NPR recently interviewed Nelson Schwartz, New York Times reporter and author of “The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business”. In his book Nelson examines the parallel but separate worlds of the wealthy vs the rest of us. In September 2018 he interviewed me as part of his research on transportation inequities. You can read my blog post about it here:
Behind The Velvet Rope: Social Class Segregation in our Transportation.
In the NPR interview, they did not really touch on the topic of transportation; so I encourage you to read about it in his book, especially if you are a policymaker in our government. America prides itself on “All men are created equal”, but in practice, that is not the case for Washington state transportation policy.
Express Toll Lanes are the quintessential velvet rope economy of inequality. While it may not seem that way at the current pricing of $10 max on I-405, the foundation is laid for the future when tolls will be affordable by only the wealthiest people. This is already the case in Virginia where their toll lanes peak out at over $50 per trip.