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Experience in Connecticut BY RAJENDRA JAIN The Clean Air Act Amendments

By Caaa Of, Intermodal Surface and Transportation Act


(ISTEA) of 1991 require that urban areas, such as those in southwestern Connecticut, that currently do not meet clean air standards, need to adopt a long-range transportation plan to help achieve actual reductions in emissions from 1990 levels, a plan not simply meant to slow the rate of growth but actually reduce it. Across the United States, major cities are turning to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes as a means to alleviate some of the traffic congestion on major highways and interstates and thereby reduce the amount of vehicle emissions. The HOV lane promotes carpooling and bus usage and is most useful during peak commuter hours when traffic along the expressway is heavy and often slow. With congestion a rarity on the HOV lane, commuting time is often more predictable, and less driving time means less money spent on gas and more money in the commuter’s pocket. Examples of impressive HOV lanes include the Washington, D. C., area on I-395 (Shirley Highway), which connects Washington with communities and new developments in Northern Virginia. These lanes carry more than 15,000 commuters in the morning rush honor. In Houston, Texas, an efficient network of transitways has been developed. The state makes mass transit more convenient by giving buses, carpools and vanpools their own right-of-way. Since automobiles account for more than 44 percent of the actual 1990 emissions in most harmful categories, Connecticut is looking to public transportation and greater use of carpool and vanpool programs for solutions. Unfortunately, 1990 U.S. Census data showed that only 5 percent of Americans relied upon mass transit to get to work, and only 15 percent reported carpooling and vanpooling. The balance of 80 percent drove singly to work. This article discusses some of the issues associated with development and implementation of the HOV facilities in the state of Connecticut

Year: 2014
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