Local News

HOV Lanes Could Soon Be The Answer To Triangle's Traffic Hassles

Posted March 11, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— DOT engineers have completed a study on High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which will be presented to North Carolina's Secretary of Transportation. The study spells out the pros and cons of HOV lanes on Interstate 40.

The idea, that is still being studied, is to take the two I-40 lanes closest to the median and turn them into HOV lanes. They would be HOV-2 lanes -- only cars with at least two people inside could legally use them.

One option is having one lane of HOV in each direction from Wade Avenue to I-540.

"It's bad enough the way the traffic is already set up. There's no way you can get from one side to the other, and then taking one lane just for that, I think, would make it worse," says motorist Walter Vila.

"If there's one area where it's open and one area that it's closed, the traffic's already an issue trying to squeeze in and get to that point where you can actually have that lane available," says motorist Leslie Bailiff. "I think it would cause more congestion, so it's not something I agree with."

Some people think HOV lanes are a bad idea, but the people who support them seem to take the attitude that something needs to be done, and that something needs to be done very soon.

"We've got to deal with the traffic problem some way or another, so I think that would work if people just think positively about it and think about growth," says motorist Elaine King.

"I think it's a good idea though really, that way you got your busses and multi-passenger vans out of the fast lane and really cause less accidents," says motorist Robert Peace.

North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett has expressed support for I-40 HOV lanes, but some high-level DOT administrators are against the idea.