Regional Boards > Mid-Atlantic

Northern Virginia HOT Lanes

<< < (374/378) > >>

vdeane:
Why do they keep talking about HOT lanes across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge?  Aren't there already express lanes there (albeit free)?

froggie:

--- Quote from: vdeane on July 18, 2022, 09:50:55 PM ---Why do they keep talking about HOT lanes across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge?  Aren't there already express lanes there (albeit free)?

--- End quote ---

The Express Lane carriageways on the bridge were built wide enough to accommodate either a 3rd lane (at the time, presuming HOV) or rail transit.  Design also accommodates potential future ramps between the bridge Express Lanes and I-295 (via the wider median at both spots) and from the Express Lanes to US 1 (note the gap in the median curb in the middle of the US 1 overpass).

bluecountry:

--- Quote from: Jmiles32 on July 18, 2022, 03:30:48 PM ---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.
--- End quote ---

--- 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.
--- End quote ---

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.

--- End quote ---

Dude it's simple:
1.  There is ample ROW south of 234 for bi(hehehe thats whats she said)-directional HOT lanes.
2.  There is also room north of 234, though not in all spots without some taking.  But we aren't talking about the Cross-Bronx which is very dense, the area is more like the 66 corrdior where that was easily done.
3. WORST case, north of 234 just go from being 3 reversible HOT to 2+2.

sprjus4:

--- Quote from: froggie on July 18, 2022, 11:25:53 PM ---
--- Quote from: vdeane on July 18, 2022, 09:50:55 PM ---Why do they keep talking about HOT lanes across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge?  Aren't there already express lanes there (albeit free)?

--- End quote ---

The Express Lane carriageways on the bridge were built wide enough to accommodate either a 3rd lane (at the time, presuming HOV) or rail transit.  Design also accommodates potential future ramps between the bridge Express Lanes and I-295 (via the wider median at both spots) and from the Express Lanes to US 1 (note the gap in the median curb in the middle of the US 1 overpass).

--- End quote ---
My question is how do they plan to accommodate the standard 2 HO/T lanes each way along side the existing 4 lanes each way? Unless they either remove a general purpose lane (which would cause issues on a 2+2, or make it a single HO/T lane (which also would be too low capacity).

It might involve some creative redoing of the lanes (shoulder elimination, lane width reductions in the HO/T to 11 ft (used in other areas on the I-95/I-395 system) or slight bridge widening.

None the less, I do agree the last part of I-495 in Virginia between I-95 and the Maryland state line needs to be expanded to 4 general purpose lanes and 2 HO/T lanes in each direction.

1995hoo:

--- Quote from: froggie on July 18, 2022, 11:25:53 PM ---
--- Quote from: vdeane on July 18, 2022, 09:50:55 PM ---Why do they keep talking about HOT lanes across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge?  Aren't there already express lanes there (albeit free)?

--- End quote ---

The Express Lane carriageways on the bridge were built wide enough to accommodate either a 3rd lane (at the time, presuming HOV) or rail transit.  Design also accommodates potential future ramps between the bridge Express Lanes and I-295 (via the wider median at both spots) and from the Express Lanes to US 1 (note the gap in the median curb in the middle of the US 1 overpass).

--- End quote ---

Another point to note is that the Wilson Bridge's carriageways are not denominated on the signs as "Local" and "Express" but rather as "Local" and "Thru," the latter referring to what vdeane is referring to as the "express" lanes. I remember that back when the signs first went up, I was discussing it with sometimes-forum-participant mtantillo (though we weren't discussing it on this forum, which I don't think existed yet) and he mentioned that the FHWA was trying to transition away from the use of "express lanes" as a description for lanes that simply have fewer exits in favor of using that term for "managed lanes" such as HO/T lanes. One wrinkle is that the use of "Thru" precludes, as a practical matter, the use of the type of sign you sometimes see in New Jersey where it will have a banner saying "All Lanes Thru"—it's arguably contradictory or confusing to post one carriageway as "Thru" and then say "All Lanes Thru." (I see enough people swerving across the gore points at either end of the Wilson Bridge "Local"/"Thru" setup that I've thought VDOT and MDOT ought to figure out some way to indicate that thru traffic to Baltimore or Richmond can use either carriageway. I understand that violates the intent of segregating long-distance traffic, but as a practical matter, the swerving without looking may be a bigger problem.)

Further history.... Traditionally, the reversible HOV carriageway on I-95/I-395 in Northern Virginia (which is now HO/T) was referred to locally as "the express lanes" going back to the 1970s, and there were some signs that referred to them as such (mostly older signs, as over time VDOT started signing them as the "Restricted Lanes"). Back when the I-495 HO/T lanes first opened in late 2012, WTOP traffic reporter Bob Marbourg's main concern was "what are we calling these lanes?" He refused to call them "express lanes" because that name had long referred to the I-395 HOV system, so he took to calling them the "E-ZPass Lanes." I assume, but I don't really recall whether this is right, that he used the "Thru" terminology on the Wilson Bridge as well (I may be wrong about that, and he has now retired anyway).

So to some degree, it's a matter of semantics: The highway departments do not consider there to be "express lanes" across the Wilson Bridge because in their worldview, "express lanes" refer to managed lanes that do not exist there (yet).

I'm interested in learning how, if at all, they plan to reconfigure the two interchanges between Springfield and the existing "Local"/"Thru" split. The one at Van Dorn Street could use improvement due to the problems caused by criss-crossing traffic in a very short amount of space on the ramp exiting the Beltway.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version