In Lebanon, we have one seaside road where traffic direction reverses reliably at 11am and 11pm to lower congestion and help more people get into or out of Beirut as fast as possible. It doesn't do miracles on very busy days, but it helps a bit. The idea isn't unique to us and if you live in big metropolitan U.S areas with heavy traffic on some of the highways, then you know what reversible lanes are. The problem is that mapping software doesn't take these lanes into consideration when planning your routes, or isn't always up-to-date on the direction or load of traffic in those lanes.
HERE Maps is changing this by adding reversible lanes support in 12 U.S and European (well, there's only one European) cities in its Android app as well as other platforms (iOS, Bing Maps, Fire Phone). Drivers should be able to see the direction the lane is open in and the traffic flow, and thus make better informed routing decisions. The feature is also joining the HERE API, so developers can integrate it in their own apps.
Here is the list of the 12 cities where HERE's reversible lanes will be available:
- Chicago: Kennedy Express Lanes
- Denver: I-25 HOV Lanes
- Fort Lauderdale: I-595 Expressway
- Hamburg, Germany: I4700
- Houston: US-59/Southwest Freeway HOV Lanes, US-290/Northwest Freeway HOV Lanes, I-45/Gulf Freeway HOV Lanes, I-45/North Freeway HOV Lanes, US-59/Eastex Freeway HOV Lanes
- Minneapolis: I-394 Express Lanes
- New Orleans: US-90-BR HOV Lanes
- New York: Queensboro Bridge-Upper Level, Lincoln Tunnel Reversible Lanes
- Pittsburgh: I-279 HOV Lanes, I-579 HOV Lanes
- Seattle: I-90-Express Lanes, I-5 Express Lanes
- Tampa: SR-618-TOLL/Selmon Expressway
- Washington, D.C.: I-395 HOV Lanes, I-95 HOV Lanes, I-64 HOV Lanes, Canal Rd, Reservoir Rd, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW
You should start seeing the changes without any necessary update to the app, but HERE's the link to download the app.