On August 28, OCTA conducted an OCTA Board workshop about the role of managed lanes in the long-term future of Orange County’s transportation system. Managed lanes are highway lanes that are restricted by price or vehicle type.
Managed lanes have become an increasingly popular option to accommodate the future demand for highway travel in Southern California and throughout the country. A primary goal for the workshop was to focus on a strategy beyond the Measure M2 freeway program. The county is projected to continue growing and options are limited for continuing to widen existing freeways beyond Measure M2. Federal and state policies and regional plans for managed lanes also indicate that now is the time to develop a freeway strategy for the future of Orange County.
The panel of experts who participated in the workshop addressed a variety of topics:
- Robert Poole, Director of Transportation Policy, The Reason Foundation, spoke about national policy and how toll lanes operate.
- Kome Ajise, Chief Deputy Director, Caltrans, provided expertise regarding state policy and perspective.
- Stephen Finnegan, Manager of Government & Community Affairs, Automobile Club of Southern California, addressed the importance of educating the public on the role of managed lanes in improving mobility.
- Patrick Jones, Executive Director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Association, discussed the use of tolls as an important tool and the strategic nature of implementation.
The information gained at the workshop will help OCTA consider what role managed lanes could play in future transportation improvements as the 2018 Long-Range Transportation Plan is developed.
Since 2003, OCTA has managed the 10-mile segment of the 91 Express Lanes between Orange and Riverside counties, considered worldwide as a successful example of managed lanes.