Only One Question Matters on Mopac Managed Lanes
Ben Wear did a great job covering all the other issues but somehow still neglected to discuss the performance implications (for the managed lane itself) of the fact that drivers must slow down to a crawl in order to merge back through 3 lanes of regular traffic to get to their off-ramp. (I'm a supporter of managed lanes in principle, but like with commuter rail, believe that Something I Like But Done Completely Wrong is actually more likely to hurt my cause than not doing it at all).
That's the only question that matters: how much will traffic in the managed lane have to slow down when I have to stop to wedge my way in the inside general-purpose lane?
I'm beginning to think most transportation issues boil down to one question like this. For instance, for commuter rail it's why do you think the same people who avoid buses like the plague today, even the good ones like the 183-corridor express buses, are going to be willing to take a shuttle bus to work every day from the train station in East Austin?
For Rapid Bus, it'll be if this is so wonderful for Central Austin, why has it been pushed back from an originally planned opening date of 2006, then to 2007, then to 2008, and now to 2010?