Click for next page ( 9


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 8
a population of over 1.5 million, HOV service to major employment centers with more than 100,000 jobs, preferably a CBD, and geographic barriers that concentrate development and constrict travel. Preferably there should be a realistic potential for transit using the facility with 25 or more buses in the peak hour. Peak-hour freeway congestion in the GP lanes is a nearly essential indicator, and HOV time savings should preferably be 1.0 minutes per mile or 7.5 minutes total, or at least 0.5 minutes per mile or 5 minutes total. Preparedness to install supporting facilities, and offer HOV price discounts or free passage on toll facilities, is highly desirable. Finally, willingness to accept several years of initial operation at marginal lane utilization, while usage develops, may be absolutely essential. TRAVELER RESPONSE BY TYPE OF HOV APPLICATION This section provides a more detailed description of traveler responses to the various types of HOV facilities and related strategies. As noted previously, traveler response to busways in separate rights-of-way is covered in Chapter 4, "Busways, BRT and Express Bus," while HOT lane imple- mentation results are primarily found in Chapter 14, "Road Value Pricing." Response to Exclusive Freeway HOV Lanes Table 2-1 identifies exclusive freeway HOV lanes in North America as of the late 1990s and high- lights their general characteristics. Table 2-2 summarizes available information on corresponding utilization levels for most of the same facilities. Further summaries and calculations based on Table 2-2 data, such as AVO statistics, together with equivalent data for other types of freeway HOV lanes, are provided within Tables 2-22 and 2-23 in later sections of this chapter. Monitoring efforts have provided relatively good historical data for the Houston exclusive HOV facilities, the I-395 Shirley Highway HOV lanes in Washington, DC's Northern Virginia suburbs, the I-394 HOV lanes in Minneapolis, and the San Bernardino Transitway (El Monte Busway) in Los Angeles. The findings are reviewed below. Note, however, that these four examples are all from large to very large metropolitan areas. The usage statistics in Table 2-2 for the exclusive lanes installations in smaller metropoli- tan areas, the bi-directional I-84 and I-94 HOV facilities in greater Hartford and the I-64 reversible HOV lanes in Norfolk, offer some balance. The three exclusive HOV facility examples given for the Los Angeles and Washington areas carried an average of 8,400 persons in the AM peak hour peak direction. The seven comparable facilities listed in the remaining large metropolitan areas averaged 4,000 persons in the AM peak hour peak direction, while the three in Hartford and Norfolk averaged 1,800 persons. On the eight freeways where there is sufficient data in Table 2-2 for the calculation, an average of 39 percent of all AM peak-hour peak-direction person travel was being carried on the exclusive HOV facilities in the years indicated. Percentages ranged from 49 percent for Minneapolis I-394 to 25 percent for Norfolk I-64. The HOV facilities along each of the eight freeways, with the excep- tion of Norfolk I-64, carried more persons per lane in the AM peak hour peak direction than the general-purpose lanes (only marginally so in the case of Pittsburgh I-279/579). In these terms, the eight exclusive HOV facilities are, on average, 40 percent more efficient than the general-purpose lanes. 2-8

OCR for page 8
Table 2-1 General Characteristics of Exclusive Freeway HOV Lanes Circa 1998 Project Length Year Weekday HOV General Eligibility HOV Facility Number of Lanes (Miles) Implemented Operation Period Requirements Barrier-Separated: Two-Way Los Angeles, CA I-10 San Bernardino Freeway 1 each direction 12 1973, 1989 24 hours 3+ HOVs I-110 Harbor Freeway 1-2 each direction 11 1996 24 hours 2+ HOVs Orange County, CA I-5 1-2 each direction 4.5 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs Hartford, CT I-84 (wide buffer separation) 1 each direction 10 1989 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-91 (wide buffer separation) 1 each direction 9 1993 24 hours 2+ HOVs Seattle, WA I-90 1 each direction 1.5 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs Barrier-Separated: Reversible-Flow San Diego, CA I-15 2 reversible 8 1988 6-9 AM, 3-6:30 PM 2+ HOVs Free/SOVs Fee Denver, CO I-25 2 reversible 6.6 1994/1995 5-10 AM/Noon-3 AM 2+ HOVs Minneapolis, MN I-394 2 reversible 3 1985-1991 6-10 AM, 2-7 PM 2+ HOVs Pittsburgh, PA I-279/579 1-2 reversible 4.1 1989 5-9 AM, Noon-8 PM 2+ HOVs, all traffic NB after 8 PM during games Houston, TX I-10 (Katy Freeway) 1 reversible 13 1984-1987 5 AM to 12 Noon, 2-9 PM 3+ peak, 2+ shoulders I-45 (Gulf Freeway) 1 reversible 12.1 1988 5 AM to 12 Noon, 2-9 PM 2+ HOVs US 290 (Northwest Freeway) 1 reversible 13.5 1988 5 AM to 12 Noon, 2-9 PM 2+ HOVs I-45 (North Freeway) 1 reversible 13.5 1979-1984 5 AM to 12 Noon, 2-9 PM 2+ HOVs US 59 (Southwest Freeway) 1 reversible 11.5 1993 5 AM to 12 Noon, 2-9 PM 2+ HOVs Norfolk, VA I-64 2 reversible 8 1992 5-8:30 AM WB, 3-6 PM EB, 2+ HOVs mixed flow other times Northern Virginia /Washington, DC I-395 (Shirley Highway) 2 reversible 27 1969-1975, 1996 6-9 AM, 3:30-6 PM 3+ HOVs I-66 (inside Capital Beltway) 2-3 (peak direction) 9.6 1982 6:30-9 AM, 4-6:30 PM 2+ HOVs Seattle, WA I-90 2 reversible 6.2 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs Notes: Within facility type categories, first order alphabetization is by state/province, second order is by city/county metropolitan area. Sources: Connecticut DOT (1998); Turnbull (1992a); Texas Transportation Institute, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Pacific Rim Resources (1998); and Levinson et al. (2003).

OCR for page 8
Table 2-2 Examples of Vehicle and Person Utilization Information for Exclusive Freeway HOV Lanes AM Peak-Hour HOV Facility AM Peak-Period HOV Facility Number of Peak- Directional Van & Peak-Hour Van & Peak-Period Perio d Lanes Bus Carpool Non HOV Bus Carpool Non HOV Leng th City (Year o f Data) HOV Mixed Veh. Pass. Veh. Pers. Veh. Pers. Veh. Pass. Veh. Pers. Veh. Pers. (Ho urs) Exclusive-Two Directional Los Angeles, CA I-10 San Bernardino (1989) 1 4 71 2,750 1,374 4,352 8,375 9,548 132 5,110 2,516 8,075 16,515 19,295 2 Hartford, CT I-84 (1998) 1 4 12 288 540 1,193 n/a n/a 28 698 923 2,101 n/a n/a 3 I-91 (1998) 1 4 11 280 641 1,416 n/a n/a 24 592 1,168 2,708 n/a n/a 3 Exclusive - Reversible Minneapolis, MN I-394 (1998) 2 3a 56 1,834 1,618 3,341 5,267 5,324 109 3,056 3,059 6,285 14,811 15,053 3 Pittsburgh, PA I-279/579 (1989) 1 2 23 1,050 845 1,527 4,361 5,001 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Houston, TX I-10 (Katy Freeway) (1998) 1 3 40 1,355 895 2,091 5,122 6,187 89 2,645 2,564 5,603 16,424 18,786 3.5 I-45 (Gulf Freeway) (1998) 1 4 31 740 1,299 2,682 3,918 4,564 66 1,490 2,309 4,763 12,843 14,744 3.5 US 290 (Northwest) (1998) 1 3 22 1,035 1,521 3,030 5,130 5,307 43 1,830 2,924 5,873 17,576 19,678 3.5 I-45 (North Freeway) (1998) 1 4 53 2,100 1,341 2,725 6,348 6,966 114 3,890 2,640 5,423 19,427 20,983 3.5 US 59 (Southwest) (1998) 1 4 38 1,420 1,466 3,147 n/a n/a 98 3,015 2,852 6,069 n/a n/a 3.5 Northern Virginia/Washington, DC I-395 (Shirley Hwy.) (1998) 2 4 118 3,085 2,654 8,212 n/a n/a 275 7,111 5,631 16,588 n/a n/a 2.5 I-66 (1998) 2 0 16 484 3,405 6,486 -- -- 37 1,118 7,608 13,976 -- -- 2.5 Norfolk, VA I-64 (1989) 2 3 -- -- 930 2,130 5,400 6,426 -- -- 2,480 5,680 15,200 18,088 3 Notes: n/a - information not available; -- - information not applicable. Within facility type categories, first order alphabetization is by state/province, second order is by city/county metropolitan area. a Plus auxiliary lane in AM; 2-lane section upstream. Sources: Connecticut DOT (1998), Minnesota DOT (1998a), Metropolitan Washington COG (1998), Texas Transportation Institute (1998b), Turnbull (1992a).

