Re: “Big chunk of tunnel toll money goes toward collecting the tolls” [Nov. 12, A1]:
Seattle should just write an annual check to the state Department of Transportation for $22 million for our share of tunnel operations, maintenance, debt and do away with the expense and rigmarole of toll collection.
That $22 million is chump change in the mayor’s proposed $6.5 billion 2020 budget and the most cost effective option to ease downtown congestion.
The Times has reported that tunnel traffic was 80,000 cars a weekday. In the most recent tunnel story, Bob Poole, of the Reason Foundation, predicted diversion to surface streets once tolls were imposed would be 15 to 20%. By my calculation, that would be about 16,000 toll-averse vehicles per weekday diverted to surface streets. Without tolls, that would be nil.
Dave Carlstrom, Seattle