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WSDOT creates traffic, then charges you for relief

Jason says WSDOT is creating traffic for drivers so it can charge them to avoid the backups. (WSDOT image)

As you know, tolling on I-405 began this week and it didn’t take long for the Washington State Department of Transportation to prey on your misery.

They created the traffic and now they want you to pay for the privilege to get out of it. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so damaging to the thousands of commuters every day.

By refusing to give an overcrowded system more general purpose lanes, they’ve made the traffic worse for you. Then, they have the audacity to tell you they’ll help so long as you give the state more money than you’re already giving them.

Oh, they’re just so generous. Only, their “generosity” is limited. There’s a reason they’re so prominently guaranteeing you 45 mph in the toll lanes. The average speeds of these lanes have to be 45 mph in order to guarantee federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

That means, if too many of you (who they swear they want to accommodate and save from traffic) use the toll lanes, you will hurt the 45 mph guarantee. That’s when WSDOT will jack the toll prices up to $10 each way. They’re incentivized by federal dollars to price you out of the lanes; so their tweets promising you sanctuary from the bumper-to-bumper traffic is mostly them teasing you.

They won’t put their federal dollars on the line, so they’ll placate the federal requirements while trying to squeeze as many dollars out of the commuters without interfering.

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