I am writing to offer some sensible influence regarding House Bill 23. As you may be aware, HB23 will limit decals for clean-air-vehicle HOV access. While the integrity/flow of the HOV lane needs to be maintained, common sense would dictate the priority of HOV lane access should be as follows:
1. Carpool/multi-occupant (which reduces pollution and traffic)
2. Clean-air vehicles (which reduces pollution)
3. Express Pass holders (which provides revenue) If, in fact (as I have read), we are adding approximately 80 clean-air vehicles per month to our Wasatch Front roadways, then we actually have a successful program to reduce air pollution. This suggests that clean-air-vehicle HOV access is a sufficient and effective motivation for drivers, which is notable, since the majority of these vehicles are brought into Utah from around the country. It needs to be considered that these clean-air vehicles are reducing emissions 100 percent of the time that they are operated, not just in the HOV lane.
Why would we want to curb this trend toward lower-emission vehicles, when the obvious choice would be to either restrict Express Pass use or increase tolls so as to reduce/control its use?
If cleaner air is a priority of our Utah government leaders and citizens, then the clean-air-vehicle HOV incentive is an effective means of contributing.