Managed Lanes Strategy Report Summary
Managed lanes can maintain the capacity of a highway facility under a wider variety of future scenarios than unmanaged facilities. While many people believe that good central planning can produce a network of uncongested highway facilities through enlightened engineering and construction, the truth is that a dynamic region will have growth and change that simply can't be foreseen. Congestion will occur on our highway system even when prior planning took into account all likely future conditions. We are limited in our response to changes by the financial constraints we have to live with, so we cannot respond immediately to changes with new construction projects. Thus, highway facilities need to be sufficiently resilient to function in a variety of future scenarios. The ability to manage the use and operations of a facility enhances this resiliency, and assures that the facility can operate closer to its optimum usage over the life of the facility.
Managed lanes require substantial investment over and above a basic facility. This investment includes the cost of an enhanced facility, technology, and personnel. A larger, better-funded cadre of transportation operations personnel would be required. In addition, new trained enforcement personnel would be required to implement rules governing managed lanes.
A sample of findings:
- Managed Lanes may reduce percentages of SOV trips between particular origins and destinations if managed lane facilities encourage ridesharing or transit ridership through occupancy discounts (HOT) and through placement and seamless integration (e.g. direct ramp access) of adjacent park and ride facilities.
- If transit services are provided along with managed lanes, increases in transit use may occur. The amount of increase in the number of households and jobs with transit access will depend on whether managed lane facilities connect a significant number of dense residential areas to job-rich economic corridors and centers. Free-flow travel lanes managed with congestion pricing combined with new transit and park and ride facilities may provide disadvantaged communities with improved access to jobs and economic opportunities.
- By enabling higher travel speeds and reducing idling caused by congested conditions, managed lanes can reduce fuel consumption.
- By reducing travel delay along major thoroughfares, managed lane strategies also reduce emission levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC)s and carbon monoxide