Illinois HOV Lanes - Dumb Idea ?

Discussion in 'Legislation' started by donee, Oct 16, 2008.


Illnois HOV lanes

  1. Oppose

  2. Favor for strictly traffic relief

  3. Favor AND allow hybrids/motorcycles

    0 vote(s)
  1. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    Welp, if your in Illinois, especially Chicagoland, you might have heard our governor wants to establish HOV lanes. To me this means good bye SHM mode (55 instead of 70 mpg), hello 1 hour morning commute (rather than 40 minutes).

    Am I overreacting? The only way this will work is if they build an extra lane on every highway. So, maybe that is why its being proposed? To give the construction companies something to do after the massive construction projects we have been through the past few years ?

    The proposal to allow Hybrid vehicles in these lanes was mentioned. But, that means nothing to me. Because I do not want to go 75 mph on the highway, or be tailgated by SUV's with 2 occupants while I am doing 53 mph. Which makes me think the whole purpose for this HOV proposal is to satisfy FSP driving, Type A personality drivers, who are just not satisfied with 50 mph average highway speeds, for everybody. And would like to see HOV lanes, so they can car-pool at 70 mph highway average, while the rest of us get reduced to 30 mph average highway speeds. ARG!!!

    I am coming to the conclusion this will be a disaster. Can anybody help me out of this conclusion? What about fast lane higher tolls? We are all on toll highways around Chicagoland, where these HOV things would be put , of course. With I-Pass, they could easily add on a 10 cent extra toll for the far left lane. That seems to me to be better for the state. They get more money from people who could care less, and people would have a increased reason to save money by car-pooling.

    And this also means we are going to be exposed to the Lane-Jumpin HOV lane cheater now, like the east and west coasts. DOUBLE ARG!!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  2. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I oppose Hov lanes for several reasons:

    1) The aforementioned "cheaters" who peel off, alone in their cars, and drive 75+ in the lane.

    2) Hybrid drivers.

    Let me say that again. Hybrid drivers.

    The last thing I want to see is a Prius with only one person in it out in the Hov lane, hauling ass. Because as you've already mentioned they will be doing 75+ and getting less than 40 MPG while doing it, which does nothing to help curb oil imports and is more than offset by the stew of Fsp's in the other lanes which are idling away in a jam, getting 0 MPG.

    3) Traffic jams in the remaining lanes, such that it will encourage a lot of (1).

    From what experience I have with Chicago traffic, the jams (and drivers) are bad enough without closing down another lane.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Donee:

    ___This was a $ grab hidden under the premise of helping reduce CO2 and somehow to provide jobs pure and simple. The tolls will increase except for car-poolers so it is a simple $ grab.

    ___Speeds on each of the proposed sections of the Chicago Interstates will still be the same 55 mph but like anything else, you will do better than SHM as you stay out of the speed lanes just as you stay out of it now.

    ___Auston, Prius-II and HCH-II drivers should be allowed in those lanes as they spent the extra $’s because they are saving a huge amount of fuel. I don’t own a hybrid and will not have access to those lanes unless I am carrying multiple passengers as it should be even if I am receiving 48 + mpg in the Accord and the Hybrid driver is pulling 42 or more. The reason why is because every other Accord driver is out there pulling 24 just as every other Echo driver is receiving 32 mpg. There are used hybrids that can be purchased and will receive the same benefits and it is up to those individuals to make the proper choice with a carrot vs. the incorrect one leaving us in the situation we are in today.

    ___Good Luck

  4. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi Wayne,

    My morning highway commute, even that early in the morning, has slow-and-go sections many days. At present this is synergistic with the Prius design. I catch up to the racers at the slow areas doing the 53 mph SHM, even though large gaps develope along some portions of the route.

    With 1/4 th of the road capacity taken away (its a three lane road, and assuming not 1/3 of the drivers car-pool), it will be stop and go every day over half its length, and 30 mph continuous in the areas where it flows. There will be no oportunity to pulse and glide due to the horrendous traffic densities that will occur. This is a recipe for a 45 mpg performance half the week, as the Prius battery is just not big enough for this situation. I know this, because in the evening that is the situation on that highway that I avoid. I used to do it by my drive time. But with construction on this road, rush hour occurs 1 hour early.

