The new I-405 tolls have been a boon for the state of Washington, which collected $3.7 million over the course of the first three months. Another group it has not been a boon for is the people who drive on it all day. While transit buses are seeing quicker times, many others report that traffic is basically the same, if not worse, depending on the time of the day. While studies have shown that traffic is better in some areas, new traffic hot-spots have cropped up because of the tolls. The problem was getting exacerbated on weekends when confusion about the tolls led to less usage and more general traffic.
Elected officials heard the complaints and this Friday their changes to the toll lanes will go into effect. Moving forward, the lanes will be free on nights and weekends.
The new Express Toll Lanes will be marked "Open to All" or "$0 toll" from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights, and all weekend from 7 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, along with six holidays.
The only stretch unchanged by the new rules are the direct-access ramps at downtown Bellevue and Totem Lake, which were built with federal money and therefore must adhere to carpool lane requirements.
· I-405 toll lanes to be free on nights, weekends starting Friday [ST]
· I-405 Tolls Will Be Free During Off-Peak Hours & Weekends [CS]
· I-405 Tolls Made $3.7 Million in Their First Three Months [CS]