The article in last week's Reporter entitled "Who's in charge" provided needed information but failed to fully describe the situation for Mercer Islanders. The notion that tolls on I-90 pose a situation for Mercer Islanders no different from residents of Bellevue, other Eastside cities and Seattle is wrong. Residents of these cities have local access to a full range of facilities, hospitals, stores, entertainment, etc. They also have direct toll free access both north and south via I-405 and I-5. Residents can reasonably fashion their lives to minimize added transportation costs.
This is not true for Mercer Islanders, who would be dealt a disproportionate share of tolls collected. A measure of relief for Mercer Island residents is both necessary and fair. This could be achieved in a number of ways, including provision of identification car tabs such as those in use on SR-520, the judicious placement of toll booths and price relief such as is now available to ferry commuters. You may have additional ideas. Our voices need to be heard by the city, WSDOT and the Transportation Commission in Olympia.