Ross: State should experiment with no I-405 tolls during the week
If the I-405 toll lanes are aimed at relieving congestion, and truly have nothing to do with revenue, KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross suggests the state turns the tolls off during the work week to see if it cuts down on commute times.
Eastside drivers experienced faster times over the weekend when the tolls were turned off. The toll lanes are now open to everyone from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and on weekends.
Related: The fight over I-405 tolls may be just beginning
Justin Fujioka, with the Washington State Department of Transportation, told KIRO 7 that weekend backups all but disappeared when tolling stopped.
“We normally do see a little bit of congestion on northbound 405 near 520 in Bellevue, and that was pretty much non-existent through the day on Saturday,” Fujioka said.
That contradicts the purpose of the toll lanes, Dave points out.
KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan says the point of the toll lanes is to move as many people as possible at a consistent 45 mph speed. That includes providing an expedited trip for public transit users. People in the toll lanes are saving several minutes each trip, he says.
So the people in the toll lanes are saving some time, but Dave wants to know how many people are negatively impacted by them.
Fujioka says drivers should expect to see more tweaks to I-405 in the coming months until the state finds the sweet spot.