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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 1371246 times)

Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3075 on: May 25, 2018, 11:10:20 PM »

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Traffic backs up virtually every day on Interstate 95 southbound where it crosses the Occoquan River entering Prince William County because five lanes are decreased to three.

Four lanes decreased to three.  The other lane is an auxiliary lane, not a mainline lane.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3076 on: May 27, 2018, 02:50:08 PM »

s
Quote
Traffic backs up virtually every day on Interstate 95 southbound where it crosses the Occoquan River entering Prince William County because five lanes are decreased to three.

Four lanes decreased to three.  The other lane is an auxiliary lane, not a mainline lane.

True, but that auxiliary lane is still very much a part of the problem as the thousands of cars merging from US-1 have to in less than half a mile, merge left over two lanes in already heavy traffic.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3077 on: May 27, 2018, 02:55:46 PM »

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Traffic backs up virtually every day on Interstate 95 southbound where it crosses the Occoquan River entering Prince William County because five lanes are decreased to three.
Four lanes decreased to three.  The other lane is an auxiliary lane, not a mainline lane.
True, but that auxiliary lane is still very much a part of the problem as the thousands of cars merging from US-1 have to in less than half a mile, merge left over two lanes in already heavy traffic.

That auxiliary lane also handles the heavy movement of traffic exiting onto VA-123, some of it from US-1, so it probably balances out.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3078 on: May 28, 2018, 10:53:04 AM »

VDOT has scheduled four public meetings "to gather public input on safety and congestion concerns on I-81 in Virginia." The first meeting will be in the Bristol District on June 6, followed by two in the Staunton District (north and south) and wrap up with a meeting in the Salem District. Each session will start at 4 p.m. with a presentation and then be a open house format until 7 p.m.

The VDOT press release (in part):

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The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation are developing a plan to study the entire length of the Interstate 81 corridor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

As directed in Senate Bill 971 (now 2018 Acts of Assembly Chapter 743), the study team will identify targeted improvements along I-81 and potential revenue sources that could be dedicated to improvements. SB 971 was introduced by Senators Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico, and supported by Delegate Steve Landes with budget language in the House of Delegates budget bill.

Feedback provided by members of communities, industries and other stakeholders will be considered as team members study the corridor throughout the summer and prepare a draft plan report in the fall. The team and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) plan to report findings to the General Assembly in December, prior to the opening of Session in January 2019.
See http://www.vdot.virginia.gov/newsroom/statewide/2018/public_feedback_invited_on129087.asp

There is the beginning of a website for the project at http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/projects/major_projects/i-81_study.asp that has the displays that will be available at the meetings. The schedule is also posted there.

It is good to see the Department of Rail and Public Transportation included in the study group, since rail could play a role in solving some of the problems of the highway. The recent extension of passenger service to Roanoke with service to Washington, D.C. is proving to be popular and extension of the service into the New River Valley (location of Virginia Tech and Radford University) is coming in several years. Given the volume of traffic generated by students, parents, and sports fans traveling to and from these schools, more alternatives to driving are good. There is also a Norfolk Southern line that parallels I-81 from Knoxville (and beyond) to Harrisburg (and beyond). There is already an intermodal terminal in Harrisburg; adding one in the idled rail yard in Knoxville could provide an alternative to covering that route with trucks.

Even at that there is a need for additional lanes in multiple sections of the highway with an ultimate goal of having a six-lane highway from one end to the other. This isn't just a Southwest Virginia or Valley issue, this impacts the entire state.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3079 on: May 28, 2018, 12:16:47 PM »

Even at that there is a need for additional lanes in multiple sections of the highway with an ultimate goal of having a six-lane highway from one end to the other. This isn't just a Southwest Virginia or Valley issue, this impacts the entire state.
Bruce in Blacksburg

As I mentioned upthread at least 20 weekends per year, using Fri-Sun definition, no section is adequate at only 4 lanes, so that meets standards (far beyond the 30th highest hourly volume) for widening the entire route.  Tennessee I-81 has exactly the same traffic issues as VA I-81, ditto for WV and MD, and PA to Harrisburg.

I still don't understand this latest study when all this was studied 2000-2007 with nothing done except a few climbing lane projects, granted they are very helpful.

VDOT's application to toll Interstate 81 under section 1216(b) of TEA-21 was approved by FHWA in 2003, and that wasn't all-or-nothing, they could have tolled one or a few short sections if they wanted.

VDOT and FHWA conducted the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement from 2003 to 2007, and it evaluated a range of alternatives besides the dual-divided roadways, and the widening of only the existing roadway.  There was a comprehensive study of freight rail alternatives as well.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3080 on: May 28, 2018, 12:30:05 PM »

It is good to see the Department of Rail and Public Transportation included in the study group, since rail could play a role in solving some of the problems of the highway. The recent extension of passenger service to Roanoke with service to Washington, D.C. is proving to be popular and extension of the service into the New River Valley (location of Virginia Tech and Radford University) is coming in several years. Given the volume of traffic generated by students, parents, and sports fans traveling to and from these schools, more alternatives to driving are good. There is also a Norfolk Southern line that parallels I-81 from Knoxville (and beyond) to Harrisburg (and beyond). There is already an intermodal terminal in Harrisburg; adding one in the idled rail yard in Knoxville could provide an alternative to covering that route with trucks.

I must respectfully disagree regarding the effectiveness of I-81 congestion relief from train service (and note that  I am not inherently opposed to such service being provided, even though the taxpayer capital and operating subsidies are potentially very high).

The scale of traffic in the I-81 corridor, even taking into account the Hokie fans that come for football, is not going to be materially impacted by transit - and that includes passenger railroad service (a former colleague lived in Alexandria and attended four years of classes at Tech in Blacksburg, and did take the train, which I think got him as far as Christiansburg - there was some sort of bus service to get students the rest of the way to Blacksburg).

Regarding freight moves along the NS line that runs parallel to I-81 at least as far north  as Hagerstown, Maryland, is there capacity on this line for significantly increased freight traffic? Most of it (at least the northern parts in counties like Warren, Shenandoah, Frederick, Berkeley (W.Va.) and Washington (Md.) is single-track.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3081 on: May 29, 2018, 09:37:18 AM »

I still don't understand this latest study when all this was studied 2000-2007 with nothing done except a few climbing lane projects, granted they are very helpful.

Wasn't that when all the states that I-81 runs through got together to talk about comprehensive solutions to capacity and traffic problems? It seems that West Virginia (with the least mileage) is the only state that did something about adding lanes. Virginia got ambitious with adding lanes through Bristol but stopped there, with only two climbing lane projects completed since then.

Perhaps this legislation was meant to be a kick in the ass to get VDOT back to thinking about the highway instead of just concentrating on Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3082 on: May 29, 2018, 10:03:54 AM »

I still don't understand this latest study when all this was studied 2000-2007 with nothing done except a few climbing lane projects, granted they are very helpful.
Wasn't that when all the states that I-81 runs through got together to talk about comprehensive solutions to capacity and traffic problems? It seems that West Virginia (with the least mileage) is the only state that did something about adding lanes. Virginia got ambitious with adding lanes through Bristol but stopped there, with only two climbing lane projects completed since then.
Perhaps this legislation was meant to be a kick in the ass to get VDOT back to thinking about the highway instead of just concentrating on Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

Like I said, they did a very comprehensive study then for both highway and rail improvements, and got one of the three TEA-21 toll pilot projects, and there is not that much to show for it. 

I-81 is certainly important to the northern and eastern parts of the state, as it is a key route segment for passenger and truck traffic heading west and southwest. 

Regarding three TEA-21 toll pilot projects for tolling long-distance Interstate routes to fund major widening, none of them has yet gone forward to construction, and it has been 20 years since that program was enacted.  MO I-70 was one of them.  Nobody has yet been able to convince the public to support that, apparently.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3083 on: May 29, 2018, 10:21:04 AM »

I must respectfully disagree regarding the effectiveness of I-81 congestion relief from train service (and note that  I am not inherently opposed to such service being provided, even though the taxpayer capital and operating subsidies are potentially very high).

