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Hybrid Carpool Lane Access Ending Friday in California: Yay!

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Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:43 PM
click to enlarge prius_chart.JPG

Ah, hybrid owners -- how we love to hate you.

So smug behind the wheel of your fuel efficient dork-mobiles, switching four lanes just to get to the carpool zone where you'll pass us all by. No more.

California's "Yellow Clean Air Vehicle Stickers" expire for good on Friday, so you'll have to suffer like the rest of us gas guzzlers. We never liked the program, anyway:

For one, carpools were meant for carpooling. In other words, they were meant to encourage and reward vehicles with multiple passengers. When an exception was made for Priuses, Insights and hybrid Civics, we were all snookered.

Second, carpools have been an utter failure. They've done little to encourage people to ride together. They've done little to alleviate traffic. And seeing single drivers cruise by in $35,000 cars (while many live in energy sapping homes) only made the lanes into yet another classist device.

Third, hybrid drivers are self-important nerds. And letting them into an exclusive club is wrong. Only cool kids should be allowed past any velvet rope.

The sticker program started in 2005 for 75,000 cars and soon expanded to 85,000 -- and all those permits were quickly spoken for.

Commuter Angelo Angara spoke for all of us when he told Associated Press:

It's a little unfair to see them muscle into the carpool lane while you're stuck in traffic. The economy is so bad, not everyone can afford a Prius.

Good riddance. Next up: Getting rid of the useless carpool-lane designation altogether so we call all move all the way left.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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