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HOT lanes

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
I do not know if it has been covered but here goes....
(I wanted to start something in the transportation area)

What is your attitude about HOT Lanes?

Do you think they sould be called Lexus Lanes?

Or do think they might be part of the answer to
reducing congestion and providing creative funding
options?

Are they available in your city and do you use them?
Would you use them?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Well, if its H igh O ccupancy... they would have nothing to do with Lexus around these parts...
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
HOV lanes?

While in concept they are great, but I've rarely seen them used to their potential for obvious reasons. Doesn't DC have scores of people hitchhiking so that drivers who pick them up can ride in the HOV lanes? PG?
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
I guess you have not had the 'controversy' where you are.
Although I am suprised that the Zoning Godess would
not have run into the push to create these in urban Florida.

HOT lanes are High Ocupancy/Toll lanes. If you want to
pay a toll or extra toll, you can switch to an uncongested
lane. If it becomes congested the toll will rise to prohibit the
number of users thereby keeping it freeflowing, even in
rush hour.

These are not the best links but browse these;

http://www.stateline.org/story.do?storyId=292601
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/hov/hotlanes.htm
http://www11.myflorida.com/research-center/Completed_Proj/Summary_PTO/FDOT_BB867.pdf


They are gaining popular support. Can you see
the preceived problem?
 

bestnightmare

Cyburbian
Messages
61
Points
4
around washington, dc, HOV lanes are found on interstates 95 and 66 in northern virginia, 270 and, recently, route 50 in maryland.

the 'hitchhiking' phenomenon is called 'slugging'. it takes place only on i-95 in northern virginia - it uses HOV-3 (all others are HOV-2) and has dedicated lanes separated by jersey barriers from the other lanes - they exist in the median, going northbound in the morning, southbound at night. the HOV-2 lanes on the area's other highways are nothing more than additional lanes with special markings, and cheating is rampant despite hefty fines.

carpooling with one passenger is an easy prospect, but getting two others to carpool with you can be tough, which is why slugging has become so popular. lines of sluggers form at various park and ride lots just off i-95, and lines of cars wait to pick them up. sometimes the drivers have signs in their windsheilds, other times they just announce their destination (i.e. "pentagon", "state department").

as for the idea of High Occupancy Toll, I think it's a great one. in the d.c. region, 95 in virginia is the only roadway upon which this is feasible in the near future because of the dedicated HOV lanes. they ought to try it here first, since there are several options for commuting from the i-95 south corridor into d.c., including the VRE commuter train and the blue line of Metro. It'd be interesting to see how HOT affects traffic levels, and ridership on the trains.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
From what i've heard the idea is to have HOV-3 lanes and allow SOV's to use the lanes with congestion pricing that will vary from $.25 to $10 and change every 15 minutes depending on volume. At least that's what they've been talking about in NY/NJ.

The NJTurnpike has already had considerable success in reducing peak period volumes with variable toll pricing as have the Hudson River crossings. I think putting a price on a precious commodity like highway space is very useful.

HOWEVER - i think a much more equitable solution would be to toll off-ramps with a variable system to discourage inbound travel to areas well served by transit.
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
jresta said:
HOWEVER - i think a much more equitable solution would be to toll off-ramps with a variable system to discourage inbound travel to areas well served by transit.
I was with you until you wrote the word 'equitable'.

This continues to be the hang up with these types of
solutions. In fact it is what tends to kill this soultion in
some areas.

My question would be, "Why does it have to be
equitable?"

If I am willing to spend X amount of money to drive very
fast to work instead of take a train or sit in traffic, why is
that unequitable? If the argument is that not all of us can
afford to use Lexus Lanes, then the counter argument is
not all of us can afford to drive to work in a Lexus. Does that
mean we shold stop making the Lexus?

(this is a thoretical aurgument and may not reflect the writers
opinion, or it mabey it does)
 

green22

Cyburbian
Messages
101
Points
6
hot lanes

In all the cities I've ever lived in, you couldn't be poor and own a vehicle unless you slept in it. It may be different in some parts of the country where vehicles are a necessity and auto insurance rates are not very high. So to charge more money to vehicle users than transit users is very equitable in a city with transit oprtions.