The scale of traffic in the I-81 corridor, even taking into account the Hokie fans that come for football, is not going to be materially impacted by transit - and that includes passenger railroad service (a former colleague lived in Alexandria and attended four years of classes at Tech in Blacksburg, and did take the train, which I think got him as far as Christiansburg - there was some sort of bus service to get students the rest of the way to Blacksburg).

Every little bit helps, though. While there has been initial expense to upgrade some Norfolk Southern tracks and to build the new platform in Roanoke, the service to Lynchburg has come close to paying its own way.

Quote
Passenger train service to Lynchburg, about 56 miles northeast of Roanoke, has been so successful since it launched in 2009, that revenue come close to surpassing operating costs, Smith said (Chris Smith, spokesman at the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation). Trains in the route are running near capacity, he said, with people traveling from that part of Virginia to Northern Virginia and up to New York on a one-seat ride. (from a Washington Post article).

Quote
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne predicted a reduction in highway traffic equivalent to 240 fewer passenger vehicles on roads for every eight train cars on the rails. (from a Roanoke Times article about the start of Roanoke service)

Granted, that is a drop in the bucket but any reduction in vehicles on the highway has to be a good thing. The Smart Way bus between Blacksburg and Roanoke offers an alternative to driving on I-81 and many students and commuters take advantage of the service. Virginia Tech has also instituted a daily bus running between Blacksburg and Northern Virginia to reduce the need for people to get in a car and drive.

As to your friend taking the train to Christiansburg from Alexandria, I'm not sure how he did it unless it was during the brief run of the Hilltopper. Amtrak service through Christiansburg started with The Mountaineer, which ran from Norfolk to Cincinnati, and was replaced by the Hilltopper in 1977, which was cut back to terminate in scenic Catlettesburg, Kentucky, in the middle of the night. Its origin was shifted from Norfolk to Washington, D.C. but it was short-lived -- it was terminated on October 1, 1979, due to poor ridership (no kidding, it went nowhere).

Quote
Regarding freight moves along the NS line that runs parallel to I-81 at least as far north  as Hagerstown, Maryland, is there capacity on this line for significantly increased freight traffic? Most of it (at least the northern parts in counties like Warren, Shenandoah, Frederick, Berkeley (W.Va.) and Washington (Md.) is single-track.

It depends on Norfolk Southern -- it currently runs four or five trains up and down the valley and about the same on the Bristol-Radford section. If the railroad were to run short but frequent intermodal trains instead of mile-long doublestack trains, there is probably enough siding capacity to handle additional traffic (the Norfolk & Western did it with freight and passenger trains in the past).

Bruce in Blacksburg
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3084 on: May 29, 2018, 02:25:44 PM »

Virginia Tech has also instituted a daily bus running between Blacksburg and Northern Virginia to reduce the need for people to get in a car and drive.

Hopefully it's not too expensive.  They didn't have that in the 1970s, and I made at least 2 trips at the end of the school year from Alexandria to pick up my sister up and then drive back home.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3085 on: May 29, 2018, 03:55:28 PM »

Virginia Tech has also instituted a daily bus running between Blacksburg and Northern Virginia to reduce the need for people to get in a car and drive.

Hopefully it's not too expensive.  They didn't have that in the 1970s, and I made at least 2 trips at the end of the school year from Alexandria to pick up my sister up and then drive back home.

"Virginia Tech’s Campus Connect Bus provides employees, students, and their guests with safe and convenient transportation between the university's campuses in the Blacksburg/Roanoke and Ballston/Arlington areas.

The bus departs from/arrives in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region twice each weekday and once each weekend day and operates year-round, except on university holidays."

Departure from Blacksburg on weekdays is at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., with arrival in Arlington at 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. respectively. Departure from Arlington on weekdays is at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with arrival in Blacksburg at 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. (there is some padding in the schedules, since I see the bus arriving on most days at 11 a.m.). Cost to ride the bus is $95 one way. For comparison, the Amtrak train leaves Roanoke at 6:19 a.m. (requires leaving Blacksburg at 5 a.m.) and arrives in Alexandria at 11:05 a.m. Flexible fare is $78 and business class is $102.

