Are Reversible Lanes a Good Idea on I-85?

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle says he’d like to add movable barriers to help the flow of traffic. What do you think?

With the public still reeling from the HOT lane project on I-85, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has brought a new idea to the table: creating “reversible” lanes that widen one part of the highway during the I-85 commute.

The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that the “grandiose” idea may be even more real the earlier thought, with county officials saying that the reversible lanes have been discussed by an advisory group whose report could be ready as early as March. 

The idea is to add movable barriers that would change some northbound lanes into southbound lanes in the morning, and vice versa in the afternoon. 

Some say they are all for any measure that would improve commutes—and have commended the idea for its creativity.  Others have said it is foolish to spend more money on infrastructure when the HOT lanes are still not fully utilized.

What do you think? Are reversible lanes a good idea? 

Janice Crosby December 27, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Reversible lanes in the congested areas only with NO additional charge would be a good idea. Carpool lanes should be during rush hour only...like the rest of the world.
David B. Manley December 27, 2011 at 03:55 PM
We have already had our money misspent by our public officials for the fiasco that are the Lexus lanes. The State now has a list of infrastructure projects that includes some money for transit studies, but primarily concerns roads, although it does not include money to improve I-85 or I-285 traffic (only some interchange improvements). The projected cost of these projects is to the tune of $8,468,028,100 (yes, that's billion dollars)(not inflation adjusted) that the State wants us to primarily fund by our voting an additional 1% tax on ourselves through the things we buy. While 15% of the 8.46 billion dollars can go to local discretionary "eligible transportation projects" it must be distributed through the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP) formula to the ten counties and dozens of municipalities in the 1% tax region.  The former considered, since “reversible” lanes would require a median and traffic signaling be installed and maintained between north and south bound I-85 lanes, (1) how is this going to be paid for, and (2) won't the plan just move the traffic onto other overcrowded roadways creating a need for more improvements which also are not presently funded (including I-285, and I-85 inside the Perimeter)? 
David B. Manley December 27, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Atlanta is in the top ten worst traffic cities in the United States (as high as #3 in some reviews). We think we can depend on roadway improvements to change our lousy standing, but ignore the examples that show roadways alone just keep filling up (like Los Angeles, which is the undisputed #1 worst despite ever widening and double decking of roadways). While cities like Dallas and Charlotte move forward with rail, we remain stuck in a culture that is wedded to our cars.  And that's fine. We love our cars, they are part of our freedom, and rail doesn't pay for itself (of course, neither do roads, as you can see as billions of dollars are spent on them). And we better love our cars because we're going to continue to spend a good part of our life in them, and spend a great amount of money on roadways for them, until we realize work travel time is better spent looking out of the window at rapidly passing scenes, reading a magazine, or playing with a laptop than looking at tail lights and breathing exhaust.
Don W. December 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Well said! It's a never ending cycle it seems that has to be shaken up by truly different ideas. Until we get some of those, we will be stuck in traffic...


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