may upend Clibborn by offering her own 520-specific tolling plan that would divvy up the roads and transit priorities more appropriately there.
Yes, 90/10 is inappropriate, a road toll should go 100% to roads.
The split should go to transit to help pay for frequent, rapid, transit over the bridges because that is a more cost effective and environmentally responsible way to move people.
Without more robust transit the tolls create Lexus lanes and people with needs are excluded form the job market on the other side of the bridges.
We're trying to raise money, price congestion, and build a transportation system that moves people around the region and we need more transit to do that.
There's already a lot of buses over 520, it'd be hard to add capacity in a lot of those places (esp. Montlake).
How are you going to spend more than a small percentage of the tolling money on "transit?" The money is going toward replacing the bridge - aside from putting in HOV lanes on the new bridge, what other "transit" items would they spend the money on? We're talking about funding a replacement structure - all of the tolling money needs to go toward that end, which should naturally limit the percentage that goes toward transit.
I agree with #1. 100% Go get your own money weasels.
@2 - You're missing the point. This is not about environmentally-responsible social engineering through transit expansion, this is about replacing a dangerously unsafe structure. I know we're all looking for ways to expand and improve transit options in the region, but the most important use for the toll money is to replace the damn bridge - that means building a new one that won't crumble and kill people when the next earthquake inevitably hits.
One more time: this isn't about getting people out of cars, it's about replacing a dangerously unsafe structure.
Do we divert a percentage of bus fares to pay for road maintenance?
One more time: this isn't about getting people out of cars,
To the transit dorks, it's always about getting people out of their cars, and only about getting people out of their cars.
Josh, if you really, really want to kill the tolling idea for 520, this is exactly the way to do it. Tolls are supposed to pay for the 520 replacement. I have no problem with using part of the toll money for transit... if it's built into the replacement bridge. Two HOV / transit lanes down the center, with dedicated ramps, like I-90? We can do that. But the farther the money moves away from the bridge itself, the greater the public outcry and the chances of the toll idea being shitcanned.
Greg is right, even if most people don't want to admit it.
Tolls should only go to pay the cost of what they are physically attached to. A toll on a bridge should only pay for that bridge.
Dividing toll money among projects essentially puts it into the general fund. The money can be earmarked for certain projects, but once it's in the general fund, there's no guarantee it's going down that way, and will most certainly be dipped into during the next budget shortfall.
San Francisco has got itself into a big fucking pickle doing this. (San Francisco has the unique distinction of owning the Golden Gate bridge - rare for a city to own a bridge on an interstate highway), GG bridge tolls have been at $5 for the last few years, and will probably climb soon - and yet, the bridge can't even cover it's maintenance budget.
We have a 30 year backlog on maintenance and repairs for existing bridges and roads, Dougsf, and that accounts for 75 percent of them.
I think it's time we stopped giving the commercial trucks and 18-wheelers a free ride, since they do 90 percent of the actual damage to roads and bridges ...
road tolling goes to roads. that's the point.
let's not obfuscate things. it frees up bridge money from the transportation budget so we can focus that on better ways to move people and goods.
On the first day that tolls are imposed, hundreds, if not thousands of commuters are going to look for a seat on a bus across the lake, because they will refuse to pay the $4 - $7 daily charge to cross in their car.
And on that first day, those seats had better be there, one way or another. On KUOW this morning, Ron Sims acknowledged as much.
Taking some percentage of toll revenues to pay for these additional buses and drivers seems eminently reasonable. To those who say no, all the tolls have to go to concrete, then I ask, where does the money come from to buy and operate all the new buses that MUST be in place to handle people displaced by tolls?
Umm.. The money comes from the people riding the bus. When you get on the bus, there is a little slot that you can put dollars in and a hole on top for coins.
If more people ride the bus, there is more money going in. If the folks who run the busses anticipate more of a demand for busses, then they should be ready with increased capacity.
I think that anybody who crosses the bridge should pay a toll though. It doesn't matter how you do it, bus, bike or walking.
If you're going to go to the trouble of re-building a bridge, you should build it in a way that it will be useful for a century to come. That means maximizing the corridor's efficiency in a way that also addresses the critical environmental issue of the next 100 years - global warming.
Efficiency means maximizing throughput - of people and goods, not cars. Given that this corridor is incredibly tightly constrained (just ask UW, the Arboretum and the neighborhoods on either side of the bridge), that means using a combination of car, transit and bike capacity. If you maximize the transit opportunities, you can carry more people in one HOV lane than you would in, even, three more car lanes.
The need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next 40 years- something the Governor and Legislature has already agreed to- adds more weight to the need to favor transit as much as possible for maximizing capacity.
Most importantly, these tolling bills are not just about 520, they establish the policies for tolling anywhere in the state. When you look at variable tolling as a way to better manage the existing freeway system and create a non-tax based pool of revenue to meet future transportation needs, it would be insane to limit tolling revenues to a 90/10 asphalt/transit ratio.