There is another bus service that runs up the valley from Blacksburg, then on to Union Station in Washington, D.C. The "Virginia Breeze" (http://catchthevabreeze.com) charges $50 for the full trip, departs Blacksburg at 8 a.m. and arrives in Arlington at 2:05 p.m. It also stops in Christiansburg, Lexington, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, and Dulles before stopping in Arlington, then terminating at the station. From the website, "The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is proud to partner on the Virginia Breeze service with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Dillon’s, a Coach USA company."

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3086 on: May 30, 2018, 10:06:22 AM »

There is another bus service that runs up the valley from Blacksburg, then on to Union Station in Washington, D.C. The "Virginia Breeze" (http://catchthevabreeze.com) charges $50 for the full trip, departs Blacksburg at 8 a.m. and arrives in Arlington at 2:05 p.m. It also stops in Christiansburg, Lexington, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Front Royal, and Dulles before stopping in Arlington, then terminating at the station. From the website, "The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is proud to partner on the Virginia Breeze service with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Dillon’s, a Coach USA company."

I have seen those buses on the streets of Washington, D.C. (my office is a short walk from Union Station).

Above and beyond the runs you mention, Megabus also has service to Knoxville, Tennessee from Washington Union Station.  On that run, Megabus makes a station stop in Christiansburg (at a commuter lot on U.S. 460 off of I-81).  I suppose anyone headed to Blacksburg would need a taxicab or transportation network company (TNC) or a friend to give them a ride to campus (looks a little bit far to walk).

Wonder why Megabus does not just take its patrons to Blacksburg?  It's not that much of an added detour. 

In another college town near the Interstate - Newark, Delaware - Megabus does go to a parking lot on the University of Delaware campus (maybe they do this in part to shunpike the Delaware Turnpike tolls)?
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3087 on: May 30, 2018, 11:02:01 AM »

Above and beyond the runs you mention, Megabus also has service to Knoxville, Tennessee from Washington Union Station.  On that run, Megabus makes a station stop in Christiansburg (at a commuter lot on U.S. 460 off of I-81).  I suppose anyone headed to Blacksburg would need a taxicab or transportation network company (TNC) or a friend to give them a ride to campus (looks a little bit far to walk).

Wonder why Megabus does not just take its patrons to Blacksburg?  It's not that much of an added detour. 

There is also Home Ride of Virginia, which "Provides weekend and holiday bus service from Radford University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and the University of Virginia to Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville."

There is a Multi-Modal Transit Facility planned for the north side of the Virginia Tech campus (https://www.facilities.vt.edu/planning-construction/campus-construction-projects/active-projects/multi-modal-transit-facility.html). It is planned to move Blacksburg Transit buses off the Drill Field time checks and congregate them in one location (a campus shuttle bus will move people from there to locations around campus). The location would also be a stop for the SmartWay Bus, and potentially the Home Ride bus.

At one time there was mention that the Megabus would be routed there from its inconvenient stop 8 miles from campus. That may be moot since the Virginia Breeze service is connected to Megabus.

As to the Megabus, the stop was in the old park-and-ride lot on the south side of I-81 at exit 118, adjacent to an elementary school. The lot was inadequate and due to be replaced, but Megabus patrons somewhat forced the issue. They were coming over to the elementary school to use the restrooms and to look for a place to plug in phones to charge. Some were a bit too aggressive and parents were concerned (even after doors were locked and access controlled). VDOT moved the lot to a temporary location adjacent to the U.S. 460 bypass junction with Roanoke Street while the new, bigger lot on the same site was constructed. The new lot is open and at  least now has a small shelter for those waiting for the bus. It still takes an Uber or a friend to get to or from the stop if the time doesn't fall during the times Blacksburg Transit serves the lot.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3088 on: May 30, 2018, 09:37:16 PM »

Above and beyond the runs you mention, Megabus also has service to Knoxville, Tennessee from Washington Union Station.  On that run, Megabus makes a station stop in Christiansburg (at a commuter lot on U.S. 460 off of I-81).  I suppose anyone headed to Blacksburg would need a taxicab or transportation network company (TNC) or a friend to give them a ride to campus (looks a little bit far to walk).

Wonder why Megabus does not just take its patrons to Blacksburg?  It's not that much of an added detour. 

