About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stopping I-90 Tolling

(I emailed Mercer Island officials the following concerning their attempts to avoid I-90 tolls.  I thought others might be interested so am posting it.)  

Dear No Tolling on I-90 and Mercer Island City Council
A previous email referring to the 9/04/13 post on my blog http://stopeastlinknow.blogspot.com suggested attempts to stop the legislature from enacting I-90 tolls by expanding the scope of EIS to include alternative funding sources were unlikely to succeed.  

A far better way to achieve the purported EIS goal of reduced I-90 congestion is to expand it to include the option for Sound Transit to expedite the completion of the Seattle to Mercer Island portion of the 4th lane on the outer roadway. (currently planned for 2016)  The added lane could be completed in 6 months and would immediately relieve congestion for commuters on both sides of the lake, particularly for “reverse” commuters.

The 520 funding shortfall as well as the transportation funding problems for the entire area can best be resolved by bringing some sanity to the Sound Transit light rail program.  The 9/17/13 post on my blog explains how the Supreme Court erred in allowing East Link to proceed.   Mercer Island officials should use the courts or the legislature to “persuade” ST to divert the $2.8 billion East Link funds to fund the 520 corridor improvements and other eastside improvements. 

Failure to do so will have a far greater impact on Mercer Island residents and the entire eastside than I-90 tolls.
Bill Hirt

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