WSDOT will be presenting their 1 year report to the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) this Wednesday. They will be having the meeting at the Marysville City Hall, 1049 State Ave, in the Council Chambers. This is only 25 miles north of Bothell. This is a change from the usual meeting way down in Olympia, far from our reach. The meeting is all day, but the agenda shows the topic of the I-405 Express Toll Lanes will be at 4:00 PM. If you are going, it would be best to plan to arrive at least an hour earlier. Public comment will be taken after the report. Make your voices heard!
Here are several pieces of important information you should review, whether you attend or not. Later I will post more critique on the many, many issues with the report. First, the slides that will be presented:
A few issues here (of many):
Slide 2: The I-405 Master Plan did not call for HOT lanes
Slide 9: Draws incorrect conclusion that “Drivers value this choice”. (The choice is to pay with our time or our money. Either way, we pay.)
Slide 10: Ours is the only system the implemented without adding capacity.
Slide 11: Ignores that most of those frequent drivers live south of SR522.
Slide 12: Hides the fact that trips starting or ending north of SR522 are many times higher, costing Snohomish county drivers way more than Kirkland and Bellevue drivers.
Slide 13: NOT more predictable. Price is totally unpredictable. 45MPH for 85% of the time is FAILING the Federal requirement. And this measurement is only from end to end. It FAILS EVERY DAY for the half north of NE 160th St.
Slide 22: Due to increased capacity. And travel times continue to be far slower. Look at May over May and august over august, 7 & 6 minutes slower respectively heading northbound in the PM Peak through Bothell.
Slide 27: WSDOT admits that “with no added capacity” things are worse.
Here is the final financial report for the first fiscal year (July 2015 – June 2016):
The amount of revenue over expenditures (“profit”) is a tiny drop in the bucket of the overall highway funds and not worth the nightmare it is creating for drivers. Of particular interest is that the citizens have spent $1.1 million in civil penalties and another $878,597 in Washington State Patrol to manage the lanes. That is $2 million we paid for dealing with frustration with this system and they only started giving citations in the last 6 months of the year and those penalties are on the rise. People don’t generally break laws that work. Clearly this is broken. Many issues here. We hope you will join us for the meeting and public comment.
Please get more people to sign the petition and make a new call to your new legislators as they prepare for the next legislative session.