Letter: Mercer Island Council Should Criticize Clibborn for I-90 Tolling Role

Mercer Island resident Claus Jensen says he has been waiting since 2008 for the council to censure State Rep. Clibborn for role in Interstate 90 tolling study.

On November 19, 2008, more than 4 1/2 years ago, the email below was submitted to the Mercer Island City Council.

Mercer Islanders are still waiting for an answer from our elected leaders! 

Claus V. Jensen


email dated November 19, 2008
From: <Withheld for Privacy Reasons> @hotmail.com


To: bruce.bassett@mercergov.orgsteve.litzow@mercergov.orgel.jahncke@mercergov.org;dan.grausz@mercergov.orgmike.grady@mercergov.org
Subject: Judy Clibborn - and HB 3096
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 15:01:38 -0800

TO:The Mercer Island City Council The Open House on 520 Tolling meeting at the JCC on Monday was attended by Mercer Island State Representative Judy Clibborn.
I took the opportunity to ask Ms. Clibborn if she supported the NO TOLL ON I-90 petition. Ms. Clibborn's answer was "I introduced the bill". I had no idea what Ms. Clibborn was talking about, but I assumed she had introduced a bill to exempt Mercer Island from any toll. But just to make sure, I found the bill she introduced - House Bill 3096: "Introduced by Rep. Judy Clibborn, (D-Mercer Island) on January 22, 2008, to provide for tolling of state route number 520 and to seek advice from the Federal Highway Administration on the necessary process to collect tolls on the Interstate 90 floating bridge.". So, much to my surprise, "our representative" Judy Clibborn introduced the bill to toll I-90, thus creating the nightmare scenario that Mercer Islanders now face! Did Ms. Clibborn consult with the Council before introducing her bill? Did the council have an opportunity to consider the bill before it was submitted to the Legislature? If not, I think the time has come for the Council to draft a resolution admonishing Representative Judy Clibborn for acting against the very interests of the Mercer Islanders she was elected to represent. Claus V. Jensen
Thomas Imrich February 12, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Beyond the very valid concern expressed by Mr.Jensen, there are other serious aspects that Ms. Clibborn apparently did not appropriately consider. Tolling of the I-90 Bridges is NOT appropriate and should NOT be implemented in any form, for other important reasons including but not limited to: 1) Tolling Sets Bad Precedent by inappropriate if not illegal tolling of an Interstate to divert revenue - Tolling I-90 to pay for other uses is especially inappropriate and is INCONSISTENT with the fundamental premise of the Interstate highway system. To do so sets an adverse precedent that ultimately could destroy the entire interstate system, if local districts are able to use adjacent or intersecting Interstate highways as a revenue source. 2) Ms. Clibborn and WSDOT's Faulty Definition of a single "corridor" - The definition of SR520 and I-90 as a single "Corridor" is arbitrary , unsupportable, erroneous and inappropriate. Just for one example, virtually NO Mercer Island traffic routinely uses SR520. Arbitrary State bundling and definition of I-90 with SR520 as a single entity has no more validity than would be bundling SR520 with the Seattle I-5 corridor from James St. to 85th St., or alternately I-5 in Seattle to Redmond, each of which individually make a far stronger case for being identified as a "Corridor" than bundling with I-90.
J.Matsuura February 13, 2013 at 09:31 AM
So...in January of 2008 she introduced a bill to try to start tolling I-90...and then a year later she is quoted in the Seattle Times as saying that tolling of I-90 isn't and won't be on the table? (She must be keeping plastic surgeons busy as they keep having to trim her ever-lengthening nose...). That same Seattle Times article says that she made a point of how it would be UNFAIR to toll drivers of I-90 to pay for another bridge (520) that they do not use...http://o.seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2008739571_520bridge13m.html . I guess fairness gets kicked aside easily when someone has no regard for honesty.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA February 13, 2013 at 09:00 PM
I'm certainly in complete agreement with Tom Imrich on this issue. As usual, his well-written and reasoned comment above covers the basic points very well. JG
Thomas Imrich February 14, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Commenters Mr. Jensen and Ms. Matsuura also likely understate the varied, illogical, and ever changing positions of Ms. Clibborn in another key respect. That is, Ms. Clibborn's apparent earlier suggestion to Toll the I-90 west bridge segment, and not the east channel bridge, which if implemented would be an utter disaster for setting a bad tolling precedent nationally for Interstates, as well as being a specific disaster for MI. We'd simply become a parking lot for the nearly infinite demand of the entire eastside, with off-islanders parking from Luther Burbank to the MIBC, especially once the light rail is sadly implemented. Might it finally be time for some new representation?
JPL February 14, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Fortunately, we live in a democratic republic, which enables us to vote out those leaders that fail to represent their constituents, ideally before too much damage is done.


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