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Old 02-05-2013, 11:12 AM
 
1,002 posts, read 1,438,580 times
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How do you feel about the idea of HOT lanes or lanes that charge a toll based on congestion? At first, I didn't like it, but the more I read and although I don't think it is the miracle fix, I think it is good idea as long as there is a free carpool option to go along with it.

I know there has been an argument about them being "lexus lanes", but couldn't we say that about any toll road? The DC area where I live just currently opened its first HOT lanes project, dubbed the 495 Express lanes on the Capital Beltway, so far everyone I have talked to actually likes them. They don't use them everyday, but if they need to get home or get to the office, they like having that option there. They are also converting the HOV lane on I-95 in Northern Virginia into HOT lanes (w/ HOV-3 users still being free for them to use the road) project and expanding the road further south, where is has been literally years since I-95 was expanded, but the traffic congestion has become even more of an issue now with further growth along that corridor.

I think the bottom line is, the gas tax isn't a good source of revenue for roads anymore, since cars are becoming more fuel efficient. Also there comes a breaking point where you can't widen the road anymore. For example, look at Atlanta, where parts of I-75 and 85 widen to 12-16 lanes and they still have traffic issues. I think as long as the pricing is fair and reasonable (the jury is still out on that one...), it may not be such a bad idea. I'm still a big supporter of Transit Oriented Development and public transit, but open to this as well. What is everyone's opinion on them?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLjhMwzYo68
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:24 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Interesting topic. I like 'em.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
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They just installed them in Los Angeles on the 10 and 110 freeways. I think this is a trial run, and if it goes well they will become a permanent feature on the freeways. So far I think the results are mixed - on of the biggest complaints is that you have to have a transponder to use the HOV lanes now, even if you have the correct amount of passengers in your vehicle. In fact, I almost went into the lane driving with my wife but decided to not risk it - glad I didn't because the fine is not cheap.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,098,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
They just installed them in Los Angeles on the 10 and 110 freeways. I think this is a trial run, and if it goes well they will become a permanent feature on the freeways. So far I think the results are mixed - on of the biggest complaints is that you have to have a transponder to use the HOV lanes now, even if you have the correct amount of passengers in your vehicle. In fact, I almost went into the lane driving with my wife but decided to not risk it - glad I didn't because the fine is not cheap.
Some systems don't fine for not having a transponder, but instead send a bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,558,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
They just installed them in Los Angeles on the 10 and 110 freeways. I think this is a trial run, and if it goes well they will become a permanent feature on the freeways. So far I think the results are mixed - on of the biggest complaints is that you have to have a transponder to use the HOV lanes now, even if you have the correct amount of passengers in your vehicle. In fact, I almost went into the lane driving with my wife but decided to not risk it - glad I didn't because the fine is not cheap.
Slightly different situation:

A friend of mine was on the SR-241 Toll Road in Orange County and he missed the stop to pay the toll. We figured he was going to get a ticket but I looked it up and he found that if he paid the toll within 3 days (if I recall correctly), there would no ticket. He paid the toll via telephone and he was good after that.

[you probably could have done the same]
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:22 PM
 
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I generally hate the way HOV lanes were done in the past.

But congestion pricing just makes sense. I would make the pricing VERY aggressive. Use the funds to construct transit projects and it's all for the better. Let the wealthy enjoy the freeways - the rabble can ride in the beautiful trains paid for by their contributions.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Still in their infancy in the Bay Area. They eventually plan of having 800 miles of HOT lanes, but the major obstacles getting into San Francisco is still going to be the bridges. They'll probable help spur more exurban growth more than anything else.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown View Post
Some systems don't fine for not having a transponder, but instead send a bill to the registered owner of the vehicle.
We have this set up on one freeway so far in the Seattle area, and you don't need a transponder to drive in that lane if you have 2 or more people in the car. They have cameras set up that take pictures as you go by measuring the body heat so they can tell how many bodies are in the car- if there are more than one then you are fine, if there is only one in the car and you don't have the transponder then you get a bill mailed to you for a fine.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:52 PM
 
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I'd like to see a shift from gasoline taxes to pricing all freeway use, HOV lane or otherwise.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:10 PM
 
281 posts, read 631,805 times
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As more and more roads become toll consumer behavior will change and there will be less trips to the mall or a restaurant or a show just for something to do. It becomes too expensive when you add the cost of the tolls to go out so we just stay at home. (and the malls and restaurants suffer)

The plan for charging us based on the number of miles we drive (along with $4 a gallon gasoline) will also discourage us from going places and business will suffer.
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