"Managing Your Way Through Managed Lanes"

FES Journal, April 2012
By Scott Bacsikin, P.E., and Will Suero, P.E.

As our urban areas continue to grow, so does the public's reliance on efficient travel across our nation's highway facilities. The levels of traffic congestion will increasingly impact both our quality of life and our economic vitality. In many of the largest urban regions, traffic congestion has expanded beyond the traditional peak-hour periods into a reality where reliable and predictable travel times, and related commerce, can be negatively impacted at any time throughout the day. 

The continued growth in travel demand exceeds our transportation agencies' abilities to provide sufficient roadway capacity, especially as they face reduced levels of public funding, high construction costs, constrained right-of-way and increased focus on environmental considerations. All of these factors are pushing departments of transportation to explore alternatives to roadway expansion, including managed lanes, to mitigate the detrimental effects of congestion while optimizing the use of limited public funding and existing infrastructure. As a result, managed lanes systems are rapidly gaining popularity in major metropolitan areas as an innovative and cost-effective approach to address congestion within our commuter-dependent urban freeway corridors.

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