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Northern Virginia HOT Lanes

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davewiecking:
Continuation of the HOT lanes on the last 2 miles of the Beltway (Dulles Toll Road to GWPkwy) gets under way this month. The “green arrow/red X lane” (otherwise known as the inside shoulder) closed a few days ago to allow for work in the median to commence. www.495next.org has details.

Dirt Roads:

--- Quote from: plain on May 22, 2022, 09:34:01 PM ---Yes, but a GP lane in each direction would be more helpful.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: famartin on May 22, 2022, 10:03:16 PM ---Pretty sure the chance of that is about zero.

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--- Quote from: Plutonic Panda on May 22, 2022, 10:17:44 PM ---Why is that? Is Virginia not adding GP lanes anymore in urban areas?

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--- Quote from: sprjus4 on May 22, 2022, 10:56:00 PM ---Seems to be the trend nowadays.

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It's been a while since I was directly involved with a similar situation, but FHWA has a longstanding regulation that restricts the use of Federal funds for additional general purpose lanes when [fill in the blank].  It is my understanding that the [blank] is related to approval of the Environmental Impact Statement, where the primary issues are related to the Council on Environmental Quality recommendations for additional pollutants and additional noise.  On the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) side, we were looking at 30 year window, so I would presume FHWA has a similar long-term outlook.  Back in the 1990s, there were two primary ways that allowed construction of additional lanes when the EIS wouldn't permit GP lanes:  (1) HOV lanes; and (2) Toll lanes.  Today, we also have that hybrid: (3) HOT lanes.  These options forcibly reduce the long-term capacity of the additional lanes to allow the EIS to be acceptable.

For the record, the FHWA is still using an Environmental Review process developed in October 1987, whereas the FTA is using an Environment Review process last updated in September 2015.

bluecountry:

--- Quote from: Plutonic Panda on May 22, 2022, 10:17:44 PM ---
--- Quote from: famartin on May 22, 2022, 10:03:16 PM ---
--- Quote from: plain on May 22, 2022, 09:34:01 PM ---
--- Quote from: famartin on May 22, 2022, 09:29:00 PM ---
--- Quote from: plain on May 22, 2022, 09:09:17 PM ---Can be and will be are two different things. The state has already spent boatloads of $$$ in NOVA & Hampton Roads, finding even more money is what's going to be the challenge for anything else.

Even still the HOT lanes doesn't really need to be 2-way south of the Beltway, as most of the employment centers are either inside the Beltway or just outside of it. There aren't that many people commuting from Arlington/Fairfax/etc to Fredericksburg for work.

--- End quote ---

There are often delays on weekends when two-way traffic on the HOT lanes would be very useful.

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Yes, but a GP lane in each direction would be more helpful.

--- End quote ---

Pretty sure the chance of that is about zero.

--- End quote ---
Why is that? Is Virginia not adding GP lanes anymore in urban areas?

--- End quote ---

I believe VA cannot add a GP lane on 95 where the HOT lanes are without having to potentially compensate the vender of the HOT lanes since in theory adding another GP lane would reduce congestion thereby reducing demand and revenue.  Great contract.

Jmiles32:
https://www.insidenova.com/news/arlington/panel-more-express-lanes-need-to-be-part-of-n-va-transportation-mix/article_c417f426-06af-11ed-96f7-5bbfd6a9d0ed.html

--- Quote ---Northern Virginia has been transformed for the last decade by Express Lanes projects and regional leaders say more of the same is needed – including over the Potomac River and into Maryland – if the metropolitan area is to continue thriving.

Virginia has 62 miles of Express Lanes in service on Interstates 95, 495, 66 and 395 and now are building 33 miles more, including 22.5 miles on I-66 outside the Beltway and 2.5 miles for the 495 NEXT project in McLean, said John Lynch, Northern Virginia District engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Panelists discussed the situation July 14 at “Shaping the Region: Past, Present and Future of Express Lanes,” a Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA) program held July 14 at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in Tysons.
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--- Quote ---VDOT hopes some existing Express Lanes on I-95 can be converted from reversible-direction to bidirectional, allowing traffic headed both ways to use them throughout the day, Long said.

McKay hoped that could be accomplished, saying he from the start had called the reversible lanes there an “enormous missed opportunity.” VDOT officials also are conducting environmental studies, due to be competed in early 2024, about building Express Lanes on the south side of the Beltway connecting them across the Potomac in Maryland. Both spans of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge include space for future transit options, officials said. High housing costs also are a major challenge facing the region, whose leaders either must concentrate dwellings in the area’s core or keep spreading out as in years past, Clower said.
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I am really interested how the heck VDOT plans design-wise to turn the I-95 express lanes bi-directional. Very needed for sure. However, the only feasible idea that I've heard so far was to turn the GP lane's left shoulder of whatever direction the express lanes are not pointed in into a part time express lane. Even then, entrance and exit points could be nightmare. The ultimate design of the proposed southside express lanes will also be interesting to a lesser extent.

sprjus4:
^ It would be more costly, but the ultimate design for I-95 needs to be 2 express lanes in each direction. None of this shoulder stuff should be implemented, there’s just too much traffic for a single lane to be adequate at any time in each direction.

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