Congestion Pricing Comes to Washington State

Highway 167 In Auburn, WA

This weekend Washington State opened its first HOT Lanes on SR-167 just outside of Seattle between the towns of Renton and Auburn. Despite what you might believe given the hysteria over Metro’s HOT Lanes proposal, the world didn’t end, Washington is still a part of the United States and people’s lives went on unobstructed.

In fact, the Seattle Times actually reports that traffic rode smoothly this weekend with only minor confusion amongst motorists.

The first day of experimental "HOT lanes" on Highway 167 went well Saturday, despite a "perfect storm" of traffic snarls, said state Department of Transportation officials.

Torrents of rain, a police chase, a collision and construction on Interstate 405 combined to create slowdowns on Saturday.

Still, 215 people paid tolls that varied from 50 cents to $1.75 for the privilege of driving alone in the high-occupancy/toll lane, said Craig Stone, regional administrator for the state Department of Transportation.

To learn more about the 4-year HOT Lanes pilot program in Washington, go to articles in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, view a news report by Seattle’s NBC affiliate, or read a press release by the FHWA.

Photo: Brewbooks/Flickr

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Oh Please! Seattleites only think they are progressive.

    They’ve rejected just about every mass transit proposal to come their way in the past 50 years and continue to sprawl out of control with their car dependent “Green McMansions.”

    When I was riding my bike out their in 2006, nearly every car that passed me on a road without a bike lane would prefer to practically graze my shoulder instead of crossing the double yellow line when there wasn’t a car for miles coming in the other direction.

    Don’t kid yourself. The progressive northwest only makes it as far north as the Columbia River.

  • calwatch

    Minor nit: It’s state route 167 (SR-167 in Washington nomenclature), not an Interstate.

  • The money for those tolls sounds like it is going where it ought to: back to the government that built the roads.

    There are a lot of knuckleheads in L.A. who think that leasing out highways to private companies is the way to do this. Hopefully, this publicly run toll program will show them how wrong they are about what government can do.