Talk: How I-405 toll lanes are doing around Bothell

BOTHELL — The state Department of Transportation Toll Division and I-405 program staff will give a public briefing on the I-405 express toll lanes, 7-8 p.m. Thursday at the Bothell Library, 18215 98th Ave. NE. This presentation on express toll lanes performance and improvements will focus on how they’ve been operating around Bothell.

Bothell sits across a kind of dividing line in how the toll lanes have performed since opening in September 2015.

South of Highway 522, the state added an additional lane and travel times have been better. Meanwhile, north-end commuters have a slower drive home. Travel from Highway 522 to Highway 527 in the general purpose lanes takes about three minutes longer.

The state also is looking at how tolling has affected traffic volumes on arterial roads in surrounding cities, including Bothell. So far, those figures show there’s been mostly no change, state planners say.

Some locations in Bothell showed changes, but WSDOT says a variety of factors might be in play. For example, a single stretch — Riverside Drive west of Eason Avenue — showed both the city’s largest increase in traffic volume (32 percent during the morning rush) and its largest decrease (down 16 percent during in the afternoon rush).

The numbers compare volumes from August 2015 to February 2016. WSDOT says there may be seasonal differences at play as well. Monitoring will continue through summer 2016.

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