UDOT doubling maximum toll for express lane driving

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  • uterebel50 West Valley, UT
    July 14, 2018 5:22 a.m.

    ConservativeCommonTater, many of my postings have been subjected to the same biased, inconsistent, and often unfounded accusations that you alluded to in your post. Thank you for bringing up the subject, and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised your post got through. I doubt this one will.

    As to the subject at hand, when HOV lanes were first established in Utah, they were intended to be just that: High Occupancy Vehicle lanes. Then, some politicians got the idea that using them to introduce the concept of toll roads into the state, rather than rewarding car pool participants, would be the way to go. It isn't.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    July 13, 2018 6:05 p.m.

    Frankly, driving on Utah freeways is horrendouss. About 15% drivers think that everyone should be traveling at 80 to 85 miles an hour or faster. When you signal they speed up and block your entry onto the freeway or change of lanes. They cross the double white lines, weave in and out of traffic, and tailgate. Even when I have been Traveling at 10+ miles an hour over the speed limit in the HOV lane, it is not uncommon to have someone less than one second following distance behind me. Inevitably one of these drivers is distracted for a second, traffic slows, and they end up getting into an accident by crashing in the car in front of them. This then causes long delays for everyone else on the freeway as law-enforcement cleans up the accident. Calling it an accident is a stretch. These are completely preventable by simple, reasonable driving.

    We really need significantly stronger enforcement of our traffic laws to teach Utah drivers to drive more safely and reasonably. We also need people to be more courteous on our roads, Speeding up to not allow someone to merge into the freeway or Elaine is just plain rude. But I see it every. Single. Day.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    July 13, 2018 5:53 p.m.

    If UDOT raisies fees but doesn’t enforce fines against HOV lane violations,, the fee raise will do a little good. Every day on my commute to downtown Salt Lake, I see one or more HOV lane violators enter and or exit the HOV lane illegally, crossing the double lines, Or entering the HOV lane with a single rider and no toll pass. Raising the HOV fees won’t stop these violators, and won’t make the HOV lane more convenient. Until UDOT enforces the law, the HOV lane will remain almost as slow as the rest of the freeway. Because enforcement is so lax, HOV lane violators feel immune from the consequences of breaking the law.

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    July 13, 2018 1:54 p.m.

    OK, you've switched from name calling and profanity to off topic. I asked for an example of the name calling and profanity and you send out another email saying that my request for information is off topic.

    Do any of you really know what you're doing or do you just have keys to punch if you don't like something or someone personally.

    How do you expect anyone to resubmit if your denial is incorrect? Can't correct what isn't there. I think I'll send a letter to the editor directly because you guys are all over the place on your denials.

    I've got denials for comments you've published. Sometimes, two denials from different people after the comment has been printed.

    Do you have any REAL guidelines or is it totally subjective based on what you individuals like or don't like?

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2018 12:39 p.m.

    "....speeds in Salt Lake County can dip as low as 31 mph during some peak driving periods, he added, which has become a significant congestion issue."

    I don't know who this guy is or what freeway he is driving on but on I-15 between 3:00 and 7:00 PM, going north, 31 mph would be a blessing. I drive it every single day and 99% of the time all 5 lanes come to a complete stop between 90th south and just north of the I-215 exit. It's beyond all absurdity. All three of the inside lanes stop right along with the outside 2 lanes and not a single person in those 3 inside lanes has any idea why. Someone over on the slow lane taps their brake and 5 lanes across think they need to stop. Then, when they get past the I-215 turn off they all go back up to about 50 mph and they all wonder why they were stopping. Sometimes I think I'm the only sane one left. If they would all just stay at 70 mph, there would be no congestion.

  • tqseal Liberal Central (Sugarhouse), UT
    July 13, 2018 9:50 a.m.

    Now if only UHP could start enforcing the law related to the HOV lane. The abuse is staggering.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    July 13, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    Raising taxes is so easy now. Just change the program. Even the signage is electronic.

    Moral of the story: Just say NO to toll roads in Utah.

  • AC_68 Provo, UT
    July 13, 2018 8:39 a.m.

    Someone wrote, "You always get one or more drivers who go the speed limit, and don't care that they're going slower than the 'non-express' traffic outside their lane."

    Wow! I guess we do need more enforcement.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 13, 2018 8:38 a.m.

    A study last year showed that the average speed in the HOV lane on I-15 in SLC is only 0.5 mph faster than regular lanes. If you want to pay extra money to shave 30 seconds off a 70 mile commute, more power to you. Us rational people will continue to not pay.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2018 8:20 a.m.

    The "express lanes" are slowing down the whole system. It is a flawed strategy. open them up and let all of the traffic flow a little faster.

    Express lanes don't work when slow drivers get in them and put along at the same speed. AND that is what happens most of the time.

