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Carpool lanes are no solution

July 02, 2007

Re "Caltrans seeks ways to unclog its overflowing carpool lanes," June 23

Is anyone surprised that carpool lanes move as slowly as regular lanes? No matter how many carpool lanes and freeways are built, there will never be enough so long as the population grows -- a fact of life that politicians refuse to acknowledge. Washington and Sacramento debate immigration as if it has no effect on population, focusing on such side issues as whether immigrants pay their way or how many illegal immigrants to legalize, while ignoring the real issue: After growing from 200 million to 300 million people within 40 years, should the U.S. continue to import population growth?

KENNETH PASTERNACK

Santa Barbara

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Many states have studied California's much-touted carpool lanes and have come to one conclusion: They don't work. Oddly, they work well when traffic is light, but, when they are really needed -- at rush hour -- they appear to increase congestion because a lane has been eliminated and dedicated to carpools. They therefore have a reverse effect. The solution: Eliminate them entirely.

DOUGLAS HUNTZINGER

Paramount

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Here's an idea: A vehicle in the carpool lane must have at least two licensed drivers. It's a carpool lane, for cryin' out loud. I've never seen a 5-year-old drive, at least not legally. A parent and a child in a carpool lane is not taking a vehicle off the road or reducing congestion and pollution. They are merely clogging up carpool lanes. Isn't the point of creating carpools (and carpool lanes as an incentive) to reduce the number of vehicles on the road?

MICHAEL PAISNER

Los Angeles

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Like so many progressive ideas that look good on paper but have no real or practical effect, the carpool lane fiasco continues to be a Caltrans obsession. It sounds so nice: Build a special lane and co-workers will ride together, thereby saving fuel and the environment. That's the exception, not the rule.

These lanes don't make sense, and neither does having different rules for different parts of the state. Why can solo San Francisco drivers use the carpool lanes during off-peak hours while L.A. drivers can't?

JOHN E. MORAN

Thousand Oaks

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