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High Occupancy Toll Lanes Not So Hot

Will HOT be better than HOV?

Oct. 1 was a red letter day for the people who are forced to drive the 16 miles of Interstate 85 every day through Gwinnett and part of DeKalb Counties. The much promoted . Several years ago, the high occupancy vehicle lanes were opened with much promotion to let us all know this was the final answer to our driving woes on that highly travelled part of Interstate 85. HOV was welcomed by the transportation folks to be able to cut down on the gridlock on this much travelled highway.

Now, seeing HOV did not work, the gurus-of-traffic-flow have come up with a dandy solution involving the separating of the citizens from more of their hard earned money to pay for the right of passage on 16 miles of bad road. Maybe I should not be pronouncing this another government failed idea too quickly. Taking a clue from the explanations given by Georgia Department of Transportation, it is easy to see why people are confused about this latest venture in solving the traffic woes of the Atlanta region.

As best I can understand, there is no cost to having a pass, , to be given permission to drive in the HOT lane. The cost, if I understand the explanation, comes about when one drives in the HOT lane. The cost will be determined by the time of day, the number of other vehicles in the lane and the number of passengers in the vehicle. And, oh, by the way, before we start down the HOT lane we have to go online and let someone know how many people are going to be in our vehicle as we make our way down the 16 miles of this old HOV lane. We are also being warned that traffic enforcement will be strict in the HOT lane. Traffic citations will be given out with a fine attached to them for breaking the rules. Non-payment of the fine could result in the loss of vehicle registration, as I understand the brief explanation about the use of HOT. To receive a Peach Pass, a person must have a credit card or debit card allowing the folks at GDOT/HOT to send the bill directly to their account for driving in the HOT lane.

Please know I am not the type of person who sees a conspiracy under every rock (or government program). Could it be, however, with this next failed attempt at dealing with the gridlock on I-85 there will be the push to expand light, or rapid rail, throughout the region? Call me skeptical, but the next weeks will document once again the confusion occurring when unknown prices are passed on to the over taxed population. From where I stand, some people will be willing to pay no matter the cost, but others will complain when they get their credit card bill and it is more than they are willing to pay for the right of passage on HOT.

Are the toll lanes a smart solution for our transportation problems? Tell us in the comments.

Gary Fox October 05, 2011 at 09:41 PM
EVERYONE PLZ TAKE NOTE!! Go back up to Ed Varn's post in reply to my question re: Jannine Miller and the patent for the Peach Pass technology. Seems as though it is true - a state employee in a position of forcing the Peach Pass on the public. Same state employee holds the patent to the Peach Pass technology NO that's not a conflict of interest. Can we please bring back public hanging on the square, like they used to hang horse thiefs.
Jenny Ball October 05, 2011 at 09:44 PM
http://www.grta.org/board_calender/Board_profiles/Profiles_07/miller.htm This link profiles Jannine Miller's position with the GRTA and her proposal to secure a 110M Federal grant for the implementation of the HOT lane project. Jannine Miller is also one of the patent holders/owners of the "Peach Pass" technology used for the HOT lane. I am assuming that part of that federal grant money was used to purchase the Peach Pass technology from the patent holders, so Miller would have a lot to gain from the implementation of the HOT lane. Maybe I'm assuming too much, but on the surface it seems like this would be a huge conflict of interest -
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 05, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Well team, The best way to avoid the backups at off ramp sections is NOT to participate by creating a gap or to letting them “move to the right” in front of YOU. If you're in the left General Purpose Lane, SMILE politely and just point with your thumb to your BACK bumper... Remember, they have PLENTY of time on their hands and THEY CAN wait a bit. Once the right “Rich Ditch” driver crosses the double line and gets a 150 dollar fine, things will change quickly. If the state wants us to drive like we are in N.Y. N.Y. - let’s give to them. First tip - After the first smile, NEVER let the driver on the left see you move your head – it will be taken as a sign of weakness and that you can (and most likely will) be cut off.
Ed Varn October 06, 2011 at 12:42 AM
"Not making a rail system years back = poor leadership and racist views" Seriously? Some things never fail. Give a Northerner a chance to complain things aren't like they were "up North" and inevitably the race card will be dropped. Curious what you mean by that comment? Because many vocal opponents feared crime following MARTA north to Gwinnett that was racist? Are you saying crime is necessarily racial in its form? If so, the racist slur would more be directly at you for perpetuating such a stereotype. Now, "poor leadership" I won't argue. But racism will always be with us until people like you learn to let it go.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 10, 2011 at 05:02 AM
Me thinks that the racist tag reply belonged to the post by GregRodgers, not me ... I can be tagged by many a name but THAT one. enjoy

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