How London keeps traffic moving on a daily basis and preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
According to WSDOT, tolling on SR520 will begin in December. Merry Christmas Everyone!
Anyone want to guess when the gaming of the system will start, such as dirty licence plates, tailgates left down, or who knows what creative fare evasion tactics will be deployed.
I wonder what the economics of tolling will work out to be. All that cash heading to Texas each day from tolls, will surely be returned to our state in bucketfuls, not a trickle down effect from corporate America.
I love the sound of cash registers in the morning. Cha-Ching.
Might they not have charged something reasonable, like $1 and diverted less traffic to I-90, Bothell Way and or south, but still raised the same amount of money? They cleared enough land on the east side for about 50 booths/lanes with exact change (bring back the $1 coin). I guess we’ll know more about the should-a-beens by the end of January.
Tollbooths are so 20th century!
Where’s Norman to call for raising the toll high enough to pay for the project, and for making it higher during periods of less use?
Tollbooths may be 20th century, but for tourists and occasional users is $5+ a reasonable fee? Wouldn’t throwing a $1 coin in a basket be more cost efficient than mailing out thousands of letters (if the USPS still exists when tolling starts)and hoping for a return. The big reduction in the fee for a high-use user seems to encourage single occupant use of the bridge rather than using public transit. Charging daily users more per trip could encourage use of PT.
It looks like my back of the envelope math says WSDOT will only recover about 25 cents on the dollar of tolls collected over the life of the 30-40 yr bonds, netting about a Bil. towards the 2.2B shortfall in funding.
(115,000 daily vehicles x 365 days/yr or about 40 mil crossings/yr x $3.00 per vehicle average yields between $3.6 – $4.8 Bil over the period)Toll rates are varied from $1.60 to $5.00 in the peak, with trucks paying $12. $3 seemed a reasonable guess.
So, 2.6 to 3.8 Bil goes to administration of the system, by others, in TX?
How many buses would that buy?
Wouldn’t throwing a $1 coin in a basket be more cost efficient than mailing out thousands of letters
WSDOT looked at a low toll rate for the Viaduct (SR99 Cost Tolling Summary). It was projected to only raise $100 million vs the $400 million with variable tolls similar to SR-520 rates.
Users will be charged more for by-mail billing than for transponder billing.
I’m sure the toll company is getting a sizable cut of the tolls, but since when is this new? All throughout history, a significant portion of the toll goes to pay for collecting the toll, whether from back-office billing or from paying full time employees to man tollbooths.
It looks like my back of the envelope math says WSDOT will only recover about 25 cents on the dollar of tolls collected over the life of the 30-40 yr bonds,
Assuming the collection costs are the same for SR99 as 520 the State should recover 63% of the toll to be put toward retiring debt (see pg 22 of the document I referenced above). Obviously the higher the toll the greater the recovery percentage which when combined with traffic management begs for high tolls during peak use and low/no tolls when traffic is free flowing.
An interesting exercise is to use a standard online mortgage calculator and crank in the toll recover cost as “tax” (37%/12). Over a 35 year period (assumed 5% interest on the bonds) we’ll pay $448 in interest to repay $400 million in borrowing. That’s not so bad. What’s ugly is we’ll have paid $420 million dollars in collection fees.
Uh, Brent. The 520 bridge is being paid for entirely with gas tax and tolls. You have a problem with that?
And, Brent, what do you think the tolls should be on buses crossing the 520 bridge?
And, Brent, how much should Metro and ST pay in gas tax on the diesel they burn, which do use streets and highways funded by gas tax?
So, Brent, how much will the passengers on the buses crossing the 520 bridge be contributing to the construction cost of that bridge?
Why shouldn’t KC Metro / ST bill WSDOT for all the extra capacity their buses add to the new bridge?
LackThereof: How are those buses going to get across the lake without the bridge?
That’s very though provoking. WSF has a made in Washington clause in all the contracts for new boats. What if KC Metro did the same and purchased amphibious buses? Anyone that wants to commute in their SOV (Single Occupancy Vessel) can foot their own bill. No doubt Duck would be even more expensive than Dart but we save the tax payers of Washington $4 billion dollars and create jobs right here at home!
“Bring back the $1 coin.”
It never went away. In fact, they’re about halfway through a comprehensive dead presidents series issue of them.
Next time you’re in Boston or New York and need to buy an MBTA week pass or an MTA day pass, pay with a $20 bill. You’ll be rolling in the Martin Van Burens and James K. Polks.