HOV lanes don't really do anything about carbon emissions. Theoretically, they could move 3x as many people through, but in reality they sit there doing nothing while folks are jammed into the other lanes idling.
And reducing carbon emissions over the next 40 years? This is easy because we have already passed peak oil and are going to be lucky to have any left on this planet in 15 years.
Manufacturers are already working to mass produce hydrogen powered cars that have ZERO carbon emissions. As soon as more people realize that cars can be powered by water, the faster this whole global warming thing gets solved.
Thats how you solve the problem, not by building HOV lanes. People aren't giving up their cars. It'll never happen.
I do agree with you though.. 90/10 is insane. 100/0 all the way.
Also, let's be honest. Carpool cheaters (with their turn signals on to show that they're maybe, someday, going to merge back with the traffic they're passing on the right) outnumber actual carpoolers on 520 westbound.
@14 & @9 have it down.
Yes, toll revenues should be spent in the corridor in which they were collected, but we have to have alternatives to single-passenger vehicles in place the day the tolls are charged.
Hernandez, Clint, JMR: you may hate transit, but without tolling, that bridge will never be replaced, and you won't get toll revenues to replace it unless we provide alternatives along that corridor at the same time.
Or the people riding with the crash dummies in the passenger seat - at least until they start the infrared testing.
BTW I LOVE Perfect Voter's "displaced by tolls" line. It's funding a replacement bridge, people. This isn't Katrina.
Ah....Clint @15, yes, buses do collect fares, but unfortunately even a full bus doesn't pay the full cost of its purchase and operation. Yes, (right-wingers can shudder) buses are subsidized, for a host of reasons that are OT at the moment.
So my assertion stands -- somewhere, some how, KCMetro and/or Sound Transit will need to have many additional buses out there, on 520 (and I-90 if it's tolled also), beginning on Day One of tolling.
And if some people (Tiresome Tim...?) don't want to use toll revenues to pay for additional buses needed (over and above farebox revenues) then someone suggest an alternative funding source.
Manufacturers are already working to mass produce hydrogen powered cars that have ZERO carbon emissions.
The hydrogen does not fall out of people's asses, you have to cook it up - some ways of doing that produce emissions in their own right.
But yes, people really fretting over global warming should be working on reducing car emissions instead of having hallucinations about people abandoning their cars for transit.
If the toll causes droves and droves of people to take a bus, then the toll is priced too high.
"The hydrogen does not fall out of people's asses, you have to cook it up - some ways of doing that produce emissions in their own right."
You're right.. It doesn't fall out of people's asses. It occurs when you applly an electric charge to water. Basically, you need a 6th grader who knows what to do with a battery and some wire.
Obviously the technology needs a few revisions to be perfected, but it certainly isn't going to get done by building more HOV lanes.
Perfect Voter, please don't make this a left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative or Tim Eyman issue.
I am as liberal as they come, 100% behind mass transit and could care less about Tim Eyman. I am just sick and tired of the way that we consensus build projects to death in this city.
I was all about making concessions, cooperating and funding/building roads at the same time as fixing our road infrastructure and was shocked to see the selfish pro-transit people shit all over it because it was too "pro-road, pro-pollution", pro-blah blah blah.
If the transit people want to build a train, go for it. Put together a good plan, get it on the ballot and I'll vote for it like I always do. If that happens in February of 2008, like some of the anti-prop 1 folks claimed, great! If it doesn't happen til 2010, I can't say I feel too sorry for the people who shit all over a good compromise.
My thing is that I just don't want to hold up progress on fixing the bridge while we wait for the sierra club to pull their heads out of their asses or get input from people who are never going to pay that toll or even go to the east side.
whoops. I meant build trains at the same time as roads.
Clint, don't read too much into my posts. My grand, global transit ideas can be found elsewhere.
On this string, I'm dealing only with the narrow issue of how to accommodate travelers on 520 (and I-90 if it's included too) when tolling begins. Variable tolls are being discussed, and they are designed to shift vehicles out of the peak hours so that congestion is reduced and vehicle thru-put per lane can actually be increased. Some of those travelers will elect to drive during non-peak hours when the toll is lower, some will carpool so the toll can be shared, and some will shift to transit. Let's make sure that transit capacity is made available for those who need in, when toll day comes.
I totally understand where you are coming from, but I think that the routes that need subsidizing are the ones that go clear into the middle of nowhere and have super low ridership, not the routes that are completely packed all day going in and out of some of the region's biggest employers.
I have heard that Microsoft is already experiementing with their own bus service (with wi-fi and all kinds of stuff) as a perk to their employees. So it appears as though those companies don't mind picking up some of the slack.
I'm all for subsidizing those routes to bumfuck, because even if you live in the sticks, you should be able to get around if you are too broke for a car, or have had some driver's license issue. But, I just don't see how a bus crammed full of paying riders isn't going to pay for itself pretty easily.
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