    Which will force me off onto a side road which takes 1 hour and 10 minutes to travel over, between work an home. Instead of a 35 mph average travel speed, it will be 20 mph average.

    Carrots should not hide billy clubs. I am totally against this !

    We are not in the situation that LA is in. We do not have six (twelve in total) lane wide roads, where one lane can easily accomdate the people who have the oportunity to car pool. To conserve gas, and minimize polution in Illinois, its simple. Get people to cruise along at the posted speed limit. And if they want to go faster, charge em for it. Make the left lane a 65 mph lane, with a $.50 toll bump. And enforce the 55 mph limit in the others. With three lanes, the car pooling cars will not fill the lane, ever. Stop the yahoos from zooming up to 80, then slaming on the brakes around the next bend in the road.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  5. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    They could just repaint the highway to have an additional carpool lane.

    It would be pretty sucky if one lane disappeared and instead became the carpool lane.

    I doubt they'd let hybrid drivers drive in the carpool lane by themselves. That stuff was done back in the days when gas was cheap as hell so nobody wanted to buy a hybrid.
  6. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi bomber,

    They are throwing the hybrid people a bone, because they think they can get political support from them with it. They are proposing unlimited hybrid car access to the carpool lane.

    Some roads have (had?) reversable lanes.

    But typically, a tollway here is three lanes in each direction. And they are fully loaded from 6 am to 10 am in the morning, and 4 pm to 7 pm at night. There is no capacity margin to play with here.

    Another way to save CO2 would be to double toll vehicles over 4000 pounds. The I-Pass transpoders are assigned to specific vehicles. So, this would be easy. Cars over 4000 pounds create greater wear and tear on the roads. Its already done for commercial vehicles. So there is precedent. If the 4000 pound pluss vehicle is carpooling, the extra toll is meaninless to the vehicle occupants, and the CO2 of this vehicle is closer in line per person. If that 4000 pound vehicle is not car pooling, the $250 extra a year will be about right for a congestion/CO2 tax.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  7. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I'll have to agree with donee and say that enforcing the speed limits will do a hundred times more to reduce emissions than opening up a hybrid speeder's paradise in the far left lane while the Fsp's stew in the jam getting zero MPG. If that's not counterproductive I don't know what is.
  8. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Hmm here in Austin there was a plan to turn one of the 3lane freeways into 4 lanes, but have the 4th lane be a "managed" lane. Meaning you pay a fee to drive in that lane. But anyways they were saying that they would just repaint the road to make 4 lanes fit on there, and make the shoulder on the right a lot more narrow or something. I don't know what happened to this plan, I guess it never got approved or something cause I haven't heard about it on the news for a while.

    It just doesn't make sense that they would turn a 3 lane road thats full of traffic into a 2 lane road with a carpool lane, but whatever. It'll encourage more people to carpool if they aren't already.
  9. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    SF area went through the hybrid/HOV lane thing, and the FSPs just had to deal with it, or move right...pass...move back to HOV; But what really stunk about this, was "slow lane" traffic moving across various lanes of higher speed traffic into the HOV. And, at some point, they had to move back. That creates a lot of chaos and backup. Not worth it. I'd rather see them take the five lane highways & stick dividers in so traffic is stuck in lane except at designated transition points. One lane traffic behaves a lot better than multi-lane, and usually gets you places faster. The more lanes, the more chance of one person doing something stupid & setting off a chain of events that destroys everything. Even my idea won't work...people will end up doing amazingly stupid things at the transition points, and even come to a complete stop just so they can move their little life on as quickly as possible & forget about the 100s of people stacked up behind them.

    Nope, the real answer is automation. Get the cars out of the hands of drivers & into the hands of computers. Despite demos of this tech as early as the 80s, I'd say we are still decades away. Until then....
  10. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    It is the answer but computers crash so often that it'd be chaos if you car just stopped responding. It could be done easily, it's just making it reliable is the hard part.

