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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't "been there yet" but was hoping folks that have wouldn't mind sharing their "new found" experiences driving solo in the car pool lane.

How much time was saved? Were you passed on the right anyway? Is the center divider daunting? Did you miss the ability to change lanes? Do you watch the exit you wanted to take go by on the right? What are average speeds "in that lane"?
Were you "eyeballed" by any Highway Patrol officers or regular "non-HOV" drivers?

...and anything else you might want to share about the experience.
 

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I haven't gotten the stickers yet, but I can definitely tell you that heading south on Hwy 85 in the heart of the afternoon commute makes a HUGE difference in the carpool lane. Last Monday I was taking my wife from Redwood City to San Jose to visit some friends to see a movie which started at 8pm, we got on 85 about 6:30 and the road was absolutely PACKED with cars going at a slow crawl (always < 20 mph, and sometimes dead stopped), with no accidents anywhere. We were doing about 55 in the carpool lane, passing huge lines of vehicles. I can absolutely guarantee that if we'd had to use the regular lanes, there's no way we would have made the movie on time. As it was, we got there early enough to have dinner first.
 

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Like with all good questions, the correct answer is, "it depends."

Depends on the time of day mostly. This morning I flew on the WB 188, concerned about lane changers and the k-rail. I saved probably only several minutes, but avoided stop-and-go cycles that are emotionally wearing if not great time wasters.

Tomorrow I'll try the 405, which is much more crowded, and should save more time, although the transition to the WB 101 will be a real bear (this intersection competes with the worst in the country for congestion).

I expect a lot less lane-changing courtesy for me (though there is little to begin with), when the jealous folks who have sat there decide not to let me cut in to make it across FOUR LANES of traffic to get to the 101...
 

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Why don't you ask one of your neighbors who does what was intended and car pooled with several others to use the lane and really wasn't expecting it to be occupied by single drivers no matter how priviledged they feel they are.
Actually a seven passenger Hummer with all the seats occupied is doing much more for the envireament than a single passenger Prius. Keeping six more cars out of downtown at the same time.
This is one encentive I would be embarassed to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hyperion said:
Why don't you ask one of your neighbors who does what was intended and car pooled with several others to use the lane and really wasn't expecting it to be occupied by single drivers no matter how priviledged they feel they are.
Actually a seven passenger Hummer with all the seats occupied is doing much more for the envireament than a single passenger Prius. Keeping six more cars out of downtown at the same time.
This is one encentive I would be embarassed to use.
To start with this is a Prius forum. Second of all none of my neighbors carpool and thirdly even if they did they wouldn't be visiting this forum to give me an answer.

In fact why are you even involved with this thread? Nothing you've said could be considered a contribution. Thanks for wasting my time.... And another thing try using the spell checker while you're at it.
 

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"Actually a seven passenger Hummer with all the seats occupied is doing much more for the envireament than a single passenger Prius."

How many instances of this have you seen, vs. solo Prius?
 

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Understanding "carpool" lanes

Hyperion,

I think I understand your concern, but let's look a little deeper at "carpool" lanes.

First, when the Powers That Be create HOV lanes, the initial result is to make things worse. One lane is taken away, increasing congestion on the remaining lanes, which increases overall fuel consumption and air pollution.

As people begin to carpool, things start to get better. However, you have to add a lot of carpools just to come out even overall. Eventually, as the HOV lane hits 60-70% of so of its capacity (depending on the total number of lanes), you begin to realize a net gain.

After a few years of operation, the Powers That Be determined that HOV lanes were woefully under-utilized. Seems that carpools were something that many people wanted, but they wanted other people to carpool, not themselves.

To realize a net improvement in congestion, fuel economy and air pollution, the Powers That Be had to open the HOV lanes to more traffic. That is, they had to move cars from the standard lanes into the HOV lane.

Some locales redubbed the HOV lanes as High Occupancy/Toll lanes, letting people buy into the lane. This moved cars from the standard lanes to the HOT lane. But still the HOV/HOT lanes were under-utilized.

So the Powers That Be opened the lanes to electric and natural gas vehicles. Still the lanes were under-utilized, so they opened them to fuel efficient, low polluting hybrids...with restrictions:

1. Only 75,000 hybrids would be allowed,
2. The program would expire on 1-1-2008 and be re-evaluated before then, and,
3. If those 75,000 hybrids clogged the HOV/HOT lanes, the program could be cancelled early.

Right now, a Prius in the HOV/HOT lane helps everyone by removing one car from the over-crowded standard lanes and putting it in the under-utilized HOV/HOT lane.

