What are managed lanes?
Highway facilities or a set of lanes where operational strategies are proactively implemented and managed in response to changing conditions.
Transportation agencies are faced with growing challenges of congestion and a limited ability to expand freeway capacity due to construction costs, right-of-way constraints, and environmental and societal impacts. Transportation officials are taking advantage of opportunities to address mobility needs and provide travel options through a combination of limited capacity expansion coupled with operational strategies that seek to manage travel demand and improve transit and other forms of ridesharing. The managed lanes concept is gaining interest around the country as an approach that combines these elements to make the most effective and efficient use of a freeway facility.
The distinction between managed lanes and other traditional forms of freeway lane management is the operating philosophy of "active management." Under this philosophy, the operating agency proactively manages demand and available capacity on the facility by applying new strategies or modifying existing strategies. The agency defines from the outset the operating objectives for the managed lanes and the kinds of actions that will be taken once pre-defined performance thresholds are met.
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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration