Letter: Kudos to Councilman Cero for I-90 Toll Stance

Joy Matsuura thanks Mercer Island Councilman Mike Cero for standing against potential tolling of Interstate 90.

Kudos to Councilman Mike Cero for trying to get the rest of the Mercer Island City Council to take a No Tolls on I-90--PERIOD stand. The watered down "no tolls to/from Mercer Island" that the rest of the council voted for was disappointing---and confusing. I can understand Mike voting against it, since it implies that the Council has no objection to tolling of I-90.

Today, at a luncheon hosted by the MI Chamber of Commerce, Mike again shone. He pointed out that the $1.4 billion shortfall on 520 is for the section on the west bank from I-5 thru Montlake. Although there currently are tolls on 520, they are only on the bridge (the part over the water). Anyone driving from I-5 onto 520 who exits at Montlake will not have to pay the toll. There are no future tolls planned for the I-5 to Montlake area, where the shortfall is, so the people who use this bit of highway will not have to pay for it. Instead, users of federal Interstate 90 will be tolled for 30 or more years to pay for this section of a state road.

The speaker at the luncheon, John White (WSDOT I-90 Project Director), surprised me when he said that the state actually does have the money to finish the 520 project, but that it would mainly mean not being able to expand the above mentioned (I-5 to west bank section) to 6 lanes. Instead it would have to remain at 4 lanes. When someone asked why they can't simply build what they have the money for, he complained that the state had spent 15 years designing this. A person next to me whispered, "Why do they need the extra lanes if they say the traffic is all going to I-90?"

For those of you who will be adversely affected, I strongly urge you to contact WSDOT (i90EAcomments@wsdot.wa.gov) before the public comment period expires on Feb. 22nd.

Tolling of I-90 cannot happen without federal approval and the authorization of the Washington State Legislature, so contact your US Representative and Senators, along with your state legislators.

Joy Matsuura

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Venice Buhain February 11, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Thanks for that clarification, J.Matsuura.
Jean Dunbabin February 14, 2013 at 10:55 PM
People need to focus on comments by Judy Clibborn who's on record saying: "These tolls won't go away," Clibborn said. "They will then be used to maintain and operate the system." --- When you take $4-$5 billion out of the economy - this is after tax income --- people need to understand the consequences when they vote for a Judy Clibborn. The obvious thing is to make certain that in the next ellection JUDY CLIBBORN goes away. Meanwhile we need to get behind Councilman Mike Cero in his fight to stop ALL tolling.
snoozingdog February 20, 2013 at 12:56 AM
When did you last ride a ferry boat to the "other side"? When was the last time you fueled up your car? Each time you fill up your car, you are subsidizing the ferry system, a part of our DOT system no matter where you live in Western Washington. Each time you fill up your car, you are subsidizing Metro, part of our County public transportation (a sensible endeavor). However, we're talking about paying for a bridge not about ridership or about the environment. Bigger roads means more traffic anyway. So it seems (I don't like it) that the state should be raising the tax on fuel to subsidize the SR520 bridge. OR, perhaps, the users of the ferry system or Metro should pay their fair share for the convenience or need for a ferry or bus system rather than target and penalize residents of MI because the residents have no other option. Besides, many of us are NOT what people think, wealthy.
Richard Walther March 08, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Hello, We are Democracy Workshop, and have written Washington State Initiative I-1285 to "Prohibit Tolling on Interstate Highways" For our campaign to be successful, it will require a solid and organized effort, not to mention it will particularly require sufficient funds to pay for the cost of gathering at least 350,000 signatures statewide in order for it to qualify for the ballot. Conservatively it will take over $750,000 to accomplish this. Contributions can be made through our website where you can choose either PayPal, mail-in check, or credit/debit card transaction. Please Click Here to Contribute http://www.democracyworkshop.com/index_files/ContributionsPortal.htm "Like" us on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Democracy-Workshop/152713128216273 Website http://www.democracyworkshop.com/index.htm Thank you, we appreciate your support!!
Thomas Imrich March 08, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Federal highway policies and provisions apply to designated US Interstate highways. That is why the US DOT has the authority to DISAPPROVE any WA State WSDOT or Legislature tolling proposal on I-90 bridges, which they should readily do, to protect the integrity of the entire US Interstate Highway system.


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