    You guys have seen the segway crash before? Just one wheel pops up slightly off the ground, and I guess the segway can't figure out what is considered level ground, and the rider took a nosedive.
  11. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    Does bring a new meaning to computer crash...

    Seems to be 3 problems, and reliability isn't usually amoung them. Can easily be overcome with redundancy. Purpose built systems rarely crash compared to general systems, but the segway represents a great example. However I suspect it had very limited testing compared to anything that would be implemented nationally. I'd be shocked if the segway even had 10k hours of simulated & real world testing. On the other hand, I'd expect car system to have millions of hours of simulated road time before even the first road test. And tens of thousands of road hours before it went into limited production;

    Anyway, the biggest ones are
    1. transitions; Since automation is unlikely to be used except on interstates at first, you have to have a way to get the car in and out of the system & switched from man to machine.
    2. Unexpected obsticles; Easy to place cars in something close to a kids slot racer, but as soon as a vehicle has problems or an animal runs into the road, you have an issue; What if a dog jumped out a car window...eeek.
    3. Elimination of the driver; Most early demo systems permitted a driver to take control if something went wrong; In a real world system, either everything else has to react to that situation or they can't be permitted to take that kind of override control.

    I'm sure there are more; Ideadly you would want to match vehicles up & maximize drafting, but you also don't want one person to always be the one to pay the highest fuel cost by being up front. How do vehicles pass each other. A series of sports cars might be allowed to pass a group of semis.

    And semi's present a whole new level of theory a person could be allowed to park their truck in a "pickup" zone & the system could grab it and move it cross country without anyone even in it. You just need people at both ends to pickup & deliver vehicles & some people in the middle to service,refuel vehicles (if they aren't electric). Maybe we could do it like a car wash which pulls your can through. The car parks, goes neutral, and then gets pulled along with a shuttle in the ground. The advantage is that you could use existing cars without any changes other than adding a hundred dollars of tow-hook & and an electronics module to indicate destination.

    So many possibilities, so little will from society.
  12. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Message from Dallas: It does not work!

    The Dallas area has HOV lanes and at best, the results are marginal (not even sure about that).

    Don't know which was worse coming to Dallas: Adam "Pacman" Jones or HOV lanes.

    It's estimated 25% of the HOV drivers in my neighborhood drive alone. There are even local talk shows that paint HOVs as socialism inciting drivers to drive alone in them. :mad: :rolleyes:


    Even legit HOV users (multi-occupant vehicles, busses, motorcycles) often enter/exit anywhere - causing accidents and making traffic worse - not better. In an attempt to control this, Dallas Area Rapid Transit or Dart put up the little rubber barriers, yet they don't work because so many local drivers have the maturity of Paris Hilton. There have been a numer of times a driver will decide to jump into an HOV lane only to find seconds later someone going 20+ mph faster just rearended them. A number of traffic deaths happened this way. :(

    HOV lanes in theory are a good thing, but we have too many narcassistic drivers that defeat it. More people than ever drive alone (77%).
  13. donee

    donee Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    I think we need to expand on the 4000 pound double toll idea. In LA this would not work, but here in Chicagoland, the tollway is omnipresent. So, just like the feds did with their tax credit, tolls could be graduated by EPA fuel economy.

    Better than 40 mpg, same tolls. 35 to 40 mpg, 1.25 times the toll. 30 to 35, 1.5 times the toll. 25 to 30 1.75 times the toll. 20 to 25 mpg double the toll. 15 to 20 mpg 2.5 times the toll. Less than 15 mpg, 3 times the toll. Manual tolling gets rased to 3 times the toll for everybody. Its already twice the standard toll now.

    To keep this from being a Illinois Toll Highway windfall, all the excess money generated goes into the general state treasury. The state is in a bind right now anyway.

    And if they want to do a HOV lane on a six lane wide (twelve lanes total) fine. Just let em try to to condemn the property around here to make one of those!!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  14. kendan

    kendan Mid TN Hypermiler!