OCR for page 8
Houston HOV Lanes HOV lanes operate along six radial freeways in Houston. Implementation of a planned 106-mile system was started in 1979. In 1999, 66 miles were in operation, and by 2004--after a quarter cen- tury of development--the extent of HOV lanes reached 104 miles. The one entirely new facility introduced since Table 2-1 was developed is the 19-mile US 59N Eastex HOV lane. The Houston HOV lanes are primarily barrier separated, one-lane, reversible facilities located in freeway medians. They are supported by an extensive system of park-and-ride lots, transit stations, and express bus services. December 2004 AM peak-hour vehicle volumes range from 425 on the new Eastex HOV lane; to 1,071 and 1,201, respectively, on the Northwest and Katy HOV lanes (which have been damped down during critical periods by introducing a 3 occupancy require- ment); up to 1,239 on the North, 1,299 on the Gulf, and 1,303 on the Southwest HOV lanes. The Eastex, North, Gulf, and Southwest HOV lanes have an all-day 2 occupancy requirement. A mod- est number of 2 occupancy carpools "buy in" to the Katy and Northwest HOV lanes under the QuickRide HOT lanes program. Corresponding person volumes range from 1,659 on the Eastex HOV lane; to 3,556 and 3,730, respectively, on the Northwest and Katy lanes; and on up to 3,812 on the Gulf, 4,370 on the Southwest, and 5,188 on the North HOV lanes (Texas Transportation Institute, 2004).1 As of 1998, while HOV lanes on the Katy, North, and Northwest Freeways represented 20 to 25 percent of all peak-direction lanes, they accommodated 40 percent of the AM peak-hour total person movement. The Southwest and Gulf HOV lanes carried, respectively, 26 and 24 percent of their peak-person movement on 20 percent of the lanes (Texas Transportation Institute, 1998b). Tables 2-3 and 2-4 give before and after comparisons for the I-45N (North) and the US 290 (Northwest) HOV lanes. In using these comparisons, it is important to take into account that the North Freeway general-purpose (GP) traffic lanes were widened in conjunction with adding the HOV lane, while the Northwest Freeway was extended (see table notes). The AM peak-hour auto and vanpool AVO increased on the North Freeway overall from 1.28 in 1978, before the initial HOV lane opened, to 1.41 in 1996. The corresponding AVO increase on the Northwest Freeway was from 1.14 in 1987 prior to the opening of the HOV lane to 1.36 in 1996. The AM 1998 auto and vanpool AVO for only the HOV lanes, on all five facilities, ranged from 2.6 to 3.6, the higher value being for the Katy Freeway with its 3 requirement. Comparable AVOs for the GP lanes alone ranged from 1.02 to 1.12 (Stockton et al., 1997; Texas Transportation Institute, 1998b). HOV lane AVOs that include buses are provided, with 2004 versus 1998 comparisons, in the "Houston HOV System" case study. The highest average AM peak-hour travel time savings for Houston HOV lane users range, as measured over the past decade, from some 11 to 22 minutes for the Northwest Freeway HOV lane and 17 to 20 minutes on the Katy lane. Time savings in 1996 for the other three facilities then in place were 14 minutes on the North HOV lane and between 2 and 4 minutes on the Gulf and Southwest HOV lanes (Burris and Appiah, 2004; Stockton et al., 1997). These time savings are accompanied by more reliable trip times (Turner, 1997). The result has been commuter shifts from driving alone to bus riding, carpooling, and vanpooling. Highly suggestive of such shifts are results of periodic HOV lane user surveys. In these surveys, 38 to 46 percent of bus riders and 36 to 45 percent of carpoolers report formerly driving alone (Bullard, 1991; Turnbull, Turner and Lindquist, 1995). 1 These vehicle-and-person-volume statistics include motorcycles, in contrast to the sum of bus, vanpool and carpool volumes in Table 2-2. 2-11

OCR for page 8
Table 2-3 Summary of Before and After AM Peak-Direction Houston North Freeway and HOV Lane Data "Representative" "Representative" Pre-HOV Lane with HOV Lane Percent Type of Data (1978) (1996) Increase HOV Lane Data HOV Lane Length (miles) 13.5 Person-Movement Peak-Hour (7-8 AM) -- 4,947 -- Peak-Period (6-9:30 AM) -- 9,645 -- Total Daily -- 20,382 -- Vehicle Volumes Peak-Hour -- 1,338 -- Peak-Period -- 2,743 -- Vehicle-Occupancy, Peak-Hour (persons/vehicle) -- 3.7 -- Transit Data Bus Vehicle Trips Peak-Hour --a 83 -- Peak-Period --a 111 -- Bus Passenger Trips Peak-Hour --a 2,055 -- Peak-Period --a 3,775 -- Bus Occupancy (persons/bus) Peak-Hour --a 24.8 -- Peak-Period --a 34.0 -- Vehicles Parked in Corridor Park-and-Ride Lots --a 3,310 -- Combined Freeway Mainlane and HOV Lane Data Total Person Movement Peak-Hour 6,355 12,764 101% Peak-Period n/a 32,027 n/a Vehicle Volume Peak-Hour 4,950 9,027 82% Peak-Period n/a 24,137 n/a Vehicle-Occupancy Peak-Hour 1.28 1.41 10% Peak-Period 1.28 1.32 3% 2+Carpool Volumes Peak-Hour 700 1,383 98% Notes: n/a information not available; -- - Information not applicable. There were 3 general purpose lanes in 1978, and 4 general purpose lanes and 1 HOV lane in 1996. Contraflow lane operation began August 1979; Phase I of barrier-separated reversible HOV lane operation began November 1984. a Virtually no transit service was provided prior to contraflow lane opening. Source: Stockton et al. (1997). 2-12

OCR for page 8
Table 2-4 Summary of Before and After AM Peak-Direction Houston Northwest Freeway and HOV Lane Data "Representative" "Representative" Pre-HOV Lane with HOV Lane Percent Type of Data (1987) (1996) Increase HOV Lane Data HOV Lane Length (miles) 13.5 Person-Movement Peak-Hour (7-8 AM) -- 3,717 -- Peak-Period (6-9:30 AM) -- 6,852 -- Total Daily -- 13,644 -- Vehicle Volumes Peak-Hour -- 1,429 -- Peak-Period -- 2,703 -- Vehicle-Occupancy, Peak-Hour (persons/vehicle) -- 2.6 -- Transit Data Bus Vehicle Trips Peak-Hour 7 19 171% Peak-Period 17 37 118% Bus Passenger Trips Peak-Hour 270 850 251% Peak-Period 605 1,545 155% Bus Occupancy (persons/bus) Peak-Hour 39 44.7 15% Peak-Period 36 41.8 16% Vehicles Parked in Corridor Park-and-Ride Lots 430 1,542 259% Combined Freeway Mainlane and HOV Lane Data Total Person Movement Peak-Hour 6,140 9,538 55% Peak-Period 17,450 23,962 37% Vehicle Volume Peak-Hour 5,370 6,989 30% Peak-Period 15,295 18,729 23% Vehicle-Occupancy Peak-Hour 1.14 1.36 19% Peak-Period 1.14 1.28 12% 2+ Carpool Volumes Peak-Hour 490 1,337 173% Peak-Period 1,365 2,961 117% Notes: n/a information not available; -- - Information not applicable. The initial stage of HOV lane was added in August 1988. The freeway and HOV lane were progressively extended, in stages, during study period. There was no change in number of general purpose lanes. Source: Stockton et al. (1997). 2-13

