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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: froggie on January 23, 2015, 02:46:25 PM

Title: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on January 23, 2015, 02:46:25 PM
To separate what's likely to be another lengthy discussion, I chose to start a new thread about the recently-announced (really announced back in July by the Governor (https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=5549)) plan to add HO/T lanes on I-66 outside the Beltway and convert I-66 inside the Beltway to HO/T lanes during peak hours.

VDOT has created a website (http://transform66.org) for the Outside the Beltway project and has preliminary design options posted that will be presented at public meetings next week.  The plan is to expand 66 as needed/applicable so that there are 3 general through lanes plus 2 HO/T lanes in each direction.  There is an option that would keep space reserved in the median west of Vienna for future transit (the most popular option being an extension of the Metro Orange Line).  Several interchanges would be reconstructed.

A (lengthy) summary from west to east.  If I don't mention a specific interchange, the plan is to retain the interchange's existing configuration:

- The HO/T lanes begin just east of the Antioch Rd overpass (about 3/4mi west of US 15).  There are two options for HO/T lane access at US 15:  one would build a full HO/T-only interchange about 1/3mi west of US 15, connecting to VA 55 and Heathcote Blvd.  The second option would build a set of flyovers between the HO/T lanes and the mainline between Jefferson St and Catharpin Rd, with auxiliary lanes between the flyover ramps and the planned DDI at US 15.

- There would be no direct access between US 29 and the HO/T lanes.  Instead, HO/T access would be provided via a WB off-ramp/EB on-ramp at the University Blvd overpass.

- There is no direct access between 234 South and the HO/T lanes.  There's an option to build HO/T access connecting to Cushing Rd in the southeastern quadrant, but this would impact the Manassas Battlefield Park.

- A park-and-ride is proposed off Balls Ford Rd west of BUSINESS 234, with access to the HO/T lanes to/from the east.  The HO/T lane access would also connect to Balls Ford Rd.

- The rest areas east of 234 would be reconstructed with expanded truck parking.

- An eastbound auxiliary lane would be added between 29 and 28 in Centerville.

- The VA 28 interchange would see some major changes, all of which would eliminate the three signals along 28.  Common elements among the two options:

     - Direct HO/T lane connections from both directions of 66 to/from the north
     - A 2-lane flyover ramp from SB 28 to EB 66
     - A 2-lane ramp from WB 66 to NB 28
     - Widening the loop ramp from EB 66 to NB 28 to 2 lanes
     - Bridging Braddock Rd/Walney Rd over 28 with a half-interchange to/from the south (with left-side exit/entrance)
     - Direct ramps between Braddock Rd and 66 East (EB on-ramp/WB off-ramp)

- The main differences between the two options at VA 28 are ramp locations/geometry and how to handle HO/T connections between 28 South and 66 East.  One option provides direct ramps while the other would be indirect, using flyovers between the HO/T lanes and the mainline east of 28.

- One or two auxiliary lanes each direction would be added between VA 28 and Fairfax County Pkwy, depending on the option chosen.

- There's an option for an eastbound HO/T lane exit to the Fairfax County Pkwy C/D ramp, otherwise there is no direct access between the HO/T lanes and the Fairfax County Pkwy.  Instead, the existing HOV ramps at Stringfellow Rd would be perpetuated (no-median option) or relocated (median-space option).

- The existing half-interchange at Monument Dr would be converted into a full HO/T lane only interchange.

- One auxiliary lane in each direction would be added between Fairfax County Pkwy and US 50/Fair Oaks.

- The US 50/Fair Oaks interchange would generally retain its existing configuration with one exception:  the existing loop ramp from WB 50 to WB 66 would be replaced by a left-side flyover.  There is also an option for direct HO/T lane access between 50 West and 66 East.

- One auxiliary lane in each direction would be added between US 50/Fair Oaks and VA 123.  The eastbound auxiliary lane would be extended through the 123 interchange.

- At the 123 interchange, the existing loop from EB 66 to NB 123 would be replaced by a flyover.  This would eliminate the need for a C/D road.  Also the ramps from 66 to SB 123 would meet SB 123 at a traffic signal about 1200ft north of the existing ramp merge.  I presume this is to provide more room between the ramp and the intersection at Eaton Pl.  There is also an option for direct HO/T access between 123 and 66 East.  This access point would meet 123 at the same location as the ramp signal I just mentioned.

