Monday, October 01, 2012


We have, in Portland, an HOV lane on I-5, leading to the bridge to Vancouver. In this case, HOV means two people in the car.

This is on one of the busiest stretches of road in town, and the lane limits traffic from 3-6 p.m. Weekdays. There are times when I have to go that way, because to get to Washington from here, there are only two paths–unless you want to drive toward the coast for an hour and a half, cross at Longview, and then drive back another hour and some from there. 

The HOV lane. It is a bad joke. And irritating no end when you are stopped dead one lane over and you look up to see cars whizzing past, a goodly number of which have but a single person in them.

According to the "official" tally, the number of scofflaws is a hair above 20%. One car in five.

The ticket, if you get stopped is, I think, $140 or so.

I dunno how many vehicles use this lane during HOV hours, but judging by the number who blew past me, and for the sake of argument, let's say it's two thousand. Means four hundred are liable for a ticket.

Here's a suggestion for the city: Hire four or five traffic enforcement officers and sic 'em on the HOV lane. If they can catch half those cheating the lane, that's 200 x $140, or $28,000 a day. $140,000 a week, over half a million a month.

Of course, that will dry up pretty fast as people realize they will likely get a ticket, but at least the stupid lane would be used legally.

Or just open it up for everybody, which would make ever so much more sense ...

No comments: