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SUSTAINABILITY Carpooling


“Drivers must see significant time-savings by being able to access the HOV or HOT lanes before any kind of carpooling, casual or not, nudges them towards thinking about their single-occupancy commute”


Googlemap of San Francisco’s East Bay Casual Carpool Sites One major reason is that the expressway he’d thought


would bring slugs into Alexandria doesn’t have separated HOV lanes. Single drivers can simply slip in-and-out of the two-person HOV lanes on Interstate 66 with little chance of getting a ticket. HOT lanes with concrete barriers though, where cops can sit at the exit with a camera and rack up sin- gle-occupancy vehicles, provide a great incentive for drivers to find riders. Another problem, Ortiz notes, was that his planned slug


commute was too short. Drivers must see significant time- savings by being able to access the HOV or HOT lanes before any kind of carpooling, casual or not, nudges them towards thinking about their single-occupancy commute. Finally, Ortiz says he should have recognized the massive turf issues in cross-jurisdictional bureaucracies and sought greater input from planners near his concept’s beginning point, Prince William County’s regional rail station. Another government-sponsored project in Seattle has


struggled over lawyers’ fears of liability. Although supported by AVEGO’s powerful carpooling app for smart phones, the legal review to sign up seemed too intense for many potential Seattle-area drivers and riders.


52 “The lawyers were so concerned that it became like a full


FBI background check and that just killed it (SR-520) in Seat- tle,” Oliphant says. “It never got off the ground because to sign up required as much vetting as buying a gun.” More successful government interventions include


Virginia’s Department of Transportation providing “Slug- ging Rules” on its web page; the Pentagon moving its eight different slug lines into an easier area for drivers to pick up and drop off and Arlington re-directing a free-for-all line one street over to ease construction traffic. Slugging proponents suggest regional transportation organizations utilize park-n- rides for casual carpooling with minimal signage indicating where sluggers and drivers are already going and then, pretty much, get the hell out of the way. Since flex-pooling has no organization, even gathering


research is difficult. Time, not money, however, seems to be slugging’s essence. Slug lines that have quick load and unload with easy on-and-off HOV lanes prosper even more than those serving expensive toll lanes without quick on-and-off.


CAPACITY BUILDING Other factors that seem important to generate both drivers


thinkinghighways.com Vol 8 No 3 North America


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