- One auxiliary lane in each direction would be added between VA 123 and VA 243/Nutley St.  The eastbound auxiliary lane would be a continuation of one beginning at US 50/Fair Oaks (mentioned above).

- There are two very different options for VA 243/Nutley St and Vienna Metro access:
     - Option 1 replaces the Nutley St interchange with a DDI.  Direct HO/T lane access would be provided to/from the west at the Vaden Dr overpass.  The loop ramp from Vaden Dr/Saintsbury Dr to EB 66 would be removed, as well as the EB C/D road.  The WB C/D road would be perpetuated.
     - Option 2 reconstructs the Nutley St interchange to include flyover ramps from NB 243 to WB 66 and SB 243 to EB 66.  The EB 66 to NB 243 loop is removed, so there would be a single EB off-ramp meeting 243 at a signal.  A bus-only ramp would be constructed between the HO/T lanes to/from the west and Vaden Dr.  The existing loop ramp from Vaden Dr/Saintsbury Dr to EB 66 and the EB C/D road would both be retained.

- One auxiliary lane in each direction is added between VA 243/Nutley St and the Beltway.

- There are two options at the Beltway, with the main difference being how many HO/T lane access options there are.  Both options replace the existing Inner Loop mainline to WB 66 loop with a 2-lane flyover and provide direct connections between the Beltway HO/T lanes and the 66 West HO/T lanes.  One option provides full access between the mainlines and the HO/T lanes with a complex conglomeration of ramps.  The second option does not provide access from the EB HO/T lane to NB 495 mainline or from the SB 495 mainline to the WB HO/T.  Also with the second option, EB 66 mainline access to the Beltway HO/T lanes is provided by a flyover ramp from the mainline to the EB HO/T lanes west of Dunn Loring.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 23, 2015, 03:10:37 PM
Do they have diagrams of the various options on that site? I'm having trouble getting parts of it to load and will try another browser if indeed they do have maps. I'd love to see what they have in mind for the Beltway interchange.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on January 23, 2015, 11:42:48 PM
Must resist temptation to make I-366 joke...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on January 24, 2015, 09:03:56 AM
Quote
Do they have diagrams of the various options on that site?

Yes...click on the link to the public meetings next week, then click on Public Presentations.  Be forewarned that there are 65 alternatives maps posted, as they're broken down by section in fairly decent detail.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 24, 2015, 10:05:56 AM
Quote
Do they have diagrams of the various options on that site?

Yes...click on the link to the public meetings next week, then click on Public Presentations.  Be forewarned that there are 65 alternatives maps posted, as they're broken down by section in fairly decent detail.


Thanks. That was indeed one of the parts of the site that gave me some trouble. I'm sure it was some issue on my end. PC seemed to be slow yesterday afternoon. I'll use an alternate browser or perhaps my iPad.

Edited to add: Loading just fine on the iPad. Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2015, 07:16:11 PM
Must resist temptation to make I-366 joke...

Suggest it should be I-666.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 25, 2015, 12:13:25 AM
Suggest it should be I-666.

That would've been a good number for the Capital Beltway, to warn the unwary of what lies within.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on January 25, 2015, 10:16:19 AM
Upcoming public meetings this week in Vienna, Centreville, Haymarket, and Fairfax.  WTOP has the specifics (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/01/public-meetings-66-held-week/), but there's an error in the story:  VDOT is looking at two general alternatives, not three as WTOP reported, and only one of those two provides median space for future transit.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 26, 2015, 12:00:42 PM
Looking at the diagram for Alternative 2B at the Beltway (http://www.transform66.org/documents/meetings/2015january/77_2B_I-495_1.pdf), I can't help but laugh ruefully at the ramp proposed to lead from the Inner Loop HO/T lanes to the westbound I-66 mainline. It looks very similar to the configuration of the old pre-HO/T left-side exit from the Inner Loop to I-66 as it was reconfigured back in the early 1990s when the left HOV lane was designated and VDOT didn't want general-purpose traffic entering via the HOV lane. That portion of the ramp was, of course, demolished in 2012, so in effect this proposal would restore a modified version of the same ramp. Damn.

