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Jenny Durkan congestion pricing plan, head tax
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KIRO Radio hosts react to congestion pricing in Seattle

Part of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s plan to reduce traffic and greenhouse gases is to implement congestion pricing by 2021.

RELATED: Mayor wants congestion pricing by end of first term

The city will study congestion pricing in downtown neighborhoods. Results could come as early as later this year.

Here’s how the hosts of KIRO Radio reacted to the news:

John Curley

You’re gonna be shocked, but I am all for congestion pricing. I think it is a smart way to go.

If something is free, people use it more. If you add a cost to it they are less likely to use it. Same thing with roads. They are not necessarily free. We all pay the price and the last people in cause the most amount of problems.

Congestion pricing works in other cities. Let’s do it here. Let’s just make sure when you do tax the people to ride the roads, you take that money and use it on effective things. Pour it back into infrastructure that has to do with transportation. Don’t divert it to some sort of boondoggle plan.

Good for you, Mayor Durkan.

Tom Tangney

They want fewer single-occupancy vehicles. That’s what they’re saying.

Congestion happens because we have so many single-occupancy vehicles. We have done a good job of reducing single-occupancy vehicles considering we’ve had tens of thousands move to this city each year.

But it’s going to be such a culture change. It’s going to be really hard for people to accept this.

Dori Monson

Dori has alleged for years that transportation officials across Washington want to toll every road. He argues that officials want to set tolls differently depending on the road and the time of day to control drivers.

Today has been the ultimate vindication of what I have been telling you for years.

They now are moving forward with the plan to toll all of Seattle. Every inch of Seattle. They say they want to start with the downtown core. But this is the plan … if you drive into the city, forget about parking, just to drive into the city, it will cost you somewhere between $15-20. That’s the number that’s being talked about. Every single time.

What does this do to the carpenters, the plumbers who have to drive their vehicles around the city? What about the low-income cleaning people, who clean offices and homes? They’re independent contractors. They don’t have the option of mass transit. What about the person who drives in from the suburb and can’t take a maze of rail and buses and streetcars and whatever other nonsense they try to shove down our throats? Because they have to get to a family event, a basketball practice for their kid, or get their kids to music lessons. What about those people? Screw them. The city wants money.

Ron Upshaw

My intuition is that Seattle will find a way to make this not work. The biggest difference between this proposal and the other cities that officials cite is that Seattle does not have a functioning subway system. New York and London both have subway systems. That’s a game changer. Seattle does not have other options.

Don O’Neill

You want to clean up the environment (with congestion pricing), but you can’t even clean up under the Ballard Bridge. You can’t clean up the tents. You can’t clean up the derelict RVs. You can’t clean up the heroin in the streets. You can’t offer people real beds, and real solutions for people to find real help. That to me is what is happening in the environment of Seattle and the Northwest.

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