Toll Lanes for Solo Drivers in the HOV Lane: Yay or Nay?

Categories: Morning Poll
Michael Ruiz via Flickr
Loop 202/State Route 51/ Interstate 10 interchange in Phoenix.

A group of automotive enthusiasts is trying to prevent any roads and highways in the state from becoming toll roads, including potential toll lanes on highways, which would allow solo drivers to pay to use the carpool lane.

The Arizona Automobile Hobbyist Council has until July 3, 2014, to collect 259,213 signatures in order for the proposal to appear on voting ballots.

See also:
-Auto Enthusiasts Want to Block Potential Toll Roads in Arizona

The Maricopa Association of Governments has already been studying potential "high-occupancy/toll" lanes, also known as "HOT lanes," which lets single drivers pay to use a lane with less traffic during rush hour, usually reserved for cars with two or more occupants.

There are a lot of variables involved in the local studies, like one option to convert the current HOV lanes on Valley highways into HOT lanes, or another option of adding an HOT lane in addition to the existing HOV lane. Also, they have to consider hours of operation, prices, and benefit, among other things.

But people argue that they are no good, calling HOT lanes "Lexus lanes" (which appears to be based on a pair of misconceptions -- that only the wealthy can afford to use the lanes, and that Lexus vehicles represent wealth).

While governments are studying the lanes (which are currently being used in other states) and one group is trying to ban the lanes on any existing highways in the state, let's hear from you -- do HOT lanes sound like a good idea to you?

Cast your vote below:

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Whether this idea gets traction or not, the HOV/HOT lanes will become gridlocked also when the other lanes are moving under 10 mph and things are bumper-to-bumper. Such is the case in California. When traffic slows to a crawl in the "free" lanes, the HOV lanes don't move much faster.


The old cliche is that time is money.  Sounds like ADOT is looking at the converse - money is time.  If you have the money, ADOT will sell you the time in the form of reducing the length of time you have to sit on the freeway.  Right now transportation in the Valley is fairly egalitarian - doesn't matter how much money you have or what kind a car you drive, you are in traffic with everyone else.  This proposal eliminates the egalitarian nature of the the valley's transportation and gives those that can afford it their own special lane just for them.  There's something about that approach that just doesn't sit well with me.

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