And b/c some in Congress didn’t want to stop making the Sacajaweas they are also being produced. But there isn’t the demand for all the $1. I don’t know if they are still doing it but a few months ago they were running a special where if you ordered a minimum of $400 worth you got free shipping in an effort to get them out into distribution. Some less scrupulous people were buying the coins on credit and then taking them to the bank to deposit and just pocketing the airline miles/cash back/etc.
The tolls should have a positive effect on improving congestion on the 520 corridor, especially during the peak travel times. And, contrary to what some people think, not every driver that stops using 520 will divert to I-90. Some will carpool or ride the bus that otherwise wouldn’t have. A few others will adjust their work schedules to move their commutes outside the peak travel period. Some might even decide to move to the same side of the bridge they work on. And it only takes a behavior change from a small percentage of the drivers to produce a dramatic improvement in traffic flow.
For myself, I actually consider the tolls a net positive, even ignoring where the money is going because I will experience lighter traffic getting to work and back and, because I ride the bus, I will almost never be paying the toll anyway. If I spend $10 a year in bridge tolls driving across on weekends, it’s well worth it.
Some will decide to telecommute, which is the best option of all.
I believe people riding across 520 on public transit shouldn’t escape having to pay tolls. The state should figure out a way to make these commuters pay a toll on top of the bus fare they already paid, because it’s their unsustainable commuting lifestyle that causes to have to build these bridges for them in the first place.
Norman: Telecommuting is dead in modern business, because of the extreme value most management places on face to face contact. Employees who jumped in to the telecommuting craze of the early 90’s quickly found it was a career death-sentence, as their absence from the social circle at the work site ended any opportunities for advancement.
I don’t think it SHOULD be this way, the modern business management structure is highly dysfunctional. There is too much emphasis on social skills, not enough on job skills. In a perfect world, doing an excellent job would be enough to get you by – that is not the case currently. But as soon as the corporate culture is fixed, telecommuting will be a viable option again, and we can rejoice!
Sam: They do pay extra for the long, unsustainable commute, in the form of a 2-zone fare. In my opinion the price jump from a one zone to two zone fare is not calibrated properly (one zone is too expensive already, and the two zone surcharge is really a trival amount), but the mechanism is there.
Our company allows telecommuting one day a week. For people that take advantage of that it’s a 20% savings in commute cost and if wide spread would make a huge dent in our peak transportation demand. The other thing they do is allow flexible hours as long as you overlap a 4 hour “core hours” period. Other companies like Boeing stagger shifts which has a similar effect. There are lots of essentially free (or better than free) solutions to reducing peak demand. Building structured parking and spending billions on fix guideway systems isn’t one of them.
If you’re a zero-infrastructure guy then your position is coherent. But if we’re going to have a lot of trips across the lake, which I think is good for both sides, then I’d like as many as possible to be on transit.
All the trip reduction stuff is great but it doesn’t substitute for being able to get between the two sides.
Telecommuting is not dead — it is just getting started. As more and better internet devices keep getting invented — like smart phones — telecommuting gets more and more practical.
I know two people in their 50’s who just started telecommuting this year. One works at Boeing and telecommutes one day per week, which is all that is allowed. And the other works for a big company in downtown Seattle and telecommutes 4 days per week. The second person said all he was doing from his office in downtown Seattle was communicating with people outside of Seattle by computer or phone, anyway, so why not do that from his own home, instead of commuting 20 miles to and from downtown Seattle every day? He used to take Sounder 5 days per week. Now he works from home 4 days per week.
For once, I will agree with Norman here, in that telecommuting is a wonderful option that some people will use to avoid the tolls, which I forgot to mention.
I like flexible working hours, but I generally don’t like staggered shifts. For one thing, it’s a huge drain on the employee’s family life (the parent has no time with his kids during the week because the period in which he’s free, they’re in school). It also makes it very difficult for anyone not working the standard-hour shift to take the bus to work because the level of bus service in suburbia where Boeing’s factories are located, drops precipitously outside the peak.
Not following the slam on staggered shifts. School is a small portion of the work day. I’m guessing you haven’t raise a kid in a two parent working family? If you stagger shifts one parent can provide care before school and the other after school. If both parents work regular hours then you have the expense and lack of parent contact hours imposed by daycare. Of course flexible hours for one parent (or luck) are required to make this work.
a lot of trips across the lake, which I think is good for both sides
Yes, good from an economic development point of view. But there’s a disconnect wanting to maximize the number of trips on transit. If you are promoting economic development then you want people to buy cars and otherwise engage in conspicuous consumption like sky boxes at Seahawks games and shopping at Westlake and Bellevue Square. If you want efficient transit and environmentally friendly land use then you force the issue by making these trips across the lake economically painful.
