"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
To those of you who commute on I-485 in south Charlotte, congratulations!
A new lane opened for several miles back in December.
This has provided some relief to drivers who tackle this stretch of highway on a daily basis.
There's room to breathe…especially if you're on the innermost lane near the median.
But have you noticed? There's an extra lane there that's not being used.
Now you may wonder "Why not?"
Well, you see, the road planning committee has decided that that stretch of prime highway should become a toll lane about five years from now.
And state law prohibits the converting of a "general purpose lane" directly to a toll lane.
As we've seen on I-77, HOV lanes, and similarly, toll lanes, carry far fewer vehicles than do general purpose lanes.
So, the construction of that extra lane on I-485 was never about relieving congestion.
It was about our social engineers telling us that you need to carpool.
And if you won't do it on your own, they'll come up with ways to strongly encourage us.
While you finance it with tolls, in addition to the highway taxes you pay every time you fill up.
N.C. D. O. T. – thank you for this interesting experiment in driver manipulation…but "No thanks."
Let the people have the road they've already paid for.