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Author Topic: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes  (Read 479892 times)

Mapmikey

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1825 on: December 03, 2021, 09:44:00 AM »

I was thinking it might be easier (assuming they want to keep a free through-lanes concept) to use the existing through lanes as the toll lanes and newly created lanes become the free through lanes.

But my other thought is the only way people will willingly use the toll lanes when a free express path remains available is if the toll lanes are the only way to access some of the exits while a free option bypasses ALL exits.  This concept also makes having to modify interchanges less complicated.

I think the answer to Froggie's post about the Maryland side convergence depends on how likely or soon toll lanes might be extended further into PG County.  If the innermost lanes become the toll lanes I think you can make a setup where the left lane becomes a ramp directly to MD 210 and the right lane merges into the newly created through lane(s) that would take over the last bit of existing express lanes to its ultimate merge back to the mainline beltway.
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froggie

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1826 on: December 03, 2021, 10:05:49 AM »

^ That ramp would more likely go to 295 than 210.  Such a ramp was part of the WWB plan but was deferred.  The extra width on the Express Lane inside shoulder at the east end of the bridge will be part of the acceleration/deceleration lanes for those ramps when they're built.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1827 on: December 05, 2021, 10:00:10 AM »

Quote
VDOT plans to add toll option to Seminary Road/I-395 interchange return
Quote
https://www.alxnow.com/2021/12/03/vdot-plans-to-add-toll-option-to-seminary-road-i-395-interchange-return/

This is the ramp which connects 395 HO/T lanes to Seminary Road at the Mark Center in West Alexandria. For reasons, this ramp is HOV only, although I have no idea how this rule would be enforced. This administrative change would formally allow toll users of the HO/T lanes to use this ramp to access Seminary Rd northbound in the morning, and 395 south in the afternoons.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1828 on: December 22, 2021, 08:30:47 AM »

Jeff McKay, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, isn't too thrilled with the reversible express lane system on I-95 and cites that as a cautionary aspect in discussing the proposed HO/T lane extension between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge. While he makes some valid points (other than his annoying misuse of the word "fail" when he meant "failure"), to some extent the I-95 complaint is a bit of a sideshow or distraction because I believe the tentative proposals for this end of the Beltway involve extending the existing bi-directional HO/T lanes east, not constructing a reversible carriageway.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/expansion-of-express-lanes-on-beltway-debated/2916438/
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1829 on: December 22, 2021, 09:48:09 AM »

Jeff McKay, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, isn't too thrilled with the reversible express lane system on I-95 and cites that as a cautionary aspect in discussing the proposed HO/T lane extension between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge. While he makes some valid points (other than his annoying misuse of the word "fail" when he meant "failure"), to some extent the I-95 complaint is a bit of a sideshow or distraction because I believe the tentative proposals for this end of the Beltway involve extending the existing bi-directional HO/T lanes east, not constructing a reversible carriageway.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/expansion-of-express-lanes-on-beltway-debated/2916438/

Quote
“I do think the toll pricing is out of control,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I’ve been pretty consistently saying that for a long time.”

This means he doesn't understand the point in keeping them free-flowing. They can limit the toll, but then they'll have congestion, defeating the goal of the tolled lanes free-flowing "promise".

During my limited experience on the 95 toll lanes, traffic flows fast enough for a State Trooper to monitor speeds, although the allowance is substantial. I know I was seen doing around 79-81 in a 65, and the trooper didn't even glance.

I've yet to travel the Beltway toll lanes.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1830 on: December 22, 2021, 10:08:18 AM »

I travel the Beltway lanes and the I-395 lanes more often than the I-95 lanes simply because I don't often have much reason to head south. I find the dynamic tolling seems to work pretty well, at least during peak hours when the congestion is more likely to be an issue. There have been multiple times during either the morning or afternoon rush hour when I've been doing 70 mph in the express lanes (being passed by other drivers, which is fine) and the general-purpose lanes to my right are at a complete standstill. If people think the toll is too high and opt not to use those lanes, then the system is working the way it's supposed to work.

