Freeway Lane Management
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There are many strategies that can be used to address congestion along a freeway or network of freeways, especially during peak travel times of the day. Five strategies that regulate the types of vehicles, occupancy or cost of travel to manage congestion are described below.
 
HOV Lanes
High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes encourage carpooling and transit usage by requiring a minimum number of occupants in a vehicle. HOV facilities offer a substantial savings in travel time and a reliable and predictable travel time. In general, carpoolers, vanpoolers, and bus patrons primarily benefit from HOV lanes by allowing them to move through congestion.
 
HOT Lanes
By paying a toll, drivers of single occupancy vehicles can use lanes designated for high occupancy vehicles. These lanes are referred to as high occupancy toll, or HOT, lanes. HOT lanes are often implemented when HOV lanes are under-utilized, thus attracting drivers from the non-HOV lanes and, thereby reducing congestion. This strategy also allows for revenue collection.
 
Bus-Only Lanes
Very high occupancy vehicles such as busses and vanpools can use physically separated lanes allowing free flow travel. The shorter bus travel times not only move more people more quickly, but also attract new bus riders.
 
Managed Lanes
Managed lanes are highway facilities or a set of lanes where operational strategies are proactively implemented and managed in response to changing conditions. This may include the concept of reversible lanes such as those built on Tampa's Crosstown Expressway.
 
Congestion (Value) Pricing
If given a chance, many drivers may choose to bypass congestion by using priced (tolled) lanes, particularly when they are in a hurry. Value pricing entails fees or tolls for road use that vary with the level of congestion. Fees are typically assessed electronically to eliminate delays associated with manual toll collection facilities. FHWA is partnering with state and local agencies to test a number of value pricing projects to determine their ability to reduce congestion and increase travel options.
 
References
TRB Committee on HOV Systems
This Transportation Research Board standing committee is concerned with the evolving role of high-occupancy vehicle, high-occupancy toll, and managed lanes in response to the challenges of congestion, energy consumption, and climate change. The committee examines methods for enhancing person throughput, energy conservation, air quality, and user choices and safety through the optimization of preferential lanes, priority treatments, and other supporting systems for bus transit, carpooling and vanpooling.
Transportation Research Board: Committee on HOV, HOT, and Managed Lanes

HOV Projects in North America
This website is a central clearinghouse that houses a comprehensive and interactive database of existing and planned HOV facilities in North America and American territories, broken out by Freeway and Arterial classification, and a repository of significant and relevant documents and products related to HOV facilities.
HOV Projects in North America

Houston Bus-Only & HOV Lanes
The idea of dedicated bus or mass transit lanes on freeways had been around since large-scale freeway construction was first contemplated in the 1930s, but the first wave of freeways in the United States, from 1945 to the late 1960s, was designed exclusively for the private automobile.
Houston Bus-Only & HOV Lanes

FHWA Managed Lanes
Transportation agencies are faced with growing challenges of congestion and a limited ability to expand freeway capacity due to construction costs, right-of-way constraints, and environmental and societal impacts. Transportation officials are taking advantage of opportunities to address mobility needs and provide travel options through a combination of limited capacity expansion coupled with operational strategies that seek to manage travel demand and improve transit and other forms of ridesharing.
FHWA Managed Lanes

FHWA Managed Lanes: A Primer
This primer is designed for community leaders, key policy makers, transportation agency managers, and those working to find solutions to today's transportation challenges. The purpose is to provide information on managed lanes as a mobility strategy, and to give the reader a starting point for exploring managed lanes in their own community.
FHWA Managed Lanes: A Primer

FHWA Freeway Management and Operations Handbook
Managed lanes involve the regulation, warning, guidance and redistribution of traffic to meet such overall goals as improve traffic operations, facilitate movement of people and goods, improve safety, and generate revenue.  Managed lanes are certain freeway lanes set aside for a variety of operating strategies that move traffic more efficiently in those lanes.
FHWA Freeway Management and Operations Handbook

TTI Managed Lanes
This site is intended to provide information on managed lanes from across the United States, including managed lanes projects, ongoing and completed research, information on meetings and other events related to managed lanes.
TTI Managed Lanes

Managed Lanes Handbook
As a new concept of operating freeways in a flexible and possibly dynamic manner, the managed lane concept has a limited experience base, thereby creating a knowledge vacuum in emerging key areas that are critical for effective implementation.
Managed Lanes Handbook

FHWA Value Pricing
This concept, also known as congestion pricing or peak-period pricing, involves charging relatively higher prices for travel during peak periods. It is the same as that used in many other sectors of the economy to respond to peak-use demands. FHWA is partnering with state and local agencies to test a number of value pricing projects to determine their ability to reduce congestion and increase travel options.
FHWA Value Pricing

Congestion Pricing Basics
Tolls have financed highway infrastructure since the Roman Empire. Although toll revenue often may be used for other purposes, many believe that financing highway infrastructure is the main function of tolls. Tolls for congestion pricing are different. They generate revenue, but with the intent of changing travel behavior to make more efficient use of the transportation system, by shifting some drivers to less congested...
Congestion Pricing Basics.pdfCongestion Pricing Basics.pdf

Congestion Pricing Technologies
States and local jurisdictions are increasingly discussing congestion pricing as a strategy for improving transportation system performance. In fact, many transportation experts believe that congestion pricing offers promising opportunities to cost-effectively reduce traffic congestion, improve the reliability of highway system performance, and improve the quality of life for residents, many of whom are experiencing intolerable traffic...
Congestion Pricing Technologies

Transit & Congestion Pricing Primer
Because congestion pricing is still a relatively new concept in the United States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is embarking on an outreach effort to introduce the various aspects of congestion pricing to decision-makers and transportation professionals.
Transit & Congestion Pricing Primer

Tampa Crosstown Expressway
A most unique toll road, Tampa's Crosstown Expressway reversible express lanes (REL) opened to motorists in July 2006. It is developed, owned, and operated by Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority. REL is a common-sense transportation solution that addresses urban congestion by combining the innovations of concrete segmental bridges, reversible express lanes, cashless open-road tolling, and full electronic controls.
Tampa Crosstown Expressway

FHWA Tolling and Pricing Program
This site is intended to provide information about the tolling and pricing programs and provisions available under Title 23 of the United States Code (23 U.S.C), following enactment of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), and to invite Expressions of Interest from States and/or other public entities.
FHWA Tolling and Pricing Program

Washington State Congestion Projects Benefits
WSDOT is currently delivery the largest capital construction program in our state's history, including hundreds of projects that improve safety and reduce congestion. We are committed to delivering all of the 391 projects funded by the 2003 and 2005 gas tax efficiently.
Washington State Congestion Project Benefits.pdfWashington State Congestion Project Benefits.pdf

Washington State "Cross-Lake Corridor"
The existing SR 520 Bridge consists of two, four-lane bridges and approaches. The SR 520 Bridge (both Evergreen Point and Portage Bay bridges) have withstood numerous winter windstorms and small earthquakes since they were constructed in the early 1960s.
Washington State Cross-Lake Corridor.pdfWashington State Cross-Lake Corridor.pdf

Washington State "Moving Washington"
Effective transportation is critical to maintaining our economy, environment and quality of life. "Moving Washington" is WSDOT's vision of investments and priorities for the next 10 years. It integrates new capacity, efficiencies and commute options to address congestion head-on and improve the performance of our state's transportation system.
Washington State Moving Washington.pdfWashington State Moving Washington.pdf