Words of Whit


Steve Whitford

Good to go one better

Originally Good To Go! passes were designed to expedite the paying of tolls on bridges.

Originally, car-pool lanes were designed to expedite traffic flow and to encourage carpooling to help the environment.

Unfortunately when there are fewer cars on the road burning gas, there is a corresponding drop in the amount of gas tax being collected. Hence we are now seeing carpool lanes and other lanes being converted into Good To Go! lanes, where those who can afford to pay an extra tax can cruise by everyone who can’t afford to.

Now there are indications from Olympia that they will raise our gas taxes even higher. Apparently the state is not getting much gas tax revenues from the folks who drive hybrids or Teslas. Well hang on taxpayers, cause I’ve got an idea that’s so dumb it’s brilliant. I call it the “Better Than You Pass.”

It wouldn’t completely erase the Good To Go! plan and it would make it two tiered…kind of.

Here’s how it would work. The Better Than You Pass would cost a lot more than Good To Go! If you have to know how much more, you can’t afford it anyway.

The Better Than You Pass (BTU), like Good To Go! would cover your toll on toll bridges, but would also allow members to drive in the former car pool lanes which have now become the BTU lanes.

This program could be implemented on all roads with at least four lanes. The window sticker would function just like the Good To Go! sticker, but of course they would boldly proclaim the credo, “Better Than You,” so when one’s on the freeway in this special lane, zooming by everyone else who is doing 20 mph, and receive one finger salutes of admiration, they can just smile back and point to the slogan on their sticker.

The BTU program could be expanded to make it even better. How about all public parking at government buildings reserved for the better than you? It could even be expanded to the private sector as well.

How about say the first five rows in front of a store are for sticker members only. Perhaps a special line for a cashier who just caters only to the BTU crowd. They could wear special BTU badges so they could easily stand out in the crowd.

Businesses with more than two bathrooms could reserve one for card holders, where they really would be good to go. The possibilities for revenue generation are almost limitless. Sure it tends to create a two-tiered class system all but eliminating the middle class, but they’re already disappearing anyway.

We’re just having fun here with a dumb idea, but the problem is occasionally politicians hear about a perfectly dumb idea, and then for unknown reasons decide to run with it. But don’t take my word for it. Drive around every round-about between here and Seattle, then go ask Bertha.