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RULE §25.604Department Initiated Lane Restrictions

(a) Commission action. The commission may restrict, by class of vehicle, through traffic to two or more designated lanes of a highway.

(b) Consultation. Prior to adopting a lane restriction, the department will consult with any local jurisdiction in whose boundaries the lane restriction would be located.

(c) Route analysis and restriction formulation. Before establishing a lane restriction, the department will ensure that the restriction:

  (1) applies only to a highway as defined in Transportation Code, §545.0651, and this subchapter;

  (2) allows a restricted vehicle to use any lane of the highway to pass another vehicle and to enter or exit the highway; and

  (3) is, to the greatest extent practicable, on the same lane as an existing lane restriction of a local jurisdiction when the lane restriction ends at the local jurisdiction's boundaries.

(d) Local public hearing. The department will hold at least one public hearing on any proposed lane restriction. The hearing will conform to all applicable state laws governing public meetings, including the Open Meetings Act, Government Code, Chapter 551, and allow the public to comment on the proposed restriction at the hearing. Public notification of the hearing will be published in the Texas Register at least 10 days prior to the meeting and provide a 30-day comment period. This notice will contain a complete description of the proposed restriction, including the location, route numbers, and beginning and ending points of the restriction. Public hearings under this subsection will be held in the local district office or other suitable locations as determined by the department.

(e) Criteria for department initiated lane restrictions. When initiating a lane restriction the department will:

  (1) comply with the requirements of Transportation Code, §545.0651, and this subchapter;

  (2) ensure a systems approach in order to preclude the designation of inconsistent lane restrictions among adjacent local jurisdictions; and

  (3) conduct a traffic study to evaluate the impact of any department initiated restriction, including a determination that the proposed department lane restriction will not increase the existing level of congestion as determined by highway capacity analysis.

(f) Commission approval. Before approving a department initiated lane restriction, the commission will consider the following factors:

  (1) results of the traffic study conducted under subsection (e)(3) of this section and all potential impacts the restriction may have on existing traffic flow;

  (2) crash history;

  (3) geometric configuration of the highway;

  (4) any current or planned construction or maintenance activities and how those activities may affect the proposed lane restriction;

  (5) impact of the proposed lane restriction on emergency and incident management activities; or

  (6) other factors deemed necessary by the department.

(g) Restriction signing. Before a restriction may be enforced, the department will provide, install, and maintain appropriate traffic control devices along the restricted route, in accordance with Transportation Code, §545.0651(g).

(h) Suspension or rescission of restriction.

  (1) The commission may suspend or rescind a lane restriction initiated by the department based upon the factors contained in subsection (f) of this section. Prior to suspension or rescission, the department will notify any impacted local jurisdiction.

  (2) In an emergency (such as incident management, inclement weather, maintenance or construction activities, or other factors) the executive director may temporarily suspend a department initiated lane restriction. Such a suspension may remain in effect for a period of 90 days after which time the temporary suspension must be either removed or approved by the commission.

Source Note: The provisions of this §25.604 adopted to be effective January 8, 2004, 29 TexReg 230

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