Transportation Leaders Announce I-405 Toll Lane Improvements
February 2, 2016 | By Washington House Democrats
After a work session last week on the I-405 Express Toll Lanes that featured tough questions and calls for swift action, House Democrats are pleased to announce a series of changes developed jointly with WSDOT that will improve safety and congestion along the highway.
“The concerns of commuters have been heard loud and clear,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), chair of the Transportation Committee. “These are real solutions to real problems, not knee-jerk proposals that would do more harm than good.”
The improvements include lengthening access to the lanes in areas where entry and exit has proved difficult, making merging at the north and south endpoints easier and safer, and providing more clarity around when and how tolls are processed through signage.
These changes follow a work session on I-405 last week in the House Transportation Committee, which featured presentations from WSDOT, local governments along the interstate, and the founder of the “Stop 405 Tolls” petition. Clibborn, vice chair Luis Moscoso (D-Bothell), and other members of the committee asked tough and direct questions of WSDOT, and called for immediate action to improve the situation for commuters.
“I have driven I-405 myself and heard from a number of constituents about the challenges they are experiencing,” said Moscoso. “I’ve been very clear that we can’t afford to wait for change, and I’m proud that our work is producing solutions to the problems that drivers are facing.”
Committee members sent a letter thanking WSDOT for moving quickly, while pledging to continue aggressively pursuing improvements along the corridor. The letter called for ongoing monitoring and other new enhancements, including opening the toll lanes up to all drivers on evenings and weekends
“While congestion has improved along many stretches of I-405, it’s clear that more work needs to be done. But these changes don’t require legislation – just strong oversight and a willingness to work together,” said Clibborn.
The letter was signed by Clibborn, Moscoso; Senators Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), Marko Liias (D-Mukilteo), and Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell); and Representatives Patty Kuderer (D-Clyde Hill), Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), Joan McBride (D-Kirkland), Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island), Larry Springer (D-Kirkland), and Derek Stanford (D-Bothell).