Hopefully the DOT will learn from this week’s experience (though I doubt it). Here are a few lessons for them.
It should be elementary that when roadwork requires lanes be closed during rush hour, that the roadwork should be done 24 hours a day to get it completed as quickly as possible.
The engineers at the DOT need to move from the mindset that all projects need to be completely perfect or not done at all. Half-solutions or imperfect solutions are better than no solutions at all. (Such as city of Everett officials suggesting the reversible lane idea on SR529 or restriping the trestle to add a third lane.)
Listen to and implement input from people who actually have to use the roads day in and day out. The DOT is run by folks in Olympia where I-5 is four lanes wide and there is no rush hour to speak of. In my experience, they usually don’t even respond to suggestions from average folks. As a letter in The Herald last Sunday indicated, average citizens were far better able to anticipate what would happen than the DOT.
Before the DOT rejects proposals for improving traffic, they should be forced to sit in the same awful traffic we do, day after day after day. Then come back and tell us our proposals won’t work. I’ve been lobbying the DOT for years to restripe I-5 and create a continuous merge lane between 41st and U.S. 2 to no avail, even though I’ve been told it could be done and for only several hundred thousand dollars. But then they don’t suffer through this traffic every day like we do.
Finally, I get the feeling that there is now a much larger number of taxpayers who won’t trust the DOT with any more tax dollars than they already get.