VanpoolFor some commuters, paying to cross the 520 bridge will be an inevitability come this summer.  However, many others are looking for alternative routes and options from taking other freeways to public transit, vanpool, carpooling and telecommuting.


VanpoolFor some commuters, paying to cross the 520 bridge will be an inevitability come this summer.  However, many others are looking for alternative routes and options from taking other freeways to public transit, vanpool, carpooling and telecommuting.

I-405 and I-5

Drivers have the option of driving around Lake Washington by taking a combination of -405 and I-5.  The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) expects minimal change on I-5 North End and I-405 South End. There is no research for I-5 South End and I-405 North End.

I-90

As the other bridge connecting Seattle and the Eastside, I-90 is expected to be affected the most by the 520 toll. WSDOT expects the bridge running through the south end of the lake to be 5 to 10 mph slower.  

SR-522

Those living or traveling North can also take SR-522, also known as Lake City Way/Bothell-Everett Highway.  According to WSDOT, SR-522 is only expected to slow down by 5 mph.  However, the Lake Forest Park Transportation Commission has issued a notice stating that they expect tremendous impact on SR-522 including pollution and congestion. WSDOT Communications Manager Janet Matkin said that the City of Bothell told her they do not expect many drivers to choose this route once they realize how slow the highway is due to traffic lights and a low speed limit.

Rideshare/Carpool

Rideshareonline.com offers tools for commuters to find carpools or vanpools (holding 5-15 commuters).  This allows commuters the opportunity to save money and use the quicker HOV lanes.  The website serves as a source to a number of different vanpool agencies and commuters in similar situations.

Public Transit

In response to the toll, the King County Metro bus systems are added 130 daily bus trips to the 600 current trips in the SR-520 corridor.  Routes with increased service include the 255, 265, 271, 542, 255, 309 and 311.King County Metro and Sound Transit have funded $41 million for buses, park and ride facilities, real-time information signs and enhancements to bus stops. Matkin said she cannot guarantee that bus fares will not rise.

WSDOT will be monitoring traffic pattern changes in the short and long term.  If there are any problems with the other freeways, WSDOT said they will look into making changes.

Next Topic: Other options for out-of-state travelers. Will my Good To Go! account ever expire?

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