10/16: A HOT flash in the pan?

The AJC Editorial Board

Are HOT lanes a flash in the pan? Let’s hope not. While it’s understandable that metro Atlantans resent a no-gridlock toll on a road they’ve already paid for, HOT lanes have proved their worth in other states. Georgia shouldn’t exit, Andre Jackson writes for The AJC Editorial Board.

Gov. Nathan Deal writes that “while I share the frustration of commuters regarding our early experience with HOT lanes, we are all frustrated when we miss a business appointment or a child’s baseball game because roads are jammed. I am focused on reducing congestion in order to get Georgians moving.”

And the Rome News-Tribune weighs in on the HOT lanes, too.

Read the full accounts of what they have to say and comment.

41 comments Add your comment

Ken P

October 14th, 2011
7:22 pm

We wish you would keep your 2 cents out of this issue of taxpayer gouging! The fact that our legislators have already wasted $60 million on abusive scheme to screw citizens should not ensure that it continues, but that those responsible don’t see another term! The HOV lanes were “supposedly” created to encourage and reward carpooling, now they are penalizing those very same travelers! Kick the crooks out, and ignore those stupid enough to defend the corrupt practice!

DawgDad

October 15th, 2011
2:40 am

As a solid conservative I can tell you Gov. Deal is slitting his throat with much of his base.

CP

October 15th, 2011
7:22 am

I shouldn’t have to pay to use roads I’ve already paid for with gas taxes.

Ron

October 15th, 2011
7:30 am

With the cost of transportation already high, including gas prices, I simply don’t have enough extra money to pay for tolls just to go to work and back everyday.

No special lanes period.

October 15th, 2011
8:48 am

Forget ALL special lanes. Open them all up to all traffic. No HOV, no HOT-they won’t work. Minimally, suspend them–both of them–for 2,3,4 weeks, heck the rest of the year–and let’s just see what happens. I bet the traffic will be much better for all. We’re not giving up our cars. we’re just not. These new lanes were a TOTAL waste of our money.

mike

October 15th, 2011
10:16 am

This was never about fixing the traffic gridlock, it was about creating another stream of revenue. It’s about as worthless as the on ramp stop lights. Just another example of a government blowing money to not fix a problem, and fulfill it’s own agenda.. It’s time to fire some of the higher ups in the GDOT and get some new blood in there. This incompetence can not continue, the traffic issue in Atlanta is at a boiling point.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

October 15th, 2011
11:48 am

I have no problem with charging a toll to individual drivers that want to pay to utilize the HOT lanes.

However, the lanes should be at NO COST to ALL carpools at or greater than two occupants, all hybrid vehicles and all motorcyclists. The only people that should pay anything are individual drivers of passenger vehicles.

How freakin’ simple is that?

theMoney

October 15th, 2011
12:10 pm

The State of Georgia and GRTA made a deal with the federal gummint, and we get HOT lanes. As someone already said, it’s about revenue – they get the gold mine, we get the shaft.

I’m going to remember this one at the ballot box, Nate!

Keshawnfondriquia

October 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

“Gov. Nathan Deal writes that “while I share the frustration of commuters…”

Right. Somehow I doubt that. Gov. Deal and his chauffeured limousine travel I-85 North all that frequently. And who cares that the Rome News-Tribune thinks HOT lanes are wonderful, it’s not like your average Roman travels 85 North every day either.

oldfart

October 15th, 2011
1:11 pm

Why yes ALex it appears you must be entitled to a special lane that we all paid for previously. Why you’ve zoomed past bourgeoisie straight into nobility for only 60¢! Could I also interest you in a time share in Hilton Head where you can rub elbows with the nobility even further for only pennies by comparison?

