LOCAL NEWS

Seattle council member wants to toll drivers avoiding tolls

Oct 17, 2017, 4:03 PM | Updated: 5:10 pm
tunnel, toll, bertha...
The tunnel that Bertha made under Seattle. (WSDOT)
(WSDOT)

A Seattle council member thinks he may have a solution to drivers avoiding tolls — another toll.

“To maintain the bus service, what we need to do is make sure that there aren’t more cars on our streets downtown,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien told KIRO 7.

RELATED: Washington to test pay-per-mile tax

As the council considers its next budget — expected to pass before the end of the year — O’Brien wants the city to look ahead a couple of years to when the Highway 99 tunnel opens under downtown Seattle. Drivers will have to pay a toll to bypass downtown surface streets.

Some studies suggest that drivers will likely avoid the tunnel toll and move to surrounding streets, according to KIRO 7. In which case, O’Brien wants to establish another fee to keep people from doing so.

“Folks that are on 99 that are going to try divert to get out of the tunnel, because that they don’t want to pay that toll, do we have some sort of toll that says, ‘You are going to pay a toll one way or the other’? So if you are going to use the tunnel, just use it,” O’Brien said.

London has a similar system — known as congestion pricing — to cut down on snarled traffic in its central district. Traffic volumes decreased by 10 percent, KIRO 7 reports.

O’Brien is currently pushing for $200,000 in the next budget so the city can study the potential toll before the tunnel opens in early 2019.

Bertha finished boring in April. Crews continue to work inside the tunnel, constructing machinery and two-levels to handle northbound and southbound traffic.

Local News

starbucks office...
L.B. Gilbert

Requirement for Starbucks workers returning to office is about ‘fairness’

Starbucks office employees can no longer work from home full time, says interim CEO Howard Schultz in an announcement earlier this month
11 hours ago
Cold Seattle...
Bill Kaczaraba

Frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound

It will be a frigid, but sunny start to the workweek across the Puget Sound, with highs in the 30s. Temps are even lower in the mountains.
11 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
11 hours ago
Tyre Nichols 900x506...
Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 News

Local law enforcement officials, community leaders continue to lament death of Tyre Nichols

Anger and heartbreak over the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is felt around Puget Sound this weekend.
11 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
11 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Thurston County community continues to remember victims of deadly house fire

Tumwater District Stadium was packed Sunday night as family, friends, and most of the community came out to pay tribute
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle council member wants to toll drivers avoiding tolls