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Creating a Network of Express Lanes in Metropolitan Areas

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This paper presents an express-lane network concept called flexible, efficient, express, or FEE, lanes that would involve expanding physical capacity of limited access highways with a relatively small capital investment by creating dynamic shoulder travel lanes. Such a concept could be implemented in a short period of time, because it would not require major widening of highways to add lanes. Active traffic management would be needed to operate such a facility. However, safety issues would need to be addressed before moving forward with the concept, as discussed by Patrick DeCorla-Souza. A typical large metropolitan area such as Seattle, WA, USA or Washington, DC, USA has a freeway network of about 300 miles or 1,800 lane miles. The freeway pricing concepts presented here could prove to be a promising solution to metropolitan highway congestion, while at the same time providing a stream of revenues that could help to pay for the concepts' own implementation.

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