Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I-405 express toll lanes get animated (VIDEO)

By Emily Pace

I-405 express toll lanes are coming later this year and we've been pounding the pavement to let people know why and how to get prepared. And this is just the beginning! We’ll be coming to a community, fair, festival or meeting near you soon! However, there are other ways you can learn about I-405 express toll lanes all on your own.

Today we released the new I-405 express toll lanes animated video. It’s down-right informative and will have everything you need to know to get ready and give you an example of what your trip may look in the express toll lanes.

Most people are familiar with the adage that it's better to show than tell. This is particularly true when trying to convey something complex like express toll lanes.

So take a gander and let us know what you think! For more information on I-405 express toll lanes visit: GoodToGo405.com.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Biggest mistake WSDOT has ever made.

Unknown said...

Biggest mistake ever for WSDOT.

Anonymous said...

Video: B+. It would have helped to linger a little longer on the map to highlight the road names (exits) she was mentioning. And say how much more you pay if you don't have a flex pass and pay by mail. And clarify: do you need a flex pass if you're a carpool??

Policy itself: F! Are you kidding me? WAY too complicated. May be a good theoretical solution but should never be foisted on the public.

Here's a good rule of thumb: if you have to make a 4-minute video to explain some new policy, change the policy.

Marilyn Redmond said...

It is all about money and not traffic. Open up all the landes and move three lanes. That would do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Way too confusing! Terrible idea! So at what speed is the 'regular' traffic moving? 5mph, that's what! So instead of it taking me 75 minutes to get to work it will take me 150! You are just punishing the people that can't pay or don't have an expense account!
I had a carpool for almost 2 years. The biggest problem we had was that the Park and Rides were always full! If you want us to carpool more then make more Park and Ride lots!

WSDOT said...

Marilyn,
Express toll lanes are designed to move traffic more efficiently in the corridor, not to generate revenue. I know you’re skeptical, but we have data that’s encouraging. More than 30 express toll lane systems have been successfully implemented in places around the United States, including our very own SR 167 HOT Lanes. For example, after express toll lanes opened on I-95 in Miami, HOV lane speeds tripled and general purpose lane speeds doubled.

Anonymous said...

Agree, biggest mistake WSDOT ever made!

We know what's going to happen to 405 Express Toll Lane. This video is just a PROPAGANDA from WA DOT! They claim it will make traffic better, in essence the 2-people car pool will be squeezed off to normal lanes during PEAK hours and NO MORE INCENTIVES for most people to car pool at all, creating many more extra cars in regular lanes, thus make the traffic flow even worse than EVER!

This is what we think (the people showed up to Kirkland City Hall to protest) WILL HAPPEN!

WSDOT said...

Here’s a map of the new I-405 express toll lanes.

Carpools will need a Flex Pass and a Good To Go! account in order to use the lanes for free. If you’re a frequent carpooler, you can request a free Flex Pass.

If you’re not a carpooler and want to pay to use the lanes, then any Good To Go! pass will work to pay the toll at the same lowest rate. If you don’t have a Good To Go! account, we’ll send the registered owner of your vehicle a toll bill in the mail plus a $2 processing fee.

Anonymous said...

So, if I'm a carpool, I have to give you money to avoid paying a toll? I'll be charged a toll even if I meet the requirements and have such a transponder, simply because I forgot to flip the thing?

If I have a motorcycle, which is always a carpool, I have to get a transponder, even though the registration for my license plate should indicate that I should never be subject to a toll?

And you're increasing the number of people required to use the carpool lanes from 2 to 3? There's no way that forcing all those 2 person carpools into the standard lane is going to screw up traffic at all.

It's almost like this is designed to intentionally ruin traffic in the normal lanes, in an attempt to force people to pay for the privilege of using the carpool lane that they had previously used as a 2 person carpool.

When is WSDOT going to admit that this has absolutely nothing to do with improving the flow of traffic, and everything to do with extracting money from people?

Anonymous said...

Regarding your "encouraging" data:

I don't think that anybody doubts that it will improve the flow of traffic in the HO/T lanes, we simply recognize that it will be done by completely destroying flow of traffic for everyone else.