I’m for capitalism as much as the majority of Americans but having a keen nose for bull excrement I know a line when I see it. This little 60 mil project that is now being offered as a loss leader Deal (half off if you act now!) is the precursor to a proposed 16 BILLION dollar, 30 YEAR plan by DOT in conjunction with the Feds to do this to every major artery in the greater metro area. That is enough moola to keep everyone in the DOT’s brothers-in-laws, son-in-laws, ex-wives and eventually grandson-in-laws in jobs for decades. Again, just 60 MILLION DOLLARS for paint, sensors, signs and 4 dedicated state patrolmen to insure enough congestion to ramp up both the demand and the rates themselves. What a Deal. Wish I was a paint salesman. Note that none of that money was to widen a single bridge.

That is so much money that politicians, DOT, contractors and I think some particular portions of the media are already elbowing at the trough, if not the Federal teat to get their share. The AJC has been nearly mute on a subject that will impact the lives of almost all occupants of metro Atlanta for decades to come. Articles are few and far between and seldom allow comment. Even one that had a “Your Opinion” link was run for a month after the comments section had been closed. Now we get their opinion through Mr. Andre Jackson and we aren’t even given the opportunity to respond directly to that tripe. Instead it has to be to this un-linked, un-named blog that you have to drill down to from the Opinion page. If the AJC isn’t in on the scam then some editor would have the cojones to link this blog to the home page.

Don’t think that this is only a Gwinnett problem. Wait until Cobb gets the construction woes for the additional lane they won’t be able to afford to drive in anyway, or, shudder, the connector and the northern arc of the perimeter when they get this same treatment. Then they will want us all to vote for TSPLOST because of all the congestion. Never mind that the self-entitled’s migration across all lanes to enter and last minute merges to exit along with the blue light special enforcement to bump up revenues are only serving to INCREASE CONGESTION for the many for the gain of the few, or in ALex’s case the One. Enjoy your 60¢ while it lasts. I will be voting with my feet for now and with my real vote in the future accordingly.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
1:49 pm

oldfart

October 15th, 2011
1:11 pm

I couldn’t have said it any better, Brother.

Not a fair tax

October 15th, 2011
3:35 pm

Why are Gwinnette residents being taxed to drive on roads that are already paid for?

MM

October 15th, 2011
3:41 pm

As the state searches by trial-and-error price that enough folks will pay for a HOT lane ride, here’s an additional thought. The true cost of the HOT lane is not $60M but has to be calculated to include the wait time for all those in the non-HOT lanes. This must be accounted for or you’re conveniently telling part of the story. Let’s see: a hundred thousand people delayed by an additional 40 minutes per day (2-way) times a $8-$20 per hour charge for waiting plus the additional gasoline, wear-and-tear on the car, and a charge for the additional pollution for idleing cars. I haven’t estimated this cost but it’s at least over a hundred thousand per commute cycle.

Now here’s the trick: add this to the cost charged to the HOT lane riders. This cost is way bigger than some paint, tech upgrades, and a few new state patrolmen. No wonder we are not provided with the true cost of the HOT lanes. If this real cost of lane provision were charged no one would ride in the damn things! Another instance of a wealth transfer from the middle class to the “rich guy.” Class warfare of the standard USA variety–poor to rich!

While I’m at it to compute a true cost of the HOT lane we should include the fact that taxpayers already paid for the HOT lanes on I-85 as a standard lane years ago. There’s no reason that the non-HOT lane folks, and taxpayers generally, cannot be repaid for their previous investment by adding an addition fee onto the HOT lane charge. (Payback is a bitch.)I have not computed this but it’s bound to add another couple dollars to the HOT lane charge.

What does all this mean? An accurate charge for the HOT lanes goes way beyond paying the $60M that’s so widely discussed in the press. If the true cost was disclosed there would be a riot out on the superslab. Why hasn’t the Atlanta press led the charge in the spirit of true journalism to inform the public that the accurate cost of a rush hour HOT lane trip would be well over $10, maybe $20 and that the non-HOT lane driver is subsidizing (or to use the word business people don’t like to use–socializing) the “rich guy” lanes. If the wealth transfer mechanism disguised as a road as we have on I-85 spreads to full metro area then the true cost to taxpayers will be staggering. The folks that are doing this have balls of sheer brass!

