10th & Commerce
10th and Commerce, photo by raggiesoft.
  • The time-lapse video of one of the walkways going in at Sea-Tac is pretty cool.
  • Puyallup wants BRT. I wish people pushing for a particular form of transportation – including those pushing my favorite, light rail – would not say their system reduces congestion, as Puyallup spokeswoman Glenda Carino did. With the exception of some sort of tolling, congestion pricing or otherwise, nothing really reduces congestion. This BRT will just provide a nice alternative to a lot of people. Go for it, Puyallup!
  • The National Journal has some experts discussing the merits of the VMT tax idea John mentioned last week.
  • The Transport Politic had a great piece on the VMT tax, showing that the gas tax as currently collected is broken because: 1) the tax doesn’t rise with inflation, 2) people are driving less and c) people are driving more fuel efficient cars. Highly recommended that you read the whole thing.
  • WSDOT is holding a preliminary open house about the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement Tunnel tonight.

    West Seattle
    5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009
    Madison Middle School
    3429 45th Ave. SW, Seattle
    Served by King County Metro bus routes 51, 55, 56, 57, 128

  • We’ll never know whether John McCain would make a good president or not, I bet he would have been fine overall. But from the standpoint of this blog’s topic, surely it’s better that we didn’t elect the guy who doesn’t know the difference between high speed rail and light rail.

9 Replies to “News Round-Up: VMT Tax”

  1. Yes please, anyone at the Ballard open house? Flipping through the local news lead stories KOMO and KING were on about titillating crime stories. KIRO lead with Gary Locke being tapped as Commerce Secretary (I think he’ll be a good one). Obama’s had some bad choices for nominees but to his credit he’s acknowledged the problems and not let a blind sense of loyalty cloud his judgment. Loyalty is good; blind loyalty isn’t.

    As a life long Republican I have to go on record as saying McCain would have been a bad president in today’s world. I respect the man and I thought he would have been a much better choice than George Bush in 2000 but those days and the McCain of those days are long gone.

    Variable tolling is a great idea for attempting to reduce congestion. As has been said before on this blog; our roads don’t have a capacity problem, they have a peak capacity problem. The other thing that reduces congestion is negative growth. The Puget Sound has been less effected by the economic contraction than most areas and it’s still noticeable how much less traffic there is. I’m not suggesting that ruining the local economy is a good idea but rather that growth will increase congestion. Consider this when evaluating how tax dollars are spent on roads and transit.

      1. I-90 congestion pricing is the “third rail” of Washington transportation politics. On the other hand the 167 demonstration project seems to have slipped in under the radar. For better or for worse, or maybe for indifferent the results have been largely invisible. The basic technology is the same as Wave to Go (different goal and political battle) but that seems to be an unqualified success so implementation shouldn’t be an issue.

  2. Oops, I see the post was about an open house in West Seattle. According to KIRO there was also a Ballard open house. Apparently this was also happening because the one person they covered was talking about how Ballard residents were concerned about Mercer access.

    They (KIRO) also touched on Bellevue presenting their preferred alternative to ST today but they didn’t say anymore about it than what’s up on the city website from 2/18.

  3. Paul,

    Thanks for that link! I saw something on that recently as well and could potentially go as far as Kanaskat. Personally I think that would be great idea.

  4. I like those articles regarding VMT tax. I’m one of those Obama supporters that think it was a wrong move to reject the VMT tax idea. I don’t think it’s 100% great, but I’m willing to give the idea a chance, since as you mentioned, people are driving less and using fuel efficient cars. I for one have been commuting rather than driving because of money issues, so I haven’t been contributing to gas taxes for a while now.

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