by Sara 

Here come the tolls


By Steven Smalley

Tolls to pay for construction of the new State Route 99 tunnel are on the way once the new route is open, according to city officials attending the Magnolia Community Club meeting Thursday night at the Magnolia Community Center.

Although the actual charges are not settled upon, $400 million is planned to come directly from drivers as they make use of the state?s Good To Go system, speakers explained.

?Tolling?? one club member blurted out in seeming surprise. ?Yes,? came the answer.

At the gathering, city administrators and two elected representatives spoke to a small audience on transportation issues. King County Councilmember and Magnolia resident Larry Phillips, Seattle Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, along with others from the tunnel project and Metro Transit were on hand.

Rasmussen spoke of the need to raise more funds because of recession-caused reductions in tax revenues. He mentioned discussions of a $5 per-unit charge for studded tires, and the addition of a yearly $100 fee for electric cars to make up for the lack of gasoline taxes paid, which fund roads.

City managers took the stage for most of the meeting to outline the SR99 construction timeline which sets the opening of the tunnel and the Mercer corridor at approximately 2015-16. They reminded the audience how traffic through downtown, particularly from Ballard and Magnolia, will be routed along the waterfront on Alaskan Way and not through the tunnel. The nearest northern entrance to it will be located at Mercer Street and Aurora Avenue. Get more information on the project by clicking here.

Metro managers spoke about ?significant changes? to bus routes 24 and 33. More than 4,000 comments were received and are being reviewed prior to implementing any modifications. New routing proposals based on that feedback are now being planned and will be released on or about Feb. 1. When released, the proposals can be viewed here.

The delay in driving over the Ballard bridge during painting also came up for discussion. But it seemed not many wanted to tackle the subject, and so the issue was never fully addressed.


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  1. Another great article by Steven, you are a gem to our community and your written work is wholly appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  2. Another great article by Steven, you are a gem to our community and your written work is wholly appreciated. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks also?to the Magnolia Community Club for hosting this informative presentation!

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