Jack

October 15th, 2011
4:37 pm

HOT lanes are not a problem for me. I just skip that last cup of hot coffee and leave home a little earlier and drive in the slow lanes. No big deal.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
5:09 pm

From Andre Jackson for The AJC Editorial Board:

“With proper planning and sound thinking, we should too. We’d expect trucking firms, for example, that move traffic through Georgia by the ton would be happy to pay a sizable toll to access a far-OTP beltway and escape Atlanta’s traffic crawl.”

Proper planning and sound thinking? In Georgia? Please, don’t make me laugh!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!

OMG!!!! Proper planning and sound thinking by the State of Georgia!? [Pause typing for hysterical laughs]

We’re talking about the same state government that was headed by a governor who, while the state roads were filling up with gridlock and our lakes were running out of water supply, “wisely” decided to invest in horse museums and boat ramps to go fishing in dry lakes while simultaneously slashing education funding with “austerity cuts” in a good economy.

We’re also talking about a state government whose governor ran off and hid on the other side of the world for two months when his state ran almost completely out of gas.

Yet still we’re also talking about a state government whose Department of Transportation once lost $430 million in a filing cabinet and whose commissioner once ran away from news cameras when faced with the simple question of “What is the DOT doing to clear the roads of snow and ice?”

Not-to-mention, we’re also talking about a state government that not to just days ago tried to “improve” traffic on one of the world’s busiest highways by taking away a lane of traffic and then attempting to charge very angry motorists stuck in the resulting traffic jams for the “privilege” of riding in a “traffic-free” lane (created by causing massive traffic jams in the other lanes) that they had already paid for with taxes for a very pricey toll.

Yeah….proper planning and sound thinking, from this state government….What a LAFFER!!!!

Seriously, you guys REALLY should be on the comedy circuit….

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
5:47 pm

From Andre Jackson for The AJC Editorial Board:

“Properly executed toll lanes and roads can be an important part of metro Atlanta’s multimodal transportation plan, but only where fees support new lanes that truly add capacity.”

That statement is very true with an emphasis on MULTIMODAL transportation plan. A big item that is missing from all of these discussions about the state’s dogged determination to invest in a regionwide network of HOT lanes is COMMUTER RAIL.

Investing heavily in HOT lanes alone as a supposed way to “reduce congestion” is a very risky proposition as the lanes alone will not help to reduce congestion and may even help to INCREASE congestion if an existing HOV lane is converted to a HOT lane as we saw on the Northeast I-85 Corridor last week in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties.

The state’s proposal to sink $16 BILLION into a metrowide and regionwide network of HOT lanes and the somewhat misguided approach of converting HOV-2 lanes to HOT/HOV-3 lanes seems to be the state’s only idea to “attempt” to reduce congestion with no consideration to commuter rail as part of a potential solution to make major roads more passable for locals and travelers alike.

“That’s the real lesson from the Atlanta HOT lane rebellion.”

A lesson that may be reflected in a continuing and increasing wholesale rejection of the HOT lane concept in Georgia and a wholesale rejection of the upcoming T-SPLOST referendum in July 2012 as mistrust and lack of confidence in government to competently do the right thing to address Georgia’s mobility challenges is at an all-time high and looks to be increasing.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
5:57 pm

Not a fair tax

October 15th, 2011
3:35 pm

“Why are Gwinnette residents being taxed to drive on roads that are already paid for?”

Because as far as the state is concerned, Gwinnett residents are nothing more than guinea pigs in their wrong-headed “experiment” to see how their warped and misguided version of the HOT lane concept would affect commuters in the Northeast Corridor on an everyday basis.

If the state wanted to “experiment” with the HOT lane concept then they should have ADDED at least a couple of extra lanes to the road and put tolls on them instead of taking a lane of traffic off of one of the busiest roads on the continent and inconsiderately wreaking havoc on peoples’ lives.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
6:10 pm

Keshawnfondriquia

October 15th, 2011
12:13 pm

““Gov. Nathan Deal writes that “while I share the frustration of commuters…”…..Right. Somehow I doubt that. Gov. Deal and his chauffeured limousine travel I-85 North all that frequently. And who cares that the Rome News-Tribune thinks HOT lanes are wonderful, it’s not like your average Roman travels 85 North every day either.”

