I’m not talking about politics! This is about mass transportation.
The Washington DC metroplex is efficiency in transportation. It is a combination of rail, light rail (metro) and High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes. A person who lives in West Virginia takes the rail into Washington DC and then in the same transportation facility switches to the light rail for their ultimate destination.
If you drive, when you leave work and you only have two people in your car, you take the slow lane. The HOV3 lanes require at least three people to be in the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. You can’t buy your way onto the HOV. You must have at least three people in the vehicle.
Adjacent to the Pentagon, for example, are brown, bus shelters affectionately known as “Slug Lanes”. These are people who are looking for a free ride to their exit. The HOV exits on the highway correlate to the signs on the share a ride shelters. One shelter has a sign for Springfield. If you are driving to the Springfield exit and only have two people in the vehicle, you pick up a person at the share a ride and you get on the HOV lane.
When you exit at Springfield, there is a large public parking garage for commuters, as well as a bus stop and light rail entrance. The person you shared a ride with reduced their carbon footprint, burned less gas, relieved the road of one less vehicle and you arrived home earlier. Everyone won.
Other efficiencies include businesses that created car pool vans that arrive and leave at a precise time and place where rail and light rail are not available. In this example, small businesses make money while creating efficiency in transportation.
Fort Worth Traffic
We are building managed lanes (toll roads) on I-35W corridor. This is a consumption tax that allows you the benefit of getting where you want to go faster by paying money.
Let’s speed time up and assume for the moment the toll roads are completed. You have money, so you take the toll road. The poor and people on tight budgets may not afford the toll roads, so they stay in the slow lanes. They release more emissions and need to buy more gas; gas they don’t have in their budget.
Move time forward five or ten more years. More people are living farther from the city and commuting into work. Now the toll lanes are congested. We have the same problem then as we do now. Do we build another toll lane?
My view is no. To reduce our carbon footprint, use less fossil fuel and gain transportation efficiencies, HOV lanes must be considered. You start at HOV2, move to HOV3 and if necessary, eventually go to HOV4.
Rail, light rail and HOV are the direct issues we must address today and not get off track or off target. We have economic opportunity costs. There are only a finite number of resources and money available. Let’s remember Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
Early Voting June 2nd – June 10th
Even if you did NOT vote in the city wide election, ALL registered voters are eligible to vote in the runoff election.
Election Day – Saturday, June 18th
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