Publication Detail

Interim Report: 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 (1993) Interim Report: 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-93-11

A common belief appears to have been formed that the conversion of an existing mixed-use freeway lane into an HOV lane will not gain public acceptance. This belief presumably dates back to the ill-fated conversion attempt on the Santa Monica Freeway in the 1970's. Most of the HOV lanes implemented by Caltrans since then have been newly constructed lanes, or conversions of medians and shoulders that were designated as HOV lanes from the first day of operation. However, as metropolitan areas in California continue to grow and as demand for freeway capacity continues to increase, the conversion of existing lanes into HOV lanes is becoming a logical freeway operation scheme. Furthermore, with increasing public concerns about 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.

At the request of Caltrans and the California Air Resources Board, researchers at the University of California, Davis have undertaken a project to assess the pUblic's perceptions of converting a mixed-use freeway lane to a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane.

In late 1992, a literature review on HOV lanes and their conversion was prepared. This was followed by a series of focus groups in order to qualitatively understand public perceptions of HOV lanes and their operation. The focus groups were held in West Covina, San Francisco, and Anaheim, California during October of 1992 and January and February of 1993. In April and May of 1993, a computer aided telephone interview (CATI) survey was conducted by Strategic Consulting and Research (SCR). This interim report briefly summarizes the literature review, focus groups, survey methodology and results, and future research focuses. A more detailed final report will be ready by September 30, 1993.
Prepared for California Air Resources Board (CARB) and California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS).