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Author Topic: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel  (Read 88798 times)

Bruce

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #350 on: November 03, 2017, 04:18:11 PM »

I do hope there will be a sign at the south end of the tunnel indicating what the toll is. Seems rather stupid to put it at the north end. I'd rather have it at the south end, because that way I can get off of 99 if I didn't want to pay the toll.

Of course there will be a sign at the entrance. The north portal sign is simply to notify drivers how much they will be charged, assuring them that the rate hasn't changed mid-drive.

jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #351 on: November 03, 2017, 04:59:27 PM »

I do hope there will be a sign at the south end of the tunnel indicating what the toll is. Seems rather stupid to put it at the north end. I'd rather have it at the south end, because that way I can get off of 99 if I didn't want to pay the toll.

Of course there will be a sign at the entrance. The north portal sign is simply to notify drivers how much they will be charged, assuring them that the rate hasn't changed mid-drive.

Well, not necessarily. Neither the 520, nor the Narrows, have any advance price warnings. The only signs are "LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL".
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kkt

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #352 on: November 03, 2017, 07:35:29 PM »

Probably because it depends on so many things.  Pay by mail or electronic, time of day, HOV or SOV.
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mrsman

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #353 on: November 05, 2017, 01:47:57 AM »

Probably because it depends on so many things.  Pay by mail or electronic, time of day, HOV or SOV.

Not an excuse.  In other states, variable tolls are signed in advance of the entrance so that people know how much they are expected to pay.  The most common tolling scheme is listed:  passenger car, electronic transponder, single occupant.  Of course, trucks, pay by mail will have an extra charge and HOV is likely discounted, but knowing the base fare is usually sufficient for users to gage whether they want to pay the toll or not.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #354 on: November 05, 2017, 02:46:02 PM »

The 99 tunnel will be the only toll facility, so far, that may benefit from advance price warnings. The other two facilities (520 and the Narrows) don't have much in the way of alternatives, so it makes no difference when the price is shown.

That in mind, Seattle is looking into a downtown congestion charge. They want to ensure drivers don't detour downtown. You could also achieve this by not posting prices ahead of time. Although that's kind of shady.
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Bruce

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #355 on: November 05, 2017, 04:03:53 PM »

The 99 tunnel will be the only toll facility, so far, that may benefit from advance price warnings. The other two facilities (520 and the Narrows) don't have much in the way of alternatives, so it makes no difference when the price is shown.

That in mind, Seattle is looking into a downtown congestion charge. They want to ensure drivers don't detour downtown. You could also achieve this by not posting prices ahead of time. Although that's kind of shady.

The whole point of the congestion charge is for drivers to not enter downtown. I would think that they would encourage use of the bypass tunnel and post warning signs like London does (no charge listed, just that you will be charged).

i-215

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #356 on: November 14, 2017, 07:59:07 PM »

That in mind, Seattle is looking into a downtown congestion charge. They want to ensure drivers don't detour downtown. You could also achieve this by not posting prices ahead of time. Although that's kind of shady.

I know congestion price tolls are sort of the holy grail for urban planners.  But it all gets super shady.

Sidetrack: In 2007 (pre-market crash), I went to a transportation commission meeting for a proposed toll road in Utah.  Goldman Sachs were the financial advisors who discussed the project.  They literally told the commission to "set artificially low toll rates" for 7 years to induce commuting patters ("people will buy houses") and get locked into using the facility.  Goldman suggested the state to double/triple the rates after 7 years once drivers were captive.  After that kind of shadyness, the state is building a freeway instead (it'll take 25 years to build instead of 5, but at least will be free).

I get that Alaskan Way is suuuuuuuuuper expensive and tolling is a must to recoup the cost.  But tolling downtown streets seems a bit... gentrified, perhaps?  It shifts a disproportionally unfair burden onto delivery drivers, taxi services, blue-collar services (plumbers, etc.) to give Amazon workers the benefit of a "nice atmosphere." 
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #357 on: November 14, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »

That in mind, Seattle is looking into a downtown congestion charge. They want to ensure drivers don't detour downtown. You could also achieve this by not posting prices ahead of time. Although that's kind of shady.

I know congestion price tolls are sort of the holy grail for urban planners.  But it all gets super shady.

Sidetrack: In 2007 (pre-market crash), I went to a transportation commission meeting for a proposed toll road in Utah.  Goldman Sachs were the financial advisors who discussed the project.  They literally told the commission to "set artificially low toll rates" for 7 years to induce commuting patters ("people will buy houses") and get locked into using the facility.  Goldman suggested the state to double/triple the rates after 7 years once drivers were captive.  After that kind of shadyness, the state is building a freeway instead (it'll take 25 years to build instead of 5, but at least will be free).

I get that Alaskan Way is suuuuuuuuuper expensive and tolling is a must to recoup the cost.  But tolling downtown streets seems a bit... gentrified, perhaps?  It shifts a disproportionally unfair burden onto delivery drivers, taxi services, blue-collar services (plumbers, etc.) to give Amazon workers the benefit of a "nice atmosphere."

I would be totally fine with congestion pricing downtown if people who lived downtown were exempt. And I don't mean "exempt if you get one of the limited number of passes" -- I mean if you live downtown, you don't pay 100% of the time until you move out of there. Don't think Goldman Sucks would like that too much, but I don't care about their wellbeing.
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kkt

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #358 on: November 14, 2017, 09:53:34 PM »

Why should the people who live downtown be exempt?  They benefit more than anybody else.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #359 on: November 14, 2017, 10:31:42 PM »

Why should the people who live downtown be exempt?  They benefit more than anybody else.

They should still pay the congestion charge, but maybe a discounted rate. The congestion charge is meant to keep people who don't need to go downtown from going there. Residents have no choice but to go downtown.

The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.
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mrsman

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #360 on: November 15, 2017, 07:59:20 PM »

Why should the people who live downtown be exempt?  They benefit more than anybody else.

They should still pay the congestion charge, but maybe a discounted rate. The congestion charge is meant to keep people who don't need to go downtown from going there. Residents have no choice but to go downtown.

The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.

In many cities, congestion charges that apply or are proposed are meant to encourage people who don't need to be downtown to bypass it and for those who do go downtown to alter their travel behavior to avoid the charge (i.e. either go at off-peak times or take transit.).  This is absolutely the motivation in Stockholm and London.

The proposed NYC congestion charge is meant to charge a higher toll to reach Manhattan than to take a bridge to go around.  For instance, right now, a driver can drive from Queens to NJ for free via midtown Manhattan but would pay a toll if they took the Triboro Bridge and GWB and bypassed midtown Manhattan.  The congestion charge plan would make the Triboro Bridge's toll cheaper than the toll through Midtown.  So it will encourage bypassing.  Furthermore, for those who do need to reach the center of town, part of the justification for higher tolls is that there is a decent transit option (direct subway lines).

For  Seattle, I can't see any consensus to have a wide-ranging downtown-wide congestion charge.  But if they do, they should heavily reduce (but not exempt) Downtown residents from the charge, but downtown office workers should pay the full charge, since they can leave their cars at home and take transit.
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JasonOfORoads

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #361 on: November 16, 2017, 10:59:14 PM »

Why should the people who live downtown be exempt?  They benefit more than anybody else.

They should still pay the congestion charge, but maybe a discounted rate. The congestion charge is meant to keep people who don't need to go downtown from going there. Residents have no choice but to go downtown.

Which is exactly why they shouldn't pay at all.

[The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.

I would agree to one vehicle per person. Therefore, a couple could have two cars free, but any cars above two would be subjected to the charge.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #362 on: November 16, 2017, 11:06:13 PM »

I am against congestion charges entirely but to me if they were to happen letting downtown residents be exempt from the charges would seem like a no brainer.
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #363 on: November 17, 2017, 02:55:06 AM »

The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.

I would agree to one vehicle per person. Therefore, a couple could have two cars free, but any cars above two would be subjected to the charge.

My thought with "one vehicle per person" is that public transit in Downtown Seattle is so good, you really don't need a car at all to begin with. No reason to make it easier to own more than one car.
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Alps

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #364 on: November 17, 2017, 10:58:12 PM »

The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.

I would agree to one vehicle per person. Therefore, a couple could have two cars free, but any cars above two would be subjected to the charge.

My thought with "one vehicle per person" is that public transit in Downtown Seattle is so good, you really don't need a car at all to begin with. No reason to make it easier to own more than one car.
Until two people have to go two different directions for two different reasons.

compdude787

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #365 on: November 18, 2017, 01:56:06 AM »

I don't understand the need for a congestion charge in Downtown Seattle. It's nowhere near as needed as it is in London.

jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #366 on: November 18, 2017, 02:07:18 AM »

The discount should only apply to one vehicle, though.

I would agree to one vehicle per person. Therefore, a couple could have two cars free, but any cars above two would be subjected to the charge.

My thought with "one vehicle per person" is that public transit in Downtown Seattle is so good, you really don't need a car at all to begin with. No reason to make it easier to own more than one car.

Until two people have to go two different directions for two different reasons.

Assuming they live downtown because that's where they work, it's safe to assume that going two different directions would be rather rare. And when that does occur, there's almost certainly a bus or train they can take. Public transit in downtown Seattle is by far the best in Washington State. There's a bus heading pretty much anywhere you can think of.

Worst case scenario, it wouldn't be illegal to own two cars. However, it might be difficult even without the toll, simply because not all buildings have parking (and the ones that do often have only one stall per unit). The transit and walking/cycling access is so good downtown, you really don't need to own a car. You can rent a car for the extremely rare occasions you might need one.

I don't understand the need for a congestion charge in Downtown Seattle. It's nowhere near as needed as it is in London.

