I recently watched this video of Interstate 10 (the Katy Freeway) in Texas when a idea came to me.
In the video, a large section of the highway has two HOV lanes on the inside physically separated from the main lanes. There is no concrete tall wall, but it certainly is much more than the stripped buzzer zones you find along Highways 403 and 404.
I was thinking what if the express lanes on Highway 401 followed a similar system? The express lanes would then become HOV lanes while the outer (collector) lanes would be for general traffic. Since the 401 gets a lot of truck traffic, I think trucks should still be allowed to use the inner lanes.
This means everything but cars with one person can use the Highway 401 express/HOV lanes. This could increase the highway's carrying capacity* as it can normally get backed up despite it's width, even outside of rush hours or when there isn't a traffic accident.
Just like the HOV lanes on the 403 and 404, traffic using the inner lanes would have to use the transfers well beforehand to have enough room to weave through traffic in the outer lanes to access interchanges. The overall effectiveness of the HOV system would then be judged on how efficiently cars can navigate their way from on-ramps to the HOV lanes and then back to access the off-ramps.
Just thinking out loud here. Do you think it's an interesting idea?
*By carrying capacity, I am not referring to cars, but people.