SoCal carpool lanes could open up

HOV stickerIf you have traveled in Northern California or the East Coast of the USA lately, you know they do carpool lanes differently. After rush hour, the lanes are opened to anybody, helping traffic flow more easily — and thus actually reducing fuel use and pollution.

By contrast, in Southern California, the lanes are kept only for carpools 24 hours a day. It could be 3 am and nobody is on the expressway, but you still can’t use them with just one person in the car without risking getting a ticket.

Now that might change. According to the U-T San Diego:

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, introduced AB 210 last week that would require Caltrans to open diamond lanes along portions of state Routes 210 and 134 in Los Angeles County to all drivers during non-commute hours. It would be a pilot program, though Gatto has said he would like to see the change made statewide.

The bill mirrors Gatto’s legislation, AB 405, which was overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature in 2013 but vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“The people have spoken. The Legislature has spoken. We don’t understand why it was vetoed,” Gatto said in an interview on Friday. “The best thing you can do is keep trying.”

Brown’s 2013 veto message read:

I am returning Assembly Bill 405 without my signature. … Carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize use of freeways. We should retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.

Which is odd, because Brown has lived in Northern California for decades now, and must know its car pool lanes expire after rush hour.

It also seems odd that California’s government workers in Sacramento get to enjoy their carpools opening up after rush hour, but most of the rest of the state does not.

Gatto has become a champion of California drivers. He also has tried to overturn the new cap-and-trade tax on gasoline that especially slams long-distance commuters in the middle class and among the poor.

1 comment

Write a comment
  1. Queeg
    Queeg 10 February, 2015, 09:23

    Simplest way to resolve freeway traffic. Every lane a toll lane with variable per hour rates.

    Comrades will drive surface streets. And…..get free bullet train chits!

    The Bourgeois ride the freeways…. supporting that tax the rich mantra thingee!

    Prius driving Comrades get to drive freeways free. Telsa driving Bourgeois get free oil and lube coupons from Groupon!

    Truck drivers drive on anything on graveyard shift and get Farmer Brothers coffee chits at Rex The Wonder Dog’s truck stop.

    Clergy, emergency vehicles, government workers get a free morning newspaper of choice for staying off all roads during peak urban rush hours, but exempted if driving through communities of less than 18,206 Comrades.

    Educators, those with Caddilac health care and first time drivers get free streaming Netflix for being passengers in a carpool vehicle with no less than five people.

    Miscellaneous troughies and egregious other feeders get all you can eat chits from Crackle Barrell in Blythe or Waffle House in Borrego Springs for directing traffic during rush hours in communities of less than 4,877 Comrades.

    It just takes a Village to come up with the simplest of solutions.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Tags assigned to this article:
Jerry BrownJohn SeilerMike Gattocarpool lanes

John Seiler

John Seiler

John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles,, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: [email protected]

Related Articles

Protesters: Entitled And Slovenly

Steven Greenhut: The California Teachers Association protesters have been wandering the halls of the Capitol and the streets of Sacramento

Assemblyman backs Steele

From Steven Greenhut: Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, has weighed in on the latest controversy over Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele,

FPPC Investigates Ex-DMV Staff

DEC. 29, 2010 By ANTHONY PIGNATARO It’s always fun to watch one government agency investigate another agency. Or, recently departed