Publication Detail

Public Attitudes toward Conversion of Mixed-Use Freeway Lanes to HOV Lanes


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Gard, John, Paul P. Jovanis, Ryuichi Kitamura, V. Narasayya (1994) Public Attitudes toward Conversion of Mixed-Use Freeway Lanes to HOV Lanes. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-94-06

Researchers at the University of California, Davis undertook a project to assess the public's perceptions of converting a mixed-use freeway lane to a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. Not since 1976 has such a conversion been attempted. This conversion, which occurred on the Santa Monica Freeway in Southern California, lasted only 22 weeks and was halted by a U.S. District Court judge on environmental grounds. Since then, all HOV lane additions have been either newly constructed lanes, or reconstructions of medians and shoulders that were designated as HOV lanes from the first day of operation.

However, with increasing public concerns over air quality and traffic congestion, it is conceivable that urban residents in California are now more receptive to the conversion of mixed-use freeway lanes into HOV lanes. This calls for the re-evaluation of public perceptions and attitudes towards HOV lanes in general and lane conversions in particular. To accomplish this, a review was conducted of the existing literature on HOV lanes and their conversion. This was followed by a series of six focus groups in late 1992 and early 1993. Two groups each were held in West Covina, San Francisco and Anaheim, California. One group consisted of solo drivers who used freeways with HOV lanes while the other consisted of carpoolers, vanpoolers and public transit users. The focus groups provided valuable information which aided in the design of a telephone survey.
See: Reference to PubID 690 (RP-95-04)