I have never understood the logic behind these so-called “managed lanes,” also known as Lexus lanes. Take the new project about to open on I-85 north of the Perimeter.
Here’s the theory:
You take an existing lane of interstate highway, an expensive piece of infrastructure that has already been built and paid for by taxpayers both rich and poor through gasoline taxes. You cordon that lane off, allowing access only to those who are willing and able to pay extra to use what they’ve already paid for once.
The idea, we’re told, is that even in the worst traffic, those who can afford the extra cost will be able to buy themselves a free-flowing trip at a minimum of 45 mph. And you accomplish that by raising tolls so high that by design, most people won’t be able to use it. As AJC reporter Ariel Hart notes in a story in today’s newspaper:
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of hundreds of pages of documents associated with the project and interviews with outside experts shows