You're exacerbating the problem that you claim to be solving by allowing toll access to the Carpool Lane, by kicking carpoolers out to make room for people with more money than time.

But then, I shouldn't be surprised that moneyed individuals had more of an impact on policy than logic or the welfare of the average person.

Raven Lunatic said...

If WSDOT is so confident that this will work, will the policy change back if, several months after implementation, traffic is still worse than before?

Anonymous said...

Formerly from East Coast. Sad to see Seattle area turning itself into just another Jersey. Disgusting move along with your copycat "Big Dig" project. It would have been nice to keep Western WA beautiful, but dirty political types are sullying the area for political gain. SIGh

WSDOT said...

The legislature authorized express toll lanes on I-405 in 2011. If they don't meet performance standards in the first two years, they are subject to removal. However, there are over 30 examples of successful systems around the country, including our very own SR 167 HOT Lanes between Auburn and Renton where drivers are saving an average of seven minutes on their 11-mile trip for a $2 toll.

Anonymous said...

Make your video real. Do you really think there are going to be open spots at the dashed lines between regular traffic and express? Its more likely that the regular lanes will be so congested and the people in them so irritated that they will not leave the room you glibly show in your video. That will slow down the express lanes and back them up. Then, adding insult to injury, all the well-heeled who can afford to use the toll lanes will force their way across the entire freeway, making everyone else slow down even more. What a damnable situation you are creating.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the video. Can you create one that shows whether someone has to change their pass if they come from 520 going west, merge to 405 and have a 3 person carpool?

Anonymous said...

Can you show a video how a carpool (3 plus) works driving from 520 to 405? Do people have to change their flex pass or can they leave it on carpool?

WSDOT said...

If you meet the carpool requirements and merge onto I-405 northbound from SR 520, you must switch your Flex Pass to HOV mode before entering the express toll lanes to receive a free trip. You only need to adjust your Flex Pass heading south on I-405 if you plan to enter the express toll lanes system before it ends at the NE 6th Street off-ramp in downtown Bellevue. South of NE 6th street, the HOV lane system only requires two passengers.

WSDOT said...

Once you exit I-405 to go to SR 520, you still need three people in your vehicle to use the carpool lane, however, you do not need to have a Flex Pass to travel for free in the SR 520 carpool lane. If you plan to cross the SR 520 Bridge, your Flex Pass will work in either HOV or Toll mode to pay the SR 520 Bride toll. Carpools do not receive free trips across the SR 520 Bridge.

Anonymous said...

They say this is about improving traffic and not about revenue. Really? Do they expect us to believe that? It may not be about revenue for the DOT but it sure as heck is for the private company that will be managing the tolls. Once again taxpayers pay for no benefit while some corporation gets rich. They built a second carpool lane for this. The carpool lanes already existed, they could have simply built the second lane and we'd have had instant improvements without tolls. What a ripoff.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous to raise the requirement from two to three people for a carpool. The carpool requirement should remain as two people.

Raven Lunatic said...

You claim that there are 30 different places which show improvements, but one of the ones you cite (SR-167) is drastically different in that it:

1. Doesn't kick carpoolers out so the 1% can use the carpool lane.
2. Doesn't charge carpoolers for use of the carpool lane if they haven't paid for the right to be considered a carpool.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of a rational implementation of HOT lanes, but this clearly is not such an implementation.

Jonathon D said...

I am very excited for this. On every survey WSDOT did about 167's HOT lanes, I would recommend getting this on every freeway. Thank you for listening to those of us that participated. This has saved me a lot of time and money.

Anonymous said...

As an occasional carpool user of 405 that lives outside the metro area, you will require that I BUY a Flex Pass and FUND a prepaid Good to Go account that I never intend to use so I can drive "free" in the hot lane. I am not happy.

Anonymous said...

So....a 2-person carpool coming from the south can travel in the HOV lane up until Bellevue. But then, if they need to continue north, they must move into the regular lanes, or be charged a toll because they are no longer considered a carpool? That's ridiculous! And this switching modes from Flex Pass to HOV.....who the hell is gonna remember to do that while commuting? This is just way too complicated....and totally ridiculous! It's obvious to anyone with a brain that this is being done to generate money....not relieve traffic congestion. We need to encourage carpools....not punish them for not having more than 2 people!

