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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 590652 times)

Jmiles32

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2825 on: January 13, 2018, 12:24:35 AM »

I-95 needs more thru capacity.  Adding auxiliary lanes on I-95 between each exit would help but would not address that.
^Agreed which is a large part of why VDOT is actively studying how to improve the US-301/VA-207 corridor as the main alternative for long distance traffic wishing to bypass the Northern Virginia area.

Unless all of it is freeway between I-95/VA-207 and MD I-695, it won't provide much traffic relief to I-95, if any, considering that MD US-301 in southern MD has at least 50 traffic signals.

Perhaps VDOT hopes that by upgrading their portion of the US-301/VA-207 corridor, the pressure will then be all on Maryland to consider at least somewhat improve their section, even if it's just to the MD-5 split north of Waldorf.

I would like to see an in-depth traffic study to see what if any impact would occur to the HOT lanes with 4th lane widening of the general purpose roadways, and on a year to year basis in the future.   Also quantify the cost of a compensation event, make an estimate to see how affordable it would be for VDOT.
IMHO it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study to figure out that by adding a 4th lane past Woodbridge, arguably the worst consistent bottleneck in the region and in order to avoid it, a big reason why so many single drivers are willing to pay to use the HOT lanes, Transburban could indeed face a large loss of HOT lanes revenue if it is removed by simply just extending the 4th lane south. The FredEX project will get rid of the Garrisonville and hopefully the Fredricksburg bottlenecks, therefore after 2022 making Woodbridge really the only major one left due to that lane drop.
Look, I am a systems analyst and data analyst, and I can't accept a comment like "it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study".  I want to see a VDOT study of exactly what the impacts would be to the HOT lane usage and the revenue, and quantify exactly what would be the cost of any compensation event.

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to a VDOT study regarding the potential impact widening I-95 would have on the HOT lanes. I just don't think that you(and Transburban) will like the findings.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 12:32:27 AM by Jmiles32 »
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2826 on: January 13, 2018, 12:34:18 AM »

Unless all of it is freeway between I-95/VA-207 and MD I-695, it won't provide much traffic relief to I-95, if any, considering that MD US-301 in southern MD has at least 50 traffic signals.
Perhaps VDOT hopes that by upgrading their portion of the US-301/VA-207 corridor, the pressure will then be all on Maryland to consider at least somewhat improve their section, even if it's just to the MD-5 split north of Waldorf.

Good luck getting Maryland to do any highway improvement that they don't want to make.

I would like to see an in-depth traffic study to see what if any impact would occur to the HOT lanes with 4th lane widening of the general purpose roadways, and on a year to year basis in the future.   Also quantify the cost of a compensation event, make an estimate to see how affordable it would be for VDOT.
IMHO it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study to figure out that by adding a 4th lane past Woodbridge, arguably the worst consistent bottleneck in the region and in order to avoid it, a big reason why so many single drivers are willing to pay to use the HOT lanes, Transburban could indeed face a large loss of HOT lanes revenue if it is removed by simply just extending the 4th lane south. The FredEX project will get rid of the Garrisonville and hopefully the Fredricksburg bottlenecks, therefore after 2022 making Woodbridge really the only major one left due to that lane drop.
Look, I am a systems analyst and data analyst, and I can't accept a comment like "it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study".  I want to see a VDOT study of exactly what the impacts would be to the HOT lane usage and the revenue, and quantify exactly what would be the cost of any compensation event.
Don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to a VDOT study regarding the potential impact widening I-95 would have on the HOT lanes. I just don't think that you(and Transburban) will like the findings.

NO GOOD!  VDOT does the study, then we can talk about it.  Until then it is just blowing smoke.

froggie

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2827 on: January 13, 2018, 09:38:16 AM »

I-95 needs more thru capacity.  Adding auxiliary lanes on I-95 between each exit would help but would not address that.
^Agreed which is a large part of why VDOT is actively studying how to improve the US-301/VA-207 corridor as the main alternative for long distance traffic wishing to bypass the Northern Virginia area.

Unless all of it is freeway between I-95/VA-207 and MD I-695, it won't provide much traffic relief to I-95, if any, considering that MD US-301 in southern MD has at least 50 traffic signals.

