In response to a reader's e-mail, PennDOT district traffic engineer explains why the Parkway North HOV lanes aren't being opened to all traffic during the Route 28 project:
"There is a lot that goes into lifting the restrictions on the HOV lanes because their operation is governed by federal regulations. The HOV lanes' main purpose is to alleviate congestion during peak travel times on I-279 by reducing the number of single-occupant vehicles. This encourages ride sharing and public transportation usage and providing the incentive of using a less-congested facility. To open the HOV lanes to unrestricted traffic goes counter to their purpose. In addition, it may even create additional problems for traffic exiting the lanes at the signalized intersections creating backups on the HOV lanes. Because of this, we are very cautious about lifting the restriction and generally determine beforehand the additional number of vehicles that would utilize the facility. Also, since there is no way to estimate the number of additional vehicles that would use the facility, the HOV lanes could quickly become overused. We see this anytime we lift the restriction due to incidents on the lower portion of I-279."
And answering another inquiry, PennDOT's Jim Struzzi says traffic cameras will be installed on Route 28 from 40th Street to East Ohio Street this summer, joining the network that already covers all three parkways and I-79. You can be your own traffic reporter by checking out the real-time views at 511pa.com.