Monday, February 1, 2016

It's TOO EARLY to roll back the Tolled HOV lanes on i405

This is an authentic RantWoman experiment in civic participation, civic participation as in RantWoman hopes this content finds people like RantWoman who are willing to tell legislators  it is far too early to do anything with the two-lane HOV and tolling regimen which took effect on I405 in November 2015.

RantWoman urges readers to oppose a bill (SB 6152) that would reduce authority to use toll lanes and charges to manage traffic flow.  Methods to manage traffic should be given a chance for evaluation before being rescinded.

For more information, see and click on Senate Bill Report. There is also a link that allows one to Comment on the Bill.

SB 6152 would roll back an effort to encourage car pools as a way to reduce traffic congestion - carpools of 3 or more can use the toll lanes for free with a special Good to Go sticker. Besides, the tolls will be evaluated in two years under current law and since they just started in November of 2015 it's way too early to call it a failed experiment.

RantWoman's perspective:

RantWoman finds it hard to have ANY sympathy for Eastside drivers who do not want to invest in transit and then wonder why their roads are choked by automobiles.

RantWoman has been on a bus a time or two, before the tolls took effect when traffic congestion meant bus trips taking 2-3 times as long as suggested by the posted schedule or the trip planner.  These occasions fill RantWoman's heart with gratitude NOT to be driving, to be free to do other things with her time even if it is more time than she really wants to be spending. These moments also fill RantWoman's soul with thoughts such as "Get Out of Your Cars and Onto transit!"

RantWoman tends to think carpools are a nice idea. However RantWoman does not drive. RantWoman tends to need to get around with other people who do not drive. Buses move more people in the available roadway than carpools. In other words, RantWoman wants to give the tolls carpooling congestion pricing time to work out possible kinks but RantWoman is pretty sure that more transit is going to be needed no matter what.

RantWoman thinks that two months is barely enough time for people to settle into either carpools or schedules that allow them to cut congestion by adjusting time of travel.  RantWoman is NOT overflowing with confidence that simply incentivizing carpooling will add anywhere near the road capacity needed to move all the people who need to move around the Eastside now, let alone the people expected to move to our region. But that is all down the road. Right now, just tell your legislators it's TOO EARLY to roll back the tolled HOV lanes on i405.

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