Somebody Else Gets To Pay Tolls

A big chunk of the monthly two-day Washington State Transportation Commission meeting next week will take up tolling on the Highway 520 floating bridge. They’ll talk about that from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. I got a tweet this morning from DOT saying tolling would start there next spring. I’m kind of feeling sorry for those Eastsiders. Yeah, right. In fact, they should have to pay for the whole thing like we’re doing for the Narrows Bridge instead of getting millions from the state. Bitter? I guess you could say that.

Also at the meeting, which runs Tuesday and Wednesday, will be a discussion of ferry name proposals at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. I have a call in to see if there are any names we haven’t heard about. Will let you know when I hear back. Also at 4:30, they’ll take action on whether to name Highway 110 near Forks the “Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial Highway.” Wonder who came up with that idea, and why there?

On Thursday at 3 p.m., they’ll talk about the the ferry fare increase that will happen in October. They’re in October now, not May. The press release says “By statute, the Commission is required to set ferry fares to cover those operating costs of the ferry system not provided for in the transportation budget.” I wonder if that’s some kind of warning. The directive from the Legislature, from what I’ve gathered, is an annual 2.5 percent increase. One went into effect last October, the first fare increase since May 2007.

The public comment period is 4:20 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is at DOT headquarters, 310 Male Park Ave.