Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
Solo drivers in the Golden State will have more options to escape traffic congestion on busy freeways – for a price, as transportation agencies increasing decide to convert existing carpool lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes and add new ones.
Supervisors of California's fourth-largest county declared their formal opposition to the conversion of carpool lanes on the Riverside Freeway to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, but they are open to toll lanes, under the right conditions.
The day after California voters soundly rejected a repeal of a one-year old 12-cents gas tax increase and new annual vehicle registration fees. the Riverside County Transportation Commission launched a study to extend toll lanes on Interstate 15.
No one's suggesting that freeways will be converted to tollways, but a pattern is emerging that when freeways are widened, express lanes, financed in part by user fees, are being added rather than mixed-flow lanes. Case in point: the Inland Empire.
Two new express lanes in each direction of the 91 Freeway in Corona dubbed the Corona Crawl opened for traffic on March 20. The lanes connect to the 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, providing 18 miles for carpoolers or those willing to pay a toll.