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Reversible Lanes on I-85: What Do You Think?

Government is considering the idea for traffic relief.

Updated 1:00 p.m., Dec. 30, 2011

Several media stories have appeared recently about the possibility of reversible lanes being used on I-85.

First, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle floated the idea, and now transportation officials confirm that the matter has been part of a 2-year-long study.

Cagle said he wants to add movable barriers to the interstate, which would convert northbound lanes into southbound for the morning commute. The flow would reverse in the evenings, adding more capacity during rush hour.

Transportation officials said the idea is  a component of a look at an extension to Ronald Reagan Parkway, which could be funded by tolls.

"The (Ronald Reagan Parkway) feasibility study has determined that a direct connection to I-85 is complex and should account for conditions not contemplated in the original study scope," Gwinnett DOT Acting Director Kim Conroy said. "Referred to as the 'Interface Project,' it will consider how best to optimize the RRP access point with full consideration of the existing interchange network, including the possibility of reversible lanes on I-85."

Gwinnett BOC Chairman Charlotte Nash said she is unsure about the idea, but said attention needs to be made to the congested interstate.

"Obviously, anything that can be done to help improve the traffic flow on I-85, especially during peak traffic times, I'm for that," Nash said. "I'm glad people are thinking about different ways to approach that."

Commuters in south Gwinnett may remember that a reversible-lane system was once used on U.S. 78 near Lilburn's Lake Lucerne Road, but it was discontinued several years ago.

Conroy also said in an email: "U.S. 78, a state route, included reversible lanes between East Park Place and SR 124 from the late 1980’s until just a few years ago. The system allowed for three travel lanes heading west and 2 east in the morning peak and reversed this for the afternoon flow. The reversible lane system was eliminated when GDOT completed their project of intersection improvements and installation of a median, which now provides for 3 lanes of travel in each direction at all times."

So now we ask, do you favor the idea of reversible lanes on I-85? Take the poll and tell us your comments.

(Material from the Gwinnett Daily Post was used in this report.)

Robert L Green December 30, 2011 at 01:19 PM
No mention made about "reversing the decision" made to impose the current HOV policy that was implemented and has "highlighted" the traffic flow problem ! DOT needs to restructure Top Management and get some professional personnel with management and analytical thought capabilities !
Steve December 30, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Agreed, I took the Peachpass lane recently, was traveling along quite nicely with traffic stopped to my right, then as we approached the 'Dotted lines' the lane comes to a stop. Guess they didnt think of an exit strategy, so all the time you saved, just got lost waiting for cars to merge back into lanes. Unfortunately, I guess it will take some terrible accident in the HOV lane before someone does anything about it.
Suwanee John January 03, 2012 at 06:05 PM
In public hearings, GDOT's Gerald Ross stated that it was a "$15 million experiment". Perhaps GDOT should rename this monstrosity as Gerald's "Frankenlane", and drive a stake thru its heart. A complete waste of the taxpayer funds and trust on an engineering experiment for the entertainment of the GDOT staff.
Bob Williams January 05, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I think this is just public ideation for some alternative solutions to the HOT lane. I like it that we have ideas to discuss that would increase volume for the general populous rather than creating a bidding system that helps those willing to pay the minimum. But the DOT has lost the public's confidence with how they handled the HOT lane. To get public support they'll need to show how they can wisely use their existing tax intake and provide a solution that benefits everyone.
Babette Rennow February 03, 2012 at 07:39 PM
They use the reversible lanes on the bridge between Phili and NJ. A special truck drives across the bridge shifting the movable cement barriers over one lane to "Add" a lane to the other side. There is no traffic hazard as a barrier stands between north and south bound lanes. I would love to see it on 85. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2SHgWRVD5g

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