This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord troops back from Iraq or Afghanistan might think they’ve left a war zone only to face an army of road warriors on Interstate 5.
What once was a 40-minute commute between Tacoma and Olympia on most days to somewhat longer if an accident created backups has now become much longer – mainly because of thousands of additional personnel at JBLM. It’s not unusual anymore for the trip between Tacoma and Olympia to take 90 minutes or more.
For South Sound commuters heading north on I-5, HOV lanes provide an incentive to ditch their vehicles and take the bus or carpool. Not so south of Tacoma. Without HOV lanes, buses and carpools get trapped in the same interminable gridlock as single-occupant vehicles.
JBLM is taking one welcome step in response to the traffic: On Monday it will open a new entrance on Mounts Road from 5 to 8 a.m. so that northbound I-5 traffic going to the base in the morning can opt to exit before piling up at the main entrance. Read more »