Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: wsdot

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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July
18th

WEEDS: Remove and dispose of Scotch broom

Re: “Fruitful partnership between KP Lions and Park District continues” (newstribune.com, 7-10).

I am a member of a new group (Washington Scotch Broom Working Group) formed July 9 dedicated to the control and eradication of Scotch broom in Washington, particularly western Washington. It includes representatives from several county weed boards, tribal natural resource departments and environmental groups. We are working closely with the state’s Noxious Weed Control Board and Department of Transportation.

The article  included the statement that “it is prohibited to transport, buy, sell, offer for sale or distribute in plants, plant part or seed from.” The statement

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June
3rd

MCMILLIN BRIDGE: Find a way to preserve historic structure

I have been reading about the efforts to save the unique historic McMillin Bridge (TNT, 5-31). I would hope the Washington State Department of Transportation could figure out it is worthwhile to save unique historic structures.

The bridge on state Route 162 to Orting looks like it would stand a long time without needing any unusual expensive maintenance, as WSDOT claims. The river has been flowing under the bridge for 78 years now, and I think the high water gets by just fine. The $500,000 budgeted for tearing down the bridge could be put into a trust fund to

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May
24th

BRIDGE: Another disaster for state government

So the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River has collapsed. This event signals another expensive failure of a Washington state agency, one in a litany of failures over the past decade: Department of Corrections, DSHS, Transportation and others.

Something is wrong when so many costly failures (in millions of dollars and lives damaged or lost) keep occurring. Most recently WSDOT failed to properly design pontoons for the state Route 520 bridge. Why?

And there’s more: it’s time for Tim Eyman to go away. And time for the citizens of this state to realize that there is no free lunch.

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Jan.
11th

ROADS: Best solution is a gas tax increase

Re: “State considers taxing driver by the mile” (TNT, 1-10)

Why a committee of transportation experts and state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond are spending time looking for an alternative to the present gas tax for revenue is a sign of how wasteful government can be.

They say our present system, based upon a fixed amount of tax per gallon of gas, is not providing sufficient revenue, and as fuel economy increases, will be further reduced.

Instead of simply increasing the gas tax, they want to create a completely new system.

Any concern for the future, when more cars will

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July
2nd

TOLLS: Why higher percentage hike for pass users?

Regarding the newest bridge toll hike (TNT, 6-30), I looked at the numbers that the Washington State Department of Transportation has posted and this is what I came up with.

Vehicles that drive across the bridge without stopping or having a pass were paying $5.50; their new rate is $6, an increase of 9.09 percent. Vehicles that stop at the toll booth were paying $4; their new rate is $5, an increase of 25 percent.

Vehicles that have a pass – which requires no toll taker nor expense to mail out a bill, so there is no extra expense

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March
29th

TACOMA: Pugnetti Park has statutory immunity

Recently the Washington State Department of Transportation closed Don Pugnetti Park in downtown Tacoma and put it up for sale. One of the reasons it gave for the closure was the public liability and related costs the park represents.

A closer look at the situation will show that the park comes under Washington State Recreation Immunity Statute, RCW 4.24.210. In summary the statute provides immunity to the owners of property that have been put aside for the enjoyment of the public as long as there is no admission fee charged and there are no known dangerous artificial latent conditions. The

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