The article in Sunday's Community section ("HOT lanes: Know how to use them," Sept. 18, C1) left me amazed. I am amazed at what appears to be a complete lack of understanding about how to solve our congestion issues by our state DOT officials.
To quote from the article --"...officials hope they have found the key to relieving a little bit of congestion in Metro Atlanta, using a $110 million federal grant..." and next, "It's meant to keep the HOT lane clearer during the high traffic times because fewer people would be willing to pay the steep toll."
I would expect even DOT officials to recognize that congestion is worse during high traffic times, and a plan to keep the lanes "clearer" does not decrease congestion -- this would increase congestion. Oh, but I forget -- this is the same DOT that praised themselves mightily about what a great job they had performed during the last snow storm -- ignoring completely the fact the public had a completely different view of their performance.
(Yes, I recognize a decrease in overall traffic would occur if current one- and two-person cars pooled to form a three-man car pool. Anyone want to make a bet on that happening?)
Combine the above information with another quote from the article: "...according to Malika Reed Wilkins with the State Road and Tollway Authority, the funds aren't expected to exceed the needed operations funds for several years."
So, to summarize the information from the article: the HOT lanes will not relieve congestion, and operating expenses will exceed toll road income for several years. (No problem, the DOT can get another $110 million from the federal government -- no worry, this is "free" money and doesn't cost anyone money out of their pocket.)
Another great example of my government at work.
-- Harry Mumpower