SR-16 on-ramp sheds HOV designation

The new Narrows Bridge and additional capacity on State Route 16 have traffic moving so smoothly that a decade-long HOV-only...

The new Narrows Bridge and additional capacity on State Route 16 have traffic moving so smoothly that a decade-long HOV-only designation at the Jackson Avenue on-ramp to westbound SR 16 is no longer necessary.
Starting this morning, all vehicles can use the on-ramp. WSDOT’s decision to remove the HOV-only designation was made in coordination with the Tacoma City Council.
WSDOT implemented the afternoon peak-hour restriction in January 1997, at the request of the City Council, to alleviate backups that overflowed into this neighborhood just east of the Narrows. It was not uncommon for hundreds of cars to backup at the ramp and block local residents from pulling out of their driveways.
Making the ramp exclusive to carpoolers during the afternoon commute cured the problem, as solo drivers in north Tacoma stopped flocking to the last ramp before the bridge as a way to circumvent the then-congested SR 16. But now that the new bridge is open, and additional lanes and ramps have freeway traffic moving efficiently, the justification to maintain the HOV designation no longer exists.

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