It seems to me, the real environmental battle in Olympia this session is going to concern tolling.
The battle will be over this: What percentage of the money that’s generated from tolls should go to roads and what percentage should go to transit? The annoying negotiating starting point is a 90/10 split—90 for roads.
The transportation chairs in both the senate and the house [...] are reportedly leaning toward keeping the dollars funneled toward roads for now.
Tolls collected by bridges should be spent replacing or maintaining bridges. I don’t know what kind of transit Josh is alluding to here. Light rail? Buses? Light rail is too expensive to be paid for with tolls on bridges. Maybe Josh is talking about “transit as mitigation” during construction. (Lots of new buses, getting stuck in traffic through Kenmore as they go around the lake. A sight to see!)
How about this: Spend bridge tolls on the bridge. Then, continue tolling, putting that money in a bank account. Then, in 50 years, when that 520 bridge is falling apart, we can just write a check to replace it. That way we can avoid the whole “90/10″ argument, the whole “roads vs. transit” argument, and other dumb arguments that keep our region from getting shit done. I’m no Jim Vesely, but that seems like a good way to go.