Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Two weeks into the Washington Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) change on I-405 and many commuters are facing a daily traffic disaster. The new 17-mile I-405 express toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynwood promise to keep you moving at least 45 miles per hour – if you pay anywhere from 75 cents to $10. I've heard from many of you that the recent transition has created an unacceptable level of congestion in the regular use lanes in each direction, leaving many side streets jammed with commuters avoiding the drive on I-405.
During peak travel times carpoolers can still use the express toll lanes for free, but only with three or more occupants and only if you follow a “simple,” approximately 14-step process, that involves funding a “Good To Go” account, acquiring a pass with a transponder, and setting that transponder to HOV mode.
I-405 has become increasingly congested in recent years, and WSDOT says the toll-lane change is needed to reduce congestion – that all this maneuvering will eventually help ease traffic. While traffic engineers seem like smart enough people, so far they have not been right about this change. The result is a significant decrease in traffic movement throughout the day, creating long delays for many drivers.
I'd like to deliver a large packet of your concerns and comments to the head of the WSDOT tolling division. Do you have a story or comment about the new “express lanes” on I-405? I want to hear from you. Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's see what we can do together to fix this mess.