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Discussion Starter #1
Driving in the 118 fwy yesterday, I noticed a slightly modified sign for the HOV lane. It had an added little sign under the main one, "HYBRIDS ALLOWED WITH PERMIT" or similar wording. CalTrans wouldn't spend the dough to add those unless they thought they were coming soon. YEA!
 

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That is great news! I'm ready to take the morning off work to go to the DMV as soon as they give the green light to allow Hybrids into these lanes!!
 

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Hybrids should not be treated any differently than other cars when it comes to HOV lanes. A hybrid owner who says otherwise is selfish. The purpose of HOV lanes is to remove cars from the road by encouraging carpooling. They were created as a means to control traffic not as a means to save the environment. If you want to drive in HOV lanes you should form a carpool. HOV lanes need to be an attractive alternative to sitting in traffic. Once they become overburdened people will stop carpooling and traffic on all lanes will increase. People who go out of their way to carpool should not have to share the HOV lanes with the rest of us lazy single drivers just because we think our hybrids are special. The incentives (if needed) to buy a hybrid should be elsewhere.
 

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I disagree with not allowing hybrids in HOV lanes (not an issue here in TX as there are no HOV lanes). My reasoning is that one must think of what the purpose of the HOV lanes were in the first place. The primary reason for the HOV lanes is not to reduce the number of cars but to reduce emmissions.

Most HOV lanes I see when I visit CA allow 2+ passengers to use the lane. If you have two Prius with 58 MPG versus a standard car with 25 MPG with 2 people you are still producing less emmissions with the 2 Prius than the 1 standard car. I would say let hybrids with only a PZEV or ZEV rating access. Or any hybrid that gets 45+ MPG be granted access. However, if the lane requires 3+ people then hybrids with one person should not be allowed to use this lane.

And yes hybrids are special. They save gas and reduce our nation's oil dependancy. I could have paid $12k for a cheap new honda civic but instead paid $27k on a hybrid not only to save on gas but to help our environment. Which is a pretty big jump for me since I only used to drive F150s or F250s (and yes I miss my trucks).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
(for the umpteenth time...) In SoCal, Diamond Lanes (HOV lanes) were created, NOT to relieve congestion, but to get the South Coast Air Quality management District out of hot water with the Feds, because they flunked the Clean Air Standards year after year. The mitigation measure of HOV lanes was a means to placate the Feds so that SoCal didn't lose it's federal funding. Since the Prius is something like 10 times cleaner than a conventional car, it actually does more to achieve clean air than several 2-occupant carpools.

Like EVs, LNG, and other alt-fuel vehicles with low emissions, the Prius belongs there as an implementation of the purpose of the Diamond Lanes. Other states might have had other reasons, but avoiding loss of funding from air pollution standards failure was the motivation in SoCal.

Local drivers/voters HATE them, and in fact we have a local regulation that forbids conversion of any regular lanes to Diamond Lanes; only new, added lanes can be used for that purpose.

Clearly, an empty lane does nothing to reduce congestion. With a few exceptions, SoCal HOV lanes are wide open, so using them for ALL cars would instantly relieve some congestion. If theor main purpose was congestin relief, this conversion would have already happened.

While it's unrealistic to speculate along the lines of "if everyone drove a Prius...", the benefits of cleaner air, the intent of the lanes in the first place, are served by encouraging more cars like the Prius. For this reason, our local legislators want to let California decide what's best for California roads, not Washington DC.

Keep in mind the Cali rules stipulate onlt 75K permits and a sunset in 3 years, so this is clearly an incentive program for clean air (a benefit which continues past the 3 years), not a permanent policy to give special treatment to hybrid owners.
 

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Sorry if I'm repeating what has already said, but I think saying it again may help drive it home.

1. When driving around during rush hour, take a look around and tell me how many Prii (and other qualifying hybrids) you see that might utilize the HOV lanes. I see maybe 3 on my way to work. So having a high MPG, clean buring car using the HOV lane is NOT going to impact the HOV lane.

2. Only 75000 permits will be allowed for 3 years. It seems obvious that this is to promote low emmisions and high MPG.

3. The HOV lanes were created to promote less congestion and to ruduce emissions. Allowing qualifying hybrids fulfulls one of these goals.

4. Not all hybrids will be allowed; the Honda Accord hybrid only gets 26 MPG and the minimum MPG allowed is 45. This beleive this also excludes the Ford Escape from using the HOV lane.

I can tell you right now that the only time I will be using the HOV lanes is during real bad traffic. Normally, I'm driving about 60 trailing some big rig, or driving about 67 on CC if there's not big rig to trail.

