Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: Narrows Bridge

Dec.
5th

GAS TAX: Toll payers here to fund SR 520 bridge?

Re: “Lawmaker’s plan would roll back Narrows toll” (TNT, 12-5).

Once again, flush with no ideas, our leaders are going around the will of the people. After we voted “no” on nefarious increases (probably to have more cash for stuff like food), a 10 cent gas tax increase is being considered. We already have among the highest gas tax in the U.S.

To top it with a cherry, much of that money will go to replacing the state Route 520 bridge in Seattle, a bridge most of us never use. King County didn’t help us pay for the Narrows

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Nov.
14th

TOLLS: WSDOT could use tried-and-true strategy

I see that the  Washington State Department of Transportation has sent out Interstate 90 toll surveys to Mercer Island residents.

I live in Gig Harbor and daily pay a toll to cross the  Narrows Bridge. When building a new Narrows bridge was put to a vote in Pierce County, it could not get the majority vote to pass. So the DOT solution was to expand the voting area to include King County. They finally got the majority needed to construct the bridge.

Now DOT is having difficulty getting approval for a new state Route 520 floating bridge in King County.

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Sep.
20th

ELECTION: Councilman supports Nathan Schlicher

During my 16 years on the Gig Harbor City Council, I’ve had the chance to work with an impressive group of legislators representing the 26th District from both sides of the aisle. Over the last year, I’ve been particularly impressed by state Sen. Nathan Schlicher.

Schlicher’s appointment came after a lengthy process that didn’t see him seated until session had already begun, but he immediately hit the ground running. An ER physician by trade, he brought a wealth of knowledge on health care issues.

Coming from local and regional government though, my focus tends to be on transportation and economic

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Aug.
5th

TAXES: Where does all the money go?

I recently read that Washington state is in the top five for revenue generated from sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, to the tune of $821 million. We have one of the highest gas taxes as well.

I started figuring out with just the Narrows Bridge toll, based on the state’s estimate of 60,000 cars per day, that the state takes in over $1 billion or more just from sin tax and the Narrows. I didn’t factor in the rest, but as you can see our state has a spending problem.

Just where does the money go? Someone needs to

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March
20th

BRIDGE: Higher tolls have economic effect

Re: “Narrows toll hike recommended as fight looms” (TNT, 3-20).

Here is what happens when you raise Narrows Bridge tolls: People do not cross the bridge to shop or visit either Tacoma or the Kitsap Peninsula. As the tolls have increased, it has become cheaper for many of us to shop online.

Before the second bridge was built, twice a month we would go to Harbor Freight, the Tacoma Mall and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Afterwards, we dropped to once every other month. When the tolls were raised last year, we ceased going to Tacoma entirely.

We

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Jan.
24th

NAMING RIGHTS: The public still pays

Re: “Some fear selling naming rights could get absurd” (TNT, 1-24).

Selling naming rights to bridges, roads, parks and the like, although reducing the charges to the actual users, does not provide the public with a free lunch. The corporations that purchase these rights pass on these advertising costs to the ultimate purchasers of their products and services. Make no mistake about this the costs are still paid by the general public just not as taxes or tolls.

Selling the rights simply spreads out the costs among all users of the corporation’s products or services rather than assessing them

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Sep.
24th

APPLE: Bridge distortion common in computer maps

The Saturday paper put the now locally famous screenshot of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from the new iPhone system on the front page. I cannot comment on Apple Maps as a whole, but the distortion of the bridge in the photo appears to be nothing more than the result of using two photos for the bridge, and placing them on different elevation planes for mapping.

To accurately map a photo, you have to control elevations. This effect is common to other mapping systems as well.

You might try going to Google Earth, on a large computer screen, and zooming in

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July
16th

NARROWS BRIDGE: Can’t project be refinanced?

Re: “Bridge payoff plan faces uncertainties” (TNT, 7-15).

A decade ago, a private company called United Infrastructures offered to build at its own expense a second bridge over the Narrows. No bidding, no bonds, simple and easy. After “X” decades the tolls would be removed and the bridge would be turned over to the state. The project started on that premise, and now we have a project that can’t pay for itself. In the full-page article was no indication of what interest rate the state is paying. TNT, shame on you.

When I get my mortgage statement, principal paid

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