Updated:MERCER ISLAND, Wash. —
Mercer Island residents who attended a meeting about a proposed plan to toll the I-90 Bridge expressed outrage and frustration about the way the event was run.
Hundreds of people attended the packed meeting on Mercer Island, expecting to be able to speak their minds about the proposal.
But the public was not allowed to vocalize comments. Instead, less than a dozen people were permitted to ask questions, but not to express comments.
Attendees were given paper and pencils and were told to give written comments, leaving many people angry.
The proposed tolls would pay for a $1.4 billion budget gap for replacing the other floating bridge across Lake Washington – the 520 bridge.
The meeting was the first of three public meetings. Wednesday’s meeting will occur at the Bellevue City Hall from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday at the Yesler Community Center in Seattle, also from 4-7 p.m.
The Department of Transportation said the written comments will be included in a report for the legislature to review and the vote on tolling I-90.
The vote won’t happen until next year at the earliest.
Note: An earlier version of this story indicated that the public was not allowed to speak at all at the meeting. In fact, some attendees were permitted to ask questions.