Traffic Q&A: Is it OK for a authorised carpool to use HOV line to bypass ramp meters?

Q: Carpools have a right to bypass ramp meters if there’s a dedicated HOV line on a on-ramp, don’t they? Dave S., DuPont

A: The brief answer is yes. The longer answer follows.

Dave asked since he had a bad knowledge not prolonged ago during a metered ramp onto northbound Interstate 5 nearby DuPont.

Driving with a newcomer in his car, he zipped past a single-occupant vehicles watchful during a ramp trade signal.

Someone took offense.

“The chairman during a conduct of a metered line sped past us in a ‘shoulder lane’ and cut in front of us,” Dave wrote to Traffic QA headquarters.

Dave and a ticked-off motorist incited off during Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where a, ahem, contention ensued about who was in a wrong.

“He kept yelling that we were violation a law,” Dave said. “My bargain is that a ‘diamond lane’ might be used by buses and vehicles with dual or some-more people. Who is scold in this matter?”

Multiple sources contend we are, Dave.

This from Claudia Bingham Baker, mouthpiece for a state Department of Transportation:

“The HOV line on a metered ramp is indeed designed to bypass a meter, so HOV trade doesn’t have to stop before merging onto a highway. It is an inducement to those who share a ride.

“At a plcae a reader referenced, a HOV limitation is two-plus (people). At other locations around Puget Sound, a HOV limitation might be some-more than two-plus, though it would be sealed as such.”

The Transportation Department maintains a website about metered ramps, that includes a useful territory titled, “How do we use them?”

Here’s what it says:

“Drive your car adult to a white line, or stop bar, to trigger a ramp meter. If a light is red, stop during a white line. When a light turns green, combine onto a freeway.”

It goes on, directly addressing Dave’s question:

“If there is a high occupancy car (HOV) bypass lane, buses, carpools and outpost pools do not have to stop during a ramp scale signal. They have a right of approach over vehicles merging into trade from a metered lane.”

So rest easy, Dave. You did a right thing.