Topic: Mercer Island
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March 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Tolls affect the region
I live on Mercer Island and oppose the proposed tolls [“I-90 tolls: Islanders incensed,” page one, Jan. 31]. People have written letters to the editor calling the objections of Mercer Islanders a collective tantrum of a bunch of spoiled brats (my summary). Aside from the fact that stereotypes are rarely accurate, the tolls would impact the economy in the whole area, not solely that of Mercer Island.
Those who commute from or to Seattle will be affected. Those who work on Mercer Island but do not live here will be affected. This includes hundreds of teachers and other employees.
Mercer Islanders take our commerce off the island. For example, we shop for groceries, get our cars serviced, take kids to activities and work off the island. That is an economic issue for this area. Mercer Islanders will be deterred from taking their business off the Island.
Now look at the tolling plan as a whole. I-90 runs across the state. The state needs funds to pay for their gaffs in the rebuilding of the 520 bridge. Is it fair to toll only the Puget Sound Region, one tiny part of a state? No. Is it beneficial to have free access between Seattle and the Eastside? Of course!
–Barbara Winkelman, Mercer Island
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