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Hybrids Causing Traffic Jams (As Hybrid Cars Multiply, So Do Carpooling Gripes)
washingtonpost.com ^ | Friday, January 7, 2005 | Steven Ginsberg and Carol Morello

Posted on 01/06/2005 8:20:11 PM PST by crushelits

As Hybrid Cars Multiply, So Do Carpooling Gripes

A surge in the number of hybrid vehicles has left carpool lanes nearly as congested as the regular lanes they are intended to relieve, a Virginia transportation task force said yesterday.

A detailed study of carpool lanes on Interstate 95 found that the number of hybrids more than tripled between last spring and October. State transportation officials fear that the trend will continue as more hybrids enter the market and more commuters take advantage of the exemption allowing them to ride alone in such vehicles.

The findings reflect the sentiments of carpool-lane users, who have inundated state officials with complaints about increased delays and congestion over the past six months. Many blame hybrids.

"For every two cars, there's one hybrid," said Cora Seballos, who carpools daily from Springfield to the District. "Since September, usually the regular lanes have less traffic" than the carpool lanes. Seballos said she has to leave home a half-hour earlier because of the increased congestion.

On a Web site devoted to slugs, www.slug-lines.com, the people who form carpools at set spots so they can use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, the issue has dominated. The forum "Hybrids -- a threat to car pooling?" had drawn more than 11,550 readers as of yesterday afternoon; only a couple of other forums drew as many as 1,000.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: causing; energy; environment; hahahahahahahahaha; hov; hybrids; jams; sluglines; traffic; transportation

1 posted on 01/06/2005 8:20:11 PM PST by crushelits
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To: crushelits

I got a new Honda Hybrid, I love it. Sips the gas like a little old lady drinking a mint julip. Unlike the early Toyota Prius I test drove a couple of years ago, this car feels solid and has some pep. I've also got a Honda CRV for bad weather and freight hauling.


2 posted on 01/06/2005 8:23:35 PM PST by rageaholic
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To: crushelits

The bigger issue is single occupany drivers that flaunt the law. HOV is not being enforced.


3 posted on 01/06/2005 8:23:54 PM PST by 11th_VA (Warning: My posts do not necessarily contribute to the knowledge or purpose of FR)
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To: 11th_VA
"The bigger issue is single occupany drivers that flaunt the law. HOV is not being enforced."

The even bigger issue is why do we even have the HOV lanes in the first place. We've had Republican control of Congress for 10 years, and Republican control of the White House for 4 years, and we still can't undo this bit of social engineering.

About the only solution coming out of Washington now is to allow states to convert our freeways to toll roads. Actually, it's not a bad idea - charge enough and no more traffic jams. Fortunately all us Freepers are rich, so we support this - or am I wrong? (/sarcasm).
4 posted on 01/06/2005 8:37:19 PM PST by BobL
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To: BobL

Toll roads cause a drop in efficiency and an increase in gasoline consumption unless the tolls become so high that fewer people drive the road.

Why don't the Greens do something useful like protest against gasoline waste while creeping up to toll gates? Why don't the Greens market cleaner burning fuels? Why don't the Greens raise some money for bike path construction/paving rather than just crying to the government to do it?


5 posted on 01/06/2005 8:45:24 PM PST by Monterrosa-24 (Technology advances but human nature is dependably stagnant)
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To: rageaholic

Have you calculated your overall gas mileage? What is the greatest distance you've gone on electric? Would you mind telling what the actual dealer price was for the new car?


6 posted on 01/06/2005 8:48:37 PM PST by Monterrosa-24 (Technology advances but human nature is dependably stagnant)
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To: crushelits
Virginia has to be the main choke point on the East coast right now and the reason for it is not well understood and hybrids are not going to solve anything. What is needed and was needed 15 years ago at least, is a total bypass of the D.C./Baltimore region to take the national traffic straight out of our local traffic patterns, i.e. a separate highway for the NY <--> Fla. traffic which cuts out just above Whitemarsh and cuts back in below the last Fredericksburg exist (Rt. 1).

Anything else is a joke. A big part of the problem is that most highway money in Va. goes to Tidewater and Richmond and not to Northern Va. where all the traffic congestion is.

7 posted on 01/06/2005 8:58:16 PM PST by judywillow
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To: Monterrosa-24

I'm not the poster, but I also have a Honda Civic Hybrid. Absolute blast to drive. 47 mpg in the summer, 42 mpg in the winter.

You never "use electric" solely, so you go 0 miles on just the batteries.


8 posted on 01/06/2005 9:04:17 PM PST by satire
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To: rageaholic

Only idiots could appreciate building an extra lane supposedly to reduce congestion and then complain when someone uses it.


