News Release #3

Stop405Tolls.org

FB: Stop 405 Tolls // Twitter: @stop405tollsnow

Contact: Cynthia Ulrich, WebberUlrich Media, LLC / 425-830-9296 / webberulrichmedia@gmail.com

 NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Use

 WSDOT and Governor Appear to Live Out Tale of Self-Delusion
What Part of “No” Don’t WSDOT, Peterson and Inslee Understand?

 December 14, 2015 ~ Woodinville, WA: Today, leadership of Stop405Tolls.org, the growing, pro-active bipartisan grassroots group dedicated to eliminating the 405 toll lanes on Seattle’s Eastside, announced its petition at stop405tolls.org has garnered close to 24,000 signatures from tax-payers, commuters and business owners fed up with the negative effects of toll lanes on their businesses, their lives and pocketbooks.

 Social media comments left by bi-partisan petition signers on the organization’s website, http://stop405tolls.org, their FB page “Stop 405 Tolls” and Twitter feed “@stop405tollsnow” indicate signers protest both the tyrannical invasion on their time and finances as well as the abject refusal on the part of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to listen to and to take action to correct the real-life, dangerous and hyper-expensive 405 toll lane experiences of hundreds of thousands of commuters and tax-payers.

 WSDOT executive director, Lynne Peterson, was interviewed on Wednesday, December 9th on KTTH by afternoon drive-time talk show host, Todd Herman. Many of the questions Herman asked Peterson were pre-submitted to him from the public. (Listen to the Herman/Peterson interview here: http://bit.ly/1NPDQKx )

 Leaders of Stop405Tolls.org found Ms. Peterson’s responses to those questions thin and, in a number of cases, lacking significantly in accuracy.

 When asked by Herman if other U.S. cities with freeway toll lanes were experiencing negative outcomes, Peterson indicated other toll freeways were working fine and those cities were not experiencing citizen protest.

 Her statement is not true. Research of toll lane success or failure in other cities as well as details from conversations with leaders of opposition groups in the different regions indicate problems with the toll lanes in other cities and a resulting public outcry against the toll lanes in those venues.2   

 When asked by Herman if she understood the severe personal and financial impact the extreme slowdowns and backups of general purpose lanes by the toll lanes impose upon especially middle- and low-income drivers, her response was laden with an imperious, “let them eat cake” foundational attitude when she replied that those suffering should learn to manage their time and money better.

 In addition, Ms. Peterson implied the state knows best and will do what it thinks best for the public. There is no other interpretation but to believe her comments imply government wants no relationship with its employers, the public; that it believes the public to be their minions whose lives they can manipulate and whose pocketbooks they can fleece.

Three questions could have been asked during Peterson’s interview:

1) If there is no problem with the 405 toll lanes as Peterson reports, why are tens of thousands of people, on a daily basis since the inception of the toll lanes, reporting their commute on the 405 is clogged ever so much more and taking ever so much longer than before the opening of the toll lanes?

2) Why do Ms. Peterson, WSDOT and Governor Inslee claim blatant untruths to be truth?

3) Why do WSDOT, Peterson and Gov. Inslee not at all with to acknowledge or comprehend video reports of unmoving or creeping 405 commute traffic?

 Could it be the dishonesties and fabrications mean they know full-well their 405 toll lane system is a failure? Could it be they are irrationally determined to continue their doomed 405 toll lane scheme?

 “Refusals to admit the facts about the flow of 405 toll lanes by the Inslee Administration, WSDOT and Ms. Peterson strongly appear based in an overbearing attitude of arrogance. WSDOT and Inslee’s administration are showing themselves expert at manipulative Orwellian language, calling up, down and down, up,” said Cynthia Ulrich, a member of the volunteer stop405tolls.org leadership team.

 According to Ulrich, the KTTH interview of WSDOT’s CEO (Peterson’s term referencing herself) clearly showed the state agency is either too proud to acknowledge the failure before them or they are, indeed, permanently cocooned in a self-protected, self-created world of fantasy.

 Ulrich continued, “It appears the highest levels of state government are experiencing bureaucratic self-delusion because neither WSDOT nor Washington State’s governor are recognizing or dealing at all with the reality of the 405 toll lane’s destructive impact on regional, inter-state and international commerce, commuters and taxpayers. Ms. Peterson, WSDOT and Gov. Inslee appear to view the 405 debacle through incredibly rose-colored glasses as they march onwards in lock-step towards tolling more Puget Sound freeways. They show an overwhelming resistance to researching and understanding the impact of their toll lane scheme upon the people.”

 Stop405Tolls.org says 405 toll lanes are a travesty played out upon the public by WSDOT and Governor Inslee’s administration who continue to turn their backs to the truth of the matter.

   Ulrich added, “The Washington State Department of Transportation and Gov. Inslee are responsible for not only creating, but also enforcing an extortion scheme worthy of old-time Mafia Dons.”

 Ulrich concluded, “’We, the People’ are not giving up. The current number of petition signers, 23,947, grows mightily each day and, in reality, is but a small representation of the greater number of people opposed to the 405 toll a lane. We will continue to bring forward the truth of the matter and the wishes of the public to the governor, to WSDOT and to WSDOT’s Secretary, Lynne Peterson. The toll lanes, including cameras, striping and over-lane signage must be removed immediately.”

# # #

    Our information-rich website, including blog: http://stop405tolls.org

  1. Recording of KTTH’s Todd Herman interview of WSDOT Secretary Lynne Peterson, here: http://bit.ly/1NPDQKx
  2. Read Stop405tolls.org blog post on “success rate” of other tolling systems across the country, here: http://bit.ly/1O5fPRP
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