Why the double-white lines fail

This was the scene approaching 116th St on northbound I-405 at 9:00 pm Thursday night as I was driving home from the Senate Hearing on SB6152 (an update on that later).


Actually, this photo was the second time I drove past here.  The first time I drove past it, just minutes earlier, the sign read “Accident at 195th St. 4 mile backup”.  There were no instructions that traffic could use the toll lanes.  When I saw this I exited and came around to get a photo and by then the sign had changed. Of course, by the time drivers see this sign, they have no time to react and get into the toll lanes at the designated entry point.  So the result is what is in this 4 second video: a 4 mile backup with no (legal) way to enter the toll lanes due to the double-white lines.

Furthermore, the 4 mile backup of cars that are beyond this sign have no idea that they can now enter the toll lanes and no place where they can do so legally.  So they will dutifully, angrily, sit in the gridlock traffic at 9:00 pm on a Thursday night. (The road is dry.  It was sunny all day.)

Also, notice in the photo that there is a sign indicating the 2 right lanes are closed.  This is for the construction they are preparing to do and has nothing to do with the accident.  When doing construction that closes all but one General Purpose Lane, WSDOT should be allowing free access to the toll lanes.  But once again, since people know it is illegal to cross the double-white lines, they have no way to access the toll lanes even though they are now free to do so.  How do people know when it is OK to cross the double-white lines?  This is way too confusing and inconsistent and contradicts what WSDOT said they would do in these events.

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One comment on “Why the double-white lines fail

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