While on the topic of HOV lanes, I will say that it really pisses me off when I see a car driving 60 in the fast lane that has 2 people inside. For some reason, the drive seems to think it's okay to disrupt traffic in the normal lanes so that they don't disrupt traffic in the HOV lanes. I see this almost every day. Can somebody help me understand this???
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"While on the topic of HOV lanes, I will say that it really pisses me off when I see a car driving 60 in the fast lane that has 2 people inside. For some reason, the drive seems to think it's okay to disrupt traffic in the normal lanes so that they don't disrupt traffic in the HOV lanes. I see this almost every day. Can somebody help me understand this???"

I'm not justifying this practice, but I may have some explanation. Due to the generally free-running nature of the HOV lanes, many have come to think of it as a high-speed lane. I guess for those who carpool, if normal traffic is going smoothly, they feel they have to go faster, almost as if they feel gypped to not have a better drive than the rest of traffic. So they speed, sometimes SAY over the 65 limit. If you go 65 in such a condition, you get tailgated, and of course you have nowhere to go (no lane to the left, and a $271 fine if you cross the double-yellow on the right). Either speed or get eaten, no good choices there.

This gets even more dangerous if normal traffic has begun to slow down. Cutting in and out of the HOV lane with a 20-50 mph difference is dangerous. Maybe traffic was going slower than 60 to their right, and they were spitting the difference?

Holding up traffic in the fast lane is selfish and dangerous (off-topic), but equally dangerous is the practice of using the HOV lane as a practice lane for the Indy 500.
 

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Tadashi said:
I disagree with not allowing hybrids in HOV lanes (not an issue here in TX as there are no HOV lanes). My reasoning is that one must think of what the purpose of the HOV lanes were in the first place. The primary reason for the HOV lanes is not to reduce the number of cars but to reduce emmissions.
The HOV lane here in San Diego that I would use (Northbound 15) if I could is already overburdened. Basically, if the traffic is bad on the freeway, it will be bad in the HOV lane. That's chiefly because it's too short, and everyone in it has to rejoin freeway traffic too soon. Plus once you're in it, you're stuck: you can't get out till it ends. Not fun when it's jammed up. I've even seen a few times when the HOV lane is jammed but traffic on the freeway is moving fast.

Currently, you can get into the HOV lane by carpooling, buying a FastTrack pass, or riding a motorcycle. Adding 45 MPG+ hybrids won't make much difference now because there aren't that many. But I think I'll stay out till they extend it.
 

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CaPriusLover said:
2. Only 75000 permits will be allowed for 3 years. It seems obvious that this is to promote low emmisions and high MPG.
ail.
Does anyone have any idea how many eligible hybrids there are in California? Is it way higher than 75,000 and I better run to get my permit when the time comes? Or is it way lower than 75,000 and I can afford to walk slowly?

Thanks for any numerical "Insights". Sorry :roll:
 

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exhuman said:
Does anyone have any idea how many eligible hybrids there are in California? Is it way higher than 75,000 and I better run to get my permit when the time comes? Or is it way lower than 75,000 and I can afford to walk slowly?

Thanks for any numerical "Insights". Sorry :roll:
From what I've heard, don't run, but do walk briskly. There's a lot of them out there, but most prolly aren't as fanatical as us regular posters.

As for the "Insight", when, oh when, Lord, will someone finally design the much needed "rimshot" emoticon?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm sure someone has the statistic for California, but in the meantime, since as of lat last year there were only 100,000 sold in the entire U.S., I would say a 75,000 allocation will not fill up overnight, even allowing for a certain number of Insights.
 

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Has anyone contacted the CA DMV to see if they're accepting applications for the stickers? I checked their website and saw no mention of it.

DGStan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, and there are no DMV apps yet. The current form specifically excludes hybrids. Once the Feds approve it, they will make a new form, then we can have a go at it.
 

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2000 Insight and Prius

Sorry if this is a little off the main thread, but have any of you taken a close look at the CA DMV permit/legislation for the hybrid in carpool lane bill? It covers 2001+ models, but there's no mention of anything for the 2000MY Prius or Insight. I happen to have a 2000 Insight and am confused by this omission.

I would imagine that dealing with the DMV if/when this ever comes to fruition, they will be by the book and 2000MY cars won't be allowed.

Any thoughts?
 

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Re: 2000 Insight and Prius

RSouthern said:
Sorry if this is a little off the main thread, but have any of you taken a close look at the CA DMV permit/legislation for the hybrid in carpool lane bill? It covers 2001+ models, but there's no mention of anything for the 2000MY Prius or Insight. I happen to have a 2000 Insight and am confused by this omission.

I would imagine that dealing with the DMV if/when this ever comes to fruition, they will be by the book and 2000MY cars won't be allowed.

Any thoughts?
There is no 2000 model year Prius that was sold in the US. (It was only sold in Japan for that model year, so it would be RHD, display in Japanese, etc.)
 
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