Strategies for Interim Use of Managed Lanes
College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute
Although managed lanes will largely function under their intended standard operating procedures, certain conditions (i.e., construction, special events, incidents, or emergencies) may require unusual interim use of the facilities. Because interim managed lane use may detract from the facilities' intended performance, carefully crafted interim use policies should guide these decisions. Given the lack of formal policies or guidelines, variability in observed practices and limited understanding of potential benefits or concerns surrounding interim use of managed lanes (noted through a review of published literature and observed national practice), the objectives of this task were to: (1) discern any positive procedural trends in interim managed lane use that could be recommended for widespread implementation, (2) identify and describe potential benefits and concerns surrounding interim use of managed lanes, and (3) assimilate this information into recommended guidelines addressing all aspects of managed lane facility interim use. This information forms the basis of the recommendations contained in the Managed Lanes Manual developed for TxDOT and FHW A. Following a brief introduction, this report describes motivating conditions and strategies for interim use, general considerations for interim use (i.e., operational and safety effects, public acceptance and perceptions, etc.), and national interim use practice and experience. Based on these findings, recommendations for interim use based on the: (1) severity and nature of conditions; (2) time-of-day, anticipated duration, and traffic impacts; and (3) availability of alternative facilities or strategies are provided. Recommended planning activities and requirements for implementation are also provided.