Publication Detail

Public Attitudes toward Conversion of Mixed-Use Freeway Lanes to High-Occupancy-Vehicle Lanes



Suggested Citation:
Gard, John, Paul P. Jovanis, V. Narasayya, Ryuichi Kitamura (1994) Public Attitudes toward Conversion of Mixed-Use Freeway Lanes to High-Occupancy-Vehicle Lanes. Transportation Research Record (1446), 25 - 32

Increasing public concerns over air quality and traffic congestion call for a reevaluation of the idea of converting an existing mixed-use freeway lane into a high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane. A study was undertaken of freeway HOV lane perceptions that included an extensive literature review, focus groups, and survey of over 1,000 California residents. The telephone survey, conducted in May 1993, provided a quantitative assessment of public opinion toward HOV lanes and their conversion. The majority of respondents in the survey agreed that carpool lanes are a strong incentive to get people to carpool and that carpool lanes are fair to nonusers and those who cannot carpool. When given a choice of three HOV alternatives for a for a freeway that they use, shoulder rebuilding garnered support from 40% of the respondents, whereas building a new lane and lane conversion received 30% support. Respondents also expressed a strong preference for HOV lane conversion compared with more restrictive traffic management policies, such as road pricing, gas tax increases, and monthly parking surcharges. Interestingly, support for conversion did not vary much with socioeconomic characteristics or mode (carpool or drive alone). Respondents were more likely to support conversion if they believed freeway congestion would be better after the HOV lane was operating. These findings suggest that urban Californians may be more supportive of HOV lane conversions than was previously thought.
See: Reference to PubID 746 (RR-94-06)