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The Waste and Myths of Car-Pool Lanes

Re “4 Car-Pool Lanes on Riverside Freeway?” (May 10):

The latest information on the (Riverside Freeway) widening project illustrates again the root causes of our traffic mess. Voodoo management.

Caltrans’ own objective computer-model studies on this project show that even taking into account the best estimate of new car pools due to the lane, even 20 years from now, the car-pool lane handles less traffic, with more congestion and more pollution, than the mixed-flow lane alternative.

The same result has been confirmed in Caltrans studies on the (Orange Freeway) project, in computer-model studies at UC Berkeley, and in every 1-to-1 comparison experience in California (e.g. the Santa Monica diamond lane fiasco).

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Nonetheless, Caltrans and Orange County Transportation Commission management overruled the results of their only objective studies of the issue and, instead, adopted high-occupancy vehicle alternative for the (Riverside Freeway) on the basis of their totally baseless and irrational love affair with car-pool lanes.

Now along comes the Orange County Transportation Commission and recommends the addition of not two but four diamond lanes.

The results are fully predictable. More than twice as much wasted capacity at twice the cost. This is the least cost-effective alternative of all that were studied.

Our precious transportation and funding resources are being squandered by transportation policy based on myth, rather than facts and reality.

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JACK MALLINCKRODT

Santa Ana


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