    HOV's don't work! I drove my wife into Nashville several times and everytime, we see single drivers in the HOV. 95% of the cars in the HOV are singles! Every so often, THP or Nashville Metro Police will go on a tear and patrol the HOV. So, I guess the HOV is nothing more than another revenue enhancer for TN and Nashvillel!
  15. Doofus McFancyPants

    Doofus McFancyPants Well-Known Member

    Atlanta has HOV lanes.
    I rarely use them - i stick to the right lane regardless of how many people are in the car.
    Let the other idiots use them incorrrectly - i chose to stick to the right.

    One nice thing about them though is some have mini bypasses.. around some of the larger junctions ( I75 and I85 merge) the HOV lane for I75 swings our aroung the merger and you can skip past some of the madness.

    Instead of HOV lanes - I would want them to build a Bike path / NEV Path along the highway. this would allow bicycles / NEV type transit along the ( usually much straighter) highway path to places. thus actually removing cars from the road. If I75 had something like this - the 12 mile ride to work would be a breeze and eliminate the dangers of all the intersections and side streets needed to get me from home to work.

  16. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    In Birmingham (yes that the about to go backrupt Birmingham), a section of 280 had become an issue. One proposal was to build a 2nd highway on top & make it toll, while keeping the bottom toll free. People didn't much like the idea of that visual monstrosity. Especially after that similar-in-design road collapse in CA during an earthquake crushing anybody below.

    Safety & light for the rich....darkness & dispair for the average. Gee, I don't understand why it wasn't backed...

    Seriously, unless the HOV encourages enough carpooling that the traffic left on the remaining lanes remains the same or reduces, HOVs are nothing but a perk for few paid for by the rest....its just not right.
  17. chief302

    chief302 Well-Known Member

    In Northern Virginia, people take advantage of the HOV lanes by a technique called 'slugging'. It is basically an impromptu carpooling scheme where riders and drivers match up each morning and evening at scheduled spots. With the right system, HOV lanes can be a great advantage. Riders get a free ride and drivers get to shave 30 min to an hour off their commute.
  18. melinuxfool

    melinuxfool Well-Known Member

    To me, the HOV lanes always seem self-defeating in the way they're set up. The goal is that you can save time by using them if you are carpooling. But once you're in the lane, you're pinned in. So if a slowpoke is in front of you, you can't get by them (legally speaking, because you're not supposed to cross a solid line).

    Not a big deal, because I tend to keep right so I can drive for FE, but there are plenty that don't seem to believe in keeping right.
  19. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Huh? Chicago, the nation's 3rd largest city, and (from what I remember from a couple of visits) a poster child for congestion and sprawl, doesn't have HOV lanes? WTF? Yeesh, hire a few traffic engineers already!

    The whole point of HOV lanes is to maximizing roadway capacity in terms of PEOPLE per hour, not VEHICLES per hour, by giving priority to vehicles with more PEOPLE in them. Can't figure out how to get to work without driving solo? Fine. Get in line with everyone else. And I don't see why hybrid owners should get a break. Cutting fuel use, local pollution and CO2 emissions is great -- and a good reason to encourage going by HOV -- but the primary point of HOV lanes is to get the maximum bang out of concrete that costs $100 million per lane mile.

    Those of you who say HOV lanes are full of violators in other regions may want to work on funding your local law enforcement better .. that simply boggles my mind. If HOV lanes "don't work" because no one uses them, then step up with better funding for mass transit: even if you can't ride it, YOU benefit because it gets other drivers off the road. I can say that locally we hardly ever see violators in our one HOV lane, nor in the numerous HOV lanes up in Seattle where I frequently visit and used to live. Every mile there's a sign posting the tollfree violator hotline. For every violator there are dozens of folks stuck in the other lanes who witness it, and the cops are pretty good about responding to calls and nailing their asses to the wall. IIRC the fine is about $500. And I've never heard of HOV lanes "causing" accidents.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  20. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Opened a poll.

    Made it public so we know who is from Illinois.

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