Weekend traffic volumes in the Puget Sound region of Washington State are increasing, and public concern about congestion during non-commute periods has caused WSDOT to re-examine the current policy of restricting high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to transit vehicles and carpools 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. In many parts of the country, HOV lanes are open to general traffic during non-peak hours. Should WSDOT adopt this less restrictive lane use policy?
This report examines the tradeoffs that a change in weekend HOV lane usage would involve. The basic issues that are examined include the following:
Supported by a variety of performance graphics and statistics, the report concludes that no improvement in mobility would be obtained by relaxing the current Puget Sound HOV lane operating restrictions to allow weekend use of the HOV lanes by general purpose traffic.