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Letter | Selective tolling a better answer for I-90 issues
This whole project appears to be cat fishing the public. The story in the Jan. 23, 2013, Mercer Island Reporter said the SR-520 project would cost $4.6 billion and that $4.1 billion could be expected from tolling SR-520 and that tolling of I-90 was to make up the difference. Other statements by WSDOT say that the shortfall is $1.4 billion. Something is wrong with your math, since 4.6 minus 4.1 is $500 million. Current SR-520 volume is 70 percent of previous levels, according to the same Mercer Island Reporter article.
The problem seems to be catching up with the Bellevue deadbeats (the missing 30 percent). Since you will know everybody’s address from camera views of license plates, it would seem simple enough just to bill Bellevue people and leave the rest of us alone. (After all, it’s Bellevue’s bridge, which they agreed to pay for.) I think that WSDOT is trying to pay for ferry boats, the Seattle waterfront project, mass transit extensions, and more without a vote of the people.
This is bigger than just beating on Mercer Island people. It will end a lot of business in Bellevue that comes from Seattle and Mercer Island, such as so-called fine dining.
The correct answer is selective tolling on I-90, not mass tolling of everyone in the country who uses I-90 to Seattle.
James E. Rice