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GWINNETT: Petition drive to stop HOT lane | News

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GWINNETT: Petition drive to stop HOT lane

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The state has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to grant a waiver to allow two people in a car to be exempt from paying tolls on their commute on I-85. It is another adjustment to the controversial HOT lanes used primarily by Gwinnett County commuters.

That's not good enough for a grass roots effort to stop the toll lanes. Right now, there is one Gwinnett County commuter behind that effort, but he's hoping that will change soon. Howard Rodgers plans to start a petition drive.

"It's adding extra travel time, it's causing gas waste, and it's causing time waste," Rodgers said about the HOT lanes.

Rodgers said he feels like a guinea pig while the state figures out if the new HOT lanes work. "It's one of those things where they say well, if it works in Gwinnett, we'll do it statewide," he said.

The Lawrenceville commuter said he sits in snarled traffic in the general purpose lanes every day while very few people pay the price to use the faster HOT lanes.

He said dealing with a longer commute has changed his quality of life. "I'm driving until 7 p.m., and my kids are getting ready for bed and taking baths," he said. "I'm missing all that extra family time when I should have been home seeing and playing with them."

Rodgers said he wants the state to suspend or stop the HOT lanes at least until they figure it out. He alone is the grass roots behind a petition drive, but he doesn't think he's alone.

"Just seeing the faces of the drivers that I'm sitting next to in traffic, the guys beating on their horns, angry and frustrated, I know there are a lot more," he said.

Rodgers calls his petition drive "Stop the HOT Lanes".

"I would like to see the state come back and say, 'You know, we don't have the right idea. We're not sure what the right idea is, so we're going to put this on hold and figure it out.'" He said.

The petition drive starts Saturday at the Gwinnett Justice Administration Center in Lawrenceville from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rodgers said you can also email Stop the HOT Lane at stopthehotlane@gmail.com.