Actually, Governor Deal is from Hall County and has to travel through that section of Interstate 85 in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties to get between his home and the State Capitol which might have been the reason that he responded as soon as he did to public anger over the massive gridlock caused by the bungled implementation of HOT lanes.

Although, I don’t doubt that when Governor Deal travels back-and-forth between Hall County on I-85 in DeKalb and Gwinnett that he is driven in a chauffeured government vehicle (think SUV, not limo) that of course uses the HOT lane and is able to bypass everyone else on the road that is stuck in traffic.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 15th, 2011
6:44 pm

From Andre Jackson for The AJC Editorial Board:

“We’d expect trucking firms, for example, that move traffic through Georgia by the ton would be happy to pay a sizable toll to access a far-OTP beltway and escape Atlanta’s traffic crawl.”

The Outer Perimeter was pretty much proven NOT to be a politically-viable or politically-acceptable transportation option when voters rejected the concept wholesale by voting the Democrat governor and party who backed it out of power in 2002 after 140 years in total control of state politics.

Lots of land spectulators and developers may like to see the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc concept resurrected, but there are many more other poltically well-connected people who own land that would be in the path of either the same or a new route of that road that would not take too kindly to having a toll road run through their property and I’m pretty sure that GOP bigwigs would get an earful about it if they even thought about resurrecting that unpopular road such as is the case right now about a connector GDOT has proposed to run between I-75 and US 411 in Bartow County that would run directly through some mountain ranges and the land of some very influential people in the Georgia GOP.

Now if the Georgia Republican Party made the same mistake of backing a new Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc through Bartow and very-affluent Cherokee and Forsyth Counties and continued to back this misguided and unpopular concept of HOT lanes on all North Georgia freeways, the Georgia GOP would likely suffer the same or a similar fate as their Democrat precessors.

The fact is that the Outer Perimeter and, ESPECIALLY, the Northern Arc are very much politically-unviable, unacceptable and unpopular and would become a HUGE political liability for any politician foolish enough to back it.

The Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc is politically dead and is not coming back and it is a huge waste-of-time and energy to focus on it as a viable solution to pull interstate traffic off of gridlocked local interstates and freeways.

Pizza

October 15th, 2011
9:03 pm

This is not about moving traffic and reducing congestion, the goal is to get a few elite commuters to where they are going fast. The other 99% should be down at Woodruff Park !

VSap

October 15th, 2011
9:18 pm

People are staying away in droves from the I-85 HOT lane and the response is to reduce the toll and get a fed waiver to allow 2 to ride for free? The answer is simple: say you made a mistake, cut your losses and get serious about rail. Take the toll off GA 400 as promised. Don’t continue to lie and distort. It was supposed to be sunsetted…now just do it! And the TSPLOST? DOA. There are no “regional” solutions anywhere in the “plan” – approved by high-power politicians. Sidewalks for Buford Highway? A trolley for Atlanta? More buses? That is no regional plan…it’s political cover plain and simple…but it won’t be enough. Come up with a regional authority with a real plan then you may have a chance. Spend millions to market the current plan to us?, you may as well flush it down the toilet right now. The old saying is you can’t make a good deal with a bad guy. We (GA taxpayers) can’t make a good deal with you (pols) and your appointed minions (GDOT, et al). We will stay out of the HOT lane but we won’t stay away from the polls to let you know we will not underwrite your folly.

catlady

October 15th, 2011
9:27 pm

Glad I live 100 miles out of Atlanta. Glad I come there 4x per year to see the doctor. Wish 2 of my kids did not live in the edge of Atlanta (one near 85, one near 20,) but I don’t go see them that often, either.

It galls my soul to see how the “common Georgians” are in the crosshairs of the governor’s office/legislature, as they seem to be too ignorant or delusional not to vote those idiots out–people who continue to screw them over.

