Some key changes are in the works to help traffic flow more freely on I-405—one of the state's most congested freeways.
Construction is already underway on new express toll lanes between Lynnwood and NE 6th Street in downtown Bellevue. Similar to the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on State Route 167, I-405's express lanes will be open to solo drivers who pay an electronic toll to use the special lanes.
Would you pay to avoid sitting in traffic on I-405? How much? Tell us in the comments section.
The $334-million first phase is expected to open in 2015, with WSDOT planning to eventually expand the lanes to cover the entire 40-mile I-405/SR 167 corridor.
But the amount of the tolls—and whether the lanes will be free for vehicles with two or more occupants—is still up for debate. As KING 5 reported, WSDOT might increase the number of passengers needed to travel in carpool lanes on I-405, or begin charging vehicles with more than one occupant.
“We are looking at whether we continue to let people in the two-plus carpool be in the lane for free, or do we actually need start charging them because there are so many two-plus carpoolers, so that's something that we'll be talking about and evaluating," Patty Rubstello of WSDOT’s Toll Division told KING 5.
These questions are the focus of a new advisory group, made up of 30 local elected officials, that held its first meeting Thursday. (Click here to see meeting presentation.) The committee must also determine how to pay for the full implementation of the express lanes and deliver a plan of action to the governor and state legislature by June 2013.
Are Carpool Lane Violators on I-405 a Problem?
Express Toll Lanes a Possiblity on Interstate 405