What are we doing on I-5?
WSDOT and an inter-agency team are currently exploring operations and demand management strategies on I-5 in Bellingham.
Your survey response will help us better understand how travelers are currently using I-5 and which strategies are most preferred to relieve congestion and reduce crashes. Results from this survey will help inform the next phase of planning for I-5 in Bellingham.
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From 2018 to 2020, WSDOT worked with multiple agency partners including the City of Bellingham, City of Ferndale, Lummi Nation, Port of Bellingham, WTA, and WCOG to analyze and understand mobility challenges along the I-5 corridor in the urban area of Bellingham. Congestion happens regularly during peak travel at I-5 interchanges and on connecting regional arterial streets.
The I-5 Operations and TDM Analysis helps agencies to understand when and where congestion occurs and the travel characteristics of users of this section of I-5. WSDOT is currently using this information to assess the need for operations and demand management strategies and to evaluate their effectiveness.
Three focus areas to explore further were identified in the I-5 Operations and TDM Analysis:
- Interchange Operations and Safety Enhancement Improvements
- Ramp Metering and Traveler Information Signs
- Lincoln-Lakeway Multimodal Transportation Study
Interchange Operations and Safety Enhancement Improvements
This focus area includes strategies to relieve congestion and reduce crashes by making low-cost changes to local streets and I-5 on and off ramps at some I-5 interchanges. This effort would be coordinated with the City of Bellingham and WTA.
Transportation projects would focus around the I-5 interchanges within the Bellingham city limits. Options may include minor traffic revisions, such as restriping local roads and I-5 ramps or changing signal timing. These revisions would help move buses, bikes, pedestrians, freight, and vehicles on the transportation system.
Ramp Metering and Traveler Information Signs
This focus area aims to relieve congestion and reduce crashes by installing ramp meters and travel advisory signs along I-5 through Bellingham.
Ramp meters use a lighted signal to control traffic merging onto I-5. These improvements will address traffic flow on I-5 and can reduce crashes by up to 30%. Travel advisory signs can help inform drivers of upcoming congestion, crashes and maintenance activity.
The 2020-2021 Lincoln-Lakeway Multimodal Transportation Study emerged in the I-5 Operations & TDM Analysis. This is a planning effort led by the City of Bellingham with a multi-agency project team. This study seeks to analyze alternatives for short and long-term changes for traffic and multimodal travel around the Lakeway/I-5 interchange in Bellingham.
The I-5 Operations Survey results will help public agencies better understand how travelers are currently using I-5 in Bellingham and which strategies are most preferred to relieve congestion and reduce crashes.
Results from the I-5 Operations Survey will help to inform WSDOT’s next phase of planning for I-5 in Bellingham and WCOG’s Mobility 2045 Regional Transportation Plan.
For questions or assistance with the I-5 Operations Survey, please contact:
WSDOT Northwest Region/Mount Baker Area
For all other questions regarding WSDOT’s planning efforts for I-5 in Bellingham, please contact:
Transportation Planning Manager
WSDOT Northwest Region/Mount Baker Area