I keep hoping that clarity of thought will bring about come common sense from my fellow voters. However, some seem to be so determined to “be like the big boys” that they don’t realize they are subisidizing the lifestyles of these fat cat folks with their own sweat/money.

I traveled on 85 from North Avenue to the end of the HOT lane last Monday and saw NOT A CAR in the HOT lane. I was proud of my fellow citizens, until I realized it was a holiday. Keep it up, however, guys! Don’t give in to this nefarious attempt to undermine the values that build our country–let the government know you mean business!

Corporate Socialist

October 15th, 2011
9:44 pm

Would you whiny little people please calm down? Once me and my friends get our corporate contracts adjusted to cover our virtually free ride down the HOT lane, you’ll see plenty of us cruising by you peons. This is great. We use your labor and money to build us a private lane, then we get to use it at discount from our board of directors. Then our companies write it off as an expense. I sure hope those government types don’t find a way to infringe on my smooth ride. I don’t want to see them clogging up my space with their “official” bidness; except the Gov. and his friends of course. Roll on Nathan. You the man.

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

October 16th, 2011
5:15 am

STATE DOT STEALS A LANE THAT IS ALREADY PAID FOR AND REPAIRED WITH TAX DOLLARS, AND STARTS CHARGING US TO DRIVE IN IT. THIS NOT ABOUT FIXING BAD TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT, IT IS ABOUT RAISING MONEY. DOT COLLECTS TOLLS AND FINES AND COPS COLLECT FINES ON TOP OF THAT. POLITICIANS WILL KNOW THE WRATH COME ELECTION DAY.

Woody

October 16th, 2011
9:16 am

Welcome to the nickel-and-dime century. I’m waiting for the ‘air toll’. You know, to breath the air. The issue is, not Republican or Democrat, the issue is, there is NO ONE TO VOTE FOR who will stand up to schemes like this. Occupy Wall Street? We need to occupy this *&%$# HOT lane, and not with our cars.

An American Patriot

October 16th, 2011
10:33 am

Folks, I’ll tell you what…..some politicians better start coming out against this travesty (Hot Lanes) or they’re not likely to win re-election. This is stupid, having to pay again for a highway and I’m sure all of you have heard this…….”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”……as far as I’m concerned, it worked great the way it was. Well, this old guy ain’t voting for TSPLOST, that’s just money tossed into the toilet……instead, let’s throw all these stupid politicians in the toilet…….flush ‘em, let ‘em sink to the bottom like the excrement they are…….GDOT, wise up or y’all are gonna be out of a job too.

Lilburn Lady

October 16th, 2011
2:31 pm

The HOT Lane has been a huge failure as far as I’m concerned and I for one will never purchase a Peach Pass strictly on principle. You have removed an entire lane from two-person car pools and increased the traffic in the “free” lanes. Those of us who cannot afford the tolls each day now have our commute times doubled. How is that improving traffic? We are creating more pollution and burning more gas and have a lower quality of life due to this “experiment” that by the way, we are paying for! I could understand building a new lane to play with this latest effort at social engineering, but taking a lane away? That’s crazy!!

Philana

October 16th, 2011
2:53 pm

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?…..
October 15th, 2011
6:10 pm
October 15th, 2011
12:13 pm
“Actually, Governor Deal is from Hall County and has to travel through that section of Interstate 85 in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties to get between his home and the State Capitol which might have been the reason that he responded as soon as he did…”

I am going to go out on a limb here and venture that the governor probably lives in………the Governor’s Mansion (in Buckhead).

