Petition to stop I-405 tolls has nearly 25,000 signatures as lawmakers create bill to slash toll lanes

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- The I-405 Express Toll Lanes have been up and running for a few months, but some lawmakers are revealing a plan to change the way they operate.

The proposal could mean a faster commute for those drivers who don't want to fork over money to drive in the toll lanes.

Representative Mark Harmsworth, now with the backing of high-ranking state senator Andy Hill, is revealing a bill Wednesday that would remove one of those toll lanes and convert it back to a general purpose lane for drivers.

Both lawmakers say they are hearing constant complaints from commuters about the toll lanes, claiming they are actually creating more traffic.

"At this point what I'd rather see is basically a suspension of the HOT lanes until we figure out how to make this system work. I don't want to use the citizens of this state as guinea pigs for some transportation concept... " said Harmsworth.

That may be the endgame, but this bill doesn't go that far. It simply removes one of those lanes. Still, if passed, it would be a blow to WSDOT and a system that has been in place for only a few months.

WSDOT officials say drive times are improving, not just for people using the toll lanes, but for all drivers.

But we continue to hear complaints about those tolls which reached the maximum toll of $10 last week on I-405.

And currently there is a petition to stop I-405 tolls that has nearly 25,000 signatures.