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Could Charlotte see HOT lanes?

Yes, I am blogging like crazy today. I'm catching up after a few busy weeks and besides I don't leave for the Hurricanes game until 5:45. So blog, clean and laundry. Oh, and I keep getting interrupted by watching the State/Duke game.

Anyways...

Could Charlotte see HOT Lanes by 2020? Well, according to a study done by the City of Charlotte, the NCDOT, and PB Associates - there are a few excellent locations for the Toll High Occupancy Vehicle (High Occupancy Toll) lanes in the Greater Charlotte Area.

Specifically, I-77 from Uptown Charlotte towards Iredell County and Charlotte appears to be the most likely choice for these lanes. And with reason, currently there is one free HOV lane in each direction on I-77 from the future I-485 interchange near Huntersville southwards to Uptown. The current HOV lanes begin and end near Brookshire Blvd.

Another possible choice is Independence Blvd. (US 74) east of Uptown. As the highway has been converted to an urban expressway, the DOT has built a bus only lane in the center median. This lane, which may be converted to light rail, might be another candidate for the HOT lanes.

The study ranked various highway corridors throughout Charlotte on how likely HOT lanes would work in the future. Some like the US 321 freeway between Gastonia and Lincolnton were crossed off the list. Others like parts of the I-485 Outer Loop and I-85 in Western Mecklenburg County to Gastonia are considered maybes.

The recommended corridors included the aforementioned I-77 corridor from Uptown to Iredell County and Independence Blvd. The study also saw the heavily clogged I-485 in Ballentyne and Pineville and I-85 in Carrabus County as two other possible HOT lane candidates.

For more on this story and additional information: Check out the Charlotte Observer's Dr. Traffic Blog.

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