Sunday, March 19, 2000 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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HOV lanes -- My taxes paid for HOV lanes, so I will ride solo in them

I drive solo in the HOV lanes all the time. My tax dollars paid for those lanes and I'm not going to let bureaucrats tell me how many people I have to have in my car before I can drive there.

What? If I pick up a hitchhiker, I'm suddenly helping to ease traffic congestion?

HOV lanes are a crock. Their goal is not to ease congestion but to make it worse, thereby punishing us for the sin of driving and making us more willing to grasp at billion-dollar straws such as light rail.

So there's talk of opening HOV lanes to all drivers at night and on weekends? Big deal. We don't need them then.

Open them during rush hour Monday through Friday, and you can do that yourself the same way I do; just get over there and drive. We want more lanes; that and that alone will ease traffic congestion.

Too expensive? Adding lanes will cost plenty, but unlike monorails, choo-choo trains and Metro subsidies, more lanes will actually reduce traffic congestion. Heck, let private companies build the extra lanes and charge a toll and it won't cost taxpayers a cent.

Did you ever hear of a private company worry about having too many customers? They find ways to serve them, or other companies step up and do it. Only with government-run roads do you get such lousy customer service.

Concerned about pollution? Modern cars are clean. And I do know this: A car going 60 mph for 15 minutes burns a lot less gas - and burns it cleaner - than a car going 15

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