Over the holidays I went to see the new HOT lanes on I-85 north of Atlanta. This is where you have to have a Peach Pass to use the far left lane. If you have less than 3 people you have to pay a toll that changes on the time of day and traffic conditions. If you have 3 or more people the lane is free. Also the mass transit buses use the lane free as well. Most people have been against this type of lane because we already pay taxes to upkeep the infrastructure. Why should we have to pay extra. These types of lanes exist in cities around the country and work very well; except Atlanta. Being in the heart of conservative country it is no surprise. Also several websites like http://stolenlanes.org/ and http://stoppeachpass.org/ have popped up to protest the new HOT lane. Georgia DOT had plans to build new HOT lanes along I-75 and I-575 but have now been put on hold because of the very low traffic counts in the new HOT lane. I went to the Indian Trail – Lilburn Rd. interchange to photograph the new lanes on a Wednesday around 12:00pm. I was there for around 30 minutes and I only counted 5 cars and a bus using the new HOT lanes. Granted this was the holiday season and traffic was a little bit lower. But this has been going on since the lanes were changed over from a HOV lane to a HOT lane.
You can enter or exit the lane at certain points. The signs will be purple and green.
The boards display the price to enter the lane. The prices change depending on time of day and traffic conditions.
The boards update the price in regular intervals. Notice there is a transponder over each free lane if one decides to cheat the system.
One of the very few cars in the HOT lane. The lane uses a transponder to record the toll. And a camera to record any violators.
Look at how quiet the HOT lane is. There is no cars at all.
There’s a car!
There is an growing frustration in metro Atlanta about these lanes not working and causing traffic to be worse. And why millions of dollars were wasted on a project that is not working. That money could have been spent on repaving roads.
Now here is the issue on why this might effect Alabama. There is a lobbying group called the U.S. Tolling Coalition. They are calling for allowing the states the option to toll interstates for road funding. Alabama is the only state that has the state’s D.O.T. and the biggest road lobbying group together to support this measure. Both ALDOT and the Alabama Road Builders Association support tolling all the interstates in Alabama. The problem is this is not going to work. For one people are not wanting to be tracked with those transponders. And two the local roads will be overwhelmed with interstate traffic that does not want to pay a toll. Many people are wondering why has the costs to build and repair a road have gone up big time. We need to find ways to reduce the costs on road construction. Not track people with those toll transponders. Until there are major changes within Alabama state government and ALDOT. I will never get hired by them at all. That is why I am quieting working on the Redo AL’S Roads project. Which I hope it will be finished real soon. I am going to leave you with a video from Freewayjim. Showing what Alabama could become this video is I-90 in Chicago with all of those tolls.
- Tolls, Congestion and HOT Lanes in Canadian Cities (pollutionfree.wordpress.com)
- Reason/Rupe poll: Americans want more tolls, not higher taxes (hotair.com)
- 77 Percent of Americans Oppose Gas Tax Increase, 58 Percent Favor Tolls Instead (reason.com)
- I-59 Alabama Reconstruction And The Alabama Road Problem (youngsblog.com)
- The H.O.T. Lanes Are Here…Got Your Peach Pass? (929dave.radio.com)
- State’s HOT lane request denied by feds (ajc.com)
- H.O.T. lanes in Atlanta cause problems for drivers (charlotte.news14.com)
- 100,000th Peach Pass issued for controversial HOT lanes (ajc.com)
- Gov. Deal lowers HOT lane fees for I-85 in Gwinnett (ajc.com)