If Bellevue and Redmond were still sleepy villages, then sure, make the trip painful and they’ll stay that way. But they’re major job centers and if we don’t build decent transit infrastructure we’re perpetuating a car-based model of growth.
I agree that consumption leads to economic growth, but I’m not sure why cars should be welcomed as part of that equation, given massive externalities and that both the cars and the fuel aren’t made locally.
The way to reconcile sustainability with economic growth is to run a service-based economy with priced externalities that remove incentives to haul physical goods a long way.
I have a co-worker who already switched to transit – back in the spring – because of the tolls. So anecdotally, yes, tolls have impacts.
If Bellevue and Redmond were still sleepy villages, then sure, make the trip painful and they’ll stay that way. But they’re major job centers and if we don’t build decent transit infrastructure we’re perpetuating a car-based model of growth.
How is East Link with it’s “signature station” a parking coliseum in South Bellevue not enabling a car-based model of growth? In fact out of eight stations five are P&R lots; one in the middle of the Muffler District. These aren’t sleepy villages anymore because we already have the infrastructure and are building more. With 3+ HOV being added to the 520 bridge and the capacity of configuring 4 HOV/Transit lanes on 90 buses can do the job. And the money saved can be used to address the eastside corridor that needs the most help, I-405.
Author Todd Litman has recently released a comprehensive look at ways to evaluate cars, trains, and buses without some of the hype. (Nov 2011)
Evaluating Public Transportation Benefits and Costs
I’ve just skimmed it so far, but his inset “Want to be a Millionaire?” is priceless. Take transit, ditch the car, and invest the difference.
The references alone are worth the download.
Norman should read this…
Right. When you let taxpayers pay for your transportation, instead of paying for your own transportation, it saves you a lot of money.
Costs taxpayers a ton of money.
But saves the freeloaders using transit a lot of money.
The alternative to transit is expanding the road system to accommodate all the extra transit riders in SOVs. Which is far more expensive than transit.
Maybe read the section entitled “Common Errors Made When Comparing Transit and Automobile Transport”.
It’s easy to spin arguments any way you want, isn’t it, Norman?
How about I argue that it’s great for government to encourage families to save $5,000-$10,000 a year by ditching one car in favor of transit and then spending that money on a better home or supporting American business by consuming more goods or planning for the future by investing that money and helping to grow our economy?
If transit reduces the number of lanes needed by reducing the number of cars, then it also reduces the revenue available to build roads, by eliminating the revenue that those cars would have generated in gas tax; MVET; license fees; sales tax on used and new cars (about 20% of all sales tax revenue); sales tax on auto parts; sales tax on auto repair; sales tax on auto maintenance; etc.
In the case of a bridge that is paid for entirely by tolls, if transit eliminated an entire lane’s worth of cars, then it also eliminates an entire lane’s worth of revenue from the cars that would have paid the tolls. But, by eliminating all those cars, it also eliminates all the various taxes and fees which those cars would have generated, like gas tax, license fee, etc. etc.
Transit in our area is vastly more expensive to operate than cars. The average sedan in the U.S. costs about 16 cents per passenger mile to operate. Transit in our area costs about 80 cents per passenger mile just to operate. If you got rid of all the cars, how would you pay for all those extremely expensive transit trips? How high would the sales tax for ST and Metro have to be to provide all the trips that are now taken in cars? And factor in the fact that if you eliminate all cars, there would no longer be any MVET or license fees for ST and Metro.
But, even without cars, we would still need roads for buses, ambulances, fire trucks, semis, delivery vans, mail trucks, etc. And there would be no taxes and fees from cars to pay for those roads. So, how would the roads be paid for without cars?
And the capital costs of Link light rail are far higher than widening a freeway. And Link carries just a fraction of what a freeway lane carries. So, building light rail is far, far more expensive than widening freeways, and again, Link operating cost is about 5 times higher than operating costs for the average seday, per passenger mile. So Link is vastly more expensive than highways, both to build and to operate.
“If you got rid of all the cars, how would you pay for all those extremely expensive transit trips? How high would the sales tax for ST and Metro have to be to provide all the trips that are now taken in cars?”
