Feds Say Carpool Lanes Too Slow

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, June 22, 2007

The Federal Highway Administration has notified the state its carpool lanes are too slow – slower than an average of 45 miles an hour during peak periods.  The lanes have been under the agency’s oversight since the state started allowing solo hybrid drivers to use them.  Tamie McGowen with Caltrans says they’re trying to figure out what the problem is – but she says it’s more likely the growing population than the hybrids:

“Vehicle miles traveled actually increases faster than population growth, so as we continue to get more people driving on our highways, that’s obviously going to impact the congestion.”

The state is working on a plan to get traffic moving.  McGowen says that could include changing the hours carpool lanes operate, modifying entrance and exit points, cracking down on cheaters, and limiting hybrid access in congested areas.  The plan should be finished by the end of August.