Are There More Freeway Toll Lanes Coming? - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Are There More Freeway Toll Lanes Coming?

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11) The mood may be changing in California about toll lanes on our freeways. Oh, those opposed to having them seem to be solidifying their feelings that toll lanes are just another tax and we shouldn't have them because we've already paid for the highways with tax money. Those who are for them may have a new friend in Sacramento. A new hire who came on board just last month to explore converting some of California's HOV lanes into HOT (HOT - high occupancy Toll) lanes.

Transit authorities say HOT lanes may be one of the way to manage our freeways. In fact, they are starting to use a new phrase for toll lanes... "managed lanes." It's a softer sell, but fact is everyone I spoke with said tolls are the way to build for the future. "Tolls" in addition to creating more lanes, synchronized signal lights and other improvements, they say, will help what's become a complicated situation. The CEO of Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Darrell Johnson says in the last 20 years the OC has seen an increase of 700,000 people. That, he says, is like "dropping the city of San Francisco right into Orange County." And, with projections of a 20% to 30% increase in population in the next 20 years something has to be done to improve the freeway system. And, one way they say is let the drivers who use express lanes pay for them... with tolls.

How many "managed lanes" might we see in the future? It's anybody's guess or, the job of the new "managed lanes" manager in Sacramento to figure that out.

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