Fixing Interstate 405
Interstate 405 is the critical freeway linking cities throughout the Eastside. Research has shown that construction general purpose capacity by building out the approved I-405 Master Plan Record of Decision is the only way to reduce congestion, reduce carbon emissions, maintain our quality of life and economic vitality. Current land use supports freeways as the primary means of moving people and goods. Failing to invest in I-405 means more diversion of traffic, longer and unpredictable travel times, and higher tolls for people who have no choices. We stand with Eastsiders and say, "Give us our lane back!"
The ETA supports removing the I-405 Express Toll Lanes immediately
The ETA supports removing the I-405 ETL's now and reverting to a single lane 2+ HOV lane in each direction for the full length between Bellevue and Lynnwood while installing enhanced friction-reducing techniques to ensure speed reliability for current and future buses and carpools operating in the corridor. See our position paper, here.
The ETA supports finishing the approved I-405 Master Plan R.O.D.
The 2002 federally-approved I-405 Master Plan Record of Decision consisted of additional general purpose capacity, direct access interchanges, freeway to freeway interchanges, Bus Rapid Transit and new park and ride spaces, among other things. This plan was designed to handle
The I-405 Express Toll Lane facility failing to meet state and federal performance metrics
The Joint Transportation Committee of the Washington Legislature retained the University of Minnesota to conduct an independent analysis of the operation of the I-405 ETL facility authorized in 2011 by RCW 47.56.880. The draft report was released on December 6, 2017. The draft report concludes that the I-405 ETL facility fails to meet speed performance metrics established in law. The RCW clearly states that not meeting performance measures should result in termination of the ETL pilot project:
(5) If after two years of operation of the express toll lanes on Interstate 405 performance measures listed in subsection (4)(a) and (e) of this section are not being met, the express toll lanes project must be terminated as soon as practicable.
In addition, as required by the contract, the U of M was required to evaluate:
"Various combinations of lane types for this corridor, i.e. ETL, HOV lanes, and general purpose lanes, including proposing the optimal combination of lane types based on current and near term roadway capacity..."
and more importantly;
"an all-general-purpose-lane alternative for the currently-tolled corridor."
The draft report does not contain the results of an all general-purpose lane configuration, and therefore, is incomplete. The ETA looks forward to the promised analysis as required by the contract.