For the purposes of RCW 46.61.165
, * 47.56.403
, and * 47.66.090
, "high occupancy toll lanes" means one or more lanes of a highway that charges tolls as a means of regulating access to or the use of the facility, to maintain travel speed and reliability. Supporting facilities include, but are not limited to, approaches, enforcement areas, improvements, buildings, and equipment.
Intent—2005 c 312: "The legislature recognizes that the Puget Sound region is faced with growing traffic congestion and has limited ability to expand freeway capacity due to financial, environmental, and physical constraints. Freeway high occupancy vehicle lanes have been an effective means of providing transit, vanpools, and carpools with a fast trip on congested freeway corridors, but in many cases, these lanes are themselves getting crowded during the peak commute times, while some are being underused at off-peak times.
It is the intent of the legislature to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the freeway system. To evaluate methods to accomplish this, it is beneficial to evaluate alternative approaches to managing the use of freeway high occupancy vehicle lanes, including pilot projects to determine and demonstrate the effectiveness and benefits of implementing high occupancy toll lanes. The legislature acknowledges that state route 167 provides an ideal test of the high occupancy toll lane concept because it is a congested corridor, it has underused capacity in the high occupancy vehicle lane, and it has adequate right-of-way for improvements needed to test the concept. Therefore, it is the intent of this act to direct that the department of transportation, as a pilot project, develop and operate a high occupancy toll lane on state route 167 in King county and to conduct an evaluation of that project to determine impacts on freeway efficiency, effectiveness for transit, feasibility of financing improvements through tolls, and the impacts on freeway users." [ 2005 c 312 § 1