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Discussion Starter #1
What is your opinion of them? We were discussing them in class today. I think they are pretty innovative idea. Charging a user to bypass traffic congestion. The lanes pay for themselves through toll revenue. They get the maximum use out of a HOV lane, which can coexist with the HOT lane traffic. One example of this is in Houston. The HOV restriction is for 3 or more people, however you can pay a toll and need only 2 people. HOV to HOT conversion is relatively inexpensive. The San Diego I-15 HOT lane conversion was only $1.5 Million, which is pretty cheap for a highway project.
Some people are opposed to them, calling them "Lexus Lanes", because it would give wealthier people an advantage over others.

 

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Nephasto said:
What are HOV lanes?
You have to have a minimum number of persons on a car to travel on them?!
HOV lane == high occupancy vehicle lane......aka car pool lane. Some HOV lanes mandate a minimum of 2 people while others mandate at least 3 people per vehicle.

I'm kinda undecided about HOT lanes or Lexus Lanes. On one hand you can argue why not? I mean rich people have bigger houses, sit in first class on airplanes, go to expensive colleges, nice restaurants, the list is almost infinite. So what's the big deal if we let them pay a little extra for their own freeway lane?

On the other hand you can argue that a public project should be equally available to all members of the public whether rich or poor.

I think HOT lanes should be allowed so long as it's 100% privately funded. However realistically speaking it's VERY difficult to fund a freeway privately.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know about the whole rich people only using them idea though. Yeah rich people will use them, but rich people aren't the only one's that use a toll road. I look at it in those contexts. Who uses the NJ Turnpike or Lincoln Tunnel? Who uses the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia or the Bay Bridge in California? People that are headed in that direction. I think people who use the HOT lanes will be the same, if a mom needs to get to a daycare, she'll use the lanes or a business person needs to get to the airport, they will use it too.

My only problem real beef with the system, is that it does take away from carpoolers. I like the idea of the facility coexisting with the HOV. For example, if your carpooling with 2 or more people, you can use the facility for free, however, if your a solo driver, you must pay a toll.
 

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Or you could just toll everyone, rich or poor, and allow carpoolers to split the toll amongst themselves.
 

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The point that everybody is missing here is that everyone benefits. If somebody want to spend to get in a faster lane thats good for the people in the slow (free) lanes that get rid of another car in front of them. Both sides win, by paying, the "lexus" is actually helping the other drivers out. So long traffic moves at normal speeds on these lanes, the HOVs will be unaffected.
 

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czm3 said:
The point that everybody is missing here is that everyone benefits. If somebody want to spend to get in a faster lane thats good for the people in the slow (free) lanes that get rid of another car in front of them. Both sides win, by paying, the "lexus" is actually helping the other drivers out. So long traffic moves at normal speeds on these lanes, the HOVs will be unaffected.
Very true, it's a win/win situation.
 

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Funny.

today on the cusp of 2005 we call them "Lexus lanes"

When they were built, they were refered to as the "Robin Hood Freeway" :)
 

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HOV (High occupancy vehicles) doesn't cost shit. There only one lane, and are open in the morning heading Downtown, and open in the afternoon, to the suburbs... They work reletivly well, and most stops are by the Metro Park and ride bus stations in the outlying communities. They work really well for the buses, and vehicles. The only reason one would not work is if there is a wreck on one, which is rare. You can get off and on them anytime you get a chance. Sometimes they have opening right on the Highway!
 

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The Houston HOV network, which is the most advance and lengthy one in the US, is our form of mass transportation rail. Large busses carry several 1000s of people into the city in the morning and repeats it to carry out. These people are just paying for the bus ride. Also, some extremely outlying suburbs have private bus service that use these lanes. The remove loads of people that would otherwise be one person to a car from the mainlanes of our freeways.

The amount of people this system moves in Houston exceeds the passenger volume on Atlanta's MARTA rail system and Dallas' Dart rail system.

The newest incarnation will be a 4 lane bi-directional toll road that is free for people with three or more in the car that is placed in the center of the Katy Freeway reconstruction project. This freeway is the main freeway to take commuters from Downtown and Uptown to the west side of the city.
 

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kjb434 said:
The Houston HOV network, which is the most advance and lengthy one in the US, is our form of mass transportation rail. Large busses carry several 1000s of people into the city in the morning and repeats it to carry out. These people are just paying for the bus ride. Also, some extremely outlying suburbs have private bus service that use these lanes. The remove loads of people that would otherwise be one person to a car from the mainlanes of our freeways.

The amount of people this system moves in Houston exceeds the passenger volume on Atlanta's MARTA rail system and Dallas' Dart rail system.

The newest incarnation will be a 4 lane bi-directional toll road that is free for people with three or more in the car that is placed in the center of the Katy Freeway reconstruction project. This freeway is the main freeway to take commuters from Downtown and Uptown to the west side of the city.
I honestly think Houston has the coolest highway system in the U.S. and I'm glad to see they're gonna implement toll lanes on Interstate 10 since it's a perfect idea. This is not putting people into classes, it's giving people more options. At least in this case you can drive on Interstate 10 for free or if you want better service then pay for the toll lanes. Hell, they did that for Westpark Drive and the Westpark Tollway. I live in Austin but was in Houston earlier today and I wish I had an EZ tag for the Westpark tollway. Houston has some of the best ideas for highways yet and I'm also very glad to see their Metro Train in use.
 

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MSP said:
Minneapolis opens up its first HOT lanes tommorow morning.
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5404915.html
I don't like the idea of paying to drive on a road that is already paid for...
They're tolling only part of the highway so as long as you stay out of the toll lanes you're not paying to drive on a road that's already paid for. I actually think of these toll lanes as a seperate highway slapped in the middle of an existing one. Hell, maybe they should apply this idea to most major urban freeways but we still need wiiiiiiider and better highways in my opinion.

So I'm fine with this idea as long as they don't take an existing free highway and slap toll plazas across all lanes of traffic. As for new tollways, go ahead and build them, we need more highways in this country, at least here in Texas but I bet it really applies to California as well.

Also a light high speed rail along all major freeways with convenient park/rides would be a great idea to complement our freeways and busy roads. I actually tried the Houston Metro and I was impressed. They need to expand it for it to work better in my opinion.
 
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