Dori: Highway 99 and Sound Transit tunnels digging up trouble
Once again, we have Seattle taking another big step toward tolling every street in downtown Seattle. I’ve told you for years that this has been the goal. I said nearly two decades ago that this was an 18-year timeline, and it has pretty well stuck to that timeline. A few months ago, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien said, snidely, that when the Highway 99 tunnel is built, some drivers will take other routes downtown to avoid it, so we’ve got to toll every street downtown.
This is a classic example of a politician who couldn’t possibly be more out of touch with the rest of us. Mike O’Brien, who grew up in Clyde Hill, went to Lakeside, and went to Duke after that, says, “If you can’t afford the Highway 99 tunnel, we’ll find another way to get your money.”
Jenny Durkan is taking more steps toward tolling all of downtown Seattle. They haven’t said exactly what the tolling boundaries would be, but they say once the Highway 99 tunnel is built, they do not want people to escape the toll.
We’re talking about $500 or $1,000 a year that a lot of middle-class, working families cannot afford. Just the fact that out-of-touch, lifetime silver spoon politicians like Mike O’Brien think that’s the role of government — to squeeze every penny he can out of you — makes me sick. What a detestable attitude.
And then you have Sound Transit, which just announced that it’s going forward with light rail tunnels to Ballard and West Seattle. There’s only one problem — the Ballard tunnel looks to be $300 million over budget before they’ve even moved one shovel-full of dirt.
This is an organization that is billions over budget. As I’ve told you, it is the most wasteful organization in the history of the United States of America. Sound Transit is costing every family in this region well over $100,000 over a 30-year period.
It is a criminally corrupt agency, and they’re already $300 million over budget to Ballard before they’ve laid one inch of track.