• Public speaks out on I-405 tolls

    By: Deborah Horne


    KING COUNTY, Wash. - Just the mention of tolls on yet another highway on the Eastside has some drivers seeing red.

    "I think it's a terrible way for the state to extort more money out of citizens," said Jeremy Brice of Lynnwood.

    Deborah Horne asked, "What do you think they should do?"

    "I think they should spend less in other avenues and re-appropriate funds," Brice replied.

    Chris Robbins of Burien weighed in, too.

    "I pay so many taxes as it is, I mean, come on," said Robbins. "They take what, about 30 percent of my paycheck. Where's that going?"

    KIRO 7 broke the news in September that the state wants to toll I-405 to raise money to extend the express lanes and make road improvements. The so-called "HOT lanes" like those on State Route 167 would be built from Lynnwood to Bellevue in 2015 and extended to Renton three years later. Drivers willing to pay the tolls could use the HOT lanes. Only vehicles with three passengers could travel in the lanes toll-free.

    "How easy is it to find three people for a car?" asked Joe Bahr of Bothell. "I mean that's very difficult."

    Yet at a meeting of the State Transportation Commission, only Paul Locke of Seattle spoke out against the tolls.

    "Forget about raising taxes by going in and looking at what project you want to complete first," said Locke.

    We will know soon what a group of local government officials all along this corridor think the state should do. They will make their recommendation to the Transportation Commission Wednesday in Kirkland. 


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