Sen. Cyrus Habib, who represents Kirkland from the 48th District, issued the following statement after Gov. Jay Inslee announced changes to I-405 express toll lanes, customer service improvements at Good2Go, expansion joint replacements on I-5 and an increase in incident response teams:
“Gov. Inslee’s announcement today to work with WSDOT to introduce a number of changes headed to I-405’s express toll lanes is very welcome, especially in my district. I-405 runs through the heart of the 48th Legislative District and is one of the most congested areas of our state’s highway system.
“In 2011, the Legislature attempted to provide some relief and authorized the use of express toll lanes on I-405 to help reduce congestion and get people moving. Now, nearly six months into the express tolling experiment, the governor and WSDOT have identified areas where we can improve traffic flows, travel times, and lift tolls on evening off-peak hours, weekends and holidays.
“When my constituents get in their cars, they depend on 405 to work efficiently in order to get where they’re going in a reasonable amount of time. More often than not, drivers find themselves stuck in bumper to bumper traffic without any solutions to get to work, to school, to medical appointments or home any faster. The importance of additional transportation options should also be a part of the solution to get people where they need to be. While we’re building capacity on our freeways, we also need to be adding transit routes and parking spaces at our park and rides, especially in our urban areas.
“I believe that we will see that express tolling lanes will work over time. This is a large project to implement and these changes will not likely be the last as we find the best ways to move forward.”