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2.0 Plaza Operations and Toll Lane Configuration

2.6.1 State of the Practice

Reversible toll plaza lanes, in the center of bi-directional plazas, enable the operators to augment the plaza with additional toll lanes for directional A.M. or P.M. peak hour travel.

Toll operators retain reversible lanes after upgrading their System to include ETC dedicated lanes in one of two manners: 1) separate the ETC dedicated lanes from the lanes configured as reversible lanes, preferably resulting in the ETC dedicated lanes being located in the approximate center of a directional conventional plaza, or; 2) ETC dedicated lanes configured as reversible lanes.

At mainline plazas with dedicated lane speeds above 30 mph (50 kph), operation of cash lanes to the left of the dedicated lanes has proven unsatisfactory from an operations point of view because of the difficulty cash traffic, particularly trucks, has to merge to and diverge from the left. However, non-stop, reversible, dedicated lanes are potentially more hazardous for staff to move temporary traffic control devices than reversible conventional plaza cash lanes. Consequently, if the passenger car toll is less than a dollar, automatic lanes (i.e., ACM, ATIM) with automatic barrier gates are potentially the safest lane type to operate as reversible lanes.

At ramp plazas, particularly trumpet interchange plazas, reversible lanes have been a necessity due to limited lanes and capacity constraints where traffic is highly directional. This is true even in relatively high ETC participation areas such as the New York Thruway.

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