Tolling in full swing on SR 520 – How are we doing, Seattle?

So far so good.

Since tolling on the SR 520 floating bridge began last week, SDOT has monitored both the highways and city streets, particularly Lake City Way, for altered traffic patterns resulting from the new toll system. Our traffic engineers have noticed that SR 520 was lighter and I 90 and Lake City Way volumes were heavier, but did not cause significant delays either of on those routes. The system appears to be handling the diverted traffic well. We saw normal traffic patterns on the other corridors such as the Viaduct and Mercer Street.  It also looks like many drivers found alternate modes of transportation or may still be on vacation.

SR 520 toll sign on southbound Montlake Blvd at SR 520 (photo courtesy of WSDOT)

That being said, SDOT has seen an average of 12% increase along Lake City Way.  So far we have not had to change the signal timing to accommodate the increase, however, the monitoring will continue and we are equipped to make change to address any operational issues. As we noted in a previous blog, it may take a week or two for traffic to settle into consistent patterns.

Brian Kemper, SDOT’s Traffic Signal Manager, noted that “based on the data and on-going observations from our Traffic Management Center the additional traffic on city streets has been manageable. The changes in traffic volumes have not required changes to our systems for now. We will continue to monitor conditions and make adjustments as appropriate.” 

WSDOT published some travel times and traffic volume information on Monday (view here).

WSDOT camera on SR 520 E Highrise