I realise that some people's jobs require driving, but if this driving on the freeways in the peak hours is slowing down everyone else then perhaps we need to find ways of giving incentives for people to travel at different times or by different modes. Money is usually the best incentive.

For example in Manhattan the high price of parking tickets keeps walking and bicycle messengers busy. Even trucks dump off their wares in one spot for people to take to different places. If it wasn't for the cost of the ticket, big trucks would park in front of every business thinking that they had no other way to do business.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
green lizard said:
I was with you until you wrote the word 'equitable'.

This continues to be the hang up with these types of
solutions. In fact it is what tends to kill this soultion in
some areas.

My question would be, "Why does it have to be
equitable?"

If I am willing to spend X amount of money to drive very
fast to work instead of take a train or sit in traffic, why is
that unequitable? If the argument is that not all of us can
afford to use Lexus Lanes, then the counter argument is
not all of us can afford to drive to work in a Lexus. Does that
mean we shold stop making the Lexus?

(this is a thoretical aurgument and may not reflect the writers
opinion, or it mabey it does)
equity, in this instance has nothing to do with how much money you have or don't have. It has to do with sharing valuable road space. That's why i said the exit ramps should be tolled. You can drive your Lexus all you want and you can pay $20 to exit the freeway if it makes you feel better.

It has to do with the fact that interstates weren't designed to carry you from Shady Ln. to the downtown exit 5 miles away. In fact they do an awful job at it.

They were designed to carry people and freight from city to city.
It's a waste of time and resources to devote highway lanes to people travelling relatively short distances and we shouldn't be punishing the people who are using the interstates for what they were designed for.

especially when transit options are available. So tolling exit ramps that lead to places already well served by transit is a much more equitable solution.
 
Messages
5
Points
0
The problem I see with HOT or HOV lanes is that traffic in megalopoli has reached a critical mass beyond where HOVs can help. That is unless all lanes of a particular freeway become HOVs and are successful in attracting vehicles where ridesharing is taking place. I think a better route to go is to establish transit lanes on the freeways. Many would argue that transit doesnot attact ridership, and under todays playing rules that is true. But what if the federal government, through its taxing policy, provided transit incentives. Allow tax deductions for construction companies that build transit facilities and tax deductions for patrons that use transit. Such policy would be necessary to level the playing field. I know that if there were safe efficient transit available to the work place, and I was able to deduct the yearly cost of using transit from my taxable income, I would be more likely to use transit than driving alone to the work place. Not only would I save in terms of tax benefits, but other costs would drop such as those for gas, automobile insurance, and auto maintenance.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
interesting, personally I think the reversible HOV lanes in Northern VA work well but we def. need to either raise the HOV number or the toll to keep the buses moving -

as some of you might know there are only two transit links between Staten Island and the other boroughs without having to go through NJ.

One is the Staten Island Ferry which, while free, only serves lower manhattan and requires a subway connection to reach Midtown. The other is a bus via the Verrazano Bridge/Gowanus Expwy. which offers direct service to Midtown - well here's a clip - of what happened after Sept. 11th.

"Emergency measures immediately created a bus rapid transit corridor through Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan that before existed only in transit planners' dreams. NYC Transit express buses share an exclusive right-of-way with emergency vehicles in one eastbound lane from the beginning of the Staten Island Expressway at the Goethals Bridge over the Verrazano Bridge, along the Gowanus Expressway HOV lane, through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and up the FDR Drive to Houston Street. This route is normally the least preferred by Staten Island commuters because express buses are regularly stuck in SIE stop-and-go traffic and delayed on the clogged Gowanus HOV lane, which is open to cars with two or more passengers. Under the new rules last week, bus drivers reported "flying" into Manhattan at speeds that one transit official told the SI Advance reduced trip times by as much as 45 minutes. "

since then the NYCDOT has been tinkering with the HOV number and the results have changed accordingly.

Here's another interesting tidbit -

Even excluding rail transit, single-occupant cars move fewer than a third of all highway commuters, but they fill up more than half of Manhattan-bound morning traffic. In other words, the solo-driving minority is taking up an absolute majority of road space.

