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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: davewiecking on July 11, 2018, 11:41:26 PM

Title: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: davewiecking on July 11, 2018, 11:41:26 PM
I came across this website (https://495-270-p3.com/) just now. There has been discussion of (up for election) Gov Hogan's expansion proposal in the main Maryland thread, but no matter where this proposal goes, it deserves its own thread.

There will be 4 area workshops starting next week, and a virtual one available on the above website next Tuesday, July 17.

A few ancillary topics got their own threads: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond? (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=22873.0), and Why is MD Governor Hogan NOT expanding I-95 (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=22471.0).

(Credit to http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2018/Public-Invited-to-Bethesda-Workshop-on-Study-of-Easing-I-270-Beltway-Congestion/ for pointing me to the website.)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 12, 2018, 10:29:07 AM
Need all interstates between Fredericksburg and Baltimore HOT/3, since there isn't a proper all-regional commuter rail system.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on July 12, 2018, 07:06:15 PM
Need all interstates between Fredericksburg and Baltimore HOT/3, since there isn't a proper all-regional commuter rail system.

Heh. Consistency on the tolling threshold would reduce confusion for some people, too. When we got in the car this morning, I saw my wife had her E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode. I knew she hadn't had three people in the car since last Thursday, so I asked her about it and she said she used it yesterday when she and a friend were on the Beltway; she swore I was wrong and that it's HOV-2 to ride free and that the signs backed her up. I suppose she might have misunderstood the signs since she was coming east on I-66 returning from a trip to Luray, although I've never seen how you could confuse the signs for I-66 inside the Beltway with the ones for I-495. Good thing she didn't get a ticket.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Revive 755 on July 12, 2018, 09:07:50 PM
Need all interstates between Fredericksburg and Baltimore HOT/3, since there isn't a proper all-regional commuter rail system.

Absolutely not - interstates are for more than the regional commuters.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on July 15, 2018, 06:43:19 PM
Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought he meant to have HO/T lanes on all the Interstates, but not that they all ought to be 100% HO/T.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 15, 2018, 09:38:26 PM
Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought he meant to have HO/T lanes on all the Interstates, but not that they all ought to be 100% HO/T.

👍
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on July 15, 2018, 10:48:24 PM
^ Looks like Revive is the one who misunderstood.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 18, 2018, 05:01:58 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/07/18/tentative-construction-options-unveiled-for-marylands-ambitious-plan-to-widen-the-beltway-and-i-270/?utm_term=.ef7672116609
Quote
An ambitious plan to widen lanes on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 is entering a new phase with the release of a long list of possible construction alternatives this week.

Maryland transportation officials Tuesday unveiled 15 preliminary options that include the addition of congestion-priced toll lanes as well as dedicated bus lanes that would address traffic congestion on the two major highways. The alternatives provide the most detail of what the project might look like on I-270 and the Beltway.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in September proposed a $9 billion project to widen the highways to add managed toll lanes through a public-private partnership. The concept is now part of a complex federal review that explores a variety of possible improvements before settling on a preferred alternative.

The improvements under study include the addition of tolled and non-tolled lanes on both highways, bus lanes, spot improvements on the existing road to allow shoulder use and the conversion of existing HOV lanes to tolled lanes on I-270. Here’s the full list.

State officials say the goal is to find the best solution that not only provides some relief for commuters but also is financially viable.

“This is a massive undertaking,” Jeff Folden, a project deputy director with the Maryland State Highway Administration told a group of residents and officials at a meeting Tuesday night in Greenbelt.

“Current funding levels from the transportation trust fund could not accommodate this,” he said, noting that construction could take decades if they wait for public funding. “We are looking for something that can provide improvements in a self-sufficient manner. We are looking to see if any of these alternatives can be self-sufficient.”

Here’s the full list: https://495-270-p3.com/online_public_workshop/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on July 27, 2018, 02:38:23 PM
Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought he meant to have HO/T lanes on all the Interstates, but not that they all ought to be 100% HO/T.

And it would also be helpful if every road had the same standards for what is HO and what is not.   Each roadway on every freeway in the larger region (to even include I-95 north of Baltimore) should allow for toll use with free use for HOV-3 with an EZ-Pass Flex.

[I think there were some reports that the proposed 495-270 lane would be toll only, but that would not mesh well with the existing HO/T standards of 495 in Va.]
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 27, 2018, 03:31:37 PM
Maybe I misunderstood him. I thought he meant to have HO/T lanes on all the Interstates, but not that they all ought to be 100% HO/T.

And it would also be helpful if every road had the same standards for what is HO and what is not.   Each roadway on every freeway in the larger region (to even include I-95 north of Baltimore) should allow for toll use with free use for HOV-3 with an EZ-Pass Flex.

I agree. But roads managed by MDTA may not be able to exempt HOV traffic due to their trust agreement with bondholders.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on September 06, 2018, 10:28:16 PM
https://wtop.com/maryland/2018/09/despite-skepticism-hogan-says-no-homes-will-be-razed-for-i-270-widening/
Quote
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Gov. Larry Hogan has promised residents that the state has no plans to take homes using eminent domain as part of the widening of Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway.
At a news conference in Annapolis on Tuesday, the governor repeated what he told a group of concerned citizens at a Labor Day parade in Kensington: “The state has no plans that show anybody’s houses being taken,” he said.

At Monday’s Labor Day parades in Kensington and Gaithersburg, the governor talked to residents, including Pete Altman with the group Don’tWiden270, who held signs protesting the governor’s plans to add lanes to I-270 and the Beltway. The governor said he told protesters, “I can assure you we’re not taking your houses,” and blamed what he called “a pro-traffic group or an anti-improvement group” for putting out information that he said was misleading. The governor didn’t say what group he was referring to.

Greg Slater, Maryland state highway administrator, echoed the governor’s assurances. But he used more-nuanced language, saying, “I’m here to tell you today that our approach is to implement a solution within the existing right of way of the highway.”

Slater said there are surveyors working along the roadways, conducting soil tests and environmental studies. And he confirmed that letters have gone out to residents notifying them about that activity.

“We’re in the early stages of the federally mandated [National Environmental Policy Act] process that requires us to look at all options,” he said, adding, “We’re challenging our private sector partners to find a solution that fits within that right of way.”

Rockville resident Dan Hennessy, who lives in the Rockshire neighborhood on the west side of I-270 near Maryland Route 28, said he was grateful for the governor’s statements. But he remains concerned about how the plans under the public-private partnership would be executed.

Ben Ross, with the Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition, remained skeptical of the reassurances from the governor and from the state highway administrator.

“There simply isn’t room to add four toll lanes to the Beltway without knocking down houses,” Ross said.

Very bold promises by Governor Hogan considering the multiple stretches of limited ROW along I-495 and I-270. The only way I can see no(or very little) homes or businesses being taken would be via burying the toll lanes underground such as was done with the I-635 TEXpress lanes near Dallas, and thats not even considering the potential toll lanes' entrances and exits. While it sounds like a bunch of political talk to me, if anyone has any other ideas of how Maryland could pull this off I'd be extremely interested to hear it.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: AlexandriaVA on September 07, 2018, 09:58:29 AM
Hogan's up for releection in November. Let's see what "revisions" pop up from the study after election day.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 11, 2018, 11:43:41 AM
Very bold promises by Governor Hogan considering the multiple stretches of limited ROW along I-495 and I-270. The only way I can see no(or very little) homes or businesses being taken would be via burying the toll lanes underground such as was done with the I-635 TEXpress lanes near Dallas, and thats not even considering the potential toll lanes' entrances and exits. While it sounds like a bunch of political talk to me, if anyone has any other ideas of how Maryland could pull this off I'd be extremely interested to hear it.

I-110 (Harbor Freeway) HOV lanes in Los Angeles County (now HOV/Toll lanes, styled as ExpressLanes) have a long elevated section that is entirely  within  the original Caltrans right-of-way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2018, 02:49:32 PM
^ Can you not imagine the crash frequency if they were to put similar elevated toll lanes above the curvy Beltway segment near Rock Creek Park?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on September 11, 2018, 03:20:18 PM
^ Can you not imagine the crash frequency if they were to put similar elevated toll lanes above the curvy Beltway segment near Rock Creek Park?

Straddle bents!  Make the viaduct much less curvy.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on September 11, 2018, 09:23:11 PM
Very bold promises by Governor Hogan considering the multiple stretches of limited ROW along I-495 and I-270. The only way I can see no(or very little) homes or businesses being taken would be via burying the toll lanes underground such as was done with the I-635 TEXpress lanes near Dallas, and thats not even considering the potential toll lanes' entrances and exits. While it sounds like a bunch of political talk to me, if anyone has any other ideas of how Maryland could pull this off I'd be extremely interested to hear it.

I-110 (Harbor Freeway) HOV lanes in Los Angeles County (now HOV/Toll lanes, styled as ExpressLanes) have a long elevated section that is entirely  within  the original Caltrans right-of-way.

Interesting possibility, although I strongly suspect many in both Bethesda and Silver Spring would be opposed to the idea of elevated toll lanes due to "eye-sore reasons".
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on September 13, 2018, 11:25:53 AM
Could the Parks System Use Its Land as Leverage in I-270, Beltway Project? (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/could-the-parks-system-use-its-land-as-leverage-in-i-270-beltway-project/)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: abefroman329 on September 18, 2018, 07:39:17 PM
Very bold promises by Governor Hogan considering the multiple stretches of limited ROW along I-495 and I-270. The only way I can see no(or very little) homes or businesses being taken would be via burying the toll lanes underground such as was done with the I-635 TEXpress lanes near Dallas, and thats not even considering the potential toll lanes' entrances and exits. While it sounds like a bunch of political talk to me, if anyone has any other ideas of how Maryland could pull this off I'd be extremely interested to hear it.

I-110 (Harbor Freeway) HOV lanes in Los Angeles County (now HOV/Toll lanes, styled as ExpressLanes) have a long elevated section that is entirely  within  the original Caltrans right-of-way.

Interesting possibility, although I strongly suspect many in both Bethesda and Silver Spring would be opposed to the idea of elevated toll lanes due to "eye-sore reasons".
I don’t think the tonier residents live within eyeshot of where the elevated sections would be.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 12, 2018, 04:43:30 PM
Washington Post: Poll: Maryland voters narrowly oppose Hogan’s big plan for express toll lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/poll-maryland-voters-narrowly-oppose-hogans-big-plan-for-express-toll-lanes/2018/10/11/7259e8e4-cd63-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html?utm_term=.b0947e869e55)

Quote
Maryland voters narrowly oppose adding express toll lanes to widen three of the state’s most congested highways, a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds, highlighting public skepticism about one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature transportation plans.

Quote
The centerpiece of the governor’s proposal — a $9 billion project to add four lanes apiece to the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — is opposed by voters even in the Washington suburbs whom the plan is supposed to help.

Quote
The Post-U-Md. poll finds 44 percent of registered voters statewide favor adding express toll lanes while 50 percent oppose them. Nearly twice as many strongly oppose the idea as strongly support it, 33 percent to 18 percent.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 12, 2018, 10:12:52 PM
Washington comPost: Poll: Maryland voters narrowly oppose Hogan’s big plan for express toll lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/poll-maryland-voters-narrowly-oppose-hogans-big-plan-for-express-toll-lanes/2018/10/11/7259e8e4-cd63-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html?utm_term=.b0947e869e55)
Quote
Maryland voters narrowly oppose adding express toll lanes to widen three of the state’s most congested highways, a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds, highlighting public skepticism about one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature transportation plans.

Polls shouldn't override the decisions of who the voters selected for the executive and legislative branches of government, IMHO.  Polling is often inaccurate.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on October 13, 2018, 11:48:10 AM
Washington comPost: Poll: Maryland voters narrowly oppose Hogan’s big plan for express toll lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/poll-maryland-voters-narrowly-oppose-hogans-big-plan-for-express-toll-lanes/2018/10/11/7259e8e4-cd63-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html?utm_term=.b0947e869e55)
Quote
Maryland voters narrowly oppose adding express toll lanes to widen three of the state’s most congested highways, a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds, highlighting public skepticism about one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature transportation plans.

Polls shouldn't override the decisions of who the voters selected for the executive and legislative branches of government, IMHO.  Polling is often inaccurate.

Agreed, plus it's not difficult for skilled pollsters to manipulate the process to obtain the desired result via various methods, including (for example) carefully constructing the question to predispose the respondent to give a particular answer.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on October 13, 2018, 03:11:09 PM
Washington comPost: Poll: Maryland voters narrowly oppose Hogan’s big plan for express toll lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/poll-maryland-voters-narrowly-oppose-hogans-big-plan-for-express-toll-lanes/2018/10/11/7259e8e4-cd63-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html?utm_term=.b0947e869e55)
Quote
Maryland voters narrowly oppose adding express toll lanes to widen three of the state’s most congested highways, a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll finds, highlighting public skepticism about one of Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature transportation plans.

Polls shouldn't override the decisions of who the voters selected for the executive and legislative branches of government, IMHO.  Polling is often inaccurate.
Every state has their methods. I know in California polls (aka propositions) can decide issues instead of the legislature, although I don't know if propositions can be overruled or if they're automatically law. That is the exception rather than the norm, though.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 13, 2018, 03:41:32 PM
Polls shouldn't override the decisions of who the voters selected for the executive and legislative branches of government, IMHO.  Polling is often inaccurate.
Every state has their methods. I know in California polls (aka propositions) can decide issues instead of the legislature, although I don't know if propositions can be overruled or if they're automatically law. That is the exception rather than the norm, though.

This one was conducted by a polling organization, though.  Maryland doesn't do propositions AFAIK.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on October 13, 2018, 03:50:34 PM
Polls shouldn't override the decisions of who the voters selected for the executive and legislative branches of government, IMHO.  Polling is often inaccurate.
Every state has their methods. I know in California polls (aka propositions) can decide issues instead of the legislature, although I don't know if propositions can be overruled or if they're automatically law. That is the exception rather than the norm, though.

This one was conducted by a polling organization, though.  Maryland doesn't do propositions AFAIK.
I can never read WaPo articles (not that I really want to usually). But yeah, a poll can say whatever. It's like the college football poll - only the last vote matters.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 15, 2018, 03:10:24 PM
Maryland doesn't do propositions AFAIK.

Proposed amendments to the Maryland Constitution must be voted on statewide in what amounts to a referendum.  Other laws that have been passed by General Assembly  can usually be petitioned to a referendum.  In other words, you are generally correct. No California-style propositions.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 19, 2018, 06:24:34 PM
Some interesting updates:
https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/11/expect-years-of-construction-md-beltway-i-270-toll-lanes-to-be-built-in-phases-from-legion-bridge/
Quote
Toll lanes around the Capital Beltway and I-270 in Maryland could be built in several separate phases and even operated by different companies under the latest plans released to industry insiders. It indicates Beltway construction could last for years.
The first phase would include fixes for the Legion Bridge.

A new document sent last week ahead of the next forum for private companies that could design, build and operate the lanes said that while Maryland eventually plans more than 70 miles of toll lanes from Frederick to Bethesda and from the Legion Bridge to near Oxon Hill, building out the entire network could take many years.

In addition to the already disclosed deferral of any toll lane construction on Interstate 270 north of the Shady Grove Metro, the new documents indicate that the rest of the toll lanes would be divided into entirely separate phases that could be awarded to entirely separate contractors.

To start, Maryland would only award a contract for toll lanes across a reconstructed or rehabilitated American Legion Bridge extending some to-be-determined distance into Maryland (Virginia is separately set to extend the 495 Express Lanes to just shy of the Legion Bridge to connect).

The private company or companies that would design, build and operate Maryland’s toll lanes would remain responsible for the toll lanes maintenance and upkeep for 50 years, but would not be responsible for any maintenance of the Legion Bridge or the regular travel lanes.

Overall, that first phase contract would be expected to cost $2 billion to $5 billion for construction and design, the Maryland document said.

One potential bidder, Cintra and Ferrovial Agroman, suggested about a year ago that a segment over the Legion Bridge should include the proposed toll lanes up the I-270 spur to Shady Grove, with another segment for separate bids to cover the Beltway from the I-270 spur to U.S. 50 in Lanham. That private group, which is building the Interstate 66 toll lanes outside the Beltway in Virginia, believes those would be the most profitable segments, and toll lanes south of U.S. 50 past Branch Ave. near Joint Base Andrews would make less money.

It is not yet clear whether that segment in Prince George’s County is the one Maryland plans to build last.
Quote
Hope for “shockingly innovative” approach
For the initial projects, Maryland’s stated goals are congestion relief when the project opens, minimized impacts when possible during four to five years of major construction on each segment, a split of toll payments with state or a single upfront payment to state and accelerated delivery.

“In meeting MDOT’s goals, MDOT is looking for a partner with shockingly innovative approaches that will provide high value with a focus on ensuring excellent customer service to MDOT and the public,” the message to the industry said.

An outline of the public-private partnership agreement would be released this winter, and the state’s Board of Public Works would approve the continuation of the procurement process in February.

Final details of what the state is looking for in an initial project are now expected in early 2020, with bids due by summer 2020.

Maryland hopes to select a winning bidder and close the deal by the end of 2020, which could allow construction to start on a first segment of toll lanes as soon as 2021.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 19, 2018, 08:45:22 PM
Some interesting updates:
https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/11/expect-years-of-construction-md-beltway-i-270-toll-lanes-to-be-built-in-phases-from-legion-bridge/
Quote
To start, Maryland would only award a contract for toll lanes across a reconstructed or rehabilitated American Legion Bridge extending some to-be-determined distance into Maryland (Virginia is separately set to extend the 495 Express Lanes to just shy of the Legion Bridge to connect).

Of course a NEPA EIS/location process study and document needs to be completed first. 

I wonder what would be the feasibility for constructing the above to a 12-lane design like the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia?  At least to the I-270 split.  Given the right-of-way constraints in Maryland.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 19, 2018, 10:06:58 PM
I wonder what would be the feasibility for constructing the above to a 12-lane design like the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia?  At least to the I-270 split.  Given the right-of-way constraints in Maryland.

Definitely won't be easy. Will be interesting to see what "shockingly innovative" approaches the private companies come up with. My guess is that most will have the toll lanes built partially underground.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 19, 2018, 11:40:57 PM
I wonder what would be the feasibility for constructing the above to a 12-lane design like the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia?  At least to the I-270 split.  Given the right-of-way constraints in Maryland.
Definitely won't be easy. Will be interesting to see what "shockingly innovative" approaches the private companies come up with. My guess is that most will have the toll lanes built partially underground.

I just reviewed Google Maps aerial again.  Looks like ample space for a 12-lane design like the I-495 HOT lanes in Virginia, with at most 20 residential acquisitions.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: davewiecking on November 20, 2018, 09:59:37 AM
The soundwalls are back pretty far from the travel lanes along this stretch. I'm not even sure any complete properties would need to be taken (unless the design requires hard barriers with extra shoulders, not just rubber bollards, between the roadways). One of the few tidbits of info I learned at the July workshop was that they were concerned about driver confusion with potentially changing rules for the lanes as drivers traveled north from Tyson's Corner-that seemed to be an argument for keeping the NoVa setup at least up to the 270 spur. The Old Georgetown Rd stretch (between the 270's) would be an ideal point to break up the Express lane standards.

CPZ had an interesting point above about MDTA's bond status possibly affecting plans to allow HOVs in the new lanes-it's not something I've read elsewhere, but at this point the local media is basically just reporting press releases.

There is an 84" WSSC fresh water pipe that was tunneled under the beltway (https://www.wsscwater.com/contents/news/2015/wssc-completes-10-year-long-bi-c.html) for 5.3 miles starting at Connecticut Ave. It's between 90' and 280' below the surface, and was bored thru bedrock. I don't recall any specific plans that the new lanes would need to interchange with all existing cross roads. Perhaps a truly express (bored) tunnel from the vicinity of 495/270/355 to 495/95 would be "shockingly innovative"?

Montgomery County Planning Department is working on plans to overhaul the Ga Ave interchange (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/development/county-planning-department-unveils-preliminary-plans-for-reconfiguring-georgia-avenue/). SHA is reportedly working on plans to realign Ga Ave in this area, including wiping out the reversible lane. Maybe these 2 groups should sit down with those working on plans for new interstate lanes before they piss away too much money planning/building things that will only last for a few years.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on November 22, 2018, 09:08:16 PM
It's important to keep the same standard for managed lanes that directly connect.  Beltway lanes should allow hov for free.  We saw very clearly the problems on 395 with different standards as you cross into Arlington with hov only lanes and south of there allowing toll customers but requiring all to have ez pass.  Let's not make the same mistake again.

Nexus 5X

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on November 23, 2018, 09:29:32 AM
I-66 allowing two people to ride free is a good example, too—someone who falls in that category who exits onto the Beltway HO/T lanes has to remember to flip the switch on the E-ZPass Flex while going down the ramp to the Beltway (I have done this a number of times and it's no big deal, even with the E-ZPass mounted on the passenger's side of the rearview assembly, but you do have to remember to do it). Of course that issue is scheduled to go away when the I-66 HO/T lanes open outside the Beltway, as VDOT plans to change the free ride to HOV-3 at that time for consistency.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on November 25, 2018, 08:38:59 AM
I-66 allowing two people to ride free is a good example, too—someone who falls in that category who exits onto the Beltway HO/T lanes has to remember to flip the switch on the E-ZPass Flex while going down the ramp to the Beltway (I have done this a number of times and it's no big deal, even with the E-ZPass mounted on the passenger's side of the rearview assembly, but you do have to remember to do it). Of course that issue is scheduled to go away when the I-66 HO/T lanes open outside the Beltway, as VDOT plans to change the free ride to HOV-3 at that time for consistency.

Switching between two highways is theoretically less of a problem than continuing straight on the same main line, even if crossing the county or state boundary.  But I agree that it would be a lot easier if there were consistent rules on all managed lanes in the area.

I-66 inside the Beltway is a unique problem because there is no non-managed option.  The other highways provide free lanes for those who don't carpool or want to pay the toll.  For I-66, your option is to travel outisde of rush or to take an alternative routing.

California has a bunch of toll roads with different rules for HOV-2 and HOV-3+.  (I believe that during off-peak hours HOV-2 can ride free on I-10 but HOV-3+ can ride free during rush hours.  There may also be some roads that offer a carpooling discount for HOV-2 and a free ride for HOV-3+.)  For this reason the Fastrak Flex has a 1-2-3 switch that you basically set for the number of occupants and don't have to change in the middle of driving.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: davewiecking on June 05, 2019, 08:52:43 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hogan-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-beltway-i-270-heads-to-state-panel-for-key-vote/2019/06/04/6b91d488-86de-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?utm_term=.c08bcdae4311

Quote
The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 2 to 1 Wednesday to allow the state to solicit private companies to build and operate toll lanes on Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to ease traffic congestion in the Washington suburbs.

In a change to Hogan’s initial proposal, the I-270 lanes will be built first. Adding toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 495 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which has been more controversial, will be phases 2 and 3.

Hogan said the American Legion Bridge, which connects Maryland and Virginia along the Beltway, needed the most immediate relief. However, he said he would “reluctantly” prioritize I-270 because it was less controversial than the Beltway, where widening would require destroying more homes.

See also https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/state-board-advances-i-270-widening-delays-beltway-plans/

and https://wtop.com/maryland/2019/06/divided-maryland-board-of-public-works-oks-public-private-partnership-for-highway-expansion-after-explosive-hearing/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 05, 2019, 09:06:20 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hogan-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-beltway-i-270-heads-to-state-panel-for-key-vote/2019/06/04/6b91d488-86de-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?utm_term=.c08bcdae4311

Quote
The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 2 to 1 Wednesday to allow the state to solicit private companies to build and operate toll lanes on Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to ease traffic congestion in the Washington suburbs.

In a change to Hogan’s initial proposal, the I-270 lanes will be built first. Adding toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 495 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which has been more controversial, will be phases 2 and 3.

Hogan said the American Legion Bridge, which connects Maryland and Virginia along the Beltway, needed the most immediate relief. However, he said he would “reluctantly” prioritize I-270 because it was less controversial than the Beltway, where widening would require destroying more homes.

See also https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/state-board-advances-i-270-widening-delays-beltway-plans/

and https://wtop.com/maryland/2019/06/divided-maryland-board-of-public-works-oks-public-private-partnership-for-highway-expansion-after-explosive-hearing/
From the way I'm reading these articles, and from what I'm seeing from the official websites, it sounds to me the whole plan for I-495 and I-270 are to add Toll Lanes. Not HO/T lanes. Toll Lanes. Everybody pays. HOV too.

The one article mentioned busses could potentially be free. That makes it strongly sound like a Toll Lane project, not HO/T.

Typical Maryland, same crap they put in near Baltimore. HO/T lanes are so much more respectable and have far more benefit than Toll Lanes do. Hands down.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 05, 2019, 09:22:56 PM
From the way I'm reading these articles, and from what I'm seeing from the official websites, it sounds to me the whole plan for I-495 and I-270 are to add Toll Lanes. Not HO/T lanes. Toll Lanes. Everybody pays. HOV too.
The one article mentioned busses could potentially be free. That makes it strongly sound like a Toll Lane project, not HO/T.
Typical Maryland, same crap they put in near Baltimore. HO/T lanes are so much more respectable and have far more benefit than Toll Lanes do. Hands down.

I agree as it allows vehicles at or above the HOV occupancy threshold to ride toll-free. 

Maryland E-ZPass probably doesn't have E-ZPass Flex transponder, but they could easily adopt what Virginia has.

Either way you would have dynamic tolling with the tolls displayed on VMS signs, it should not be more complicated with the Flex option.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 05, 2019, 09:26:06 PM
Maryland E-ZPass probably doesn't have E-ZPass Flex transponder, but they could easily adopt what Virginia has.
The I-77 Express Lanes in Charlotte, NC opened last week, and they've incorporated Virginia's E-ZPass Flex on that system. HOV 3+ is free in "HOV" mode using a special "NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Flex" transponder, or you can use a regular E-ZPass Flex transponder that's used here in Virginia. It's seamless, and is a nice benefit North Carolina's HO/T lanes are using the same system as in Virginia. They have more HO/T lanes planned for I-485 in Charlotte, and I-540, I-40, and I-87 in Raleigh in the future. Wish Maryland could do the same.

Not to mention, there's going to be confusion as Virginia's side will allow HOV free, and Maryland will not permit it. Two different systems, two different agencies that can't create one seamless system  :no: Watch, next they'll say I-495's impact is too much that they'll only add 1 HO/T lane in each direction instead of 2   :banghead:

EDIT - Toll Lane, not HO/T lane, when referring to MD I-495.  :pan:
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 05, 2019, 09:32:21 PM
Maryland E-ZPass probably doesn't have E-ZPass Flex transponder, but they could easily adopt what Virginia has.
The I-77 Express Lanes in Charlotte, NC opened last week, and they've incorporated Virginia's E-ZPass Flex on that system. HOV 3+ is free in "HOV" mode using a special "NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Flex" transponder, or you can use a regular E-ZPass Flex transponder that's used here in Virginia. It's seamless, and is a nice benefit North Carolina's HO/T lanes are using the same system as in Virginia. They have more HO/T lanes planned for I-485 in Charlotte, and I-540, I-40, and I-87 in Raleigh in the future. Wish Maryland could do the same.
Not to mention, there's going to be confusion as Virginia's side will allow HOV free, and Maryland will not permit it. Two different systems, two different agencies that can't create one seamless system  :no: Watch, next they'll say I-495's impact is too much that they'll only add 1 HO/T lane in each direction instead of 2.

It would be a procedural and signing change, the roadways would work with either method.

I agree with making at least I-495 seamless with a HOT-3 system and 2 lanes each way north to I-270 Spur.

The threshold can also be changed to 2 or 4 in the future if there develops a reason for expanding or decreasing the volume of free HOV vehicles.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 06, 2019, 08:36:52 AM
Maryland actually does offer E-ZPass Flex even though they don't have HO/T lanes. It's offered as a convenience for their customers because so many of them drive in Virginia on a somewhat regular basis. I think I read they charge some nominal fee to get the device because the transponder is more expensive than the standard one (similar to why Virginia will charge a $10 fee if you have no HOV-mode transactions for six months....which reminds me I need to use ours in HOV mode sometime soon).

Edited to add: I found an article from the Washington Post from last year about it. Guess it's not so nominal a fee, as this article says Maryland charges $16.50 for the Flex. But if you're going to use it regularly in HOV mode, that might still be worth it because it'd be easy to save more than that in toll payments.

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/05/31/should-you-get-your-e-zpass-in-maryland-or-virginia/?utm_term=.071b3d88a5ff
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on June 06, 2019, 05:54:35 PM
Maryland E-ZPass probably doesn't have E-ZPass Flex transponder, but they could easily adopt what Virginia has.
The I-77 Express Lanes in Charlotte, NC opened last week, and they've incorporated Virginia's E-ZPass Flex on that system. HOV 3+ is free in "HOV" mode using a special "NC Quick Pass E-ZPass Flex" transponder, or you can use a regular E-ZPass Flex transponder that's used here in Virginia. It's seamless, and is a nice benefit North Carolina's HO/T lanes are using the same system as in Virginia. They have more HO/T lanes planned for I-485 in Charlotte, and I-540, I-40, and I-87 in Raleigh in the future. Wish Maryland could do the same.

Not to mention, there's going to be confusion as Virginia's side will allow HOV free, and Maryland will not permit it. Two different systems, two different agencies that can't create one seamless system  :no: Watch, next they'll say I-495's impact is too much that they'll only add 1 HO/T lane in each direction instead of 2   :banghead:

EDIT - Toll Lane, not HO/T lane, when referring to MD I-495.  :pan:
I feel a little better about the I-77 HOT lanes if NC will add them elsewhere.  It seemed a lot like they were just deciding to stick it to Charlotte, with general widenings elsewhere and HOT lanes on I-77.

I wonder how the QuickPass sticker will work with this.

Regarding Maryland, I agree they should be consistent with VA on the DC area lanes.  They can do whatever they want in Baltimore.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 06, 2019, 08:13:50 PM
Regarding the Quick Pass sticker, their website says, quote, "All NC Quick Pass transponders can be used with the NC Quick Pass HOV mobile app to set HOV3+ status in the I-77 Express Lanes."

I'd consider the Quick Pass Flex device, seeing as how it'll work in Virginia's HO/T lanes as well as at SunPass facilities, but the separate devices we have now are working well enough for us, and Quick Pass still purports to prohibit you from moving a transponder between vehicles, which is just stupid.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: MASTERNC on June 06, 2019, 09:10:06 PM
Regarding the Quick Pass sticker, their website says, quote, "All NC Quick Pass transponders can be used with the NC Quick Pass HOV mobile app to set HOV3+ status in the I-77 Express Lanes."

I'd consider the Quick Pass Flex device, seeing as how it'll work in Virginia's HO/T lanes as well as at SunPass facilities, but the separate devices we have now are working well enough for us, and Quick Pass still purports to prohibit you from moving a transponder between vehicles, which is just stupid.

Glad I kept my NY E-ZPass when I ordered Quick Pass's Flex transponder because I do take E-ZPass with me when using rental cars.  Of course, the Florida compatibility was one reason why I went with NC instead of VA.  Guess I can just delete my car and add a rental car if I travel and need the NC pass.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 06, 2019, 09:22:16 PM
I feel a little better about the I-77 HOT lanes if NC will add them elsewhere.  It seemed a lot like they were just deciding to stick it to Charlotte, with general widenings elsewhere and HOT lanes on I-77.

I don't see the point of having HOT lanes on belt routes such as I-485 and I-540.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 06, 2019, 11:29:44 PM
I feel a little better about the I-77 HOT lanes if NC will add them elsewhere.  It seemed a lot like they were just deciding to stick it to Charlotte, with general widenings elsewhere and HOT lanes on I-77.

I don't see the point of having HOT lanes on belt routes such as I-485 and I-540.
I-495 isn’t a belt route? I-64 in Hampton Roads isn’t a belt route? Moot point.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 06, 2019, 11:49:40 PM
I don't see the point of having HOT lanes on belt routes such as I-485 and I-540.
I-495 isn’t a belt route? I-64 in Hampton Roads isn’t a belt route? Moot point.

No edge cities to speak of on I-485 and I-540.

Tysons Corner is Fairfax County's central business district and a regional commercial center, and is the 12th largest CBD in the nation based on square feet of office space.

The I-495 HOT lane system connects the pre-existing managed lane systems on I-95, I-395, I-66 and VA-267, and traffic studies showed that there would be high demand in a HOT-3 system.

VA I-495 is a heavily used local commuter route in its own right with cities like Vienna, Falls Church, Fairfax and Alexandria.

The HOT lanes on I-64 connect major centers as well, such as Navy Base Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and the pre-existing managed lane systems on I-564 and I-264.

The HRBT takes on more of the role of a radial route and a cross-harbor freeway, than that of a belt route.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on June 07, 2019, 12:10:12 AM
I don't see the point of having HOT lanes on belt routes such as I-485 and I-540.
I-495 isn’t a belt route? I-64 in Hampton Roads isn’t a belt route? Moot point.

No edge cities to speak of on I-485 and I-540.

Tysons Corner is Fairfax County's central business district and a regional commercial center, and is the 12th largest CBD in the nation based on square feet of office space.

The I-495 HOT lane system connects the pre-existing managed lane systems on I-95, I-395, I-66 and VA-267, and traffic studies showed that there would be high demand in a HOT-3 system.

VA I-495 is a heavily used local commuter route in its own right with cities like Vienna, Falls Church, Fairfax and Alexandria.

The HOT lanes on I-64 connect major centers as well, such as Navy Base Norfolk and Virginia Beach, and the pre-existing managed lane systems on I-564 and I-264.

The HRBT takes on more of the role of a radial route and a cross-harbor freeway, than that of a belt route.
 
I-540 connects eastern suburbs of fast-growing Raleigh with the tech areas on the west. With 440 becoming more and more crowded, 540's utility keeps increasing and it's going to get crowded. 485 same thing - people live on the perimeter but there are only a few routes into the city, so 485 will fast turn into another 285 (Atlanta).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 12:49:47 AM
I-540 connects eastern suburbs of fast-growing Raleigh with the tech areas on the west. With 440 becoming more and more crowded, 540's utility keeps increasing and it's going to get crowded. 485 same thing - people live on the perimeter but there are only a few routes into the city, so 485 will fast turn into another 285 (Atlanta).

If needed they could widen them to 8 lanes first.  They go thru mostly semi-rural areas today.  It is hard for me to see the need for managed lanes on those routes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2019, 07:15:47 AM
^ When's the last time you were in Raleigh, Scott?  Have you not seen how much suburban development there is now on the outside of the Interstate portion of 540?   It is most definitely not semi-rural today.

Nevermind that, since you mention "edge cities" and Tysons, it's worth noting that the west end of I-540 is a stones throw from both the airport and RTP. 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 08:20:05 AM
^ When's the last time you were in Raleigh, Scott?  Have you not seen how much suburban development there is now on the outside of the Interstate portion of 540?   It is most definitely not semi-rural today.

Maybe low density suburban sprawl is a better term?  Exurban sprawl?

Nevermind that, since you mention "edge cities" and Tysons, it's worth noting that the west end of I-540 is a stones throw from both the airport and RTP. 

I could have mentioned the Norfolk airport but didn't, and the size and density of Washington metro (6 million) and what is in Maryland just across the river on I-495, such as National Harbor, and the area around Bethesda and Rockville per the subject of this thread.  Obvious candidate for 2 HOT lanes each way if they can get the right-of-way.

I-540 doesn't seem to be a good candidate.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2019, 08:25:22 AM
Quote
I-540 doesn't seem to be a good candidate.

Currently, no.  I-40 from Wade to RTP is a much better candidate.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 08:29:14 AM
Quote
I-540 doesn't seem to be a good candidate.
Currently, no.  I-40 from Wade to RTP is a much better candidate.

Definitely agree.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 07, 2019, 08:49:19 AM
Quote
I-540 doesn't seem to be a good candidate.

Currently, no.  I-40 from Wade to RTP is a much better candidate.

Heh. That stretch of I-40 would have been a good candidate in the 1990s if HO/T lanes had existed then.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 05:16:48 PM
No edge cities to speak of on I-485 and I-540.

Tysons Corner is Fairfax County's central business district and a regional commercial center, and is the 12th largest CBD in the nation based on square feet of office space.

VA I-495 is a heavily used local commuter route in its own right with cities like Vienna, Falls Church, Fairfax and Alexandria.
Strongly disagree. I-485 is mostly a commuter route, the only thru-traffic use it gets is mostly US-74 thru traffic since that's the only freeway option - no freeway exists inside the beltway for US-74 thru traffic, US-74 follows congested arterial roadways, while I-485 is 70 mph interstate highway. It's a no brainer. I-85 and I-77 traffic may use it to bypass Charlotte, though conditions are usually free-flowing through those corridors.

I-485 serves the suburban developments that line the entire corridor, not to mention serves major activity centers near I-77, and serves the towns Stallings, Matthews, and Huntersville.

Either way, no matter what you think, HO/T lanes are already funded, and if I'm not mistaken, construction is already underway on part of it.

I-540 is the same, though nothing is under construction yet. Serves plenty of suburban developments, is a heavy commuter route, and activity centers near US-1.

And both routes see a good amount of congestion. I-540 is already 6-8 lanes, while the part they're currently building HO/T lanes on I-485 is also 6-8 lanes.

You could also claim I-540 connects the outer suburbs off I-87 and out east that are growing to Durham and the RTP.

Why are you against things when they're in North Carolina, but it's fine if it's in Virginia? The I-64 HO/T lanes on the High Rise Bridge corridor aren't serving much besides suburban development sprawl either. The I-95 HO/T lanes connect suburban sprawl into D.C. Not much different. I-495 serves local traffic and connects activity centers. I-485 and I-540 do the same.

Frankly, I'd rather see HO/T lanes in urban areas (such as proposed on I-485, I-540, etc.) and general purpose widenings on mainline's outside the city. For instance, people are more supportive of I-485 HO/T lanes, while there was fierce opposition to the I-77 HO/T lanes, and NCDOT is currently considering buying out their contract with Cintra and converting the HO/T lane north of I-485 into a third general purpose lane. I'm supportive of that proposal. I'd rather also see a new general purpose get added to the High Rise Bridge going to Bowers Hill rather than the HO/T lane. A lot of people would agree. When it's built to 8-lanes, than make the new lane an HOV or maybe 1 HO/T lane. The current 2 GP + 2 HO/T ultimate 2030 build out makes no sense, especially when it's tying into a 3 GP + 1 HO/T (the current HOV is planned to be converted).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on June 07, 2019, 05:58:56 PM
I think part of the criteria as to whether HOT lanes would be good for an area is whether there is enough employment concentration that can facilitate carpooling.  Sure, single drivers could pay toll to use the lanes.  But, I believe that the primary users should be carpool and transit, to the extent possible, and toll-payers come in to fill in any remaining capacity that can be used while still maintaining free-flowing conditions.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 07:05:18 PM
I think part of the criteria as to whether HOT lanes would be good for an area is whether there is enough employment concentration that can facilitate carpooling.  Sure, single drivers could pay toll to use the lanes.  But, I believe that the primary users should be carpool and transit, to the extent possible, and toll-payers come in to fill in any remaining capacity that can be used while still maintaining free-flowing conditions.
I don't see I-64 between Bowers Hill and I-464 fulfilling this goal - mostly SOV it seems. The existing HOV lanes east of I-464 are under-used during rush hour (though it's nice when you are HOV 2+ and to hop in them to bypass a slowdown, though that won't be an option once the HO/T lanes are in place) and the new HO/T lane segment that opened in January 2018 between I-264 and I-564 has roughly 70% of SOV vehicle usage IIRC.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 10:05:02 PM
I think part of the criteria as to whether HOT lanes would be good for an area is whether there is enough employment concentration that can facilitate carpooling.  Sure, single drivers could pay toll to use the lanes.  But, I believe that the primary users should be carpool and transit, to the extent possible, and toll-payers come in to fill in any remaining capacity that can be used while still maintaining free-flowing conditions.

That is where Sprjus4 misses it.  I just can't see without some real traffic engineering studies that I-485 and I-540 would have enough car pooling to warrant HOV or HOT lanes.

The central parts of the I-564/I-64/I-264 HOT system clearly do, although I'll grant that the southerly part of the I-64 loop (H.R. Beltway) will need to prove itself in actual operation.  (And of course a failed HOV or HOT lane could be devolved back to general purpose).

I-495 HOT lanes clearly do support a lot of car pooling.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 11:11:39 PM
Feasibility studies on all of these proposed HO/T lanes have been completed if you want to study them for yourself.

Here's the studies, and each of them have detailed drawings that show how they would be built, all the proposed interchange connections & modifications, etc.
All in total, 75 miles of HO/T lanes are planned for the Raleigh / Durham area along I-40, I-87, and I-540 for approximately $2.967 billion total.
(https://i.ibb.co/mRrF6d4/Raleigh-HOTLanes.png)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 11:15:13 PM
Feasibility studies on all of these proposed HO/T lanes have been completed if you want to study them for yourself.

The same people that created the studies for Vanity Interstate I-87.  Nuff said.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 11:30:43 PM
The same people that created the studies for Vanity Interstate I-87.  Nuff said.
False. The feasibility study (singular) for upgrading 80 miles of US-17 was completed by AECOM. These studies were completed by Atkins, HNTB, and RK&K.

Not to mention, we get you hate I-87 and any mention of it, but how does a feasibility study that evaluated upgrading 80 miles of rural highway to interstate standards now discredit the state at everything they do?

FS-1504A evaluated upgrading 80 miles of US-17 to interstate standards by drafting conceptual alignments, determining obstacles along the path, and creating cost estimates based on the engineering drawings and many other factors including environmental. There was nothing vanity about the study. The overall "Raleigh-Norfolk" (which isn't even the primary goal for I-87 to begin with) concept may be vanity in your mind, but the study isn't. Just because you hate a road doesn't instantly render any study of that road discreditable and vanity.

You've taken your hate for I-87 beyond that corridor, and at that point it's a moot argument. Now every study the state does is vanity? Even regarding FS-1504A, your argument the study is vanity and discreditable essentially is moot. There's nothing to back that, with the exception that the whole I-87 corridor makes no sense because it's 20 miles longer than the direct routing, therefore it should not ever exist.

You've made the argument in the past that NCDOT makes everything cheaper on paper than reality. Then the funny thing is when they actually build that interchange or freeway, oh look, it actually costs similar to what the study said. A typical interchange is $7 - $10 million, and a freeway costs $25 - 30 million per mile. Upgrading a 4-lane highway to interstate standards costs around $14 - 20 million per mile. Just because it's more expensive in Virginia doesn't render it cheap down in NC.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 11:36:08 PM
The same people that created the studies for Vanity Interstate I-87.  Nuff said.
It's interesting because you state - "I just can't see without some real traffic engineering studies that I-485 and I-540 would have enough car pooling to warrant HOV or HOT lanes.", then I direct you to where a study is completed already that includes data, and you now instantly render it unreliable because it was conducted by the same state that did I-87. I mean, do you want VDOT to conduct the study on I-540? Would that be better?

You've done this in the past. You've asked for evidence or backup info, and when I provide it, it's now not credible or unreliable if it does not match your viewpoints. But when it does match your viewpoints, it's credible and reliable.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2019, 11:42:25 PM
The same people that created the studies for Vanity Interstate I-87.  Nuff said.
False. The feasibility study (singular) for upgrading 80 miles of US-17 was completed by AECOM. These studies were completed by Atkins, HNTB, and RK&K.

I was referring to the administrative agency that contracts with others for such studies, and is responsible for the outcomes.

Not to mention, we get you hate …

Just because you hate …

You've taken your hate ...

You're way too defensive about these projects, like someone whose interests are being directly affected in a negative way by opposition to such projects.  Maybe you need to step back from your computer and take a break.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 07, 2019, 11:50:00 PM
I was referring to the administrative agency that contracts with others for such studies, and is responsible for the outcomes.
That's NCDOT. Do you want VDOT to conduct these studies? Would that be better?

You're way too defensive about these projects, like someone whose interests are being directly affected in a negative way by opposition to such projects.  Maybe you need to step back from your computer and take a break.
No, I'm mostly defensive over the fact because a study was conducted on a roadway for a project you think shouldn't occur, you now won't trust any study coming from the state. If the cost estimates don't meet the cost estimates of VDOT, you now won't trust any study coming from the state. Nothing actually valid about how the study was flawed, which as far as I'm aware, wasn't. The only point you keep making is because I-87 is vanity, the whole study discredits any study in North Carolina, and essentially is vanity. It was conducted in the manner any other study for interstate upgrade projects in NC is conducted. They've occurred for stretches of US-70, US-74, other parts of US-17 down in the southern half of the state, US-29, US-220, and other corridors.

You dodge the valid points I'm making about the flaws in your argument just to attack the minor points that support your viewpoints, and shoot anything I say down. It's quite obvious just looking at the way you reply. How about you take my entire response, and provide a logical response to everything in it to support your side of the argument instead of cherry picking little things out to attack. Then maybe this can get somewhere productive. Because at this point, in my mind, the arguments you're making make no logical sense. If you could further explain, then maybe they will.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 08, 2019, 07:06:03 AM
Locking thread for 24-hour cooldown.  Please stay on the topic of I-495 and I-270 moving forward.  What NCDOT is doing has nothing to do with VDOT and MDSHA.  -Mark
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on June 08, 2019, 06:45:32 PM
The same people that created the studies for Vanity Interstate I-87.  Nuff said.
False. The feasibility study (singular) for upgrading 80 miles of US-17 was completed by AECOM. These studies were completed by Atkins, HNTB, and RK&K.

I was referring to the administrative agency that contracts with others for such studies, and is responsible for the outcomes.

Not to mention, we get you hate …

Just because you hate …

You've taken your hate ...

You're way too defensive about these projects, like someone whose interests are being directly affected in a negative way by opposition to such projects.  Maybe you need to step back from your computer and take a break.
You REALLY should step back.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 10, 2019, 08:31:07 AM
So......I think the last point before the North Carolina discussion had to do with Maryland likely using ETLs instead of HO/T lanes. That makes me wonder what kind of signage is appropriate to notify drivers already using the lanes of the upcoming rules change. That's probably somewhat more important for northbound drivers from Virginia who are riding free as HOVs because the free passage would end at or near the state line and they may well want to exit before having to pay a toll. Obviously it'd also be desirable to inform southbound drivers eligible to claim HOV status that they can avoid the toll by doing so, but it somehow feels a little less "imperative" than warning northbound drivers because it seems to me the southbound driver is less likely to be reluctant to pay the toll (because he's already paying a toll in Maryland).


Edited to add: I suppose it'll also be interesting to see what provision is made to allow northbound users in Virginia to exit to the local lanes prior to the state line. This is of interest because Virginia doesn't have any slip ramps (or Toronto-style "basketweaves") on the Beltway. Unlike on I-95, once you're in the Beltway HO/T lanes, the only legal ways out (short of calling a tow truck) are to exit the highway or to drive to the far end where the express lanes end.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 10, 2019, 08:48:40 AM
In regards to the latest I-495 and I-270 P3 Program plans:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hogan-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-beltway-i-270-heads-to-state-panel-for-key-vote/2019/06/04/6b91d488-86de-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?utm_term=.bf5d7d404cf6
Quote
The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 2 to 1 Wednesday to allow the state to solicit private companies to build and operate toll lanes on Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to ease traffic congestion in the Washington suburbs.

In a change to Hogan’s initial proposal, the I-270 lanes will be built first. Adding toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 495 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which has been more controversial, will be phases 2 and 3.

Hogan said the American Legion Bridge, which connects Maryland and Virginia along the Beltway, needed the most immediate relief. However, he said he would “reluctantly” prioritize I-270 because it was less controversial than the Beltway, where widening would require destroying more homes.


“This transformative project that we’re voting on today is about finally taking the first step to move forward and to finally take action on an issue that unfortunately elected officials have literally ignored for decades,” the Republican governor said. “It will result in less traffic, more peace of mind, cleaner air, and a much better quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders for decades to come.”

He added, “I’m moving forward with 270 because more people want to do 270.”

Delaying the bridge and Beltway portion by two years, he said, would give state transportation officials more time to work with leaders in Montgomery and Prince George’s to address their concerns.

Very disappointed with this development as IMO the only reason why I-270 gets congested in the first place is because of the Legion Bridge to the south, and the multiple lanes drops to the north, both of which will not be addressed in this first phase.  Any first phase should start with a new legion bridge and then work its way north up both I-495 (south of the split) and then I-270. Save the stretch of I-495 east of the I-270 split (appears to be more controversial) for a later phase.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on June 10, 2019, 08:54:12 PM
Yeah, seriously.  They're starting with the part of the project that I'm not convinced is actually necessary to build at all, and leaving us in a situation where the part that is actually desperately needed never gets built.  Meanwhile, the I-95 express lanes north of Baltimore (also needed, though not quite as desperately) will never be what they should be because of politics over debt limits.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 10, 2019, 10:03:31 PM
In regards to the latest I-495 and I-270 P3 Program plans:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hogan-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-beltway-i-270-heads-to-state-panel-for-key-vote/2019/06/04/6b91d488-86de-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html?utm_term=.bf5d7d404cf6
Quote
The Maryland Board of Public Works voted 2 to 1 Wednesday to allow the state to solicit private companies to build and operate toll lanes on Interstate 270 and the Capital Beltway as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to ease traffic congestion in the Washington suburbs.

In a change to Hogan’s initial proposal, the I-270 lanes will be built first. Adding toll lanes to the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 495 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which has been more controversial, will be phases 2 and 3.

Hogan said the American Legion Bridge, which connects Maryland and Virginia along the Beltway, needed the most immediate relief. However, he said he would “reluctantly” prioritize I-270 because it was less controversial than the Beltway, where widening would require destroying more homes.


“This transformative project that we’re voting on today is about finally taking the first step to move forward and to finally take action on an issue that unfortunately elected officials have literally ignored for decades,” the Republican governor said. “It will result in less traffic, more peace of mind, cleaner air, and a much better quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders for decades to come.”

He added, “I’m moving forward with 270 because more people want to do 270.”

Delaying the bridge and Beltway portion by two years, he said, would give state transportation officials more time to work with leaders in Montgomery and Prince George’s to address their concerns.

Very disappointed with this development as IMO the only reason why I-270 gets congested in the first place is because of the Legion Bridge to the south, and the multiple lanes drops to the north, both of which will not be addressed in this first phase.  Any first phase should start with a new legion bridge and then work its way north up both I-495 (south of the split) and then I-270. Save the stretch of I-495 east of the I-270 split (appears to be more controversial) for a later phase.

Its unfortunate, but I suppose the only way people will finally get on board with widening the beltway is seeing how 270 widening doesn't do anything.  Aside from the widening, I'd love to see them try to straighten out the curvy sections of the beltway in the Bethesda area too, but that's probably hoping for too much.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: goobnav on June 11, 2019, 07:00:10 AM
So basically this project is going to mess up the NW corner of the beltway and those trying to bypass Baltimore and New York to head to the New England, personally use it to go back to NE PA, not be done forever and day, just like the Mixing Bowl that took the better part of a decade and, not be done in a constructive way to regulate traffic flow to make this as less of a burden on traffic as it can be. 

Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 11, 2019, 08:22:18 AM
You can’t blame the DOT. The local jurisdictions don’t want widening. Why? Because it encourages people to live elsewhere and commute. They would rather keep them local and keep building density to ensure the tax base.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on June 11, 2019, 07:58:13 PM
You can’t blame the DOT. The local jurisdictions don’t want widening. Why? Because it wipes out houses next to the highway, which encourages people to live elsewhere and commute. They would rather keep them local and keep building density to ensure the tax base.
FTFY
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 11, 2019, 08:42:41 PM
You can’t blame the DOT. The local jurisdictions don’t want widening. Why? Because it wipes out houses next to the highway, which encourages people to live elsewhere and commute. They would rather keep them local and keep building density to ensure the tax base.
FTFY
That’s not the only reason people don’t want to live in the beltway corridor. The high cost, high density and elevating age of most available living space are all general turnoffs to the average person.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on June 11, 2019, 09:03:55 PM
Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
How is VDOT being a problem here?  Their portion is mostly done with the rest on the way.  I blame MD and MD alone for this mess.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 11, 2019, 09:05:26 PM
Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
How is VDOT being a problem here?  Their portion is mostly done with the rest on the way.  I blame MD and MD alone for this mess.
Agreed. VDOT is constructing their portion all the way to the state line. The HO/T lanes won't run all the way to the state line to begin with, but stub and ghost ramps will be constructed for future use.

Maryland is taking the cheap way out and not doing it. The I-270 part will be easy - all of the lanes exist - just repurposing them, and removing the barrier that separates local and thru traffic. That is the worst part about that project. Why would you get rid of a local / thru config just to squeeze HO/T lanes in? Because it's cheap, and they don't care that traffic will get worse in the now combined lanes. They just care about getting those rich folks around the traffic. VDOT on the other hand is constructing NEW local-thru lanes near Fredericksburg. I couldn't imagine them removing them in 25 years.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 11, 2019, 09:24:04 PM
So basically this project is going to mess up the NW corner of the beltway and those trying to bypass Baltimore and New York to head to the New England, personally use it to go back to NE PA, not be done forever and day, just like the Mixing Bowl that took the better part of a decade and, not be done in a constructive way to regulate traffic flow to make this as less of a burden on traffic as it can be. 

Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 

If you're heading north from Durham, you might consider going up US-501 to Lynchburg and then US-29 to Charlottesville, then west on I-64 to I-81. Or stay on US-29 up to US-15, then use that north past Leesburg and Frederick to Harrisburg. Or NC-/VA-86 to Danville and then either up US-29 or west on US-58 to US-220. No reason to go up I-95 to US-17, especially with construction ramping up in the Fredericksburg area.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: davewiecking on June 11, 2019, 09:30:04 PM
Agreed. VDOT is constructing their portion all the way to the state line. The HO/T lanes won't run all the way to the state line to begin with, but stub and ghost ramps will be constructed for future use.
Source?
Quote
Maryland is taking the cheap way out and not doing it. The I-270 part will be easy - all of the lanes exist - just repurposing them, and removing the barrier that separates local and thru traffic. That is the worst part about that project.
Ditto.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on June 11, 2019, 09:50:35 PM
So not only is Maryland doing the section with the least benefit, they're actually removing free capacity from what I gather.  Unless I'm misinterpreting something, that might be enough to turn me against the whole project.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 11, 2019, 09:55:23 PM
So not only is Maryland doing the section with the least benefit, they're actually removing free capacity from what I gather.  Unless I'm misinterpreting something, that might be enough to turn me against the whole project.
It had not been my understanding that they were removing free capacity, but if so, I would also feel likewise.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 11, 2019, 10:02:13 PM
Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
How is VDOT being a problem here?  Their portion is mostly done with the rest on the way.  I blame MD and MD alone for this mess.
Agreed. VDOT is constructing their portion all the way to the state line. The HO/T lanes won't run all the way to the state line to begin with, but stub and ghost ramps will be constructed for future use.

Especially nice project for when I utilize I-95, I-495, I-270 to travel to/from south of Washington from/to northwest of Washington, on long inter-state trips.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: AlexandriaVA on June 11, 2019, 10:12:32 PM
HOT lanes always have free capacity, just have to hit the carpool threshold. Slugging will arise along the corridors, I'm sure.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 12:09:19 AM
HOT lanes always have free capacity, just have to hit the carpool threshold. Slugging will arise along the corridors, I'm sure.
HO/T Lanes (High Occupancy / Toll) do. Then there’s just Toll lanes, which is what I-95 has northeast of Baltimore. Everybody pays. And that’s what proposed for I-495 and I-270 in Maryland.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 12:18:07 AM
Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
How is VDOT being a problem here?  Their portion is mostly done with the rest on the way.  I blame MD and MD alone for this mess.
Agreed. VDOT is constructing their portion all the way to the state line. The HO/T lanes won't run all the way to the state line to begin with, but stub and ghost ramps will be constructed for future use.

Especially nice project for when I utilize I-95, I-495, I-270 to travel to/from south of Washington from/to northwest of Washington, on long inter-state trips.
My only problem with the lanes is the affordability. When it’s $10 - $15 for an entire trip on the entire system, there’s usually no traffic, so I would not even consider them. When there is traffic though, that’s when I would pay $10 - $15 to ride 40+ miles to avoid it. But in reality, the price then is $50+ for the entire system. And at that point, I’d avoid DC all together or sit in traffic. No way I’m paying that. The New Jersey Turnpike IIRC isn’t more than $10, and in Texas, 90 miles of 80 mph toll road bypassing Austin only costs $20 with toll-by-plate. Less with a transponder.

Going Northeast is a breeze from here though, I just head up US-13. Completely avoids everything, and that toll is far more worth it. And going northwest, I usually just use US-17 from Fredericksburg to I-66 to I-81.

The HO/T lanes are a nice concept, but cost WAY too much during traffic. If only a New Jersey Turnpike or Austin style 90+ mile bypass existed where one could pay $10-15 one-way to drive on 8-lane rural interstate swinging around DC. I like the option of building a toll road from Fredericksburg to I-70 near Frederick, then traffic could follow an expanded I-70 back to I-95. Similar to how the Austin toll road ties in to I-10 to get traffic back to I-35 in San Antonio.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 12:52:56 AM
Especially nice project for when I utilize I-95, I-495, I-270 to travel to/from south of Washington from/to northwest of Washington, on long inter-state trips.
My only problem with the lanes is the affordability. When it’s $10 - $15 for an entire trip on the entire system, there’s usually no traffic, so I would not even consider them. When there is traffic though, that’s when I would pay $10 - $15 to ride 40+ miles to avoid it. But in reality, the price then is $50+ for the entire system. And at that point, I’d avoid DC all together or sit in traffic. No way I’m paying that. The New Jersey Turnpike IIRC isn’t more than $10, and in Texas, 90 miles of 80 mph toll road bypassing Austin only costs $20 with toll-by-plate. Less with a transponder.

Those highways don't have 6 or 8 lanes of toll-free general purpose lanes, do they?

I don't mind paying $30+ one-way to use I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes during peak hours for these inter-state trips, and they wouldn't be that expensive at peak hours if the total demand wasn't so high that those toll levels are needed to keep the lanes congestion-free.

They also remove a lot of traffic from the general purpose lanes. 

If you don't want to pay the toll, ok, use the general purpose lanes.

You don't have to use the whole system.  Recently one day the I-95 NB times estimate were good enough that I stayed in the general purpose lanes the whole way, and this was just after peak hours like starting at 10:00 am on a weekday.

Coming back from the Maryland Eastern Shore today, I decided to try US-301.  Tuesday, peak hours, fine weather, no problem, eh?  It was -horrible-, rolling backup after rolling backup, sometimes jammed for a mile or two, at least 60 signals.  It took at least 60 minutes longer than I-95's projected time which per radio traffic reports had no major problems.  Not toll-free either, $6.00 one-way SB toll at the Nice Memorial Bridge.

Thanks but no thanks.  I will use I-95 which is my usual route in the future.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: goobnav on June 12, 2019, 09:26:09 AM
So basically this project is going to mess up the NW corner of the beltway and those trying to bypass Baltimore and New York to head to the New England, personally use it to go back to NE PA, not be done forever and day, just like the Mixing Bowl that took the better part of a decade and, not be done in a constructive way to regulate traffic flow to make this as less of a burden on traffic as it can be. 

Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 

If you're heading north from Durham, you might consider going up US-501 to Lynchburg and then US-29 to Charlottesville, then west on I-64 to I-81. Or stay on US-29 up to US-15, then use that north past Leesburg and Frederick to Harrisburg. Or NC-/VA-86 to Danville and then either up US-29 or west on US-58 to US-220. No reason to go up I-95 to US-17, especially with construction ramping up in the Fredericksburg area.

Too many lights and towns, have been up that way, good scenery though.  It would turn a 8 hr trip in 13, just had family come down last week that way and that's how long it took them.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: goobnav on June 12, 2019, 09:31:52 AM
Yeah, my faith in VDOT and MDSHA has gone from very little to none.  So, will avoid the DC and Baltimore metro areas like the plague until my late 70s and use US 17, begrudgingly to 66 and 81 if ever needed to visit family in PA. 
How is VDOT being a problem here?  Their portion is mostly done with the rest on the way.  I blame MD and MD alone for this mess.
Agreed. VDOT is constructing their portion all the way to the state line. The HO/T lanes won't run all the way to the state line to begin with, but stub and ghost ramps will be constructed for future use.

Especially nice project for when I utilize I-95, I-495, I-270 to travel to/from south of Washington from/to northwest of Washington, on long inter-state trips.
My only problem with the lanes is the affordability. When it’s $10 - $15 for an entire trip on the entire system, there’s usually no traffic, so I would not even consider them. When there is traffic though, that’s when I would pay $10 - $15 to ride 40+ miles to avoid it. But in reality, the price then is $50+ for the entire system. And at that point, I’d avoid DC all together or sit in traffic. No way I’m paying that. The New Jersey Turnpike IIRC isn’t more than $10, and in Texas, 90 miles of 80 mph toll road bypassing Austin only costs $20 with toll-by-plate. Less with a transponder.

Going Northeast is a breeze from here though, I just head up US-13. Completely avoids everything, and that toll is far more worth it. And going northwest, I usually just use US-17 from Fredericksburg to I-66 to I-81.

The HO/T lanes are a nice concept, but cost WAY too much during traffic. If only a New Jersey Turnpike or Austin style 90+ mile bypass existed where one could pay $10-15 one-way to drive on 8-lane rural interstate swinging around DC. I like the option of building a toll road from Fredericksburg to I-70 near Frederick, then traffic could follow an expanded I-70 back to I-95. Similar to how the Austin toll road ties in to I-10 to get traffic back to I-35 in San Antonio.

$26, $18 one way on the CBBT is not worth it.  Can still take the east side of the Beltway and deal with DC and and then Baltimore, on 695, traffic than taking that amount for a toll.  Just have to drive through the metro area either really early or after 10 am.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 09:45:32 AM
Those highways don't have 6 or 8 lanes of toll-free general purpose lanes, do they?
You could argue at least 60 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike has I-295 toll-free parallel to it. Most of that I-295 stretch is 6-lanes. You could argue also TX-130 has I-35 through Austin as a toll-free alternative. It's actually the better route during non-peak hours. It's 25 miles shorter, and mostly 75 mph except around Downtown itself. During peak hours though, I'd gladly pay $20 with toll-by-plate to bypass that congestion on the TX-130 toll road, even if it's 25 miles additional. Austin has some horrible traffic on I-35. The only issue that part of the 80 mph toll road is becoming engulfed with suburban sprawl from Austin, and is now a commuter road. Recurring delays occur during peak hours, though it's significantly better than I-35. It's currently being expanded to 6-lanes though, so that should help ease that congestion.

I don't mind paying $30+ one-way to use I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes during peak hours for these inter-state trips, and they wouldn't be that expensive at peak hours if the total demand wasn't so high that those toll levels are needed to keep the lanes congestion-free.
For those 40 miles, maybe up to $20, but I wouldn't pay any more. Basically, the way I look at it is why can I pay $20 in Texas and drive 85 mph for 40 miles and 80 mph for another 40 miles and bypass Austin completely, but in North Virginia I pay $40 and get to drive 65 mph for 40 miles, and still get dumped in congestion on either ends?

I understand the reason as you mentioned, though when making that financial decision myself, I wouldn't do it. I get way better value in Texas than here. And a nicer road quite frankly.

If VDOT and MDSHA got serious about constructing an 80 mile toll road stretching from I-95 at Fredericksburg to I-70 at Frederick roughly paralleling US-17 and US-15, I'd be on board. But the last mention has been in the 90s, and nothing got further than a study. It's a rural highway, it's not that hard to construct. They did it in Texas with TX-130 in 2012. They did it with 98 miles of new location toll-free I-69 in Indiana in 2012 and 2016.

Coming back from the Maryland Eastern Shore today, I decided to try US-301.  Tuesday, peak hours, fine weather, no problem, eh?  It was -horrible-, rolling backup after rolling backup, sometimes jammed for a mile or two, at least 60 signals.  It took at least 60 minutes longer than I-95's projected time which per radio traffic reports had no major problems.  Not toll-free either, $6.00 one-way SB toll at the Nice Memorial Bridge.
I can agree, US-301 isn't that fun. I've done it many times in my times up that way. Then again, sometimes it's still better than I-95 if you're -not- using the HO/T lanes.

If you're heading to the northwest, US-17 from Fredericksburg to Marshall then I-66 West to I-81 North is a good alternative to I-95, I-495, and I-270. US-17 is mostly 55-60 mph and free-flowing rural highway. A nice scenic route through the country as well.

$26, $18 one way on the CBBT is not worth it.  Can still take the east side of the Beltway and deal with DC and and then Baltimore, on 695, traffic than taking that amount for a toll.  Just have to drive through the metro area either really early or after 10 am.
Without traffic from Norfolk to the New Jersey Turnpike, it's 5 hours 11 minutes via I-64, I-295, and I-95 and 330 miles. It's 4 hours 46 minutes via I-64, US-13, US-113, and DE-1 and 261 miles. During off-peak hours, that's 25 minutes of additional traveling and 70 additional miles. During off-peak hours, if the distance and times were closer, I may consider it, since I'd prefer to stick to freeways as much as possible. But considering the usual traffic congestion in DC, that time can easily increase to 6 hours without using HO/T lanes. Not to mention, US-13 and US-113 is usually an easy drive, and can usually get up to 65 mph with no issues on the rural stretches. And the northern 50 miles are the DE-1 65 mph toll freeway, which the toll isn't higher than $6.

I find US-13 and US-113 to be more of a relaxing trip, less stressful, light traffic, etc. than I-64 and I-95, especially if there's congestion, which is hard to avoid. Fastest route, 70 miles shorter, etc. And not to mention the frequent recurring congestion on I-64 and I-95 in rural areas.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 12, 2019, 10:04:21 AM
Regarding the DC-area tolls, if it's a question of paying the tolls for I-95 from the southern end of the HO/T lanes all the way up to the Beltway and then up the Beltway to the Legion Bridge, it would certainly make a difference to me whether I were an occasional user passing through the area on a longer-distance trip or whether it were a daily thing. In the first post in the "Northern Virginia HOT lanes" thread back in August of 2012, mtantillo suggested the same thing:

....

Some more points to consider with I-95's heavy weekend and holiday traffic....  If you're a commuter, on Friday afternoons you'll be competing with all of those vacationers for space in those HOT lanes.  I'd expect that the price will be very very high on Fridays.  If I'm taking my once-yearly trip to Virginia Beach, I won't mind paying a $50 toll to escape the frustration of the regular lanes as much as the commuters that won't be able to afford that on a regular basis.  In otherwords, the vacationers will price-out the locals, since the vacationers only have to do it once.  .... 

....

I certainly agree with that. The same would apply to the Bridge-Tunnel as suggested two posts up the thread (I've only been that way once anyway simply because of where it goes).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 10:12:16 AM
I certainly agree with that. The same would apply to the Bridge-Tunnel as suggested two posts up the thread (I've only been that way once anyway simply because of where it goes).
The CBBT is $14 - $18 one-way. And while you only pay the toll for the facility itself, you also pay to drive up the Eastern Shore entirely and bypass the mess that I-95 is. I-95 is $40 - $50. Some people would do it - but I certainly wouldn't pay that much. The NJTP is $10 max, and the TX-130 road is $20. Both go at least 90 miles. The HO/T lanes go a mere 40, and I would not pay $40 - 50 for that. That's over $1 per mile. TX-130 is 22 cents per mile, and the NJTP is less. Like I said, I understand the reasons why, but I'm just saying for myself, that's way too much. Maybe they should've built the HO/T lanes with 3 lanes in each direction? Charge a more reasonable price?

Then again 30,000 vehicles per day travel through the Chesapeake Expressway every summer Saturday and have no problem plunking down $8 one-way to travel 6 miles. I guess a lot of people will do anything to get to their destination faster. I would, but not for that much.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on June 12, 2019, 10:17:10 AM
I haven't heard about changing any existing free lanes on I-270 to toll lanes.  I've only heard about adding toll lanes. The notion of changing existing lanes would have even less support than adding lanes IMO.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 10:19:03 AM
I haven't heard about changing any existing free lanes on I-270 to toll lanes.  I've only heard about adding toll lanes. The notion of changing existing lanes would have even less support than adding lanes IMO.
The typical section "before" had 3 "thru" lanes, 2 "local" lanes, both divided by a barrier, and 1 HOV lane in each direction. The proposed section showed 5 general purpose lanes with no barrier, and 2 Toll Lanes in each direction.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 10:20:15 AM
Those highways don't have 6 or 8 lanes of toll-free general purpose lanes, do they?
You could argue at least 60 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike has I-295 toll-free parallel to it.

The by far busiest part of the NJTP doesn't.

I don't mind paying $30+ one-way to use I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes during peak hours for these inter-state trips, and they wouldn't be that expensive at peak hours if the total demand wasn't so high that those toll levels are needed to keep the lanes congestion-free.
For those 40 miles, maybe up to $20, but I wouldn't pay any more. Basically, the way I look at it is why can I pay $20 in Texas and drive 85 mph for 40 miles and 80 mph for another 40 miles and bypass Austin completely, but in North Virginia I pay $40 and get to drive 65 mph for 40 miles, and still get dumped in congestion on either ends?

Apples and oranges comparisons.  For one thing my peak hours trip on NB I-95 yesterday morning cost $16 and it was well worth it.  Variable tolls are designed to manage congestion and keep the lanes free flowing.  If they weren't so popular then the tolls might only be $5 or so.

Not everybody thinks like you.  You have the toll-free GP lanes available to you.

The demand is very high, and that leads to high tolls in peak periods, and that demand will grow when the I-395 HOT lanes open soon.

And of course vehicles with 3 or more persons ride toll-free at all times, something else that your highways don't do, in addition to the high levels of slugging (casual car pooling) that exist on I-95 and I-395.

I understand the reason as you mentioned, though when making that financial decision myself, I wouldn't do it. I get way better value in Texas than here. And a nicer road quite frankly.

Then why don't you move to Texas?

If VDOT and MDSHA got serious about constructing an 80 mile toll road stretching from I-95 at Fredericksburg to I-70 at Frederick roughly paralleling US-17 and US-15, I'd be on board. But the last mention has been in the 90s, and nothing got further than a study. It's a rural highway, it's not that hard to construct. They did it in Texas with TX-130 in 2012. They did it with 98 miles of new location toll-free I-69 in Indiana in 2012 and 2016.

I read thru the DEIS for the Western Transportation Corridor in the late 1990s, and building such a highway in Northern Virginia is quite a bit more complicated than you think, with the number of major and minor historical sites that are in the corridor, the number of river and stream crossings, and the number of wetlands areas.  A lot more than you might think.

In any event, that is a whole separate issue, and I have supported that highway in the past.  VDOT engaged in serious studies and Maryland wanted nothing to do with it, which killed the concept of a Washington Bypass.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 10:30:07 AM
Not everybody thinks like you.  You have the toll-free GP lanes available to you.
And not everybody thinks like you. You have the HO/T lanes available to you.

The demand is very high, and that leads to high tolls in peak periods, and that demand will grow when the I-395 HOT lanes open soon.
The demand is much higher in the GP lanes, and VDOT has not done any massive improvements to those -south of Woodbridge- in decades.

Then why don't you move to Texas?
Oh boy, I'd love to get out of this state. But you think it's just that easy to pack up and move?

I read thru the DEIS for the Western Transportation Corridor in the late 1990s, and building such a highway in Northern Virginia is quite a bit more complicated than you think, with the number of major and minor historical sites that are in the corridor, the number of river and stream crossings, and the number of wetlands areas.  A lot more than you might think.
Okay - it may cost more. Doesn't make it impossible. For 80 miles, it could be $5.6 billion for $70 million per mile. Costs split between Virginia and Maryland, part funded by traditional funding methods, and the rest covered by tolling. $20 one-way.

In any event, that is a whole separate issue, and I have supported that highway in the past.  VDOT engaged in serious studies and Maryland wanted nothing to do with it, which killed the concept of a Washington Bypass.
Maryland is a joke. But they'll spend $9 billion on Toll Lanes not even available to carpools.

And of course vehicles with 3 or more persons ride toll-free at all times, something else that your highways don't do, in addition to the high levels of slugging (casual car pooling) that exist on I-95 and I-395.
Tell that to Maryland. And does everybody traveling up and down the east coast conveniently own an E-ZPass Flex?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 12, 2019, 10:36:53 AM
So not only is Maryland doing the section with the least benefit, they're actually removing free capacity from what I gather.  Unless I'm misinterpreting something, that might be enough to turn me against the whole project.
It had not been my understanding that they were removing free capacity, but if so, I would also feel likewise.