(For what it's worth, three of our last four trips on the express lanes had no toll because my mom was with us.)
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Mapmikey

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1831 on: December 22, 2021, 11:32:19 AM »

I use both 495 and 95 toll lanes daily when coming to work on-site, which has returned to 4 days a week.

I can drive 70 mph throughout 95% of the time in the afternoon (roughly 5 to 545).  one thing I noticed two weeks ago is that the last segment of 95 south was $21 one day and it was still wide open the whole length (this is generally not true when 495 lanes are this high).  So I still wonder if the algorithm uses congestion on the main lanes (of which there was plenty) as part of its pricing determination.
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plain

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1832 on: December 22, 2021, 06:34:53 PM »

I don't like the idea of extending the HOT lanes to the WW Bridge. Just add GP lanes, it'll be a much better transition between the existing HOT lanes and the Local/Thru lanes approaching the bridge.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1833 on: December 22, 2021, 07:26:33 PM »

I don't like the idea of extending the HOT lanes to the WW Bridge. Just add GP lanes, it'll be a much better transition between the existing HOT lanes and the Local/Thru lanes approaching the bridge.

Being there's no money to widen the highway for free, some sort of tolling needs to take place.
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sprjus4

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1834 on: December 22, 2021, 07:59:32 PM »

IMO, I’d like to see them prioritizing a project to construct a second HO/T carriageway heading south of I-495 in order to allow the HO/T lanes to operate bi-directionally.

General purpose widening both directions of I-95 through Woodbridge at the minimum would also help to ease congestion at some of the choke points.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1835 on: December 23, 2021, 09:48:25 PM »

Express lanes extension to Fredericksburg completion date delayed...

Per recent Washington Post article (subscription may be necessary to see whole article)

Quote
A 10-mile extension of the 95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia is behind schedule as the project is entangled in a contractual dispute over soil conditions that has slowed construction.

Work on the $565 million project to bring high-occupancy toll lanes to Fredericksburg began in 2019 and was expected to be finished in October 2022. But officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation and toll operator Transurban said the roadway expansion will take longer to complete.

I did notice the 2nd overpass that was supposed to be replaced (SR 627) has not yet started and it was originally supposed to immediately follow the SR 652 overpass replacement which has been open for months.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1836 on: December 29, 2021, 11:54:43 AM »

I’m not familiar with this area so sorry if this is the wrong thread but I came across this news article and thought I’d share:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/12/24/virginia-express-lanes-wilson-bridge/
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1837 on: December 29, 2021, 02:38:26 PM »

IMO, I’d like to see them prioritizing a project to construct a second HO/T carriageway heading south of I-495 in order to allow the HO/T lanes to operate bi-directionally.

General purpose widening both directions of I-95 through Woodbridge at the minimum would also help to ease congestion at some of the choke points.

Shame they could not do like I-15 in San Diego....3 lane with zipper barrier, 2 lanes in peak flow, one in contraflow.
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sprjus4

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1838 on: December 29, 2021, 06:13:04 PM »

IMO, I’d like to see them prioritizing a project to construct a second HO/T carriageway heading south of I-495 in order to allow the HO/T lanes to operate bi-directionally.

General purpose widening both directions of I-95 through Woodbridge at the minimum would also help to ease congestion at some of the choke points.

Shame they could not do like I-15 in San Diego....3 lane with zipper barrier, 2 lanes in peak flow, one in contraflow.
The traffic volumes are heavy enough on I-95, it warrants at least 2 HO/T lanes in each direction.
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sprjus4

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1839 on: December 30, 2021, 09:29:16 AM »

Expansion of Express Lanes on Beltway Debated
Quote
Virginia is considering expanding express toll lanes on the Beltway from the Springfield interchange, through Alexandria and across the Wilson Bridge to the National Harbor area, but local leaders are cautioning the tolls and planning be done correctly.

The cost of tolls along express lanes in Northern Virginia can be sky high.

“I do think the toll pricing is out of control,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I’ve been pretty consistently saying that for a long time.”

He also believes they can be set up the wrong way. In his opinion, the express lanes along the Interstate 95 corridor may not always go the way drivers need them to go.

Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss and the News4 team are covering you down on the roads and in transit.