OCR for page 8
Northern Virginia/Washington, DC HOV lanes have been in operation on the Shirley Highway (I-395) since an initial bus-only demon- stration in 1969. An 11 mile, two-lane, barrier separated HOV facility was completed in 1975. Extensions on I-95, first as interim concurrent flow lanes and then as exclusive lanes, have resulted in 27 miles of barrier separated facilities from the District of Columbia out beyond the Capital Beltway through Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia. The vehicle eligibility levels have changed on the facility over time from bus-only, to HOV 4, to HOV 3. The hours of HOV- only operation have also changed, with a current schedule of 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM northbound and 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM southbound. In 1969, 39 buses operated on the Shirley Highway busway in the peak hour, carrying some 1,920 passengers. By 1973, after 4 years of bus lane operation and demonstration-program-supported transit service expansion, some 279 buses carrying 11,340 passengers used the facility in the AM peak hour (McQueen et al., 1975). Vehicle and person volumes further increased when the lanes were opened to vanpools and carpools in December of that year and continued a sharp climb for another 4 years. Comparative data on opening of the facility to carpools is given below in the "San Bernardino Transitway" subsection and Table 2-5. Shirley Highway bus service has been modified with the opening of the Metrorail Yellow and Blue lines in the corridor, resulting in a decline in the number of buses using the full length of the HOV lanes (Metropolitan Washington COG, 1991; Arnold, 1987). Nevertheless, 1997 and 2004 counts indicate that the lanes still serve 11,300 AM peak-hour person trips with buses and other rideshar- ing and that usage has stabilized. Carpool, vanpool and bus AVO for the HOV lanes was 4.1 in 1997. Corresponding peak-hour carpool and vanpool AVO was 3.1 in the AM and 3.4 in the PM, while the AVO for the GP lanes was 1.14 and 1.18. During the 1997 AM peak hour, person movement per HOV lane for the Shirley Highway was approximately 5,600, compared to 2,000 for the GP lanes. In addition, over 6,000 inbound AM peak-hour passengers rode either Washington Metrorail service or VRE commuter rail in the corridor. Currently, travelers making use of the full 27 miles of the HOV lanes save from 34 to 39 minutes (Metropolitan Washington COG, 1998 and 2005). Table 2-5 Shirley Highway and San Bernardino Freeway Peak-Period Carpooling and AVO Before and After Opening of HOV Facilities to Carpools Total Freeway (Incl. HOV Facility in After Condition) Corridor-Wide Number of Carpool and Auto (Incl. Carpool) Auto (Incl. Carpool) Carpool Vehicles Vanpool AVO and Vanpool AVO and Vanpool AVO Freeway Before After After Before After Before After Shirley Hwy. a n/a 1,050 4.5 1.35 1.61 1.32 1.45 Percent Change n/a n/a +19% +10% San Bernardino b 670 1,720 3.3 1.20 1.27 1.19 1.24 Percent Change +157% n/a +6% +4% a Notes: 2-1/2 hour AM peak period, 4+ HOV lane occupancy requirement. b 4 hour AM peak period, 3+ HOV lane occupancy requirement. n/a - Information not available. Sources: McQueen et al. (1975), Crain & Associates (1978). 2-14

OCR for page 8
Screenline analysis indicates that I-95/I-395 HOV corridor person trips from outside the I-495 Capital Beltway to the central core compose 58 percent of the overall AM peak-hour corridor per- son movement. The mode share for this longer-distance travel market is a bare 19 percent for low occupancy vehicle (LOV) travel, as compared to 51 percent for 3 carpools and vanpools, 6 per- cent bus, and 24 percent rail transit (BMI et al., 1999b). The "Shirley Highway (I-95/I-395) HOV Lanes" case study provides additional details. In considering how lessons from the Shirley Highway experience apply to HOV applications else- where, it is important to recognize major differences between this corridor and those served by most other HOV and express bus operations. At the one end, in the District of Columbia and Arlington, Virginia, is the U.S. government--including the Pentagon--with huge numbers of workers in major concentrations and on regular hours. At the other end, in the Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs, is less expensive housing with a large government/military population base. Expectations for other corridors and urban areas must be scaled in relation to the candidate commuter traffic. San Bernardino Transitway (El Monte Busway) The San Bernardino Transitway, along the I-10 Freeway, was opened in 1973 from suburban El Monte to the periphery of downtown Los Angeles. Now often referred to as the El Monte Busway, the facility was indeed bus-only from 1973 to 1976. An exception occurred during a 1974 transit strike. In 1976, 3 person carpools and vanpools were allowed on permanently. During the first 7 months of 2000, the carpool occupancy requirement was lowered to 2, with unfavorable results presented later in this section under "Response to Changes in Occupancy Requirements and Operating Hours"--"Rejected/Rescinded Occupancy Requirement Decreases." Subsequently 2 carpools have been allowed outside of peak periods. A 1 mile extension toward downtown was added in 1989, reaching the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal. The two-way HOV facility includes a 5-mile barrier separated segment and a 7-mile segment with a 10.5-foot striped-pavement buffer. Three major on-line bus stations are located at El Monte, the California State University at Los Angeles, and a large hospital complex. A total of 5 park-and-ride lots along the busway provide 2,425 parking spaces, 94 percent utilized as of 2000. About 15 lots are oriented in some way to the busway. At 2,100 spaces, the El Monte Station park-and-ride is the largest, connected by the bus-only ramp at the current busway termi- nus (Turnbull, 2002; Parsons Brinckerhoff et al., 2002a). When 3 carpools began using the facility in October 1976 they neither hampered bus opera- tions nor caused a noticeable bus ridership decline (Crain & Associates, 1978). Table 2-5 provides corridor-wide as well as overall freeway perspectives on carpooling and AVO growth in response to the mid-1970s openings of both the Shirley Highway and San Bernardino Transitway facili- ties to carpools. The before and after ridesharing comparisons provided are from just before and 1 year after conversion from a busway to a full HOV facility. The corridor-wide impact on ridesharing was one-half to two-thirds the impact measured on the freeway facility itself. San Bernardino Transitway weekday bus ridership increased from 1,000 to 14,500 passengers dur- ing the 3-year bus-only operations phase. As noted above, bus ridership changed little when 3 carpools began using the facility in October 1976 (Crain & Associates, 1978), and reached 20,440 daily passengers in 1978. Responding to easing of 1970s gasoline shortages, fuel price fluctuations, and various other economic and employment factors, bus ridership has since then fluctuated year to year (Turnbull et al., 2003). Daily bus ridership levels in 1994 and 1996 were, respectively, approximately 18,000 (Woodbury et al., 1995) and 19,366 (Richmond, 1998) despite introduction of 2-15

