I remember when I lived there hearing stories about the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes and how people would try to manipulate the system.. I had thought they were going to put the HOV lanes on the beltway.. But its been almost 5 years since Ive been to DC.
To preface this story.. The HOV lane is for people to car pool, to try and keep traffic to a minimum on the roads during rush hours. One of the rules for the HOV lane is that you must have atleast 3 people in the car...
The best story I heard was some guy decided to buy 2 blow up dolls and put them in the back seat so it looked like he had the required 3 passengers to be in the HOV lanes. When the police pulled him over and approached him about it he simply said that they counted as people and was immediately fined $1000. Ouch.. But was hilarious as the reporter telling the story could barely keep a straight face and neither could the cop.
What's worse is getting stuck behind them. Nothing bites me in the ass like being stuck behind someone who thinks they can successfully merge onto the beltway at 45 mph.
Last I heard, the HOV addition to the beltway is a possibility. They definitely are thinking of expanding some sections to 10-12 lanes divided and might do the inner lanes HOV. Also, VA wants to install divided toll lanes such that you pay a daily fee to use what would be faster moving commuter lanes. In any event, it's ridiculous having so much traffic on an 8 lane divided highway so something needs to be done to relieve the daily commute. HOV-2 is a joke. Sometimes those lanes move slower than regular traffic. That's no incentive to carpool. They should be HOV-3 or higher.