Seattle Times Traffic Lab reporter David Gutman breaks down whether Seattle's suspended streetcar project will move ahead - and if Mayor Jenny Durkan is serious about tolling downtown city streets.
Seattle’s streetcar expansion is on hold after concerns over soaring costs. A city study is underway on whether to charge tolls for driving on downtown streets. And the City Council recently agreed to allow more parking-free development.
What do these stories have in common? One, they all tie into key decisions that lie ahead as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the council wrestle with how to balance transit and car traffic in an increasingly crowded city.
Also, Seattle Times reporter David Gutman has led coverage of them all. Gutman, part of the Times’ Traffic Lab project, broke the story of the streetcar’s expanding costsand the mayor’s proposal to take a look at “congestion pricing” – also known as tolls – on downtown streets.
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On Episode 76 of The Overcast, the Seattle Times’ weekly politics podcast, Gutman joins hosts Jim Brunner and Daniel Beekman to break down these stories and what’s ahead for anyone trying to navigate the construction-frenzied streets of Seattle during what’s been labeled the “period of maximum constraint.”
In the discussion: Is there any political blow-back to the tolling concept, still in its infancy? Will that or the streetcar project be an issue in Seattle’s council elections next year? And how do the politicians calling the shots get to and from work themselves?
This episode was recorded at the Seattle studios of public radio 88.5 FM KNKX as part of an ongoing partnership.
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