The flyover for general-purpose traffic from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66 looks like it would be one heck of a ramp. It seems like, given the more confined space involved, it would likely have a steeper grade than the flyovers in Springfield. I hope VDOT would learn from the ramp-freezing incidents experienced several times in Springfield and would consider some sort of system to prevent that sort of problem here.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 26, 2015, 12:15:59 PM
Looking at the diagram for Alternative 2B at the Beltway (http://www.transform66.org/documents/meetings/2015january/77_2B_I-495_1.pdf), I can't help but laugh ruefully at the ramp proposed to lead from the Inner Loop HO/T lanes to the westbound I-66 mainline. It looks very similar to the configuration of the old pre-HO/T left-side exit from the Inner Loop to I-66 as it was reconfigured back in the early 1990s when the left HOV lane was designated and VDOT didn't want general-purpose traffic entering via the HOV lane. That portion of the ramp was, of course, demolished in 2012, so in effect this proposal would restore a modified version of the same ramp. Damn.

The flyover for general-purpose traffic from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66 looks like it would be one heck of a ramp. It seems like, given the more confined space involved, it would likely have a steeper grade than the flyovers in Springfield. I hope VDOT would learn from the ramp-freezing incidents experienced several times in Springfield and would consider some sort of system to prevent that sort of problem here.

I have driven that old ramp enough to have seen an assortment of disasters, mishaps and breakdowns, though it seemed almost invariably involving heavy commercial vehicles (often dump trucks and refuse packer trucks - at least one HAZMAT tank tractor-trailer combination) which would presumably be banned from using that ramp, as they always have been from the I-495 Express Lanes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 26, 2015, 12:34:39 PM
I have driven that old ramp enough to have seen an assortment of disasters, mishaps and breakdowns, though it seemed almost invariably involving heavy commercial vehicles (often dump trucks and refuse packer trucks - at least one HAZMAT tank tractor-trailer combination) which would presumably be banned from using that ramp, as they always have been from the I-495 Express Lanes.

Yeah, I always disliked the way there was a sort of "kink" to it about halfway around the curve—you were going left at a reasonably quick pace and suddenly the ramp curved to the right without the assistance of banking or anything similar.

The worst incident I remember there was one I encountered late on a hot afternoon in July 2008 as we were nearing the end of the drive home from Nova Scotia. We got stuck in traffic on the Outer Loop at that interchange and were suddenly subjected to the overpowering stench of massive quantities of skunked beer. Turned out a Budweiser truck had overturned on that left-side ramp and spilled its load down the side of the embankment and all over the Beltway; many of the beer cans, of course, burst open on impact.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 26, 2015, 05:21:03 PM
Just in case anyone was planning to attend (I was not), tonight's I-66 public meeting has been POSTPONED due to the weather forecast. It's been rescheduled for February 3 (next Tuesday)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 27, 2015, 11:12:47 AM
I have driven that old ramp enough to have seen an assortment of disasters, mishaps and breakdowns, though it seemed almost invariably involving heavy commercial vehicles (often dump trucks and refuse packer trucks - at least one HAZMAT tank tractor-trailer combination) which would presumably be banned from using that ramp, as they always have been from the I-495 Express Lanes.

Yeah, I always disliked the way there was a sort of "kink" to it about halfway around the curve—you were going left at a reasonably quick pace and suddenly the ramp curved to the right without the assistance of banking or anything similar.

The worst incident I remember there was one I encountered late on a hot afternoon in July 2008 as we were nearing the end of the drive home from Nova Scotia. We got stuck in traffic on the Outer Loop at that interchange and were suddenly subjected to the overpowering stench of massive quantities of skunked beer. Turned out a Budweiser truck had overturned on that left-side ramp and spilled its load down the side of the embankment and all over the Beltway; many of the beer cans, of course, burst open on impact.

I remember that incident.  As with many of the others, it caused a huge mess in literal terms, and in traffic terms as well. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 07, 2015, 09:34:50 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: Commuters wonder what it would take to fix I-66 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/2015/02/05/61104178-ac83-11e4-abe8-e1ef60ca26de_story.html)

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Dear Dr. Gridlock:

One big solution that could occur right now would be to ban hybrid low-emissions vehicles that do not meet HOV occupancy requirements.

I know several people who have purchased those cars just to use HOV lanes, which completely defeats any attempt to reduce congestion problems.

HOV lanes were invented to increase vehicle occupancy and reduce numbers of vehicles on the road. Single-person vehicles do not meet that goal, and when I am lucky enough to have two people and may use I-66 inside the Capital Beltway, I see a surprising number of single-occupancy vehicles.

