Posted: Thursday, October 29th 2009 at 10:39am
Another HOT lane hearing planned
By Ken Stanford Staff
DULUTH - The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is gearing up for another hearing on so-called HOT lanes proposed on I-85 in Gwinnett and Dekalb counties.
Those are HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes that one-person vehicles could use, legally, for a price. It will the second such hearing and will be held November 12 from 3:00-8:00 at Gwinnett Center in Duluth
Opinions at the first, held back in June, were mixed.
Jonathan Smith from Lawrenceville said he does not think the HOT lane is so "hot."
“I understand what they’re trying to do, reduce congestion, but at the same time they’re going to discourage people to car pool,” Smith said, as he filled out a comment sheet. “Having three people in a car is a rare thing. Normally you’re lucky if you can get two people in a car at one time.”
As for the toll, Smith says it sounds like a lot.
“About six dollars for a peak time, which is when you’d want to use it for a six- or seven-mile trip each way, $12 a day, that’s a lot of money to me, especially for lower-income people,” Smith added. “I commute and I would never use it.”
Motorists using the HOT lanes would pre-register and would be issued a transponder, installed inside the vehicle on the front windshield, part of the technology to allow tolling without stopping vehicles.
Gail D’Avino with the DOT's Office of Environment Location said at the June meeting “If we do build it, January 2011 is when we hope to have it open.”
The project proposes to convert the existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) lanes along I-85 from Chamblee Tucker Road to just north Old Peachtree Road, for approximately 16 miles.
The public will have an opportunity to attend this public hearing open house to ask questions and discuss the project with GDOT representatives. In addition, representatives from the Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) and the State Toll and Roadway Authority (SRTA) will be in attendance to address questions related to the transit services and tolling that will make use of the I-85 corridor.
“We hope our customers, the users of this portion of Interstate 85, will come and share their opinions with us at the public hearing open house. This is our last meeting on this proposal and we want to hear from the people who use this corridor,” said Gerald Ross, DOT Chief Engineer.
A copy of the Environmental Assessment will be available for review and comment. This public hearing open house is the final meeting on the proposed project. There will be no formal presentation. Email comments may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written statements may be submitted to:
I-85 HOV to HOT Project Comments
1718 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
All statements should be sent by November 23, 2009. The displays at the public hearing open house will be available for ten days for review after the public hearing open house at the office of GDOT District 1, located at 2505 Athens Highway, SE, Gainesville, Georgia 30503 as well as the office of GDOT District 7, located at 5025 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, Georgia 30341.
After the meeting, all the information will be available on the DOT website at www.dot.ga.gov under the “Public Outreach” section.
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