Georgia ponders use of flex lanes

News Atlanta Journal Constitution February 17, 2005
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The Georgia Department of Transportation is against adding "flex lanes" to congested highways, calling them an unsafe and costl

The Georgia Department of Transportation is against adding "flex lanes" to congested highways, calling them an unsafe and costly rush-hour remedy, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


The state's House of Representatives, however, still passed a bill on Wednesday urging the agency to look into the concept. The measure encourages GDOT to study the option of allowing commuters to use the emergency lanes and paved shoulders of the state's busiest interstates during peak hours up to eight hours a day.


"This is a pretty innovative idea, and this bill simply allows (GDOT) to study it," Rep. John Lunsford told the Journal Constitution. "We have a terrible problem with the expense of road construction."


GDOT Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl believes flex lanes would be expensive, hazardous and require federal approval.


Safety appears to be the primary concern. Rep. David Casas wanted to know how emergency vehicles would get through if the lanes are being used, and Rep. Wendall Willard wanted to know how the lanes would be patrolled when they are closed during off-peak hours.



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