I use I-66 every day between the Beltway and Route 123. That includes use outside of commuting hours. The Red-X lanes between the Beltway and Nutley, as well as between Route 123 and Route 50, should be eliminated. Those shoulder lanes should be open 24/7.

If the state is really going to do something about congestion between the Beltway and Route 50, especially if a lane will be added, it should consider “through” lanes and “local” lanes similar to those on the Beltway near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 in Montgomery County.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2015, 01:32:17 PM
Falls Church News-Press: F.C. Council Wary of I-66 Toll Road Plan (http://fcnp.com/2015/02/05/f-c-council-wary-of-i-66-toll-road-plan/)

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Plans by the Virginia Department of Transportation to turn I-66 into a toll road met with considerable skepticism from members of the Falls Church City Council at its work session Monday night, with concerns for the impact on City roads from persons avoiding the tolls in deference to I-66 users whose destinations are not in this area, but Points West of the City.

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Representatives from VDOT and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation presented a summary of its report, “I-66 Multimodal Improvements Inside the Beltway,” to the Council, and despite the City staff recommendation of “concurrance from Council on key items” in the report, Council member Marybeth Connelly asked the key question from the Falls Church perspective, “What’s the purpose of this?” and Mayor David Tarter added, “We don’t want people to blow through Falls Church.” Vice Mayor David Snyder, the City’s representative on numerous regional bodies, said, “There are many negative consequences for closer-in communities like Falls Church. There is only one solution to road congestion, which it to have a truly effective Metro system and bus route expansion.”
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on March 14, 2015, 05:58:11 PM
VDOT announces plans for I-66 improvements/transformations inside the beltway:

News release - http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern_virginia/2015/plans_to_transform_i-6680782.asp

3/12/15 presentation for Inside the beltway - http://inside.transform66.org/documents/i66_inside_multimodal_briefing_elected_official_-_media_kick_off_final_3_12_2015.pdf

Website for all of I-66 improvements out to Haymarket - http://www.transform66.org/splash.html

Mapmikey

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 27, 2015, 04:55:12 PM
Fairfax Times: Residents push for alternatives to I-66 widening = Carpooling, transit upgrades proposed as options (http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20150326/NEWS/150329481/1117&template=fairfaxTimes)

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Dozens of Providence District residents are asking Virginia transportation officials to hold off on widening Interstate 66 until they make additional attempts to reduce congestion by improving transit options and encouraging more carpooling.

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Residents of Vienna and Dunn Loring, some of whom could lose their homes to the widening project, said they don’t see how widening the highway will benefit them. Speaking at a community meeting Wednesday, they said the project will only encourage more people to move to Gainesville or farther west, making traffic worse.

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“You’re going to take these people’s homes, you’re going to ruin neighborhoods and people will still be sitting in their cars,” said Denise Rodgers, a Dunn Loring Village resident.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 29, 2015, 10:54:19 AM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post:  A veteran commuter puzzles over Virginia’s I-66 plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/a-veteran-commuter-puzzles-over-virginias-i-66-plan/2015/03/27/b761a36e-d3e3-11e4-ab77-9646eea6a4c7_story.html)

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For me, this summer would mark 50 years of commuting on Washington highways, had I not retired a year ago. I’m so happy to hear that by 2040, at the time I would have 75 years of this joyful experience, the powers that be might widen Interstate 66 somewhat inside the Capital Beltway.

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I have always had a special place in my heart for the NIMBYs of Arlington County who have — from Day One — messed up the design of I-66. One thing that happens with half a century of driving experience is getting the opportunity to drive in other major cities in the United States and other countries as well.

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I can’t easily think of any major city where a main highway inbound constricts like I-66 does inside the Beltway. Contrast it even to Interstate 395 (Shirley Highway to us old guys), which is a joy by comparison and much improved since I commuted to summer jobs when LBJ was president. Maybe this will improve by 2040. One can hope.

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— Don Lewy, Fairfax Station
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on March 29, 2015, 11:59:52 AM
Fairfax Times: Residents push for alternatives to I-66 widening = Carpooling, transit upgrades proposed as options (http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20150326/NEWS/150329481/1117&template=fairfaxTimes)

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Dozens of Providence District residents are asking Virginia transportation officials to hold off on widening Interstate 66 until they make additional attempts to reduce congestion by improving transit options and encouraging more carpooling.