Even you should understand that the more people use transit the less it is subsidized.
And BTW, cars don’t generate additional sales tax revenue for the government. If people didn’t have to spend their money on cars, they would spend it on something else. What’s the difference between spending $1000 on a new flatscreen and $1000 on car repairs?
“But, even without cars, we would still need roads for buses, ambulances, fire trucks, semis, delivery vans, mail trucks, etc. And there would be no taxes and fees from cars to pay for those roads.”
The gas tax that they pay should cover the cost, right? You claim over and over again that the trips you make in your car are completely paid for by the taxes that you pay, so shouldn’t the taxes that commercial vehicles pay cover the cost of their trips? Or are you saying that some vehicle trips are subsidized?
“And factor in the fact that if you eliminate all cars, there would no longer be any MVET or license fees for ST and Metro.”
If cars were eliminated, the lost MVET revenue would be made up for by increased fare revenue in about 2 weeks.
And since 1999 Metro is no longer funded by MVET, so it’s kind of a moot point.
Thanks, it’s an interesting read:
a 1% increase in fare prices will reduce ridership by 0.32%, all else being equal.
“all else being equal” is a big caveat but assuming it’s generally true it suggest that to maximize revenue fares can increase between 100-125%. That would put fare recovery at almost exactly the 68.3% of the WSF. It also lends credence to WSF claims that raising fares would actually reduce revenue. Although I maintain WSF could boost revenue (and provide better service) with a variable price structure as proposed for SR520 and 99 tolling. What if the last ferry, now typically empty were free?
What if the last ferry, now typically empty, were eliminated?
Is it really empty or are there like ten people on it? If WSF eliminated the last run, those people would be stuck on the wrong side of the Sound until morning. Or they’d have to take an earlier boat, which could eliminate their ability to do whatever their trip was for (or stay an extra night, or drive 50 extra miles to use the Narrows bridge). In busy periods, the second-last boat may have left full with them sitting on the dock.
The real solution to the ferry problem is to use less gas-guzzling boats, which with current technology means passenger-only ferries. That would require an improvement in walkability and transit in the west sound so that people wouldn’t have to drive over there or take their cars on the ferry. But, sadly, that is unlikely to happen.
Eliminate the last boat. How stupidly wasteful to operate ferries with nobody, or almost nobody on them. Just a stupid waste of money. A stupid waste of fuel.
If the few people who want to take that ferry are willing to pay the full cost of operating it, fine. If not, screw them. They can change their plans to fit the new ferry schedule.
It is interesting that the new tolls will be similar to the price of a gallon of gas depending on time of day, of course. The cash toll in the mid 60s, when the current bridge was new, was 35 cents. Also similar to the price of a gallon of gas back then. Though, commuters could buy a booklet of tickets that worked out to 20 cents a trip. The cash toll was paid, or commuter ticket booklets were purchased, at the toll booth, from a human.
It actually does kind of make sense for the amount of the toll to have to do with the price of gas – the greater the price of gas, the more expensive it is to divert to I-90, hence the greater the toll you can charge without motivating too many people to divert.
During the peak period, diverting to I-90 to avoid the $3.50 toll will mean driving an extra 10 miles each way in what will likely be stop and go traffic. At 20 mpg and a gas price of $4 per gallon, this means that $2 of the $3.50 saved from the toll will get eaten up just on gas! The additional wear and tear on the car is probably worth at least $1.50, which means unless 405, I-90, and I-5 through downtown are all flowing smoothly, diverting to I-90 to avoid the toll will add some 20-30 minutes to the commute, without saving any money. And even if traffic were flowing smoothly, or you had a Prius, say, reducing the cost of gas to $1, you’re still adding 15-20 minutes to your commute time to save only a dollar or two. This is a very inefficient way to spend time to save money – leaving the car at home and taking the bus to work is probably considerably more effective in terms of minutes spent per dollar saved, especially if you can get an employer-provided bus pass and work somewhere with good bus access.
Because of reasons like this, I believe the fears of diversion to I-90 are overblown. Yes, people coming from downtown Bellevue that would otherwise be indifferent between 520 and I-90 will now have a reason to choose I-90, but most people driving between Redmond and north Seattle will probably just grumble and pay the toll. Especially if they get an uncongested trip down 520 as the value for their toll.
I don’t think you can count on motorists being rational thinkers. I believe the perception of paying a toll versus a “free” trip will encourage diversions.
I also don’t think the diversion will be coming from drivers in Redmond or Kirkland going to the U District or North Seattle, I think it will come from people in Bellevue where accessing 520 might be a little more convenient, but not enough to pay a toll.
I doubt that there will be a heckuva lot of diversion. Particularly since you do not have to hand money to a human being or a toll booth. Drive across and worry about the consequences later. Sort of like Visa/Mastercard credit cards. LOL
If people choose to behave as if spending $3.50 on tolls is somehow costing more than spending $3.50 on gas, they are welcome to do so. I’ll just look smugly at them when the ramp from 520-405 is all backed up and I’m sailing through because of all the people that diverted to avoid the toll. Probably the same people that drive 10 miles each way to a Wal-Mart to save a couple dollars on a box of cereal.
Making transit riders pay the toll would not make sense. Divide the toll that a vehicle the size of a 40-60 foot bus would pay among each of the 20-50 passengers on the bus and you’re talking about about 25 per person. Administratively, an additional surcharge to the fare for going the 520 bridge would just make the fare system more complicated, and for such a small sum of money, it just isn’t worth it. Plus, an important purpose of the toll is to reduce congestion. And the bigger the price incentive to ride the bus during the peak traffic period, the more you reduce congestion.
And you also have to think about all the money that transit is saving the taxpayers by allowing us to get away with only a 6-lane bridge, rather than an 8 or 10-lane bridge, which we would suddenly need if everyone riding the bus were switched to a separate car. Today, during the peak, the combined frequency of every bus going across 520 is about 2 minutes and most of those buses are pretty full both directions. Move everybody on the bus into separate cars and you’re talking an extra 20 cars per minute, or one additional car every three seconds – about the number of cars it would take to fill up an additional lane. And even with that additional lane, you would still have massive backups at the entrance ramps, unless you added more ramps, and a 5th GP lane to reduce the traffic volumes in each lane so the merging doesn’t stall traffic. By the time you’re done, you’ve spent massive amounts more than the current 520 project is costing, besides having completely wrecked the Medina and Montlake neighborhoods.
Today, during the peak, the combined frequency of every bus going across 520 is about 2 minutes and most of those buses are pretty full both directions. Move everybody on the bus into separate cars and you’re talking an extra 20 cars per minute, or one additional car every three seconds – about the number of cars it would take to fill up an additional lane.
You’re assertion that today’s limited bus service is the equivalent of 2-4 lane freeway lanes begs the question; why are we using the center roadway on I-90 for East Link? Your numbers for 20 cars per minute filling a lane are low. 2000 cars per hour is a round number approximation of what a free flowing lane can carry or 33 cars per minute (140′ following distance or 7 car lengths). Multiple by 1.2 people per car for peak commute and a GP lane can move 2,400/people per hour. Make it HOV 3+ and you’re over 6,000/people per hour per lane. Combine HOV 3+ with decent transit and, well… sort of blows light rail right out of the “water” for both performance and cost effectiveness. And while East Link is dependent on building über expensive parking garages (which increase congestion at existing choke points requiring building, wait for it… more lanes for cars) HOV/Transit usage is easily maximized by tolling the GP lanes.
Hi, I am worried about the noise from the trains running in the tunnels in the mo flame and other neighborhoods. I saw earlier on this site that ST was dealing with noise complaints from the tunnel excavation supply train. If thats loud enough to be heard through the ground how can the trains be quieter??? And not keep the neighborhood up all day?
You realize they have to use a huge machine to dig the tunnel? Take a look at the photos. Much bigger than a train. Anyway, talk to someone in Beacon Hill.
The supply trains run on temporary, crooked, beat-up, jointed track that’s not isolated from the tunnel walls. The light rail trains run on continuously welded track that’s aligned to very tight tolerances and affixed to a concrete roadbed with elastic fasteners.
You’re not actually hearing the supply trains themselves, just the vibrations that get transmitted through the ground from the trains running over rough track that sits directly on the tunnel liner. The track system that will be installed for the light rail won’t transmit vibrations through the tunnel walls and into the ground the way the supply train track does.
Is it really possible to hear the TBMs underground on the hill ? That’s awesome, if so.
For those who scoff at the need for Ben’s plans for a subway, do please read this series from the LA Times:
Will they all move to Seattle? No. But if only 1/4 did in the past 5 years, that’s 250,000. And it isn’t only the cost of housing they flee, but also the cost of getting between that housing and their jobs.
