hov can suck my ass.

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I am all angsty today.

Why?

The new HOV lane.

I don’t know if any of you out there have these in your cities, but recently Tacoma has put in two stretches of toll roads.

One is the Narrows bridge. If you don’t have a little “Good To Go” sensor, you have to pay $3.

The other is on Highway 167. Now, normally I couldn’t give a crap about Highway 167 because it doesn’t even go to Tacoma, it goes between Renton and Puyallup. However, it just so happens that every Tuesday (or Wednesday if I switch) I use 167 for approximately 7 or 8 miles to go pick up the Kid.

Now, until recently, this stretch of highway had a perfectly acceptable express lane wherein cars containing more than one person could go on it and conveniently bypass the bumper to bumper traffic on said highway from approximately the point in which I enter the freeway to the point in which I exit it.

Until recently, when the aforementioned perfectly acceptable express lane was changed to an HOV lane.

Now, in order to travel this lane, you have to either have two people or more, OR you can have one of those nifty sensor things. The problem I have with this is, where before I could enter and exit the lane whenever I wanted, now I have to wait until designated entrance and exit locations, which are placed about every mile. The places where you are not allowed to cross are marked with a double solid white line.

So I spend the first mile of my time on the freeway stuck in the bumper to bumper traffic (since the last HOV entrance prior to my highway entrance ends JUST before) and then I have to get OUT a mile before I want to exit the freeway, or else I can’t get across the three lanes of traffic in time (trust me, I tried it).

To make matters worse, if you DO cross the double white line, it’s a $124 ticket, AND if you did have the sensor, you get charged a variable amount for each mile you drive. There’s a little scanner at each of the HOV entrances, and each time you pass one, you’re dinged whatever the amount is that they’re charging at that time of day. So conceivably, if you traveled the entire nine-mile stretch of HOV lane, you could pay like $9.

What the hell is this crap? Who asked them to fuck with my nicely arranged commute? Normally the commute to pick up the Kid will last about 30-40 mins. This morning, because of the bracketed bumper to bumper miles, it took almost 50 mins. When you plan tightly for the exact time it will take you, and you have a very strict daycare momma at the other end, you do NOT need this kind of aggravation at 7:30 in the morning. Trust me.

I really want to know a) how much they’re making off this crap and b) if they’ve REALLY seen an increase in the number of cars traveling the express lane and not in the regular lanes. If anything, traffic appeared WORSE to me this morning than it did before.

Bah.

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