Sierra Club Opposes Use of HOV Lanes By Paying Customers

<p>Houston's MTA is planning to allow drivers to pay a toll to use the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane on their freeways, and the local Sierra Club chapter is speaking out against the plan.</p>
July 23, 2008, 1pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"'This proposal sends the wrong signal, that additional sprawl development will be supported by Metro via emphasis on one person/one vehicle transportation,' says the statement, submitted to Metro by Brandt Mannchen, chairman of the chapter's Air Quality Committee.

Metro's HOV system carries about 100,000 riders a day, the agency estimates. Opening it to some toll payers could actually reduce exhaust emissions, said spokeswoman Raequel Roberts.

'It is better to move single-occupant vehicles into unused HOV lane space than to have them idling in traffic,' she said.

Roberts provided a graph from the Houston-Galveston Area Council on which carbon monoxide emissions per mile increase dramatically at speeds less than 10 mph. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds also increase, although less sharply."

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Published on Sunday, July 20, 2008 in The Houston Chronicle
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