HOV to HNWI Lanes

I have misgivings about shifting 405’s HOV lanes to the premium priced lanes. I’ve taken to calling them HNWI (High Net Worth Individual) lanes. Maybe it just offends my democratic (please note the lower case “d”) values. But the purpose of the lanes was to encourage more carpooling. Is this change acknowledging failure of this idea? Or just a drive to increase the state coffers? Yes, this has activated my cynicism system.

Actually, as I think through it, perhaps this is an effective new direction. Those with High Occupancy Vehicles still get to ride in these lanes for free. Maybe this will encourage more combining of forces. Maybe. Anyway, Seattle’s high density traffic issues are only going to grow. We need to get more people out of their cars unless we want to emulate Los Angeles. For me, there’s a resounding “no thanks”. Personally, I wish we’d embraced the original Sound Transit plan, with its aggressive rail system. But we couldn’t get past the price tag. And here we are. Here we are.