It was my understanding that the preferred I-270 scenario would be similar to Virginia's I-66 project in the fact that one current HOV lane (so not really free capacity during rush hour) would be converted and one new HOT lane would be added (using the inside shoulder). It also wouldn't seem likely that a simple lane repurposing would require the taking of up to 234 pieces of property. No idea if the current THRU and Local lane setup stays.
https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Maryland-governor-s-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-13941541.php
Quote
So far, the state's study has found up to 34 homes and four businesses, almost all in Montgomery County, would be destroyed to widen the Beltway, along with pieces of another 1,262 properties. The study of the lower part of I-270, south of I-370, so far has found no homes or businesses that would be destroyed and up to 234 pieces of property that would need to be taken.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 10:42:52 AM
Not everybody thinks like you.  You have the toll-free GP lanes available to you.
And not everybody thinks like you. You have the HO/T lanes available to you.

I'm not the one complaining about what roadways are available.

The demand is very high, and that leads to high tolls in peak periods, and that demand will grow when the I-395 HOT lanes open soon.
The demand is much higher in the GP lanes, and VDOT has not done any massive improvements to those -south of Woodbridge- in decades.

I have spoken in favor of 8-lane widening, so that is not an issue with me.

Even with 8 GP lanes (4 each way), there will still be very high demand in the HOT lanes, even more with the soon completion of the I-395 HOT lanes and the 10-mile extension to Fredericksburg.

Then why don't you move to Texas?
Oh boy, I'd love to get out of this state. But you think it's just that easy to pack up and move?

How about the S.F. Bay Area?  I don't travel there but reports from residents on other roads forums say that they have at least 200 miles of freeways that have worse problems than the D.C. area, actually sounds much worse.

I read thru the DEIS for the Western Transportation Corridor in the late 1990s, and building such a highway in Northern Virginia is quite a bit more complicated than you think, with the number of major and minor historical sites that are in the corridor, the number of river and stream crossings, and the number of wetlands areas.  A lot more than you might think.
Okay - it may cost more. Doesn't make it impossible. For 80 miles, it could be $5.6 billion for $70 million per mile. Costs split between Virginia and Maryland, part funded by traditional funding methods, and the rest covered by tolling. $20 one-way.

You need to make the case to Maryland.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 10:49:56 AM
So not only is Maryland doing the section with the least benefit, they're actually removing free capacity from what I gather.  Unless I'm misinterpreting something, that might be enough to turn me against the whole project.
It had not been my understanding that they were removing free capacity, but if so, I would also feel likewise.

It was my understanding that the preferred I-270 scenario would be similar to Virginia's I-66 project in the fact that one current HOV lane (so not really free capacity during rush hour) would be converted and one new HOT lane would be added (using the inside shoulder). It also wouldn't seem likely that a simple lane repurposing would require the taking of up to 234 pieces of property. No idea if the current THRU and Local lane setup stays.
https://www.thetelegraph.com/news/article/Maryland-governor-s-plan-to-add-toll-lanes-to-13941541.php
Quote
So far, the state's study has found up to 34 homes and four businesses, almost all in Montgomery County, would be destroyed to widen the Beltway, along with pieces of another 1,262 properties. The study of the lower part of I-270, south of I-370, so far has found no homes or businesses that would be destroyed and up to 234 pieces of property that would need to be taken.
https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/I-495-I-270-Prelim-Screened-Alts.pdf
All of the alternatives involve removing the local-thru config. The ETL alternative, which it seems MDOT is going after, does retain the HOV lane though along with 2 new Toll Lanes. But I-495 won't have that benefit.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 12, 2019, 10:53:28 AM
I certainly agree with that. The same would apply to the Bridge-Tunnel as suggested two posts up the thread (I've only been that way once anyway simply because of where it goes).
The CBBT is $14 - $18 one-way. And while you only pay the toll for the facility itself, you also pay to drive up the Eastern Shore entirely and bypass the mess that I-95 is. I-95 is $40 - $50. Some people would do it - but I certainly wouldn't pay that much. The NJTP is $10 max, and the TX-130 road is $20. Both go at least 90 miles. The HO/T lanes go a mere 40, and I would not pay $40 - 50 for that. That's over $1 per mile. TX-130 is 22 cents per mile, and the NJTP is less. Like I said, I understand the reasons why, but I'm just saying for myself, that's way too much. Maybe they should've built the HO/T lanes with 3 lanes in each direction? Charge a more reasonable price?

Then again 30,000 vehicles per day travel through the Chesapeake Expressway every summer Saturday and have no problem plunking down $8 one-way to travel 6 miles. I guess a lot of people will do anything to get to their destination faster. I would, but not for that much.

It seems to me your comments are more or less underscoring exactly what the point of the variable tolling system is! The toll rises as more people enter the HO/T lanes with the intent being that as the toll rises, more and more people will say "it's too much, I won't pay that," which in turn means fewer people entering the lanes such that traffic keeps moving. In my observation on the Beltway (because I use that way more often than I use I-95 south of Springfield), the system seems to work pretty well, as the only times I've gone less than 65–70 mph in the Beltway HO/T lanes were because of an accident slowing traffic or because of bad weather affecting traction and visibility. Of course every individual has a different idea of what constitutes "too high" a toll, which is also part of the point.

It's funny, though, reading your comment makes me think back to the 1980s when the Dulles Toll Road opened between the Beltway and Route 28 (Sully Road). At the time, the toll was 50¢ at the main toll plaza in Tysons and 25¢ at the ramp tolls, except for Route 28 where it was 35¢. The road was about 13 miles long. Everyone said it was insanely expensive and a lot of people didn't want to use it. The point of reference back then for it being expensive was, as with your comment, the Jersey Turnpike, on which back then, if I recall correctly, it cost around $1.30 to go from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Exit 10 for the Outerbridge or $1.80 to continue up to Exit 13 for the Goethals Bridge. (And, of course, there were people who felt those tolls were too high and so opted for I-295.) I don't recall all the tolls from back in that era, but I remember the Delaware Memorial Bridge being 60¢ each way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 11:00:24 AM
It seems to me your comments are more or less underscoring exactly what the point of the variable tolling system is! The toll rises as more people enter the HO/T lanes with the intent being that as the toll rises, more and more people will say "it's too much, I won't pay that," which in turn means fewer people entering the lanes such that traffic keeps moving.
Sounds like a great system. It keeps people free-flowing at highway speeds and makes sure there's no congestion.... but in reality it pushes more people into the general purpose lanes clogging those even more. And VDOT doesn't seem to have any interest working to fix those and widen them. Just giving the job to a private company to build toll lanes in the median.

Look, I'm not saying don't build the HO/T lanes at all. They are nice to have. It's just that VDOT needs to widen I-95 and build a fixed-toll bypass around the entire area, routing thru traffic around. And if that thru traffic is HOV and doesn't want to pay the toll, then by all means come through DC and use the HO/T lanes for free. But a bypass would get a significant amount of traffic off I-95.

What bugs me the most is down here in Hampton Roads, they are expanding the HRBT for $4 billion using taxpayer dollars, and only building HO/T lanes. Same with the High Rise Bridge expansion by adding a HO/T lane. So we have to pay to use what our tax dollars already funded. Those tax dollars should have funded at least 1 additional free lane on both the HRBT and High Rise Bridge corridor. At least the HO/T lanes are privately funded.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on June 12, 2019, 12:05:24 PM
I haven't heard about changing any existing free lanes on I-270 to toll lanes.  I've only heard about adding toll lanes. The notion of changing existing lanes would have even less support than adding lanes IMO.
The typical section "before" had 3 "thru" lanes, 2 "local" lanes, both divided by a barrier, and 1 HOV lane in each direction. The proposed section showed 5 general purpose lanes with no barrier, and 2 Toll Lanes in each direction.
Quote
https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/I-495-I-270-Prelim-Screened-Alts.pdf
All of the alternatives involve removing the local-thru config. The ETL alternative, which it seems MDOT is going after, does retain the HOV lane though along with 2 new Toll Lanes. But I-495 won't have that benefit.
Thanks.  I haven't come across that.  And reporting has been vague. 

It won't be easy for I-270 since pretty much all of the overpasses will have to be replaced.  e.g.
https://goo.gl/maps/YRDwP3WTiMz2yRiS8
And that may include the bridge that is currently under construction at the new exit 12. So it's not just removing the barriers kind of easy change. 

Also the state says they won't take houses.  Well they would need some kind of two level highway (elevated or depressed) to add lanes here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1273322,-77.2029854,197m/data=!3m1!1e3
Which is why I think local officials and residents don't trust the governor.  I would imagine that they think instead of such a drastic measure as a two level highway that houses would be taken. 

Also setups show in that document show what could be the setup of lanes between I-370 and I-495.  The lane setup north of I-370 would be smaller so I'd be curious where the footprint would shrink. It would probably shrink at the same places as now.  I would imagine the footprint would dwindle down to a 2-2-2-2 setup by the time you reach I-70. 

The new bridge in Clarksburg for exit 18 looks like it could handle 5 lanes in each direction with whichever of the specific setups is chosen. 
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2314369,-77.2849412,3a,75y,351.85h,90.57t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sOQd0pxrfXXeY17zr5fjX_A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 12:38:25 PM
And reporting has been vague.
Because sadly the reporters never look at the specific details. They just say major construction project coming, expect delays, and capacity will be added when done. They may explain what a toll lane is but that's it. No specific details.

It won't be easy for I-270 since pretty much all of the overpasses will have to be replaced.  e.g.
https://goo.gl/maps/YRDwP3WTiMz2yRiS8
And that may include the bridge that is currently under construction at the new exit 12. So it's not just removing the barriers kind of easy change. 
All of the bridges on both I-495 and I-270 will have to be replaced no matter what option chosen. They're putting 4-lanes with full shoulders in the place where there's currently a narrow barrier. The whole footprint has to be expanded. The same happened on I-495 in Virginia.

Also the state says they won't take houses.  Well they would need some kind of two level highway (elevated or depressed) to add lanes here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1273322,-77.2029854,197m/data=!3m1!1e3
Which is why I think local officials and residents don't trust the governor.  I would imagine that they think instead of such a drastic measure as a two level highway that houses would be taken.
Based on Virginia's HO/T lanes and considering 6 lanes plus 2 toll lanes in each direction, roughly a 270 foot footprint is needed. That could fit through that area, just with narrow buffers. That's the land that they're talking about taking. No homes should be needed to get taken, nor should a 2-level highway be needed.
 
Also setups show in that document show what could be the setup of lanes between I-370 and I-495.  The lane setup north of I-370 would be smaller so I'd be curious where the footprint would shrink. It would probably shrink at the same places as now.  I would imagine the footprint would dwindle down to a 2-2-2-2 setup by the time you reach I-70. 
Currently the Toll Lanes are only being built up to I-370. Nothing north of there is getting built for the time being, though it's on the long range plan. Probably just 2 Toll lanes with 2-3 general purpose lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: goobnav on June 12, 2019, 01:14:09 PM
Those highways don't have 6 or 8 lanes of toll-free general purpose lanes, do they?
You could argue at least 60 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike has I-295 toll-free parallel to it. Most of that I-295 stretch is 6-lanes. You could argue also TX-130 has I-35 through Austin as a toll-free alternative. It's actually the better route during non-peak hours. It's 25 miles shorter, and mostly 75 mph except around Downtown itself. During peak hours though, I'd gladly pay $20 with toll-by-plate to bypass that congestion on the TX-130 toll road, even if it's 25 miles additional. Austin has some horrible traffic on I-35. The only issue that part of the 80 mph toll road is becoming engulfed with suburban sprawl from Austin, and is now a commuter road. Recurring delays occur during peak hours, though it's significantly better than I-35. It's currently being expanded to 6-lanes though, so that should help ease that congestion.

I don't mind paying $30+ one-way to use I-95 and I-495 HOT lanes during peak hours for these inter-state trips, and they wouldn't be that expensive at peak hours if the total demand wasn't so high that those toll levels are needed to keep the lanes congestion-free.
For those 40 miles, maybe up to $20, but I wouldn't pay any more. Basically, the way I look at it is why can I pay $20 in Texas and drive 85 mph for 40 miles and 80 mph for another 40 miles and bypass Austin completely, but in North Virginia I pay $40 and get to drive 65 mph for 40 miles, and still get dumped in congestion on either ends?

I understand the reason as you mentioned, though when making that financial decision myself, I wouldn't do it. I get way better value in Texas than here. And a nicer road quite frankly.

If VDOT and MDSHA got serious about constructing an 80 mile toll road stretching from I-95 at Fredericksburg to I-70 at Frederick roughly paralleling US-17 and US-15, I'd be on board. But the last mention has been in the 90s, and nothing got further than a study. It's a rural highway, it's not that hard to construct. They did it in Texas with TX-130 in 2012. They did it with 98 miles of new location toll-free I-69 in Indiana in 2012 and 2016.

Coming back from the Maryland Eastern Shore today, I decided to try US-301.  Tuesday, peak hours, fine weather, no problem, eh?  It was -horrible-, rolling backup after rolling backup, sometimes jammed for a mile or two, at least 60 signals.  It took at least 60 minutes longer than I-95's projected time which per radio traffic reports had no major problems.  Not toll-free either, $6.00 one-way SB toll at the Nice Memorial Bridge.
I can agree, US-301 isn't that fun. I've done it many times in my times up that way. Then again, sometimes it's still better than I-95 if you're -not- using the HO/T lanes.

If you're heading to the northwest, US-17 from Fredericksburg to Marshall then I-66 West to I-81 North is a good alternative to I-95, I-495, and I-270. US-17 is mostly 55-60 mph and free-flowing rural highway. A nice scenic route through the country as well.

$26, $18 one way on the CBBT is not worth it.  Can still take the east side of the Beltway and deal with DC and and then Baltimore, on 695, traffic than taking that amount for a toll.  Just have to drive through the metro area either really early or after 10 am.
Without traffic from Norfolk to the New Jersey Turnpike, it's 5 hours 11 minutes via I-64, I-295, and I-95 and 330 miles. It's 4 hours 46 minutes via I-64, US-13, US-113, and DE-1 and 261 miles. During off-peak hours, that's 25 minutes of additional traveling and 70 additional miles. During off-peak hours, if the distance and times were closer, I may consider it, since I'd prefer to stick to freeways as much as possible. But considering the usual traffic congestion in DC, that time can easily increase to 6 hours without using HO/T lanes. Not to mention, US-13 and US-113 is usually an easy drive, and can usually get up to 65 mph with no issues on the rural stretches. And the northern 50 miles are the DE-1 65 mph toll freeway, which the toll isn't higher than $6.

I find US-13 and US-113 to be more of a relaxing trip, less stressful, light traffic, etc. than I-64 and I-95, especially if there's congestion, which is hard to avoid. Fastest route, 70 miles shorter, etc. And not to mention the frequent recurring congestion on I-64 and I-95 in rural areas.

Yeah, don't have the problem of having to drive west to go north, so going up the Delmarva is still not worth the CBBT toll, works for you being that the bay is your obstacle.  Just like the Mixing Bowl years, will adjust routes and timing to not get caught in this mess to come.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 01:18:52 PM
Yeah, don't have the problem of having to drive west to go north, so going up the Delmarva is still not worth the CBBT toll, works for you being that the bay is your obstacle.  Just like the Mixing Bowl years, will adjust routes and timing to not get caught in this mess to come.
Originating a trip from Durham, of course not, going CBBT is out of the way. I thought you were referring as to if you were in Hampton Roads going north.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on June 12, 2019, 01:29:13 PM
Quote
Based on Virginia's HO/T lanes and considering 6 lanes plus 2 toll lanes in each direction, roughly a 270 foot footprint is needed. That could fit through that area, just with narrow buffers. That's the land that they're talking about taking. No homes should be needed to get taken, nor should a 2-level highway be needed.
 
That stretch of highway currently only has a width of at most 240 feet.  And you also have to fit in ramps to/from I-370 in addition to the 12 lanes / 270 ft you mention.  And I-370 being a key connection would need ramps to/from both the GP lanes and the toll lanes.  Which sounds to me like you could need upwards of 300 feet. 
Quote
Currently the Toll Lanes are only being built up to I-370. Nothing north of there is getting built for the time being, though it's on the long range plan. Probably just 2 Toll lanes with 2-3 general purpose lanes.
That seems like it may be changing.  Nothing has been decided yet.  But it sounds like the plan is changing to expand up from the legion bridge straight up to Frederick and put off the rest of the beltway until later. 
https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/state-board-advances-i-270-widening-delays-beltway-plans/
(which was linked to up thread)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on June 12, 2019, 02:29:06 PM
....

What bugs me the most is down here in Hampton Roads, they are expanding the HRBT for $4 billion using taxpayer dollars, and only building HO/T lanes. Same with the High Rise Bridge expansion by adding a HO/T lane. So we have to pay to use what our tax dollars already funded. Those tax dollars should have funded at least 1 additional free lane on both the HRBT and High Rise Bridge corridor. At least the HO/T lanes are privately funded.

I haven't paid very close attention to the projects in that area because it's not a part of the state I have reason to visit very often at all, so correct me if I'm mistaken on this: Is it not the case that they are indeed widening those roads such that there will be the same number of "free" or "general-purpose" lanes as there already are, plus some new HO/T lanes?

If that is the case, then I don't buy the argument about "pay[ing] to use what our tax dollars already funded" because you would still have the same access to what you already had. A lot of people made that argument in claiming to oppose the I-495 HO/T lanes: "Our tax dollars paid for this road, so you can't toll it." But the road had previously had four lanes per side open to all traffic aside from some restrictions on HAZMAT carriers. After the HO/T lanes were built, the road still had at least four lanes per side open to all traffic aside from some restrictions on HAZMAT carriers, one segment with five general-purpose lanes on the Inner Loop, and two new HO/T lanes in each direction. In other words, when they expand the road and impose restrictions on the new portion they've added, while preserving what already existed, I don't see a lot of basis for complaint. (The I-95/I-395 project is very different in that respect because it did indeed take away lanes that were open to almost all traffic outside of HOV hours and impose a 24/7 toll. I think there's a more legitimate basis for complaint there, though not as to the new segment south of Route 234 because those lanes didn't exist before.)

In other words, if the HRBT is currently two lanes each way open to all traffic with possible HAZMAT exceptions, and if the expansion is to preserve two general-purpose lanes each way while adding HO/T lanes, I don't see the basis for claiming you have to pay to use what tax dollars funded.

(Or, put differently, most rational people don't dispute the idea that the Commonwealth of Virginia would be perfectly entitled to widen the highway to add an HOV lane or two. There are some idiots who bleat about HOV lanes somehow being "unconstitutional," but 99% of the time people who use that word have never read the Constitution and have no clue what they're talking about. Anyway, if there's nothing wrong with adding a new lane and putting an HOV restriction on it, I don't see how there can be anything wrong with adding that same lane with that same HOV restriction and then saying, "BTW, if you don't qualify for HOV status, we'll let you use it if you're willing to pay." It's essentially just a different way of restricting the lane.)

It seems to me your comments are more or less underscoring exactly what the point of the variable tolling system is! The toll rises as more people enter the HO/T lanes with the intent being that as the toll rises, more and more people will say "it's too much, I won't pay that," which in turn means fewer people entering the lanes such that traffic keeps moving.
Sounds like a great system. It keeps people free-flowing at highway speeds and makes sure there's no congestion.... but in reality it pushes more people into the general purpose lanes clogging those even more. And VDOT doesn't seem to have any interest working to fix those and widen them. Just giving the job to a private company to build toll lanes in the median.

....

I don't think this is necessarily the case. "Pushes more people into the general-purpose lanes" is an oversimplification. On I-95 and I-395 I can agree with this proposition outside of the old HOV hours. That is to say, the southbound HOV hours were (still are for now on I-395) from 3:30 to 6:00. After 6:00, anyone could go in the HOV lanes (except for large trucks south of Potomac Mills because they have to go to the weigh station). Now you have to pay a toll after 6:00, and it's certainly clear that traffic does slow at Turkeycock due to people exiting to the mainline to avoid paying a toll. But during HOV hours, which is when you expect the traffic to be the heaviest overall anyway, it's certainly not the case that toll operations "push[  ] more people into the general-purpose lanes" because there's no logic whatsoever to that idea. Anyone who was using the HOV lanes legally as an HOV before can continue to do so—you just get an E-ZPass Flex. Other people who could not use those lanes before but who are willing to pay the toll can now do so (I've certainly done that from the Beltway to the Franconia–Springfield Parkway when the Beltway east of Springfield is backed up). Of course there are some people who had HOV exemptions before who no longer do (vehicles with Clean Fuel plates lost their HOV exemption), so they might cancel out the toll-payers a bit in terms of shifted capacity. But I don't give a lot of credence to the idea that the end of the Clean Fuel exemption is somehow unfair to those cars' owners, as it was always clear all along that it was never guaranteed to be a permanent exemption.

On the Beltway, I think "pushing more people into the general-purpose lanes" is a nonsensical proposition because it lacks a valid point of comparison. That is, there were no express lanes on the Beltway before. Everybody was in the general-purpose lanes or was using alternate routes like Backlick Road to Gallows Road (a fairly direct route from Springfield to Tysons). There was nowhere from which "more people" could have been "pushed" out into the general-purpose lanes.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is that the only time an HO/T project "pushes more people into the general-purpose lanes" is if you (1) take existing lanes that were open to all traffic and (2) impose a new full-time HO/T restriction on them. I-95 does that outside the old HOV hours. I-495 doesn't do that because its HO/T lanes are entirely new capacity that didn't exist before. I-66 inside the Beltway doesn't do that either because it's a part-time HO/T restriction, such that anyone who was using it legally before can still use it, though the Clean Fuel owners might have to pay a toll, and anyone who was not using it legally before can now use it legally if he's willing to pay (so, in other words, more people should be on I-66 than was the case under the old rules).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 03:34:38 PM
I haven't paid very close attention to the projects in that area because it's not a part of the state I have reason to visit very often at all, so correct me if I'm mistaken on this: Is it not the case that they are indeed widening those roads such that there will be the same number of "free" or "general-purpose" lanes as there already are, plus some new HO/T lanes?

If that is the case, then I don't buy the argument about "pay[ing] to use what our tax dollars already funded" because you would still have the same access to what you already had. A lot of people made that argument in claiming to oppose the I-495 HO/T lanes: "Our tax dollars paid for this road, so you can't toll it." But the road had previously had four lanes per side open to all traffic aside from some restrictions on HAZMAT carriers. After the HO/T lanes were built, the road still had at least four lanes per side open to all traffic aside from some restrictions on HAZMAT carriers, one segment with five general-purpose lanes on the Inner Loop, and two new HO/T lanes in each direction. In other words, when they expand the road and impose restrictions on the new portion they've added, while preserving what already existed, I don't see a lot of basis for complaint. (The I-95/I-395 project is very different in that respect because it did indeed take away lanes that were open to almost all traffic outside of HOV hours and impose a 24/7 toll. I think there's a more legitimate basis for complaint there, though not as to the new segment south of Route 234 because those lanes didn't exist before.)

In other words, if the HRBT is currently two lanes each way open to all traffic with possible HAZMAT exceptions, and if the expansion is to preserve two general-purpose lanes each way while adding HO/T lanes, I don't see the basis for claiming you have to pay to use what tax dollars funded.

(Or, put differently, most rational people don't dispute the idea that the Commonwealth of Virginia would be perfectly entitled to widen the highway to add an HOV lane or two. There are some idiots who bleat about HOV lanes somehow being "unconstitutional," but 99% of the time people who use that word have never read the Constitution and have no clue what they're talking about. Anyway, if there's nothing wrong with adding a new lane and putting an HOV restriction on it, I don't see how there can be anything wrong with adding that same lane with that same HOV restriction and then saying, "BTW, if you don't qualify for HOV status, we'll let you use it if you're willing to pay." It's essentially just a different way of restricting the lane.)
I'm not complaining about the general purpose lanes and taxpayers funded them, blah blah. That's a poor argument, and I agree. My issue is that taxpayer dollars are paying for the construction of the new HO/T lanes as well. The High Rise Bridge corridor project between I-664 and I-64 is a $409 million dollar project that will add a new HO/T lane in each direction and construct a new high-rise bridge, currently under construction. That project is fully 100% taxpayer funded, and the only capacity it's adding are HO/T lanes. SOV vehicles have to pay to use the lanes, yet their tax dollars payed for them already. The HRBT expansion that will cost nearly $4 billion will simply add 1 HO/T lane in each direction, along with a 2nd HO/T shoulder lane during rush hour. Out of the almost $4 billion, only $345 million are coming from bonds. Almost $3.5 billion is coming from taxpayer dollars to build HO/T lanes, and SOV vehicles have to pay to use what their tax dollars funded.

Taxes were raised here in 2013 when the HRTAC (Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission) was created to generate revenue for highway projects in the area. Granted, some toll free projects have been constructed, like the massive I-264 / I-64 interchange reconstruction, but the I-64 expansions, funded by tax dollars, will only add HO/T lanes.

My point is that new lanes constructed with tax dollars should be general purpose lanes - we already paid for them. Any new HO/T lanes should be either privately funded or funded via a bond. Plus, the I-64 High Rise Bridge corridor should be expanded to 6 general purpose lanes before any HO/T lanes are built. Right now, it will be a 2 GP + 1 HO/T in each direction when completed. Even better - when Phase #2 is constructed around 2030, it will add a 4th lane in each direction. Another HO/T lane... 2 GP + 2 HO/T. Tax dollar funded.

I think the 8-lane config should be 3 GP + 1 HO/T if any HO/T at all, not 2. It would also match the 3 GP + 1 HOV it ties into west of I-464. And the current 6-lane widening should be 3 GP in each direction - that's it. Add the one HO/T lane later. Just like on the Peninsula - they're adding a 3rd -general purpose- lane in each direction all the way to north of Williamsburg on I-64. In the future, they want to add a 4th HOV lane to the current widening. Do the same here in Hampton Roads.

And technically, they could do that. Since it's all tax dollar funded, they can choose however they want to manage it. All they need to change is signage and lane striping. The lane is being built whatever it becomes, but as of now, it's set to be a HO/T lane.

Tax dollars funding billions of dollars of HO/T lane projects that will ultimately just collect tolls either way... and it leaves other freeway projects such as widening VA-168, VA-164, or expanding I-664, upgrading corridors such as US-17 and US-58 leaving the area, widening I-64 to Richmond, massive system interchange improvements, buying out the tolls on the tunnels and maybe even the other toll freeways (VA-168, US-17), etc. unfunded because the limited tax dollars are funding HO/T lanes. And they say the HO/T lane toll revenue will come back and pay for future projects... yet so far I haven't seen any plans for that money. It just seems to disappear suddenly... maybe into someone's pocket?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 03:52:23 PM
My point is that new lanes constructed with tax dollars should be general purpose lanes - we already paid for them.

All the Virginia HOV lanes pre-HOT were built with 100% road use taxes on I-95, I-395, I-64, I-564 and I-264.

The 7.5 miles of Beltway unopened managed lanes on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project were built with tax funds as well.  They definitely will not be used for general purpose lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 04:58:18 PM
My point is that new lanes constructed with tax dollars should be general purpose lanes - we already paid for them.

All the Virginia HOV lanes pre-HOT were built with 100% road use taxes on I-95, I-395, I-64, I-564 and I-264.

The 7.5 miles of Beltway unopened managed lanes on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project were built with tax funds as well.  They definitely will not be used for general purpose lanes.
All of the HOV lanes you mention where only restricted at rush hour, here in Hampton Roads that's 7am - 9am and 4pm - 6pm. Free to all at all other times. Not with HO/T lanes. Tolled 24/7. Also, HOV lanes didn't collect tolls. HO/T lanes do. The toll revenue collected on new HO/T lane construction should be used to pay back that specific project. If tax dollars are paying for the new lane, why toll it?

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 08:19:29 PM
My point is that new lanes constructed with tax dollars should be general purpose lanes - we already paid for them.
All the Virginia HOV lanes pre-HOT were built with 100% road use taxes on I-95, I-395, I-64, I-564 and I-264.
The 7.5 miles of Beltway unopened managed lanes on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project were built with tax funds as well.  They definitely will not be used for general purpose lanes.
All of the HOV lanes you mention where only restricted at rush hour, here in Hampton Roads that's 7am - 9am and 4pm - 6pm. Free to all at all other times. Not with HO/T lanes. Tolled 24/7.

Not tolled for HOV-3+ (NoVA) and HOV-2+ (H.R.).  Minimally tolled in low volume hours.

Also, HOV lanes didn't collect tolls. HO/T lanes do. The toll revenue collected on new HO/T lane construction should be used to pay back that specific project. If tax dollars are paying for the new lane, why toll it?

Because part of the tax dollars came from state-issued toll revenue bonds?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 09:12:55 PM
My point is that new lanes constructed with tax dollars should be general purpose lanes - we already paid for them.
All the Virginia HOV lanes pre-HOT were built with 100% road use taxes on I-95, I-395, I-64, I-564 and I-264.
The 7.5 miles of Beltway unopened managed lanes on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project were built with tax funds as well.  They definitely will not be used for general purpose lanes.
All of the HOV lanes you mention where only restricted at rush hour, here in Hampton Roads that's 7am - 9am and 4pm - 6pm. Free to all at all other times. Not with HO/T lanes. Tolled 24/7.

Not tolled for HOV-3+ (NoVA) and HOV-2+ (H.R.).  Minimally tolled in low volume hours.

Also, HOV lanes didn't collect tolls. HO/T lanes do. The toll revenue collected on new HO/T lane construction should be used to pay back that specific project. If tax dollars are paying for the new lane, why toll it?

Because part of the tax dollars came from state-issued toll revenue bonds?
The High Rise Bridge expansion project is 100% funded publicly. No bonds.

Per the project website...
Quote
Construction Cost
Approximately $409.6 million

Funded by Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, Virginia's SMART SCALE Program and the Federal Highway Administration
Now, the HRTAC may have bonds internally to get these projects done on a fast pace, but it's the tax money from the 2013 tax hike in Hampton Roads that's repaying those bonds, not toll revenue.

I really don't see the need for HO/T lanes on the High Rise Bridge corridor. I drove on it earlier during rush hour. The main problem is simply not enough lanes and too much cars. If there were 3 GP lanes and maybe 1 HO/T lane added later, it would operate just fine. It's not I-95 where you need 10 lanes each way to even lighten up. At that point, HO/T lanes make sense. But like I said, 3 -general purpose- lanes each way plus 1 HO/T, it would be fine. And that HO/T should come apart of Phase 2. Right now, it should only be 1 -general purpose- being added for "immediate relief". Just like on the peninsula. And guess what - it's worked there. And very similar traffic counts too. The HRBT is the same way, though I can understand that more because of restrictions with lane configs due to the tunnel
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 09:17:35 PM
Not tolled for HOV-3+ (NoVA) and HOV-2+ (H.R.).  Minimally tolled in low volume hours.
Why toll at all during non-peak hours? The I-64 reversible HO/T lanes here in Hampton Roads are only tolled during peak hours. Free all other hours.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 12, 2019, 09:39:30 PM
The High Rise Bridge expansion project is 100% funded publicly. No bonds.
Per the project website...
Quote
Construction Cost
Approximately $409.6 million
Funded by Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, Virginia's SMART SCALE Program and the Federal Highway Administration
Now, the HRTAC may have bonds internally to get these projects done on a fast pace, but it's the tax money from the 2013 tax hike in Hampton Roads that's repaying those bonds, not toll revenue.

Money is fungible.  If that is the case then they may plan to use the tolls to help service the bonds.

Or to toll the lanes to manage congestion in that lane and use the revenues for other highway projects.

I really don't see the need for HO/T lanes on the High Rise Bridge corridor. I drove on it earlier during rush hour. The main problem is simply not enough lanes and too much cars. If there were 3 GP lanes and maybe 1 HO/T lane added later, it would operate just fine. It's not I-95 where you need 10 lanes each way to even lighten up. At that point, HO/T lanes make sense. But like I said, 3 -general purpose- lanes each way plus 1 HO/T, it would be fine. And that HO/T should come apart of Phase 2. Right now, it should only be 1 -general purpose- being added for "immediate relief". Just like on the peninsula. And guess what - it's worked there. And very similar traffic counts too.

Maybe so, but the transportation planners in the Hampton Roads area seem to have decided to develop a system of Interstate highway managed lanes (which could be HOV, HOT or ETL or even changed to GP by a simple administrative change).

Not tolled for HOV-3+ (NoVA) and HOV-2+ (H.R.).  Minimally tolled in low volume hours.
Why toll at all during non-peak hours? The I-64 reversible HO/T lanes here in Hampton Roads are only tolled during peak hours. Free all other hours.

In an area like metro D.C. there is enough 24/7 traffic that a non-peak incident in the GP lanes could cause congestion that could overload the HOT lanes if they were not tolled.

I am one of the people who will pay that low toll (IIRC $1.50 on I-495) in the low volume hours just to have an easier cruise and to avoid the rare case that something will go wrong (Murphy's Law) in the GP lanes.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 12, 2019, 09:52:37 PM
Maybe so, but the transportation planners in the Hampton Roads area seem to have decided to develop a system of Interstate highway managed lanes (which could be HOV, HOT or ETL or even changed to GP by a simple administrative change).
Exactly - the whole idea is to have a HO/T system stretching from I-64 at Bowers Hill to Hampton. The I-64 High Rise Bridge widening adds 2 HO/T lanes ultimately, then the plan is to convert the existing HOV to HO/T, then the existing HO/T lanes, then the HRBT HO/T lanes.

My concept satisfies that though either way. Under the current ultimate plan, if you were heading west (eastbound) towards the High Rise, you'd have 3 GP lanes and 1 HO/T lane. Then, it would shrink to 2 GP lanes, but then now 2 HO/T lanes.

My concept on the other hand maintains 3 GP and 1 HO/T lane through the entire thing. No lane changes. Keeping that lane drop like they want to do is only going to make traffic -worse-. The HOV lane currently drops off, that doesn't cause problems, then it's simply 3 GP lanes. It flows smoothly. Then it drops to 2 GP lanes, and it's traffic hell all the way through. Why not make this under construction lane a continuous 3rd -general purpose- lane and keep it consistent? Immediate traffic relief - much like the Peninsula widening which has very similar traffic volumes. It worked perfectly there. Then, when you want to build the ultimate 8-lane concept with the HO/T system, extend the existing HOV lane as a separate facility, and maintain the continous 3 lane pattern for the -general purpose-. Same as proposed on the Peninsula. They built the 3rd GP lane for immediate relief, and plan on adding a "managed" lane later.

Hopefully I'm making sense, it's hard to explain. But basically the current plan has flaws that will only cause congestion not help it. Much like the infamous lane drop VDOT put in at Woodbridge on I-95 which was a mistake. Coincidentally, the HO/T lanes opened soon after, making it impossible for SOV long distance traffic to bypass the newly created VDOT backup during off-peak hours for free.
 
In an area like metro D.C. there is enough 24/7 traffic that a non-peak incident in the GP lanes could cause congestion that could overload the HOT lanes if they were not tolled.
The existing HOV lanes on I-95 operated smoothly being free during off-peak hours. Sure, if there's a wreck, turn on the toll. But if there's no traffic, don't charge a toll. I'm not saying get rid of the toll. Just when there's no traffic, just make it "Toll $0.00". If a wreck happens, back up to "Toll $X.XX"
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2019, 12:21:31 AM
Exactly - the whole idea is to have a HO/T system stretching from I-64 at Bowers Hill to Hampton. The I-64 High Rise Bridge widening adds 2 HO/T lanes ultimately, then the plan is to convert the existing HOV to HO/T, then the existing HO/T lanes, then the HRBT HO/T lanes.

Ultimately all the way to the VA-199 interchange south of Williamsburg, after 8-lane widening north of VA-143 Jefferson Avenue.

The existing HOV lanes on I-95 operated smoothly being free during off-peak hours. Sure, if there's a wreck, turn on the toll. But if there's no traffic, don't charge a toll. I'm not saying get rid of the toll. Just when there's no traffic, just make it "Toll $0.00". If a wreck happens, back up to "Toll $X.XX"

I can't find an exact statement on expresslanes.com about what is the minimum possible toll.  It says that the tolls are 24/7 but it could go down to zero for all I know.

The times I have traveled it at very low volumes like 1:00 am it did have a low toll but being I-95 and I-495 the whole highway was still carrying significant volumes, and the HOT lanes were carrying low but significant volumes as well.  So they still do get used.  Even at the very low hours you don't know if a major incident might happen after you are on that segment, and the HOT lanes provide more 'insurance' of a trouble free trip, so there are people like me that still find express lanes with widely spaced interchanges to be a better grade of highway than the GP lanes.  Even when the GP lanes are free-flowing I still find it nice to use 38 miles of express lanes that are more like a rural freeway than an urban freeway.