Writing in today's (Oct. 1) Newsday, Komanoff noted that "The resulting congestion ensnares everyone from car-poolers and bus riders to the solo drivers themselves. Vans carrying tradespeople and trucks laden with goods the city needs to keep its economy going have been especially hard hit," he noted.

"Think of all eight crossings into Manhattan as a 20-lane highway," Komanoff wrote. "Single-occupant vehicles, accounting for 53 percent of traffic, occupy 11 lanes but they deliver only 30 percent of commuters - just six lanes' worth."

The five wasted lanes are the equivalent of closing both the Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Brooklyn Bridge. Radio traffic reports call it "congestion," Komanoff noted, but it's really just inefficiency.

If you throw in the 400,000+ that cross each morning by ferry, subway, and rail those SOV's are delivering more like 10% of inbound commuters but are responsible for half of the traffic.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,461
Points
44
Some of the PA turn pike is like that. I have driven on it a few times, and yes it is quicker. I know that it is not set up the same as HOT lanes, but to get from here to Philly, there are a few ways. I always take the trunpike because it has much less traffic on it, and you can move at a good pace.
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
green lizard said:
I guess you have not had the 'controversy' where you are.
Although I am suprised that the Zoning Godess would
not have run into the push to create these in urban Florida.

HOT lanes are High Ocupancy/Toll lanes. If you want to
pay a toll or extra toll, you can switch to an uncongested
lane. If it becomes congested the toll will rise to prohibit the
number of users thereby keeping it freeflowing, even in
rush hour.

They are gaining popular support. Can you see
the preceived problem?
HOT lanes would not work in Central Florida because the r-o-w for a majority of the toll roads are constricted (there are several exceptions), ie, they would not be able to build any additional lanes to accomodate the HOT lanes, unless you want some eminent domain action. Although there are traffic issues in CFL, they are not to the point of developing HOT lanes because they can't even get the HOV lanes that were originally apart of the I-4 plan to work. Hence, why they do not enforce the HOV lanes during the peak traffic hours.

The HOT lanes would be more appropriate for South Florida. If I remember correctly, in North Florida they eliminated the tolls there when I was in the 9th grade, many years ago (Jax area)

They recently discussed the possibility of doing HOT lanes in the DC area and many commuters said they would do it.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,342
Points
31
converting HOV to HOT

I've talked with several different cities about HOV lanes and HOT lanes. Most of them agree that HOV lanes do not significantly affect traffic congestion. Many cities have switched to HOT lanes to increase usage. Some people are willing to pay tolls for convenience. The money collected from tolls can then go toward other methods to reduce highway congestion such as intermodal transit services.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Re: converting HOV to HOT

Suburb Repairman said:
I've talked with several different cities about HOV lanes and HOT lanes. Most of them agree that HOV lanes do not significantly affect traffic congestion. Many cities have switched to HOT lanes to increase usage. Some people are willing to pay tolls for convenience. The money collected from tolls can then go toward other methods to reduce highway congestion such as intermodal transit services.
You can NOT reduce highway congestion by adding capacity to the network - no matter what the mode.

Adding a HOT lane or making an existing GP lane an HOV lane and filling it up with buses is adding seats to the network. In the beginning you're just shifting people around from the seats in their cars to seats on your buses. Eventually you attract new riders. Some will ride your buses and some will start driving because there's room for them now.

Sure, you may be able to get rid of a few bottlenecks here or there by revamping an intersection but the only way congestion falls is if the economy shrinks and/or there is a drop in population and even then a drop in congestion/VMT isn't always guaranteed. When capacity is freed up on a road network people tend to take advantage of it by driving more.

