Observations from the first working day of the long awaited NEW 1-405 EXPRESS (TOLL) LANES!
- Bellevue north bound rush hour kicked in two hours early (at 12:15 – 12:30 pm) with the “peon” lanes clogged, going 20 mph, and the new express lanes EMPTY.
- North bound the new (“oh boy!!”), second HOV lane through the heart of Bellevue (now minimum 3+ occupants) slows traffic even further both by motorist confusion and by forcing travelers who a week ago used the HOV lane (thus at least marginally helping traffic flow) into the newly designated “peon” lanes.
- South bound in the middle of “rush hour” (4 :15 pm) out of Everett approaching Lynnwood traffic flow grinds to a virtual halt as motorists begin to experience the confusion of intruding, weaving, oddly-placed “lane lines” and obstructive, distracting digital overhead sign stanchions.
- Again, the latest and greatest (“Good News!”) express lanes are virtually empty.
- Occasional intrepid souls move deliberately in and out of the “new” lanes avoiding the overhead charge-your-license-plate cameras, thereby infinitesimally improving traffic flow.
- In a case of “uh-oh, this isn’t working out quite right,” south bound, during afternoon rush hour, a Washington State Patrol Highway Revenue Motorcyclist is seen zipping along the new, special lanes, then pulls over into the shoulder just south of Lynnwood, deftly exiting his bike, pulling his radar gun, and smoothly swinging it to begin targeting imaginary motorists in the empty lanes while he pirouettes 180 degrees in a single movement, like a dancer in a serial-killer ballet.
- Just north of Bothell, on the right shoulder, an unmarked white communications van disgorges a fluorescent-garbed man wielding a gargantuan, black camera aimed across five lanes toward the “special express lanes” (still empty).
- Savvy motorists will learn to move discretely in and out of the “rich people lanes” between cameras.
- Intelligent citizens will applaud such efforts for their effect in improving traffic flow and join the club once they understand how the dance works.
- Increasing numbers of fed-up motorists will take into their own hands improving traffic flow by using HOV lanes at all times and places regardless of their passenger numbers in the same way they have raised the effective speed limit an average 10 miles an hour between Seattle and Everett.
- People will administratively challenge “toll tickets” processed by the Texas contractor, just as people have challenged the red light camera ticketing company based in Arizona.
- Fed-up activists will launch a concerted effort to repeal at the legislative level ALL occupant/vehicle type lane restrictions on the people’s highways, long-previously paid for by their fuel and Federal Income taxes.
- Local police and WA.S.P. surveillance will increase as the opportunities to prey on motorists for revenue expand. These concrete rivers are always full of juicy fish for the bears.