Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to the more than 50 attendees and the many local officials who participated in our 5th District transportation meeting held in Issaquah on September 26. Your feedback on transportation needs and concerns is always welcome. As such, I want to make sure you know about three public meetings this month hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to accept public comments on a controversial proposal: tolling I-90 between I-5 and I-405 to help pay for the new 520 Bridge.
The meetings will take place as follows:
- Bellevue: 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Bellevue College (Park in Lot 10 and follow signs to the cafeteria in Building Block C. Parking is free after 3 p.m. Please note: Citizens have until 10 a.m. Oct. 10 to sign up to speak)
- Mercer Island: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, at Mercer Island High School
- Seattle: 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Northwest African American Museum
Except for the Bellevue meeting which requires early sign-ups, attendees can sign up to speak on a first-come, first-served basis at the start of each meeting. Citizens unable to attend the meetings in person can also submit comments via e-mail to email@example.com and through this website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/CrossLakeWATolling/ScopingInformation.htm during the 30-day comment period, which began Oct. 7 and ends Nov. 6.
Background: In 2012, the Legislature directed WSDOT to study tolling I-90 between I-5 in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue as a way to relieve Cross-Lake Washington Corridor congestion and help fund the remaining portion of the State Route 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. In June 2013, the Legislature passed legislation requiring an Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
I hope you will take some time to share your thoughts on this issue that could impact you and your neighbors. As always, please feel free to contact me with your comments, suggestions and solutions.
P.S. Rep. Chad Magendanz and I are hosting a series of local town hall meetings beginning this Saturday, Oct. 12, in Enumclaw and Black Diamond. You can read more about these events and the find the schedule here.