Thursday, January 12, 2006

Diamond Lane Tomfoolery - Or Carpool Lane Rules are Dumb

Bet you didn't know that your's truly was the guy who started Citizens vs Diamond Lanes back in the 70's and helped take the stupid lane off the Santa Monica Freeway. True Story. So it may be time to start up the organization again. Consider:

* In many other place, like N. California, there are no barriers to enter or exit the carpool lane. This eliminates the traffic jams at the exit locations. Why do they have this concept in S. Cal? To punish us?

On the most sophisticated freeway in the US, the 105, there is one stretch where there is no exit lane for about 4 miles. Makes no sense at all.

* Why are carpool lanes designated as such 24/7? Is anyone carpooling at 10:00 on Saturday night? But if there is an accident, having the carpool lane available would potentially help free traffic.

Carpool lanes should only be such during rush hour. It makes no logical sense to incentivise the use of the lane any other time.

* It is pretty common for carpool lanes to be just as jammed as the regular lanes just when you need them most. Where that's the case, shouldn't those locations change the rule to 3 per car like the San Berdu Fwy. Don't send hate mail. This is logical. If your going to have the darn lanes, have them at least be logical.

* On ramp lights. Back when I was fighting the cause, most of the members wanted to fight on ramp lights after we won the Diamond Lane battle. I decided against, because I was convinced that an appropriate metering of traffic into the flow of traffic on the fwy would be a good thing. Unfortunately, Caltrans does -0-, nothing, not one thing, to manage these flows. How hard can it be to set use existing cameras and counting methods to feed back information into computerized lights allowing for changes in the lights as conditions warrant? YIKES.

HT to Mike William's blog on preborn babies in carpools for reminding me to post these thoughts.

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