.  Can you smell the money!!!!!  I had hope for this mayor, now she looks like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a big pile of money.

  • M April 4, 2018 (9:23 pm)

    Wouldn’t we make a MUCH more significant impact on green house emissions by encouraging people to ditch meat and focus on a more plant based diet? Let’s start by eliminating burgers from our Public schools. 

    • but what about what about April 4, 2018 (10:07 pm)


      That’s just a fallacy of relative privation.

      If you want to have a separate discussion of the merits of a vegetarian diet then that’s fine, but do it elsewhere; that is not what we are doing here, and so your points about burgers are irrelevant.

    • Mike April 5, 2018 (8:12 am)

      Plants help us breathe, why do you keep killing plants!!!  Stop plant genocide, save the plants.  This is as much impact as meat causing the problem.  Shipping container ships burn bunker fuel.  A single trip across the Pacific for one ship is more of a problem than all the fossil fuel vehicles,vtrucks and busses driving in Seattle.  There’s a slow movement in the shipping industry to go to a new resource for fuel.  They plug in while in Port to limit the unrestricted emissions they put out, but that’s energy provided by our dams, which has killed off salmon, which provide food for other wildlife and also used to supply a large fishing industry.  We’re living right along one of two Superfund sites in this state, yet people are worried about car emissions?  Jesus, you can die from eating veges planted in the South Park neighborhood and along the Duwamish.  Ever wonder why we have toxic shellfish signs all around Alki and the Duwamish?  It’s not for fun.  Burgers in school isn’t the problem, people are.

  • B.W. April 4, 2018 (9:51 pm)

    Glad I left the SF Bay Area for Seattle. My money actually goes further here. But alas, based on the happenings around here, I will have to find a new city within 10 years since my salary will be just average. Silicon Valley 2.0!

  • Morgan April 4, 2018 (10:34 pm)

    Bloomberg couldn’t make congestion pricing fly in Manhattan—-shocked if this happens here. 

    Need to balance equity and environment…lots of ways to meet Paris targets that don’t make Seattle more exclusive.

  • Bradley April 5, 2018 (3:15 am)

    Another one-term Mayor with absolutely no grasp on reality.

  • Dave April 5, 2018 (5:46 am)

    We are a user fee state and prefer regressive taxes. So we as a state are FOR pushing lower income people out of cities. We also have no mechanism for capping property taxes when people retire on a low fixed income. Which in the end is a sop to the richer new arrivals. We also don’t like transit and don’t want to pay for it, which makes it less possible for low wager earners to get to work in the city even if they don’t live there. 

    Yes, we are still sipping our coffee and waiting for flying cars to whisk us to work. No major urban area anywhere in the world functions without public transit.  And congestion pricing is supposed to come after you have transit maxed out, not before. 

  • Mark Schletty April 5, 2018 (8:16 am)

    Congestion tolling is horribly unfair. First you tax the low income people to pay for the road. Then you add tolls for the use of the roads. This effectively denies low income people the use of the road they helped pay for. And this opens up the roads for the exclusive use of rich people without the congestion to inconvenience them. A very sweet deal for rich people. Why are Democrats supporting this shafting of low income people?

    • Dave April 5, 2018 (8:49 am)

      Because she is like Cantwell , a blue blood corporatist Democrat.

    • Chuck April 9, 2018 (11:07 am)

      Well said, Mark. Thank you for this!

  • Mike April 5, 2018 (8:20 am)

    We looked into the subsidy for a heat pump conversion.  $13,000 for our 1280sq/ft home.  That’s before taxes.  It was about $1500 off the retail price.  I can go another 10 years burning oil at current cost of heating oil for that.  How much more can our electric grid take on with everything converting to heat pumps and additional EV vehicles?  We’re not upgrading the old grid.

  • anon April 5, 2018 (9:28 am)

    Dave, you said it all. From what I heard this would have to go up for a public vote so i don’t think it would pass. 

  • Jort April 5, 2018 (9:52 am)

    Personal automobiles are Seattle’s single greatest contribution to carbon emissions. This is the dirty little secret that Seattle residents don’t want to accept: that they are, for the most part, personally responsible for hurting our planet because of their choice of transportation. 

    The reality is that we are not going to be able to take significant steps to curtail our carbon emissions until we take seriously our need to stop driving gas-operated cars.

    Even still, if every citizen in this city switched to an electric car, you’d face the inescapable fact that our streets have a maximum capacity of vehicles, and in many instances we have reached that maximum capacity. 

    Some day, American society will realize that we painted ourselves into a corner when we decided to design our society completely around a requirement of personal vehicle ownership. Other cities and countries have realized this already, and taken steps. Someday, Seattle will, too. A congestion tax, which literally forces people off the road, is one of those steps.

    One thing is for sure: it will never … EVER … be easy to drive in Seattle again, no matter what you do or how much money  you spend. EVER.

    • Dave April 5, 2018 (1:09 pm)

      “Forces people off the road”.   You do congestion pricing after you have transit, not before. Do that now and it’s just a regressive tax. Build the city a subway then come talk about this.  People can’t be forced off the road to…….nothing. 2 hour bus rides to work? That is also a time tax on poorer people and non-downtown residents.  

      Worse, this causes even more disdain of our political class and more mistrust. 

      I have 2 words for the mayor: Pot holes. Try building some credibility instead of going full Don Quixote out of the gate

    • Mike April 5, 2018 (9:30 pm)

      no, they are not.  not by a long shot.  You drive/bike/walk/bus by the biggest contributors to carbon emissions every day and probably never thought anything of it.

