Joel Connelly does a good job explaining why Tim Eyman’s attack on red light cameras in I-985 would likely end up killing and maiming people.
These are not the cash cows Eyman claims they are, with most of the fines actually going to pay for the cost of installation, operation and maintenance. If I-985 passes, and these local revenues are directed to the state general fund, the cameras will be removed, as there will be no way to pay the contracters who operate them. And drivers will once again be free to run lights at these dangerous intersections.
So I-985 means no red light cameras and no red light camera revenue to pay for promised congestion improvements.
Of course, that’s not the only promise Eyman’s made that he cannot deliver. Timmy’s done a good job hyping up his initiative’s promise to open HOV lanes to single occupancy drivers during non-peak hours, planting visions of zipping through traffic in many voters’ heads, but it turns out that at least on 520, rather than opening the HOV lane to all comers, I-985 will likely result in the lane being closed off entirely.
According to former WSDOT head Doug McDonald, there’s just no way to safely and efficiently bring three lanes of traffic down to two as 520 approaches the floating bridge westbound; attempting to merge three full capacity lanes down to two would actually create longer backups and ultimately slow down traffic more than eliminating the third lane altogether.
Not being a transportation engineer myself, I checked with a WSDOT official who confirmed off the record that this issue has been studied, and that yes, shutting down the westbound HOV lane would be a likely response to I-985’s passage.
Yet more unintended consequences from an Eyman initiative.