Salt Lake Commuters Use HOV Lanes, Sympathetically
As part of the construction before the 2002 Olympics, I-15 in the Salt Lake Valley was widened from two lanes in each direction to four lanes plus a carpool lane in each direction. A two year study recently showed that carpool violation rates were between 5 and 13 percent, roughly the national average. However, one in five cars using the special carpool ramp two blocks closer to downtown held only one passenger. Drivers using the carpool lanes can reach noticeably higher speeds, but do not. Whether out of sympathy for slower traffic or to give sufficient room for braking and merging traffic, drivers in HOV lanes drive at an average speed of 53mph, instead of a possible 70mph.
Thanks to Peter Christensen