OCR for page 8
Metrolink commuter rail service in the corridor. Foothill Transit provided most but not all of the bus service by 2000, at which point their daily ridership alone stood at 18,000 (Turnbull, 2002). Year 2000 daily ridership in all buses on the HOV and GP lanes combined was 24,560 (Parsons Brinckerhoff et al., 2002a). Table 2-6 illustrates the results of an effort to place peak-hour, peak-direction HOV facility bus and carpool usage at various points in time on a consistent basis (Turnbull, 2002). Peak-period com- muters using the full 12 miles of the facility realized travel time savings of approximately 17 min- utes over vehicles in the GP lanes as of the late 1980s (Turnbull, 1992a). Travel time savings measurements in the summer of 2000 were affected by the transition from trial 2 occupancy back to 3 occupancy requirements in peak periods. Tachometer runs showed average peak-period sav- ings on 11 miles of HOV lane of 4.5 minutes eastbound (PM) and 13 minutes westbound (AM) (Parsons Brinckerhoff et al., 2002a). I-394, Minneapolis The I-394 HOV facility includes 3 miles of two-lane, barrier separated, reversible lanes. These exclusive lanes extend from Highway 100 in the near suburbs to the west side of downtown Minneapolis. Direct access ramps connect the HOV lanes with the Third Avenue Distributor (TAD) garages, which provide discount rate parking for carpools, and transit station areas. Eight miles of concurrent flow HOV lanes operate on I-394 to the west of Highway 100. An interim HOV lane, called the Sane Lane, was operated during the 5 year construction of I-394. The Sane Lane was approximately 3 miles long, although the exact length and location varied. From 1985 to 1991, an average of 500 vehicles carrying 1,400 persons used the Sane Lane during the AM peak hour (SRF, Inc., 1995). In the 7th year of operation of the full facility, during January through March of 1998, 1,674 vehicles carrying 5,175 persons were recorded in the reversible lanes during the eastbound AM peak hour (Minnesota DOT, 1998a). These figures equate to approximately 837 vehicles carrying 2,588 persons per lane, in turn equating to a carpool, vanpool and bus AVO of 3.1. In 2005, the 14th year of operation, the corresponding January through March figures were 1,461 vehicles carrying 4,985 persons (Minnesota DOT, 2005a) or 730 vehicles carrying 2,492 persons per Table 2-6 AM Peak-Hour Peak-Direction Utilization over Time of the El Monte Busway Year Bus Carpool/Vanpool HOV Facility Total (Month) Vehicles Passengers Vehicles Passengers Vehicles Passengers 1973 (May) a 21 766 -- -- 21 766 1973 (Oct .) a 67 1,526 -- -- 67 1,526 1976 64 3,044 -- -- 64 3,044 1988 70 3,190 765 2,610 835 5,800 1990 71 2,750 1,374 4,352 1,445 7,102 2000 b 84 2,980 944 2,887 1,028 5,867 a Notes: Estimates based on 2-hour peak-period data. b Following termination of 2+ all-day occupancy requirement demonstration. -- - Information not applicable. Source: Turnbull (2002). 2-16

OCR for page 8
lane--a carpool, vanpool and bus AVO of 3.4. This performance, compared to GP lane throughput, equates to 46 percent more AM peak-hour person trips carried per HOV lane in 1998 and 32 per- cent more in 2005. The I-394 HOV lanes have been under scrutiny for several years, despite their peak-hour person- carrying performance, because of their excess vehicular capacity. The Minnesota State Legislature in 2001 sought to have the lanes opened to general-purpose traffic as a test. Instead, the outcome of such a change was modeled. The estimates obtained indicated that opening to general traffic of the two Minneapolis HOV facilities, on I-394 and I-35W, would actually increase person as well as vehicular throughput. This result was forecast to have concomitant positive benefits in enhanced reliability and reduced travel times, emissions, and fuel consumption overall, but to the detriment of bus and carpool travel times, reliability, costs, attractiveness, and use (Cambridge Systematics and URS, 2002). Ultimately the decision was made to enhance utilization of the I-394 HOV lanes by reconfiguring them into HOT lanes. MnPASS dynamically priced HOT lane oper- ation made its debut in May 2005 (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). More details on the entire I-394 project, including initial HOT lane results, are provided in the "Minneapolis I-394 HOV Facilities" case study. Response to Concurrent Flow Freeway HOV Lanes Table 2-7 lists concurrent flow HOV facilities and their general characteristics. Although concur- rent flow lanes are the most common type of freeway HOV treatment, ongoing or periodic moni- toring efforts have been conducted on only a limited number of them. Table 2-8 summarizes examples of comprehensive information on peak utilization levels. Further on, Table 2-9 provides a selection of operating and usage information on the several Los Angeles County concurrent flow freeway HOV lanes along with equivalent data for the County's two "Transitway" exclusive free- way HOV facilities. Additional summaries based on Table 2-8 utilization statistics and other infor- mation sources, along with similar data for other types of freeway HOV lanes, are found in later sections of this chapter within Tables 2-22 and 2-23. The 13 relatively new concurrent flow Los Angeles County HOV lane segments evaluated in 2000 carried an average of 2,400 persons in the AM peak hour peak direction, an average of 26 percent of all AM peak-hour peak-direction person movement on the freeways involved. Excluding bus- only facilities and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the 10 concurrent flow HOV facility examples given in Table 2-8 for other large metropolitan areas carried an average of 2,900 persons in the AM peak hour peak direction. On the seven with data to support the calculation, that rep- resents an average of 38 percent of all the AM peak-hour peak-direction person travel. The four concurrent flow facilities listed for San Francisco peninsula suburbs, western suburbs of Newark, New Jersey, and Norfolk/Virginia Beach averaged 1,400 persons in the AM peak-hour peak- direction, an average of 23 percent of all AM peak-hour peak-direction person travel on the free- ways. On the 24 freeways for which the data is available in Tables 2-8 and 2-9, 14 of the concurrent HOV lane installations carry more persons per lane in the AM peak hour peak direction than the general-purpose lanes. Discussion of various projects, not all of them included in Table 2-8 or 2-9, follows. San Francisco--Oakland Bay Toll Bridge Three lanes on the I-80 approach to the westbound toll plaza of the San Francisco--Oakland Bay Bridge--in the direction of downtown San Francisco--are reserved for HOVs during the AM and 2-17

OCR for page 8
Table 2-7 General Characteristics of Concurrent Flow Freeway HOV Lanes Circa 1998 Project Length Year Weekday HOV General Eligibility HOV Facility Number of Lanes Miles Implemented Operation Period Requirements Phoenix, AZ I-10 1 each direction 21 1987-1990 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 202 1 each direction 8 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-17 1 each direction 6 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs Vancouver, BC, Canada H-99 1 each direction SB 4, NB 1 1980 24 hours 3+ HOVs Alameda County, CA I-80 (Bay Bridge) 3 WB only 1 1970 5-10 AM, 3-6 PM 3+ HOVs I-880 1 each direction 5 1991/1995 5-9 AM, 3-7 PM 2+ HOVs Contra Costa County, CA I-80 1 each direction 8 1997 5-9 AM, 3-7 PM 3+ HOVs I-680 1 each direction 14.4 1994 5-9 AM, 3-7 PM 2+ HOVs I-580 1 each direction 6.1 1989 7-8 AM, 5-6 PM 2+ HOVs Los Angeles County, CA I-105 1 each direction 16 1993 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-210 1 each direction 18.5 1993 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-405 1 each direction 19.4 1989-1993 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-605 1 each direction 7 1997 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 91 1 each direction 14.3 1983/1993 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 118 1 each direction 11.4 1997 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 134 1 each direction 13.3 1996 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 170 1 each direction 6.1 1996 24 hours 2+ HOVs Marin County, CA US 101 (2 projects) 1 each direction 13 1971-76/1987-91 6:30-8:30 AM, 4:30 -7 PM 2+ HOVs Orange County, CA I-5 1-2 each direction 34 1996 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 55 1 each direction 12.3 1985 24 hours 2+ HOVs I-405 1 each direction 24 1990 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 57 1 each direction 12 1992 24 hours 2+ HOVs SR 91 1 each direction 2.6 1995 24 hours 2+ HOVs Riverside County, CA SR 91 1 each direction 17 n/a 24 hours 2+ HOVs