9 posted on 01/06/2005 9:04:38 PM PST by Old Professer (When the fear of dying no longer obtains no act is unimaginable.)
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To: BobL
We don't have these problems where I live. The biggest traffic congestion problem we have here is what I call "drivin' and droolin'." We have people here who "drift" out into the road and drive about five miles per hour. It's very difficult to get around these goobers. They, of course, think that their driving habits are perfectly normal. When they decide to exit the thoroughfare, it takes a good five minutes of decelerating, turning the wheel, decelerating, turning the wheel, decelerating, turning the wheel - well, you get the message.

Most of these "goobers" were lousy drivers when they were sixteen years of age. Now that they're sixty plus, they're intolerable.

10 posted on 01/06/2005 9:11:17 PM PST by davisfh
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To: davisfh

No argument from me.


11 posted on 01/06/2005 9:12:42 PM PST by BobL
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To: BobL

BobL you are right on. It is stupid to have this lane that is underused during rush hour (at least in my city) while cars are bumper to bumper in the other lanes. I will ignore the HOV rules from time to time when traffic is heavy. My taxes paid for that lane just like the others.


12 posted on 01/06/2005 9:17:04 PM PST by CobraJet
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To: CobraJet

I just love my blow-up doll..........


13 posted on 01/06/2005 9:20:36 PM PST by umgud
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To: CobraJet

Not a bad idea - treated it as toll lane. You put a wad of cash in a drawer, to pay for that future ticket (if they even catch you). If you do the math (counting your time as money), you'll probably come out way ahead before you're caught. It's certainly a better investment than speeding.


14 posted on 01/06/2005 9:22:03 PM PST by BobL
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To: BobL

Yep, the police in my city rarely, if ever, patrol the HOV lanes. Heck, they won't even stop people from running down the shoulder of the interstate to pass up slow traffic.


15 posted on 01/06/2005 9:28:52 PM PST by CobraJet
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: crushelits

"Since September, usually the regular lanes have less traffic"

Well, then, by golly, they better start ticketing car-poolers who use the regular lanes! They got their own lane, they can use it, damit!


17 posted on 01/06/2005 9:30:30 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: crushelits
I don't know about you all, but HOV Lanes are a complete waste of resources. This is mainly because HOV Lanes are on the leftmost lanes, on I-66, causing massive traffic jams. Car-poolers who get on I-66 and want to use the lanes, want to get over RIGHT NOW! So everyone else has to wait for them to get through three lanes of regular traffic.

This same problem has been going on at I-66 eastbound to the inner loop of the Beltway Beltway for many years. People who want to get off at Rt. 7 start moving over right away despite the fact that there is 1 1/2 miles to get over. Traffic backs up to Annandale Rd, Rt-236.

I've noticed that whenever HOV is lifted due to some problem on I-95, traffic on I-66 flows so smoothly. It's like night and day.

Now, the powers the be want to add HOV lanes to the Beltway. No doubt these lanes will be added to the leftmost lanes instead of the outer, or rightmost lanes.

Lets not forget the State Police who enforce the HOV laws while other traffic laws are neglected.

HOV lanes need to be decomissioned on I-66 outside the Beltway ASAP!

18 posted on 01/06/2005 10:00:46 PM PST by X_CDN_EH (regards wb)
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To: rageaholic

Time for a read of Thomas Sowell's "Vision of the Anointed".


19 posted on 01/06/2005 10:05:48 PM PST by Binghamton_native
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To: Monterrosa-24

I get about 45mpg. The instrument panel gives real-time and average gas consumption. You can modify your driving habits to increase your mileage, which is part of the fun of driving it. Also the electric motor has a lot of torque, so the car has good acceleration.

Paid 22k for it, with the extended warranty. Shopped around a little among Honda dealers and went to one in NJ. Not exactly an economy car but I get immense satisfaction knowing that the extra money I spent on fuel economy won't be going to those %^@&# arabs.



20 posted on 01/07/2005 6:49:21 AM PST by rageaholic
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To: crushelits
My means of conservation is more important than your means of conservation...

Nyaaah! Nyaah!

21 posted on 02/15/2005 4:34:39 PM PST by Publius6961
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To: crushelits; rageaholic

The whole point of HOV lanes is to increase the flow of traffic (cars passing per unit time). In CA the HOV lanes are meant for multiple passengers only, although their usage is debatable.... quite often they're completely empty and the remaining lanes are overloaded and clogged. Its an imperfect system in any case.


22 posted on 06/07/2005 11:52:35 PM PDT by John Frum
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