This would be a "nice to have", but won't really benefit I-95.  In the grand scheme of things, there isn't a whole lot of long-distance traffic on I-95 through the D.C. area compared to local traffic (I've estimated no more than 30K in the past).  And there's enough latent demand in the D.C. area and Northern Virginia to where any diversion of through traffic you get from I-95 will quickly fill back up with local traffic.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2828 on: January 13, 2018, 10:48:32 AM »

I would like to see an in-depth traffic study to see what if any impact would occur to the HOT lanes with 4th lane widening of the general purpose roadways, and on a year to year basis in the future.   Also quantify the cost of a compensation event, make an estimate to see how affordable it would be for VDOT.
IMHO it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study to figure out that by adding a 4th lane past Woodbridge, arguably the worst consistent bottleneck in the region and in order to avoid it, a big reason why so many single drivers are willing to pay to use the HOT lanes, Transburban could indeed face a large loss of HOT lanes revenue if it is removed by simply just extending the 4th lane south. The FredEX project will get rid of the Garrisonville and hopefully the Fredricksburg bottlenecks, therefore after 2022 making Woodbridge really the only major one left due to that lane drop.
Look, I am a systems analyst and data analyst, and I can't accept a comment like "it wouldn't require an in-depth traffic study".  I want to see a VDOT study of exactly what the impacts would be to the HOT lane usage and the revenue, and quantify exactly what would be the cost of any compensation event.
Don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to a VDOT study regarding the potential impact widening I-95 would have on the HOT lanes. I just don't think that you(and Transburban) will like the findings.

NO GOOD!  VDOT does the study, then we can talk about it.  Until then it is just blowing smoke.

Fair enough, although the findings of this study may give us somewhat of a ballpark answer:
http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/fredericksburg/spotsylvania-lawmaker-proposes-bill-to-add-lanes-to--mile/article_9231bc58-f743-59d3-a4f7-a353e5588bc5.html
Quote
VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon wrote in an email that the cost per mile of Cole’s proposal would vary based on “the surrounding terrain, development, utilities, environmental context, required right-of-way and other factors.”

“The agency will work to provide the General Assembly with cost and impact information as the legislation is under consideration,” she added.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2829 on: January 13, 2018, 01:05:35 PM »

I-95 needs more thru capacity.  Adding auxiliary lanes on I-95 between each exit would help but would not address that.
^Agreed which is a large part of why VDOT is actively studying how to improve the US-301/VA-207 corridor as the main alternative for long distance traffic wishing to bypass the Northern Virginia area.
Unless all of it is freeway between I-95/VA-207 and MD I-695, it won't provide much traffic relief to I-95, if any, considering that MD US-301 in southern MD has at least 50 traffic signals.
This would be a "nice to have", but won't really benefit I-95.  In the grand scheme of things, there isn't a whole lot of long-distance traffic on I-95 through the D.C. area compared to local traffic (I've estimated no more than 30K in the past).  And there's enough latent demand in the D.C. area and Northern Virginia to where any diversion of through traffic you get from I-95 will quickly fill back up with local traffic.

I agree that a bypass won't necessarily affect I-95 traffic much in the long term, but that ~30,000 VPD would certainly have a major benefit if they had a reliable freeway bypass of the D.C. area, and that would probably include 6,000 to 8,000 large trucks.  It would be a huge benefit for the long distance traffic in the I-95 corridor.

Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2830 on: January 13, 2018, 01:09:23 PM »

Fair enough, although the findings of this study may give us somewhat of a ballpark answer:
http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/fredericksburg/spotsylvania-lawmaker-proposes-bill-to-add-lanes-to--mile/article_9231bc58-f743-59d3-a4f7-a353e5588bc5.html
Quote
VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon wrote in an email that the cost per mile of Cole’s proposal would vary based on “the surrounding terrain, development, utilities, environmental context, required right-of-way and other factors.”
“The agency will work to provide the General Assembly with cost and impact information as the legislation is under consideration,” she added.

Legislation to do an end-run around Smart Scale, for 44 miles of I-95 widening?  Again, I think that is a bad idea; either they should use Smart Scale 100% of the time or they should get rid of it altogether.

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2831 on: January 17, 2018, 09:48:11 AM »

Does anybody know what the law is on Virginia regarding school zone speed limits when the schools are on a delayed opening or early closing? In other words, Fairfax County opened two hours late today. The "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" sign outside Edison HS was flashing at 8:00 this morning, even though school wasn't opening until 10:00, presumably because they can't reprogram the signs on such short notice or else they just don't bother for one day. So the question is, do you have to obey the 25-mph school zone speed limit at 8:00 under those circumstances? I assume the answer is probably "yes," but it was certainly pretty clear that a lot of people on the road this morning felt otherwise. (I was going to the gas station and the lady in front of me slowed to 25. The guy behind me was already following too closely and almost rear-ended me when I slowed because of her. The normal speed limit is 35 and I might have split the difference and gone 30 had she not been ahead of me.)
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2832 on: January 17, 2018, 01:25:27 PM »

Does anybody know what the law is on Virginia regarding school zone speed limits when the schools are on a delayed opening or early closing? In other words, Fairfax County opened two hours late today. The "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" sign outside Edison HS was flashing at 8:00 this morning, even though school wasn't opening until 10:00, presumably because they can't reprogram the signs on such short notice or else they just don't bother for one day. So the question is, do you have to obey the 25-mph school zone speed limit at 8:00 under those circumstances? I assume the answer is probably "yes," but it was certainly pretty clear that a lot of people on the road this morning felt otherwise. (I was going to the gas station and the lady in front of me slowed to 25. The guy behind me was already following too closely and almost rear-ended me when I slowed because of her. The normal speed limit is 35 and I might have split the difference and gone 30 had she not been ahead of me.)

