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UDOT doubling maximum toll for express lane driving

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Daniel Haslam travels within the express lane on I-15 in Lehi as he travels from his activity at a tech corporate at Thanksgiving Point to Utah Valley University to wait a graduate faculty magnificence on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Haslam has used the express go gadget to shuttle within the lane for years.

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting Saturday, the price of driving I-15’s express lanes with out a minimum of two occupants goes up in Utah.

But if it helps to keep automobiles shifting alongside at close to highway speeds, that more money is worthwhile, one commuter says.

“When traffic is stopped, (the express pass) is worth its weight in gold,” Vineyard resident Daniel Haslam stated. “If it’s going to save me 10, 15 or 20 minutes over a long commute, I do see tremendous value.”

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Daniel Haslam travels within the express lane on I-15 in Lehi as he travels from his activity at a tech corporate at Thanksgiving Point to Utah Valley University to wait a graduate faculty magnificence on Thursday, July 12, 2018. Haslam has used the express go gadget to shuttle within the lane for years.

The 27-year-old works as a consumer strategic architect at a Lehi tech company and makes use of the express lanes steadily for commutes to paintings and now and again into Salt Lake City. He stated over time, getting access to the express lanes has been a big timesaver and a upward push in value may not forestall him from the usage of them.

The Utah Department of Transportation introduced Thursday that it will double the maximum toll to $2 for shuttle on a phase within the high-occupancy automobile lanes. UDOT hopes the hike will decrease the selection of cars the usage of the express lanes.

“The idea behind the (increase) is that we want to make the express lanes function in the way they were meant to be,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason stated.

Federal rules require speeds in the ones lanes to stay above 45 mph, he stated. However, speeds in Salt Lake County can dip as little as 31 mph all over some height driving sessions, he added, which has turn out to be an important congestion factor.

“We’re seeing overcrowding,” he stated. “We’d like to see that (average) speed at 55 miles per hour.”

Generally, express lanes are designated for use through carpools, buses, bikes, emergency cars and C-decal (blank gas) cars, in line with the UDOT web page. Solo drivers with an Express Pass — a windshield-mounted digital transponder — would possibly fill any closing area for a price.

State legislation caps the selection of C decals to make sure that express lane shuttle speeds meet requirements, in line with UDOT’s web page. As of July three, the selection of C decals issued is 6,635 with 11 C decals to be had for issuance and 1,344 packages in procedure.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Traffic backs up on northbound I-15 close to 9000 South in Sandy on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

Meanwhile, Haslam stated even with the rise within the height driving price, the usage of the express lanes is no doubt well worth the relatively nominal value.

“Time is money,” he stated. “I’ll probably be very judicious in how I use it more than in the past. If traffic is not too bad, then I probably won’t (use) that lane all the way from Vineyard to Salt Lake.”

He stated typically, he will use the express lanes best when the site visitors is particularly gradual.

Haslam additionally famous that higher enforcement of the principles would possibly lend a hand, too.

“A lot of times, traffic will back up and everyone will just jump in the (express lanes) whether they have a pass or not,” Haslam stated.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Traffic on I-15 close to 5300 South in Murray is pictured on Thursday, July 12, 2018.

According to Gleason, a part of the cash from the tolls will pass to legislation enforcement to patrol the 72 miles of express lanes from Layton to Spanish Fork, he stated.

Drivers don’t seem to be seeing the “full benefit” of the express lanes since the lanes are too continuously “clogged,” he stated.

The Utah High Patrol might be charged with recognizing drivers who violate the HOV laws, together with solo drivers without a go and cars crossing the double white traces, defined UHP Lt. Todd Royce.

UDOT famous that the violation price amongst drivers the usage of the express lanes used to be roughly 20 p.c. Royce stated one of the vital targets of ongoing enforcement might be to deal with that factor.


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“Drivers need to use the HOV lane appropriately,” he stated. “When people (don’t), it creates problems.”

Gleason famous that all over the 2018 legislative consultation, lawmakers licensed a maximum toll build up of as much as $four to be able to inspire extra carpooling. UDOT opted to just build up the maximum to $2 consistent with phase, he stated, to look if that will succeed in the specified results of decreasing express lane congestion.

The division will find out about the effectiveness of the larger price ahead of taking into account upper tolls sooner or later, he added.

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