HOV lane in Moreno Valley may open to solo drivers

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A portion of the 60 Freeway in the Inland Empire could open its carpool lane to solo drivers soon. A few caveats accompany the lane change.

Lone drivers could only merge into the high-occupancy vehicle lane at off-peak commute times. Officials plan to limit the change to a seven-mile stretch of the 60 Freeway through Moreno Valley.

“Because it has unique geometric characteristics," says Caltrans spokeswoman Barbara Miller. Miller says this portion of the 60 near the 215-91 interchange is one of the few high-capacity stretches of highway in the region with so few lanes.

“What it has is two general purpose lanes and one HOV lane in each direction," says Miller. "So what happens is if there was ever construction or an accident in one of the general purpose lanes that would leave the majority of the traffic with only one lane. It would definitely ease up traffic during the off-peak hours because it gives motorists the benefit of using the HOV lane.”

The change still needs approval from the Federal Highway Administration. When that agency gives the okay, Caltrans expects to begin later this year re-striping lanes and posting signs that notify motorists of the new carpool rules.