Last weekend I had the chance to visit Mount St. Helens. I recommend that everyone take that trip once.
One the way down to Mount St. Helens, I was shock at the amount of traffic on I-5 and the other freeways in the regions. I was equally as shock with the lack of traffic on older arterial roads. While I-5 was jammed in Tacoma, South Tacoma Way (a road that runs parallel to the freeway) was empty. It was almost if people have given up on non-freeway roads. Still in Seattle they have been pretty much been expanding the freeways since I can remember, and they are still jammed. I-5 is 10-lanes in some sections. I-405 is currently 6-lanes; there is a plan to increase it to 10-lanes. Even with all that expansion, they still realize that tolling and transit is the future. In 2007, people in Seattle voted no to road expansion and in 2008 voted yes to more transit.
Coming back from Washington State, I’m always reminded at how much more compact we are in Metro Vancouver.