Best argument yet for congestion preservation and sky high real estate prices. Oh, and lots of ads on KTLA that point out it rains all the time up here. Long live Emmett Watson!!! :=
Best argument yet for a strong urban growth boundary and infill housing. “You can live here, but you can NOT add to sprawl with a new house in the exurbs.”
Best argument yet for pulling the plug on Sounder and WSF subsidies that make it economically advantageous to live on the fringe.
What is an urban growth boundary? Whatever it is it’s been completely ineffective in concentrating growth. We have transit spending ruled by Seattle but dependent on appointing people like the mayor of Summner to the governing body. And then we automatically appoint the mayor of the largest city in each county even if that city is 17% smaller than the 2nd largest city in King County. How will that ever be anti-sprawl?
The problem with the urban growth boundary is that it was designed to include everywhere that we’ve already started sprawling, even including North Bend, Carnation, and Skykomish (which are not geographically contiguous with the rest of the UGB).
One of the reasons I’m most excited about Ben’s proposal is that it will once again create a *Seattle* transportation agency. On the one hand, Bellevue is clearly growing and densifying, and its transportation needs are beginning to act more like Seattle’s than like a suburb. But on the other hand, Seattle has still shown a willingness to spend what it takes to get the necessary transit, which cannot be said about the Eastside.
In a perfect world, I would love to have a single regional authority which could make decisions based on land-use patterns, not arbitrary political boundaries. But in the real world, Seattle politics are just too different from the Eastside. A bit of isolation might do us some good.
Bernie, do you really believe that south King County and Puyallup/Sumner would empty out if Sounder were eliminated?
It’s more of an argument with the ferries, but the ferries are already self-limiting by their infrequency. Vashon and Bainbridge specifically said no thanks to a bridge in order to limit commuter growth. If you eliminate the ferries, it would eliminate commuting from the west sound, but it would also hinder basic transportation in the west sound and islands.
“One of the reasons I’m most excited about Ben’s proposal is that it will once again create a *Seattle* transportation agency.”
Why do you assume that?
Empty, no. For one thing Sounder represents only a tiny fraction of the commute trips. It might make a few people decide not to move that far out. And if they have to drive buy more fuel efficient cars and take less discretionary trips in their 4WD Pick-up. If DT Puyallup looked like DT Redmond I’d be fine with South Sounder. But it’s not having any effect on concentrating development.
Going back to the Victoria Transport Policy Institute piece:
One study found the elasticity of transit ridership with respect to residential densities to
be +0.22 in U.S. urban conditions, meaning that each 1% increase in density increases
transit ridership by 0.22% (PBQD 1996).
That would mean that if indeed the population of PS increases by 1.5 million and everything else is constant we’ll experience an 11% increase in demand for transit. Off peak that’s like free money. Since transit funding is primarily via sales tax the increased revenue will cover the cost of increasing the number of those dreaded peak commute trips in spades (a 37% increase in transit funding).
Here’s a link to Todd’s evaluation spreadsheet for a medium sized city of about 1/2 million. It’s pretty cool, but just a spreadsheet model with all the inherent guessimates. It does make you think about things.
Any post-grads want to plug in Link and RapidRide?
“Yakima-Ellensburg buses to begin running Monday”
After many years of trying to establish this service, it finally starts tomorrow. It’ll only cost $3 each way, and there’s also a monthly pass for $100, which will be good on the Yakima-Ellensburg bus as well as all Yakima Transit routes and the Central Transit route in Ellensburg.
More info here: http://transitzac.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/route-11-yakima-ellensburg-commuter/
That’s pretty cool. Sounds like a win/win for the educational institutions in both cities. If successful I wonder if DMU service between the two cities might be feasible? BTW, Yakima is growing faster than the Puget Sound and the greater Yakima area is equal in population to Bellevue. Both cities, because of climate and their ability to fund infrastructure are much better poised to concentrate development.
Olympic Traffic only lanes! Boy that would give Tim Eyman a stroke!
I’m no Tim Eyman, but that sort of gives me a stroke. The Olympic Games ensure profit for a few large corporations while leaving cities not only with the bill but with huge financial risk. In that context, the Olympics should only get reserved right-of-way for their traffic if they compensate the city for it, heavily.
No sane person would take on the financial risk that cities take on for the Olympic Games. But because the politicians that get the prestige of winning the Games and the ones that have to deal with the debt on down the road are different people, cities insanely throw themselves at the feet of the IOC. If Seattle tries that I’ll be out in the street protesting (as I was in Chicago when they had a bid out for the Games a couple years ago).
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