Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
On Thursday August 12 the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB2628, Representative Pavley's bill allowing some hybrids to use the HOV lanes without passengers, despite significantly increased opposition. The United Auto Workers are the newest opposition, feeling that the bill discriminates against US automakers because of the 45 mpg requirement. (The Ford Escape is only rated 33 mpg) The vote was 7-4 in favor. Next week the full Senate will take the bill up. PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND ASK THEM TO VOTE YES ON THIS BILL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
I wish you guys luck. I would probably take advantage of it myself.

But I have given this issue quite a bit of thought, and I have changed my stance on it. I think if I were a politician, I would have to vote "no" on it. My conscience tells me that it is an unfair application of the law (allowing certain people while disallowing others), and also that the "math" (too many cars on the roads) wouldn't support such a bill on an ongoing basis anyhow.

Like I said, good luck. But don't be surprised if it either doesn't pass, or if it gets killed in court.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
All freeway legal vehicles rated above some appropriately determined mileage/polution standard should be able to use the HOV lanes irrespective of occupancy. HOV lanes were never about mass transit but were designed to reduce polution. If the polution per person threshold can be met by a vehicle with one person then let them use the HOV lanes.

Consider the reason for the existance of the HOV lanes. They are intended as an incentive to promote reduced polution, a benefit to all in the state whether driving or not. It is a case of the government trying to do something to improve the environment for everyone. It is not the Government requiring you to conform just be slightly rewarded for behavior that is in the interests of the common good. Since the reason for HOV existance is reducton of polution (reduced fuel consumption is a nice byproduct) it is altogether fitting, proper, and consistent that appropriately screened vehicles should use the HOV lanes irrespective of vehicle occupancy level.

If this should encourage folks to select a car based on its access to HOV lanes then that demonstrates that the plan has additional benefits, that of giving a viable incentive to drive a less poluting vehicle.

This is a fitting and proper tactic to be employed by the Government and is far less intrusive than mandating what vehicle you must buy like this were some centrally controlled communist dictatorship.

Now BIF... you said, "My conscience tells me that it is an unfair application of the law (allowing certain people while disallowing others), and also that the "math" (too many cars on the roads) wouldn't support such a bill on an ongoing basis anyhow."

Please ellaborate on your perception of the unfairness of this. Too many cars? Are you suggesting that it is a bad idea because it will cause there to be too many "qualifying" cars taking advantage of the HOV access? Now wouldn't that be a wonderful "failure?" Oh, I'd love to see that. Too many SULEV's to fit on the HOV lanes? It would be like people being too polite, leaving public areas too clean, etc

Recall the bad old days of 55mph in the name of saving fuel? It could have just as well have been 55mph to reduce emissions. Anyway, if the HOV lanes fill to gridlock with SULEVs then another way to give an incentive to SULEVs would be to grant them an across the board "extra 5mph", i.e. give SULEVs an additiional 5mph above the posted speed limit wherever safe and reasonable such as in the interstate where everyone is going over the limit anyway. This would reduce tickets and speed enforcement worries for SULEV drivers. The greatest effect would be envy on the part of non-SULEV drivers which would serve as the basis for motivation to drive a SULEV.

HOV access and the extra 5mph could be recinded whenever they had served their purpose and needed to be retired.

:D Pat :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
HOV lanes are also about, perhaps more so, reducing gridlock. That is why many (most/all around here) of them are only in effect during rush hour times. That is why you do not see them on stretchs of highway significantly outside of urban areas. Pollution doesn't care what time of day it is, congestion does. That is why I can use the HOV lane on my motorcycle, even though it pollutes more than an average Civic. I take up less room, and can lane split when there is an accident or slowdown. Pollution reduction is a secondary reason slash side benefit of the HOV lanes. Not to say it isn't a *very* good one.

Not to say I don't support this bill, as my commute SUCKS! I would definately get one of the stickers ASAP. My hours don't lend themselves to carpooling, as my departure time changes based on the work I have on my desk.

I also beleive, at least in an early version of this bill, there was a limit as to how many stickers the DMV would give out (10,000 I want to say??). That is to combat the fear of sudden overcrowding of the HOV lanes.

Spike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
HOV lanes

To answer a few of the questions. 1. To use the HOV lanes without a passenger if this bill passes you have to be driving an eligible hybrid registered in California with a special sticker that you obtain at the DMV. Only hybrids with an EPA average over 45 mpg qualify and even then only the first 75,000 who apply. The Lexus 400h, the Highlander and the Ford Escape will not qualify. At this point only Prius, Insight and hybrid Honda Civic qualify. 2. The HOV lanes were originally set up with Federal Environmental funds to reach two goals: cleaner air and less traffic congestion. That is why Federal approval is required before the bill would go into effect even after it passes and the Governator signs it. Proponents claim both will be achieved by allowing some hybrids to use the lanes. Current moves to make HOV lanes available to single occupant vehicles who pay bring about extra funding primarily and a little congestion relief when HOV lanes are underused. (like I 15 in San Diego) 3. As to incentives for Hybrids - yes, there is a current shortage but the majority of buyers are early adopters, environmentalists, etc. To get the masses to change from performance cars or SUVs to Hybrids will take these type of incentives as well as tax breaks and others to overcome the additional costs. We're talking about a fundamental shift in US consumer automobile buying habits!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,355 Posts
The governor of Minnesota has proposed a similar law change. I think any possitive reinforcement to move people to more eco-friendly cars is great. Tax breaks, HOV lanes, free beer. What ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
So much to say, so little time!!

1. LouieNet, thanks for the link!!

2. How many times have you been stuck behind a car that COULD be in the HOV lane but is not? I see it multiple times a day!! Apparently the HOV lane is not serving it's purpose of removing gridlock in my area.

3. It is estimated that currently, there are 10,000 qualifying cars in CA. I doubt 100% of these will suddenly be found in the HOV lanes. A lot of people don't work 8-5 M-F. And some people don't have to work (house wife/husband). Overtaxing these lanes, in my area, won't happen.

4. Why are there hours posted on the HOV lanes? To reduce gridlock? Maybe. But when are people most likely to commute? Look at the hours posted on an HOV sign and you will know. When are people most ABLE to carpool. The ansewr to the second question when they commute. Can you imagine trying to find a commuter on a Saturday that wants to go to the same place as you do so that you can use an HOV lane?? Why bother? The traffic is so light it doesn't matter!

Since I am not a very good writer, I'll leave it at that. I'll leave the debate to the rest of you well spoken people!! :)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top