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John Curley is sputtering mad over wasted I-90 HOV lanes


Taken from Monday’s edition of The Tom and Curley Show.

When you close down a major road, like the 520 bridge, on a Saturday, open the I-90 HOV (to all drivers).

On a Saturday at 3pm, when a bunch of people who pay taxes are driving from their overtaxed houses in Sammamish into Seattle, open up the HOV because the HOV is completely wide open. There’s no one out there except for a lady in a minivan, a 1989 Town & Country while the rest of us are crawling along.

It took me an hour and ten minutes to go 24 miles. Thanks Washington State Department of Transportation.

I know the 520 is closed. Open the HOV. There’s nobody in it. There’s no one in it going over the I-90 bridge, but yet, there we are, bumper to bumper, clogging along like a bunch of lemmings.

Seriously, why not? You know why? Because they don’t care. If we’re at a Subway, a bank, or a Safeway or QFC, they open another lane because God knows, if they don’t get through that lane fast enough, you’re going to go to the other supermarket.

There’s no competition with the 520 or the I-90, so they leave the thing closed and the rest of us are stuck. You get there late because they don’t care.

Do you think they knew the 520 was going to be closed? Yes, they had planned this thing months in advance. Do you think they would think, hey listen all the people who normally take the 520 on a Saturday, you know what, they’re probably going to have to shift over to the I-90. Hey, you know what we might want to do, since the Sounders are playing, we might want to open the HOV lane.

I’m sputtering mad.

You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to tint the windows, I’m going to put six mannequins in the car with a bunch of baby seats. I’m going to drive with a family of mannequins in the HOV lane. The mannequins heads are going to be on little bobbly things so they bounce around.

If the system doesn’t realize what the reality is, you cheat the system.

I am not alone.

Taken from Monday’s edition of The Tom and Curley Show.

Editor’s Note:

A WSDOT spokesperson said they wouldn’t open the I-90 HOV lanes to everyone for a 520 bridge construction closure, but will adjust the express lanes if there is also a major event like a Sounders game or festival.

“We do care,” said WSDOT spokesperson Bart Treece. He understands Curley’s frustration, but argues there’s no good time to close down a major roadway for a 60 hour stretch of time.

Listen to Bart Treece’s interview

Treece added that the WSDOT counts cars and charts traffic flow to make sure they keep things moving, including transit and high occupancy vehicles.

He said that if you did open it all up, which would be up to the state Legislature, three lanes of traffic would funnel into one lane at the Mount Baker Tunnel. So either way, you’re stuck.

The next full closures on the 520 bridge are:

11 p.m. Friday, June 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 9
11 p.m. Friday, June 20 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 23
11 p.m. Friday, June 27 to 5 a.m. Monday, June 30

The WSDOT recommends delaying discretionary trips, using the I-90 and I-5 express lanes, taking alternate routes, and using carpool and transit.


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