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Initiative 1125: Vote NO (State Initiative)

This statewide ballot measure would seriously harm highway and bridge tolling policy throughout the state, kill jobs in a tough economy, and stop the voter-approved East Link light rail line across Lake Washington on the I-90 floating bridge. Sponsored by Tim Eyman and bankrolled by Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, I-1125 is an irresponsible anti-transit initiative that will make transportation projects more expensive.

I-1125 would take away toll setting authority from the transportation commission, an independent expert panel to whom the Legislature delegated this authority, and instead require the Legislature to set toll rates. If tolls are set in the politically volatile Legislature, the state treasurer estimates the financing costs of transportation projects in Washington will rise, costing taxpayers more money and reducing what those dollars can buy. Political logrolling at the level of setting tolls is a recipe for gridlock and poor policy.

Variable toll rates are prohibited by I-1125, which also disallows any use of tolling revenue to support transit service even in the tolled corridor. We need a more sophisticated tool like variable tolling to encourage carpooling and transit use and shift trips to less congested times which lessens the need for increased capacity at peak, saving us money and reducing environmental impacts. Use of tolling revenue to provide travel options such as transit and pay maintenance costs over the long-term is smart and responsible. Eyman’s I-1125 only allows tolls to support initial construction costs which shirks our responsibility for future upkeep of the transportation system. Vote no on irresponsible I-1125.