OCR for page 8
Monitoring and evaluation indicated that HOV lane vehicle volumes increased steadily following program implementation. In December 1995, an average of 2,080 three-person vehicles had used the lane on a daily basis. A year later, some 2,392 carpools of both 3 and 2 occupancy used the lane. By March 1997, 2,724 carpools were using the lane and by June 1997, the daily count was 3,284 car- pools, representing a 58 percent increase in vehicles over 1995 levels. The lane at that point was still not at capacity and still provided free-flow travel. A sticker recipient postcard survey, which received a 50 percent response rate, provided information on user characteristics and lane utilization. Two-person carpools accounted for a small percentage of the overall HOV volume. Most sticker recipients used the lane on an infrequent basis. Some 18 percent of the stickers were located at addresses where two or more individuals had stickers. It appears that these were taxi and limousine companies, as well as two and three driver households. Approximately 15 percent of the sticker holders reported belonging to 3 carpools, suggesting that stickers may have been obtained as insurance in case one carpool member was absent. One-third of the respondents reported they used the HOV lane one day or less per week, even though most regularly traveled the corridor. A large number of sticker holders may have regularly driven alone, occasionally using the stickers when traveling with another person. About 75 percent of the respondents reported changes in travel behavior in response to the program. Of those, 16 percent indicated an increase in vehicle occupancy, while 45 percent reported using the HOV lane more often, 18 percent changed their time of travel, and 11 percent traveled more often on the Expressway (Paiewonsky, 1998). The percent indicating a decrease in vehicle occupancy was not reported. The sticker program was terminated on July 1, 1999, concurrently with universal opening of the HOV lane to 2 carpool occupancy. Environmentally Friendly Vehicle Exemption Programs The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments outlined requirements for inherently low-emission vehicles (ILEVs) and, as one way of encouraging purchase and use of these vehicles, authorized fleet vehi- cle ILEVs to use HOV facilities without meeting vehicle-occupancy requirements. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) allowed states to expand this autho- rization to include individually owned ILEVs, but with a sunset provision activating with the expiration of TEA-21. Vehicles qualifying as ILEVs under 1993 EPA definitions are primarily those powered by CNG, LPG, LNG, hydrogen, ethane, methane, solar, and battery-electricity. To date, no gasoline-powered vehicle has qualified as an ILEV. Hybrid vehicles, which employ a small on-board gasoline engine to generate electricity for propulsion, do not qualify. The trans- portation act reauthorization of 2005, SAFETEA-LU, includes language that provides states with options for allowing low-emission and energy-efficient vehicles to use HOV facilities under cer- tain conditions. Based on the provisions in TEA-21, at least 10 states--Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Texas, Utah, and Virginia--approved legislation allowing ILEVs to use HOV lanes without meeting minimum occupancy requirements. The Texas legislation has not been implemented. Thus, 9 of the 20 states with freeway HOV lanes were exempting ILEVs from occupancy requirements prior to passage of SAFETEA-LU (Turnbull, 2005). Legislation in five states--Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, and Georgia--has added hybrids to the vehicles allowed to use HOV lanes without meeting minimum vehicle occupancy levels, but 2-43

OCR for page 8
only if allowed or approved by federal law or federal agency regulations. In Virginia, legislation was first approved in 1993 establishing a clean special fuel license plate. Legislation in 1994 allowed vehicles with these special plates to use HOV lanes in the state without meeting the min- imum occupancy requirements. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, allowed owners of hybrid vehicles to obtain special clean fuel license plates when hybrid vehicles became available in the early 2000s. Virginia, unsupported by current federal legislation, was the only state allowing hybrid vehicles exempt access to HOV lanes as of 2004-2005 (Turnbull, 2005; Urban Transportation Monitor, 2004a). Available information indicates that the registration of true ILEV vehicles is low, and subsequently few ILEVs are using HOV lanes in the states authorizing their exempt access. For example, in 2003 only 9 of the 500 registered ILEVs in Maryland had received a permit to use the HOV lanes. The most such activity is in California, where approximately 5,371 vehicles had registered for California's super-ultra low-emission vehicle (SULEV) decals in the spring of 2004 (Turnbull, 2005). The situation in Virginia is much different. In the 6 years from 1994 and 1999, only 78 clean special fuel license plates were issued in the state. From 2000 to October 2004, with hybrids qualifying for the HOV exemption, 10,335 clean special fuel license plates were issued, for a grand total of 10,413 clean special fuel license plates overall. Hybrid vehicles account for almost 95 percent of the total. Moreover, some 93 percent of the clean special fuel vehicle plates issued were for residents of coun- ties and cities in Northern Virginia--those served by HOV facilities. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has, since the fall of 2003, included the number of vehicles with clean special fuel license plates in its twice-yearly vehicle and occupancy counts made as part of an ongoing program for monitoring and reporting on the use of HOV facil- ities in Northern Virginia. Special fuel vehicles accounted for between 2 and 12 percent of HOV volumes during fall of 2003 peak periods on the various different Northern Virginia HOV facili- ties. At two locations on I-95 outside the Capital Beltway, in October of 2004, special fuel vehicles constituted 11 to 19 percent of all vehicles in the HOV facilities, averaging 13 to 17 percent. Virginia's HOV Enforcement Task Force, established in 2003, has concluded based on the fall of 2004 monitoring that the I-95/I-395 HOV lanes have become overly congested and that it is the rapid growth of hybrid vehicle use of the facilities that has pushed peak volumes beyond the rec- ommended HOV facility capacity of 1,800 vehicles per lane per hour (HOV Enforcement Task Force, 2003 and 2005). I-395 Shirley Highway and I-95 HOV facility 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM peak- period vehicular volume breakouts are provided in Table 2-16. See the case study, "Shirley Highway (I-95/I-395) HOV Lanes" for information on I-95/I-395 HOV facility use in the larger context. Little information is available concerning the influence of HOV exemptions on the purchase of low- emission and energy-efficient vehicles. A graduate student research study of 18 purchasers of CNGs in California circa 2000 (when potential monetary incentives for clean fuel vehicle purchase were in the $2,000 to $5,000 range) found that 14 out of the 18 individuals reported ability to use the HOV lanes in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas as the main motivating factor in the CNG vehicle purchase decision. The 18 interview participants were all well educated, and of the 15 providing income information, 10 reported annual incomes of $120,000 or more and three reported incomes from $100,000 to $120,000 (Abbanat, 2001). Anecdotal evidence from commuters and automobile dealers in Northern Virginia (Ginsberg, 2004) and the residence location of indi- viduals applying for clean special fuel license plates in Virginia also suggest that the HOV exemp- tion influences the decision to purchase a low-emission or energy-efficient vehicle. 2-44

OCR for page 8
Table 2-16 Virginia I-95/I-395 HOV Facility Inbound Traffic Makeup, 6 AM to 9 AM, 2004 Count Location HOV Vehicles Clean/ Hybrid Violators Total Facility Peak Hour (Month) (Percent) Vehicles (Pct.) (Percent) Volume (Pct.) Volume/Lane I-395 at Glebe Rd. 6,900 603 2,099 9,602 1,825 (September Average) (72%) (6%) (22%) (100%) I-95 at Newington 5,439 1,086 1,690 8,215 1,853 (October Average) (66%) (13%) (21%) (100%) I-95 at Occoquan 4,940 1,276 1,291 7,507 1,647 (October Average) (66%) (17%) (17%) (100%) Notes: The numbers of counts averaged range from 3 at Glebe Road to 6 at Occoquan count station. The I-95/I-395 HOV facility is 2 lanes in the peak direction with a 3+ occupancy requirement. Source: High-Occupancy Vehicle Enforcement Task Force (2005). Priority Treatments and Pricing on Toll Facilities Providing HOVs with priority treatments at toll plazas, or with free passage or reduced tolls, has been done for a number of years. In the United States, as of 1993, some type of discounted pricing was pro- vided to HOVs on 24 toll facilities, and HOV priority treatments were in use on 14 toll projects. Of the toll facilities then using HOV pricing strategies, 20 were bridges, 2 were tunnels, and 2 were highways. Five of the toll facilities were found to allow free use by HOVs, while the other 19 used some level of HOV discount. Providing free or lower fees to HOVs has been most common with toll facilities in California, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Priority treatments in use have included toll booths reserved exclusively for HOVs and also HOV lanes such as the previously described concurrent flow HOV lanes on the east approach to the San Francisco--Oakland Bay Bridge. The 1993 study found little information on the actual impact of these approaches on carpool for- mation in either the published literature or through a survey of toll agencies. Low use levels of pre- paid 30-day tickets offering a 25 percent discount for 3 occupancy HOVs were reported for bridges crossing the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while over a million HOV commuter ticket books offering an almost 80 percent discount for cross-Hudson 3 HOVs were sold on Staten Island in 1992. Monthly information from four toll bridges in California with no fees for HOVs indicated that the proportion of all vehicles represented by HOVs averaged 12 percent if calculated as a simple average across facilities or 8 percent if weighted by traffic. The HOV proportion ranged from 37 percent of all monthly traffic on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge down to 1 percent on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge (Turnbull, Hall and Ringrose, 1994). HOVs normally constitute a larger proportion of weekday peak-period traffic than of monthly traffic, although recreational use may make the San Diego-Coronado Bridge a special case. Chapter 14, "Road Value Pricing," covers two more recent applications of priority pricing on toll facilities. In Seoul, Korea, congestion pricing was applied in 1996 to the Namsan #1 and #3 Tunnels, with free passage for buses and HOV 3 vehicles. After 4 years, both 3 HOVs and bus passengers were up in peak periods by approximately 75 percent, as compared to a 23 percent increase in day- time weekday vehicles overall. (In Chapter 14, see "Response by Type of Strategy"--"Response to Value Pricing on a Single Highway Facility, Route, or Corridor"--"Seoul Congestion Charge on Namsan #1 and #3 Tunnels"). 2-45

