Power Breakfast: HOT lane OK’d, pipeline delayed, school cheating scandal, Screen on Green, soda tax, Obama and BP

Could we finally be getting our act together on traffic congestion?

First, the legislature passes a regional funding plan.

Now, the state Transportation Board told staff they could bid out a project to add electronic tolls to the I-85 HOV lane in Gwinnett County, AJC reporter Ariel Hart writes.

It is planned as the seed of a whole network of metro Atlanta HOT lanes.

The idea, Hart writes, is to offer something extraordinary at rush hour — one spot where drivers who can afford it are nearly guaranteed mobility. The flip side is that two-person car pools, which currently make up most of the free HOV lane’s traffic, will be kicked out to make space for the paying drivers.

Public transit, motorcycles, alternative fuel vehicles and car pools of three people or more ride free. Two-person car pools and solo drivers must pay, Hart reports.

The high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane, which will open in June 2011, will run from about Chamblee Tucker Road in DeKalb County to Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County.

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7 comments Add your comment

Morrus

June 18th, 2010
7:45 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

Neco

June 18th, 2010
8:33 am

I’m I the only person whose been in the current HOV lane? These lanes are often just as congested as the non HOV lanes. I often times move in and out of the HOV because of the drivers that are in it. The issue with the HOV is that there is only one non-passable lane and chronicly slow drivers clog it. How does adding more one-person drivers alleviate congestion? This is a bad move, by narrowly focused politicians. If anything, increase the amount of HOV lanes and reward more multiperson car pooling.

Tracey

June 18th, 2010
10:24 am

I use this lane because I ride a Vanpool and I have to say, “Just because you have two people doesn’t mean you need to be in this lane.” People get in this lane with two and then proceed to go slower than the traffic in the lane next to them.

Drives me nuts!

That said, this plan will be hard to enforce and document.

Darren

June 18th, 2010
10:46 am

“guaranteed mobility”? Have you observed the HOV lanes in Atlanta? They’re the slowest lanes on the road!

If Atlanta wants to do something about congestion, they could teach drivers simple lane discipline techniques that we used to obey in this country. In other places that still obey the practice, the same number of cars using the same number of lanes absolutely scream, because people know which lane to be in for their speed. In Atlanta, people just spread out into any random lane to fill space. It would also abate road rage and aggresive driving greatly.

TnGelding

June 18th, 2010
1:24 pm

Of course, their time is much more valuable than mine. Pay to display. Most of us need to stay home anyway to support our drug habits, be it the legal or illegal poisons. Maybe it will encourage more people to form bigger car pools. Let’s hope so.

pookfester

June 18th, 2010
6:12 pm

The pookfester agrees with Dekalb counties efforts to turn the GM Doraville plant into a giant Chinese furniture store. I think Atlanta needs a giant Chinese furniture store. I think people would come from all over the southeast. To buy Chinese furniture. I’m not sure what Chinese furniture does. However this could be the boost our local economy needs.

I-85 Junkie

June 28th, 2010
5:08 pm

This is a “brilliant” plan… let’s take most of the current traffic in the HOV lane, mostly those with 2-persons in a vehicle, and dump them into the non-HOV lanes, creating further congestion. And why is the fee proposed at 90 cents per MILE when Georgia 400 has a one-time toll of 50 cents???