If tolling is established on I-90 the average commuter is expected to pay $4.35 each way to cross Lake Washington by 2016. This is over $2000 per year if you just use I-90 for getting to work in a single vehicle. Many families would see their expenses go up over $3000 per year in after tax dollars.
The state legislature has asked WSDOT to begin the process of determining the impact that I-90 tolling would have on communities in the area. This could extend as far as North Bend with the money collected directed toward paying for the unfunded Montlake section of SR520—an additional $1.4 Billion dollars, for a section of road that does not have tolls collected today.
NoTollOnI90.org is asking that the Legislature investigate other ways to address the funding gap, not just for SR520 but for broader state needs. This includes revisiting the gas tax and possibly other reforms that would improve the value tax payers receive from major transportation projects. Raising the gas tax just 9 cents would cover all of the SR520 gap as well as fund additional needed transportation projects in the state, without the negative impact of tolls.
Tolling across the region is being investigated. If implemented, it will divide communities and disrupt commerce to businesses and the ports. It is not a sustainable way to fund our State’s transportation needs. SR520 and I-90 are not a common coridor and the WSDOT EIS must include the broader impacts to the region, beyond the immediate Seattle/Bellevue area.
Paying for SR520 with a toll from I-90 is not a responsible way to fund the project. There are many other needs around the state and those must also be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
At the very least, instituting tolling would violate accepted standards of fairness, equity and safety. Residents along the I-90 depend on access given the few alternatives that exist.
I-90 exists separate from the SR520 facility and the impacts are broader reaching with much more significant disruptions to commerce, communities and families if tolling is implemented. They are not a common 'corridor'. There is no basis of this designation, the EIS must consider the broader regional, state and national impacts of tolling an interstate to fund local projects.
I urge you, our elected representatives, to work hard for us and to prevent this onerous tax increase.