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Not Another HOV Lane!A few days back we published the article The Highway From Hell where we described the mis-management and downright stupidity of a government in Canada. We also pointed out the so-called “solutions” that the current government is implementing to “deal” with the issue. One such solution was the assignment of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes. These lanes are supposed to be used only by vehicles carrying two or more passengers, supposedly to “encourage” carpooling. However, the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is enduring the Pan-Am games. Which means that traffic is at all times high. Well, no problems there! We will put more “temporary” HOV lanes, just for the games!

Consider this. The Pan-Am games are a touristic attraction and in this sense they bring money into any city, the GTA included. However, the GTA does not, repeat not, live from tourism. Yes, there is a touristic component but the main “revenue”… ejem!... source of the GTA are taxes because the GTA is an industrial/residential area. Thus, the Pan-Am games may be the source of additional funds, but these funds are not that critical. Yet, somebody in the government took the idiotic decision to install “temporary” HOV lanes for the Pan-Am games. Think about it. In a city with the most congested / transited highways in the world, a government decided to make a living hell out of commuters’ lives just because it is good PR. And because it will make a few extra bucks. Sure, tourist stores will benefit, but what about the 300.000+ daily commuters already affected by the existence of the 407ETR? Well… screw them! We must all sacrifice “for the greater good”.

Not to mention the fact that chances are excellent that considering the “success” of the HOV lanes, they will be made permanent. What the heck! All the signs and pavement painting is in place and was paid for. No need to waste all that good money!

The reality is that commuters are desperate. Most decide to chance it and take HOV lanes. But then, we have the police. They have brand new unmarked vehicles and a brand new attitude of zero tolerance for those “law breakers” that take HOV lanes “unlawfully”… nevermind these very HOV lanes were paid for with money forcefully extracted through taxes from these “law breakers”. Talking about adding insult to injury! And those shiny new police vehicles? Thank you very much, also paid for with tax money.

As a consequence of that, the HOV lanes have produced two classes of vehicle drivers: suckers (those stuck in the traffic jam) and cheaters (those taking a chance and taking the HOV’s). Take a look at the picture below sent to us by a GTA commuter:

HOV Effect

Drivers are getting desperate. The CBCNews-Canada reported that a “Man charged for driving with 2 mannequins in HOV lane”. The emphasis of the article is, of course, on the un-lawfulness of the act instead of the ridiculousness of politicians and the uselessness of governments. But then again, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) is a “crown” corporation, i.e. responding to a chain of command that begins and ends in the government.

The HOV effect is simple: it makes lives miserable. This is not a mistake, an error, omission or otherwise unexpected effect. It is deliberate. It was deliberately implemented by governments and now GTA must suffer.

But you may live in the GTA. Perhaps you enjoy the Pan-Am games and you are happy to make it there in time. Good for you! Not your fault. Just one thing, keep in mind that for you to be happy, a great deal of people is getting royally screwed. There. Live with your conscience now. If you can.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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