The proposed high-occupancy traffic lanes for Interstate 66 are another fine example of the influence of the 1 percent [“Plan for I-66 tolls splits Va. officials,” Metro, April 19]. The region’s huge congestion problem is not solved by creating special lanes providing preferential treatment for the well-to-do. 

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) accurately noted that much of the current congestion on I-66 is caused by those breaking the rush-hour rules for the road. The appropriate response is better enforcement, not disruptive construction that would produce lanes unavailable for the majority (because of high tolls). One could say that these tolls could be avoided simply by forming three-person carpools, but if forming two-person carpools — to comply with the I-66 rules — is already so difficult, how would going to HOT-3 improve things?

That gets us back to the 1 percent: Advertisements for the relatively underutilized HOT lanes on I-95 and the Beltway promise a faster ride (for those who can afford the fees), not relief of congestion. What about everyone else in the crowded lanes?

The appeal of HOT lanes to some local politicians, of course, is that they are built mostly with private money, an inviting thought in these legislatively dysfunctional times. But they are not the answer to local congestion, at least not for the majority of commuters.

Dennis Chamot, Burke