  • Seattlite April 5, 2018 (11:18 am)

    Seattle is a mean city for hard-working, middleclass people to live.  If it’s not a new toll, it’s new or increased taxes.  Whose fault is it that Seattle’s roadways were not expanded to meet population growth? When there are problems that remain unsolved over a number of years, I always look at who is at the top of the chain. Seattle has obviously been mismanaged for many, many years.

    • Jort April 5, 2018 (1:08 pm)

      Whose fault was it that streets were not expanded?

      Probably, um, geography and geometry, as those are some pretty hard limitations.

      I suppose we could just start tearing down buildings and homes in order to keep making more and more space for cars, but, um, I’m guessing you’re not going to volunteer your place. Not only that, it won’t “solve” the traffic problem, as no city has ever “solved” traffic. You can keep adding lanes and more and more freeways, and you’ll end up like Los Angeles: ugly and still full of cars.    

  • Millie April 5, 2018 (1:55 pm)

    Perhaps, City Hall has forgotten in their rush to implement new, ingenious ways to take dollars from our pockets, but, I already pay for the privilege of driving on ill-maintained, re-channeled, and no sidewalk roads through the “Move Seattle” levy, motor vehicle excise taxes, gas taxes, and the RTA.  I’m sure I’ve forgotten other tax sources dedicated to roads construction and maintenance (what a misnomer!)  

    The City needs to get better control of how they budget and monitor major construction projects!  I, personally, have had enough of partially completed and highly overbudget sites (seawall, 1st Avenue Streetcar, etc., etc.

    I wonder who is auditing the books! The City Council doesn’t appear to be on top of these issues.

  • West Seattle since 1979 April 5, 2018 (3:39 pm)

    I hope they’re planning on increasing bus service to accommodate people who are unwilling or unable to pay the tolls.  

  • TJ April 5, 2018 (4:24 pm)

    Regarding Durkans climate claims for this, the air is cleaner here, the water is cleaner here than 40 years ago. Cars are putting out far less emissions. Electric cars will in the majority at some point. Cities have no business trying to adhere to UN climate goals. The Paris Agreement is a federal issue, which we are not part of. The 3 previous mayors have travelled on our dime to international climate conferences. Stick to the issues here. And regarding congestion, there never seems to be enough money. I imagine most people have forgot about the 2015 “Move Seattle Levy”. $930 million over 9 years that ex mayor Murray said would “allow us to deal with our city’s growth”. Where is that money, and what has it done? Now its not enough? Progressives seem to love to point to Europe for a lot of things. Paris and London for congestion tolling being one. Well new flash, this isn’t Europe. We toll to pay for new roads here (hwy 99 tunnel). Nothing new being built with her plan, just redistribution of wealth. Sorry, but this won’t fly. Social engineering at its worst. Trying to force people into new public transportation. Let the merits of it play itself out

  • Rick April 5, 2018 (4:44 pm)

    Eventually you’ll be charged a “fee” just walk out your front door.

  • RayWest April 5, 2018 (6:27 pm)

    Would this toll result in fewer cars in downtown Seattle? Maybe. But it would likely result in fewer people actually going there. Less people means less money being spent at restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, etc.  Less revenue means less sales tax for the city, employees getting laid off due to declining business, and businesses shutting down. I’m certainly not going to bus downtown to go to Benaroya for a performance, then hike a number streets to catch the late-night bus back home in West Seattle during inclement weather, in the dark, avoiding dodgy-type people, while dressed in my nice evening clothes.  None of the mayor’s plan makes much sense in the long-run.

  • scubafrog April 6, 2018 (3:42 pm)

    If you’re rich enough drive, you’re rich enough to pay the toll (according to the Seattle Council).  Our Dear Lisa Herbold stood up for us yesterday, and many of you collectively spat in her face.  I’m referring to the  ‘yes-supporters’.

    So to all the yes-supporters from yesterday, you DESERVE the tolls!  :) 

    • RayWest April 6, 2018 (5:32 pm)

      Gee, I didn’t know that I was rich because I own a car.  I live modestly and, starting as of next week  living on a fixed income. It’s going to be difficult remaining in the neighborhood I was born and grew up in.  Modest income people are being squeezed out with never-ending new tolls and rising taxes. Not every person living here is a non-married Millennial making six figures, but you’d think so by the way the city plans for the future–ditch your car, hop on a bus, ride a bike. That’s not a viable option for many.

  • rob April 6, 2018 (5:32 pm)

     just a few years ago mayor murray pushed  remember the Move seattle levi for 980 million dollars. And now our new mayor is repeating almost word for word the same  thing we were told back then. Where did that billion dollars go? 

  • Gatewood guy April 7, 2018 (7:17 am)

    How much of this congestion is being caused by Uber and Lyft drivers? They are definitely having an effect.

    I’ve seen articles that these ride services are starting to negatively impact public transportation numbers too. Not sure where the location(s) were that they article references, but allowing them to operate in Seattle doesn’t make any sense if the goal is to reduce car use in total.

    • Myviews April 7, 2018 (6:52 pm)

      Uber and Lyft are not going to increase car use, but will most certainly reduce parking issues. 

      • RayWest April 8, 2018 (8:39 am)

        Gatewood Guy – Good point. Many people may instead opt for Uber or Lyft rather than using their own vehicles, but this will  not reduce the amount of carbon emissions being pumped into downtown Seattle unless  those car service vehicles are required to be electric, which is unlikely.  The number of parked cars on city streets might be decreased but that means less revenue for the city from parking meters and for private parking garages.  Of course, Lyft and Uber will be increasing their rates to cover any “congestion tolls.” 

    • Dave April 8, 2018 (9:12 pm)

      They are now responsible for 60% of all downtown traffic violations. That from SPD I think. 

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