24/7 tolling would be part of the overall pricing and tolling system.  HOV-3+ and motorcycles get to ride toll free, and the others pay a higher toll to help support the free riders.  Very low volume times still attract customers who are willing to pay the low toll.  Obviously not everyone is happy with such a system, it is a series of tradeoffs.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 14, 2019, 12:47:05 AM
Ultimately all the way to the VA-199 interchange south of Williamsburg, after 8-lane widening north of VA-143 Jefferson Avenue.
I liked how that was done. They added a GP lane for immediate relief, then later they'll do the HO/T lane.

If only they would do that with the High Rise Bridge - immediate relief GP lane for now... then with the 8-lane later, add -one- HO/T lane.

And they still could... All that's under construction now is a single lane in each direction. It's there choice to put up the gantries and tubes separating the lanes. They don't have to. Tax dollars funded that lane - there's no toll contract it's locked into. But it's not even worth trying to convince them to do it. VDOT's mind is set on making that a HO/T lane. I could write them a long, descriptive email about reasons why to do it and how it'll be more beneficial. They'll just respond saying that was a decision made through years of studying, etc. blah, blah. It's quite obvious an immediate relief GP lane would work. Hell, US-58 going to Suffolk carries almost 80,000 AADT, and operates at a continuous 65 - 70 mph speed and has only 3 general purpose lanes in each direction. And it's not even a freeway! I'm shocked when they evaluated making that an 8-lane freeway, they didn't consider the new lane as a HO/T lane - just a regular 4th general purpose lane. And there's no reason TWO HO/T lanes are ultimately needed. 1 HO/T and 3 GP as the final buildout would work fine and give traffic more breathing room. It's planned to work on the Peninsula. And the traffic volumes are both around 90,000 AADT on both facilities.

The times I have traveled it at very low volumes like 1:00 am it did have a low toll but being I-95 and I-495 the whole highway was still carrying significant volumes, and the HOT lanes were carrying low but significant volumes as well.  So they still do get used.  Even at the very low hours you don't know if a major incident might happen after you are on that segment, and the HOT lanes provide more 'insurance' of a trouble free trip, so there are people like me that still find express lanes with widely spaced interchanges to be a better grade of highway than the GP lanes.  Even when the GP lanes are free-flowing I still find it nice to use 38 miles of express lanes that are more like a rural freeway than an urban freeway.
I could say the same about the I-64 HO/T lanes during off-peak hours and on weekends. The highway is still very busy, especially on summer Saturdays, yet the lanes flow fine at 65+ mph even with heavy traffic and no tolls in place.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2019, 01:19:52 AM
The times I have traveled it at very low volumes like 1:00 am it did have a low toll but being I-95 and I-495 the whole highway was still carrying significant volumes, and the HOT lanes were carrying low but significant volumes as well.  So they still do get used.  Even at the very low hours you don't know if a major incident might happen after you are on that segment, and the HOT lanes provide more 'insurance' of a trouble free trip, so there are people like me that still find express lanes with widely spaced interchanges to be a better grade of highway than the GP lanes.  Even when the GP lanes are free-flowing I still find it nice to use 38 miles of express lanes that are more like a rural freeway than an urban freeway.
I could say the same about the I-64 HO/T lanes during off-peak hours and on weekends. The highway is still very busy, especially on summer Saturdays, yet the lanes flow fine at 65+ mph even with heavy traffic and no tolls in place.

I-64 doesn't have the tractor-trailer volumes that the I-95 corridor has, after all I-64 is basically a long spur to a metro area near the ocean, and I-95 handles the whole eastern seaboard.  Also metro D.C. 6.2 million people and H.R. 1.6 million.

Besides I was referring to times like 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am, not off-peak hours and on weekends.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2019, 04:31:56 PM
Ultimately all the way to the VA-199 interchange south of Williamsburg, after 8-lane widening north of VA-143 Jefferson Avenue.
I liked how that was done. They added a GP lane for immediate relief, then later they'll do the HO/T lane.
If only they would do that with the High Rise Bridge - immediate relief GP lane for now... then with the 8-lane later, add -one- HO/T lane.

That works with small overpass bridges, but on a long high-level bridge it will generally be a lot less expensive to build one 4-lane bridge rather than a narrower bridge that is then widened later.  And we are talking about 3 directional lanes being needed now and 4 in the future.

When I say 'generally' I would allow for an engineering decision that showed otherwise, but that would be rather unlikely.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 14, 2019, 04:46:13 PM
Ultimately all the way to the VA-199 interchange south of Williamsburg, after 8-lane widening north of VA-143 Jefferson Avenue.
I liked how that was done. They added a GP lane for immediate relief, then later they'll do the HO/T lane.
If only they would do that with the High Rise Bridge - immediate relief GP lane for now... then with the 8-lane later, add -one- HO/T lane.

That works with small overpass bridges, but on a long high-level bridge it will generally be a lot less expensive to build one 4-lane bridge rather than a narrower bridge that is then widened later.  And we are talking about 3 directional lanes being needed now and 4 in the future.

When I say 'generally' I would allow for an engineering decision that showed otherwise, but that would be rather unlikely.
They're currently building one new 4-lane High Rise Bridge south of the existing bridge. When the project is finalized in 2021, the new bridge will carry 3 lanes of westbound (east direction) traffic with future capacity of 4-lanes, and the existing bridge will be retained and used for 3 lanes of eastbound (west direction) traffic.

In the future, they'll demolish the older High Rise Bridge and build another new 4-lane bridge, and then all 8-lanes will be in service across both bridges. While the existing bridge is being demolished in Phase #2, the 4-lane bridge with full shoulders being built now will hold all 6-lanes of traffic during construction with no shoulders. Then, when Phase #2 is completed, there will be 8-lanes with full shoulders on both sides across two fixed span 4-lane bridges.

Either way, they can still do 6 general purpose lanes at the conclusion of the first project without any HO/T lanes. Add -one- HO/T lane later, and not two. The bridge plans can still accommodate that. 

Actually, at the conclusion of this project, by the official plans, there will be 2 GP lanes and 1 HO/T lane in each direction, along with a shoulder -general purpose- lane during peak hours between I-464 and US-17 / US-17 Business carrying across the bridge.

Generally, my comment comparing this project to the Peninsula project was saying they're adding a -general purpose- lane initially, then a HO/T lane. On this project, only HO/T lanes are added in both phases, no general purpose lanes added even in the ultimate build. The bridge is of course being built to accommodate 4-lanes in the future.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2019, 10:17:39 PM
Actually, at the conclusion of this project, by the official plans, there will be 2 GP lanes and 1 HO/T lane in each direction, along with a shoulder -general purpose- lane during peak hours between I-464 and US-17 / US-17 Business carrying across the bridge.
Generally, my comment comparing this project to the Peninsula project was saying they're adding a -general purpose- lane initially, then a HO/T lane. On this project, only HO/T lanes are added in both phases, no general purpose lanes added even in the ultimate build. The bridge is of course being built to accommodate 4-lanes in the future.

The High Rise Bridge currently is 4 lanes, and the proposed ultimate 8-lane design would be 3 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way, so there will be an increase in GP lanes.

Current project widening to 2 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way, will match the widening west there.

The I-464 area is where the transition will be between 6 lanes west of there and 8 lanes east of there, subsequent to the current widening project.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 14, 2019, 10:33:30 PM
The High Rise Bridge currently is 4 lanes, and the proposed ultimate 8-lane design would be 3 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way, so there will be an increase in GP lanes.
Incorrect. The proposed ultimate 8-lane design is 2 GP lanes and 2 HO/T lanes each way.

My argument is that it should be 3 GP lanes and 1 HO/T lane, like you're saying, but currently that's not the ultimate 8-lane design.

The decision was made by the CTB on March 18, 2015. The preferred alternative was Alternative #2 which would add two lanes in each direction with some or all managed. The options for the new lanes were to have 1 GP + 1 HOV, 2 HO/T, or all lanes including the existing ones tolled. The resolution indicated the management option would be selected later on, and they ultimately went with the HO/T lane option. Phase #2 would bring the corridor ultimately to 2 GP + 2 HO/T in each direction.
http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Hampton_Roads/asset_upload_file31_80998.pdf

My belief is that the 1 GP + 1 HOV option should be selected, but then convert that HOV to HO/T. It simply makes more sense, considering east of I-464, they're considering turning the -one- HOV lane into -one- HO/T lane. Ultimately having 3 GP + 1 HO/T lane would keep a consistency of lanes from I-264 near Military Circle to I-664 at Bowers Hill - 3 GP + 1 HO/T all the way through. In combination with an overhauled Bowers Hill Interchange, I-464 / VA-168 / US-17 Interchange, and I-264 Interchange, this would be a massive improvement for the better along the entire I-64 corridor. Having a lane drop in the general purpose lane at I-464 and a lane add on the HO/T lanes simply makes no logical sense when you consider it as one network.

Current project widening to 2 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way, will match the widening west there.

The I-464 area is where the transition will be between 6 lanes west of there and 8 lanes east of there, subsequent to the current widening project.
Currently, I-64 has 3 GP lanes and 1 HOV lane each way east of I-464, and it currently drops to 2 GP lanes each way west of I-464. I believe the current widening should be a -general purpose- lane addition, to ease that transition - only the HOV lane would drop off, and traffic would continue flowing in the 3 GP lanes. Currently, there's a daily 3 mile backup when it transitions from 3 GP lanes to 2 GP lanes. It makes sense to extend that GP lane throughout the entire corridor to I-664 as -immediate relief-. The current project instead extends the HOV lane as a HO/T lane to I-664, which is not going to relieve the daily backup that could EASILY be fixed by extending the GP lane instead. I don't have an issue with having a maximum of 1 HO/T lane in the ultimate 8-lane build, but it should be added later, not now.

The Peninsula widening is following that strategy - adding a general purpose lane as relief now, then later adding one HOV / HO/T lane. The same should be done here. Both the Peninsula segment and High Rise Bridge corridor have 90,000 AADT. I don't get why there's a desperate need for a HO/T lane here, which isn't going to relief much, whereas on the Peninsula, they just added a general purpose lane, and traffic has gotten so much better across all lanes.

The High Rise Bridge corridor, just like the Peninsula, has low enough traffic counts (90,000 AADT) where adding 1 general purpose lane will ease things significantly itself. You don't need to start adding HO/T lanes in the equation until there's a minimum of 6 general purpose lanes, especially with only 90,000 AADT.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on June 14, 2019, 10:45:35 PM
^ I believe you're confusing it with the HRBT project.  HRBT will be 2 GP + 2 HO/T.  VDOT's High Rise Bridge FAQ (http://www.64highrise.org/questions/default.asp) (last question under "Project Benefits") mentions that project will normally have 2 GP + 1 HO/T, but the outside shoulders will be improved between 17 and Great Bridge Rd (i.e. over the High Rise) to serve as a 3rd GP in each direction during periods of "heavy congestion".
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 14, 2019, 10:49:01 PM
^ I believe you're confusing it with the HRBT project.  HRBT will be 2 GP + 2 HO/T.  VDOT's High Rise Bridge FAQ (http://www.64highrise.org/questions/default.asp) (last question under "Project Benefits") mentions that project will normally have 2 GP + 1 HO/T, but the outside shoulders will be improved between 17 and Great Bridge Rd (i.e. over the High Rise) to serve as a 3rd GP in each direction during periods of "heavy congestion".
I'm talking about the ultimate 8-lane build in 2030+. The plan for I-64 between Bowers Hill and I-464 is to have 2 GP + 2 HO/T lanes ultimately, plus those shoulder lanes you mentioned.

Those shoulder lanes will be wonky unless they drop the way the lanes drop. The left lane drops, as the shoulder lane would pick up on the right. Unless they are changing the lane drop to be on the right, then transition to the shoulder during rush hour, it will create issues. That will help significantly, I agree, but still believe there should also be a -general purpose- lane being added now, then -one- HO/T lane later. I disagree with the overall 2 GP + 2 HO/T ultimate concept, and the fact they're adding the new lane now as a HO/T lane, not general purpose immediate relief, as seen has been very successful on the Peninsula.

My argument is the lane config ultimately should be 3 GP + 1 HO/T which would match the lane config to the east of the project, and that this Phase #1 project under construction now should only be a -general purpose- widening as immediate relief - just like the Peninsula widening. Both segments of I-64 carry around 90,000 AADT, and the immediate relief project on the Peninsula has drastically helped, and no HO/T lanes were added.

As for the HRBT project, it's 2 GP + 1 HO/T, then an additional HO/T lane during rush hour. I was not confusing the two projects. See my edits above.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2019, 11:34:14 PM
The High Rise Bridge currently is 4 lanes, and the proposed ultimate 8-lane design would be 3 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way, so there will be an increase in GP lanes.
Incorrect. The proposed ultimate 8-lane design is 2 GP lanes and 2 HO/T lanes each way.
My argument is that it should be 3 GP lanes and 1 HO/T lane, like you're saying, but currently that's not the ultimate 8-lane design.
The decision was made by the CTB on March 18, 2015. The preferred alternative was Alternative #2 which would add two lanes in each direction with some or all managed. The options for the new lanes were to have 1 GP + 1 HOV, 2 HO/T, or all lanes including the existing ones tolled. The resolution indicated the management option would be selected later on, and they ultimately went with the HO/T lane option. Phase #2 would bring the corridor ultimately to 2 GP + 2 HO/T in each direction. http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Hampton_Roads/asset_upload_file31_80998.pdf

No, it does not specify that there will be two HOT lanes each way --

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Preferred Alternative for this project be approved as Alternative 2, addition of two additional lanes of capacity in each direction including the construction of a new bridge and eventual replacement of existing bridge, with a decision as to the management option to be made at a later date. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CTB shall be briefed on and have the opportunity to determine the future management option(s) once additional studies and financial analyses have been concluded.


I.e. undecided at this time.

There are currently 3 GP lanes and 1 HOT lane each way between the I-464 area and the transition to the reversible roadway at I-264.  Unless they convert one existing GP lane each way to HOT (which is very unlikely), it will not match the 2+2 scheme that you propose.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 15, 2019, 01:28:19 AM
No, it does not specify that there will be two HOT lanes each way --

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Preferred Alternative for this project be approved as Alternative 2, addition of two additional lanes of capacity in each direction including the construction of a new bridge and eventual replacement of existing bridge, with a decision as to the management option to be made at a later date. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CTB shall be briefed on and have the opportunity to determine the future management option(s) once additional studies and financial analyses have been concluded.


I.e. undecided at this time.
The EIS for the corridor indicated an ultimate build of 2 GP + 2 HO/T lanes. That may well change though, and I'm hoping it does. I'm disappointed the current project is a HO/T lane addition and not immediate relief general purpose widening, however if the ultimate build eventually constructs a 3rd GP lane in each direction, that would still work out in the long run. Ultimately, I don't see the need for more than one HO/T lane in each direction, and certainly see the need for more than 2 GP lanes.

There are currently 3 GP lanes and 1 HOV* lane each way between the I-464 area and the transition to the reversible roadway at I-264.  Unless they convert one existing GP lane each way to HOT (which is very unlikely), it will not match the 2+2 scheme that you propose.
Agreed. I wasn't proposing a 2+2 scheme, I was indicating it was shown in the EIS that way, and from prior talks with members of the project team, they had indicated as well the ultimate 8-lane including a 2+2 scheme, which I disagree with completely for the reasons above.

*FTFY
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 15, 2019, 08:22:01 AM
There are currently 3 GP lanes and 1 HOV* lane each way between the I-464 area and the transition to the reversible roadway at I-264.  Unless they convert one existing GP lane each way to HOT (which is very unlikely), it will not match the 2+2 scheme that you propose.
Agreed. I wasn't proposing a 2+2 scheme, I was indicating it was shown in the EIS that way, and from prior talks with members of the project team, they had indicated as well the ultimate 8-lane including a 2+2 scheme, which I disagree with completely for the reasons above.

How and where was it shown that way and it what level of EIS?  It doesn't match what is already there to the east.  Single managed lane each way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on June 15, 2019, 07:33:02 PM
There are currently 3 GP lanes and 1 HOV* lane each way between the I-464 area and the transition to the reversible roadway at I-264.  Unless they convert one existing GP lane each way to HOT (which is very unlikely), it will not match the 2+2 scheme that you propose.
Agreed. I wasn't proposing a 2+2 scheme, I was indicating it was shown in the EIS that way, and from prior talks with members of the project team, they had indicated as well the ultimate 8-lane including a 2+2 scheme, which I disagree with completely for the reasons above.

How and where was it shown that way and it what level of EIS?  It doesn't match what is already there to the east.  Single managed lane each way.
He said EIS. Prove that the EIS does not show it.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 15, 2019, 08:04:31 PM
How and where was it shown that way and it what level of EIS?  It doesn't match what is already there to the east.  Single managed lane each way.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/hampton_roads/64HighRiseDocuments/Alternatives_Development_Technical_Report.pdf

It was indicated in the Final Environmental Assessment - Alternatives Development Technical Report on Page 49. Two general purpose lanes and two managed lanes each way. On the bottom, it even says "HOT Lane Scenario"

(https://i.ibb.co/HBmLHgY/I64-High-Rise2-2.png)

Those typical sections correlate with the alternative they selected - managed lanes. They indicated in what you posted above they would choose at a later time the type of management - HO/T lanes, HOV lanes, or all lanes tolled. They have since gone with the HO/T lane alternative - meaning it would follow this typical section ultimately. Unless they change it, that's what it currently is now. I'm hoping they will use common sense and change it to 3+1 each way, but that's where it stands now.

From various Facebook and community groups I'm involved with here in the area, and from speaking to friends of mine about this project, I can say the HO/T concept is not favored in Hampton Roads, and many say they don't want this area to become like Northern Virginia. Many wanted the current Phase #1 widening to be GP only, and don't favor the current 1 lane HO/T addition. One of the reasons I support converting this current lane into a GP lane, then adding -one- HO/T lane later. The current approved typical section ultimately of 2+2 each way is highly disliked, and quite frankly doesn't make sense judging by the 3+1 each way east of VA-168.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 15, 2019, 08:21:49 PM
How and where was it shown that way and it what level of EIS?  It doesn't match what is already there to the east.  Single managed lane each way.
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/hampton_roads/64HighRiseDocuments/Alternatives_Development_Technical_Report.pdf
It was indicated in the Final Environmental Assessment - Alternatives Development Technical Report on Page 49. Two general purpose lanes and two managed lanes each way. On the bottom, it even says "HOT Lane Scenario"
Those typical sections correlate with the alternative they selected - managed lanes. They indicated in what you posted above they would choose at a later time the type of management - HO/T lanes, HOV lanes, or all lanes tolled. They have since gone with the HO/T lane alternative - meaning it would follow this typical section ultimately. Unless they change it, that's what it currently is now. I'm hoping they will use common sense and change it to 3+1 each way, but that's where it stands now.
From various Facebook and community groups I'm involved with here in the area, and from speaking to friends of mine about this project, I can say the HO/T concept is not favored in Hampton Roads, and many say they don't want this area to become like Northern Virginia. Many wanted the current Phase #1 widening to be GP only, and don't favor the current 1 lane HO/T addition. One of the reasons I support converting this current lane into a GP lane, then adding -one- HO/T lane later. The current approved typical section ultimately of 2+2 each way is highly disliked, and quite frankly doesn't make sense judging by the 3+1 each way east of VA-168.

Like I said it contradicts the 3+1 each way east of VA-168, it doesn't make any sense unless that gets changed to the same 2+2 arrangement, and the CTB resolution was in 2015 which is after the above report was published, where it said, "with a decision as to the management option to be made at a later date".

Has there been any official decision or even proposal to ultimately change the 3+1 each way east of VA-168 to 2+2?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 15, 2019, 08:28:55 PM
Like I said it contradicts the 3+1 each way east of VA-168
100% agree

and the CTB resolution was in 2015 which is after the above report was published, where it said, "with a decision as to the management option to be made at a later date".
That was referring to the type of management, there were 3 options - HOV, HO/T, or toll all lanes. They ultimately went with HO/T lanes, as seen by this project which started in 2018, which the ultimate 8-lane build section for HO/T lanes are 2+2.

Has there been any official decision or even proposal to ultimately change the 3+1 each way east of VA-168 to 2+2?
No, the only proposal east of VA-168 was to convert the -one- HOV lane into -one- HO/T lane, and still leave 3 GP lanes. And if they ever wanted to make it 2+2 east of VA-168, that would be a mistake traffic wise. 100,000+ AADT use that stretch, shrinking it down to 2 general purpose lanes each way would not go well. There's already problems when it goes from 3 GP to 2 GP lanes currently going towards the High Rise Bridge, and the whole High Rise Bridge corridor is nothing but stop and go during rush hour. That's also why I think there should be 3 GP lanes going that way, and only 1 HO/T. And initially, only 1 GP lane then 1 HO/T later.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 15, 2019, 08:41:55 PM
Has there been any official decision or even proposal to ultimately change the 3+1 each way east of VA-168 to 2+2?
No, the only proposal east of VA-168 was to convert the -one- HOV lane into -one- HO/T lane, and still leave 3 GP lanes. And if they ever wanted to make it 2+2 east of VA-168, that would be a mistake traffic wise. 100,000+ AADT use that stretch, shrinking it down to 2 general purpose lanes each way would not go well. There's already problems when it goes from 3 GP to 2 GP lanes currently going towards the High Rise Bridge, and the whole High Rise Bridge corridor is nothing but stop and go during rush hour. That's also why I think there should be 3 GP lanes going that way, and only 1 HO/T. And initially, only 1 GP lane then 1 HO/T later.

Then I don't see how they can follow through with what is in the 2014 report.  I can't see any traffic engineering justification for going from 3+1 to 2+2 at that place, it would either be 3+1 the whole way or 2+2 the whole way (between the two I-264 interchanges).

Based on the public reaction to changing a GP lane to a HOV lane on the Dulles Toll Road in the 1990s, I don't think that VDOT will ever try that again.  They added a GP lane each way, then a year later changed that to HOV, then a year later changed it back to GP.  It wasn't until they added the 4th lane that they made that HOV from the inception.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 15, 2019, 08:46:34 PM
Then I don't see how they can follow through with what is in the 2014 report.  I can't see any traffic engineering justification for going from 3+1 to 2+2 at that place, it would either be 3+1 the whole way or 2+2 the whole way (between the two I-264 interchanges).
It really makes no sense, I agree. 3+1 the entire way is really the only option makes sense - having 2 HO/T lanes is not justified, and only having 2 GP lanes also isn't justified.

I wrote an email to the project manager about a year ago regarding the ultimate build and the issues it had, she informed me she would reach back with more information a week later, and nothing after that. I really wasn't expecting much though.
Based on the public reaction to changing a GP lane to a HOV lane on the Dulles Toll Road in the 1990s, I don't think that VDOT will ever try that again.  They added a GP lane each way, then a year later changed that to HOV, then a year later changed it back to GP.  It wasn't until they added the 4th lane that they made that HOV from the inception.
That's what I'm hoping will happen with the current widening - it will end up a GP lane until a HO/T lane is added later. Only time will tell.

And converting an -existing- GP lane into a HO/T lane will certainly not be welcomed, and it certainly would make traffic far worse.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on June 16, 2019, 12:37:28 AM
I wrote an email to the project manager about a year ago regarding the ultimate build and the issues it had, she informed me she would reach back with more information a week later, and nothing after that. I really wasn't expecting much though.

The important thing is to follow up, and not assume rejection after one cycle.  People are busy and have many tasks and may miss some.  With government agencies, be persistent.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 16, 2019, 06:08:19 PM
Please stick to talking about the plans for I-495 and I-270.    -Mark
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 25, 2019, 12:52:28 PM
https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2019/07/major-change-considered-for-beltway-270-toll-lanes-plan/
Quote
Maryland will consider one significantly different toll lane plan for the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, the state disclosed Wednesday afternoon.

The Maryland Department of Transportation has agreed to conduct a more detailed review of a Montgomery County plan that recommends extending Virginia’s 495 Express Lanes over a rebuilt American Legion Bridge up I-270 to Gaithersburg, where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

The alternative was not one considered in earlier rounds of study, where the state essentially narrowed down remaining options to some type of toll lane construction along all of I-270 and the Maryland Beltway.

Deputy Transportation Secretary Earl Lewis said Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration will conduct initial reviews over the next few weeks to see if the plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC fits with the study’s goals.

“We are also planning public and elected official outreach in August, and this alternative will be part of that process,” Lewis said.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,” Montgomery County said in a July 11 letter to the Transportation Planning Board.

The plan does call for some upgrades on the Beltway between I-270 and I-95, such as variable speed limit signs and potential use of the shoulder for traffic at certain times.

It also includes significant changes to entice commuters to drive less by improving park-and-rides, commuter bus, MARC Train and long-promised local bus rapid transit systems that could be funded by part of the toll revenue.

Montgomery County’s proposal would also see toll lanes built in the median of I-95 from the ICC to the Beltway that would continue through Prince George’s County to near the Wilson Bridge and National Harbor.

North of Gaithersburg on I-270, there would be two reversible HOV lanes that tie in to the toll lanes in each direction from Interstate 370 to the Legion Bridge, Tysons and Springfield.

If this proposal results in both the ALB being fixed sooner and more public support then I'm all for it. However, from north of I-370 to Fredrick, I-270 needs another GP lane first. As I've stated regarding Virginia's I-64 southside and HRBT widening projects, IMO there should be at least 3 gp lanes before HOT or express lanes are constructed. 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on July 25, 2019, 01:09:59 PM
where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,"
Using the ICC is 11 miles and 11 minutes out of the way, and it wouldn't be a viable option to use that as the toll lane network IMO. There needs to be 2 toll lanes built each way on I-495 in order to be successful. If I were a toll paying customer or HOV (if they even will allow that), I'd opt to get off and just ride I-495 GP lanes. Maybe if there was a massive wreck I'd continue to ICC, but that's it. But if they are making the ICC apart of a toll lane network that allows HOV, the ICC should allow HOV 3+ free. But knowing Maryland, these lanes will be everyone pays.

As I've stated regarding Virginia's I-64 southside and HRBT widening projects, IMO there should be at least 3 gp lanes before HOT or express lanes are constructed.
Interestingly enough, the HRTPO is now evaluating a scenario where the existing HOV lanes are left in place, the small reversible HO/T segment opened last year remains in place, and all the new capacity being added to the HRBT and High Rise Bridge is general purpose instead of HO/T. It will be interesting to see the results of that in September-December. It would be nice to see if at least the High Rise Bridge corridor could be switched to GP lanes if it's determined the traffic flow will still be adequate even without HO/T lanes. We'll have to wait and see.

IMO, they're going overkill with the HO/T lane network down here. I'm just glad I-664 and US-58 hasn't been sucked into mess for those proposed widenings in the future, and hopefully these segments of I-64 currently planned for HO/T lanes will get changed based on this evaluation.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 25, 2019, 02:15:35 PM
where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,"
Using the ICC is 11 miles and 11 minutes out of the way, and it wouldn't be a viable option to use that as the toll lane network IMO. There needs to be 2 toll lanes built each way on I-495 in order to be successful. If I were a toll paying customer or HOV (if they even will allow that), I'd opt to get off and just ride I-495 GP lanes. Maybe if there was a massive wreck I'd continue to ICC, but that's it. But if they are making the ICC apart of a toll lane network that allows HOV, the ICC should allow HOV 3+ free. But knowing Maryland, these lanes will be everyone pays.

Building two express lanes on I-495 between I-270 and I-95 will be extremely disrupting to both the local community and the environment. I can also guarantee Montgomery County will find some sort of way to fight this project and likely bog it down. This is a compromise that would hopefully get this project started sooner rather than later. I'm not saying that using the ICC will be faster nor that express lanes on this stretch of the I-495 shouldn't happen. I'm just saying to focus on the more publicly favorable parts first and deal with the messy ones later. Maybe when these critics see how fast the rest of I-495 and I-270 are moving they'll conveniently be more open-minded.

And yes the ICC would need to be HOV 3+ Free

As I've stated regarding Virginia's I-64 southside and HRBT widening projects, IMO there should be at least 3 gp lanes before HOT or express lanes are constructed.
Interestingly enough, the HRTPO is now evaluating a scenario where the existing HOV lanes are left in place, the small reversible HO/T segment opened last year remains in place, and all the new capacity being added to the HRBT and High Rise Bridge is general purpose instead of HO/T. It will be interesting to see the results of that in September-December. It would be nice to see if at least the High Rise Bridge corridor could be switched to GP lanes if it's determined the traffic flow will still be adequate even without HO/T lanes. We'll have to wait and see.

That would be great! Although ultimately it would be VDOT's decision correct?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on July 25, 2019, 02:22:27 PM
^

The HRTPO will make the recommendation, then CTB would have approve any changes. It wouldn’t be that hard though. The lane is there. Just stripe it as an actual lane instead of a double solid line and tubes dividing the lanes. And don’t put up the gantries.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on July 25, 2019, 09:56:05 PM
where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,"
Using the ICC is 11 miles and 11 minutes out of the way, and it wouldn't be a viable option to use that as the toll lane network IMO. There needs to be 2 toll lanes built each way on I-495 in order to be successful. If I were a toll paying customer or HOV (if they even will allow that), I'd opt to get off and just ride I-495 GP lanes. Maybe if there was a massive wreck I'd continue to ICC, but that's it. But if they are making the ICC apart of a toll lane network that allows HOV, the ICC should allow HOV 3+ free. But knowing Maryland, these lanes will be everyone pays.

Building two express lanes on I-495 between I-270 and I-95 will be extremely disrupting to both the local community and the environment. I can also guarantee Montgomery County will find some sort of way to fight this project and likely bog it down. This is a compromise that would hopefully get this project started sooner rather than later. I'm not saying that using the ICC will be faster nor that express lanes on this stretch of the I-495 shouldn't happen. I'm just saying to focus on the more publicly favorable parts first and deal with the messy ones later. Maybe when these critics see how fast the rest of I-495 and I-270 are moving they'll conveniently be more open-minded.

And yes the ICC would need to be HOV 3+ Free


The ICC is only of limited value because it is pointed in the NW to SE direction.  For drivers coming from College Park (or other parts of the Beltway in PG County), they may find it useful to take I-95 to ICC towards I-270 north (Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick).  But unfortunately, it is pointed in the wrong direction to help alleviate the busier Baltimore-Bethesda/Tysons traffic.  If you take it, you'll be going too far out of your way.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on July 26, 2019, 03:06:18 AM
where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,"
Using the ICC is 11 miles and 11 minutes out of the way, and it wouldn't be a viable option to use that as the toll lane network IMO. There needs to be 2 toll lanes built each way on I-495 in order to be successful. If I were a toll paying customer or HOV (if they even will allow that), I'd opt to get off and just ride I-495 GP lanes. Maybe if there was a massive wreck I'd continue to ICC, but that's it. But if they are making the ICC apart of a toll lane network that allows HOV, the ICC should allow HOV 3+ free. But knowing Maryland, these lanes will be everyone pays.

Building two express lanes on I-495 between I-270 and I-95 will be extremely disrupting to both the local community and the environment. I can also guarantee Montgomery County will find some sort of way to fight this project and likely bog it down. This is a compromise that would hopefully get this project started sooner rather than later. I'm not saying that using the ICC will be faster nor that express lanes on this stretch of the I-495 shouldn't happen. I'm just saying to focus on the more publicly favorable parts first and deal with the messy ones later. Maybe when these critics see how fast the rest of I-495 and I-270 are moving they'll conveniently be more open-minded.

And yes the ICC would need to be HOV 3+ Free


The ICC is only of limited value because it is pointed in the NW to SE direction.  For drivers coming from College Park (or other parts of the Beltway in PG County), they may find it useful to take I-95 to ICC towards I-270 north (Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick).  But unfortunately, it is pointed in the wrong direction to help alleviate the busier Baltimore-Bethesda/Tysons traffic.  If you take it, you'll be going too far out of your way.

It is definitely out of the way, BUT there are times even now when it can be a bit faster, just because traffic on the 270-95 stretch of the Beltway can get SOOO bad.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: odditude on July 26, 2019, 02:34:57 PM
where drivers headed toward Interstate 95 would be directed onto the Intercounty Connector.

plan to divert traffic off the Beltway onto the ICC.

Using the already built ICC as part of the toll system plans would prevent any need to widen the entire Capital Beltway between I-270 and I-95, Montgomery County argues, protecting homes and parkland that are likely to be affected under the Hogan administration’s current plans.

“This connection provides a managed-lane network for the entire north side of the Capital Beltway without requiring expansion of I-495 between I-270 and I-95,"
Using the ICC is 11 miles and 11 minutes out of the way, and it wouldn't be a viable option to use that as the toll lane network IMO. There needs to be 2 toll lanes built each way on I-495 in order to be successful. If I were a toll paying customer or HOV (if they even will allow that), I'd opt to get off and just ride I-495 GP lanes. Maybe if there was a massive wreck I'd continue to ICC, but that's it. But if they are making the ICC apart of a toll lane network that allows HOV, the ICC should allow HOV 3+ free. But knowing Maryland, these lanes will be everyone pays.

Building two express lanes on I-495 between I-270 and I-95 will be extremely disrupting to both the local community and the environment. I can also guarantee Montgomery County will find some sort of way to fight this project and likely bog it down. This is a compromise that would hopefully get this project started sooner rather than later. I'm not saying that using the ICC will be faster nor that express lanes on this stretch of the I-495 shouldn't happen. I'm just saying to focus on the more publicly favorable parts first and deal with the messy ones later. Maybe when these critics see how fast the rest of I-495 and I-270 are moving they'll conveniently be more open-minded.

And yes the ICC would need to be HOV 3+ Free


The ICC is only of limited value because it is pointed in the NW to SE direction.  For drivers coming from College Park (or other parts of the Beltway in PG County), they may find it useful to take I-95 to ICC towards I-270 north (Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick).  But unfortunately, it is pointed in the wrong direction to help alleviate the busier Baltimore-Bethesda/Tysons traffic.  If you take it, you'll be going too far out of your way.

It is definitely out of the way, BUT there are times even now when it can be a bit faster, just because traffic on the 270-95 stretch of the Beltway can get SOOO bad.

there have been several times as of late when Waze has suggested I take the ICC to I-270 back down to the Beltway when traveling from NJ to NOVA.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 29, 2019, 02:39:58 PM
there have been several times as of late when Waze has suggested I take the ICC to I-270 back down to the Beltway when traveling from NJ to NOVA.

I live in the eastern part of Montgomery County (near MD-200) and sometimes have to attend meetings at the VDOT Northern Virginia District near West Ox Road and U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) in Fairfax County.

The ICC is my preferred route because it spares me the misery of U.S. 29 down to I-495, as well as I-495 over to I-270. Unless something is very wrong on I-370 or I-270 between I-370 and the south end of I-270Y (270 Spur) it is an easier drive, even with the added miles.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on October 22, 2019, 01:40:55 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38

However, it also offers a glimpse into where and what the access points may be (Not final). Based on this map it appears that express toll lane access points will be at the following:

I-495
George Washington Parkway (full access including VA's plans)
Cabin John Parkway (northbound entry, southbound exit)
River Road (full access)
I-270 spur (southbound entry, northbound exit)
Old Georgetown Road (possibly full access?)
I-270 (eastbound entry, westbound exit)
Connecticut Avenue (full access)
US-29 (full access)
I-95 (full access)
US-1 (full access)
Cherrywood Lane (full access)
BW Parkway (full access)
US-50 (full access)
Richie Marlboro Road (full access)
MD-5/Pennsylvania Avenue (full access)
MD-5/Branch Avenue (half access for now)
End of express toll lanes

From the split on both I-270 and I-270 spur to I-495 it's pretty confusing in terms of access. Clarification on this would be appreciated.
I-270 (north of the split)
Montrose Road (full access)
West Gude Road (southbound entry, northbound exit)
I-370 (half access for now)
End of express toll lanes

Overall a lot planned here with many interchange modications included as well (although nothing too major). I would definitely recommend checking it out because I'm sure theres stuff I missed.  While I don't have any problems with these designs, I still am opposed to the phasing that would do I-270 first without addressing the American Legion bridge.





