Well, this will go under the heading: “You give an inch and they take a mile,” almost literally.
. Immediate concerns focused on the ability to respond to accidents, injuries, and other emergencies that would occur within that stretch of highway between Holcomb Bridge Road and the North Springs Marta exit on Ga. 400 southbound.
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Of course, you could bet on the fact that there would be those who stretched the lane’s usage well beyond the 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. time limit on the lane’s usage—and we weren’t disappointed. For almost a month, warnings were given so that people would become accustomed to the use of the lane. Some have become accustomed to using the lane past the designated hours.
First of all, it “ain’t” rocket science. Its three hours of use and then the lane defaults to emergency use only. That’s it.
It’s like your kid’s curfew. Midnight means midnight, not 12:30, and not 1 am. When your kids come in late past curfew, they get punished—at least I hope they do. At my house, when the child was 30 minutes late, my wife was beside herself and I’m trying to calm her down. 45 minutes late and we’re in the car looking for the child, hoping nothing bad has happened. When they show up and there isn’t a good excuse like a random kidnapping or alien abduction, that child is in deep trouble.
Well, a certain percentage of drivers have decided to ignore the “curfew” and are using the lane past the 9:30 a.m. hour. Apparently the warnings are going unheeded. This was highlighted when on June 1, emergency vehicles, responding to an overturned car accident after the designated flex-lane hours, had problems getting to the scene because of vehicle traffic in the emergency lane. This put the spotlight on our original concerns with the plan, that we run the risk of a timely response to emergencies in that area. Given that, here’s your “heads up.”
Beginning immediately, there will be tickets, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t bet on warnings if I were you, in what we are deeming as an aggressive enforcement of the flex-lane usage, especially violations before and after the designated hours.
Don’t let laziness get in the way of common sense. At 9:30, get off the emergency lane unless you have an emergency—and by the way, being late for work isn’t one.
Take the poll on the flex lanes below and write a comment on how the flex lanes are working for you.