OCR for page 8
The SR 91 Express Lanes toll facility in Orange County, California, when it opened in 1995, allowed HOV 3 vehicles on the toll lanes for free. Later, 50 percent of the regular toll was imposed. In 1999, 1 in 4 users was an HOV 2 or HOV 3 vehicle. (In Chapter 14, see "Response by Type of Strategy"--"Response to Value Pricing on Single or Multiple Highway Lanes"--"SR 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, California," and the case study, "SR 91 Express Lanes, Orange County, California," along with other presentations based in part on SR 91 data). During the 30 months of 2003-05 since completion of Chapter 14 information gathering, the privately- built and initially privately-operated SR 91 facility was sold to Orange County. Most changes in oper- ations and prices have been marginal in extent. However, with public ownership, 3 HOVs have again been traveling for free, with the exception of 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM weekdays in the eastbound direction, when 50 percent of the regular toll is still charged. Over almost 2 years of public owner- ship, total traffic throughput is up 12 percent and there has been some increase in AVO on the toll lanes. For the fiscal year ending in mid-2004, total toll facility volumes averaged over 30,000 vehicles per day, apparently including weekends and holidays (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). Expansion of HOV Facility Functions to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane Status Two of the congestion pricing demonstrations originally funded pursuant to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 involved expansion of the functions of existing HOV lanes to allow lower occupancy vehicles to use the HOV lanes for a fee. Both of these demonstrations are cov- ered in Chapter 14, "Road Value Pricing." (In Chapter 14, see "Response by Type of Strategy"-- "Response to Value Pricing on Single or Multiple Highway Lanes"--"San Diego's I-15 `FasTrak' Express Lanes" and "Houston's I-10W Katy Freeway QuickRide Program." See also technical discussions elsewhere in Chapter 14 that examine additional demonstration program data and the Chapter 14 case study, "I-15 Value Pricing Demonstration Project, San Diego.") The encapsulated descriptions provided below are each accompanied by a brief update or cross-referencing of relevant information obtained during 200305 following the Chapter 14 data gathering cut-off date. The newer US 390 Northwest Freeway QuickRide program in Houston and the I-394 MnPASS HOT lane project in Minneapolis are introduced as well. San Diego I-15. The I-15 installation on the northeast side of San Diego was originally built as a two-lane reversible HOV facility in the freeway median. The roughly 8-mile long facility was opened in 1988 with a two person (2) vehicle occupancy requirement, which has been retained for HOV vehicles. The two phase value pricing project allowed SOVs to use the I-15 HOV lanes for a fee. The second (FasTrak) demonstration phase, implemented in April 1998, introduced SOV fees varied dynamically--in response to congestion levels in the HOV/HOT lanes--and collected elec- tronically. The FasTrak phase was transitioned into a continuing operation during 19992001. The I-15 HOT lanes are currently being extended to provide a 20-mile "Managed Lanes" facility. Total vehicles utilizing the I-15 HOT lanes ranged from 11,700 in March 1998, the last month of the initial (ExpressPass) demonstration phase, to 16,900 in February 2000, after the official end of the FasTrak demonstration phase (see Chapter 14 for citations). Five years later, weekday average daily traffic was up to 20,000 vehicles (last quarter of 2004 and first quarter of 2005 taken together). This is over twice the 9,200 count for 1996 before implementation of the initial ExpressPass phase. HOVs constitute 75 percent of recent volumes (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). From these data, additional information in Chapter 14, and monthly average selected daily traffic volumes from March 1998 through 2002 (Shivashankar, Steffey, and Supernak, 2004), it can be ascertained that: The percentage of I-15 HOV/HOT lanes traffic accounted for by HOVs has decreased mod- erately from a nominal 100 percent in October 1996 (actually 85 percent with 15 percent 2-46

OCR for page 8
violators), to 91 percent in October 1997 toward the end of the ExpressPass demonstration phase (including a 2 percent violation rate), to 75 percent in October 1999 near the close of the official FasTrak demonstration (including a 5 percent violation rate), and after a rebound to over 80 per- cent in early 2000 has fluctuated around the 75 percent average recorded in October through March of 2004/2005. The absolute count of weekday HOVs attracted and accommodated has actually climbed sig- nificantly, from a nominal 9,200 in 1996 (7,900 excluding violations), to roughly 10,600 from April 1998 through 1999, to 11,800 on average for the year 2000, and on to approximately 15,000 in late 2004/early 2005. The only pause in HOV growth during the demonstration phases was a small decline of roughly 200 HOVs that manifested itself throughout the first 19 months of the FasTrak phase. Theories reported in Chapter 14 as possible reasons for HOV increases accompanying introduction of the pricing program include the gaining by drivers of a more tangible sense of carpooling cost savings, increased enforcement that somehow induced more carpooling than tolled solo driving, and willingness of additional commuters to commit to carpools knowing that the time savings can be salvaged for a fee should a carpool partner be absent. Houston I-10W and US 290. Houston's I-10W Katy Freeway QuickRide program involves an HOV facility with a somewhat complex operational history, enumerated here in Chapter 2 under "Traveler Response by Type of HOV Application"--"Response to Changes in Occupancy Requirements and Operating Hours"--"Katy (I-10W) HOV Lane, Houston." Most recently, the one- lane, barrier separated, 13-mile reversible lane located in the I-10W freeway median has had a 3 HOV occupancy requirement during the peak of the peak period. This was implemented in 1988 to avert HOV lane congestion. Otherwise the HOV requirement is 2 occupancy. The QuickRide pric- ing project, described in Chapter 14, allows 2 HOVs on the lane for a fee during the times a 3 occupancy otherwise applies. The low-key project had 650 users signed up for transponders a little over a year after the January 1998 start date, making a total of between 150 and 200 tolled trips on the average weekday in both peak periods combined. In November 2000, the QuickRide program was expanded to the US 290 Northwest Freeway in a similar operating context, but effective only in the morning peak. The standard afternoon US 290 HOV occupancy requirement does not depart from 2. Five years after inception, I-10W Katy Freeway QuickRide usage had not changed much, with a 2003 average of 86 morning trips and 55 afternoon trips. The 2003 average for US 290 was 67 morning vehicle trips (Burris and Stockton, 2004). Results thus remain well below the target of 600 QuickRide vehicles per hour (Burris and Appiah, 2004). Operating costs of the fully automated overall QuickRide program are nevertheless fully covered by toll revenues (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). Additional findings from I-10W and US 290 value pricing investigations of program equity and frequency of use are appended under "More..." in the "Houston HOV System" case study found here in Chapter 2. Construction and other preparations are underway for the expansion of I-10W including a multi-lane, bi-directional, barrier separated HOT lanes facility for the full 23-mile length, with "managed lanes" operation planned (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). Minneapolis I-394. Both the with-flow and the barrier-separated reversible HOV lanes on I-394 in Minneapolis have recently been modified to accommodate a dynamically priced HOT lane oper- ation, dubbed MnPASS. Phase I, which maintains the pre-existing physical layout, was opened in May 2005 (Federal Highway Administration, 2005b). Details of the underlying HOV system are provided here in Chapter 2 in the "Minneapolis I-394 HOV Facilities" case study. 2-47

