CONE ZONE: NDOT launching months long study on new HOV lanes on I-15, US-95
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - You may remember back in 2019 the Nevada Department of Transportation (HOV) took away one general-purpose traffic lane and created a new HOV lane along Interstate 15. The other thing NDOT did back in 2019, they changed the hours of operation from peak commute hours to 24/7 which created a lot of debate around the community and the valley. Now NDOT is actually revisiting that 24/7 policy with a big 18-month study that they’re just kicking it off.
“The goal here is that NDOT and the governor especially NDOT supports the use of HOV lanes we want to encourage more people to use them certainly more people than are now,” said Justin Hopkins, a spokesperson for NDOT.
That’s the issue. How do you get more people to carpool and use the HOV lanes legally? One school of thought is to remove traffic lanes for single-occupant drivers to increase congestion. That’s precisely what NDOT did along I-15 in 2019 hoping the HOV lanes would change driving behavior.
Here’s what NDOT Director Kristina Swallow said back in 2019.
“One of the things that is important about an HOV lane is that the HOV lane has additional capacity than the general-purpose lanes. It’s one of the ways that we motivate people to switch or more optimize their commute,” Swallow previously explained.
However, at a recent RTC board meeting, City of Las Vegas councilman and RTC board member Stavros Anthony has a different viewpoint.
“We’re not going to know whether HOV lanes are actually changing behavior we’re just going to have HOV lanes and we’ll decide whether to make them 24 hours or some other time but we’re never going to discuss whether HOV lanes are actually effective in reducing air quality, reducing the volume of cars on the road causing people to leave one car in their driveway we’re never really going to know that because we’re not studying that and that’s the crux of the whole exercise here,” Anthony addressed.
The bottom line, the HOV lanes and the drama that goes along with them are not going anywhere anytime soon and the nearly 2.7 million dollar HOV study is expected to begin in late August and last for 18 months.
So as the old saying goes, stay tuned for developments.
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