‘No Toll’ rally planned for Saturday in Mercer Island

A rally to protest tolling on I-90 planned for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Park on the Lid (Aubrey Davis Park) on Mercer Island

Washington State residents and out-of-state freight haulers have a few chances to give the state their thoughts about tolling I-90 before the Washington State Department of Transportation proceeds with the idea.

The state has offered opportunities to be heard regarding tolling I-90.  Tonight  Wed., Oct. 23 between 4 and 7 p.m. at the African American Museum and by letter, I-90 Tolling, mailed to 999 Third Ave #2200, Seattle, Wash. 98104 and postmarked by Nov. 6.

While most are adamantly opposed to I-90 tolling, the state department of transportation says tolling I-90 is the preferred plan.

Island resident Owen Blauman said, “The state needs to live within their means and not beyond the scope that people can afford.  I can’t go send the kids to college, remodel the house, buy a new car and go on vacation all at once because I can’t afford it all at once.  WSDOT needs to stay within their means just like I do!”

“Isn’t this the same government that told us the bus tunnel would remove all bus traffic from Third Avenue? Same government that told us the lottery would eliminate the need for school levies?

Jimi Oberto from Fall City, Wash. said, “The transit system loses money every day. The light rail loses money every day. The state is losing money every day. Tolling me will not fix their problems.”  He continued, “Tolling has more cracks in it than the new 520 bridge itself.”

Jon Hanlon from Mercer Island said, “Tolling I-90 will divide communities, harm those who least can afford the cost and do little to solve the regional and state transportation needs. If tolling I-90 is allowed to proceed there will be nothing stopping tolling on additional roads in the region.  This is simply bad policy.”

Long-haul trucker Rusty Loyd said, “Washington State already has one of the highest fuel taxes I pay in the country.  They toll; we will definitely drive south of Seattle to move our cargo out of the Seattle area.”

A “No Toll I-90 Rally and Bridge Walk” is scheduled for the Mercer Island Lid Park on Saturday, Oct 26 at 10:30p so citizens can discuss their concerns about tolling I-90 as a community and to show WSDOT the area is against tolling, Blauman said.