If you want to reduce congestion you need to reduce the demand for travel and the only way you can do that is to focus on access.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
HOVs don't solve any traffic congestion problems. Worst of all, they don't encourage people to live their cars at home. Think about such disasters like HOV lanes plowing through Hartford, CT... They are almost always empty. Now the I-87 is 1/2 mile wide, an eyesore...
I heard in Houston they have been somewhat successful since the buses use them extensively. Same goes for the NJ/NYC tunnel - I love being on the bus in the HOV lane, flying into Manhattan at 60 miles/hour while cars around me crawl at 5 miles/hour..
And another thing - adding a HOV lane to a highway does not equal creating a multimodal network. We are moving people, but still use only the roads...
 

green lizard

Member
Messages
133
Points
6
I think some would cloud the issue....
HOT lanes are a way of extending transportation options
to those who can afford it. Just as you extend transportation
options to those you can not afford it. And the issue of
subsidizing autos can be somewhat reversed here. These
lanes can recoupe real cost of ownership from the auto
owner who will never take public transit. (no heated seats and
expensive sound system.)
And if we are willing to think about ideas that may generated $$
instead of just soaking them up, the HOT lanes become an
attractive idea.
So, before someone throws Manhatten out there again (most
places do not come close to the density that New York has to
make mass transit the wonderfull thing it is) I see a day when
state/county govt. may look at ideas like HOT lanes as a way to
generate some revenues. (money from those who can afford it).
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,342
Points
31
clarification of previous post

I was not in any way meaning to endorse HOT lanes in my earlier post. In terms of congestion reduction, HOT lane are, at best, a solution to a symtom of a greater problem in how we travel. I am not advocating the creation of new HOT lanes. I think HOT lanes are a good way to increase usage of underused standard HOV lanes. There's so sense in wasting underused infrastructure. Like so many things in planning, traffic congestion is a complex problem. All of the causes must be addressed: land use, density, intermodalism, etc. in order to make a significant impact on congestion. Convenience is what drives people to use personal autos. As planners, we must find a way to make destinations and alternatives to the personal auto more convenient to really address traffic congestion. And even then, people may still continue to drive cars. After all, people are unpredictable.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
>And another thing - adding a HOV lane to a highway does not equal creating a multimodal network. We are moving people, but still use only the roads...<

I was referring to HOV -3 or 4 lanes on Long Island and in North Jersey that carry far more bus passengers than they do passengers in private vehicles . . . and now that we have Congestion pricing on the Turnpike and at all Hudson River crossings they are all de facto HOT lanes - this makes an express bus trip into the city much less expensive than driving.

A lot of people have the misconception that adding light rail or buses will relieve congestion, they're right and they're wrong. I'm looking at all modes as one network. Buses, Trains, subways, light rail, bike/ped, and highways. Adding capacity to any mode, say buses, is not going to add capacity to the overall network so that you can move more people but it's not going to have any real, long term effect on highway congestion. Drivers are more than willing to step up to fill that void.

The reason new highways take a back seat to alternative modes in already congested areas is because they can add capacity to the network without adding more traffic to the network.

>So, before someone throws Manhatten out there again (most
places do not come close to the density that New York has to
make mass transit the wonderfull thing it is) I see a day when
state/county govt. may look at ideas like HOT lanes as a way to
generate some revenues. (money from those who can afford it).<

HOV lanes that don't lead to dense employment centers don't have anyone in them. The Manhattan example is to point out that SOV's are an incredibly inefficient way to move people when they are travelling relatively short distances to a central location. Since Manhattan is only accesible via controlled points it makes for an excellent model regardless of density. A small minority of people are still driving solo into the city and they're still taking up a majority of the road space.

So to summarize - apparently the $8 peak period toll into New York isn't high enough. Converting HOV lanes to HOT lanes are great if the HOV lanes are becoming congested as they are in the New York area. The HOT pricing should be structured in such a fashion that buses have priority and the amount of traffic allowed in the lane doesn't impede the flow of the buses.
 

weezerfan

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
I am a big fan of HOT, eventhough canada doesn't have major HOV projects that we could convert into HOT like the US. I remember seeing that there was a decrease in vehicular occupancy from, 1.17 per vehicle in 1970 to 1.09 per vehicle in 1990. I have also heard that General use freeway lanes have a running capacity of 1500-1800 vehicles per hour therefore to be efficient, HOV-2 lanes must carry 750-900 vph and HOV-3 lanes must carry 500-600 vph. HOT uses up extra HOV capacity while generating revenue for transit infrustructure. I have heard that many agencies may have to pay back government grant money if they convert the HOV into HOt lanes, has anyone heard about this?
 
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