The Project Manager’s Guide for Conversion from HOV Lane to HOT Lane

So You Want to Make a High-Occupancy Toll Lane?  Although high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes have been studied or have existed for more than 10 years, the continuing developmental nature of these concepts means that there is little guidance for project managers on how to manage the process of converting a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to a HOT lane. Many guidelines have been published about the technical elements of HOT lane development and operations. A project manager of an HOV to HOT lane conversion process would face issues that differ from those of the typical highway construction project, and managing these issues can be difficult and arduous. The intent of this paper is to address issues from the perspective of the implementing agency’s project manager. Eight specific issues to be addressed within the conceptual development of the HOT lane conversion process are identified here:

  • presence of significant and predictable excess capacity in the HOV lanes,
  • presence of significant and recurring congestion in the adjacent general purpose lanes,
  • nature of traffic separation on the HOV lanes,
  • primary means of funding for the HOV lanes,
  • identification of the HOT lane program’s primary objective,
  • determination of the appropriate implementing agency,
  • avoidance of overwhelming public opposition, and
  • ability to build political support for the process.

This paper has summarized the first of what the authors see as four steps to the successful conversion of an HOV lane to a HOT lane: conceptual development. Planned subsequent papers will address the remaining three steps: program design, implementation, and ongoing operations.


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