There is also Home Ride of Virginia, which "Provides weekend and holiday bus service from Radford University, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, and the University of Virginia to Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville."

I  think I saw a mention someplace about that service. 

The son of a friend who has lived in Loudoun County for quite a few years recently graduated from Virginia Tech. He told me it was about 4 to 4˝ hours from his home to Blacksburg - since there are presumably a fair number of students from Northern Virginia at every one of those colleges and universities, so it follows that there would be some demand for such a service.

There is a Multi-Modal Transit Facility planned for the north side of the Virginia Tech campus (https://www.facilities.vt.edu/planning-construction/campus-construction-projects/active-projects/multi-modal-transit-facility.html). It is planned to move Blacksburg Transit buses off the Drill Field time checks and congregate them in one location (a campus shuttle bus will move people from there to locations around campus). The location would also be a stop for the SmartWay Bus, and potentially the Home Ride bus.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

At one time there was mention that the Megabus would be routed there from its inconvenient stop 8 miles from campus. That may be moot since the Virginia Breeze service is connected to Megabus.

Megabus and Dillon's are both subsidiaries of Coach USA, in turn a subsidiary of Britain's Stagecoach.  Apparently Coach USA does not own the Megabus trademark and color scheme, but uses it under license. Dillon's has long had a robust charter service, and also runs many routes under contract with MDOT/MTA that serve the Maryland exurbs of Washington, most running to downtown D.C. (they are based in Hanover, Anne Arundel County, Maryland not far from MDOT's headquarters office complex).

I was told by a manager with Megabus that they do not have much interaction with the other Stagecoach subsidiaries like Dillon's, in part because the Megabus vehicles have a significantly higher capacity (over 80 persons per bus, where the regular intercity coaches have a capacity between 50 and 60 persons), though the Megabus operation will sometimes "borrow" a bus or two from one of those subsidiaries.

As to the Megabus, the stop was in the old park-and-ride lot on the south side of I-81 at exit 118, adjacent to an elementary school. The lot was inadequate and due to be replaced, but Megabus patrons somewhat forced the issue. They were coming over to the elementary school to use the restrooms and to look for a place to plug in phones to charge. Some were a bit too aggressive and parents were concerned (even after doors were locked and access controlled). VDOT moved the lot to a temporary location adjacent to the U.S. 460 bypass junction with Roanoke Street while the new, bigger lot on the same site was constructed. The new lot is open and at  least now has a small shelter for those waiting for the bus. It still takes an Uber or a friend to get to or from the stop if the time doesn't fall during the times Blacksburg Transit serves the lot.

If I had children in that school, I would not be happy with strangers walking over there from a bus station - any bus station.  And while there are people that do need to use the facilities, I do not think an elementary school should be open to the public for such needs. 

This points up an issue with these curbside bus providers like Megabus and Bolt, that they do not provide shelter and toilet facilities.  Even the dominant Chinatown bus carrier in Washington, D.C. (Eastern Shuttle) provides a small terminal facility (with waiting room and toilets) for patrons in the small Chinatown area of D.C.. Eastern's runs north to Baltimore and New York City from D.C., as well as south to Richmond (I think the southbound buses from Washington to Richmond have originated in New York City, and simply continue south after a stop in D.C. - and incoming buses from Richmond stop in D.C. and continue to New York).
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 09:54:16 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3089 on: May 30, 2018, 09:51:23 PM »

Megabus and Bolt both operate out of the parking garage at Washington Union Station - in fact, Greyhound closed their station at First and M(ish) and moved their operations to the parking garage.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3090 on: May 30, 2018, 09:56:18 PM »

Megabus and Bolt both operate out of the parking garage at Washington Union Station - in fact, Greyhound closed their station at First and M(ish) and moved their operations to the parking garage.

Correct.  I am personally and professionally familiar with the Union Station bus deck, as I managed an analysis of person travel in and out of there a few years ago.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3091 on: May 31, 2018, 09:01:20 AM »

Megabus and Bolt both operate out of the parking garage at Washington Union Station - in fact, Greyhound closed their station at First and M(ish) and moved their operations to the parking garage.