 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 22, 2019, 03:52:24 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38

However, it also offers a glimpse into where and what the access points may be (Not final). Based on this map it appears that express toll lane access points will be at the following:

I-495
George Washington Parkway (full access including VA's plans)
Cabin John Parkway (northbound entry, southbound exit)
River Road (full access)
I-270 spur (southbound entry, northbound exit)
Old Georgetown Road (possibly full access?)
I-270 (eastbound entry, westbound exit)
Connecticut Avenue (full access)
US-29 (full access)
I-95 (full access)
US-1 (full access)
Cherrywood Lane (full access)
BW Parkway (full access)
US-50 (full access)
Richie Marlboro Road (full access)
MD-5/Pennsylvania Avenue (full access)
MD-5/Branch Avenue (half access for now)
End of express toll lanes

From the split on both I-270 and I-270 spur to I-495 it's pretty confusing in terms of access. Clarification on this would be appreciated.
I-270 (north of the split)
Montrose Road (full access)
West Gude Road (southbound entry, northbound exit)
I-370 (half access for now)
End of express toll lanes

Overall a lot planned here with many interchange modications included as well (although nothing too major). I would definitely recommend checking it out because I'm sure theres stuff I missed.  While I don't have any problems with these designs, I still am opposed to the phasing that would do I-270 first without addressing the American Legion bridge.
Here’s one more thing they need to do (but won’t) - make the lanes free to HOV-3 to match Virginia’s setup. But if the term “ETL” and what they did in Baltimore is any indication - it’ll be tolled for all traffic. Curious if the toll rates will be more reasonably priced compared to Transurban’s private lanes, but again doubt it.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 23, 2019, 12:49:40 AM
Here’s one more thing they need to do (but won’t) - make the lanes free to HOV-3 to match Virginia’s setup. But if the term “ETL” and what they did in Baltimore is any indication - it’ll be tolled for all traffic. Curious if the toll rates will be more reasonably priced compared to Transurban’s private lanes, but again doubt it.

No decision has been made on that. 

IMO Maryland should adopt the HOV-3 exemption from tolls for the tolled lanes in the Washington area.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 23, 2019, 06:09:10 AM
Curious if the toll rates will be more reasonably priced compared to Transurban’s private lanes, but again doubt it.

You still have no clue how congestion pricing works to keep traffic moving.  You still have this idea that by lowering the tolls, traffic won't increase and eventually jam up.  Or maybe that's what you want, defeating the whole purpose of the tolled lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Mapmikey on October 23, 2019, 06:42:33 AM
Curious if the toll rates will be more reasonably priced compared to Transurban’s private lanes, but again doubt it.

You still have no clue how congestion pricing works to keep traffic moving.  You still have this idea that by lowering the tolls, traffic won't increase and eventually jam up.  Or maybe that's what you want, defeating the whole purpose of the tolled lanes.

There are other congestion pricing models out there besides the one used in Virginia where tolls have no theoretical upper limit.

I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego are also congestion based but the toll for the entire 20 mile stretch of managed lanes caps at $8.  Once the toll reaches $8 it becomes illegal for additional non-HOV vehicles (HOV 2+) to enter the lanes.  This certainly would keep the HOT lanes flowing but I do not know the impact on the free lanes this system has.  When I drove it once this past January it was in the opposite direction of rush hour so I had the lane to myself and mainline I-15 wasn't very bad either.  Wasn't paying enough attention to SB traffic to see what that was like.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 07:10:09 AM
I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego are also congestion based but the toll for the entire 20 mile stretch of managed lanes caps at $8.  Once the toll reaches $8 it becomes illegal for additional non-HOV vehicles (HOV 2+) to enter the lanes. 
Not illegal, actually, in effect an additional toll --

Solo drivers should not enter the Express Lanes when “HOV ONLY” is displayed in the overhead signs.  If you enter the lanes after the “HOV ONLY” message is displayed, you will be charged the maximum toll amount, currently $8, and assessed a fine equal to the maximum toll amount.

https://511sd.com/fastrak511sd/how-to-use-the-I-15-Express-Lanes
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Mapmikey on October 23, 2019, 08:52:34 AM
I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego are also congestion based but the toll for the entire 20 mile stretch of managed lanes caps at $8.  Once the toll reaches $8 it becomes illegal for additional non-HOV vehicles (HOV 2+) to enter the lanes. 
Not illegal, actually, in effect an additional toll --

Solo drivers should not enter the Express Lanes when “HOV ONLY” is displayed in the overhead signs.  If you enter the lanes after the “HOV ONLY” message is displayed, you will be charged the maximum toll amount, currently $8, and assessed a fine equal to the maximum toll amount.

https://511sd.com/fastrak511sd/how-to-use-the-I-15-Express-Lanes

Guess I shoulda refreshed my memory before posting...

That is not much of a disincentive if you ask me.  $16 for 20 miles is still better than parts of the Virginia HOT lanes during rush hour.  But my overall point remains that congestion pricing does not necessarily have to be open-ended...
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 09:11:12 AM
I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego are also congestion based but the toll for the entire 20 mile stretch of managed lanes caps at $8.  Once the toll reaches $8 it becomes illegal for additional non-HOV vehicles (HOV 2+) to enter the lanes. 
Not illegal, actually, in effect an additional toll --
Solo drivers should not enter the Express Lanes when “HOV ONLY” is displayed in the overhead signs.  If you enter the lanes after the “HOV ONLY” message is displayed, you will be charged the maximum toll amount, currently $8, and assessed a fine equal to the maximum toll amount.
https://511sd.com/fastrak511sd/how-to-use-the-I-15-Express-Lanes
Guess I shoulda refreshed my memory before posting...
That is not much of a disincentive if you ask me.  $16 for 20 miles is still better than parts of the Virginia HOT lanes during rush hour.  But my overall point remains that congestion pricing does not necessarily have to be open-ended...
Given that it is only HOV-2, it would seem to indicate that the demand is not very high.  Plus since San Diego is in the corner of the country, the thru traffic volumes would be much lower than I-95 near D.C.  I am one of those thru traffic users, not a local commuter.

It doubling the toll becomes an insufficient disincentive, then they may decide to triple it.  It is still congestion pricing.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 23, 2019, 12:31:23 PM
I-15 HOT lanes in San Diego are also congestion based but the toll for the entire 20 mile stretch of managed lanes caps at $8.  Once the toll reaches $8 it becomes illegal for additional non-HOV vehicles (HOV 2+) to enter the lanes. 
Not illegal, actually, in effect an additional toll --

Solo drivers should not enter the Express Lanes when “HOV ONLY” is displayed in the overhead signs.  If you enter the lanes after the “HOV ONLY” message is displayed, you will be charged the maximum toll amount, currently $8, and assessed a fine equal to the maximum toll amount.

https://511sd.com/fastrak511sd/how-to-use-the-I-15-Express-Lanes

Guess I shoulda refreshed my memory before posting...

That is not much of a disincentive if you ask me.  $16 for 20 miles is still better than parts of the Virginia HOT lanes during rush hour.  But my overall point remains that congestion pricing does not necessarily have to be open-ended...

How congested does it get? 

Put it this way:  If congestion pricing in DC amounts to $16, or if it maxes out at $8 and people decide to enter with an $8 additional penalty, what's the difference?  Being that motorists are using the HOT lanes and freely paying $20 or more to do so, the penalty on a max fare would have to be awfully steep to keep people out of the HOT lanes.

There does come a point where the price is too high for people to utilize tolled lanes - it's very unlikely to find motorists entering when it's going to cost them over $30 or $40.  So a max fare with a $50 penalty (which is a standard penalty amount at many toll bridges or highways where you must use EZ Pass in specific lanes) would probably work.  But at that point, you've also reached capacity of the tolled lanes earlier, keeping out people that would've willing to have paid a bit more than the max fare, and in turn adding to the congestion in the free lanes. And in the DC area, that capacity will wind up being reached before when a traditional rush hour would've even started.  Likewise, and to Beltway's point, the volume of thru traffic is so great in the DC area that congestion at 8 or 9pm is fairly normal, especially on busier Friday evenings.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 04:00:24 PM
Likewise, and to Beltway's point, the volume of thru traffic is so great in the DC area that congestion at 8 or 9pm is fairly normal, especially on busier Friday evenings.

I've only rarely needed the HOT lanes at those times, the GP traffic is generally near full highway speed even if it gets really heavy at times.  But the HOT lanes do decent business at those times, a much more peaceful ride not having to deal with all that frequent interchange traffic along the way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 23, 2019, 04:28:56 PM
Likewise, and to Beltway's point, the volume of thru traffic is so great in the DC area that congestion at 8 or 9pm is fairly normal, especially on busier Friday evenings.

I've only rarely needed the HOT lanes at those times, the GP traffic is generally near full highway speed even if it gets really heavy at times.  But the HOT lanes do decent business at those times, a much more peaceful ride not having to deal with all that frequent interchange traffic along the way.
Just stick to the left lane and you avoid all of the interchanges. It's worked for me most times without interruption. It's only the right lane and maybe middle lane that gets impacted.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 04:49:37 PM
I've only rarely needed the HOT lanes at those times, the GP traffic is generally near full highway speed even if it gets really heavy at times.  But the HOT lanes do decent business at those times, a much more peaceful ride not having to deal with all that frequent interchange traffic along the way.
Just stick to the left lane and you avoid all of the interchanges. It's worked for me most times without interruption. It's only the right lane and maybe middle lane that gets impacted.
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.

The "even if it gets really heavy at times" often applies to all lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 04:56:46 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38
40 miles of upgraded Beltway … that is going to be -expensive-.

Adding one lane each way or adding two lanes each way?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 23, 2019, 05:03:44 PM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. And most times when I'm in the left lane maintaining the speed of the person in front of me, we're generally traveling faster than the other two lanes. I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 05:06:32 PM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. And most times when I'm in the left lane maintaining the speed of the person in front of me, we're generally traveling faster than the other two lanes. I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.

That depends on how fast I am willing to go as to whether I will stay in the left lane.  With my speeds I tend more toward the other lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 23, 2019, 05:15:39 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38
40 miles of upgraded Beltway … that is going to be -expensive-.

Adding one lane each way or adding two lanes each way?
Both alternatives are considered. Under the layers list, the symbol in the top right corner with three squares on top of each other, you can check one alternative at a time and see each.

The alternatives are -

Alternative 5 - 1 HO/T lane each way on both facilities.
Alternative 8 - 2 ETL lanes each way on I-495, 1 ETL and 1 HOV lane each way on I-270
Alternative 9 - 2 HO/T lanes each way on both facilities.
Alternative 10 - 2 ETL lanes each way on both facilities, plus an additional HOV lane each way on I-270.
Alternative 13B - 2 HO/T lanes each way on I-495, a 2-lane reversible HO/T facility on I-270.
Alternative 13C - 2 ETL lanes each way on I-495, a 2-lane reversible ETL facility, plus an additional HOV lane each way on I-270.

ETL implies tolls for all vehicle, and HO/T as is well known implies tolls for SOV and HOV-2, and free for HOV 3+.

IMO, Alternative 9 is the best alternative and would tie seamlessly with Transurban's lanes.



Whoever made the map chose a bad color to use for the relocated general purpose lanes & re-designed GP interchanges - it's a thin black line that can be hard to see. That's where the general purpose lanes would be relocated out to make room for the HO/T / ETL lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 23, 2019, 05:26:03 PM
One thing I don't care for in the proposal is the concept to eliminate the Local-Thru setup on I-270 in favor of tolled "thru" / Express lanes.

If they want HO/T lanes through there, don't mess with the existing layout, expand it outwards and squeeze them in, or don't build it at all. 2 Local + 3 Thru + 2 HO/T each way is the way to go, not 5 GP + 2 HO/T. If room is an issue, then elevate them. Not a foreign concept, though RE/T groups and NIMBY may complain.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 08:41:21 PM
40 miles of upgraded Beltway … that is going to be -expensive-.
Adding one lane each way or adding two lanes each way?
Both alternatives are considered. Under the layers list, the symbol in the top right corner with three squares on top of each other, you can check one alternative at a time and see each.
The alternatives are -
Alternative 5 - 1 HO/T lane each way on both facilities.
Alternative 8 - 2 ETL lanes each way on I-495, 1 ETL and 1 HOV lane each way on I-270
Alternative 9 - 2 HO/T lanes each way on both facilities.
I see there would be a large noise footprint that would impact hundreds of houses. 

Just to connect VA to I-270 Spur would probably cost over $1 billion for #9.

Hard to imagine how much all the rest would cost.

I would recommend moving as fast as possible on VA to I-270 Spur.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on October 24, 2019, 10:30:39 AM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating.

Well we know why you get speeding tickets now  :-D
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 24, 2019, 05:29:32 PM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating.

Well we know why you get speeding tickets now  :-D
Never gotten a ticket for that. The few times I've gotten tickets were mostly on wide open highway and usually only 10-15 over (i.e. 70 - 75 mph on a 60 mph highway, or 65 - 70 mph on a 55 mph highway, both in rural areas with high design quality that can reasonably be 70 mph and would be in certain states). I'm not some reckless driver who drives insane speeds. These were the few "exceptions" and in reality they're not that unreasonable. Usually I'll drive 5 - 10 mph over max, or in some states like Texas where speed limits are appropriately set, I generally will only go 2-5 mph over.

When I maintain, it's usually in heavier traffic so with everybody in the left lane doing 65 - 70 mph in a 55 mph zone with condensed traffic, the odds of getting stopped are low.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: lepidopteran on October 24, 2019, 06:28:39 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38
Wow!  A few observations.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: VTGoose on October 25, 2019, 09:18:07 AM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. . . . I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.

You know that and I know that, as do many other people. But there are those who don't get it and who in their mind believe they must go faster than everyone else (those DIG! -- Damn, I'm Good drivers) and anyone who doesn't move over for them is a left-lane blocker. You can't fix stupid.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 25, 2019, 09:23:28 AM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. . . . I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.

You know that and I know that, as do many other people. But there are those who don't get it and who in their mind believe they must go faster than everyone else (those DIG! -- Damn, I'm Good drivers) and anyone who doesn't move over for them is a left-lane blocker. You can't fix stupid.


Well, if that person behind you managed to have enough room to merge over, pass, then merge back in, then guess what - the car sitting in the left lane was a left lane blocker.

And if multiple people manage to do the same thing, then you are truly a left lane blocker, and should have their license taken away.  Because at that point, they truly believe that it's their road, and they'll drive however they see fit.  They have no problem breaking one law - the speed limit - because they feel like they can drive at a speed they feel comfortable with.  At the same time, they'll stay in the left lane and feel that anyone passing them to get ahead of them is being an aggressive driver, when in fact they're often breaking a second law - failure to keep right.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: VTGoose on October 25, 2019, 04:03:25 PM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. . . . I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.

You know that and I know that, as do many other people. But there are those who don't get it and who in their mind believe they must go faster than everyone else (those DIG! -- Damn, I'm Good drivers) and anyone who doesn't move over for them is a left-lane blocker. You can't fix stupid.


Well, if that person behind you managed to have enough room to merge over, pass, then merge back in, then guess what - the car sitting in the left lane was a left lane blocker.

And if multiple people manage to do the same thing, then you are truly a left lane blocker, and should have their license taken away.  Because at that point, they truly believe that it's their road, and they'll drive however they see fit.  They have no problem breaking one law - the speed limit - because they feel like they can drive at a speed they feel comfortable with.  At the same time, they'll stay in the left lane and feel that anyone passing them to get ahead of them is being an aggressive driver, when in fact they're often breaking a second law - failure to keep right.

You missed the point -- the driver was traveling in the left lane, going faster than the traffic in the right two lanes, and maintaining the same speed as the car in front of him (at a safe distance -- and the front car probably had others ahead of him going the same speed). DIG! driver thinks he should go faster than everyone else, not that there is anywhere to go due to the line of traffic in the left lane. In that case, everyone is a Left Lane Blocker. The DIG! driver just needs to suck it up and stay in the same traffic as everyone else -- but the DIG! mentality says they have to be ahead of everyone else and will do whatever it takes to make it happen, such as weaving in and out of traffic and cutting off other drivers to force their way into a lane.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 04:35:16 PM
Can't just stay in the left lane if someone behind is overtaking, not unless want to risk a road rage incident, even if the probability is rather low.  Then sometimes a slow driver gets in the left lane and I want to get around.
When I'm in the left lane, I simply maintain the speed of the person in front of me without tailgating. If it's in heavy traffic and someone wants to overtake, they aren't going to get far. . . . I'm not going to slow way down get over, just for them to get a whooping one car ahead.

You know that and I know that, as do many other people. But there are those who don't get it and who in their mind believe they must go faster than everyone else (those DIG! -- Damn, I'm Good drivers) and anyone who doesn't move over for them is a left-lane blocker. You can't fix stupid.


Well, if that person behind you managed to have enough room to merge over, pass, then merge back in, then guess what - the car sitting in the left lane was a left lane blocker.

And if multiple people manage to do the same thing, then you are truly a left lane blocker, and should have their license taken away.  Because at that point, they truly believe that it's their road, and they'll drive however they see fit.  They have no problem breaking one law - the speed limit - because they feel like they can drive at a speed they feel comfortable with.  At the same time, they'll stay in the left lane and feel that anyone passing them to get ahead of them is being an aggressive driver, when in fact they're often breaking a second law - failure to keep right.
First off, my initial comment was essentially what VTGoose just said - if you're in the left lane going the same speed as the people in front you in, in condensed traffic, still moving faster than the right two lanes.

And for the record, if I'm on a four-lane highway, and I'm in the left lane doing 65 mph and the person in the right lane is doing 62-63 mph and I'm approaching to make a pass and I'm already in the left lane, I'm going to maintain that. I'm not going to jump over to the right for 3 seconds to let one car (or more then I get trapped in the right lane) then back to the left. If somebody wants to gun it around me recklessly in the right lane as I'm approaching in the left lane passing somebody on the right, that's -there- problem.

If the right lane is blatantly clear though for a distance, I'll get over and stay right unless passing. But there's a lot of times in medium traffic that maintaining left is necessary to car after car after truck after car, etc. in the right lane, and while I'm legally passing, people still think they can fly up and force me (essentially they tailgate, flash, etc.) out of the lane and to slow way down to the speed of the people in the right lane to appease them. I'm not going to play that game. When my pass is complete, I'll get over when I can easily do so without decreasing -my- speed.

There's also been instances where I'll move over to the left if a car / truck is pulled over, and there's always that one car that comes up out of nowhere and passes to the right despite there being a stopped vehicle and my only reason for being over was for their safety and the fact I was going to get right back over.

People these days can be extremely impatient. Sure, if you're clear, do what you want, but don't get mad because other people want to pass at a slower speed then you do, especially if they're already speeding while passing which is most frequent.

Micro-passing is something I can't stand though, and never do it unless neccasary (I.E. the entire row of cars in the left lane is micro-passing the entire row of cars in the right lane, etc.)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on October 25, 2019, 04:43:11 PM
Enough with this off topic crap. 

A Transportation Q&A: Rahn Talks I-270, Partnerships, Growth and More (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/traffic/a-transportation-qa-rahn-talks-i-270-partnerships-growth-and-more/)

Rahn just keeps sidestepping the question about the American Legion bridge and the part of the beltway from there to I-270.

Quote
BB: There have been concerns expressed about widening the southern section of I-270 without also doing the same to adjacent stretch of I-495 between the so-called “western spur” and the American Legion Bridge. Is adding that in this first phase potentially on the table?

Rahn: The governor’s direction to us was to focus on 270. I understand there’s a desire for connections elsewhere. I work for the governor. (smiles)

BB: Do you share the concerns of county officials that widening I-270 without doing the same to the western portion of the Beltway in Montgomery County could aggravate congestion?

Rahn: So, I’m not going to contradict the governor. I’ve been doing these jobs long enough. I’ve learned that’s not good for your employment status. (laughs)
It sounds like they're even going to do the northern part of I-270 before the beltway.  That section of the beltway would probably be the highest revenue section of HOT lane in the state since it has the worst congestion problem.  So I'm surprised they are proposing it this way.  I wonder if they feel that doing that section of the beltway would exacerbate the congestion problem on the adjacent part of the beltway to I-95.  So they want to do that whole section of the beltway together.  Maybe they want/need to have another company expand the beltway than the one that expands I-270.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 04:50:50 PM
Enough with this off topic crap. 

A Transportation Q&A: Rahn Talks I-270, Partnerships, Growth and More (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/traffic/a-transportation-qa-rahn-talks-i-270-partnerships-growth-and-more/)

Rahn just keeps sidestepping the question about the American Legion bridge and the part of the beltway from there to I-270.

Quote
BB: There have been concerns expressed about widening the southern section of I-270 without also doing the same to adjacent stretch of I-495 between the so-called “western spur” and the American Legion Bridge. Is adding that in this first phase potentially on the table?

Rahn: The governor’s direction to us was to focus on 270. I understand there’s a desire for connections elsewhere. I work for the governor. (smiles)

BB: Do you share the concerns of county officials that widening I-270 without doing the same to the western portion of the Beltway in Montgomery County could aggravate congestion?

Rahn: So, I’m not going to contradict the governor. I’ve been doing these jobs long enough. I’ve learned that’s not good for your employment status. (laughs)
It sounds like they're even going to do the northern part of I-270 before the beltway.  That section of the beltway would probably be the highest revenue section of HOT lane in the state since it has the worst congestion problem.  So I'm surprised they are proposing it this way.  I wonder if they feel that doing that section of the beltway would exacerbate the congestion problem on the adjacent part of the beltway to I-95.  So they want to do that whole section of the beltway together.  Maybe they want/need to have another company expand the beltway than the one that expands I-270.
It was to reduce on impacts, as I-270 would have a lot less (under the current stupid IMO design) than I-495.

I-270's plan is to take the existing Local-Thru roadway, tear it up, make it one combined roadway (bad mistake IMO, but probably just to increase congestion & incentivise more drivers to pay up), and use the existing R/W fully to make a GP + HO/T setup.

If they want to build it properly, keep the Local-Thru Roadway, and widen out the footprint to accommodate everything, or build the HO/T lanes as an elevated facility overtop the existing GP lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2019, 04:58:13 PM
It sounds like they're even going to do the northern part of I-270 before the beltway.  That section of the beltway would probably be the highest revenue section of HOT lane in the state since it has the worst congestion problem. 
I-495 from VA to I-270 Spur would be the obvious best place to start, because of that congestion, and the fact that it would tie into the VA I-495 12-lane cross-section with a 4-2-2-4 lane configuration.  MSHA will have to decide whether to have one or two managed lanes added each way.

The southern crossing at WWB will be constrained by the fact that there is one managed lane each way built and reserved for future use, two lanes are not possible.  Even that lane could be taken by rail transit, but I would object to that due to the low demand for rail, and the ability for the managed lanes to accommodate bus transit.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 04:58:56 PM
The southern crossing at WWB will be constrained by the fact that there is one managed lane each way build and reserved for future use, two lanes are not possible.
Transurban can widen it by a lane each way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2019, 05:03:25 PM
The southern crossing at WWB will be constrained by the fact that there is one managed lane each way build and reserved for future use, two lanes are not possible.
Transurban can widen it by a lane each way.
I don't think so.  The inner roadways have three 12-foot lanes, a 10-foot right shoulder, and a 6-foot left shoulder. 

That is 52 feet.  Painting it for 4 lanes would leave very little lateral clearance, and I would definitely oppose that.  The WWB needs the full right shoulders.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 05:05:41 PM
Painting it
-Widen- it.

Even with the third stealth lane built in, you'd think they'd also provide a full outside shoulder along with it, not only 6 ft. The other overpasses along the project area feature a full stealth lane and full left shoulder, but the main bridge only has 6 ft.

IMO, if they wanted to go full out, 3 Thru + 2 Local + 2 HO/T each way. That would necessitate widening the bridges by 2 lanes each way.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2019, 05:07:48 PM
^ Widening drawbridges isn't exactly easy or straightforward.  You'd have to replace the entire drawspan on both sides in both directions.  Or did you forget the Wilson Bridge is still a drawbridge?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 05:12:58 PM
^ Widening drawbridges isn't exactly easy or straightforward.  You'd have to replace the entire drawspan on both sides in both directions.  Or did you forget the Wilson Bridge is still a drawbridge?
Fully aware it's a drawbridge, but personal insult (you seem to resort to those a lot) disregarded. It may not be easy, but it's possible, especially if VDOT and Transurban want to maintain their lanes across the bridge with a full setup.

Maybe pull a I-270 and eliminate the Local-Thru and just have 4 GP lanes then pull a I-95 and squeeze in 2 HO/T lanes with 11 foot lanes. To clarify, I would -not- recommend this, at least not eliminating the Local-Thru, but if I-270 is any indication, once HO/T lanes are put forth, who cares about Local-Thru, the Thru become the HO/T lanes and cost $$$ now.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2019, 05:14:27 PM
Not intended as an insult...making sure you didn't overlook the primary complication at that location.  You and Scott hurl enough insults at each other as it is.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Stephane Dumas on October 25, 2019, 05:16:20 PM
Here is an interactive map that MDOT released in order to help the public find which properties would be affected by this massive project: https://rkk.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=9c67313b31eb46fea59f0b14c7e6bf38

MD-5/Pennsylvania Avenue (full access)
MD-5/Branch Avenue (half access for now)
End of express toll lanes

Little mistake, Pennsylvania Av. is MD-4. ^^;
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2019, 05:21:42 PM
Painting it
-Widen- it.
Even with the third stealth lane built in, you'd think they'd also provide a full outside shoulder along with it, not only 6 ft. The other overpasses along the project area feature a full stealth lane and full left shoulder, but the main bridge only has 6 ft.
IMO, if they wanted to go full out, 3 Thru + 2 Local + 2 HO/T each way. That would necessitate widening the bridges by 2 lanes each way.
There were compromises with local citizens groups that arrived at a 12-lane bridge, when alternatives from 8 lanes to 16 lanes were considered.  A 16-lane bridge would require 16-lane approaches and Alexandria would not agree to that.  Originally 10-foot left shoulders were planned but part of the compromises was to reduce the width of the bridge.  It is a monster of a bridge as it is.

Take a look at the design of the bridge, that would be rather tough to widen.

(http://www.capital-beltway.com/WWB-Aug072008-04.jpg)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 05:25:11 PM
that would be rather tough to widen.
Tough, but not impossible. If they want the 2+2 HO/T concept maintained, they can either A) widen it, B) reduce standards and squeeze it in, or C) eliminate the Local-Thru setup to add room.

The last one is probably the worst idea, but it's proposed on I-270 so anything is possible.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2019, 05:29:20 PM
that would be rather tough to widen.
Tough, but not impossible. If they want the 2+2 HO/T concept maintained, they can either A) widen it, B) reduce standards and squeeze it in, or C) eliminate the Local-Thru setup to add room.
That would be about the probability of widening I-66 inside the Beltway to 8 lanes.

Getting the local governments to agree with it...
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on October 25, 2019, 05:30:37 PM
That would be about the probability of widening I-66 inside the Beltway to 8 lanes.

Getting the local governments to agree with it...
That's a different story. Engineering wise though, it could realistically be done, despite it being tough.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on October 25, 2019, 09:07:57 PM
Enough with this off topic crap. 

A Transportation Q&A: Rahn Talks I-270, Partnerships, Growth and More (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/traffic/a-transportation-qa-rahn-talks-i-270-partnerships-growth-and-more/)

Rahn just keeps sidestepping the question about the American Legion bridge and the part of the beltway from there to I-270.

Quote
BB: There have been concerns expressed about widening the southern section of I-270 without also doing the same to adjacent stretch of I-495 between the so-called “western spur” and the American Legion Bridge. Is adding that in this first phase potentially on the table?

Rahn: The governor’s direction to us was to focus on 270. I understand there’s a desire for connections elsewhere. I work for the governor. (smiles)

BB: Do you share the concerns of county officials that widening I-270 without doing the same to the western portion of the Beltway in Montgomery County could aggravate congestion?

Rahn: So, I’m not going to contradict the governor. I’ve been doing these jobs long enough. I’ve learned that’s not good for your employment status. (laughs)
It sounds like they're even going to do the northern part of I-270 before the beltway.  That section of the beltway would probably be the highest revenue section of HOT lane in the state since it has the worst congestion problem.  So I'm surprised they are proposing it this way.  I wonder if they feel that doing that section of the beltway would exacerbate the congestion problem on the adjacent part of the beltway to I-95.  So they want to do that whole section of the beltway together.  Maybe they want/need to have another company expand the beltway than the one that expands I-270.
They're proposing it that way because that's the easy section.  I'm guessing that the governor wants something he can quickly get done and have a ribbon cutting so that he can point to it and say that the system is underway when the other sections inevitably get bogged down.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on October 25, 2019, 10:41:57 PM
That would be about the probability of widening I-66 inside the Beltway to 8 lanes.
Getting the local governments to agree with it...
That's a different story. Engineering wise though, it could realistically be done, despite it being tough.

Well, engineering-wise, the whole unbuilt D.C. freeway system (segments of I-95, I-295, I-695, I-66, I-266 and I-270) could realistically be done, despite it being tough.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2019, 09:35:07 AM
The governors of Virginia and Maryland announced an agreement to replace the American Legion Bridge as part of the express lane project:

https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/november/headline-849278-en.html
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on November 12, 2019, 10:10:30 AM
^ And Twitter has been all over the place this morning as a result.  Some pro-transit folks are asking why it doesn't have a rail component, while one yazoo down in Charles County is claiming that the commute to DC from there is worse.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 04:33:54 PM
while one yazoo down in Charles County is claiming that the commute to DC from there is worse.
In fairness, US-301 is a very unreliable and congested roadway. Have you ever tried it at rush hour? It's just about as bad as I-95 south of DC, except non-limited-access, traffic signals, etc.. Both roadways are horrible and unreliable. Leaving DC at rush hour is a bottleneck, whether it be I-95 or US-301. It -is- an issue. Maryland has failed for decades now to construct the I-95 Eastern Bypass (just as much as VDOT has failed to widen I-95 to at least 8-10 GP lanes each way, and has openly admitted in the past few weeks they won't be pursuing but rather more transit, HO/T, and "innovative" solutions which doesn't do much overall to help the corridor in reality) which would create a 6-8 lane freeway along the US-301 corridor in that area, and could feature direct connections to the MD-5 expressway which ultimately needs to be upgraded to freeway by building interchanges/overpasses at the remaining intersections, and widening it to at least 6 lanes, preferably 8.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 04:40:29 PM
In fairness, US-301 is a very unreliable and congested roadway. Have you ever tried it at rush hour? It's just about as bad as I-95 south of DC, except non-limited-access, traffic signals, etc.. Both roadways are horrible and unreliable.
US-301 is -horrible- in peak periods.  I tried it in lieu of I-95 recently and experienced at least 60 minutes of delay.

Maryland has failed for decades now to construct the I-95 Eastern Bypass (just as much as VDOT has failed to widen I-95 to at least 8-10 GP lanes each way)
I-95 would work reasonably well as is plus the current projects below Garrisonville, if the eastern bypass / I-97 Extension was complete, given the relief and the alternatives it would provide.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 04:44:40 PM
I tried it in lieu of I-95 recently and experienced at least 60 minutes of delay.
Are you comparing it to the I-95 Express Lanes, or I-95 general purpose lanes? The Express Lanes to US-301 comparison isn't fair at all.

I'd argue the I-95 general purpose lanes are still faster overall than US-301, though I've experienced similar travel times on both depending on the time of day. Still bumper to bumper bottleneck on both facilities.

I-95 would work reasonably well as is plus the current projects below Garrisonville, if the eastern bypass / I-97 Extension was complete, given the relief and the alternatives it would provide.
I-95 would work reasonably well if there was an Eastern Bypass, at least 8 GP lanes (4 each way) north of Fredericksburg, and preferably north of I-295. 6-lanes is still too little for 130,000-200,000 AADT, and even if that reduces to say 90,000 - 160,000 AADT, you still need at least 8 GP lanes ideally. VDOT is falling behind with having only 6 lanes and having no long-term plan to widen it. That is, they had a massive expansion plan recommended in VTrans years back, but since HO/T lanes have been implemented, they are now shying away from widening.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 04:57:51 PM
I tried it in lieu of I-95 recently and experienced at least 60 minutes of delay.
Are you comparing it to the I-95 Express Lanes, or I-95 general purpose lanes? The Express Lanes to US-301 comparison isn't fair at all.
The level of delay as tracked by my OnStar nav system. 

The change in ETA from when I entered US-301 at US-50, to when I reached the Potomac River.

I-95 would work reasonably well as is plus the current projects below Garrisonville, if the eastern bypass / I-97 Extension was complete, given the relief and the alternatives it would provide.
I-95 would work reasonably well if there was an Eastern Bypass, at least 8 GP lanes (4 each way) north of Fredericksburg, and preferably north of I-295. 6-lanes is still too little for 130,000-200,000 AADT, and even if that reduces to say 90,000 - 160,000 AADT, you still need at least 8 GP lanes ideally. VDOT is falling behind with having only 6 lanes and having no long-term plan to widen it.
Maryland should help fund it if they are not going to do anything to help increase north-south capacity between Richmond and Baltimore.

That is, they had a massive expansion plan recommended in VTrans years back
VTrans recommended all sorts of expansions that have been priced out of feasibility over the last 20 years or so, due to massive construction cost escalations in that period.

The current projects will provide 5 or more I-95 directional peak lanes from VA-3 northward, plus the Outer Connector Corridor 5 between VA-3 and US-17, a local freeway.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 05:01:00 PM
Maryland should help fund it if they are not going to do anything to help increase capacity between Richmond and Baltimore.
The heavy traffic load traveling between Richmond / I-64 -> DC isn't Maryland's problem, it's Virginia.

The current projects will provide 5 or more I-95 directional peak lanes from VA-3 northward,
During peak hours, 2 lanes of HOV-3 and people paying $30+ for a 65 mph ride, and everybody else moving at 10-15 mph in the 3 other lanes.

plus the Outer Connector Corridor 5 between VA-3 and US-17, a local freeway.
The I-95 C/D lanes in that area is a good start, now time to extend that "local freeway" to the Maryland line.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 05:27:48 PM
Maryland should help fund it if they are not going to do anything to help increase capacity between Richmond and Baltimore.
The heavy traffic load traveling between Richmond / I-64 -> DC isn't Maryland's problem, it's Virginia.
Part of it is Maryland's fault, and what are they doing to even plan what I said?

The current projects will provide 5 or more I-95 directional peak lanes from VA-3 northward,
During peak hours, 2 lanes of HOV-3 and people paying $30+ for a 65 mph ride, and everybody else moving at 10-15 mph in the 3 other lanes.
As I have said before I rarely pay anywhere near that level and most of my trips at least are somewhere in the peak hours range.  Plus the GP lanes average double or triple that figure.

My last 6 months, taken from my EZPass account interface --

5/28/2019 9:12:54 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -23.05
5/28/2019 7:36:17 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -13.80
6/6/2019 7:35:13 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -15.70
6/11/2019 9:23:32 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -18.90
6/21/2019 8:30:03 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -16.50
7/8/2019 8:58:08 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -6.90
7/8/2019 9:13:02 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -13.65
8/1/2019 10:14:01 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -9.55
8/1/2019 9:30:48 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -8.00
8/20/2019 9:41:29 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -12.75
8/20/2019 8:58:16 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -10.65
9/13/2019 8:44:39 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -16.60
9/16/2019 3:07:02 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -15.15
10/1/2019 9:20:01 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -15.80
10/1/2019 8:34:26 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -8.05
10/22/2019 9:27:12 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -13.55
10/22/2019 8:24:42 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -15.75
11/5/2019 9:17:27 AM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -17.60
11/5/2019 7:17:21 PM   95 EXPRESS LANES   -16.35
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 05:38:03 PM
Part of it is Maryland's fault, and what are they doing to even plan what I said?
What is Virginia doing to even plan what you said? And don't cite an EIS from 40 years ago.

As I have said before I rarely pay anywhere near that level and most of my trips at least are somewhere in the peak hours range.  Plus the GP lanes average double or triple that figure.

My last 6 months, taken from my EZPass account interface --<snip>
I've done a majority of trips on Friday afternoons, and I've calculated the tolls numerous of times via Transurban's privatized lanes website, and they most of the time come out to north of $30 for an entire trip from I-495 to Garrisonville, and that's in the 2-3 pm range.

I've once seen a trip from I-66 to Garrisonville north of $50. I can't imagine what a trip will be from Fredericksburg to the DC line once Transurban extends their privatized, profit-generating toll lanes north and south. $75 for 45 miles?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 05:44:59 PM
Part of it is Maryland's fault, and what are they doing to even plan what I said?
What is Virginia doing to even plan what you said? And don't cite an EIS from 40 years ago.
Maryland's intransigence makes a Virginia segment meaningless.

As I have said before I rarely pay anywhere near that level and most of my trips at least are somewhere in the peak hours range.  Plus the GP lanes average double or triple that figure.
My last 6 months, taken from my EZPass account interface --<snip>
I've done a majority of trips on Friday afternoons, and I've calculated the tolls numerous of times via Transurban's privatized lanes website, and they most of the time come out to north of $30 for an entire trip from I-495 to Garrisonville, and that's in the 2-3 pm range.
Then let's see it, post your toll transactions like I did.

Friday afternoon, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day, should tend to be pretty expensive.

a trip will be from Fredericksburg to the DC line once Transurban extends their privatized, profit-generating toll lanes north and south. $75 for 45 miles?
Can't imagine that.  The southern most 10 miles tends to have the lowest per mile tolls.

