Express toll lanes generated more than $70 million in revenue in Maryland last year. (Ulysses Muñoz, Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)
The traffic engineer who has a vested interest in building Lexus Lanes for I-270 is certainly insulting our intelligence in purporting that this Sisyphean undertaking will result in less traffic congestion (Hogan's proposed toll roads will reduce traffic,” June 14). That defeats the entire purpose of the Lexus Lanes. There would be no incentive to use Lexus lanes unless the free lanes continue to be jammed. And assuming four free lanes and two Lexus lanes, more than two-thirds of the traffic must be using the free lanes otherwise the toll lanes will be just as congested. And if the tolls do not create the required revenue for the private investors, who pays for it? And what happens when either the free or Lexus lanes need to be fixed as they invariably will? The state and federal governments have their hands full maintaining the gargantuan number of roads and bridges that exist.
A better solution is to expand MARC and subway capacity along I-270 particularly since an eight-car heavy rail tandem on the Washington Metro can carry 36,000 people an hour while one lane of highway can only carry 1,800-2,400 cars under ideal conditions.