Enough Already

October 16th, 2011
4:02 pm

I hear all the whining but also find the Voters apathetic when going to polls and clinging to their party of choice. Be more independent and kickout the machine but then not afraid to kick out the next ones if things dont change. Otherwise, expect the same ole same ole. That is what we are getting now. This Genna Evans lady apparently slummed her way to the top and the people of GA ignore the shananigans. The pensin requirements are consuming the state budgets but people look the other way as the politicians hide and cover while trying to increase fees to support the needs of the state. Why do government workers and teachers continue to get fat pensions while the rest are stuck with 401Ks and shrinking real dollar paychecks? You know why..the folks at the top treat us based on how we have acted as a group..dumb grazing sheep that needs to be herded.

dekalbcountyga

October 16th, 2011
4:10 pm

If your time isn’t worth $5 to save 30 mins, then what are you whining about? My time is worth much more than that and I’m glad to pay it. It isn’t good for the economy for you to be getting in my way anyway, so please stay in the slow lanes.

Thanks.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 16th, 2011
5:02 pm

Philana

October 16th, 2011
2:53 pm

“I am going to go out on a limb here and venture that the governor probably lives in………the Governor’s Mansion (in Buckhead).”

You are correct as the Governor’s Mansion is Deal’s official residence while in office.

But before taking office as Governor, Deal’s official Georgia residence was in Hall County.

Deal also had some property holdings up that way in Northeast Georgia in Habersham County off of Hwy 365 (Northern extension of I-985) and just sold some of that property in either Habersham or Hall Counties to a California porn producer to help him get out of debt.

Much of Deal’s family, including his children, and his social and political connects live in the Gainesville/Hall County area, so he still gets up that way often and gets the opportunity to see what’s gone on with I-85 firsthand traveling back-and-forth between Atlanta and Northeast Georgia where his core social and political base lies.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 16th, 2011
5:46 pm

Lilburn Lady

October 16th, 2011
2:31 pm

“The HOT Lane has been a huge failure as far as I’m concerned and I for one will never purchase a Peach Pass strictly on principle. You have removed an entire lane from two-person car pools and increased the traffic in the “free” lanes. Those of us who cannot afford the tolls each day now have our commute times doubled. How is that improving traffic? We are creating more pollution and burning more gas and have a lower quality of life due to this “experiment” that by the way, we are paying for! I could understand building a new lane to play with this latest effort at social engineering, but taking a lane away? That’s crazy!!”

Your comments hit the nail right-on-the-head as not only is taking away a lane away from traffic on one of the busiest roads on the continent crazy, but is also puzzling, especially from a political standpoint.

Governor Nathan Deal’s base of core political support lies in the I-85 Northeast Metro Corridor and in Northeast Georgia.

Also, Deal himself is not all that crazy about the idea of putting tolls on existing free lanes, so it makes no sense that he would allow the State Road and Tollway Authority to intentionally jam up traffic to the point where it would negatively affect and anger so many of the key constituents that went so heavily for him and got him elected by a razor-thin margin over Karen Handel in a very close Georgia GOP Guberatorial Primary last year.

Deal’s allowance of this debacle on a stretch of roadway that would so dramatically negatively affect so many of his core political supporters is even all the more puzzling when considering that there are those in the Georgia GOP who started talking about finding someone to his political right to challenge him in the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary almost right after he was elected.

The talk of a political challenge to Deal from the far right has been most intense in Northwest Metro Atlanta where Deal trailed fairly substantially to Handel in 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary voting in Cobb, Cherokee and North Fulton Counties where the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning a $1 BILLION network of lanes on Interstates 75 and 575 through Cobb and Cherokee Counties that the state is planning to partially fund with those counties’ T-SPLOST revenues.

Seeing as how Deal performed so poorly in the I-75 Northwest Metro Corridor in the 2010 GOP Primary, it was basically the I-85 Northeast Metro Corridor and Northeast Georgia that carried Deal to a narrow victory over Handel in the 2010 GOP Primary.

The same I-85 Northeast Corridor where those same supporters are now angrily stuck in massive gridlock caused by the poorly-conceived and misguided HOT lanes that Deal allowed to be implemented by a loopy SRTA.

If Governor Deal allows this situation to persist and worsen, there’s no way that he will make it through the Republican Primary in 2014 and there’s no way on God’s green Earth that next year’s T-SPLOST referendum even remotely passes as motorists angry about their intentionally lengthened commutes will be looking to send a resounding message to seemingly deaf politicians.

joey

October 16th, 2011
10:34 pm

Okay, I got a few things here.

