Evaluation of the Effects of Changing to Continuous Access HOT Lanes on SR 167

In August 2014, The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) changed the access controls for the HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes on State Route (SR) 167. The lanes were initially designed and implemented to allow access at only six points northbound and four points southbound. Since August 23, 2014, free access has been allowed into and out of the HOT lanes. This study was performed to determine the effects of allowing continuous access to the SR 167 HOT lanes. It examined customer attitudes toward the new access rules, the performance of the corridor, including both the HOT lanes and the parallel general purpose (GP) lanes, and the volumes of use and travel times experienced. It also examined the amount of revenue collected, the amount of toll evasion occurring, collision frequency and severity, and the impacts on transit operations.

The changes in the corridor since the change in access rules have been complex. This report describes that complexity. In general, traffic volumes are increasing in the corridor. Travel times have degraded slightly in both the GP and HOT lanes in the corridor. Prices and total revenue are up in the HOT lane. Prices increased substantially during the first five months of operation of the new rules, declined somewhat after that, but remain higher than under access control rules. No statistically significant change in safety is apparent. A large fraction of the travelers in the corridor are in favor of the access rule changes, and that includes the transit agencies operating in the corridor.
Publication Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 846.1
Last modified: 
10/12/2016 - 15:41
Mark E. Hallenbeck, John Ishimaru, Dmitri Zyuzin.
Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
Number of Pages: 
High occupancy toll lanes, Access, Commuters, Attitudes, Evaluation and assessment, Performance measurement, Toll roads.