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

Wade through traffic

September 23rd, 2011
9:59 am

So the 10 min call ahead or notification online in order to ride 3 people in HOT lane for free, encourages phone use or internet use while driving on the highway. Great. We need more smart phone activity while driving on GA roads. Is the Department of Public Safety and Gwinnett County police cars going to continue to sit on the side of the road slowing up traffic when, in essence, the HOT Lane is supposed to decrease drive time?


September 23rd, 2011
9:57 am

I am 100 % against using tax payer dolars to build a road. Then turn around and charge us again.
Promise when its paid off to do away with it.
When it is in fact paid off keep it going without a vote.
I will never use that road even if I am in traffic for a hour


September 23rd, 2011
9:57 am

I would like Ms. Dodd to explain to me how I would appreciate paying a $10 toll fee rather than a $5 late fee. An I don’t see my employer giving me a $5000 year pay raise to get to work each day. The HOV lanes were a dumb idea and this HOT lane is even dumber.

Fried Okra

September 23rd, 2011
9:57 am

jrev @ 9:11 am –

If you are lucky, maybe your “god” 0bama will let you ride in his limo in one of the HOT lanes while you get on your knees and pray to him.

Good Luck with That!

Phil C

September 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

I agree with Mary K. And I was under the impression that when they first introduced the idea of HOT lanes in Gwinnett that was the plan, but I see that they couldn’t enforce that so they had to switch it up. But the the rules of it are about as dumb as those stop lights to get on the highway…..waste of money.


September 23rd, 2011
9:53 am

The Georgia Peach Pass has a FB page….State Road & Tollway Authority. I wrote on the wall a week ago and they deleted it. So I posted again. They don’t seem to have answers on why this lane is now a punishment to those that do commute? This “Peach Pass” has turned the HOV lane into a penalty for those people that commute and a privilege for those that have money to spare.I am so confused on how they can toll an interstate!?!

Mary K

September 23rd, 2011
9:52 am

I wouldn’t have a problem with the lane if they kept the regular HOV rules, but added the option for single occupancy vehicles to pay to drive there. This system; however, is HORRIBLE.

Simone in L'ville

September 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

This is a horrible idea. The GOAL of the HOV was to decrease pollution by encouraging car pooling. How does the HOT deliver on this? It will increase traffic and congestion. Furthermore, it isn’t a great option–how on earth does one work through six lanes of bumper to bumper traffic to get to the HOT lane (oh, and only enter/exit at the dotted line)? Yet another bad idea with horrible execution.


September 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

Economists have been recommending HOT lanes for years however it works best when drivers have choices. The HOT lane concept fails in Atlanta because Metro Atlanta does not offer drivers enough viable alternatives to driving a car. This is a car city and MARTA is not sufficient.

The HOT lane is a good idea for long haul truckers. Let them drive in a lane of their own and pay for it.


September 23rd, 2011
9:49 am

Stupid Is as Stupid Does!!!! This is undoubtedly the most asinine idea the Georgia Republican Legislature has ever come up with. Talk about a waste a taxpayer money. Now they want to extort more money from our pockets. This road and the other proposed roads were never built with the intent to be toll roads. There is a difference between the two. These idiots have no concept of how to solve the congestion here in Georgia.

George is and always will be a second tier city until they get the balls to create a REAL transporation system, that is statewide. It will take Heavy and Light rail systems integrated with the buses and hubs to do this. Yes it will cost money (but you have to spend money to make money, duh), but think of the many jobs that will be created.