1. “Go ahead and skip that cup of coffee and wake up earlier”, that is one poster said. Makes no difference anymore it is going to get worse, wait till spring break, the holidays, it is gridlock 24/7. You are going to have to get on the road at 5am, and find a place to park until 8:30pm, or sit in hours of gridlock. Even if you get out earlier in the am, the gridlock will get you in the pm.

2. The DOT is sticking it to us, we need to rise up and do something, I am talking a park in, park our cars on the freeway, “no longer”, and stop traffic. We have to raise our voices to stop this madness. It will only get worse folks, let’s start the movement. Get rid of the toll lane, period, not reductions, no waiver where we still pay $20 for a pass even though we have all ready paid for the road.

jm

October 17th, 2011
8:38 am

HOT lanes are great

sdc

October 17th, 2011
10:20 am

There is nothing “great” about greed!! I will not be purchasing a peach pass based on principle. What’s next??? Charging to drink water out of water fountains at public parks???

An American Patriot

October 17th, 2011
10:25 am

@dekalbcountyga

October 16th, 2011
4:10 pm

If your time isn’t worth $5 to save 30 mins, then what are you whining about? My time is worth much more than that and I’m glad to pay it. It isn’t good for the economy for you to be getting in my way anyway, so please stay in the slow lanes.

Thanks.

May the “Bird of Paradise” fly up your nose :)

gore

October 17th, 2011
11:04 am

An American Patriot
October 17th, 2011
10:25 am
@dekalbcountyga
October 16th, 2011
4:10 pm
“My time is worth much more than that and I’m glad to pay it.”

Right there is the reaction the government is counting on. If enough people like that acquiesce each time the government squeezes them before long we’ll all be paying double and triple for the things we’ve already paid for with our taxes.

Marié de la Sweetbottom Plantation

October 17th, 2011
11:05 am

Let ‘em eat cake.

Daemon

October 17th, 2011
3:38 pm

Idiots!!! I saw this coming the day before the first day of rush hour. What used to be an easy weekend drive was filled with lines of drivers in the passing lane. This congestion is only going to cause more frustrated drivers, road rage and longer drive times for 95% of the population. I don’t know about you but increasing 5% of the population’s travel times and reducing 95% of the population travel times doesn’t seem to balance out quite right.

dekalbcountyga

October 18th, 2011
12:19 am

@gore

Once you get over the hump, it turns out that you pay a lot lower effective tax rate than the $100-$200k/year crowd. Nothing wrong in spending a few bucks out of that on a quicker ride.

Thank you, middle class. You think you’ve made it, but actually you’re paying for it.

dB

October 19th, 2011
11:29 am

Wow. The nonsensical, seat-of-the-pants decisions from SRTA never cease to amaze me. Let’s set aside the idiotic decision about bumping 2 person carpools back in to the regular lanes. And never mind they take away a working lane that is already paid for by our tax dollars to charge you for the use of the lane. It pushed this member of a 2 person car pool (since 96 when the HOV lanes were opened) back to the regular lanes

First, they based the fee on the traffic in the regular lanes, which sort of makes a little sense. As the traffic increases and people opt to pay for the right to use the HOT lane.

With today’s announcement by another life-long bureaucrat at SRTA, they are going to base it on the use of the HOT lane itself? How is that going to work? As traffic gets heavier in the HOT lane, they are going to charge you more? Do they think people will pay more to sit in slower moving traffic? Or, will they charge you more if the HOT lane is moving faster? You know, you pay more if it is moving faster?

Maybe I need to have a PhD (likefired GDOT employee and current Executive Director Gena Evans) to be able to understand this. I know they think we are just mindless sheep following the pathetic herd, but at some point, we tax payers have to let these over-educated bureaucrats know that we have had enough of their stupid decisions that are not only costing us our money, but our time. Hopefully, this is the last nail in the T-SPLOST coffin.