Drivers pay the price of WSDOT tolling: slower traffic, more pollution, higher costs
The I-405 toll lanes have been open less than one week and already commuters are complaining about the worsened traffic during rush hour. The promises made by tolling advocates that the I-405 scheme would create commuter bliss now seem laughable in retrospect as complaints run rampant from drivers. Even when media tries to give this story a positive spin, there is not much positive they can say. The negative impact of I-405 tolling is most felt by the average guy/gal just trying to get to work. The benefactors of the system are the bus riders.
KING5.com ran a story this week regarding the new I-405 tolls, stating, "Early results were mixed on the first big day of tolling for the new I-405 HOV toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood. Communter Cliff Alameda summed up his feelings succinctly.
"I think it's a pain in the (fanny), definitely," he said.
Through much of the Monday commutes, the toll lanes were wide open while the others were packed.
Even with a toll of just 75 cents, a lot of people were simply not willing to pay."
We continue to pay billions for every new transportation project that comes down the pike. The single common thread is this: they only worsen the commute for the average driver. Sure, if one day enough people rode the bus, the transportation advocates might have a point, but meanwhile, the average driver is going to suffer.
The goal of the enlightened transportation advocates in our area is crystal clear: make driving a car so painful and so expensive that you will succumb (obey) and give up your vehicle once and for all. Meanwhile, more pain is in store for all of the troglodytes still driving cars. There are benefits to being enlightened.
Despite the billions spent on METRO and Sound Transit, it is too bad that bus and light rail service isn't a realistic alternative for most of us.
When it comes to transportation spending, planning and tolling in our area, it is clear that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many. Do I claim to have the solution? Certainly not. But it does seem like our current transportation system ignores the needs of most users.
I welcome your alternative perspectives.