Quote
Residents of Vienna and Dunn Loring, some of whom could lose their homes to the widening project, said they don’t see how widening the highway will benefit them. Speaking at a community meeting Wednesday, they said the project will only encourage more people to move to Gainesville or farther west, making traffic worse.

Quote
“You’re going to take these people’s homes, you’re going to ruin neighborhoods and people will still be sitting in their cars,” said Denise Rodgers, a Dunn Loring Village resident.



I would humor them with a plan for a 4 track Metro and/or VA commuter line in the median that requires the taking of even more homes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on March 29, 2015, 10:25:33 PM
And better mass transit also will allow people to move further west, adding to the sprawl and still adding traffic to the existing, non-widened roadway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on March 29, 2015, 11:52:56 PM
For the best in DC suburban living, your new dream home awaits............in Moorefield WV
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: NE2 on March 30, 2015, 01:42:23 AM
Sprawl is an assclown.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on March 30, 2015, 06:10:34 AM
For the best in DC suburban living, your new dream home awaits............in Moorefield WV

Sadly, this isn't much of a joke!  The Poconos in PA are a bedroom community for NYC employees, and LA has its share of 2+ hour commutes!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on March 30, 2015, 10:01:55 AM
I don't know how some people deal with long commutes.  I like my 15-20 minute commute just fine.  It's long enough that the car actually warms up and I can enjoy the FLY Morning Rush, but isn't long enough to make me feel like I'm slaving my life away.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on March 30, 2015, 10:14:54 AM
I don't know how some people deal with long commutes.  I like my 15-20 minute commute just fine.  It's long enough that the car actually warms up and I can enjoy the FLY Morning Rush, but isn't long enough to make me feel like I'm slaving my life away.

I'm sure some of it depends on where you grew up. When I worked downtown, some of the 20-something year-old kids in our office thought I had a really long commute. I live about a mile outside the Beltway as the crow flies (closer to two miles driving) and it was about 12 to 15 miles to the office, usually took between half an hour and 45 minutes at rush hour. They thought that seemed like a really long way. Thing is, I grew up in Northern Virginia about 2.5 miles west of the Beltway and my father worked downtown, so to me that commute always seemed like the normal distance.

Setting that aside, though, one thing that is a MAJOR factor in where people in the DC area live is often the schools. I don't have kids so this isn't an issue for me, but it is very common for parents with kids to decide where to live based on which schools that neighborhood's kids attend, even if that means giving themselves a much longer commute. My parents still live in the house they moved to when I was 10 years old, and one reason they picked that house was to ensure my brother and I went to a particular junior high and high school (and, equally important, to ensure we would NOT go to the ones where we would have gone had we not moved!). This sort of thing is an extremely important issue to a lot of people and it factors into property values (due to certain school districts being in demand), but it's something that tends to be overlooked in a lot of the discussions about traffic management and the like. I'm certainly not going to criticize any parent for prioritizing his kids' education. I'm sure some people would probably say "it's not right" that some schools are better than others. While they have a valid point in theory, it's simply a fact of life that some schools are better (whether because of better teachers, better students, whatever.....the high school I would have attended had we not moved when I was 10 years old had a problem with ethnic gang violence) and people will make an effort to send their kids to those schools.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on March 30, 2015, 11:13:24 AM
Presumably less of an issue these days since the 20/30-somethings of today are less inclined to have children than past generations.  That said, I know plenty of parents who have chosen to stick it out in the District because the drawbacks of DCPS are outweighed by the benefits of living closer in.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on March 30, 2015, 11:46:51 AM
Presumably less of an issue these days since the 20/30-somethings of today are less inclined to have children than past generations.  That said, I know plenty of parents who have chosen to stick it out in the District because the drawbacks of DCPS are outweighed by the benefits of living closer in.


Sure, but there are still a lot of people with school-age kids who moved based in part on that issue. It's the sort of thing that takes time to filter out regardless of what younger people are inclined to do, simply because existing kids have to grow up and their parents have to retire before the commuting impact is diluted. I say "diluted" rather than eliminated because, of course, retirement doesn't necessarily take traffic off the roads, though it may shift the traffic or change the time of day the person travels. (For example, my mother retired four or five years ago but still works periodically as a substitute teacher as a way to make extra money and keep her mind active and engaged.)

