The unelected bureaucrats on the Washington State Transportation Commission wants to increase toll prices on the 520 bridge, again (and again). This time, it would be a 5 percent increase this summer, followed by another 5% increase in mid-2017.
Additionally, if state officials get their way, crossing the bridge overnight (between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.) would now longer be free. Rather, it would cost commuters $1.25.
Evidently the state believes there should be no such thing as a free lunch, or a free drive.
In other tolling news, believe it or not, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is actually considering raising I-405 tolls to over $10. Via King 5:
“[Patty Rubstello, Assistant Secretary of the Toll Division] said, because the lanes are meeting requirements, there’s no reason at this point to ask The Washington State Transportation Commission to increase the maximum toll ceiling set at $10 now.
“‘There isn’t a need,’ she said. ‘We’re meeting our performance standards that’s been established and that’s great.’”
Note the key phrase used by Rubstello – “at this point” there is no reason to ask the state commission to raise tolls over $10. Any guess at what “point” in the future that asking for tolls higher than $10 does make sense?
“At this point”, it’s relevant to remember that, during a 2008 presentation by the Puget Sound Regional Council, officials pushed a plan to toll every area highway by the year 2040 in order to raise billions in revenue to improve infrastructure.
As Shift has reported, the plan has been stymied so far by federal law. However, by every indication, liberals are pushing boundaries. And, of course, Democrat lawmakers are “trying to loosen laws to allow for more tolling.”
It’s safe to add “tolling” to Washington liberals’ list of obsessions.
Dana Doran says
At the core of the problem, which you allude to, is the fact that each state agency writes its own rules and regulations (the WAC) without oversight from the legislature. This is done, allegedly, according to the Administrative Procedures Act which is codified. Once an agency is created and the legislature enacts a statute that permits that agency to “implement” regulations, the door is open for that agency to create any rules and regulations it can get away with….because the only recourse under the APA after a rule is published, is to petition that same agency to repeal or amend the rule….and disagreement over whether the rule complies with the law or not must be exhausted administratively before it can be decided by a judge. It takes years and all it takes is one stubborn bureaucrat to keep bad regulations in place. Of course, there are public hearings (and in some cases, not) to take comments while the regulation is being written, the agency is not bound to take any comments into consideration….so the public be damned! The only way to stop the progression of tolling is legislative supervision and law that caps the amount, otherwise you will see tolls that exceed that $15 an hour minimum wage.