Mercer Island Reporter


Letter | Tolling not an equitable solution for anyone

February 28, 2013 · 10:34 AM

The outpouring of comments, participation and rage against this proposed tolling of I-90 surely is evident to you all. My wife Martha and I attended the Mercer Island City Council and the meeting at the community center. In both of those hearings of some 200 plus residents in each venue, I only heard one singular voice, in each location, speak in favor of the tolls. How can that be ignored?

Dan Grausz’s Feb. 18, 2013, letter brings to mind four points.

1. Islanders expected their elected officials to honor the contract made with the people some 50 years ago to always provide priority access. Now it appears that this priority will be withdrawn by legal maneuvering of the most reprehensible kind.

2. Tim Eyman’s initiatives are blamed for the impossible approval by the Legislature. Eyman’s successful initiative is not the problem. Rather, our elected officials who seek to deceive us is the problem.

3. Mr. Grausz goes on to suggest that Seattle officials support the I-90 toll so as to reduce cars in Seattle. It is a preposterous statement — the daily commute of cars and people in Seattle is its life blood. To suggest otherwise shows a complete lack of understanding of the economy of Seattle.

4. When the interstate highway system was conceived in the 1960s, we all believed it to be freeways, not toll roads. Only by equally reprehensible maneuvering has this been violated in one or two places. Surely these violations are not the precedence to be followed.

What all this amounts to is a general cynicism felt about our elected officials. What can we believe about their honesty or their true efforts in protecting the interest of the citizens? I am deeply concerned about the seething rage, perhaps just beneath the surface, that will manifest itself if this travesty is dumped on the Mercer Islanders. When I consider the world situation, the frustration from Syria to Libya to Washington D.C., my misgiving is that the unintended consequences could be catastrophic. Perhaps the 520 bridge should never have been started with its funding not provided. Tolling I-90, however, is not an equitable solution for anyone.

Each of you is urged to find a solution to fund 520 so that you can hold your heads up in success rather than to slink off hoping to get away with a disaster.

Frederic S. Weiss


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