And they have already discovered on WA-167 that the dashed entry points were too constricting, dangerous, and caused too many problems for carpools and buses, so they eliminated them, making the lane open to access at any point. Why doesn't WA-DOT take a clue from WA-167 and use a single white line for accessing the HOV lane on I-405 at any point? This is also totally ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

We need more Park & Ride lots....with more space. The existing ones fill up early, and stay full all day. How can WA-DOT expect people to carpool, or use the bus system if they cannot park their cars in the P & R lots?

Sarah Sorensen said...

Obviously the tolled lanes will see shorter commute times, but I fail to see how the majority of drivers who cannot afford $20 round trip tolls will see any improvement. If significantly fewer people are driving in the two far left lanes due to tolls, won't the traffic in the rest of the lanes be much worse?

WSDOT said...

Hi, Sarah. Thank you for your question. The express toll lanes are meant to provide a faster, more reliable trip for all drivers. Some folks will use them every day, but for others, it will be an option for when they absolutely need to have a reliable trip. Also, while the maximum toll rate is $10, we anticipate that atypical trip cost between 75 cents and $4. And while we expect that it will take up to six months to a year for traffic to adjust, a lot of commuters who ride buses, vanpools and carpools will experience a faster, more predictable trip through the project area on day-one. Over time drivers will grow accustomed to using the express toll lanes, and the system will move more people, more efficiently in both the express toll lanes and in the regular lanes.

Jake Reese said...

Terrible idea. Confusing and definitely only implemented to generate revenue. DOT claims that it will ease congestion but that's only for the people who pay the toll on a road that was built with our tax dollars! How is this even legal?! Hopefully there is a class action lawsuit against DOT and this Good to Go BS, oh wait, there already is!
DOT likes to claim how this ridiculous mess is supposed to ease congestion and keeps posting examples like "there are over 30 examples of successful systems around the country, including our very own SR 167 HOT Lanes between Auburn and Renton where drivers are saving an average of seven minutes on their 11-mile trip for a $2 toll." But the morons at DOT conveniently forget to mention that this is not a fair comparison since the SR 167 HOT lanes are still available to 2+ carpoolers without the $30 cost of a "free" flex pass plus that fact that you have to now have 3+ carpoolers. This is ridiculous and will make the traffic worse since 2+ carpoolers will now have to use the regular lanes or quite possibly quit carpooling and add even more vehicles to traffic since there is no incentive to carpool anymore. And how can DOT claim this isn't about revenue when the whole system is based on pay per use?! Is DOT so stupid that they don't realize that tolls are revenue? Or, more likely, do they think we the public are stupid enough to believe there lies?!

This is not for revenue. LOL said...

so what do you do if you are not a resident of king or snohomish county?

What happens if you end up in the toll lane accidently?

FYI, the explanation between "flex pass" or "good to go" is confusing.

As an out of county driver, what are my options?

Why is there a $2 additional charge if mailed a bill?

This comment needs repeating:

"Make your video real. Do you really think there are going to be open spots at the dashed lines between regular traffic and express? Its more likely that the regular lanes will be so congested and the people in them so irritated that they will not leave the room you glibly show in your video. That will slow down the express lanes and back them up. Then, adding insult to injury, all those who can afford to use the toll lanes will force their way across the entire freeway, making everyone else slow down even more. What a damnable situation you are creating."

WSDOT said...

Hello This is not for revenue. LOL:
If you do not live, work, or play in King or Snohomish counties, you are not eligible for a free Flex Pass. If you travel on the I-405 express toll lanes and would like a Flex Pass, they are available for purchase at MyGoodToGo.com or by calling customer service at 1-866-936-8246. If you accidently end up in the express toll lanes, you can contact customer service and they can work with you.

The Flex Pass is a type of Good To Go! pass, just like the sticker pass or the motorcycle pass. Good To Go! is the statewide tolling program.

If you use the I-405 express toll lanes without a Good To Go! pass, you will be charged the toll plus an additional $2.00 per trip. This is due to increased costs associated with the Pay By Mail payment method, including printing and postage for the toll bill.

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