OCR for page 8
Early reporting of MnPASS pricing implementation outcomes is provided in the case study in Table 2-36 and under "More...." Initial outcomes appear to be generally successful, although 24-hour pricing on the concurrent-flow HOV lanes section was quickly dropped in favor of a more limited toll-application time span (Buckeye, 2006; TOLLROADSnews, 2005). More details on that aspect are provided in the "Related Information and Impacts" section under "Terminations of HOV Projects"--"HOT Lane Situations." Comparing third versus first quarter AM peak hour inbound results in the reversible section, 476 tolled peak-hour vehicles were introduced versus reduction in the carpool count of 167 vehicles. The total third quarter HOT lane vehicle count is 1,777. Bus ridership held steady, and on the basis of both peak periods, has increased over the prior year (Minnesota DOT, 2005a and b; Kozlak and Thompson, 2006). Response to Arterial Street HOV Facilities Arterial street HOV lanes are, as categorized here, open to all forms of HOVs--buses, van- pools, and carpools. Some 40 signalized arterial road HOV facilities are currently operating in the United States and Canada with new applications planned. Most are located in particularly busy corridors and are often planned and operated with facilitation of bus operations as a primary objective. Typically arterial facilities consist of one designated lane that operates during the peak period in the peak direction of travel. In the case of "queue jump" lanes, the projects are usually focused on improving intersection throughput in the context of giving buses and other HOVs a head start. U.S. examples include the Santa Clara County Expressways in California; SR 99 and Airport Road in Seattle; Santa Fe Drive in Denver; and North Washington Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Canadian examples include Hastings Street in Vancouver, British Columbia; several arterials in the Toronto area; and some 10 km of facilities in Gatineau, Quebec. Table 2-17 highlights the gen- eral characteristics of selected arterial street HOV facilities in the United States. Table 2-18 gives operational, usage, and violation characteristics for a subset of these and Canadian facilities. Additional details are presented below for a few of the operating arterial facilities. Santa Clara County Expressway System HOV Lanes The Santa Clara County Expressway System was constructed to relieve local streets of longer- distance traffic and to supplement the freeway system. It consists of eight expressways totaling 62 centerline miles. The expressways have signalized at-grade intersections but feature full con- trol of abutting property access and some grade-separated intersections. They accommodate approximately 1.5 million vehicle trips daily. Some 55 percent of county residents report using an expressway on a daily basis and another 29 percent report use a few times per week. About 25 percent of the signalized intersections on the expressways operate at Level of Service (LOS) F. The Montague Expressway operates at LOS F throughout, while the San Tomas corridor operates at LOS E. Four of the expressways provide a total of 50 one-way lane-miles of HOV lanes and one has HOV queue jumps at key intersections. The lanes are generally located on the right-hand side of the roadway, adjacent to the right shoulder, to accommodate transit bus pick-up and drop-off activ- ity. They are shared with turning and merging traffic at intersections. The HOV lane designations are discontinued in advance of and subsequent to freeway interchanges because of concerns about weaving of HOV traffic and entrance and exit ramp traffic. 2-48

OCR for page 8
Table 2-17 General Characteristics of Selected Active U.S. Arterial Street HOV Facilities Project Vehicle Length Year Weekday HOV Occupancy Location and Facility Facility Type (Miles) Opened Operation Period Required Santa Clara County, CA Montague Expressway Right lane 5.4 1983 6 9 AM 2+ 3 7 PM San Tomas Expressway Right lane 7.2 1982 6 9 AM 2+ 3 7 PM Lawrence Expressway Right lane 6.1 1984 6 9 AM 2+ 3 7 PM Capitol Expressway Right lane 3.8 1997 6 9 AM 2+ 3 7 PM Central Expressway Queue jump n/a After 6 9 AM 2+ 1982 3 7 PM Denver, CO Santa Fe Drive Left lane NB: 7.5 1986 NB: 6 9 AM 2+ SB: 5.7 SB: 4 6:30 PM Honolulu, HI Kalanianaole Highway Contraflow lane 0.6 1975 6 8 AM 3+ Nimitz Highway Contraflow lane 2 2003 5:30 7 AM 3+ 7 8:30 AM 2+ Houston, TX a Fannin Street 2nd lane on 2.6 n/a 7 9 AM 2+ one-way street b 4 6 PM Louisiana " 2.1 " " " Milam Street " 2.3 " " " San Jacinto " 2.7 " " " Smith Street " 2.0 " " " Travis Street " 2.4 " " " Alexandria, VA North Washington St. Curb lane 3.0 1984 7 9 AM 2+ 4 6 PM US 1 (Patrick/Henry Curb lane 1.0 n/a NB: 6 9 AM 2+ Streets) SB: 3 7 PM Seattle, WA Airport Road Curb lane 3.4 1993 NB: 5:30 8:30 AM 2+ SB: 2:30 5:30 PM NE Pacific Street Curb lane 0.3 Before 24 hours 3+ 1994 a Note: Seven Houston facilities shorter than 2.0 miles have been excluded from the table. b The 1st (curb) lane is for buses and right turns only. Source: Schijns (2005b) and inquiries of agencies by Handbook authors. 2-49

OCR for page 8
Table 2-18 Operational, Usage, and Violations Characteristics of Selected Arterial HOV Facilities Utilization Characteristics Mixed Weekday HOV HOV Vehicles in Flow Project Year Operation Eligibility Vehicles in Violation Mixed Flow HOV Facility Lanes Length Open Period Requirement HOV Lane a Rate Lanes b Period Santa Clara, CA Capitol Expressway 3 3.8 m i 1997 6 9 AM 2+ 556 16% 2,919 Peak Hour 3 7 PM 633 17% 2,676 Montague Expy. 2 5.4 m i 1983 6 9 AM 2+ 188 34% 1,732 Peak Hour 3 7 PM 235 22% 1,336 San Tomas Expy. 3 7.2 m i 1982 6 9 AM 2+ 369 30% 3,729 Peak Hour 3 7 PM 448 15% 2,940 Seattle, WA Airport Road 2 3.4 m i 1993 5:30 8:30 AM 2+ 272 c n/a 1,102 d PM Peak 2:30 5:30 PM Hour Vancouver, BC Hastings Street 2 11.2 m i 1996 6:30 9 AM 2+ 583 13% 1,706 AM Peak 3:30 6 PM Hour Toronto, ON Eglinton Avenue 2 7.0 m i 1993 7 10 AM 3+ 756 32% 4,551 3-hour AM 3 7 PM Peak Period a Notes: Includes all users of the HOV lane including violators. b Includes all users of the general-purpose lanes including any HOVs. c Figure reported is the HOV vehicle count for all facility lanes. d Figure reported is the SOV vehicle count for all facility lanes. Sources: City of Bellevue (2003), County of Santa Clara (2003), Schijns (2005b), and inquiries of agencies by Handbook authors.

