TODD HERMAN

House Rep. believes WSDOT is moving ahead on more tolls

Nov 22, 2015, 7:24 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2015, 6:46 am

House Rep. Mark Hemsworth said that the WSDOT has already completed studies about putting tolls on ...

House Rep. Mark Hemsworth said that the WSDOT has already completed studies about putting tolls on I-5 and are in the midst of studies looking at tolling on I-90. (AP)

(AP)

Todd Herman has a vision about the future of Seattle that he hopes is off-base.

The KTTH host believes that WSDOT plans to institute a system where all roads have a toll. That the department wants to put a GPS device in every car and will decide how much drivers should pay on each trip based on availability of buses and trains, or if they want people traveling at that time of the day.

“I foresee them presenting this as sort of a market-based approach, which of course it’s not,” Herman said. “So that, literally, when you get in the car, your drive to the grocery store may cost a penny or it may cost a $1 given their druthers.”

Related: Lawmaker combating I-405 tolls

Well, of course this is a conspiracy theory, right?

“Unfortunately not,” says Washington House Rep. Mark Harmsworth.

Hemsworth told Herman that the WSDOT has already completed studies about putting tolls on I-5 between Tacoma to Everett, and that the department is in the midst of studies that look at tolling on I-90, from the south end to Route 167.

“The new connector that we just authorized this year will be tolled and they’re also going to ask for money to do the GPS studies,” he said. “So they’re trying to put all the pieces together very slowly, but I think, ultimately, that’s where they’re going to go. And I agree with you, I don’t believe that’s the right way to pay for our roads.”

Harmsworth, who represents the state’s 44th district, says he is also still pushing WSDOT to acknowledge that I-405 had four general purpose lanes before the agency took one away and converted into a toll lane. He said he is working on a bipartisan bill that would return the HOT lane back to general purpose

“The key is let’s get this congestion dealt with and get us moving again,” he said.

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House Rep. believes WSDOT is moving ahead on more tolls