Fort Meade has closed its special entrance for high-occupancy vehicles, after determining that usage did not justify the staff to keep it open.
The military installation had maintained the HOV lane as part of a plan designed to reduce traffic congestion on base and at entrance gates.
The HOV was originally open at Llewellyn Road last spring, then moved to Rockenbach Road, where an additional lane was added.
“After several more weeks of study, we determined that usage on the HOV lane didn't justify the staffing necessary to keep it open,” Fort Meade spokeswoman Mary Doyle said. “We will continue to monitor gate usage and make changes and adjustments as necessary.”
More than 6,000 workers have migrated to Fort Meade this year as a result of federal base realignment and closure (BRAC) activities, including thousands of employees of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Thousands more are expected as a result of expansion at the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command.
Early this year, local officials worked with military leadership on a transportation demand management plan in order to reduce traffic.
Doyle said that while the HOV lane is gone, the base has seen increased use of carpooling and vanpooling, and that congestion has also been eased by use of telecommuting and flexible work schedules. Many workers have also been arriving via subscription bus services.