I won't be using I-395 in any event, that will be a commuter route.  If I was a commuter I could pick up enough slugs so that I could ride free, or else be a slug myself.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 05:56:57 PM
Maryland's intransigence makes a Virginia segment meaningless.
Couldn't Maryland say the same thing about Virginia in a sense? It's bickering between both states, and both states need to get their act together, not just Maryland. This whole story is a train-wreck for both states.

Then let's see it, post your toll transactions like I did.
I'd post my toll transactions, but I've never utilized the HO/T lanes as a single occupant. I have utilized them though when carpooling, but at that point it was free.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 06:03:37 PM
Maryland's intransigence makes a Virginia segment meaningless.
Couldn't Maryland say the same thing about Virginia in a sense? It's bickering between both states, and both states need to get their act together, not just Maryland. This whole story is a train-wreck for both states.
Not really.

VDOT produced a EIS/location study for their portion of a western Washington bypass back around 2000.  Maryland's lack of studying anything pretty much rendered it irrelevant and it didn't proceed.

Then let's see it, post your toll transactions like I did.
I'd post my toll transactions, but I've never utilized the HO/T lanes as a single occupant. I have utilized them though when carpooling, but at that point it was free.

OK, but I posted actual transactions with a date-time stamp.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 06:04:42 PM
OK, but I posted actual transactions with a date-time stamp.
What do you not get about the fact I don't pay Transurban's $30 toll? I have no transactions to post because I have none.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 06:06:14 PM
VDOT produced a EIS/location study for their portion of a western Washington bypass back around 2000.  Maryland's lack of studying anything pretty much rendered it irrelevant and it didn't proceed.
Then build Virginia's portions and come knocking at Maryland's front door. The pressure would largely be on them. VDOT producing a study doesn't say much. Build it and prove there's commitment within Virginia and not mere talk and studies, and maybe Maryland would get serious.

Virginia's produced a lot of studies. US-460 EIS / Location Study, I-73 EIS / Location Study, Southeastern Expressway EIS / Location Study, Martinsville Southern Connector EIS / Location Study, and so on.

Nothing ever got built.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 06:15:32 PM
OK, but I posted actual transactions with a date-time stamp.
What do you not get about the fact I don't pay Transurban's $30 toll? I have no transactions to post because I have none.
Well, OK, but I posted actual transactions of what happened.

VDOT produced a EIS/location study for their portion of a western Washington bypass back around 2000.  Maryland's lack of studying anything pretty much rendered it irrelevant and it didn't proceed.
Then build Virginia's portions and come knocking at Maryland's front door. The pressure would largely be on them. VDOT producing a study doesn't say much. Build it and prove there's commitment within Virginia and not mere talk and studies, and maybe Maryland would get serious.
I really don't think that would have worked. 

There was a Yahoo group called Marylanders For a Second Crossing, with a bunch of Maryland supporters posting there, in real time between about 1998 and 2010, and Montgomery County basically refused to even study any such project let alone lead anyone to believe that they would ever support it.

Based on what I saw I would not support Virginia building such a project with any hope of Maryland building their portion, that the probability would be low enough that it looked highly unlikely if not at the vanishing point.
 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 06:20:31 PM
Montgomery County basically refused to even study any such project let alone lead anyone to believe that they would ever support it.
Bypass Montgomery County.

(https://i.ibb.co/LNDHphf/West-Bypass.png)

How did they allow the ICC to get built?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 06:24:28 PM
Based on what I saw I would not support Virginia building such a project with any hope of Maryland building their portion, that the probability would be low enough that it looked highly unlikely if not at the vanishing point.
The segment between I-66 and Leesburg could easily be a SIU, same with I-95 to I-66 West - essentially all of Virginia's portion.

The I-95 to I-66 segment would provide a bypass of congested US-29 and US-17, and allow thru traffic to easily skip over to I-81 via I-66 and to head north up that route and avoid DC.

If you need to build, build it as a 4-lane freeway initially, then widen it to 6-lanes when / if Maryland completes their portion. If you toll it (it's Virginia so 99% chance it's tolled) then build it 6-lanes from inception.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 06:28:15 PM
Montgomery County basically refused to even study any such project let alone lead anyone to believe that they would ever support it.
Bypass Montgomery County.
Maryland would not support that route.

How did they allow the ICC to get built?
With great difficulty.

Mainly helped by the fact that it followed much of the Outer Beltway route first mapped out in the 1960s, and the fact that it does not cross the Potomac River, aka Techway that Maryland refused to study.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 06:29:57 PM
Based on what I saw I would not support Virginia building such a project with any hope of Maryland building their portion, that the probability would be low enough that it looked highly unlikely if not at the vanishing point.
The segment between I-66 and Leesburg could easily be a SIU, same with I-95 to I-66 West - essentially all of Virginia's portion.

The radical environmentalist/transit groups would have conniption fits.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 06:32:04 PM
Based on what I saw I would not support Virginia building such a project with any hope of Maryland building their portion, that the probability would be low enough that it looked highly unlikely if not at the vanishing point.
The segment between I-66 and Leesburg could easily be a SIU, same with I-95 to I-66 West - essentially all of Virginia's portion.

The radical environmentalist/transit groups would have conniption fits.
But less, because it wouldn't cross the Potomac River. And Maryland isn't involved, so I could easily see it built if Virginia truly is committed and has the funding (neither of which has been shown by them).

I mean, the RE/T groups started crying when VDOT announced the I-81 plan. They'll literally complain at any project, big or small.

I'm shocked there hasn't been as much outrage about projects like the HRBT expansion, Third Crossing proposals, or I-64 widening to Richmond, two of those projects completely unfunded.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2019, 07:58:24 PM
What does “SIU” stand for?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 12, 2019, 08:14:26 PM
What does “SIU” stand for?
Segment of Independent Utility.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 12, 2019, 09:42:55 PM
The radical environmentalist/transit groups would have conniption fits.
But less, because it wouldn't cross the Potomac River. And Maryland isn't involved, so I could easily see it built if Virginia truly is committed and has the funding (neither of which has been shown by them).
I honestly don't see an adequate cost/benefit ratio, especially with how much construction costs have escalated in the last 10 years, to building a Virginia-only WTC.

Widening of US-15 to 4 lanes is more in the realm of financial feasibility.

I'm shocked there hasn't been as much outrage about projects like the HRBT expansion, Third Crossing proposals, or I-64 widening to Richmond, two of those projects completely unfunded.
Low environmental impacts for HRBT and THRC, it's that simple.

Low environmental impacts for widening I-64 as well.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on November 21, 2019, 10:51:51 AM
Montgomery Official Suggests Suing State over 270/495 Lane-Widening (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/montgomery-planning-commissioner-suggests-suing-state-over-270-495-lane-widening/)
Quote
Local planning officials are considering litigation against the Maryland Department of Transportation after a contentious meeting on Wednesday over the state’s I-270/I-495 lane-widening proposal.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCCPC) voted unanimously to reaffirm a June decision rejecting the state’s final proposals for improving the two highways.
Quote
In a phone interview after the meeting, Choplin said the state would release a draft environmental impact statement in the spring.The report will detail more information on the state’s financial analysis, traffic and revenue studies, and environmental surveys, she said — information that could jeopardize the bidding process for the toll lanes if it were released too soon.
Quote
But Vice Chair Casey Anderson, who also heads the county’s Planning Board, said the commission could slow the process by refusing to deed over parkland or challenging the state’s adherence to the National Environmental Policy Act.

“The way things are headed, we have to be seriously thinking about litigating,” he said after the meeting.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: hbelkins on November 21, 2019, 04:02:53 PM
What does “SIU” stand for?
Segment of Independent Utility.

Also known as "Segment of Independent Use."

Means that the segment can be used by traffic before the complete route is finished.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on November 21, 2019, 04:07:57 PM
Montgomery Official Suggests Suing State over 270/495 Lane-Widening (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/montgomery-planning-commissioner-suggests-suing-state-over-270-495-lane-widening/)
Quote
Local planning officials are considering litigation against the Maryland Department of Transportation after a contentious meeting on Wednesday over the state’s I-270/I-495 lane-widening proposal.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCCPC) voted unanimously to reaffirm a June decision rejecting the state’s final proposals for improving the two highways.
Quote
In a phone interview after the meeting, Choplin said the state would release a draft environmental impact statement in the spring.The report will detail more information on the state’s financial analysis, traffic and revenue studies, and environmental surveys, she said — information that could jeopardize the bidding process for the toll lanes if it were released too soon.
Quote
But Vice Chair Casey Anderson, who also heads the county’s Planning Board, said the commission could slow the process by refusing to deed over parkland or challenging the state’s adherence to the National Environmental Policy Act.

“The way things are headed, we have to be seriously thinking about litigating,” he said after the meeting.
Wow - Montgomery County is so anti-freeway / expansion that they are now playing the role of a RE/T group using the same rinse and repeat NEPA argument saying it’s not done being properly. Have never heard that one used before  :bigass:
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on November 25, 2019, 06:23:58 AM
Given the very serious implications of Section 104(f) through Rock Creek Park, it's not surprising.  And the state has a history of not following through on its park-related promises (witness the ICC).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 25, 2019, 09:46:12 AM
Given the very serious implications of Section 104(f) through Rock Creek Park, it's not surprising.  And the state has a history of not following through on its park-related promises (witness the ICC).
What were the problems on the ICC?

Building the 2-mile Beltway segment through Rock Creek Park in Montgomery County, Maryland, most likely would have been impossible to build after enactment of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), with its stringent federal environmental standards.  Unfortunately, these kind of highway designs were commonplace all over the U.S. before NEPA, as the rationale was that it enabled urban and suburban highway segments to be built in places that did not displace houses and businesses.  Engineers and planners routinely routed highways through areas which would provide the least resistance, and in practical terms that often meant sites that were occupied by minorities or the poor, or riverfronts or stream valleys or parks that housed few or no residents or business owners to complain.

The Maryland segment of the beltway was planned to follow open corridors as much as possible, to avoid heavily developed areas where possible, and in Prince Georges County it was possible to avoid heavily developed areas, but in Montgomery County that was not possible in every area as there were some segments with heavy impacts to developed areas with many homes and businesses acquired for the highway right-of-way; and a 2-mile beltway segment was built through Rock Creek Park over the objections of state and federal public park agencies, something that probably would not have been possible after Congressional enactment of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as one of the many things that NEPA did was to make it virtually impossible to build a highway through major public parkland.  The alternative to the Rock Creek Park alignment would have been to locate the highway on a straighter alignment about a mile to the north, which would have been advantageous from a traffic engineering standpoint, but which was effectively politically impossible as it would have passed through heavily developed and very affluent residential sections of Bethesda.  After NEPA, it is quite possible that it would not have been possible to find a feasible location build that segment of the Beltway if it had not already been built, and that would have left a missing link in the Beltway between MD-355 Wisconsin Avenue and MD-97 Georgia Avenue.

http://www.capital-beltway.com/Capital-Beltway-History.html
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2019, 06:03:44 PM
Given the very serious implications of Section 104(f) through Rock Creek Park, it's not surprising.  And the state has a history of not following through on its park-related promises (witness the ICC).

I am not aware of MDTA or SHA failing to play by the Section 4(f) rules on MD-200.   If they did not, please say where and please be specific. 

Now I do remember during the 1990's ICC wars, that EPA Region 3 (located in Philadelphia) wanted to claim that any part of the planned alignment that was near parkland would be subject to some sort of a magical expansion of Section 4(f).   Region 3 also wanted the 1990's NEPA study to exclude the master-planned route through the Upper Paint Branch stream valley, in order to protect the alien brown trout in that stream and some of its tributaries - this was a clear violation of NEPA, and those objections ended after then-Region 3 Administrator Peter Kostmayer was fired by President Bill Clinton for using federal dollars to support anti-Corridor H activities in West Virginia.

Regarding I-495, SRC took large swaths of parkland belonging to M-NCP&PC where the freeway crossed Rock Creek Park (especially), but also Sligo Creek Park and Northwest Branch Park.  Those takes happened years before the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (which was where Section 4(f) was codified) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on November 27, 2019, 09:38:01 AM
Quote
What were the problems on the ICC?

The most blatant problem, which CP has commented on as well, is they're not fully building out the parallel bike/ped path that was promised.

CP:  I wasn't referring to MDTA or SHA failing on Section 104(f) rules.  I was referring to their failing on promised mitigation.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on November 27, 2019, 09:50:34 AM
Quote
What were the problems on the ICC?
The most blatant problem, which CP has commented on as well, is they're not fully building out the parallel bike/ped path that was promised.
CP:  I wasn't referring to MDTA or SHA failing on Section 104(f) rules.  I was referring to their failing on promised mitigation.
I just now tabulated 7 miles of ICC Trails built.

How much of a transportation benefit and an environmental benefit would be accomplished by building more ICC Trails?

I see that they built 6 extended bridges over stream / wetland areas, and a tunnel for community connectivity.

Lots of sound barriers … maybe I will tabulate them later.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 27, 2019, 11:26:26 AM
Quote
What were the problems on the ICC?

The most blatant problem, which CP has commented on as well, is they're not fully building out the parallel bike/ped path that was promised.

CP:  I wasn't referring to MDTA or SHA failing on Section 104(f) rules.  I was referring to their failing on promised mitigation.

As I suggested in the Nice Bridge thread, the fault for that does not rest with MdTA or SHA, but with the Prince George's County and Montgomery County Planning Boards, County Councils and staff. 

They were the ones that failed to object to efforts by federal environmental regulators that claimed that there was "damage" from such a trail - especially in the Paint Branch [of the Anacostia River] watershed, where those regulators were attempting to protect the brown trout population in the stream - never mind that the brown trout are an alien, introduced species and as such get no protection under federal (or state) environmental laws.  In other words, a low-impact master-planned planned transportation improvement like the ICC trail was (and is) worthy of much more protection than an alien fish species.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2019, 07:44:32 AM
Washington Post editorial: Why are so many lawmakers fighting Larry Hogan’s I-270 plan? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-are-so-many-lawmakers-fighting-larry-hogans-i-270-plan/2019/12/26/50b72cc4-2055-11ea-a153-dce4b94e4249_story.html)

Quote
MASSIVE PUBLIC problems demand big-time responses and, by any measure, traffic on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, which together include some of the worst bottlenecks in the Mid-Atlantic region, is a huge one. So why are so many officials and lawmakers fighting Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s ambitious plan to widen those highways with money from private firms that would build and operate new variable-price toll lanes in return for keeping most of the revenue?

Quote
The probable answer lies in a combination of legitimate concerns about possible adverse effects on the environment and neighborhoods; the project’s daunting scale; ideology-driven partisan politics — and shortcomings so far in Mr. Hogan’s issue framing and salesmanship. That helps explain why he is struggling to attract critical support on Maryland’s Board of Public Works, an inordinately powerful body that includes Mr. Hogan, a Republican, and just two other officials: State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, both Democrats.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2019, 03:49:49 PM
Building the 2-mile Beltway segment through Rock Creek Park in Montgomery County, Maryland, most likely would have been impossible to build after enactment of the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), with its stringent federal environmental standards.

I believe that is incorrect - at least the cite of federal law is not correct in this context.  The relevant law here is not the NEPA (that was signed into law by Nixon in 1969), but is the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-80/pdf/STATUTE-80-Pg931.pdf) (Public  Law  89-670),  signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Section 4(f) reads as follows (emphasis added):

Quote
(f)   The  Secretary  shall  cooperate  and  consult  with  the  Secretaries  of  the  Interior,  Housing  and  Urban  Development,  and  Agriculture,  and  with  the  States  in  developing  transportation  plans  and  programs  that  include measures to maintain or enhance the natural beauty  of  the  lands  traversed.  After  the  effective  date  of  this  Act,  the  Secretary  shall  not  approve  any  program  or  project  which  requires  the  use  of  any  land  from  a  public  park,  recreation  area,  wildlife  and  waterfowl  refuge, or historic site unless  (1)  there is no feasible and prudent  alternative  to the  use  of  such  land,  and  (2)  such  program  includes  all  possible  planning  to  minimize  harm   to  such   park,   recreational   area,   wildlife  and  waterfowl  refuge,  or historic  site resulting  from  such  use.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 29, 2019, 05:23:15 PM
[ The author of this article was defeated by Hogan in the 2014 race for Governor of Maryland, and IMO he lost in part because his proposed transportation program was very anemic. ]

Op-ed: Maryland’s way out of traffic isn’t more lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/local-opinions/marylands-way-out-of-traffic-isnt-more-lanes/2019/12/13/048400ee-1cfd-11ea-b4c1-fd0d91b60d9e_story.html)

Quote
Our nation’s highway system has been neglected for far too long. That neglect is costing Americans their time, their money and, tragically, their lives. Making a major investment in our infrastructure is a top priority in Washington and in state capitols across the country.

Quote
But it’s not enough to simply rebuild our roads and fix our bridges; we need to reinvest in a modern, interconnected transportation network for future generations.

Quote
That is why I am concerned about Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) proposal to expand 70 miles of interstate in Maryland by simply adding toll lanes: It is a shortsighted plan reflecting 1960s ideas that will do little to improve congestion, accommodate new technologies or behaviors or address the growing impact of climate change.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on December 29, 2019, 05:52:30 PM
[ The author of this article was defeated by Hogan in the 2014 race for Governor of Maryland, and IMO he lost in part because his proposed transportation program was very anemic. ]

Op-ed: Maryland’s way out of traffic isn’t more lanes (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/local-opinions/marylands-way-out-of-traffic-isnt-more-lanes/2019/12/13/048400ee-1cfd-11ea-b4c1-fd0d91b60d9e_story.html)

Quote
Our nation’s highway system has been neglected for far too long. That neglect is costing Americans their time, their money and, tragically, their lives. Making a major investment in our infrastructure is a top priority in Washington and in state capitols across the country.

Quote
But it’s not enough to simply rebuild our roads and fix our bridges; we need to reinvest in a modern, interconnected transportation network for future generations.

Quote
That is why I am concerned about Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) proposal to expand 70 miles of interstate in Maryland by simply adding toll lanes: It is a shortsighted plan reflecting 1960s ideas that will do little to improve congestion, accommodate new technologies or behaviors or address the growing impact of climate change.
Oh please. Virginia's portion of the I-495 Express Lanes have relieved traffic a decent amount, for both HO/T traffic and general purpose, and extending the 4+2 each way setup around the entire beltway would have the same results. Because it would also necessitate reconstructing the entire roadway, it would also allow an opportunity to modernize the beltway, rebuild all the interchanges, add auxiliary lanes, and other improvements that benefit general purpose traffic, the same that happened with Virginia's portion, with a significant portion privately funded. I-66 Outside the Beltway is now getting similar treatment, though should eventually get widened to 8 general purpose lanes, along with I-95, but that's a different story.

RE/T groups, supporters, and counties (Montgomery County) will oppose any transportation improvements to roads, whether it be building a second Potomac River Crossing, building an outer bypass, and now even widening the congested beltway.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Revive 755 on December 29, 2019, 06:59:12 PM
From the article:
Quote
In the Baltimore region, highway expansion outpaced population growth over the past two decades, but time spent in traffic quadrupled.

There's really been that much new capacity added in the DC area?  Going off of Wikipedia the DC area has added at least a million people in the past two decades.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on December 29, 2019, 07:19:25 PM
[ The author of this article was defeated by Hogan in the 2014 race for Governor of Maryland, and IMO he lost in part because his proposed transportation program was very anemic. ]
Quote
That is why I am concerned about Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) proposal to expand 70 miles of interstate in Maryland by simply adding toll lanes: It is a shortsighted plan reflecting 1960s ideas that will do little to improve congestion, accommodate new technologies or behaviors or address the growing impact of climate change.
How about simply first of all building the highest priority and longest delayed and most obvious segments?
-- I-495 managed lanes between the northern Potomac bridge and Spur I-270, 2 new lanes each way, 4 miles
-- I-270 6-lane widening between Germantown and I-70 at Frederick, 14 miles

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on January 03, 2020, 06:06:53 PM
Beltway toll lanes on hold; Md. set to OK toll lanes only over Legion Bridge, part of I-270 (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/01/beltway-toll-lanes-on-hold-md-leaders-set-to-ok-toll-lanes-only-over-legion-bridge-up-part-of-i-270/)
Quote
Maryland will no longer immediately pursue toll lanes around the Capital Beltway, and will instead only seek to put toll lanes across the Legion Bridge and up Interstate 270 to the Shady Grove area.

Under an agreement between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot released Friday, the two will vote to approve the new plan at a Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday. Treasurer Nancy Kopp has opposed the toll lane plans.

The deal will limit the initial contract with private companies to build and operate the toll lanes to an extension of the 495 Express Lanes from Virginia over a rebuilt Legion Bridge up I-270 to I-370.

Other toll lane construction previously proposed by the Hogan administration around the rest of the Beltway through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — or up I-270 through Frederick County to I-70 — would be deferred indefinitely. Those lanes would move forward only after separate Board of Public Works approvals.

The lanes around the Beltway have sparked some of the harshest pushback on the plans, including over concerns it could require widening the Beltway into homes or parkland.

“The only thing this project will do is put money in the hands of foreign investors,” said Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition Chair Ben Ross in a statement Friday. “Traffic will back up even more than it does now at the worst choke points — the I-270-Beltway merge at the Wisconsin Avenue exit and the northbound lane merges on I-270.”

“Releasing this plan on a Friday afternoon and rushing it through next Wednesday is completely unacceptable,” Ross added. “The public must get the facts before any commitments are made.”

In another change from the Hogan administration’s proposals this fall, the state will promise a degree of specific transit investments in the contract or contracts with the private company building the lanes.

The fall plans were pulled from the agenda after WTOP reported on the details.

Under the revised agreement, there is no change for HOV users from the earlier plan. Transit buses, but not necessarily other buses or HOV users, will be allowed to use the toll lanes for free.

The state is now promising not to buy any property for the road widenings before final contract approval.

Under the revised schedule, the Legion Bridge and I-270 contracting process would begin next month.

By June, the state would announce a shortlist of qualified companies or teams.

In July, the state plans to give those teams a draft request for proposals outlining specific contract requirements.

The final request for proposals would be released in December, with proposals due from the companies by February 2021.

A winning bidder would be selected in March 2021, with a contract due to be in place by May 2021. At least some construction could then start as soon as that summer.

Toll lanes would be built between the American Legion Bridge and I-370 along I-495 and I-270. From the article, it appears the lanes would operate similarly to Baltimore's I-95 lanes which does not exempt HOV from tolls. IMO, a poor decision, and does not utilize the lanes to their full potential. Traffic congestion would be relieved further if HOV was exempt rather than tolling all traffic. It's unclear whether one or two lanes would be built in each direction.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: tolbs17 on January 03, 2020, 07:52:02 PM
Beltway toll lanes on hold; Md. set to OK toll lanes only over Legion Bridge, part of I-270 (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/01/beltway-toll-lanes-on-hold-md-leaders-set-to-ok-toll-lanes-only-over-legion-bridge-up-part-of-i-270/)
Quote
Maryland will no longer immediately pursue toll lanes around the Capital Beltway, and will instead only seek to put toll lanes across the Legion Bridge and up Interstate 270 to the Shady Grove area.

Under an agreement between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot released Friday, the two will vote to approve the new plan at a Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday. Treasurer Nancy Kopp has opposed the toll lane plans.

The deal will limit the initial contract with private companies to build and operate the toll lanes to an extension of the 495 Express Lanes from Virginia over a rebuilt Legion Bridge up I-270 to I-370.

Other toll lane construction previously proposed by the Hogan administration around the rest of the Beltway through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — or up I-270 through Frederick County to I-70 — would be deferred indefinitely. Those lanes would move forward only after separate Board of Public Works approvals.

The lanes around the Beltway have sparked some of the harshest pushback on the plans, including over concerns it could require widening the Beltway into homes or parkland.

“The only thing this project will do is put money in the hands of foreign investors,” said Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition Chair Ben Ross in a statement Friday. “Traffic will back up even more than it does now at the worst choke points — the I-270-Beltway merge at the Wisconsin Avenue exit and the northbound lane merges on I-270.”

“Releasing this plan on a Friday afternoon and rushing it through next Wednesday is completely unacceptable,” Ross added. “The public must get the facts before any commitments are made.”

In another change from the Hogan administration’s proposals this fall, the state will promise a degree of specific transit investments in the contract or contracts with the private company building the lanes.

The fall plans were pulled from the agenda after WTOP reported on the details.

Under the revised agreement, there is no change for HOV users from the earlier plan. Transit buses, but not necessarily other buses or HOV users, will be allowed to use the toll lanes for free.

The state is now promising not to buy any property for the road widenings before final contract approval.

Under the revised schedule, the Legion Bridge and I-270 contracting process would begin next month.

By June, the state would announce a shortlist of qualified companies or teams.

In July, the state plans to give those teams a draft request for proposals outlining specific contract requirements.

The final request for proposals would be released in December, with proposals due from the companies by February 2021.

A winning bidder would be selected in March 2021, with a contract due to be in place by May 2021. At least some construction could then start as soon as that summer.

Toll lanes would be built between the American Legion Bridge and I-370 along I-495 and I-270. From the article, it appears the lanes would operate similarly to Baltimore's I-95 lanes which does not exempt HOV from tolls. IMO, a poor decision, and does not utilize the lanes to their full potential. Traffic congestion would be relieved further if HOV was exempt rather than tolling all traffic. It's unclear whether one or two lanes would be built in each direction.
Two is needed in each direction. It gets heavily congested.  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

link (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9685154,-77.1796726,3a,16.8y,16.26h,88.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbPvOhnf7mRR3BFuWjXz0JA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Beltway on January 03, 2020, 10:06:46 PM
Quote
Maryland will no longer immediately pursue toll lanes around the Capital Beltway, and will instead only seek to put toll lanes across the Legion Bridge and up Interstate 270 to the Shady Grove area.

Good.  That would be a huge step forward.  Get that project going and then we can look at the others.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on January 03, 2020, 10:44:23 PM
I support this only if it truly does include the Beltway between the bridge and I-270; the article appears to be unclear on that, especially since my previous understanding was that the initial construction would only include the I-270 portion of the project.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on January 03, 2020, 10:56:45 PM
I support this only if it truly does include the Beltway between the bridge and I-270; the article appears to be unclear on that, especially since my previous understanding was that the initial construction would only include the I-270 portion of the project.
You do bring up a good point. It may be the American Legion Bridge portion, then end, then a second segment solely along I-270.

Hopefully though, it is along the I-495 corridor fully as well.

One thing I've mentioned previously, and will again, I don't support the current concept for the I-270 toll lanes as the current setup is a local-express setup, with 4 thru lanes and 2 local lanes, and the toll lane construction would eliminate that local-express design down to only 5 non-managed (not divided local and thru) general purpose lanes, and 2 toll lanes each way.

They shouldn't reduce the general purpose capacity to accommodate the toll lanes. Expand it outwards, or if the right of way is restricted, build elevated lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 04, 2020, 12:00:14 PM
I support this only if it truly does include the Beltway between the bridge and I-270; the article appears to be unclear on that, especially since my previous understanding was that the initial construction would only include the I-270 portion of the project.
You do bring up a good point. It may be the American Legion Bridge portion, then end, then a second segment solely along I-270.

Hopefully though, it is along the I-495 corridor fully as well.
https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/traffic/hogan-says-agreement-with-franchot-means-270-495-toll-lane-plan-can-advance/
Quote
According to the board’s agenda for Wednesday, the project will begin with the section of the Capital Beltway between the American Legion Bridge to its interchange with I-270, and I-270 to its interchange with I-370 in Gaithersburg.
Hopefully, this article clears that concern up. Looks like the new lanes will indeed go uninterrupted all the from the bridge to I-370. However, I'm predicting right now that I-370 terminus is not nearly as far north enough as needed and will probably result in an even worse afternoon bottleneck than the current one.

One thing I've mentioned previously, and will again, I don't support the current concept for the I-270 toll lanes as the current setup is a local-express setup, with 4 thru lanes and 2 local lanes, and the toll lane construction would eliminate that local-express design down to only 5 non-managed (not divided local and thru) general purpose lanes, and 2 toll lanes each way.

They shouldn't reduce the general purpose capacity to accommodate the toll lanes. Expand it outwards, or if the right of way is restricted, build elevated lanes.

Although during rush hour its 1 HOV lane, 3 thru lanes, and 2 local lanes. So yes while technically they're removing a general-purpose lane during non-peak hours, during rush hour they're really not. This is similar to what Virginia is doing currently on I-66 and I honestly don't mind it. However, I will say that there is definitely a difference between turning an HOV lane into 2-HOT lanes and turning an HOV lane into 2-ET lanes. Hoping against hope that Maryland constructs HOT lanes to match Virignia's. However, this unfortunately seems more and more unlikely...

Overall glad this deal was made as this was the correct compromise that needed to happen in order to move this vital project forward.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on January 04, 2020, 02:30:16 PM
I support this only if it truly does include the Beltway between the bridge and I-270; the article appears to be unclear on that, especially since my previous understanding was that the initial construction would only include the I-270 portion of the project.
You do bring up a good point. It may be the American Legion Bridge portion, then end, then a second segment solely along I-270.

Hopefully though, it is along the I-495 corridor fully as well.
https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/traffic/hogan-says-agreement-with-franchot-means-270-495-toll-lane-plan-can-advance/
Quote
According to the board’s agenda for Wednesday, the project will begin with the section of the Capital Beltway between the American Legion Bridge to its interchange with I-270, and I-270 to its interchange with I-370 in Gaithersburg.
Hopefully, this article clears that concern up. Looks like the new lanes will indeed go uninterrupted all the from the bridge to I-370. However, I'm predicting right now that I-370 terminus is not nearly as far north enough as needed and will probably result in an even worse afternoon bottleneck than the current one.

One thing I've mentioned previously, and will again, I don't support the current concept for the I-270 toll lanes as the current setup is a local-express setup, with 4 thru lanes and 2 local lanes, and the toll lane construction would eliminate that local-express design down to only 5 non-managed (not divided local and thru) general purpose lanes, and 2 toll lanes each way.

They shouldn't reduce the general purpose capacity to accommodate the toll lanes. Expand it outwards, or if the right of way is restricted, build elevated lanes.

Although during rush hour its 1 HOV lane, 3 thru lanes, and 2 local lanes. So yes while technically they're removing a general-purpose lane during non-peak hours, during rush hour they're really not. This is similar to what Virginia is doing currently on I-66 and I honestly don't mind it. However, I will say that there is definitely a difference between turning an HOV lane into 2-HOT lanes and turning an HOV lane into 2-ET lanes. Hoping against hope that Maryland constructs HOT lanes to match Virignia's. However, this unfortunately seems more and more unlikely...

Overall glad this deal was made as this was the correct compromise that needed to happen in order to move this vital project forward.

This is basically what local officials have requested for a while now. Here's a 2015 article which also mentions a similar request in 2012.
https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/news/montgomery-fairfax-county-leaders-jointly-push-for-express-lanes-to-relieve-american-legion-bridge-congestion/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on January 04, 2020, 04:04:25 PM
Although during rush hour its 1 HOV lane, 3 thru lanes, and 2 local lanes. So yes while technically they're removing a general-purpose lane during non-peak hours, during rush hour they're really not. This is similar to what Virginia is doing currently on I-66 and I honestly don't mind it.
My thing was mainly regarding eliminating the local-thru setup, which allows local traffic to use a separate roadway from thru traffic.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on January 04, 2020, 04:09:13 PM
Although during rush hour its 1 HOV lane, 3 thru lanes, and 2 local lanes. So yes while technically they're removing a general-purpose lane during non-peak hours, during rush hour they're really not. This is similar to what Virginia is doing currently on I-66 and I honestly don't mind it.
My thing was mainly regarding eliminating the local-thru setup, which allows local traffic to use a separate roadway from thru traffic.
Based on my experience, it operates more like a C/D roadway than a local roadway.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on January 04, 2020, 04:10:03 PM
Although during rush hour its 1 HOV lane, 3 thru lanes, and 2 local lanes. So yes while technically they're removing a general-purpose lane during non-peak hours, during rush hour they're really not. This is similar to what Virginia is doing currently on I-66 and I honestly don't mind it.
My thing was mainly regarding eliminating the local-thru setup, which allows local traffic to use a separate roadway from thru traffic.
Based on my experience, it operates more like a C/D roadway than a local roadway.
Either way, the toll lane project will eliminate that C/D setup.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 06, 2020, 12:49:11 AM
Hogan secures key vote to revive deal advancing highway toll lanes project (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hogan-secures-key-vote-to-revive-deal-advancing-highway-toll-lanes-project/2020/01/03/8841d0d8-2e59-11ea-9b60-817cc18cf173_story.html)

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has secured key support on a deal that would put a multibillion-dollar project to build toll lanes on the Beltway and Interstate 270 back on track, the governor’s office announced Friday.

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The deal would advance an initial phase of the project involving the American Legion Bridge, a western stretch of the Beltway and the lower section of I-270. It also underscores that the state will not acquire properties lying in the path of the proposed new lanes until building of the lanes has been approved, and it includes earlier funding for transit in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

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The highway project would be one of the nation’s largest public-private partnerships.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 14, 2020, 11:26:39 AM
[Commentary] Reason Foundation: The Misguided Efforts to Derail Maryland’s I-270 and I-495 Toll Projects - Drivers would get congestion relief, transit riders would get new high-quality bus service, and taxpayers wouldn't have to fund the projects. (https://reason.org/commentary/the-misguided-efforts-to-derail-marylands-i-270-and-i-495-toll-projects/?fbclid=IwAR3IuzvvbJISVddJu4fKLAAkk9TO5nNxNtvKu3y2NNkPJQgXo8K5LGfTnIs)

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Infrastructure projects where almost everyone gets a win are, unfortunately, relatively few and far between. But that’s exactly what the I-270 and I-495 Maryland managed lanes projects are: Drivers get congestion relief; transit riders get new high-quality bus service; and, taxpayers don’t have to pay for the project unless they choose to use the lanes—since drivers using the managed lanes will pay tolls that fund the entire cost of the project.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on February 14, 2020, 04:01:04 PM
The author presumes that toll money would fully pay for the lanes.  That itself is misguided.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on February 14, 2020, 04:27:29 PM
The author presumes that toll money would fully pay for the lanes.  That itself is misguided.
The taxpayers do benefit though as there will be some congestion relief in the general purpose lanes.

The use of tax dollars to subsidize toll funding should also result in lower toll rates... but we see how well that's worked.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2020, 01:09:54 PM
MDOT/SHA Web site for the P3 project (not sure this has been posted before): I-270 & I-495 Managed Lanes Study (https://495-270-p3.com/)

I-495 & I-270  MANAGED LANES STUDY Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Section 4(f ) Evaluation June 2020 (https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DEIS_June-2020.pdf)  Note: Large PDF document (about 23 mb) - high-speed and robust network connection suggested.

DCIST: Maryland Publishes 18,000-page Environmental Impact Assessment Of Proposed I-270 And I-495 Expansion (https://dcist.com/story/20/07/10/maryland-publishes-18000-page-environmental-impact-assessment-of-proposed-i-270-and-i-495-expansion/?fbclid=IwAR1KwCw6B7zFxfZxojn8ps-OCp5EKhbcTbEduAfisymz7glNfXG0145TfAE)

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The state of Maryland has released its long-awaited draft environmental impact assessment for the Hogan administration’s controversial Beltway expansion project.

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The report examines the effects a range of possible design options for widening parts of I-495 and I-270 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties would have on air quality, water quality, wetlands, wildlife, environmental justice, parks and historical sites, and more. The state has been working on the review since 2018. It is 18,000 pages long, including associated technical reports.

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The additional highway lanes would be express toll lanes or high-occupancy toll lanes, meaning that drivers using them would pay extra to drive in the less-congested lanes. The project has an estimated $11 billion price tag and would be built as part of a public-private partnership.

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The project already passed an important milestone in January, when a revised plan for it was approved by the state’s Board of Public Works, over the objections of some environmental advocates, who wanted the environmental impact study to be completed before the Board approved the plans.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on July 11, 2020, 11:35:08 PM
18,000 pages!   :wow
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 12, 2020, 10:01:44 AM
18,000 pages!   :wow

The one for the ICC was bigger.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jmacswimmer on July 22, 2020, 02:12:35 PM
All 4 teams that responded to the RFQ have now been shortlisted by the state:

https://www.enr.com/articles/49743-maryland-shortlists-four-teams-for-planned-11b-p3-highway-project
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 20, 2020, 08:14:25 AM
Washington Post op-ed: Pandemic aside, Maryland needs to widen I-270 and I-495 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/local-opinions/pandemic-aside-maryland-needs-to-widen-i-270-and-i-495/2020/09/17/5742ac4e-f791-11ea-89e3-4b9efa36dc64_story.html?fbclid=IwAR2vL4F8WQRXToP39E9MYbCa5gEdsry2QtSZGzN_WgJ0vETpIf2nDPdCRFA)

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The year 2020 has brought many unexpected and mostly unwelcome changes to the D.C. area. However, despite the uncertainty and confusion that have resulted, there has been one unfortunate constant: dithering by our elected officials on traffic solutions.

