I-90 bridge tolls? 2 meetings ahead, and other ways to comment

October 20, 2013 at 11:22 am | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

Thanks to Joan for the reminder that the state is midway through a public-comment period on whether to charge tolls on the I-90 bridge, so if you have an opinion, now’s the time to share it. This week, there are two public meetings – 4:30-7:30 pm tomorrow at Mercer Island High School, 4-7 pm Wednesday at the Northwest African American School in Seattle. Full details on both are on this page, along with links where you can sign up NOW to speak at either meeting. You can also comment by e-mail: i90eiscomments@wsdot.wa.gov.

Tolling has been proposed on I-90 to, in part, raise money for the new 520 bridge; this PDF includes more on this round of the comment process as well as the options that are under consideration – not with price tags, but with configurations, such as “just toll from Seattle to Mercer Island” or “just toll the HOV lanes.” This round of commenting runs through November 6th; a final decision is expected in 2015.

9 Comments

  1. The two reasons behind WSDOT’s desire to toll are to 1) reduce congestion on I-90 created by the tolling on 520; and 2) raise money for the 520 bridge. Reducing congestion was a manufactured problem, which I think was purposefully created. Just compare the tolling process that the new 99 tunnel is undergoing, where officials are carefully considering how much they can charge for the tunnel without diverting too many drivers, to the process that 520 went through. I believe they charged a rate for 520 that they knew would create congestion problems for I-90, with the ultimate goal of tolling I-90 too. They created the problem so they could “solve” it by tolling both roads.
    .
    I will be at the meeting on Mercer Island, since I work there. However, I cannot afford to live there. Tolling my only available commute path to work amounts to penalizing me for not making enough money to live where I work. Public transit and biking are not feasible options for me.

    Comment by dcn — 12:22 pm October 20, 2013 #

  2. Absolutely not. 520 is tolled and if I-90 were to be also, there is no way across the Lake without #1 paying or #2 driving all the way around. I-90 is the main route to Eastern Washington and many of us on the East side need to come to the West side for medical reasons. If we use 520 there is no way to pay ahead of time so we get a bill in the mail, greatly increased from the original amount. Paying to use both bridges would be a considerable hardship not only on those of us on fixed incomes, but on those that need to cross daily for work.

    Comment by Patricia Berry — 4:27 pm October 20, 2013 #

  3. Let’s not kid ourselves. The decision has already been made, all that remains are formalities.

    $76 billion dollar budget and they’re asking for more.

    Comment by Jim — 9:13 pm October 20, 2013 #

  4. Tolling won’t end at I-90. The state will ultimately toll you for every mile driven in your car. Just wait.

    Comment by MrB — 9:36 pm October 20, 2013 #

  5. Congestion occurs because too many people drive regularly, and they drive alone. If everyone who could did an alternative commute at least some of the time, it would alleviate the pressure [insert the reasons YOU CANNOT carpool/bike/bus here]. Yes, I understand some people can’t, but the great majority could make a change that would make driving cheaper for them and relieve traffic. Yes, it might cause a bit of inconvenience and/or discomfort. Tiny sacrifice, and then you get to stop complaining about “traffic”!
    .
    Would be nice if medical facilities or insurance companies could reimburse patients. Come to think of it, you can get relief for medical travel on your tax if you itemize…

    Comment by AE — 10:24 am October 21, 2013 #

  6. Tolls are for trolls

    I think specific drivers should get paid to use I-90 or 5-20 so maybe they should consider
    A payment system for drivers that routinely driver over the Bridges that work in education or civil services.

    Comment by Big D — 2:07 pm October 21, 2013 #

  7. Tolls on I-90?

    What… a… stunner!

    Good grief people… THIS IS what you voted for.

    Laughing in the hills….

    Comment by Jeff — 10:22 pm October 21, 2013 #

  8. Decision already made is right. We have lots of well thought out comments fir 520 EIS. None were read as day after deadline. Wsdot and Gov choose Preferred Alternative. Terrible design we in seattle are faced with now. Hope tgat 1.4 B for 520 completion doesn’t get funded. Give DOT funds left after incredible waste to other parts if state.

    Comment by Jean Amick — 3:05 pm October 22, 2013 #

  9. Jim is right. Decision made. Citizens made very thoughtful comments (took many hours) and day after EIS comment deadline, Gov and WSDOT announced Preferred Alternative. Our efforts never even looked at. Don’t give 520 anymore money. Design so flawed on west side we don’t want it finished.

    Comment by Jean Amick — 3:09 pm October 22, 2013 #

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