So, no guilt on my part. People who are stuck in the standard lanes should be glad that 75,000 cars are being moved out of those lanes and into the HOV/HOT lane.

Jan
 

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HOV Experience

Funny thing is, here in So Cal the Hummer is very popular, but rarely seen with more than the driver or perhaps one passenger. I can't remember ever seeing one in the carpool lanes. Anyone who hasn't driven regularly in this area (driven a mile in our shoes) can't begin to appreciate what this privilege is worth!
 

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Seceral years ago through a voter initiative, California banned new HOV lanes that are created by closing a regular lane. Only by adding an entirely new lane can Diamond Lanes be added. Therefore it has been 10 years or more since carpool lanes added to traffic.
 

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I zipped over the bay bridge the last 2 days alone, in the car pool lane. It was great, but I didn't save much time because there was very little traffic on the bridge at around 9 AM on those 2 days.
But it was great just the same.
 

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KTPhil said:
Seceral years ago through a voter initiative, California banned new HOV lanes that are created by closing a regular lane. Only by adding an entirely new lane can Diamond Lanes be added. Therefore it has been 10 years or more since carpool lanes added to traffic.
Which explains why some of our most congested roads have no carpool lane.

It's kind of a meaningless distinction, though, IMO, whether a carpool lane is carved out of the existing lanes or a new lane is built. Even if you build a new lane, you have the choice of making it a carpool lane or making it a standard lane. But I guess the distinction is important to lots of voters.

Jan
 

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HOV reflections

KTPhil said:
Seceral years ago through a voter initiative, California banned new HOV lanes that are created by closing a regular lane. Only by adding an entirely new lane can Diamond Lanes be added. Therefore it has been 10 years or more since carpool lanes added to traffic.
You must be forgetting the 405 fwy from the San Fernando Valley down to West LA, which opened approximately 4 years ago. Also, on that same freeway, an additional lane is being built right now to connect West LA and the airport area, where it has been available longer.
 

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Roger, didn't they add a lane and restripe when they added that diamond lane?

Do you drive the 405 there daily? I took it to the 101, ans because of very light traffic today, it saved a little, but not a lot. Then I got on the 101 and it was bumper to bumper.
 

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hyperion said:
Why don't you ask one of your neighbors who does what was intended and car pooled with several others to use the lane and really wasn't expecting it to be occupied by single drivers no matter how priviledged they feel they are.
Actually a seven passenger Hummer with all the seats occupied is doing much more for the envireament than a single passenger Prius. Keeping six more cars out of downtown at the same time.
This is one encentive I would be embarassed to use.
Well, that just displays your lack of understanding regarding the freeways around these parts. I don't know anybody who commutes "downtown" here. Everyone goes every which direction. And NONE of my neighbors goes from Northridge to Culver City at 6AM, so I'm forced to drive myself. If there were public transpo that would get me from there to here in a reasonably efficient manner, I'd use it with a smile, as I did every day for three years on the D.C. Metro. But there isn't.

As JKnight explained, your reasoning for who should and shouldn't be using the carpool lanes is misinformed. And when you make statements like "no matter how priviledged they feel they are", that just adds insult to misinformation.

I do feel entitled to use this "encentive", and I don't appreciate being told I shouldn't.

As for the "seven passenger Hummer with all the seats occupied" - I've seen about as many of them as I've seen unicorns, dragons, and CHUDs. Combined.
 

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I have, in fact, seen a solo driver bright yellow Hummer in the HOV lane on the way to the airport... hubris need not a sticker, or something like that...
 

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Well, if the Hummer badge was referring to behavior and not the vehicle model, maybe they DID qualify for the multiple-occupant lane...
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure you will), but weren't the carpool lanes originally designed to reduce smog/pollution? Isn't that why EV and CNG cars have always been allowed to use the HOV lanes?

I guarantee my Prius emits less than 10% of what that mythical "Hummer with 7 passengers" does.


DGStan
 

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dgstan said:
Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure you will), but weren't the carpool lanes originally designed to reduce smog/pollution? Isn't that why EV and CNG cars have always been allowed to use the HOV lanes?

I guarantee my Prius emits less than 10% of what that mythical "Hummer with 7 passengers" does.


DGStan
But the question is, do seven solo Prii emit less than the Hummer with 7 passengers. at 10%, it would, but at 14% it doesn't...
 

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In Southern California, yes, it was for air pollution mitigation, not merely congestion (though of course more congestion means more smog) or gas savings. By now, though, it's a political football, and currently hybrids are on the A-list among politicians (at least, those not from Michigan).
 
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