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The latest in our traffic-plagued saga is the publishing and bickering over the environmental impact study on the widening of Interstate 270 and Interstate 495 proposed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The nearly 18,000-page study is not only a mind-numbing read, but its bureaucratic red tape and environmentalist pandering are also insulting. To give context, the U.S. tax code is approximately 6,500 pages long. Are we to believe a 40-mile stretch of roadway is more complex than the entire U.S. tax code?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 20, 2020, 08:19:12 AM
Bethesda Magazine:  Elrich suggests state should go back to ‘drawing board’ on I-495/I-270 widening project (https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/transportation/elrich-suggests-state-should-go-back-to-drawing-board-on-i-495-i-270-widening-project/#disqus_thread)

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As the county executive’s office and County Council work to submit their formal response this fall to the recently released draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the I-495/I-270 widening project, County Executive Marc Elrich had some preliminary advice Thursday for state officials: Go back to the “drawing board.”

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Saying that “we are not supporting going forward as it stands right now,” Elrich complained that “the state has structured this as an all-or-nothing project. By ruling out transit and other alternatives, it’s left us with either you support toll lanes or you don’t support doing anything. And this sets the project up…to be in opposition to what most of the public thinks should be done right now.”
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on September 20, 2020, 12:45:43 PM
All 4 teams that responded to the RFQ have now been shortlisted by the state:

https://www.enr.com/articles/49743-maryland-shortlists-four-teams-for-planned-11b-p3-highway-project
So... listed.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 23, 2020, 11:51:23 AM
The Navy wrote a strongly worded letter stating opposition to this project though the article really tried to enforce a narrative it is due to some form of activism on the Navy’s part promoting mass transit which I’m calling bull on. This project is sorely needed so I hope it doesn’t die or get scaled back. My guess is the Navy simply isn’t keen on losing any property and that’s what it is about.

https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/11/20/u-s-navy-strongly-opposed-to-capital-beltway-widening-project/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on November 24, 2020, 12:33:17 AM
It is not so much the Navy "promoting mass transit" as you assert as it is Navy calling SHA to task for not studying transit alternatives as modern practice generally requires.  But you are correct on one big thing, and the main reason for the letter:  the Navy has no interest in ceding property for the project, which would compromise some of NSA Bethesda's force protection requirements.

And, short of an Act of Congress or the Pentagon overruling the Navy, they are not required to cede or sell anything to SHA.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on November 24, 2020, 12:58:15 AM
It is not so much the Navy "promoting mass transit" as you assert as it is Navy calling SHA to task for not studying transit alternatives as modern practice generally requires.  But you are correct on one big thing, and the main reason for the letter:  the Navy has no interest in ceding property for the project, which would compromise some of NSA Bethesda's force protection requirements.

And, short of an Act of Congress or the Pentagon overruling the Navy, they are not required to cede or sell anything to SHA.

I'm guessing ramp realignments for the project would make it hard to accomplish without some Navy land?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on November 24, 2020, 01:05:56 AM
^ MAYBE an indirect impact on the Inner Loop exit to Connecticut Ave, but otherwise the Navy land is far enough away from interchanges.

The main thing is that location on the Beltway is a narrow chokepoint.  SHA was probably trying to avoid pushing the Beltway any closer to Rock Creek (which has historical and Section 104(f) protections) than it needed to.  Unfortunately for them, at this spot it would mean encroaching on Navy property.  There's only about 400 feet between the base perimeter road and Rock Creek there.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Dirt Roads on November 24, 2020, 09:17:28 AM
^ MAYBE an indirect impact on the Inner Loop exit to Connecticut Ave, but otherwise the Navy land is far enough away from interchanges.

The main thing is that location on the Beltway is a narrow chokepoint.  SHA was probably trying to avoid pushing the Beltway any closer to Rock Creek (which has historical and Section 104(f) protections) than it needed to.  Unfortunately for them, at this spot it would mean encroaching on Navy property.  There's only about 400 feet between the base perimeter road and Rock Creek there.

The NSWC facility in Carderock has already been impacted several times by the widening of I-495 and related improvements to Clara Barton Parkway.  It's pretty crowded right there at the Potomac crossing, and probably has more environmental and cultural impacts than a new river crossing further out.  Used to bicycle that section of the C&O Canal several times a week.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2020, 07:39:56 AM
The main thing is that location on the Beltway is a narrow chokepoint.  SHA was probably trying to avoid pushing the Beltway any closer to Rock Creek (which has historical and Section 104(f) protections) than it needed to.  Unfortunately for them, at this spot it would mean encroaching on Navy property.  There's only about 400 feet between the base perimeter road and Rock Creek there.

When the Circumferential Highway (Capital Beltway now) was being planned and engineered, laws like NEPA, Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (and other federal environmental laws) were not on the books.

What was on the books then was the Capper-Cramton Act (https://www.nps.gov/oxhi/learn/management/capper-cramton-act.htm), relevant since much of Rock Creek Park in Maryland is land purchased with Capper Cramton funding.  That, combined with NIMBY opposition by Montgomery County residents in the Chevy Chase area, is why the part of the road that now runs in Rock Creek Park was one of the very last to be completed, and is why the road has so many sharp (for an Interstate) curves.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2020, 07:42:13 AM
WTOP Radio: MDOT accelerates timetable for next steps on Beltway widening project (https://wtop.com/maryland/2020/12/mdot-accelerates-timetable-for-next-steps-on-beltway-widening-project/)

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While Maryland residents and elected officials scurried around in preparation for the holidays last week, the state Department of Transportation quietly took a major step in its $11 billion I-495/I-270 “managed lanes” highway project.

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With no notice to the public, the agency issued its formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project late on Friday, Dec. 18. The four giant transportation consortiums that have formed to bid on the massive project were given three business days to return the “technical” portion of their responses. (Financial responses are due on Jan. 8.)

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MDOT then slipped the RFP onto its website in the early evening hours of Dec. 23, after employees had gone home for the long holiday weekend.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2020, 07:49:30 AM
The NSWC facility in Carderock has already been impacted several times by the widening of I-495 and related improvements to Clara Barton Parkway.  It's pretty crowded right there at the Potomac crossing, and probably has more environmental and cultural impacts than a new river crossing further out.  Used to bicycle that section of the C&O Canal several times a week.

Not that much.  My Dad worked at what is now NWSC Carderock (f/k/a David Taylor Model Basin and f/k/a Naval Ship Research and Development Center) for nearly 40 years.  The Beltway and the Clara Barton Parkway did not impact the important (and not possible to move) assets on the campus at all (they can be seen on Google here (https://www.google.com/maps/place/38%C2%B058'28.3%22N+77%C2%B011'33.9%22W/@38.9745362,-77.1971284,1126m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x89b7cad2d498e17d:0xd8571f52def82e1e!2sCarderock,+Potomac,+MD+20817!3b1!8m2!3d38.9776102!4d-77.1944245!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d38.9745316!4d-77.1927508)).  The long building running roughly east-west is the truly priceless asset here (see Atlas Obscura article with images from inside here (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/naval-surface-warfare-center)), as is the structure on the left of the image near the west end of the Clara Barton. 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on December 30, 2020, 10:04:26 AM
The main thing is that location on the Beltway is a narrow chokepoint.  SHA was probably trying to avoid pushing the Beltway any closer to Rock Creek (which has historical and Section 104(f) protections) than it needed to.  Unfortunately for them, at this spot it would mean encroaching on Navy property.  There's only about 400 feet between the base perimeter road and Rock Creek there.

When the Circumferential Highway (Capital Beltway now) was being planned and engineered, laws like NEPA, Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (and other federal environmental laws) were not on the books.

I was specifically referring to the current widening plans, which push the Beltway into the aforementioned Navy property.  Section 4(f) may not have existed when the Beltway was built, but it certainly exists now.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2020, 11:42:07 AM
I was specifically referring to the current widening plans, which push the Beltway into the aforementioned Navy property.  Section 4(f) may not have existed when the Beltway was built, but it certainly exists now.

I am not at all sure that Section 4(f) is relevant, since the NSA Bethesda site is a military base and not a park.  Now there may be structures on the NSA Bethesda site that are on National Register (the attractive Bethesda Naval Hospital Tower facing MD-355 is (https://mht.maryland.gov/nr/NRDetail.aspx?NRID=419&COUNTY=Montgomery&FROM=NRCountyList.aspx)) but it sits rather far from the Beltway (and presumably Beltway impacts).

Atlas Obscura has an article about the tower here (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/walter-reed-national-military-medical-center) with some interesting history.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on December 30, 2020, 12:00:54 PM
I think you misunderstood me.  I was referring to how Section 4(f) may be why SHA is pushing the widening towards the Navy side of the Beltway instead of closer to Rock Creek proper.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Dirt Roads on December 31, 2020, 09:49:39 AM
The Navy wrote a strongly worded letter stating opposition to this project though the article really tried to enforce a narrative it is due to some form of activism on the Navy’s part promoting mass transit which I’m calling bull on. This project is sorely needed so I hope it doesn’t die or get scaled back. My guess is the Navy simply isn’t keen on losing any property and that’s what it is about.

https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/11/20/u-s-navy-strongly-opposed-to-capital-beltway-widening-project/

Quote
The Navy wrote a strongly worded letter stating opposition to this project...

Going back to the statement that started all of this, it appears that the Navy has a valid stakeholders position in this project.  The project will likely affect both NWSC Carderock and Naval Support Activity Center Bethesda.  I interviewed at NWSC Carderock just after college (didn't get the job, schucks!) and remembered parking in a lot adjacent to the Beltway.  Most of that parking lot is long gone, taken by the various widening projects.  At least there is still a treeline barrier between the front entrance and the highway.  I haven't seen plans, but it seems likely that all of those trees will need to go (and the NWSC may not even qualify for a noise barrier wall).

All that being said, the Beltway is in continuous need of widening since there are no viable alternative routes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 07, 2021, 11:43:17 AM
Washington Post: Maryland director on controversial Beltway, I-270 widening plan retires (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/lisa-choplin-retires/2021/01/07/45eefab6-506e-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jmacswimmer on February 18, 2021, 04:40:31 PM
MDOT issued a press release earlier today selecting the development team:

https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/MDOT-Selects-Developer-for-American-Legion-Bridge-I-270-P3-2.18.2021.pdf
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: odditude on February 18, 2021, 06:57:42 PM
MDOT issued a press release earlier today selecting the development team:

https://495-270-p3.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/MDOT-Selects-Developer-for-American-Legion-Bridge-I-270-P3-2.18.2021.pdf

i find it interesting that I-495 is not mentioned once in the press release by number (only by reference as "from the American Legion Bridge to I-270").
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 19, 2021, 10:38:30 AM
Washington Post: Maryland selects Transurban, Macquarie to develop toll lanes for Beltway, I-270 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/maryland-toll-lanes-transurban/2021/02/18/55f922ca-6ae9-11eb-9ead-673168d5b874_story.html?fbclid=IwAR0eUo-gG2dZ0j6hcF08RSjTwxi5N3FMQP15_3LBXAmgejB8WJiPQgOX9oM)

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Maryland transportation officials announced Thursday that they have selected Australian toll road operator Transurban to develop high-occupancy toll lanes for the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, potentially cementing the company’s dominance in the Washington region.

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If Transurban and its partner, Australian investment bank Macquarie Capital, ultimately reach a 50-year deal with the state to build and operate the lanes, Transurban eventually would control 102 miles of express toll lanes around the nation’s capital — 37 in Maryland and 65 in Northern Virginia. Connecting high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in the two states would mark the beginnings of a regional network of express lanes in one of the most traffic-clogged areas of the country.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 04, 2021, 09:01:46 AM
Washington Post: Losing bidder protests Maryland selection for Beltway, I-270 toll lanes developer (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/maryland-beltway-lanes/2021/03/03/3ddb9dbe-7c4e-11eb-b3d1-9e5aa3d5220c_story.html?fbclid=IwAR1h3YvO0lEWpbZkgYX2c9knIjJkPr2WmBz55kWco-p9VcREE15FiJYq8KI)

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The Maryland Department of Transportation said a losing bidder has filed a protest against its selection of Australian firms Transurban and Macquarie Capital to develop billions of dollars’ worth of toll lanes for the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270.

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MDOT wouldn’t say Wednesday which company or companies filed the protest or what wrongdoing is alleged. It also declined to release the protest filing.

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Experts say such protests typically accuse the government or winner of unfairness by not following the bid rules or requirements. In rare cases, they can allege illegal behavior, such as bribery.

Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on May 12, 2021, 05:48:43 PM
New Recommended Preferred Alternative to Deliver Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 (https://495-270-p3.com/environmental/alternatives/rpa/)
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After several months of continuous collaboration and listening to agency partners, public officials and stakeholders, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) have identified Alternative 9: Phase 1 South as the new Recommended Preferred Alternative (RPA) for the Managed Lanes Study (MLS). The new RPA focuses solely on building a new American Legion Bridge and delivering two high occupancy toll (HOT) managed lanes in each direction on Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 with no action at this time on I-495 east of the I-270 eastern spur.
There's an error on the map on that page.  They incorrectly label MD 28 as MD 85.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 13, 2021, 04:31:14 PM
WTOP Radio: MDOT removes large stretch of Capital Beltway from toll-lane plan (https://wtop.com/local/2021/05/mdot-removes-large-stretch-of-capital-beltway-from-toll-lane-plan/)

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Bowing to opponents of the plan to widen two highways that run through Montgomery County, state transportation officials announced on Wednesday that they have scaled back their footprint for the project.

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The changes are reflected in a “new recommended preferred alternative” to the planned construction of toll lanes on the Capital Beltway (I-495) and Interstate 270.

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Under the revision, Maryland and its team of private-sector investors would continue to move forward with the reconstruction of the American Legion Bridge and the widening of the western-most section of I-495 and the southern section of I-270.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on May 13, 2021, 05:09:23 PM
Well that sucks but I’m not surprised these days
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 14, 2021, 12:38:24 AM
Well that sucks but I’m not surprised these days

Honestly, a wider American Legion Bridge is the most sorely needed part of this. After that is done, Montgomery might finally be ready to face facts, but probably not until then.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on May 14, 2021, 12:53:34 AM
Well that sucks but I’m not surprised these days

Honestly, a wider American Legion Bridge is the most sorely needed part of this. After that is done, Montgomery might finally be ready to face facts, but probably not until then.
That’s kind of what I was thinking as well. Maybe once it’s done the cancelled section will come back.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: froggie on May 14, 2021, 11:16:46 AM
I highly doubt you'll see anything across the north leg of the Beltway (between 270 and 95).  Too much Rock Creek Park and right-of-way impact.  There's also the Navy and DoD saying a hard NO to using any of the Naval Hospital property, which would push even more impacts into Rock Creek Park.  These are also facts to face.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jmacswimmer on May 14, 2021, 11:59:01 AM
I highly doubt you'll see anything across the north leg of the Beltway (between 270 and 95).  Too much Rock Creek Park and right-of-way impact.  There's also the Navy and DoD saying a hard NO to using any of the Naval Hospital property, which would push even more impacts into Rock Creek Park.  These are also facts to face.

Completely agreed here (and while not perfect, the ICC does at least exist to bypass this segment), but I'm surprised the PG County portion was axed as well.  The PG opposition is much less vocal than Montgomery, and the beltway's existing ROW is noticeably wider in PG compared to Montgomery.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on May 14, 2021, 12:19:02 PM
I highly doubt you'll see anything across the north leg of the Beltway (between 270 and 95).  Too much Rock Creek Park and right-of-way impact.  There's also the Navy and DoD saying a hard NO to using any of the Naval Hospital property, which would push even more impacts into Rock Creek Park.  These are also facts to face.

Completely agreed here (and while not perfect, the ICC does at least exist to bypass this segment), but I'm surprised the PG County portion was axed as well.  The PG opposition is much less vocal than Montgomery, and the beltway's existing ROW is noticeably wider in PG compared to Montgomery.

On the other hand, most of the PG portion doesn't seem to need it as much as Montgomery's, except perhaps when there's a bad accident (which, to be fair, isn't necessarily unusual).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 14, 2021, 02:03:28 PM
I highly doubt you'll see anything across the north leg of the Beltway (between 270 and 95).  Too much Rock Creek Park and right-of-way impact.  There's also the Navy and DoD saying a hard NO to using any of the Naval Hospital property, which would push even more impacts into Rock Creek Park.  These are also facts to face.
There is one way to avoid those for the most part, though it’s quite expensive.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 14, 2021, 02:38:40 PM
Really, the two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270. The rest isn’t necessary.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 14, 2021, 02:49:28 PM
I highly doubt you'll see anything across the north leg of the Beltway (between 270 and 95).  Too much Rock Creek Park and right-of-way impact.  There's also the Navy and DoD saying a hard NO to using any of the Naval Hospital property, which would push even more impacts into Rock Creek Park.  These are also facts to face.

I think you are correct, though I find it amusing that some of the same Montgomery County politicians that were involved in frantic opposition to MD-200 (ICC) less than 15 years ago are now saying that is the "alternative" to widening (never mind that they and their allies at the Sierra Club, M-ICC, 1,000 Friends of Maryland and Virginia's Piedmont Environmental Council used to repeat, over and over and over again, that MD-200 had no benefit for Capital Beltway drivers and would never have any benefit for Beltway drivers).

Regarding lands along the I-495 right-of-way, there's not much between the Mormon Temple and the big bridge over the Northwest Branch gorge, though there might be enough to do some minor work.

It's not Rock Creek Park itself that is the issue per-se but the funding source that paid to purchase the land -  the Capper-Cramton Act first enacted in 1930 and amended and expanded in 1946.  Much of the Capper-Cramton Act lands are not owned by the National Park Service (though some are), but by other public park agencies (all of Rock Creek Park in Maryland is owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission).  Still, the federal government has residual powers over these lands.  When I-495 was widened in the late 1980's and early 1990's to 4 lanes each way, MDOT/SHA was allowed to purchase some of the land from Rock Creek Park to make room between MD-355 and the temple.   But SHA also had to agree that they would not be able to widen beyond that, which means the only way to add capacity here is with a viaduct (probably in the median) similar to the one on I-110 (Harbor Freeway) in Los Angeles County, California.

And of course, Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act of 1966 still applies. 

My own personal opinion about this is more radical.  Keep the 8 lanes (with some upgrades where possible), convert the entire top side of I-495 (maybe MD-187 to MD-650) to a priced roadway, with free passage to transit vehicles and HOV-3 traffic.  That would really put the politicians that were opposed to the added lanes on the spot.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 14, 2021, 02:52:33 PM
Really, the two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270. The rest isn’t necessary.

I disagree, at least pre-COVID19.  The congestion levels along I-495 between I-95 and I-270 are terrible.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on May 14, 2021, 03:04:36 PM
Really, the two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270. The rest isn’t necessary.

I disagree, at least pre-COVID19.  The congestion levels along I-495 between I-95 and I-270 are terrible.

No offense, but isn't that what famartin said? "[T]he two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270."
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 16, 2021, 08:26:45 PM
Really, the two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270. The rest isn’t necessary.

I disagree, at least pre-COVID19.  The congestion levels along I-495 between I-95 and I-270 are terrible.

No offense, but isn't that what famartin said? "[T]he two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270."

I should re-state that - what needs help is all the way from the American Legion Bridge to I-95, including the only remaining six-lane section, between I-270Y (Spur) and the interchange at I-270 and MD-355, where there is a section on the Inner Loop with only two lanes that is a reliable source of severe congestion.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 16, 2021, 10:03:03 PM
Really, the two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270. The rest isn’t necessary.

I disagree, at least pre-COVID19.  The congestion levels along I-495 between I-95 and I-270 are terrible.

No offense, but isn't that what famartin said? "[T]he two sections which truly need widening are from the spur to the bridge, and from 95 to 270."

I should re-state that - what needs help is all the way from the American Legion Bridge to I-95, including the only remaining six-lane section, between I-270Y (Spur) and the interchange at I-270 and MD-355, where there is a section on the Inner Loop with only two lanes that is a reliable source of severe congestion.
The section between 270 and the spur can be left alone. That 2 lane section is really just at the 270/355 interchange which I include as needing help. But no need to widen the 6-lane section yet, the two 8 lane sections are worse (for obvious reasons: they are trying to push 3 lanes of beltway and 3 lanes of 270 into only 4 lanes of beltway in each direction)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 16, 2021, 11:02:47 PM
The section between 270 and the spur can be left alone. That 2 lane section is really just at the 270/355 interchange which I include as needing help. But no need to widen the 6-lane section yet, the two 8 lane sections are worse (for obvious reasons: they are trying to push 3 lanes of beltway and 3 lanes of 270 into only 4 lanes of beltway in each direction)

The section between MD-187 and MD-355/I-270 is crash prone in both directions due to sharp curves. 

Regarding the short two-lane section of the Inner Loop, it may be short, but the impacts of that lane drop can be felt several miles back, and there are frequent crashes (usually minor) when drivers use the exit to MD-355 south, then force their way back into Beltway traffic.  All of that should be corrected.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 16, 2021, 11:48:35 PM
The section between 270 and the spur can be left alone. That 2 lane section is really just at the 270/355 interchange which I include as needing help. But no need to widen the 6-lane section yet, the two 8 lane sections are worse (for obvious reasons: they are trying to push 3 lanes of beltway and 3 lanes of 270 into only 4 lanes of beltway in each direction)

The section between MD-187 and MD-355/I-270 is crash prone in both directions due to sharp curves. 

I agree, but both curves are part of those respective interchanges, not integral to the mainline.

Regarding the short two-lane section of the Inner Loop, it may be short, but the impacts of that lane drop can be felt several miles back, and there are frequent crashes (usually minor) when drivers use the exit to MD-355 south, then force their way back into Beltway traffic.  All of that should be corrected.

I agree (in fact I was rear ended by someone trying to cut back in a few years ago).

The point I’m trying to make is that at each end of the two sections I mentioned, you have lane drops...

3 lanes of Sb 270 and 3 lanes of eb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
4 lanes of wb 495 and 2 lanes of sb 95 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
3 lanes of sb 270 spur and 3 lanes of wb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes of sb 495.
6 lanes of nb 495 in VA squeezing into 4 lanes of nb 495 in MD.

These need remediation most. The beltway should be 6 lanes each way in these areas, not trying to compress 6 lanes down to 4.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2021, 07:25:45 AM
The point I’m trying to make is that at each end of the two sections I mentioned, you have lane drops...

3 lanes of Sb 270 and 3 lanes of eb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
4 lanes of wb 495 and 2 lanes of sb 95 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
3 lanes of sb 270 spur and 3 lanes of wb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes of sb 495.
6 lanes of nb 495 in VA squeezing into 4 lanes of nb 495 in MD.

These need remediation most. The beltway should be 6 lanes each way in these areas, not trying to compress 6 lanes down to 4.

There are several reasons why this is not likely to happen.

1.  Capper-Cramton Act lands that would need to be acquired  between MD-355 and the bridge that carries I-495 over Rock Creek - and there are at least two other places where Capper-Cramton Act lands would be needed in Montgomery County.

2. Other impacts on stream valley parks between MD-97 and MD-650.

3. No land available (without condemnation of homes) between Seminary Road and I-95 in several sections.

4. Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act of 1966 applies in addition to the above.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 17, 2021, 11:28:33 AM
The point I’m trying to make is that at each end of the two sections I mentioned, you have lane drops...

3 lanes of Sb 270 and 3 lanes of eb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
4 lanes of wb 495 and 2 lanes of sb 95 squeezing into just 4 lanes.
3 lanes of sb 270 spur and 3 lanes of wb 495 squeezing into just 4 lanes of sb 495.
6 lanes of nb 495 in VA squeezing into 4 lanes of nb 495 in MD.

These need remediation most. The beltway should be 6 lanes each way in these areas, not trying to compress 6 lanes down to 4.

There are several reasons why this is not likely to happen.

1.  Capper-Cramton Act lands that would need to be acquired  between MD-355 and the bridge that carries I-495 over Rock Creek - and there are at least two other places where Capper-Cramton Act lands would be needed in Montgomery County.

2. Other impacts on stream valley parks between MD-97 and MD-650.

3. No land available (without condemnation of homes) between Seminary Road and I-95 in several sections.

4. Section 4(f) of the USDOT Act of 1966 applies in addition to the above.
Didn’t say it was going to happen. Just said it was the most in need. As mentioned a few days ago, if they fixed the section south of the 270 spur to the bridge, the 270-95 segment would become the hands-down worst part of the beltway, and only when that happens is there any hope (albeit not much) that it could get remedied.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2021, 02:45:47 PM
Didn’t say it was going to happen. Just said it was the most in need. As mentioned a few days ago, if they fixed the section south of the 270 spur to the bridge, the 270-95 segment would become the hands-down worst part of the beltway, and only when that happens is there any hope (albeit not much) that it could get remedied.

There are other things that can be done to make this part of the Capital Beltway work better.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 22, 2021, 09:39:11 PM
Washington Post: A Metro ‘Beltway Line’? Transit advocates say a new American Legion Bridge should leave room for rail. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/05/22/american-legion-bridge-new-rail-toll-lanes/)

Quote
As Maryland seeks companies to replace the traffic-clogged American Legion Bridge, transit advocates are calling the state’s plan shortsighted for not requiring that a new span be able to carry a rail line to Northern Virginia.

Quote
Any bridge built to last up to 100 years, they say, should allow for the possibility that trains could someday circle the nation’s capital through its ever-growing suburbs, alongside the Capital Beltway. Long-term hopes for what some call a Metro “Beltway Line” were incorporated into the Woodrow Wilson Bridge when it was rebuilt with room for rail on the Beltway’s southern end in the mid-2000s.

Quote
Precluding that possibility on the highway’s other Potomac River crossing, advocates say, would consign many residents to driving or riding buses for decades. They say it also would miss a critical opportunity for a direct rail link between Montgomery and Fairfax counties — the region’s two most populous suburbs and biggest job centers outside downtown Washington.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on May 22, 2021, 10:01:25 PM
I mean, it doesn’t seem like a poor idea, given how relevant commuter rail / subway is in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 23, 2021, 01:09:41 AM
I mean, it doesn’t seem like a poor idea, given how relevant commuter rail / subway is in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.

I suppose some might consider PG as southern MD (not many) but I don’t know anyone who considers Montgomery as southern MD.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on May 23, 2021, 01:31:48 AM
I was kind of just referring to the whole DC area in general. I suppose it’s not “southern” Maryland but the point still stands.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 23, 2021, 02:05:24 AM
I was kind of just referring to the whole DC area in general. I suppose it’s not “southern” Maryland but the point still stands.

Yeah, but you could’ve been both more accurate and saved characters by simply writing “DC metro” instead of “northern Virginia/southern Maryland”  ;-)

And I could’ve too by simply not picking this nit  :-D
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 23, 2021, 08:36:27 AM
I mean, it doesn’t seem like a poor idea, given how relevant commuter rail / subway is in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.

I suppose some might consider PG as southern MD (not many) but I don’t know anyone who considers Montgomery as southern MD.

IMO Southern Maryland is Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties. I suppose it might be possible to consider nearby areas of Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties as also Southern Maryland, but that is not usually done.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 23, 2021, 09:31:11 AM
I mean, it doesn’t seem like a poor idea, given how relevant commuter rail / subway is in Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.

I suppose some might consider PG as southern MD (not many) but I don’t know anyone who considers Montgomery as southern MD.

IMO Southern Maryland is Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's Counties. I suppose it might be possible to consider nearby areas of Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties as also Southern Maryland, but that is not usually done.
Your interpretation is the same as mine.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 23, 2021, 11:07:51 AM
While it sounds good and feels good to build a bridge for a possible rail line, without any sort of other plans for a future line, the bridge will just sit there.  They're better off building a bridge in the futurr to meet the needs of that line.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: odditude on May 23, 2021, 02:03:46 PM
While it sounds good and feels good to build a bridge for a possible rail line, without any sort of other plans for a future line, the bridge will just sit there.  They're better off building a bridge in the future to meet the needs of that line.

i'd say both options (with and without rail provisions) should be explored and quoted, and the decision should be made from there. while this is truly a WAG, i wouldn't be surprised if the cost of material for the rail accommodation would be secondary to the costs of additional land acquisition and labor.

those additional costs might make it a nonstarter; on the other hand, if the cost increase is relatively minor, it may be worth the investment.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: bluecountry on May 24, 2021, 04:55:05 PM
Are they at least going to fix I-495 inner loop between spur 270 and 270 @ Wisconsin Ave where it goes down to just two thru lanes?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on May 24, 2021, 05:24:17 PM
Are they at least going to fix I-495 inner loop between spur 270 and 270 @ Wisconsin Ave where it goes down to just two thru lanes?
That’s a fairly short (but still highly detrimental) segment between the ramp to 355 and the merge from 270. And, no.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: bluecountry on May 26, 2021, 11:10:48 AM
Are they at least going to fix I-495 inner loop between spur 270 and 270 @ Wisconsin Ave where it goes down to just two thru lanes?
That’s a fairly short (but still highly detrimental) segment between the ramp to 355 and the merge from 270. And, no.
OMFG, what stupidity.
That causes SO much jams.
How can they ignore that bottleneck?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on May 26, 2021, 02:49:40 PM
Are they at least going to fix I-495 inner loop between spur 270 and 270 @ Wisconsin Ave where it goes down to just two thru lanes?
That’s a fairly short (but still highly detrimental) segment between the ramp to 355 and the merge from 270. And, no.
OMFG, what stupidity.
That causes SO much jams.
How can they ignore that bottleneck?

I don't think it's a qn of ignoring the bottleneck, but the reality that the bottleneck cannot be fixed unless more of the mainline is widened as well.

3 lanes of SB 270 and 3 lanes of EB 495 merge into 4 lanes of EB 495.  To add more to the mix, there are also on-ramps from MD-355 to both the left side and right side of the Beltway as well. 

If the Beltway to the east of this point were 6 lanes EB, then it is easy 3 lanes of 270 will join with 3 lanes from Virginia to continue eastbound.  If there were 5 lanes, you could have 270 as is (2 lanes to EB 495, 1 lane to 355 south) joining with the 3 lanes from Virginia to continue eastbound.  But with only 4 lanes, both the 270 and the 495 have to taper down to 2 lanes to make the merger work.

So while I agree that this bottleneck needs addressed, the only way to address it would be a widening of the EB Beltway to 5 lanes for a bit to the east of the interchange.  Ideally, it would be widened all the way to the bridge over the Northwest branch (so that you have at least 5 lanes all the way to 95), but it would seem to be necessary at minimum to at least Connecticut Ave.  THis would need to be done independent of any toll lane addition.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: bluecountry on May 29, 2021, 08:54:56 PM
Are they at least going to fix I-495 inner loop between spur 270 and 270 @ Wisconsin Ave where it goes down to just two thru lanes?
That’s a fairly short (but still highly detrimental) segment between the ramp to 355 and the merge from 270. And, no.
OMFG, what stupidity.
That causes SO much jams.
How can they ignore that bottleneck?

I don't think it's a qn of ignoring the bottleneck, but the reality that the bottleneck cannot be fixed unless more of the mainline is widened as well.

3 lanes of SB 270 and 3 lanes of EB 495 merge into 4 lanes of EB 495.  To add more to the mix, there are also on-ramps from MD-355 to both the left side and right side of the Beltway as well. 

If the Beltway to the east of this point were 6 lanes EB, then it is easy 3 lanes of 270 will join with 3 lanes from Virginia to continue eastbound.  If there were 5 lanes, you could have 270 as is (2 lanes to EB 495, 1 lane to 355 south) joining with the 3 lanes from Virginia to continue eastbound.  But with only 4 lanes, both the 270 and the 495 have to taper down to 2 lanes to make the merger work.

So while I agree that this bottleneck needs addressed, the only way to address it would be a widening of the EB Beltway to 5 lanes for a bit to the east of the interchange.  Ideally, it would be widened all the way to the bridge over the Northwest branch (so that you have at least 5 lanes all the way to 95), but it would seem to be necessary at minimum to at least Connecticut Ave.  THis would need to be done independent of any toll lane addition.
Should be part of the project.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 31, 2021, 07:42:21 AM
[This popped up this morning on the Post Web site, but it is from 2020]

Washington Post op-ed: Pandemic aside, Maryland needs to widen I-270 and I-495 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/local-opinions/pandemic-aside-maryland-needs-to-widen-i-270-and-i-495/2020/09/17/5742ac4e-f791-11ea-89e3-4b9efa36dc64_story.html)

Quote
The year 2020 has brought many unexpected and mostly unwelcome changes to the D.C. area. However, despite the uncertainty and confusion that have resulted, there has been one unfortunate constant: dithering by our elected officials on traffic solutions.

Quote
The latest in our traffic-plagued saga is the publishing and bickering over the environmental impact study on the widening of Interstate 270 and Interstate 495 proposed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). The nearly 18,000-page study is not only a mind-numbing read, but its bureaucratic red tape and environmentalist pandering are also insulting. To give context, the U.S. tax code is approximately 6,500 pages long. Are we to believe a 40-mile stretch of roadway is more complex than the entire U.S. tax code?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Old Dominionite on May 31, 2021, 09:25:09 AM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 31, 2021, 10:25:39 AM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.

It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: ran4sh on May 31, 2021, 01:50:28 PM
This. Work-based development (commercial & industrial) is better for a state's tax revenue than residential development. It's in Maryland's best interest to do what it can to get job growth of their own.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 31, 2021, 03:31:56 PM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.

More to the point, Virginia has two of the three airports in the region, including the one that has the largest selection of flights to and from Europe and Asia as well as the best selection of flights to the West Coast.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 31, 2021, 03:35:20 PM
It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.

Maryland has been losing jobs to Northern Virginia for decades.  In large part the anti-growth and slow-growth and no-growth policies of Montgomery County, Maryland are to blame, along with a robust anti-development and NIMBY cottage industry in the county.  One example:  excluding the several small municipalities where the county does not control development approvals, there are no Royal Farm (based in Maryland), Wawa or Sheetz stores in the county, though they can be found in counties that directly border Montgomery County.  Aided and abetted by county policies, 7-11 has a de-facto monopoly on convenience stores.

But inadequate airport ground access is a big problem in much of the Maryland suburbs of D.C., and that deters employers from locating there or adding jobs there.  Combine that with a lack of freeway access to the downtown area of Washington (compare and contrast with Northern Virginia, where there are two Interstates and a federal parkway that functions as an expressway serving downtown D.C.).  Many will claim that the Metro system is a substitute for those freeways, but location decisions by private employers tell a different story.   All of this is summarized in a phrase - "the East West Divide."
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 01, 2021, 11:17:11 AM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.

It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.

This. Yes, that's one reason Maryland doesn't want to build better connections. There's already plenty commuting into NoVA for work, they don't want to encourage more.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 01, 2021, 11:18:09 AM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.

More to the point, Virginia has two of the three airports in the region, including the one that has the largest selection of flights to and from Europe and Asia as well as the best selection of flights to the West Coast.

While that's true, you won't see signs for those airports in Maryland. You'll just see placards for BWI all over the place. That in itself makes it obvious what airport they are supporting.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 01, 2021, 11:21:11 AM
It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.

Maryland has been losing jobs to Northern Virginia for decades.  In large part the anti-growth and slow-growth and no-growth policies of Montgomery County, Maryland are to blame, along with a robust anti-development and NIMBY cottage industry in the county.  One example:  excluding the several small municipalities where the county does not control development approvals, there are no Royal Farm (based in Maryland), Wawa or Sheetz stores in the county, though they can be found in counties that directly border Montgomery County.  Aided and abetted by county policies, 7-11 has a de-facto monopoly on convenience stores.

But inadequate airport ground access is a big problem in much of the Maryland suburbs of D.C., and that deters employers from locating there or adding jobs there.  Combine that with a lack of freeway access to the downtown area of Washington (compare and contrast with Northern Virginia, where there are two Interstates and a federal parkway that functions as an expressway serving downtown D.C.).  Many will claim that the Metro system is a substitute for those freeways, but location decisions by private employers tell a different story.   All of this is summarized in a phrase - "the East West Divide."

