WWAY News Channel 13 reports today that the state will be short millions in transportation dollars over the next few years. But why are they short so much cash? Did they prioritize their projects and budget accordingly? Did they research High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes? Did they consider Private-Public Partnerships (PPP’s)? Perhaps it’s time to re-read Ted Balaker’s commentary on this very subject … from over a year ago:
HOT lanes offer commuters an escape route from congestion, and since cars funnel through them faster, they also relax congestion in the regular lanes. Allow buses to use the lanes without paying the toll and transit users can enjoy the unthinkable — fast and predictable travel times. Make use of public-private partnerships and many of the usual headaches associated with transportation projects — such as raising revenue — can be shifted from the taxpayer to the private sector. Yet HOT lanes reportedly received only mixed reviews from the North Carolina scouts. How strange, since San Diegans have grown so fond of them. An 800-person survey found that most motorists like the special lanes, and those who know them best tend to be the fondest of them: 91 percent of those who use them like them.