Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: Tacoma Narrows bridge


Naming rights could alleviate, not solve funding shortages

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Would you support renaming the Tacoma Narrows Bridge if it kept tolls from rising higher than they otherwise would?

What if it were renamed the Taco Bell Narrows Bridge and only kept the toll from increasing, say, by 25 cents?

It’s that kind of question that lawmakers must consider with House Bill 1050 and 1051, which would allow naming rights for public facilities and transportation infrastructure, respectively. Both are prime-sponsored by state Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard; HB 1051 is co-sponsored by freshman Rep. Linda Kochmar, R-Federal Way. Read more »


Don’t make example of Narrows toll payers

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Come July 1, some drivers who cross the Tacoma Narrows bridge will be paying more to make the trip. The question is: How much more and to what aim?

State Treasurer Jim McIntire, being a numbers guy, would prefer to err on the conservative side.

He’s hoping to improve his chances of driving a bargain when he sells bonds for Seattle’s new Highway 520 bridge in a couple of years. He wants to impress investors with displays of the state flexing its tolling authority in the name of fiscal prudence.

McIntire’s suggestion has prompted a debate over the appropriate size of the bridge account’s reserves. Building a fat savings account is usually a good idea  – unless you’re padding it with money extracted from people who are struggling to pay their bills, much less save.

Read more »


State treasurer backs down (somewhat)

An op-ed by State Treasurer Jim McIntire that appeared last Friday apparently caused a bit of a ruckus over on the Gig Harbor side of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. State lawmakers and city officials, concerned about what McIntire’s recommended bridge toll revenue target would do to toll rates, conferenced with him last week.

Now, McIntire has sent the Washington State Transportation Commission (which sets toll rates) a letter suggesting another option: Instead of raising tolls enough to in a single year build a cushion equal to 110 percent of the bridge’s debt service costs, McIntire says he

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Good to Go good for babies

I’ve heard a lot of arguments in favor of paying tolls by transponder – time and money being the benefits mentioned most often. But no one’s ever told me that the Good to Go decal on my windshield has public health benefits. Some Columbia University researchers say that reducing stop-and-go traffic at toll plazas helps also reduce premature births.

Folks who live near Highway 16’s toll booths can’t be happy to hear about the study – although one could argue that their air quality is a great deal better now that traffic isn’t backed up for miles trying to get across a single span over the Tacoma Narrows.

By Carlos Lozada
(c) 2009, The Washington Post
If you need yet another reason — beyond wasted gasoline, lost time and road rage — to hate traffic jams, here’s one: They’re bad for babies.

Read more »