Good question.  I see the "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" signs activating even on national holidays when school is not in session and there is no activity at the school, at least where I live (Richmond).  I suppose the municipality could send a worker out to each school to disable the warning on such a day.

VTGoose

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2833 on: January 18, 2018, 10:45:25 AM »

Does anybody know what the law is on Virginia regarding school zone speed limits when the schools are on a delayed opening or early closing? In other words, Fairfax County opened two hours late today. The "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" sign outside Edison HS was flashing at 8:00 this morning, even though school wasn't opening until 10:00, presumably because they can't reprogram the signs on such short notice or else they just don't bother for one day. So the question is, do you have to obey the 25-mph school zone speed limit at 8:00 under those circumstances? I assume the answer is probably "yes," but it was certainly pretty clear that a lot of people on the road this morning felt otherwise. (I was going to the gas station and the lady in front of me slowed to 25. The guy behind me was already following too closely and almost rear-ended me when I slowed because of her. The normal speed limit is 35 and I might have split the difference and gone 30 had she not been ahead of me.)

Good question.  I see the "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" signs activating even on national holidays when school is not in session and there is no activity at the school, at least where I live (Richmond).  I suppose the municipality could send a worker out to each school to disable the warning on such a day.

Checked the Code of Virginia and it only talks about the how and when of such signs (see https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-873/ ) but it doesn't discuss anything about school not in session. I would suggest that it is a local issue and the cops would be aware of a school closing or delay -- and they would have to be pretty mean to run radar in a school zone when school is closed just to catch people who don't drop their speed (knowing school is closed). Even if a ticket is issued, it would seem to be an easy argument to make in front of a judge (but I'll let someone else give it a shot).

Bruce in frigid Blacksburg
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2834 on: January 18, 2018, 11:32:53 AM »

Does anybody know what the law is on Virginia regarding school zone speed limits when the schools are on a delayed opening or early closing? In other words, Fairfax County opened two hours late today. The "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" sign outside Edison HS was flashing at 8:00 this morning, even though school wasn't opening until 10:00, presumably because they can't reprogram the signs on such short notice or else they just don't bother for one day. So the question is, do you have to obey the 25-mph school zone speed limit at 8:00 under those circumstances? I assume the answer is probably "yes," but it was certainly pretty clear that a lot of people on the road this morning felt otherwise. (I was going to the gas station and the lady in front of me slowed to 25. The guy behind me was already following too closely and almost rear-ended me when I slowed because of her. The normal speed limit is 35 and I might have split the difference and gone 30 had she not been ahead of me.)

Good question.  I see the "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" signs activating even on national holidays when school is not in session and there is no activity at the school, at least where I live (Richmond).  I suppose the municipality could send a worker out to each school to disable the warning on such a day.

I've noticed such signs activating in the City of Richmond at weird hours, actually. I don't know if local police are using them as speed traps or what, but it's weird to be driving up a street at about 8pm and seeing those lights flashing.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #2835 on: January 18, 2018, 01:25:08 PM »

I see the "school zone speed limit 25 when flashing" signs activating even on national holidays when school is not in session and there is no activity at the school, at least where I live (Richmond).  I suppose the municipality could send a worker out to each school to disable the warning on such a day.
Checked the Code of Virginia and it only talks about the how and when of such signs (see https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-873/ ) but it doesn't discuss anything about school not in session. I would suggest that it is a local issue and the cops would be aware of a school closing or delay -- and they would have to be pretty mean to run radar in a school zone when school is closed just to catch people who don't drop their speed (knowing school is closed). Even if a ticket is issued, it would seem to be an easy argument to make in front of a judge (but I'll let someone else give it a shot).
Bruce in frigid Blacksburg

I do volunteer uniformed work for Richmond Police Department, not as a sworn officer, not with any arrest powers, but with a variety of other duties that include some traffic control functions.  Officers have a key to gain access to traffic signal controllers if for some official reason they need to override the normal sequencing, plus training as to using the manual options.  So it would be possible for officers or DPW workers to turn the school signals off on a weekday that it is not needed, or on at 8:00 pm if there is some major school function at that time.

The only caveat I would provide is that in a city the size of Richmond there are probably at least 30 such school zones, that would need manual intervention. 

But the controllers are programmed to know not to activate on weekend days, and not in the summer.  Holidays would vary in date from year to year and the system would need some kind of direct update capability and not just rote programming.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 01:31:38 PM by Beltway »
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