Correct.  I am personally and professionally familiar with the Union Station bus deck, as I managed an analysis of person travel in and out of there a few years ago.

Oh, I see.  I was responding to your statement about Bolt and Megabus not providing shelter or toilet facilities, both are available at Union Station.  But it's certainly true that they're not provided at the various stops that are in a parking lot or on a city street.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3092 on: May 31, 2018, 10:18:00 AM »

Tangentially related to the discussion of alternatives to driving on I-81 (and beyond) -- fuel in Southwest Virginia is about to get more expensive.

Quote
A corporate decision to stop fuel deliveries to the Montvale tank farm Sept. 30 is expected to result in higher retail gasoline prices for the region .

That’s the last day of operation for the underground pipe that supplies gasoline and diesel fuel to the Bedford County fuel storage complex, according to spokesman Steve Baker for Colonial Pipeline Co., the pipe owner.

Baker made public the pipe’s decommissioning date Wednesday. Colonial said last year it planned to close the pipe in September without giving the exact date. The pipe has supplied fuel to the tank farm for more than 50 years and needs extensive repairs to operate beyond its planned closure date, Colonial said.
(http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/bedford_county/fuel-pipeline-closure-set-for-sept-colonial-says/article_9ccb5bb2-dd06-59c2-baeb-f84d10f805fc.html)

There are actually multiple tank farms in Montvale, on both sides of U.S. 460. The terminals serve a number of fuel companies, mostly wholesalers who provide fuel to convenience stores in the region. The prediction from the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association is that the "closure would add between 4 cents and 6 cents to the pump price of a gallon of gas soon after the shutdown." Tankers will deliver the fuel from Richmond and Greensboro, increasing delivery cost.

Info on Line 25: http://www.virginiaplaces.org/transportation/line25.html

Info from Colonial Pipeline: http://line25.colonialpipeline.com

Bruce in Blacksburg
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3093 on: May 31, 2018, 12:23:11 PM »

Tangentially related to the discussion of alternatives to driving on I-81 (and beyond) -- fuel in Southwest Virginia is about to get more expensive.

It's getting more expensive everywhere.  In 4 months it has gone from about $2.15 to $2.80 for Regular in Richmond.  They always have excuses for raising prices.

There is an interesting Colonial Pipeline tank farm here, in a deep rural area in Buckingham County VA --
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.6619608,-78.238673,1781m/data=!3m1!1e3

Colonial Pipeline -- "Every day, Colonial Pipeline safely and efficiently delivers more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, home heating oil, aviation fuel and other refined petroleum products.   Starting in Houston and terminating at the New York harbor, Colonial consists of more than 5,500 miles of pipeline, most of which is underground, and aboveground storage tanks which support safe operations of the overall system."

I think this is on the main line between Houston and NYC.  It was interesting to come upon it while driving out there.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3094 on: May 31, 2018, 01:20:58 PM »

There are actually multiple tank farms in Montvale, on both sides of U.S. 460. The terminals serve a number of fuel companies, mostly wholesalers who provide fuel to convenience stores in the region. The prediction from the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association is that the "closure would add between 4 cents and 6 cents to the pump price of a gallon of gas soon after the shutdown." Tankers will deliver the fuel from Richmond and Greensboro, increasing delivery cost.

When I saw Montvale, I first thought of the Montvale in North Jersey (the service plaza near the north end of the Garden State Parkway is named Montvale).

Regarding the pipeline, I find it curious that Colonial is shutting this down.   While pipelines must be inspected and sometimes repaired, the cost of operating them would seem to be pretty low as compared to highways and railroads.  They are also a reasonably safe way to move a hazardous product.

Maybe the pipeline needs an expensive rebuild?

As for distance from the terminal to the gas stations, a few tank truck drivers I have spoken with told me that Colonial's terminal in the City of Fairfax sends out tank truck loads of product well into the mountains of northern West Virginia, and it takes a driver effectively an entire working day to transport a load of fuel out there, drop it, and come back.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3095 on: May 31, 2018, 02:16:33 PM »

Regarding the pipeline, I find it curious that Colonial is shutting this down.   While pipelines must be inspected and sometimes repaired, the cost of operating them would seem to be pretty low as compared to highways and railroads.  They are also a reasonably safe way to move a hazardous product.

