DENVER - There's something new on one of the busiest and most clogged sections of Interstate 25 in the Denver metro area.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is trying a traffic experiment in hopes of easing some of the congestion near the C-470 interchange.
CDOT has created a "direct lane" for through traffic on I-25 southbound from the County Line Road exit to Lincoln Avenue. The left lane was re-striped this weekend to include two double white lines.
The idea, engineers say, is to encourage drivers passing C-470 to use the lane.
David Millar, an engineer with HDR, a transportation infrastructure company consulting for CDOT, monitored the first day of this pilot program.
"We noticed a lot of violations with people crossing the double white line, which they are not supposed to do," Millar said.
It is illegal to cross the double white lines to enter or leave the lane in order to prevent cars from weaving in and out.
CDOT does plan on giving drivers a few days to adjust to the change, but enforcement will be crucial because engineers say the only way this experimental lane will work is if people don't weave in and out.
Atleast six signs direct travelers about the change. The lane is open for everyone to use. There is no HOV requirement and the lane will remain free of charge. Black signs with white lettering will reiterate that motorists may not cross the double white lines to enter or exit the direct lane.
The pilot program will only last a month. Lanes similar to these have seen success in several other states. This pilot program is being implemented in order to test this program along congested roadways in Colorado.
The intent is to monitor congestion relief that is expected with traffic traveling more freely in the far left lane. This program will monitor the outcomes of the lane becoming a designated direct lane and if the program is successful, future lanes similar to this may be considered in other congested areas of the I-25 and other corridors.
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