The congestion charge is simply a way to ensure drivers don't detour from the 99 tunnel. A small congestion charge would probably prevent most detours, but wouldn't deter those that need to go downtown.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 02:10:34 AM by jakeroot »
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compdude787

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #367 on: November 18, 2017, 04:16:50 PM »


The congestion charge is simply a way to ensure drivers don't detour from the 99 tunnel. A small congestion charge would probably prevent most detours, but wouldn't deter those that need to go downtown.

Given the amount of lights you have to go thru on downtown surface streets, I'm pretty sure most people won't use surface streets to detour from the tunnel because it wouldn't be worth their time.

jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #368 on: November 18, 2017, 04:41:01 PM »

The congestion charge is simply a way to ensure drivers don't detour from the 99 tunnel. A small congestion charge would probably prevent most detours, but wouldn't deter those that need to go downtown.

Given the amount of lights you have to go thru on downtown surface streets, I'm pretty sure most people won't use surface streets to detour from the tunnel because it wouldn't be worth their time.

I think you'll find that long-distance travellers, especially tourists, would likely stay on 99. But locals know that the lights are timed pretty well, and, if you time things right, you can from one side of downtown to the other pretty quick. Unless it's rush hour.

While I'm more than likely pro-congestion charge, I'd like to see SDOT hold off implementing it until we know whether or not detours are an actual issue.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #369 on: December 15, 2017, 06:15:59 PM »

Iíve never been to Seattle, but I will add my two cents here. The overnight rates seem fine, but I think the rush hour rates are a bit too low. Iíd think more along the lines of a flat $3 is better.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/talks-start-on-highway-99-tunnel-tolls-under-seattle-how-high-should-they-go/?utm_content=bufferac7a6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 07:09:33 PM by Plutonic Panda »
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jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #370 on: December 15, 2017, 06:47:55 PM »

Iíve neber been to Seattle, but I will add my two cents here. The overnight rates seem fine, but I think the rush hour rates are a bit too low. Iíd think more along the lines of a flat $3 is better.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/talks-start-on-highway-99-tunnel-tolls-under-seattle-how-high-should-they-go/?utm_content=bufferac7a6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

They have to be careful. Unlike the 520 and Narrows bridges, there's plenty of alternatives to the 99 tunnel. If the price is too high, people will divert to surface streets, and clog them up. If the price is too low, they won't make back the part of the funding that's being sourced from tolls (not for a really long time, at least).

That said, their current suggestions do seem low. I'd be happy with peak hour tolls from $3 to $3.50 (+ $1 for licence plate tolling).
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Bruce

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #371 on: December 16, 2017, 04:44:49 PM »

Iíve neber been to Seattle, but I will add my two cents here. The overnight rates seem fine, but I think the rush hour rates are a bit too low. Iíd think more along the lines of a flat $3 is better.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/talks-start-on-highway-99-tunnel-tolls-under-seattle-how-high-should-they-go/?utm_content=bufferac7a6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

They have to be careful. Unlike the 520 and Narrows bridges, there's plenty of alternatives to the 99 tunnel. If the price is too high, people will divert to surface streets, and clog them up. If the price is too low, they won't make back the part of the funding that's being sourced from tolls (not for a really long time, at least).

That said, their current suggestions do seem low. I'd be happy with peak hour tolls from $3 to $3.50 (+ $1 for licence plate tolling).

Drivers are already diverting to the surface streets anyway, since the tunnel lacks the downtown exits that make the viaduct useful. Charging a premium and advertising it as a bypass to SLU would probably be fine.

jakeroot

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #372 on: January 11, 2018, 05:32:29 PM »

WSDOT/STP indicate the tunnel may open a couple months early, around October or November, instead of January 2019.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/library/advisories-and-updates/looking-forward-to-a-busy-2018

Quote from: Seattle Tunnel Partners/WSDOT
STP made great progress last year. They finished tunneling, disassembled the tunneling machine and completed the southbound (upper) roadway inside the tunnel. Based on STPís newest schedule (PDF), the tunnel could open to drivers as soon as this fall. Our goal is to safely open the tunnel to traffic as quickly as possible and begin removing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, but itís too early to accurately predict a tunnel opening date. Safety and quality remain our top priorities, and will continue to guide all work on the program.

The new schedule indicates substantial completion by 14 August, with physical completion on 12 December. The Milestone/Final completion would not be until April 2019.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:50:33 PM by jakeroot »
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Algorithm

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #373 on: January 14, 2018, 02:37:16 PM »

Do we know what the eventual routing of SR-519 will look like?  Is it going to stay on 1st until Dearborn, or will it be moved onto the Alaskan Way overpass?
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Bruce

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Re: Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
« Reply #374 on: January 14, 2018, 08:10:26 PM »

Do we know what the eventual routing of SR-519 will look like?  Is it going to stay on 1st until Dearborn, or will it be moved onto the Alaskan Way overpass?

I think SR 519 will remain more or less on its current route, using 1st until Dearborn, then switching to the restored Alaskan Way between Dearborn and Yesler. The City is going to discourage driving on 1st north of Jackson once the streetcar (which will have exclusive lanes) opens in 2020.

 


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