    Let my people drive!

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    July 13, 2018 8:11 a.m.

    A couple of points.
    If the HOV lane is "suspended", it is because you are in a construction zone so the speed limit is most like only 60MPH.
    The "passing" lane that should not be blocked by slower traffic is the lane NEXT to the HOV lane, not the HOV lane. You cannot be cited for not moving over for faster cars when going the speed limit because you cannot exit whenever you want.
    There are too many exceptions to who can travel the HOV lane. It should be for vehicles having more than one ADULT, nothing else.
    The fine for entering/exiting the HOV lane over the double white lines should be raised to make it more painful...and should be about $5,000 if the difference in speed between the HOV lane and the next lane is more than 10MPH, since that is the most dangerous violation.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    July 13, 2018 7:04 a.m.

    Three weeks ago it took me 6 hours to drive from Lehi to Ogden. It was a nightmare. Multiple accidents with crazy drivers. Driving through the Salt Lake valley has become torture.

  • Carlie Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2018 7:02 a.m.

    A major problem with the HOV lane is that many drivers (and, apparently, commentors here) see it as their own personal fast lane and go over the double white lines to jump in and out of the HOV lane. How can you feel comfortable driving normally during rush hour in the HOV lane while worrying that at any time, one of the stopped cars to your right is going to suddenly cross the double white line and cut in front of you? Also, the speed limit still applies in the HOV lane. I don’t see any special signs saying “its speed limit is really 85 or 90, so if you’re not going that fast, get out.”

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    July 13, 2018 5:25 a.m.

    I view our Interstate similar to the internet. All sorts of speeds and traffic. We have just lost net neutrality with the internet, so lets try the same with the Interstate. Make all left hand lanes pay lanes, keeping only the far right hand lane free. If you want to go faster, but pay the minimum, you can use the first left hand lane and pay $50 per month. If you want more speed and less congestion, you can pay $100 per month for the right to use the first two left hand lanes. The first three left hand lanes will cost you $250 per month and the last lane, the 'Express Lane' will be an added $250, for a total of $500 per month. Think about how open and fast that far left lane will be when only those willing to pony up $500 per month to use it. UDOT could also set the speed limit on that lane at 90 mph, with no limitations based on weather since we know that snow, ice or rain does not really require slowing down. We need to make our entire nation NFS (No Free Service). Everything should be pay as you go. We could even make our police, fire and medical response the same. Want police in 30 minutes or less, pay $25, for a quicker response pay more. It is the American way.

  • Strider303 American Fork, UT
    July 12, 2018 11:41 p.m.

    Consider that any new gas tax will have 40% going to UTA. If all tax monies raised by an increase in gas tax went to roads, new ones and refurbished existing we might be on our way to resolving some of the issues regarding freeway congestion.

    Population growth, eagerly sought by this state administration, will bring demands for easier and faster commute. We are not built for mass population transit as we are built horizontally not vertically as they are back east. So personal automobile seems the method of choice.

    I think the HOV lanes are a joke. I suggest they be enforced from 6 to 9 AM and 4 to 7 PM, and otherwise open to anyone. Also have open entry and exit. The exit "windows" just don't work in heavy traffic.

    I can live with "photo-cop" monitoring HOV lane usage. As I recall it was in place and then removed after someone in the state legislature was caught speeding and took offense.

  • JapanCougar Layton, UT
    July 12, 2018 10:24 p.m.

    We need to start using traffic cameras to enforce the express lane. They do that effectively in Korea, thereby decreasing the number of police officers required to patrol the HOV lane. (They are far more expensive than a camera that can issue tickets.)

    For some reason Utahns serm to be opposed to the idea of traffic cameras, but they do significantly help make driving a more pleasant experience and keep people safer. They also allow police officers to do what we really need them to do and not just issue speeding tickets.

  • WeThePeople Sandy, UT
    July 12, 2018 10:04 p.m.

    More social engineering by big government! Why do they spend all this money on their socialist fantasies, when we could build more lanes and more freeways? If private companies built and ran our highways, instead of UDOT Bureaucrat fat cats, we wouldn't have any traffic! And without any stop-and-go traffic, we wouldn't have inversions either!

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 9:48 p.m.

    For the complaints about the last week being better on the freeways - DUH! A holiday week when many people went camping or out of town, or didn't work their full schedule. That's why it was easier to get around, as the roads were 20% less loaded than usual at peak times.

    For all those complaining about people going 'too slow' in the express lanes, read the law as written - the Express lane is NOT the left-most general purpose lane and people are completely within their legal rights to go the posted speed limit. If you don't like all the slow people (I.E. those going 0-5 over the posted limit) then SLOW DOWN and stop being the danger on the roads!

