Solving our gridlock? Converting HOV car pool lanes into Toll lanes

As Californians do their part to reduce traffic on our free southern CA highways by car pooling the government decides to punish us by converting some of these “free” lanes to toll generating Lexus lanes. The following is from the Daily Breeze. To read the entire article click on the story link at the end of this post.
Some L.A. freeway carpool lanes will soon become toll lanes.

From news services
Posted: 12/11/2008 05:38:37 PM PST

                LOS ANGELES – More than 60 miles of Southland carpool lanes on three freeways will be converted into toll lanes under a contract signed today by federal and local officials, according to the U.S Transportation Department.

Under the contract, involving Caltrans and the MTA, the federal Transportation Department will provide $210 million to pay for new toll collection equipment, said federal Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters.

When the project is complete, motorists will have to pay a toll to use what are now High Occupancy Vehicle, or carpool lanes, on 28 miles of the San Bernardino (10) Freeway from Union Station east to the San Gabriel (605) Freeway; and 33 miles of the Harbor (110) Freeway carpool lanes from Adams Boulevard to 182nd Street.

A second phase will convert carpool lanes between Pasadena and Irwindale on the Foothill (210) Freeway into what are being called HOT, or high occupancy toll lanes.

“Los Angeles’ willingness to try something new will mean less traffic, better transit and a cleaner environment,” Peters said in Washington.

The Bush administration has long sought to tie federal transportation aid to local agencies implementing congestion pricing, where tolls are imposed on motorists willing to pay more to bypass slower traffic. Critics call such efforts “Lexus lanes.”

Gilbert note. I think Santa Ana Mayor Pulido can learn something from this experiment. He can install collection booths at every entrance into Santa Ana from Interstate 5. Anyone wishing to go to the Hall of Administration or the Court House would have to pay an entrance fee to offset the cost of fixing the numerous pot holes in the city. After all we do not live in Santa Ana but we do add to the infrastructure maintenance and traffic tie ups without being taxed. That’s simply not fair.

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