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Letter | North end gridlock is untenable
My name is Timothy Parker. I have been a resident of Mercer Island my entire life. I recently purchased a home on 89th Avenue S.E., across the street from the top of Gallagher Hill. I am an attorney with Lybeck Murphy LLP. Our office is located in the Chase Bank Building in downtown Mercer Island, across the street from the Auto Spa where, as a student at MIHS, I held my first job. Much has changed since then.
Last night (Jan. 31), it took me over 30 minutes to make the less than 1.5-mile drive home. This is the result of a chain reaction that began with the implementation of a toll on Route 520. Roadway users who commute home to the Eastside from Seattle and seek to avoid paying the toll are using the express lanes from Seattle to Mercer Island. They now use the commuter lane on the bridge, exit the freeway on Mercer Island, drive through downtown, up Island Crest Way, across, across 40th Avenue and down Gallagher Hill, where they re-enter eastbound I-90. The result is gridlock and chaos. This gridlock all throughout the North end of our city has become an everyday occurrence. Some of my coworkers who live off-Island have a shorter commute home than I do. This sort of nonsense is not what I envisioned when I chose to buy property on Mercer Island.
These traffic jams negatively affect the residents and businesses of our city. This situation is untenable. I understand that Councilmember/Mayor Pearman (who served on the I-90 Steering Committee, and as the mayor of our city) has resigned. My question now is who will take the lead to resolve this untenable situation? Something must be done.
Timothy T. Parker