Why gutting our high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes is a bad idea

September 4, 2008 by
Filed under: Analysis 

If Initiative 985 is approved, high occupancy vehicle (or carpool) lanes will be open to everyone at almost all hours of the day, including rush hour.

This would dramatically worsen traffic and lead to an increase in commute times for families all over Puget Sound.

The goals of the HOV system, as defined by the Department of Transportation, are:

  • To maximize the people-carrying capacity of the freeway system by providing incentives to use buses, vanpools and carpools.
  • To provide capacity for future travel growth.
  • To help reduce transportation-related pollution and dependency on fossil fuels.

Gutting HOV lanes would paralyze our bus system and deliberately punish those Washingtonians who are doing their part to reduce traffic and reduce carbon emissions by riding motorcycles or traveling together in a carpool or vanpool. That’s a step in the wrong direction that will hurt each and every one of us who shares the road.

We can’t afford for our traffic to get any worse. That’s why we have to reject I-985.


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