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Author Topic: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes  (Read 383243 times)

1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1800 on: March 19, 2021, 09:09:08 AM »

I can't believe that the car successfully made it thru the entire series of closed gates and kept on going...

On one hand I wonder if VDOT/Transurban will take another look at the gate system because of this, but on the other hand you can't really design against crazy situations like this...that driver was clearly determined to get thru onto the express lanes, wrong-way or not.

Even if they reinforced the gates, someone could still drive through the median access points for law enforcement and emergency response vehicles. Someone who doesn't care about smashing through the gates surely wouldn't be deterred by the plastic bollards!
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

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

jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1801 on: March 19, 2021, 11:14:00 AM »

I can't believe that the car successfully made it thru the entire series of closed gates and kept on going...

On one hand I wonder if VDOT/Transurban will take another look at the gate system because of this, but on the other hand you can't really design against crazy situations like this...that driver was clearly determined to get thru onto the express lanes, wrong-way or not.

Gate arms are traditionally fiberglass or 1"x3" pieces of wood. They are generally made to breakaway when hit.  They are more of a simple deterrent rather than a hard stoppage.

Example of a typical gate:  https://goo.gl/maps/2jTJxNcV1mKNxz7D7 .  At some ramps, the gate doesn't even go across the entire lane.

The NJ Turnpike has seemingly more meaty barriers, and they generally do go across the lane, but they will snap if a car tries to barrel thru it:  https://goo.gl/maps/mXHGg1GgTEzk4aDY9

But another difference that's relevant here:  The barriers on 95 in Virginia can be rammed by motorists going highway speeds.  65, 75, 85, doesn't matter...they'll snap easily.

I never did care for the gates used down there; they're more like a "well, we trust that people won't do the wrong thing" dissuasion, rather than a strong barrier.
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1802 on: March 19, 2021, 11:30:49 AM »

Heh, regarding gate arms, I remember during the Blizzard of 1996, when I was attending law school, the parking department left the law school parking gate arm operating as normal. Problem was, they also did a half-arsed job of plowing, and the gate is on a slight hill. People got stuck when they had to stop and wait for the arm to rise. The gate arm they had then was wooden and far less robust than the current exit arm, so a couple of guys got together and snapped it off. I imagine nowadays they'd break off the entrance arm.

That was the same snowstorm in which Durham County stopped plowing the roads because the county's only snowplow broke down.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

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

1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1803 on: March 20, 2021, 10:55:32 AM »

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

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

LM117

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1804 on: March 20, 2021, 11:19:43 AM »

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jeffandnicole

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1805 on: March 20, 2021, 11:44:19 AM »

As we suspected, the woman who caused that crash was riding dirty.

"...at speeds of up to 80 mph"

Or as some people would say...that slow?
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1995hoo

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1806 on: March 20, 2021, 11:46:34 AM »

As we suspected, the woman who caused that crash was riding dirty.

"...at speeds of up to 80 mph"

Or as some people would say...that slow?

What’s so stupid is, you’d think if you know you’re a fugitive or otherwise in trouble with the law, you’d make an effort to obey the traffic laws and not stand out. But I guess people like her aren’t known for common sense in the first place. Damn shame she had to kill the man in the pickup to prove her stupidity, though.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

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

cpzilliacus

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1807 on: March 20, 2021, 12:05:17 PM »

As we suspected, the woman who caused that crash was riding dirty.

"...at speeds of up to 80 mph"

Or as some people would say...that slow?

What’s so stupid is, you’d think if you know you’re a fugitive or otherwise in trouble with the law, you’d make an effort to obey the traffic laws and not stand out. But I guess people like her aren’t known for common sense in the first place. Damn shame she had to kill the man in the pickup to prove her stupidity, though.

I had not  been in Prince William County for many months (not in the eastern part of the county near I-95 since COVID19 got going) and that night, I had to drive from Silver Spring to Potomac Mills to meet a friend for dinner.

So I took MD-200 to its west end, then south on I-270, I-270Y, I-495 and 495Express, all with no trouble (though there was a crash on 495Express at I-66 blocking a lane with no delay), then south on 95Express from Springfield.  That worked well until coming over the Occoquan River, when it was obvious that there was effectively a hard stop just beyond VA-123 (traffic was being forced out of 95Express at VA-294, Prince William Parkway, my intended destination). 

So I worked my way around, and it was not as bad as I was anticipating, taking  VA-123 (that alone was badly jammed), Old Bridge, Minnieville, Telegraph and then VA-294 to Worth, the north entrance to Potomac Mills.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 12:07:24 PM by cpzilliacus »
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froggie

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Re: Northern Virginia HOT Lanes
« Reply #1808 on: March 22, 2021, 11:56:44 PM »

What’s so stupid is, you’d think if you know you’re a fugitive or otherwise in trouble with the law, you’d make an effort to obey the traffic laws and not stand out. But I guess people like her aren’t known for common sense in the first place. Damn shame she had to kill the man in the pickup to prove her stupidity, though.

As a regular guest of the former show Live P.D. would often say, "it's not the smart ones that they catch"...
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