Mentioning my parents makes me think of another commuting issue that I'm sure I've noted before: Two-income households where the people do not work in the same location, and may well work in opposite directions from each other. Unless one spouse changes jobs (which may not be a realistic option), there's a fair chance one or both of them will have some sort of commute issue. In that situation I tend to think living midway between is often the reasonable thing to do even if it means they both have "longer" commutes than might be the case if they lived near one spouse's workplace.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 17, 2015, 10:52:58 AM
Washington Post: Congress members raise concerns about I-66 plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/04/17/congress-members-raise-concerns-about-i-66-plan/)

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Four members of Congress from Northern Virginia have written to Virginia’s transportation secretary to say they find aspects of the state’s plan for Interstate 66 “deeply troubling.”

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In the letter dated Thursday, Gerald E. Connolly (D), Robert J. Wittman (R), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D) and Barbara Comstock (R) wrote to Secretary Aubrey Layne that they were concerned about “the far-reaching implications of your proposal on commuters and neighborhoods, the rapid timetable proposed, and the lack of public input into the planning process.”

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The letter points out that the state’s proposal to create high-occupancy toll lanes and raise the carpool standard from HOV2 to HOV3 still faces federal scrutiny. The members of Congress note that their constituents have expressed concern to them about many aspects of the project. “We strongly urge that you work to address these concerns,” the letter concludes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 17, 2015, 10:53:58 AM
Presumably less of an issue these days since the 20/30-somethings of today are less inclined to have children than past generations.  That said, I know plenty of parents who have chosen to stick it out in the District because the drawbacks of DCPS are outweighed by the benefits of living closer in.

Under no circumstances would I have wanted my stepsons in the District of Columbia's public schools.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2015, 09:42:38 AM
Washington Post: Virginians near I-66 see the state’s plan for HOT lanes as a threat (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/virginians-near-i-66-see-the-states-plan-for-hot-lanes-as-a-threat/2015/04/23/beff22d0-e84d-11e4-9a6a-c1ab95a0600b_story.html)

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The state of Virginia has different plans for adding high-occupancy toll lanes to Interstate 66 inside and outside the Capital Beltway. But this much is consistent: It must make a very convincing case that its congestion solutions aren’t just about charging tolls.

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Many people have shared their skepticism about the plans, but those most deeply concerned are those who live close to I-66 just outside the Beltway and fear that their property and lifestyle will be damaged. This letter is from one of those residents.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 26, 2015, 03:36:26 PM
Washington Post:  Can a tolling and transit deal fix I-66 after decades of failure? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/can-a-tolling-and-transit-deal-fix-i-66-after-decades-of-failure/2015/04/25/cbd8859a-ea92-11e4-9767-6276fc9b0ada_story.html)

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One of the immovable forces of Washington-area politics, cemented when Gerald Ford was president and Rod Stewart topped the Billboard charts, could be starting to budge.

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At least that’s the view of the man Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) sent to try to end the commonwealth’s decades-long political stalemate over Interstate 66.

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As part of intricate and ongoing negotiations over the fate of the road and its surroundings, Arlington County politicians’ principled — or intransigent — opposition to widening the ­traffic-choked route to the nation’s capital has, in the word of Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne, “softened.”

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Layne said he believes that the broad framework of a deal has been struck: I-66 would be converted to a toll road inside the Capital Beltway, with carpoolers riding free. The tolls — tens of millions worth — would be channeled to just the types of Metro, bus, bike and pedestrian improvements that county officials have long argued are the best way to move growing numbers of people.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on April 26, 2015, 05:05:52 PM
I find the inside-the-Beltway proposal more interesting than (though certainly no less important than) the outside-the-Beltway proposal simply because the inside-the-Beltway one is different from the other HO/T lanes we have now and because it would cost substantially less to implement due to the limited construction needed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 26, 2015, 06:22:19 PM
I find the inside-the-Beltway proposal more interesting than (though certainly no less important than) the outside-the-Beltway proposal simply because the inside-the-Beltway one is different from the other HO/T lanes we have now and because it would cost substantially less to implement due to the limited construction needed.

It is certainly much easier to fix than what is outside the Beltway.

No need to take much or any real estate to deal with the problems inside the Beltway. 

