In February 2001, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill requiring that Mn/DOT study how opening High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-394 to general traffic would impact traffic flow and safety.
The Federal Highway Administration prohibited Mn/DOT from opening the lanes to general traffic because special federal funding was used to construct these lanes. Federal officials believed opening the lanes would have a serious detrimental effect on the future use and acceptance of HOV facilities.
As a result of Minnesota Legislature request and the FHWA restrictions, Mn/DOT conducted a study on HOV lanes on I-35 and I-394 that did not involve physically changing current HOV lane operations.
The results of that study were presented to the Legislature on March 1, 2002.
Summary of HOV Study (285kb PDF): Background, key findings, recommendations, benefit/cost analysis, and more.