Evaluation of the Effect MnPASS Lane Design has on Mobility and Safety

Principal Investigator(s):

John Hourdos, Former Research Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Gary Davis, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes are restricted-use freeway lanes reserved for vehicles with more than one occupant or equipped to charge single-occupant vehicles (SOV) for using the facility. The goal of HOV/HOT combination lanes is to reduce congestion by promoting ride sharing while better utilizing the facility by allowing SOVs that pay the toll.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has so far constructed two such facilities (MnPASS on the median lanes of I-394 and I-35W freeways) and has plans for more. The existing facilities have substantially different access control designs, with no concrete evidence for which is the most appropriate design for a given geometry and demand.

This project evaluated the existing four MnPASS lane designs, indicating which of the existing geometries is the best access control design (if not the current), and developed a design guide to help in future MnPASS lane implementation. Additionally, this project assisted MnDOT in developing and estimating MnPASS performance safety criteria.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2011094
  • Start date: 05/2011
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Safety, Traffic operations

Reports or Products: