More Democrats are joining a bipartisan bill that would address the mess that has become the Interstate 405 tolling scheme. The bill, introduced by GOP State Senate Ways & Means Chairman Andy Hill and state Representative Mark Harmsworth from the House Transportation Committee, would eliminate one of I-405’s vaunted toll lanes, and let the drivers (who already paid for it through gas taxes) use it as a general-purpose lane. Additionally, the bill would make other changes intended to reduce congestion on the busy roadway.
State Rep. Patty Kuderer is the latest Democrat to offer her support for the bill. In a recent email Kuderer stated,
“I hear your frustrations. I’ve experienced them myself, which is why I’m sponsoring a bipartisan bill to address the problems with I-405. While I do not currently serve on the Transportation Committee, I will work with my colleagues to see if we can find some common sense solutions to the issues that currently plague I-405.”
Commuters have good reason for their frustrations. According to a report from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), congestion has increased for commuters using the general-purpose lanes during the weekday evening commute between Bothell and Lynnwood. For those drivers, the commute takes five to ten minutes longer.
Stay tuned to see how many other Democrats worried about their re-election jump on bi-partisan bills to fix the I-405 mess rather than standing with Jay Inslee and his incompetent WSDOT.