Maybe the pipeline needs an expensive rebuild?

From the Roanoke Times article: "The company has told retailers it isn’t willing to complete those repairs, according to O’Connor (Michael O’Connor, the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association president and CEO), who said he was given a repair estimate of $200 million to $300 million."

My late father-in-law retired from Laurel Pipeline after working as a pipeline mechanic for many years. He was transferred to Pittsburgh when the line was being constructed between Philadelphia and Cleveland. That pipeline carried and delivered gasoline, aviation gas, kerosene, etc. across two states. The whole line was operated from a dispatch center in Camp Hill, Pa. with the various valves controlled by banks and banks of mechanical relays to send appropriate signals. One project my FIL worked on was switching controllers in the field from mechanical to digital control.

I see trucks from a fuel company in Grundy passing through as it travels between far Southwest Virginia and Montvale. That in itself is a full-day round trip.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3096 on: June 01, 2018, 03:35:38 AM »

Going back two pages, I have found two intersections in Virginia where double right turns are permitted on red:

Westbound US-250 in Charlottesville, towards northbound Emmet Street: https://goo.gl/dpEi4b

Southbound US-220 in Roanoke, towards westbound Electric Road: https://goo.gl/PonSie (this one explicitly states the maneuver to be OK)
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3097 on: June 01, 2018, 11:20:34 AM »

As to your friend taking the train to Christiansburg from Alexandria, I'm not sure how he did it unless it was during the brief run of the Hilltopper. Amtrak service through Christiansburg started with The Mountaineer, which ran from Norfolk to Cincinnati, and was replaced by the Hilltopper in 1977, which was cut back to terminate in scenic Catlettesburg, Kentucky, in the middle of the night. Its origin was shifted from Norfolk to Washington, D.C. but it was short-lived -- it was terminated on October 1, 1979, due to poor ridership (no kidding, it went nowhere).

[Should have answered this before]

He was a student at Virginia Tech in  the 1960's, in other words before Amtrak was created, and probably rode trains like the Pelican, Birmingham Special and Tennessean (I will ask him sometime).
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plain

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3098 on: June 01, 2018, 12:49:08 PM »

Going back two pages, I have found two intersections in Virginia where double right turns are permitted on red:

Westbound US-250 in Charlottesville, towards northbound Emmet Street: https://goo.gl/dpEi4b

Southbound US-220 in Roanoke, towards westbound Electric Road: https://goo.gl/PonSie (this one explicitly states the maneuver to be OK)

Aside from the Hampton intersection on VA 415 where it leaves Queen St to follow Power Plant Pkwy I cited a while back (I forgot what thread it was on), I recently came across two more. Actually both of these are also in Hampton:

VA 134 at Convention Center Blvd. This one actually has dual doghouses, like the example I cited before used to have
https://goo.gl/maps/otES4PoVeUw

Pine Chapel Rd ending at VA 415
https://goo.gl/maps/JNiyQ4Y4o4x

Again, no restrictions for either right turn, which is still uncommon in Virginia (including neighboring Newport News, which has the restrictions)
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3099 on: June 11, 2018, 02:00:30 PM »

I need to go there soon and check this out.
….

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2018/major_milestone_met_months129525.asp

MAJOR MILESTONE MET MONTHS EARLY ON COURTLAND INTERCHANGE PROJECT

Contract crews for the Virginia Department of Transportation opened two roundabouts and a flyover at Route 58 and Jerusalem Road, in Courtland eliminating the need for the traffic signal.

This major milestone is reached months early in the Courtland Interchange Project that began in March 2016.  The completion date for the project is December 2018, but crews are expected to complete the project months early.

The traffic patterns include two roundabouts on each side of Route 58 directing traffic through the intersections in a one-way pattern, and the removal of a traffic signal on Route 58.  A flyover was built over Route 58 as part of the relocated Route 742.  A second Route 742 bridge was built to minimize environmental impacts.  The construction of the Route 58 westbound on-ramp is expected to be completed within a week, allowing traffic to flow in the permanent pattern.
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