HOT Lanes: Who’s Be­ing Left in the Dust?

The Washington Post Sunday - - Outlook -

Al­though I en­joyed Marc Fisher’s March 25 Metro col­umn, “ Ex­alted HOT Lanes Leave the Av­er­age Joe in the Dust,” per­haps a big­ger is­sue with re­gard to high- oc­cu­pancy toll lanes on the Belt­way in Mary­land is the prospec­tive loss of hun­dreds of sin­gle- fam­ily houses for those with mod­er­ate in­comes in Mont­gomery and Prince Ge­orge’s coun­ties.

My mother was re­cently sent a map from the Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion show­ing that her neigh­bor­hood and some sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties will lose dozens of homes. And this map rep­re­sents only a slice of the neigh­bor­hoods that are threat­ened. In an area that can ill af­ford to lose homes such as th­ese (per­haps among the last af­ford­able sin­gle­fam­ily homes in Mont­gomery County), this seems to me as im­por­tant an is­sue as the cost of the tolls, and maybe more so. JIM LAN­DOLT

Great Falls

I didn’t no­tice any ba­sis for Marc Fisher’s state­ment that high-oc­cu­pancy toll lanes “are widely loathed by ac­tual com­muters ev­ery­where they are pro­posed,” other than his as­ser­tion.

This ques­tion has been most wide- ly stud­ied for the In­ter­state 15 HOT lanes in San Diego. Re­search that is widely avail­able on the Web found that 66 per­cent of those who didn’t use the HOT lanes in the cor­ri­dor and 88 per­cent of the users ap­prove of the HOT lanes. That doesn’t sound much like “widely loathed,” does it? WAYNE McDANIEL

Columbia is a trans­porta­tion The writer con­sul­tant.

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