Mark Hallenback, director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington, has an interesting – and non-partisan – take on the consequences of the I-405 tolling scheme that is dominating the news this winter. Hallenbeck believes that a well-publicized report issued by the transportation consultants at Inrix, which revealed a clear increase in congestion, was a bit too narrow.
However, before Democrats start applauding that finding, Hallenback further finds that analysis issued by the Washington Department of Transportation showing a decrease in congestion is “too simplistic.”
For Hallenbeck, the real impact of the tolling scheme is somewhere in the middle. A study he conducted reveals that, for commuters willing to pay upwards of $10 for a one-way trip on 405, the tolling lanes provide congestion relief. Commuters who can afford to shell out the money get to work and back home faster.
Those stuck in the general-purpose lanes face a different reality. Commuters who cannot afford the privilege of using lanes they paid to create via their tax dollars have seen an increase in congestion.
In other words, working families (once again) bear the worst consequences of incompetent Democrat policies.