Think the Proposed Three-Person HOV Lanes Are Stupid? Now's Your Chance to Say So.

Categories: Transportation

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Last month it came to light that the Regional Transportation Council was mulling requiring three, rather than two, people per vehicle in order to use the region's HOV lanes. You could still use the special lanes driving solo, but you'd have to pay a toll that would vary based on traffic and time of day. The change, it was said, was needed to avoid confusion when the new LBJ opens with managed lanes.

If Unfair Park's comment section was any indication -- and what is it but a representative sample of North Texans' calm, rational opinions -- people are none too thrilled with the proposal for a variety of reasons. But RTC is still tentatively scheduled to make a decision on the managed lane policy by November.

Soon, though, you'll have the opportunity to bitch to somebody who can actually do something. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is sponsoring a trio of public meetings to get feedback on the HOV/managed lanes policy plus a couple of other issues, like a super-exciting sounding comprehensive regional freight plan.

More details will be presented at the meeting, but the blurb from the NCTCOG describes it thusly:

In 2006 the Regional Transportation Council adopted a set of Managed Lane Policies to establish operational characteristics of planned managed lane facilities. Managed lanes will be open for all travelers for a toll with HOV users eligible for a discount. Because travelers will pay for the use of these lanes, there will be a minimum speed guarantee with provisions for "rebates" if the guaranteed speed is not achieved. We are approvimately a year away from the first managed lanes opening on the DFW Connector, LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express. As the newly constructed managed lanes will interact with the current HOV lanes in the region which will begin operating as managed lanes next year, the RTC is considering making modifications to the policies. Particular discussion will occur regarding modifying the HOV requirement from 2+ to 3+ and how to handle potential "rebates."

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19 comments
justatexannplano
justatexannplano

Ok, first of all we have already paid for the HOV using our tax dollars. Now DART want's to doubble dip in charging us? So DART, you want to make money eh? How about installing video & infrared camera's on each entry & exit of the HOV lanes. Send violators a ticket who are single passengers and the one's who cross the doubble white lines! We have the technology, use it! I see so many single occupents comming down from Allen on the HOV before my fiance & I get on from the Park entrance. Think how much 250 a pop would add up per violation... Keep it at 2 people per vehicle. Make money from my suggestion...

noah.jeppson
noah.jeppson

Some cities/states also allow access to HOV lanes for low/zero emissions vehicles; no such allowances here.

cheeseburger
cheeseburger

HOV lanes just cause more problems.  Whenever I'm stopped on 635, I know exactly where the wreck is...in the HOV lane.

EdD.
EdD.

This move is just a way to clear the non-paying riff-raff out of the way of the special folks willing to pay out for premium service on public roads.

RTGolden
RTGolden

When you get right down to it, HOV lanes are supposed to take cars off the road. Whether you call it congestion mitigation, carpooling, or demand reduction; the goal is to reduce the number of cars using that stretch of roadway on a daily basis (generally, except in TX, only during rush hours).

The two-person and up limit doesn't do the job.  It needs to be two ADULTS and up or three ADULTS and up.  Soccer mom with her three curtain climbers bumbling along to little Nikki's toddlersntiaras debut is not taking a vehicle off the road.  Some high school kids on the way to the mall isn't taking a car off the road.  Mom and Dad coming back from dropping the truck off at the shop isn't taking a car off the road.

Make the HOV restrictions to three adults only during specified morning and evening rush hours and special events.  Make the lanes open use outside of those times.  That's my two cents worth, keep the change.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

"The North Central Texas Council of Governments"    & Regional Transportation Council

 

Appointed not elected and with the power and force to influence almost every aspect of  the regions populations Daily existence at meetings few know about and fewer attend .

martycampisi
martycampisi

The HOV lanes on I-30 in Arlington are indeed a complete waste.  They don't encourage carpooling and there is ABSOLUTELY NO ENFORCEMENT....period.  APD wont touch it, its "too far" for DART to get involved....so single riders are rampant...especially westbound on game day. Imagine entering a 70 MPH lane (not meant for you)  from a dead stop when traffic backs up to a crawl (pre-Ranger game)....happens daily.   It's only a matter of time until someone gets killed there.  

 

Solutions:

1. Scrap it, let everyone use it and utilize that lane

2. ENFORCE it

3. Charge ALL people who want to use it

 

Simple

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How about they get the driver-only assholes out of the HOV lanes first? I saw three of them yesterday in a 5 mile stretch of 35 using it as their personal douchebag passing lane.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

we dont have enough usage of the HOV lanes as is, why in the world would we discourage even more people from using them.  A better use of the HOV lane and the added median would be to just add another lane for all traffic to use.  The I 30 HOV lane from Arlington to Loop 12 is poorly designed.  There are many point on the HOV that there are at least 3 lanes of wasted concrete jut striped off with yellow lines.  whats the point of pouring all this concrete if we are not goin to use it

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

HOV lanes are a bad idea, period.  They don't promote carpooling more than high gas prices do, and they end up being much poorer at easing congestion that another normal lane would be, even for the people taking them.  That's what all the studies in California show, which is I guess why we keep throwing money down these ratholes.

Edward
Edward

Is there a reason that the Dallas HOV lanes are HOV 100% of the time, unlike in CA? There the lanes are HOV for morning and evening rush, then the rest of the time they are open to anyone. To me, that takes away a lot of the irritation people feel when they see the lanes just sitting there empty.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @RTGolden Congestion mitigation doesn't just happen by taking cars off the road.  It happens by expanding capacity.  HOV lanes don't do the job.  That's the bottom line.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @RTGolden I like just opening the lanes up.  Looking at the designs for these roads, they add substantially to the cost of construction.  This is a shameful abuse of public funds.

RTGolden
RTGolden

 @scottindallas I agree with you there, but as someone else posted, as long as there is Fed money for building these idiotic notions, we're going to build them.  Our best hope is come up with a more efficient way of using them.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @Anon  @oakclifftownie His point is that the NCTCOG is a non elected body and is not really responsible or accountable to the public.

 

The NCTCOG was started as a simple clearinghouse by federal legislation to streamline the allocation of federal highway dollars within a specific region.  Basically the federal government did not want to deal with some 50+ local governmental entities in North Texas when it came to deciding how to allocate the federal highway dollar.

 

Since then the NCTCOG and other COGs have morphed into a type of regional government.  This group is deciding how to allocate the taxes that are paid.

 

In some respects, the concept of the COG is a good idea as it provides for the development of transportation (read: highway) projects that a single city would never support.  As a result there are now the massive highway expansion projects that have been ongoing  for over two decades in the Metroplex area.

 

The HOV lanes that we have are pushed onto us because the federal DOT has decided that they are a good thing and if you build them, the US DOT will supply the funds.  Hence, the HOV lanes are built in our area not because they significantly relieve congestion, not because they work really well here (with the exception of the one on East RL Thornton) and not because they are well thought out, but rather because a pot of money is available to build them and someone makes money off of building them.

 

I drive along the HOV lane for IH30 between Dallas and Arlington and I wonder when is it going to be finished, because no one seems to be using it.

 

The NCTCOG is just as accountable to the public as the DFW Airport board is ... namely, not one iota.

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