If state tolls I-90 new poll finds drivers saying: ‘I would avoid it’

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I-90 sunrise

(Photo: KCPQ-TV)

SEATTLE — Many are convinced that Interstsate 90 bridge tolls are a done deal despite the Washington State Department of Transportation’s assurances that it’s just in the idea stage. The state is trying to plug a $170 million shortfall to pay for the State Route 520 Bridge project.

Now a poll suggests that many drivers are already looking for alternate routes.

The new poll, by PEMCO Insurance, reportedly found that nearly 60% of area drivers would use I-90 less often if tolls are enacted.

In July, the toll on the 520 Bridge is expected to go up again.

“I avoid it all together because of the tolls,” driver Mary Vandenbos said.

She isn’t alone. Thirty-eight percent f drivers said no way to 520, and it could be the same detour for drivers on I-90 if the Legislature someday votes for tolls.

“More than likely I would avoid it, honestly,” Frankie Miranda said.

“I would take public transportation,” Kelli Field-Darragh said.

On Thursday, Q13 Fox News surveyed dozens of people on the road and on the Web.

The majority told us that a toll would drive them to take other routes.

But what if you have no other options?

“I have to pay it. I live on the island, I have to get off,” Debbie Conder said.

Mercer Island residents are hoping WSDOT will give them a free pass, at least going in one direction on I-90.

“We could lose teachers, service people at the markets, all different people who come out here,” Cynthia Davidson said.

If I-90 is eventually tolled, many are hoping it won’t be as costly as the 520.

More than 150,000 drivers use I-90 daily.

WSDOT is in the midst of a toll impact study. The Legislature will look at those results before making a final decision. If tolls are approved, we can see them in late 2016.

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6 comments

  • S_Hunter

    It's all part of Wa's plan to toll ALL roads and make it like the East Coast. Do a toll on I90, THEN, when everybody moves to a different route, toll that one too (while keeping the toll on I90)!

  • The World is Ending

    Eventually all roads or atleast all interstate highways will have a toll, and possibly manny city streets, want to avoid the tolls then ride a bike or take public transportation. I didn't say this is what I believe is right, but for the ones like our governor it makes sence. But it could reduce traffic the people that are just out driving around to be out driving around could stop. Think about is this way (if you are a conspiracy type) some of "them" (insert your choice here) ________ caused a large increase in gas prices and people adjusted and kept right on driving even just to be out driving around, the next logical step is to toll the roads. I have just one more question if tolling all the roads does make people stop driving won't the revenue from the tax on gass go way down possibly more than is made on the tolls?

  • Tess

    Welcome to my world! Living in Port Orchard we have 3 options to leave the peninsula: 1) Pay to ride the ferry, 2) pay the large toll to cross the Narrows Bridge, or 3) take Hwy 101 down to Olympia, cross over to I-5 then drive north to Seattle taking twice as long & cost lots of $$ in gas & wear & tear on the car. We are prisoners!! (Port Tortured in Kidnap County)

  • Marcy Walters

    Toll on 520 a rip off! Can’t manually load a card in line – have to do automatic debits ($30/month min?- what if I only cross that bridge twice a month?) – or you have to take time off from work to go to their office or wait in the phone for a CS rep. Suppose that is better than the $45 civil penalty when the bill doesn’t come in the mail & no way to find out by license plate if u know you went across the bridge but the bill doesn’t come. You can dispute you say. Right that’s a half day off work to go to a hearing.

  • guest

    I still haven't heard why they have to toll I-90 to pay for the 520 bridge, why don't they just leave the tolls on 520 until it is paid for like last time? That way it is paid for by the people who use it, like the Narrows bridge.

  • bRaingear

    Has someone checked to see if WA state can toll a federally-funded bridge? Unlike 520 which is a Washington bridge, it seems strange that a state could benefit.