In the never-ending saga that is the lack of competency at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the Seattle Times reported that it turns out tolls are much higher on Interstate 405 than WSDOT projected.
But don’t fret, WSDOT just wants you to consider fees of up to $10 per trip “the new normal.”
“I think we’re surprised to see that people are willing to pay $8 or $9 for a reliable trip,” said Jennifer Charlebois, tolling engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “This really proves how valuable people’s time is.”
People already knew how valuable their time was, even if WSDOT didn’t, and they also realize how valuable their tax dollars are that paid for the new toll lanes.
So, the WSDOT approach doesn’t sit too well with drivers, and with at least one legislator. State Representative Mark Harmsworth has proposed reducing congestion by converting one of the toll lanes back to a lane that all drivers can use, rather than those who will pay extra for the privilege.
“If you’re going in rush-hour traffic, it can be really random whether it’s congested or not congested,” Harmsworth said. “What I’m hearing is, congestion is worse in the general lanes.”
Of course, don’t expect WSDOT to support any roll-back of its tolling scheme. That would make too much sense.