9/20: Are HOT lanes a good idea for Georgia?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Tolls are coming to I-85 on Oct. 1. They’re also planned for I-75. But these will be different from Ga. 400’s one fee for every vehicle. These are the so-called HOT lanes — high-occupancy toll lanes.

The cost will vary according to demand for any car or truck carrying fewer than three people. The more congestion, the more you pay. And solo riders can participate, for a price.

Benita M. Dodd, vice president at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, writes that moving toward tolling more roads in state is inevitable and logical.

Brian Gist, an attorney in the Atlanta office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, does not think they are a good idea and writes that the goal should be better transportation for all, not just for select few.

Read what they have to say and give us your take on the HOT lanes.


162 comments Add your comment

Amos

September 23rd, 2011
9:21 am

Taxation without representation!

Steve

September 23rd, 2011
9:17 am

This was the single dumbest act ever committed in the name of solving a transportation problem. Had to be that the contractors who installed this mess are the ones to get rich off getting paid for it, while it will take FOREVER to pay for itself (if ever) and won’t do a darn thing but make the other lanes more crowded. I still can’t believe this actually happened in 2011.

Carlos

September 23rd, 2011
9:15 am

WASTE OF MONEY!!! WASTE OF MONEY!! WASTE OF MONEY!! Interstates aren’t just for those in the immediate area but also for those travelers who pass through on a daily basis. Do these people do any type of studies on transportation at all before they decide to go out and throw away millions of dollars on projects that won’t even make a dent in the problem. The problem is rush hours, we know this and also if there is an accident. They didn’t add another lane they just turned it into a toll lane in hopes to make the rush hour commutes smoother. If you have a 8oz. glass and you try to put 10oz of water into it, you have an overflow. That’s what is wrong with metro Atlanta. The infrastructure at rush hour can’t handle the volume of traffic. Most of the traffic congestion during rush hours is north of I-20. So the only way to me metro Atlanta is going to solve or lessen traffic congestion is 1. have a transit system that services the suburbs and runs along the top end of the perimeter. 2. divert traffic coming from Virginia, South & North Carolina and Tennesee away from 285. I know businesses won’t be happy but they still will have enough customers. If we are really going to get serious about traffic then we have to look at real solutions and quit putting bandaids on the problem. Atlanta is the hub of the South. It no longer can handle the amount of traffic that comes through here. Unless we get solution minded individuals in positions who honestly care about solving problems and less about satisfying a certain few then I gurantee than we will be back here shortly again re-visiting the same issues.

jrev

September 23rd, 2011
9:11 am

@Fried Okra-
Actually, most of us true southerners would like to get rid of the trash like you,

OedipusTax

September 23rd, 2011
9:10 am

$110 million project. Requires 1 million a month over 10 years to pay off the project, approx. 20 working days each month, thus $50,000 in revenue required each day, or $25,000 per rush hour. If each car is charged $5, 5,000 cars have to travel in the hot lane per rush hour. Capacity of an interstate lane is 2,000 an hour, thus the lane would have to be full for 2 1/2 hours each rush hour. If each car is charged $10, only 2,500 cars have to travel in the hot lane per rush hour. Again, this is on the basis of real paying cars, not bureaucrats that have their Pass card paid for by the taxpayer. One will be able to soon witness with their own eyes every day just how foolish public bureaucrats can be with taxpayer money if one counts the actual cars in the hot lane on their way to work.

CJ

September 23rd, 2011
9:10 am

I’m no traffic engineer, but as soon as I heard that the HOV lanes would require payment, I knew that the other 4 or 5 lanes would become more congested. I see this multi-million dollar idea going down the drain within 2 years.

Steveo

September 23rd, 2011
9:08 am

@ITP – by the way, nobody over 30 years old uses “ITP” anymore. It shows your blind arrogance and ignorance.

mike "hussein" smith

September 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

The taxpayers paid for those lanes, but most will be edged out. It’s another gimmick for the Legislature to appease the pushy rich right.

Steveo

September 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

I am SO GLAD our family just moved out of Atlanta (after 17 years). Enough is enough … and I’m not telling where we went.

NoSympathy

September 23rd, 2011
9:04 am

I love reading all the complaints of suburbanites concerning their traffic nightmares. Maybe if you folks made different choices (not living 25+ miles away from work) and actually supported transit and other transportation services you wouldn’t be in this bind. Here’s a nice nugget for you folks to marinate on, the average Atlanta commuter spends around 240hrs a year driving to and from work…that’s more time than most of you spend on vacation! Hope you enjoy that cookie cutter home out in the sticks.

Sincerely,

ITP Resident