Tuesday, November 22, 2011

HOV lanes

Here's my take on a class discussion about when the San Bernadino carpool lanes created a traffic nightmare in the carpool lane after it was opened from 3+ to 2+ occupancy:

Just when you think you’re doing your part by buddying up with a friend to drive to work, sparing the air, gas and time by carpooling, you hit a traffic jam in the carpool lane. San Bernadino had the best intentions of moving more people into the carpool lane by reducing the required vehicle occupancy from three to two, but as Drew mentioned, it caused an overuse of the commons. So I ask: why not make the commons bigger? After all, the highway is four lanes wide. Why not take another lane for carpoolers? 

As high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are being implemented over high occupancy vehicle (HOV), it may be worth considering adding another HOV lane in addition to an existing lane. While HOT lanes allow drivers to buy their way out of congestion, the problem of too many cars on the highway is not solved. HOV lanes reduce the number of vehicles on the road and move more people. Furthermore, criticisms of HOT lanes that only the rich can afford to bypass traffic would be avoided. San Bernadino just needs to change some signs and restripe another lane to create commuting bliss for carpoolers, even those with only a friend in the passenger seat, once again.


  1. Dr. Ken, I don't think that would be politically feasible, even though most if not all men in politics would secretly be lobbying for it.