  • lefty200 Kaysville, UT
    July 12, 2018 9:34 p.m.

    while the discussion about the cost goes on, In my opinion the real problem lies in enforcement . Way too many people drive in this lane without a pass, or there are too many once passenger drivers who could care less. Get rid of these yeahoo's and half of your problem is solved. I've never seen a car pulled over and heard of them receiving a ticket. On down the line, two lanes work great back east. however, we aren't back east, and are clugged with none eligible vehicles in the fast lane. The other problem, I feel there should be a posted speed limit, fast / and / slow for this lane.

  • Holy-Schamoly-What Baloney Kaysville, UT
    July 12, 2018 9:20 p.m.

    Are they going to use the extra money to hire some Troopers to "patrol the HOV lane" as we were promised when they put the fees in place years ago, or is this just another Republican Fee (TAX) for the Legislature to spend frivolously?

    Look at Phoenix, not L.A. to see how to do HOV lanes and have them work. Utah doesn't want the HOV lane to ever wear out so they are making it harder to use all the time, which is counter-productive to moving traffic.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2018 9:05 p.m.

    Recently, we were driving in some other states with cities much larger than Wasatch Front. They had express lanes that seemed to work much better. This appeared to be for a couple of reasons. One, they didn't have solid lines and dotted lines as they do here. One of the serious problems with the way ours is set up is if the traffic is heavy you can't always get in and out of the express lane to get off the freeway with the dotted line/solid line issue. Just make the straight line so that people can get in and out when they need to not based on a dumb dotted line. Second, slower people are to move out of the express lanes. Utahns are really bad about moving into slower lanes of traffic when they need to. This seriously impedes traffic flow. Other people in Utah go so fast regardless of weather, traffic, or construction conditions they are a serious traffic hazard. In these other states most people seemed to respect these conditions and drove accordingly.

  • Ben there, Done that! Sun Prairie, WI
    July 12, 2018 8:28 p.m.

    To make Toll road effective you need two lanes so that you don't get stuck behind someone.
    Traveling in Virginia, Maryland and DC, you can tell that they have thought through the toll lane idea. In many places they have two lanes that change direction depending on rush hour traffic. Where they do have one lane then it is only operational in the morning and afternoon during rush hour and the rest of the time it is treated as a normal lane. Much more effective use of the space. Hopefully, Utah can look outside its bubble.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    July 12, 2018 7:49 p.m.

    Speed limit is 70 and yet 90% of the drivers on freeway are doing 80+. So are the cars in HOV lane supposed to go 80+ also? If so some folks don’t know that and the impede traffic!!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    July 12, 2018 7:48 p.m.

    Within the past week we were driving down I-15, when most of the Express Ln signs had magnetic signs over them that said SUSPENDED (meaning, tolls & regulations for these so-called 'express' lanes didn't apply).

    Did you, like me, notice how much faster all traffic moved then? This baloney about rewarding multiple passenger vehicles or charging a toll fee on those who want to use those lanes (otherwise), IMO, causes traffic in ALL lanes, typically, to go much slower.

    Why? Because I-15 & I-80 thru SL & Davis counties doesn't have enough capacity to handle traffic there now. (That Utah county is getting I-15 widened there already is wonderful for them. But, IMO, SL & Davis counties, thereby, are getting a short shrift because of it.

    I'm never in favor of tax hikes. However, on this point only, I would be in favor of raising fuel taxes a bit more, to get more roads widened, including I-15 thru Davis & SL counties, & many other road crossing E-W thru the SL Valley.

    Until then, SUSPEND all HOV lanes. Let all vehicles travel all lanes. Ticket slow drivers instead!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    July 12, 2018 7:31 p.m.

    I think doing so is stupid. Frankly, I think the express lanes, often enough, are anything BUT 'express'. You always get one or more drivers who go the speed limit, and don't care that they're going slower than the 'non-express' traffic outside their lane.

    And then, notice, when those in the 'express' lane get to the dashed lines where they can exit, or others can come into the lane, THEN notice how they speed up, and often prevent vehicles trying to either get around them or go ahead of them.

    I called Senator Jerry Stevenson in Layton and proposed they do away with the 'Express' lanes. I believe that, overall, it slows all traffic, because where there is insufficient capacity along most of the Wasatch Front, it impedes traffic, because the 'other' lanes don't have enough means to get around slower traffic, because of the 'express' lane.

    The program, I found out by calling UDOT, only makes $1.5 - $2 million/year (for all the grief I think the so-called 'express' lanes cause). Even $3 - $4 million (supposing they doubled revenues from the toll) is a pittance compared to how much faster all traffic could go otherwise.

    Dump the express lanes now!

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 12, 2018 7:27 p.m.

    The HOV lane is not enforceable because a baby in a car seat hidden by tinted windows counts as a second passenger. And the lane is plagued by people who want to go unreasonably slow with people behind them who want to go unreasonably fast.