Montgomery County is both the most populous and most affluent county in Maryland, so they do have the option to be picky. That said, the latter title may soon be taken by Howard.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jmacswimmer on June 01, 2021, 11:38:33 AM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.
More to the point, Virginia has two of the three airports in the region, including the one that has the largest selection of flights to and from Europe and Asia as well as the best selection of flights to the West Coast.
While that's true, you won't see signs for those airports in Maryland. You'll just see placards for BWI all over the place. That in itself makes it obvious what airport they are supporting.

To be fair, Virginia does the same thing with only signing IAD & DCA - I don't believe there's a single sign for BWI across the Potomac.

And given BWI's rare status amongst US airports of being owned & operated at the State level, MDOT certainly has a vested interest in using its roadways (thru SHA & MDTA) to promote its airport (thru MAA) - and you're right, they certainly do wherever possible!
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 01, 2021, 12:47:17 PM
It’s in Maryland’s best interest to ensure diverse and robust transportation options into Virginia. Northern Virginia has the region’s largest concentration of jobs, and will likely have the lion’s share of future job growth.
More to the point, Virginia has two of the three airports in the region, including the one that has the largest selection of flights to and from Europe and Asia as well as the best selection of flights to the West Coast.
While that's true, you won't see signs for those airports in Maryland. You'll just see placards for BWI all over the place. That in itself makes it obvious what airport they are supporting.

To be fair, Virginia does the same thing with only signing IAD & DCA - I don't believe there's a single sign for BWI across the Potomac.

That's fair, but the difference is that BWI is significantly further away from the VA side, than the VA airports are from the MD side of DC metro (in particular, DCA is much closer to the Beltway communities in MD than BWI is).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2021, 01:59:38 PM
This. Yes, that's one reason Maryland doesn't want to build better connections. There's already plenty commuting into NoVA for work, they don't want to encourage more.

When county policy (especially the Montgomery County Council) actively discourages growth and business expansion, then they are effectively encouraging more persons to drive to Northern Virginia.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2021, 02:09:34 PM
Montgomery County is both the most populous and most affluent county in Maryland, so they do have the option to be picky. That said, the latter title may soon be taken by Howard.

No they do not.  There was a time when Montgomery County, Maryland was one of the top five affluent counties in the United States, but those days are long gone.

By this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-income_counties_in_the_United_States) of highest-income households (using 2016 ACS data from Census), Loudoun County, Virginia is at the top.  The next two are also neighbors of Montgomery County: Howard County, Maryland followed by Fairfax County, Virginia.

Montgomery County is far down the list at 17, and per-household income is about $35,000 less than Loudoun County and about $20,000 less than Howard County.   I suspect that 5 or 10 more years of pro-congestion transportation policies and super-high housing prices (based on a public school system that is living on its past good reputation) and Montgomery County will fall off the list entirely.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 01, 2021, 02:51:04 PM
Montgomery County is both the most populous and most affluent county in Maryland, so they do have the option to be picky. That said, the latter title may soon be taken by Howard.

No they do not.  There was a time when Montgomery County, Maryland was one of the top five affluent counties in the United States, but those days are long gone.

By this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-income_counties_in_the_United_States) of highest-income households (using 2016 ACS data from Census), Loudoun County, Virginia is at the top.  The next two are also neighbors of Montgomery County: Howard County, Maryland followed by Fairfax County, Virginia.

Montgomery County is far down the list at 17, and per-household income is about $35,000 less than Loudoun County and about $20,000 less than Howard County.   I suspect that 5 or 10 more years of pro-congestion transportation policies and super-high housing prices (based on a public school system that is living on its past good reputation) and Montgomery County will fall off the list entirely.

Google failed me today. But, well, you reap what you sow.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 04, 2021, 02:02:27 PM
A vote regarding some of the toll lanes will be held in Tuesday:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/03/maryland-toll-lanes/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on June 06, 2021, 06:10:19 PM
It's really more beneficial if Maryland could build up their industrial and commercial office space to keep Marylanders in Maryland. Lots of good tax revenue there that doesn't burden schools and services.

Maryland has been losing jobs to Northern Virginia for decades.  In large part the anti-growth and slow-growth and no-growth policies of Montgomery County, Maryland are to blame, along with a robust anti-development and NIMBY cottage industry in the county.  One example:  excluding the several small municipalities where the county does not control development approvals, there are no Royal Farm (based in Maryland), Wawa or Sheetz stores in the county, though they can be found in counties that directly border Montgomery County.  Aided and abetted by county policies, 7-11 has a de-facto monopoly on convenience stores.


I wonder if you can expand on this a little.  I realize that MoCo is a heavy tax jurisidction, as well as being highly anti-development, but how does that make it so hard for convenience stores in particular to operate, and why does that favor 7-11 in particular.

I am also aware that it is hard to get a new gas station in this county.  There was a big fight to prevent Costco in Wheaton from getting a gas station, and they do not have one.  I don't beleive the other Costco in the county has a gas station either.  Oddly enough, there is a 7-11 with gas on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, near the DC line, but most 7-11s here do not have gas.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 07, 2021, 10:03:27 AM
I wonder if you can expand on this a little.  I realize that MoCo is a heavy tax jurisidction, as well as being highly anti-development, but how does that make it so hard for convenience stores in particular to operate, and why does that favor 7-11 in particular.

I am also aware that it is hard to get a new gas station in this county.  There was a big fight to prevent Costco in Wheaton from getting a gas station, and they do not have one.  I don't beleive the other Costco in the county has a gas station either.  Oddly enough, there is a 7-11 with gas on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, near the DC line, but most 7-11s here do not have gas.

My guess is that any convenience store project that could possibly impact traffic in a residential area (the 7-11 on U.S. 29 (Georgia Avenue) north of the D.C. line is a rare exception would generate  a wave of NIMBY opposition.  Highway project (especially those that add capacity or otherwise make the highways work better) have been met with frantic opposition and rage, along with claims that "according to the County Council, transit is a priority."  And yet, when it comes to spending, transit has been a priority since about 1971, and the roads have only gotten more congested over the years.

One of the excuses cited for opposing retail development (including convenience stores) in Montgomery County are claims that "it will make traffic worse," but those claims often come from persons and groups that are opposed to all highway improvements.  The modal share of transit in Montgomery County has lingered between 10% and 20% for many years, and no matter how much pro-transit rhetoric comes from the County Council and county planners, it is not likely to rise much above that.  Montgomery County is a big and mostly suburban place, and getting transit patronage similar to what is found in New York City is not going to happen.

I also believe that several of the convenience store chains do not wish to bother with the hassle and expense of trying to get a store in Montgomery County, so they just go elsewhere.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 12, 2021, 07:10:23 PM
Baltimore Sun: [Letter to the editor] Capital Beltway/I-270 expansion the responsible choice (https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/readers-respond/bs-ed-rr-toll-lanes-capital-beltway-letter-20210611-jufdvxbpfnbbpf3c5pruohaoji-story.html?fbclid=IwAR00lzX6qwET1Tt9F5VbXgd5hg3GKnPvtBeDJw-9bjZ4uFvTMVJZJVGKebA)

Quote
Critics of the plan to replace the 60-year-old American Legion Bridge and add express lanes to segments of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 have it exactly backward. Rather than being an “antiquated and misguided approach” (”Downsizing Capital Beltway project good — scrapping it better (https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-0527-highway-expansion-20210526-o7taahkterccxb67xu2dyeoxhm-story.html),” May 26), the improvements are a forward-looking solution to the existing traffic congestion that saps our quality of life today. Unless the project is built as currently envisioned, travel conditions will be even be worse in the future.

Quote
Any traveler of the segments scheduled for improvement knows firsthand the intolerable delays experienced every morning and evening. In fact, this corridor has been identified as one of the most congested in the United States. Imagine what it will be like 25 years from now when our approved regional forecast estimates a population growth of 1.2 million people and 913,000 jobs. It is estimated that the traffic volume at the American Legion Bridge will increase by an additional 34,000 vehicles per day. Instead of six hours of congestion in the corridor, we will be experiencing at least twice as many hours of gridlock by 2045. Current drivers will refer to our existing congestion levels as “the good old days of travel.”
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 16, 2021, 11:42:24 PM
https://www.marylandmatters.org/2021/06/16/plan-to-widen-beltway-and-interstate-270-suffers-major-defeat-in-key-vote/
Quote
A regional transportation panel dealt a potentially crippling blow to one of the Hogan administration’s top priorities — the widening on I-495 and I-270, and the replacement of the American Legion Bridge — on Wednesday.

Sitting as the Transportation Planning Board, county and municipal leaders from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia voted to remove the project from a federally-mandated environmental study.

The vote came during a meeting that grew contentious, with multiple Virginia Department of Transportation officials scrambling — unsuccessfully — to get the panel to reconsider its actions as soon as the roll-call was complete.

“It is a significant setback for that project,” said the board’s chairman, D.C. Council Member Charles Allen (D), in an interview. “This project is done for now. This vote effectively stops the project, because this is the federally-required process that has to happen for any project.”

The motion to strike the I-495/I-270 project from the Air Quality Conforming Analysis was offered by Gary Erenrich, a top Montgomery County transportation official, on behalf of Executive Marc B. Elrich (D).

“This is a vote of no-confidence for Gov. Hogan’s road-widening plan,” said Montgomery County Council Member Evan Glass (D). “The region’s leaders spoke loud and clear, and do not believe that the project has provided sufficient environmental analysis.”

The motion was supported by almost all of the panel’s Maryland and D.C. members, along with representatives from Arlington and Alexandria.

It was opposed by the Maryland Department of Transportation, the cities of Gaithersburg and Frederick, most localities in Northern Virginia, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Hogan unveiled his plan to add four “express toll lanes” to the frequently-congested highways in 2017. Under his proposal, the state would contract with an international consortium to finance and build the lanes and replace the 60-year-old bridge that spans the Potomac River.

Firms would recoup their investment through a complex system in which tolls fluctuate in response to traffic volume.

Project supporters described the TPB’s vote a major setback.

“I think the region has made a very bad decision regarding not moving forward with a project that would make a big difference to a lot of people,” said Maryland Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr., a member of the board.

“It’s going to be very difficult — if not impossible — to find alternatives that would do anywhere near as much to help hundreds of thousands of people,” he added. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

John B. Townsend II, head of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, called the vote “devastating to transportation progress in the region.”

“It is singularly one of the worst decisions in the history of the TPB,” he added. “Instead of investing in transportation, the TPB is creating huge problems for our transportation tomorrow when the region once again suffers from some of the worst congestion in the entire nation.”

In the lead-up to the vote, local leaders from Montgomery, Prince George’s and Frederick counties said Hogan’s proposal failed to adequately calculate the impact new lanes would have on the region’s environment. Nor, they said, would it account for the loss of parkland.

They also complained it doesn’t boost transit opportunities sufficiently or take into account the likely post-pandemic rise in telework.

“This is not ready for prime time,” said Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton. “This does nothing to move our region forward, not in social justice, not in environmental justice, and [it’s] not the way we should be going.”

Ridiculous. Even after Maryland significantly scaled back the project there is no pleasing these people.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 17, 2021, 05:45:31 AM
What a joke, honestly. But I guess this is the state of infrastructure projects in the 21st century, and even more so particularly with those anti-growth counties, specifically Montgomery. It makes me wonder how often these people have to sit in the traffic and experience it first hand. I’m going with very rarely. Anyone who is opposing the project is quite frankly voting to make the quality of life of its residents worse, but I guess they’re fine with that.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: vdeane on June 17, 2021, 02:15:28 PM
Seesh.  This is a terrible decision, one of the worst in the history of transportation in the area, if not the country.  That corridor isn't just used by locals - any thru traffic going between much of NY and PA to the south also uses that.  They should be required to build a new bridge connecting VA 28 to the ICC if they're not willing to build the HOT lanes - then the anti-car zealots would be required which accommodation to through/regional traffic they like less and pick the other one, instead of blocking everything and making everyone else suffer.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 17, 2021, 03:06:52 PM

Ridiculous. Even after Maryland significantly scaled back the project there is no pleasing these people.
Exactly. That’s why they should never have scaled any of it back. This is yet another issue of adding more and more layers of review onto infrastructure projects as it gives extremists more and more ways to stop it. Awfully convenient how they waited until the new Presidential administration to effectively cancel this project. This is indeed infuriating though I fully expect to see more of this and it’s yet another example of how the environmental review process can be “weaponized” to stop much needed projects.

I am going to try and find some outlets or people behind this to write and vocalize my frustrations. If anyone knows who I’d appreciate a pointer. I’ll do some research later anyways when I get free.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Old Dominionite on June 17, 2021, 09:33:39 PM
Montgomery County is doing all that it can to ensure that Maryland's economy takes a permanent back seat to Virginia's economy. Their loss.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 17, 2021, 11:07:41 PM
Hogan should give the what they deserve:  Both 270 split on ramps dropped to 2 lanes and metered.  Keep the Beltway free flowing.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 17, 2021, 11:10:45 PM
Hogan should give the what they deserve:  Both 270 split on ramps dropped to 2 lanes and metered.  Keep the Beltway free flowing.
Unfortunately, that would disproportionately affect long distance traffic as well… to bad it wasn’t a I-795 situation in Baltimore where it’s solely local traffic.

DC needs a western bypass for I-495->I-270 through traffic, and an eastern bypass for I-95 through traffic, but that will never happen with heavy environmental and NIMBY opposition. If those weren’t factors, there’s a strong chance such a corridor would’ve been built in the 1990s.

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Alps on June 18, 2021, 12:01:30 AM
I note that they killed the ability to do an environmental review by citing that not enough environmental review was done?
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 18, 2021, 08:41:31 AM
I note that they killed the ability to do an environmental review by citing that not enough environmental review was done?

You note correctly.  The air quality conformity determination is at its core a federally-mandated environmental review that has to take place on a periodic basis. 

Note also that a similar gambit was tried in the mod-2000's when the Montgomery County anti-highway cottage industry tried to get the MD-200 project removed from the air quality conformity process.  That effort was defeated.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jmacswimmer on June 18, 2021, 09:14:36 AM
The other potential issue here is how this could affect VDOT's 495 NEXT project - I recall Governors Northam & Hogan striking a deal in 2019 where portions of the Legion Bridge, despite falling almost entirely in Maryland, would be funded thru VA instead of MD.  Not to mention that 495 NEXT is being designed to tie in with MD P3, otherwise it would accomplish nothing besides pushing the existing bottleneck from VA 267 all the way up to the Potomac.

They should be required to build a new bridge connecting VA 28 to the ICC if they're not willing to build the HOT lanes
DC needs a western bypass for I-495->I-270 through traffic, and an eastern bypass for I-95 through traffic, but that will never happen with heavy environmental and NIMBY opposition.

Yup...In a perfect world I think the above is needed in addition to a widened Legion Bridge (would also be great for Dulles access from MD), but unfortunately I agree that will never happen - as much opposition as there is in urbanized Montgomery County, multiply that by several magnitudes for the rural Agricultural Reserve portions of MoCo.

At least US 301 will be a slightly more attractive eastern bypass once the new Nice Bridge is complete, but of course that does nothing to eliminate the slowdowns in La Plata & Waldorf.  US 15 to the west is getting increasingly congested between Leesburg & US 340, but I'm not aware of any plans for that corridor.

I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

I have the utmost appreciation for that road every single time I use it :-D (especially southbound, when I've probably escaped from congestion upstream on I-495 & I-95!)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: jeffandnicole on June 18, 2021, 09:30:12 AM
I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 18, 2021, 09:50:25 PM
I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on June 18, 2021, 11:01:45 PM
I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.

If you designed it like the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, maybe local traffic would stay off, but I'm sure it would get plenty of long-haul. And as we see with the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, it still gets pretty heavy at times.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: sprjus4 on June 18, 2021, 11:56:17 PM
I-295 around Richmond and Petersburg is a beautiful example of what should exist around DC - 6-8 lane rural 70 mph freeway that avoids both cities entirely, and never have congestion.

True in theory, but the population around DC is much greater than what exists around Richmond. The only way to limit traffic on a new highway is to charge tolls, and in the wealthy DC area, you'll still have more traffic on a new toll road then you would on that 295 bypass.
Toll road, interchanges limited to major junctions (interstates, freeways, the most major arterials) and spaced at least 8-10 miles apart minimum, and 6 lanes (mostly in Virginia south of the metro) to 8 lanes (everywhere else) wide. These were the original proposals for the road that was ultimately canceled, on both the east and west side.

With the proper design, local traffic would be deterred from with using it because there would not be much viability, and it would be limited to regional and through traffic.

If you designed it like the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, maybe local traffic would stay off, but I'm sure it would get plenty of long-haul. And as we see with the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ, it still gets pretty heavy at times.
Which is why you would build such a facility of a minimum of 6 lanes, 8 in the more developed areas (but still keep the long distances between interchanges).
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Jmiles32 on June 21, 2021, 12:42:34 AM
A couple thoughts on this current I-495/I-270 P3 debacle:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/16/maryland-toll-lanes-beltway/
Quote
After the meeting, Elrich said traffic congestion could be sufficiently relieved by adding two rush-hour reversible lanes to each highway. He said he thought two lanes would fit within both highways’ rights of way, which would reduce the potential effects on surrounding parkland and neighborhoods. They also might not require tolls if the state financed the lanes itself, he said.

“This is a big deal in terms of them having to rethink their plans,” Elrich said of the Hogan administration after the vote. “If they do it as two reversible lanes, this becomes a whole lot easier.”

Speaking in favor of striking the four-lane proposal from the regional plan, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton told fellow board members that nine Rockville neighborhoods would be “terribly impacted” by a widening of I-270.

1. It appears that a key disagreement over this potential project is whether or not the I-270 portion of the lanes should be two lanes in each direction or just two reversible lanes. While I have yet to see what the exact difference is in terms of property and environmental impacts, I find it interesting that the southern portion of I-270 was planned to have bi directional HOT lanes while the rest was planned to have reversible. Why the inconsistency? IMO similarly to I-95, the heavy amount of unpredictable thru traffic on I-270 makes bidirectional HOT lanes from the Beltway to Frederick absolutely essential. Now whether they are one or two HOT lanes in each direction is another story but hell at this point I would be thrilled in I-270 had 2 GP and 2 bidirectional HOT lanes north of Clarksburg. Looking back at Virginia's growing HOT lane system, I guarantee VDOT and probably Transurban wish that they had made the I-95 HOT lanes bi-directional and who knows according to the recent I-95 corridor study in Virginia they will definitely be looking into potentially still doing that down the road. Even I-66, a road that handles a much lower amount of thru traffic compared to I-95, I-495, and I-270 is getting bidirectional HOT lanes and even though at the moment while it may seem like overkill, it is certainly something that I ain't complaining about because when it comes to predicting traffic patterns in the future, its much better to be safe than sorry. 

2. Whoever was in charge of this project's PR did not do a good job. A ton of important information for this project from the get-go was either unclear or seemingly rushed which helped strengthen the opposition's argument and support. There were also a ton of myths or IMO easily debunked arguments from the opposition that never seemed to be publicly expelled or challenged which I'm sure misinformed some people. The "we want more transit" complaint should have easily been debunked by saying that this project provides exactly that via encouraging more buses and carpooling. The "it will only worsen traffic" complaint should have also been debunked by saying that future phases of this project such as extending the lanes the rest of the way up I-270 would eliminate any new lane drop bottleneck that this first phase of the project would create. Showing a clear preliminary design of how the HOT lanes (on both I-495 and I-270) would have been planned to end and merge with the current GP lanes, at least in this first project phase would have also been extremely beneficial IMO. The "oh lets just have the federal government fund it" argument would have been another one since well, its the federal government and relying on them to agree to fund anything is always dicey. I'm sure there's some other myths that could have be debunked too.

3. Lastly, what probably irritates me off the most about this lunacy is how it directly affects American Legion Bridge rebuild efforts and Virginia's plan to extend their HOT lanes 3 miles north from the DTR to the Potomac River. Also why the hell did the Arlington and Alexandria TPB representatives vote against this I-270/I-495 HOT lane project? Do not both these localities currently benefit from HOT lanes on I-66 and I-395?. 
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 21, 2021, 01:48:03 PM
A couple thoughts on this current I-495/I-270 P3 debacle:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/16/maryland-toll-lanes-beltway/
Quote
After the meeting, Elrich said traffic congestion could be sufficiently relieved by adding two rush-hour reversible lanes to each highway. He said he thought two lanes would fit within both highways’ rights of way, which would reduce the potential effects on surrounding parkland and neighborhoods. They also might not require tolls if the state financed the lanes itself, he said.

“This is a big deal in terms of them having to rethink their plans,” Elrich said of the Hogan administration after the vote. “If they do it as two reversible lanes, this becomes a whole lot easier.”

Speaking in favor of striking the four-lane proposal from the regional plan, Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton told fellow board members that nine Rockville neighborhoods would be “terribly impacted” by a widening of I-270.

1. It appears that a key disagreement over this potential project is whether or not the I-270 portion of the lanes should be two lanes in each direction or just two reversible lanes. While I have yet to see what the exact difference is in terms of property and environmental impacts, I find it interesting that the southern portion of I-270 was planned to have bi directional HOT lanes while the rest was planned to have reversible. Why the inconsistency? IMO similarly to I-95, the heavy amount of unpredictable thru traffic on I-270 makes bidirectional HOT lanes from the Beltway to Frederick absolutely essential. Now whether they are one or two HOT lanes in each direction is another story but hell at this point I would be thrilled in I-270 had 2 GP and 2 bidirectional HOT lanes north of Clarksburg. Looking back at Virginia's growing HOT lane system, I guarantee VDOT and probably Transurban wish that they had made the I-95 HOT lanes bi-directional and who knows according to the recent I-95 corridor study in Virginia they will definitely be looking into potentially still doing that down the road. Even I-66, a road that handles a much lower amount of thru traffic compared to I-95, I-495, and I-270 is getting bidirectional HOT lanes and even though at the moment while it may seem like overkill, it is certainly something that I ain't complaining about because when it comes to predicting traffic patterns in the future, its much better to be safe than sorry.

Calling for reversible lanes is IMO a scam intended to kill the project, for this is not a place where they will work well.  The area in question is not a radial corridor to the employment centers of Arlington County, Virginia and the District of Columbia. 

The New Jersey Sierra Club attempted the same scam when the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was planning for the widening of the Turnpike between Exits 6 and 8A.  Never mind that the Turnpike is much more than a radial highway.

Your point about I-95 needing full-time managed lanes in both directions south of Springfield is correct.

I think that the four managed lanes are needed all the way to I-70 in Frederick.  Montgomery County has long said it does not want to allow much future development except condominiums and apartments, so the single-family detached homes will go in Frederick County and other jurisdictions beyond the reach of the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County planning staff.  Look at Urbana (off of MD-80 near I-270 for an example).

2. Whoever was in charge of this project's PR did not do a good job. A ton of important information for this project from the get-go was either unclear or seemingly rushed which helped strengthen the opposition's argument and support. There were also a ton of myths or IMO easily debunked arguments from the opposition that never seemed to be publicly expelled or challenged which I'm sure misinformed some people. The "we want more transit" complaint should have easily been debunked by saying that this project provides exactly that via encouraging more buses and carpooling. The "it will only worsen traffic" complaint should have also been debunked by saying that future phases of this project such as extending the lanes the rest of the way up I-270 would eliminate any new lane drop bottleneck that this first phase of the project would create. Showing a clear preliminary design of how the HOT lanes (on both I-495 and I-270) would have been planned to end and merge with the current GP lanes, at least in this first project phase would have also been extremely beneficial IMO. The "oh lets just have the federal government fund it" argument would have been another one since well, its the federal government and relying on them to agree to fund anything is always dicey. I'm sure there's some other myths that could have be debunked too.

Agree about poor PR in responding to claims from opponents.

The "we need more transit" argument is a standard one in Montgomery County by the county's anti-highway cottage industry.  It was repeatedly used by opponents of the MD-200 (ICC) project, including by one opponent who formerly lived in Takoma Park and stated that the D.C. streetcar system should have been "revived" instead of building MD-200.  Curiously, none of the people calling for more transit seemed to have heard of the Purple Line between New Carrollton and Bethesda.  And no, I doubt it will ever be extended beyond Bethesda to Tysons Corners for NIMBY reasons.

Another anti-ICC person claimed that "we need Portland [Oregon]," as in the regional governance agency that exists on the Oregon side only of the Portland area.  The same problem exists in Washington area.  I seriously doubt that the legislatures in Richmond and Annapolis would agree to a Portland model of land use planning and transportation planning.

3. Lastly, what probably irritates me off the most about this lunacy is how it directly affects American Legion Bridge rebuild efforts and Virginia's plan to extend their HOT lanes 3 miles north from the DTR to the Potomac River. Also why the hell did the Arlington and Alexandria TPB representatives vote against this I-270/I-495 HOT lane project? Do not both these localities currently benefit from HOT lanes on I-66 and I-395?. 

I do not really know why anyone of the members counties and cities voted against the project.

It is not widely known, but the American Legion Bridge is about as old as the now-demolished old Woodrow Wilson Bridge and at least one of the six bridges that makes up the American Legion Bridge is in poor structural condition (it had a deck replacement in the late 1980's and was widened to the 10 lane bridge that is there today at that time.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 23, 2021, 07:54:16 AM
Maryland says it needs to cut transit, highway projects to offset lost private investment in toll lanes plan - Montgomery County’s executive says Gov. Larry Hogan is ‘arm-twisting’ after his toll proposal lost a key vote last week (https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/06/22/maryland-highway-projects/)

Quote
A week after losing a key vote on a state plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, Maryland transportation officials said they must cut other road and transit projects to offset $6 billion in private investment that would be lost with the highway-widening proposal.

Quote
The letter dated Monday from the Maryland Department of Transportation to the region’s Transportation Planning Board prompted one local official — and a key toll lanes critic — to accuse Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of “arm-twisting” to try to win back support for his highway plan.

Quote
In the letter, deputy transportation secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr. said the state had counted on $6 billion in private financing as part of a public-private partnership to replace the aging American Legion Bridge and make other highway improvements, along with building the toll lanes. Without that private investment, Lewis said, the state would have to divert money from other transit and highway projects to maintain the bridge and interstates as federally required.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 28, 2021, 07:43:52 PM
WTOP Radio: Lock Hogan, Elrich in a room until they reach Md. toll lanes compromise, Leggett says (https://wtop.com/maryland/2021/06/lock-hogan-elrich-in-a-room-until-they-reach-md-toll-lanes-compromise-leggett-says/)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 30, 2021, 12:14:30 AM
WTOP Radio: Legislators accuse MDOT of withholding highway-financing study (https://wtop.com/maryland/2021/06/legislators-accuse-mdot-of-withholding-highway-financing-study/)

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Two Montgomery County lawmakers suggested on Tuesday that an analysis of the state’s controversial Capital Beltway/I-270 proposal is being withheld by top transportation officials in order to make it harder to stop the project.

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And a legislative budget analyst said that Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan’s oft-repeated claim — that the state lacks the resources to widen the two highways and replace the American Legion Bridge — has never been put to the test.

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Their comments were made during a hearing held by two General Assembly subcommittees that oversee transportation policy.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 05, 2021, 03:04:03 AM
Washington Post opinion column: Maryland and Virginia diverge when it comes to laying asphalt to widen highways (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-maryland-highway-widening/2021/07/04/8d3c03f0-db3d-11eb-9bbb-37c30dcf9363_story.html)

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Northern Virginia has widened its main highways since 2012 by adding 53 miles of privately operated tolled express lanes. It is currently constructing 33 miles more. Across the river, Maryland can’t agree to build an inch.

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Does that mean the Old Dominion has a more pragmatic approach, friendly to both business and drivers? Or is the Free State just more environmentally responsible and wary of letting private companies run public services?

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The answer is both, and the contrast highlights a deep difference in the political climates on opposite banks of the Potomac.

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It’s hard to overstate the divergence between Virginia and Maryland regarding the laying of asphalt in recent years.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 07, 2021, 01:27:01 AM
WTOP Radio: Seeking ‘re-vote’ on highway project, Hogan power play sways county leaders (https://wtop.com/maryland/2021/07/seeking-re-vote-on-highway-project-hogan-power-play-sways-county-leaders/)
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on July 09, 2021, 10:04:34 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/08/maryland-beltway-toll-lanes/
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: kernals12 on July 21, 2021, 03:21:00 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/21/maryland-toll-lanes-vote/&ved=2ahUKEwjkq9z37_TxAhUdEFkFHQ69AB0QxfQBMAB6BAgDEAs&usg=AOvVaw2tCiLA9Xdu3YneapX7reIi

The widening is back on. The anti-car astroturfers lose.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on July 21, 2021, 04:00:19 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/21/maryland-toll-lanes-vote/&ved=2ahUKEwjkq9z37_TxAhUdEFkFHQ69AB0QxfQBMAB6BAgDEAs&usg=AOvVaw2tCiLA9Xdu3YneapX7reIi

The widening is back on. The anti-car astroturfers lose.
I don't think they lost.  They got a transit concession for the vote to pass.  MoCo has had the corridor city transitway in it's plans for at least 10 years.  The ideas has evolved over the years.  But it has always lacked funding.  So they got something they wanted too.  Which is probably how they figured they could get it to play out to get what they wanted.

Would they have preferred no highway widening?  Sure.  But it doesn't look like all of them were willing to die on that mountain.  This way both sides are a bit happy.  You know what they say: you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. So some happiness across the board is not shabby.

The problem is what transit concessions will be needed when doing the next parts?: I-270 north of I-370 and I-495 east of I-270.  There may not be a concession large enough for the latter.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: mrsman on July 21, 2021, 06:23:19 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/21/maryland-toll-lanes-vote/&ved=2ahUKEwjkq9z37_TxAhUdEFkFHQ69AB0QxfQBMAB6BAgDEAs&usg=AOvVaw2tCiLA9Xdu3YneapX7reIi

The widening is back on. The anti-car astroturfers lose.
I don't think they lost.  They got a transit concession for the vote to pass.  MoCo has had the corridor city transitway in it's plans for at least 10 years.  The ideas has evolved over the years.  But it has always lacked funding.  So they got something they wanted too.  Which is probably how they figured they could get it to play out to get what they wanted.

Would they have preferred no highway widening?  Sure.  But it doesn't look like all of them were willing to die on that mountain.  This way both sides are a bit happy.  You know what they say: you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. So some happiness across the board is not shabby.

The problem is what transit concessions will be needed when doing the next parts?: I-270 north of I-370 and I-495 east of I-270.  There may not be a concession large enough for the latter.

I really think the 495 is off the table because there are too many homes that would need to be demolished.  There are far fewer obstacles on the 270, so if you play politics, you can get the widening that would be very helpful.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 21, 2021, 07:43:58 PM
I can't read the article, but I lived there 1985-1991 and "red line to Germantown" was the buzz word phrase.  How does this proposal compare.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: kernals12 on July 21, 2021, 08:11:14 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2021/07/21/maryland-toll-lanes-vote/&ved=2ahUKEwjkq9z37_TxAhUdEFkFHQ69AB0QxfQBMAB6BAgDEAs&usg=AOvVaw2tCiLA9Xdu3YneapX7reIi

The widening is back on. The anti-car astroturfers lose.
I don't think they lost.  They got a transit concession for the vote to pass.  MoCo has had the corridor city transitway in it's plans for at least 10 years.  The ideas has evolved over the years.  But it has always lacked funding.  So they got something they wanted too.  Which is probably how they figured they could get it to play out to get what they wanted.

Would they have preferred no highway widening?  Sure.  But it doesn't look like all of them were willing to die on that mountain.  This way both sides are a bit happy.  You know what they say: you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. So some happiness across the board is not shabby.

The problem is what transit concessions will be needed when doing the next parts?: I-270 north of I-370 and I-495 east of I-270.  There may not be a concession large enough for the latter.

I really think the 495 is off the table because there are too many homes that would need to be demolished.  There are far fewer obstacles on the 270, so if you play politics, you can get the widening that would be very helpful.

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on July 21, 2021, 08:29:26 PM
What are "the 495" and "the 270"?

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.

About as much chance of that as there is a chance of $100 bills falling out of your arse the next time you take a crap.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: kernals12 on July 21, 2021, 09:20:37 PM
What are "the 495" and "the 270"?

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.

About as much chance of that as there is a chance of $100 bills falling out of your arse the next time you take a crap.


I'm just saying it's an option. Honestly though I think cooperative adaptive cruise control will eliminate all congestion in the near future and then they can turn the existing express lanes into bike lanes.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: Plutonic Panda on July 21, 2021, 09:43:35 PM
What are "the 495" and "the 270"?

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.

About as much chance of that as there is a chance of $100 bills falling out of your arse the next time you take a crap.
Then the homes need to go. This ridiculous mentality that always ends in the only option being is no build needs to stop. Either the homes are demoed or an elevated deck is built. Multiple options have been given.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: 1995hoo on July 21, 2021, 10:30:00 PM
What are "the 495" and "the 270"?

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.

About as much chance of that as there is a chance of $100 bills falling out of your arse the next time you take a crap.


I'm just saying it's an option. Honestly though I think cooperative adaptive cruise control will eliminate all congestion in the near future and then they can turn the existing express lanes into bike lanes.

OK, now it’s clear you’re not serious. I’m glad you finally admitted that.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: famartin on July 21, 2021, 10:32:34 PM
What are "the 495" and "the 270"?

You could put the HOT Lanes on a second deck.

About as much chance of that as there is a chance of $100 bills falling out of your arse the next time you take a crap.
Then the homes need to go. This ridiculous mentality that always ends in the only option being is no build needs to stop. Either the homes are demoed or an elevated deck is built. Multiple options have been given.

I suppose some people have sentimentality if they’ve lived some place a long time, but I suspect it’s more the objections of everyone else left behind who would now be that much closer to the highway. Those who actually would be demoed can’t really enjoy living next to it that much, can they? Seems like a good deal for them.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: BrianP on July 22, 2021, 02:46:47 PM
I can't read the article, but I lived there 1985-1991 and "red line to Germantown" was the buzz word phrase.  How does this proposal compare.
I'm missing about a ten year gap after that since I've only been here for 20 years.  So I can't compare to that.  But the CCT started as light rail then changed to BRT.

https://www.cctmaryland.com/index.php/about-the-project/project-overview
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on July 22, 2021, 04:32:49 PM
Basically, when I was around, the map pitched was a red line extension of Washington Grove, Doesn't own Gaithersburg, Flake Forest Mall, NIST and then became detailess after that.
Title: Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2021, 10:18:59 PM
I really think the 495 is off the table because there are too many homes that would need to be demolished.  There are far fewer obstacles on the 270, so if you play politics, you can get the widening that would be very helpful.

It is true that the right-of-way is constrained across most of Montgomery County (originally I-495 in Maryland was six lanes from the Potomac River to the Potomac River (some early sections, including between MD-193 (Exit 29) and MD-97 (Exit 31) were opened as four lanes but widened to six by the time that the entire road was opened in 1964).

But as I think I have mentioned here before - the parkland along the way and not the homes was and is the bigger impediment to widening.  Between MD-650 (Exit 28) and I-270 (Exit 35), the I-495 corridor crosses several parks that belong to the bicounty Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (anyplace else these would be county parks).  They are:  Northwest Branch stream valley (crossed by a high and massive steel arch that is not visible to I-495 drivers);  Sligo Creek stream valley (crossed by a modest concrete culvert where the freeway crosses the stream valley on a large filled-in dirt embankment) and Rock Creek stream valley (crossed near the Mormon Temple over the creek and adjacent Stoneybrook Drive).  From Stoneybrook Drive almost to MD-355 (Exit 34), I-495 runs hard by the bed of the creek.  In addition to having the same ownership, all of these parks have something else in common - the purchase of the lands were financed in whole or in part by the federal Capper-Cramton Act (originally passed 1930 and amended later).  The significance of Capper-Cramton cannot be understated - long before the USDOT Act was passed in 1966 (with its Section 4(f) that limited taking of parkland for federally-financed transportation projects), lands purchased under Capper-Cramton had protection in federal law against conversion to non-park uses. 

in the late 1950's, the Maryland State Roads Commission was able to take enough parkland to build the six-lane I-495 but not really more, and even when I-495 was widened to 8 lanes (between I-295 near the Wilson Bridge and MD-97 in the early 1970's and not for many more years between MD-97 and the American Legion Bridge in the late 1980's and early 1990's), the state was not able to take much additional right-of-way from the Capper-Cramton parks.  I suspect that if MDOT today were to try and take enough land for four at-grade managed lanes, it would be challenged in court, and the state would lose - because of Capper-Cramton and Section 4(f).

So if there were to be managed lanes in the "top" part of I-495, they would presumably need to go up to an elevated structure (perhaps similar to I-110 (Harbor Freeway) in Los Angeles County, California) or down to some sort of bored tunnel.