Local News

DOT Seeks Comments On Latest HOV Study For I-40

Posted April 24, 2002

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation has spent $2.5 million in tax dollars studying HOV, or high occupancy vehicle lanes. However, the carpool lanes for Interstate 40 are still just an idea on paper.

To keep things moving on Interstate 40, one idea that keeps coming up is HOV lanes. The lanes are set aside for cars with at least two passengers.

Last year, Lyndo Tippett, North Carolina's transportation secretary, proposed turning one existing lane of I-40 into a HOV lane.

"That smart idea flopped, to be very frank," he said.

One study showed that taking away lanes would not work, while another study concluded that building new HOV lanes would be expensive, but would help traffic congestion.

Now there is an I-40 HOV study team planning to build carpool lanes.

The study area runs from the Interstate 85 split in Hillsborough to Highway 42 in Johnston County. The cost could run $500 million.

"We can get started now, and I think in 25 years when it is projected, we'll have this network and the money. People will be much happier in their commute," Tippett said.

DOT engineers are asking for comments on the plan. Anyone can contact the I-40 HOV study team by calling (866) 527-7715.

While the DOT studies HOV, other studies show only one in 10 cars in the morning rush are carpools.

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