Before I get labeled an anti-HOV “zealot” down here in Mecklenburg (we have thought police, you know) let me obsessively nit pick Hal’s pan description.

HOV can be effective or a waste depending on many factors. Heaven knows it was an utter waste in Northern Virginia until the occupancy requirement was dropped from three to two. HOV lanes must also be long enough to truly carry the bulk of traffic out beyond congestion points. Otherwise you simply shift the congestion to a different place and, with merging issues at work, end up making traffic worse and more dangerous than before.

To recap the looming problem with HOV in Charlotte, and my guess in the Triangle as well, is that such lanes would be a great place to run express bus service, except that if you already plan to spend millions on light rail, why do that? If I were king I’d use the HOV-2 lanes for an express bus plan, kill the rail lunancy, and work toward a transponder-based toll system for the lanes as well, so you could implement some congestion pricing for solo drivers.

There. Now, I might be able to get a table at an Uptown Charlotte restaurant again.