OCR for page 8
Table 2-18 includes usage information for three of the Santa Clara County facilities evaluated dur- ing a review of the lanes completed in 2003. The review concluded that some of the HOV lanes were underperforming based on four evaluation metrics and recommended that certain lanes be converted to GP lanes to move more people. The specific thresholds used for evaluating whether HOV lanes were performing satisfactorily were traffic flow of more than 400 total vehicles per peak hour, person flow of more than 880 total persons per peak hour, productivity ratio of more than 0.80 (ratio of people in HOV lane to people in the GP lanes), violation rates of no higher than 15 percent, and travel time savings over GP lanes. In the case of the Montague Expressway, it was determined that HOV lane users actually lost travel time relative to GP lane users due to the com- bination of interference from turning and weaving traffic and transit bus stopping (County of Santa Clara, 2003). Snohomish County, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Arterial HOV Lanes Two before-and-after studies of carpool lanes implemented in the Pacific Northwest provide evi- dence that implementing arterial HOV lanes can result in increasing the carpooling on a facility. In Snohomish County, north of Seattle, a 3.4 mile HOV lane was opened in 1993 by converting a GP lane on Airport Road. This suburban arterial is heavily used by commuter traffic to and from the Boeing Company facility in the area. The travel time savings afforded by the HOV lane was about 1 minute. Before the HOV lane conversion, the AM peak-hour count was 1,506 vehicles, including 239 carpools, 16 percent of the traffic. Counts taken at 3, 6, and 12 months after open- ing--1,570, 1,505, and 1,374 vehicles, respectively--showed a decline in total volumes. Carpools, meanwhile, constituted an increasing component of road usage: 288 (18 percent), 318 (21 percent), and 272 (20 percent) carpools, respectively, suggesting that the lanes encouraged carpool forma- tion. Fluctuating employment levels at the Boeing facility may have been a factor in the overall traf- fic volume decline (Wellander et al., 1998; City of Bellevue, 2003). Arterial carpool lanes opened in 1996 on Hastings Street in Vancouver, British Columbia, appear to have provided a greater stimulus to carpooling. The lanes were opened with a 2 occupancy requirement, accompanied by implementation of signal progression at 14 signalized intersections, removal of parking on the curbside to make room for the HOV lanes, and other improvements. Seven months afterward, overall traffic volumes on Hastings Street had increased by some 10 per- cent during the AM peak, from 2,099 to 2,289 vehicles. The corresponding number of two person carpools increased from 430 to 601, up 40 percent, and the number of three or more person car- pools increased from 50 to 64, up 28 percent. PM peak-hour carpool volumes grew from 535 to 770, up 44 percent. These changes raised the AM peak-hour auto and vanpool AVO for the full facility from 1.27 to 1.33. Buses also use the HOV lane but no changes in bus throughput were reported (Ho, 1996; City of Bellevue, 2003). Toronto, Ontario, HOV Lanes Program Approximately 40 lane-miles of 3 occupancy arterial HOV lanes are in operation in the Toronto area. These lanes are located along Yonge Street, Allen Road/Dufferin Street, Eglinton Avenue, Pape Avenue/Overlea Boulevard, Don Mills Road, and Dundas Street. The 3 HOV lanes on Eglinton Avenue East were implemented in 1993 by converting a GP curb lane. Buses represent a primary market for the lanes. In 1996, buses using the lanes realized travel 2-51

OCR for page 8
time savings of 3 minutes in the morning and 2.5 minutes in the afternoon over the 7-mile distance, or a savings of 7 percent on the 35 minute trip. Travel time savings for carpools and vanpools using the lanes are negligible because of buses stopping to pick up and drop off passengers. The average carpool and vanpool AVO for the HOV lanes is 1.6, while the GP lanes average 1.3 AVO. The HOV lane value reflects a violation rate of 61 to 66 percent (AM and PM, respectively), roughly the norm for Toronto's arterial HOV lanes. It has been noted that these violation rates may be overstated by as much as 40 percent as a result of permitted use of the lane by general traffic turning at the next intersection. Counting buses, the Eglinton Avenue HOV lanes carry 50 percent of the travelers on the roadway, while the two GP lanes carry 25 percent each (Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, 1997; Schijns, 2005a). Response to Arterial Street Bus-Only Facilities Bus-only streets and arterial street bus lanes are normally installed with a primary objective of improving bus travel times and reliability. Examples of bus-only streets and conventional con- traflow and concurrent-flow bus lanes in North American cities are given in Table 2-19, along with information on facility length and bus volumes. Except for the long Tucson bus lanes, most bus streets and lanes are in the range of 0.6 to 1.6 miles long and carry bus volumes from 25 up to 200 buses maximum in the peak one hour. Bus lanes established in connection with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects are not included in Table 2-19--they are addressed in Chapter 4, "Busways, BRT and Express Bus." Ridership impacts of arterial street bus-only facilities are typically difficult to measure. Bus-only applications are usually located in congested areas and normally involve only a small portion of the total transit trip. Thus the travel time savings, although important to operations when summed over the many buses focused on central areas, may not be very obvious to the rider. The amount of bus service provided on individual routes would typically affect ridership more than a con- ventional arterial bus lane in and of itself. Consequently, although bus priority facilities may be important from an operational standpoint, their overall impacts on total ridership are for the most part unknown and probably modest in most circumstances. It may be presumed that they contribute to maintaining current riders and assist in attracting new ones, particularly to the extent that they make maintaining good service more feasible. Information on experience with bus-only lanes in New York City is provided below as a notable example. New York City Program Emphasis on bus-only lanes and streets in New York City derives from a city Department of Transportation policy to give buses priority when feasible. The goal is to minimize bus operation under congested conditions wherever possible by providing buses with an operating environment free of hindrance. This is done in the interests of service reliability, attractive travel time for pas- sengers, passenger comfort deriving from the more even loadings possible with reliable service, lower cost accruing from reduced fleet requirements, reduction of delay to other traffic, and reduc- tion of air and noise pollution on streets where the bus density is high (Gurin, 1982). New York City's policy has resulted in the progressive development of more than 20 bus lanes on streets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. These include the Fulton Street Bus Mall, the 49th-50th bus/taxi streets, the Second Avenue contraflow lane, the Madison Avenue dual bus lanes, and concurrent flow bus lanes throughout Midtown and Lower Manhattan. 2-52

OCR for page 8
Table 2-19 Examples of Bus-Only Arterial Streets and LanesGeneral Characteristics and Approximate Bus Volumes Location Street Length Bus Volume Bus Street/ Malls Denver 16th Street a 1 m ile 70 second headways Minneapolis Nicolett Av enue 11 blocks 820 daily bus trips New York City 49th -50th b 0.88 m iles 230 daily bus trips Portland (Oregon) 5th Avenue c 0.65 m iles 175 peak hour 6th Avenue c 0.65 m iles 120 peak hour Contraflow Bus Lanes Los Angeles Spring Street 1.5 m iles 140-150 peak hour Minneapolis Marquette Avenue 12 blocks 100-120 peak hour Second Avenue 12 blocks 100-120 peak hour Hennepin Avenue 12 blocks 100-120 peak hour New York City 2nd Avenue 0.1 m iles 240 4:00-7:00 PM Pittsburgh Fifth Avenue n/a 70-100 peak hour Wood Street n/a 70-100 peak hour Smithfield Street n/a 70-100 peak hour Concurrent Flow Bus Lanes Chicago Madison Street 0.9 m iles 25-45 peak hour Houston Milam Street 0.6 m iles 100 peak hour Main Street 1.1 m iles 70 peak hour Newark Broad Street 1.3 m iles 100-150 peak hour New York City Madison Avenue c 0.85 m iles 150-180 peak hour Fifth Avenue 1.3 m iles 165-195 peak hour Broadway 0.7 m iles 100-150 peak hour Lexington Avenue 1.5 m iles 60 peak hour Ottawa Rideau Street 0.4 m iles 45-60 peak hour Albert Street 1.0 m iles 165-200 peak hour Slater Street 1.0 m iles 165-200 peak hour San Francisco Geary Street 1.1 m iles 20-30 peak hour Mission Street 1.7 m iles 30-50 peak hour Toronto Bay Street 1.6 m iles 25-40 peak hour Pape Avenue d n/a 25-100 peak hour Eglington Avenue d 1.9 m iles 45-50 peak hour Allen Road d n/a 25 peak hour Lansdown Avenue 0.9 m iles 25 peak hour Tucson Broadway Boulevard 5 m iles 8-10 peak hour 22nd Street 3 m iles 20-25 peak hour a Notes: Shuttle buses operate on Denver Mall; regular route buses operate on other facilities. b Buses and taxis operate on the 49th-50th Street transitways from 11 AM-4 PM weekdays. c Dual bus lanes. d Opened to 3+ HOVs in addition to buses. Sources: Monahan (1990), New York City DOT (1983), Parsons Brinckerhoff (1991), Phillips (1997), St. Jacques and Levinso (1997), Turnbull (1994), Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (1997). 2-53