Vast gloomy skies greet thousands of white exhaust clouds. A sea of colorful steel inches forward. Off to the left, few vehicles zip by the congestion. These fast lanes are called toll lanes.
Frankly, I hate the tolls. Before, we only had to pay for the gas that fuels our vehicles. Now, on top of spending too much for fuel, people are also having to shell out more money to wiz by their angry, broke neighbors. For the rest of us who sit in the stop and go of the morning buzz, suffer from the ripple effects of the toll lanes.
In 2014, Seattle was the eighth worst traffic congested city in the U.S., according to Weather.com. An article published on Business Insider this year shows Seattle has jumped up to fourth worst congested city in the U.S.
Also, when there is more traffic, more accidents occur as well. In the recent article published by the Reporter, it says in 2015, before tolls were implemented, there were 362 total collisions on I-405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood in April through September.
A year after toll lanes were implemented, the number rose to 495 collisions. That means there was an increase of more than 100 accidents in a relatively small part of I-405. This has caused 59 percent of people who surveyed on the Everett Herald to say that the toll lanes do not decrease traffic congestion. On top of tolls being expensive, they have also increased the dangers of driving on I-405.
However, there are petitions and bills we can follow and support to end the tolls. A bill called the ‘Eastside Corridor Congestion Relief Act’ is planning on removing one of the toll lanes and making it a free lane for people to drive on. A website called Stop405tolls.org is also another way to be up to date on what is currently going on with the tolls and what our legislatures are doing to help.
We have the power to dictate what we want to do about the tolls. The toll lanes just eat our money. So, go onto stop405tolls.org, research the ‘Eastside Corridor Congestion Relief Act’. We can stop these tolls together.