“Seattle Traffic” lacks understanding

I can help to answer a question posted the other day to the Seattle Traffic blog. (and yes, I realize it’s rhetorical.)

I believe that high tolls would have the dual effect of paying for construction and reducing traffic as people make other commute decisions. Over time it would probably also cause people to re-think the wisdom of living and working on opposite sides of a major body of water. Of course, I’ve never understood why people would do that in the first place, tolls or not.

Let me add some understanding to your life, Mr Traffic… some of us live and work on opposite sides of the water because we’re married. Married to folks who live and work on the SAME side of the water.

I work on the eastside. My wife works in Seattle. We both live in Seattle. Short of one of us quitting/changing jobs (not too likely), getting to telecommute 100% (slightly more likely, but still pretty farfetched), or getting divorced (terrible!)… it seems like one or the other of us will have to commute across the lake.

I wouldn’t even mind high tolls, even if they were applied to both bridges… with the caveat: I can take public transportation that doesn’t get stuck in traffic and bypasses the toll.

I’m all about taking the bus/train/teleporter to work rather than a car. I just hate getting stuck (in the bus) in horrible stopped traffic. Now, I don’t delude myself into thinking that some not-insignificant part of the commuting public taking the bus will really do much about “reducing traffic”. There’s always more to back-fill any “reduced traffic” that appears.

The real problem is how do we solve the transit problem so that riding mass (rapid) transit is *MORE* appealing than driving your car single-occupancy. If tolls can help, then let’s get some darn tolls already!

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