Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Interstate 90 bridge tolls
Restrict access to cross-lake park-and-ride
Alan Brockmeier’s proposal in the Sunday paper is a fresh and novel way of providing what I would consider Mercer Islanders' desires [“I-90 bridge tolls,” Northwest Voices, Feb. 17]. Toll cross-Mercer Island I-90 vehicular traffic in a manner that would continue existing traffic rules of allowing Mercer Island residents no-cost access to and from the island.
I would add one additional requirement that the park-and-ride lot at the cross-lake Metro bus stop be limited to Mercer Island residents only. All too frequently, like every workday, drivers from east of the lake fill up the lot, leaving no parking spaces for Mercer Islanders wishing to park and take Metro into Seattle.
Brockmeier’s proposal, though great, would make parking in that park-and-ride lot worse. Why couldn’t stickers be made available to only those vehicles registered from residents living Mercer Island and then allow only vehicles with such approved parking stickers to park in that park-and-ride lot.
--Douglas F. Wilkinson, Mercer Island
No special exemptions
The state’s toll rates are absurdly high, but what’s more absurd is some Mercer Islanders' belief that they deserve special exceptions. If Islanders would campaign for reasonable tolling rates for all I-90 users, perhaps they would receive more support and fewer derisive eye rolls.
Proposed exceptions for occasional trips make no sense because Islanders are not in a different position than anyone else. Bellevue residents enjoy Seattle theater, Seattleites visit family on the Eastside or day hike in the Cascades. By Islanders’ logic they should be exempt.
If the issue is retired drivers with fixed resources, then all retired, occasional drivers should be exempt. For those who complain they have no choice but to use I-90 — you said it, your use is the most unwavering of all. That’s a reason you should pay for it, not a reason you shouldn’t.
There’s a whiff of rarefied air about these protests, like lowly commuters deserve the burden. How would it be worse for a commuter to avoid a toll with a trip to a Mercer Island Starbucks (per the “two-hour window” suggestion) than for an Islander to avoid a toll with a trip to the Seattle Opera? The impending hardship is much greater for the daily commuter.
Here’s an idea that makes as much sense as any proposed: People who cross a bridge with $45 apiece theater tickets in their vehicles pay twice the tolls of people who cross a bridge to feed their families.
--Heather Kahn, Seattle