The Seattle Times is reporting that, as of Thursday, December 29, we’ll be paying a toll to cross the 520 Bridge in either direction. According to the report, some of the 110,000 or so vehicles per weekday that cross Highway 520 will divert to Interstate 90, not tolled, or go around the north end of Lake Washington on Highway 522. Tolls will vary by time of day among several rates, such as free overnight, $2.20 on weekend afternoons, or $3.50 at peak commute times, in each direction.
Three savvy young Seattle guys have developed, through their company SeaBalt Solutions, what they think will help motorists with this tolling change. Their website, http://www.signup.tollavoider.com, says: Toll Avoider is here for all of your toll avoidance needs. SeaBalt Solutions is developing an iPhone app that will know what the toll rate is for that hour, give you alternates and a Google map for where you want to go, according to the Seattle Times. The app will be linked to another Seattle based company, whose app Park Place, gives you parking lot rates and locations, according to the Seattle Times. You can leave your email address on the http://www.signup.tollavoider.com website, and you’ll be notified when the app will be available for purchase for 99 cents.
According to the Seattle Times report, the WA state toll director Craig Stone thinks it will probably take six months for everybody to try their options, weigh their time and costs and settle into a commuting routine.