“I think the biggest colossal fail of toll lanes in probably the history of Virginia, maybe in the country, was building one directional toll lanes on I-95,” he said. “Talk about an inequity, that’s the inequity of all time.”

“I-95 has cemented poor planning, in my mind, for a long time in the 95 corridor because our transportation planners decided that forever people will commute in one direction in the morning and one direction in the evening,” he added. “And I’ve got news for you – that wasn’t happening on 95 before COVID and it’s not going to happen on 95 ever because it’s backed up in both directions.”

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair-at-Large Ann Wheeler says if these projects are coming, pandemic traffic levels allow for the construction.

“At the moment, it’s not a bad time to necessarily do it because people are in their houses, so there is some benefit to that,” she said.

These are the same type of toll lanes Maryland is considering for its side of the Beltway and Interstate 270.

Another I-95 express lanes project in Northern Virginia has hit a roadblock. A contractual dispute is delaying the 10-mile extension of express lanes south to Fredericksburg. It was expected to be finished by October, but the Virginia Department of Transportation says the toll operator and a contractor are in arbitration and working to reach an agreement over costs and the project's timeline.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1840 on: December 30, 2021, 11:14:30 AM »

^^^^

As I said further up the thread:

Jeff McKay, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County, isn't too thrilled with the reversible express lane system on I-95 and cites that as a cautionary aspect in discussing the proposed HO/T lane extension between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge. While he makes some valid points (other than his annoying misuse of the word "fail" when he meant "failure"), to some extent the I-95 complaint is a bit of a sideshow or distraction because I believe the tentative proposals for this end of the Beltway involve extending the existing bi-directional HO/T lanes east, not constructing a reversible carriageway.

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/transportation/expansion-of-express-lanes-on-beltway-debated/2916438/

Certainly I think he's right that there isn't enough flexibility allowed so as to permit reversal at nonstandard times when traffic loads demand it or for days with nonstandard traffic flow, other than perhaps Inauguration Day every four years (which is rare enough not to count). But I still think the comments are a sideshow when it comes to the Beltway because there is almost certainly zero chance of reversible lanes being constructed there. Reversible lanes wouldn't make any sense between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge anyway, regardless of one's opinions about I-95.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1841 on: January 03, 2022, 11:48:29 AM »

Don't see this very often at all.

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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1842 on: May 03, 2022, 02:11:27 PM »

Now expected to open December 2023:

Quote
The new timeline comes months after the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban said the project was caught up in a contractual dispute over soil conditions. That dispute has been settled and construction of the new toll lanes is now 60 percent complete, on pace for opening in December 2023, the toll operator said.

- https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2022/05/02/95-express-lanes-virginia/
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epzik8

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1843 on: May 13, 2022, 06:41:16 PM »

I don't want the Southside Beltway lanes to be built
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1844 on: May 13, 2022, 07:01:10 PM »

I don't want the Southside Beltway lanes to be built
Why
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bluecountry

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1845 on: May 20, 2022, 02:45:18 PM »

95 needs to have BI directional HOT lanes.
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froggie

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1846 on: May 21, 2022, 08:28:30 AM »

^ Not going to happen without some significant (i.e. ten digits) ROW acquisition and construction.  There are choke points at both Newington and Woodbridge.

Or, you could avoid the ROW acquisition but that would require using general purpose lane space to fit bi-directional HO/T lanes in.  Bet that would go over well with drivers...
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sprjus4

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1847 on: May 21, 2022, 09:52:23 AM »

^ Elevated express lanes? They’ve been used other places where right of way acquisition was an issue.
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froggie

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1848 on: May 21, 2022, 10:11:32 AM »

^ Still need places for the bridge supports.  Would also be significantly complicated (and very high) at Franconia Rd given the existing (and already complicated) overpasses there.  And would still result in a 10-digit construction cost.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1849 on: May 21, 2022, 04:05:46 PM »

There's a big noise impact on the surrounding communities too.  Soundwalls would be needed.  Then there's the visual obstruction soundwalls cause. 

With these "lifestyle" issues, it's almost easier to install a tunnel than a 2nd/3rd/4th level roadway corridor.  And combined with the cost, it's why you don't often see these multi-level corridors built.
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