Added bonus, this also fixes the massive congestion problem in the off-peak flow (AM westbound and PM eastbound) directions of I-66
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on May 12, 2015, 09:07:43 PM
A Dr Gridlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/05/12/heres-how-i-66-hot-lanes-system-would-look/) article today talks about the I-66 project outside the Beltway, but doesn't offer a whole lot of new information.  It does mention that VDOT released the Tier 2 Draft EIS (http://outside.transform66.org/meetings/tier_2_draft_environmental_assessment.asp) today.  There are also updated renderings (http://outside.transform66.org/meetings/may_june_public_hearing.asp) to go with meetings later this month and next month.

Of note, there is a 3rd option now at VA 28 which would effectively make it a 3-level interchange, with 66 on the bottom, southbound 28 and associated ramps on the middle level, and northbound 28 and associated ramps at the top level.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 12, 2015, 09:41:32 PM
A Dr Gridlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/05/12/heres-how-i-66-hot-lanes-system-would-look/) article today talks about the I-66 project outside the Beltway, but doesn't offer a whole lot of new information.  It does mention that VDOT released the Tier 2 Draft EIS (http://outside.transform66.org/meetings/tier_2_draft_environmental_assessment.asp) today.  There are also updated renderings (http://outside.transform66.org/meetings/may_june_public_hearing.asp) to go with meetings later this month and next month.

Of note, there is a 3rd option now at VA 28 which would effectively make it a 3-level interchange, with 66 on the bottom, southbound 28 and associated ramps on the middle level, and northbound 28 and associated ramps at the top level.

IMO, the two worst interchanges in the corridor are at Va. 28 (mostly because 28 itself is so badly congested by the at-grade signalized intersection north of the interchange at Va. 620 (Braddock Road)), and at U.S. 50 (Lee-Jackson Highway), where it looks like VDOT is proposing a lot of work with any of the alternatives. 

Glad to see that VDOT is considering doing something to improve the rest areas in Prince William County near Bull Run and the Fairfax County Line (they have not had anything done to them since I-66 opened to traffic between I-495 and U.S. 29 at Gainesville in the 1960's).

Thanks for sharing this.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on May 18, 2015, 04:27:40 PM
For the best in DC suburban living, your new dream home awaits............in Moorefield WV

Lol
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 18, 2015, 04:50:51 PM
For the best in DC suburban living, your new dream home awaits............in Moorefield WV

Maybe if Virginia builds its part of Corridor H (U.S. 48).  But it was not even mentioned in the Six Year Plan the last time I looked.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on May 18, 2015, 08:32:08 PM
I was making fun of my own life experiences:  I bought my first home at age 23 at the corner of Old Baltimore Road and Edmonston in Rockville in July 1986, sold it 18 months later at a 50% markup and bought a big vic on the river with acreage in Brunswick MD, I look at google map views of stupid attempts at walkable cityscape developments in places I used to hang like Lovettsvile VA
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 18, 2015, 08:35:58 PM
I was making fun of my own life experiences:  I bought my first home at age 23 at the corner of Old Baltimore Road and Edmonston in Rockville in July 1986, sold it 18 months later at a 50% markup and bought a big vic on the river with acreage in Brunswick MD, I look at google map views of stupid attempts at walkable cityscape developments in places I used to hang like Lovettsvile VA

I am quite familiar with all of those places.  Old Baltimore and Edmonston is near the Civic Center, right?

Funny thing about Brunswick - it is pretty far out, but a fair number of people residing there ride transit to work, because the MARC trains stop there (and for some trips, that's the end of the line).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 19, 2015, 09:22:38 AM
Washington Post: State control of I-66 expansion could net Virginia substantial revenue (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/state-control-of-i-66-expansion-could-net-virginia-substantial-revenue/2015/05/18/a3629d58-fd7f-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html)

Quote
Keeping the financing and construction of a proposed expansion of Interstate 66 under state control — rather than handing those responsibilities off to private investors — could net the commonwealth $200 million to $500 million in toll revenue over 40 years to be used for other Northern Virginia transportation projects, according to a new state analysis.

Quote
And gaining these benefits for taxpayers would cost the state half as much upfront, compared with doing a so-called public-private partnership, according to Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne, who is set to describe the analysis Tuesday at a meeting of Virginia’s top transportation oversight body.

Quote
Virginia has been a national leader during the past two decades in tapping private companies to take over public transportation projects. Layne’s approach is the clearest sign yet that state officials intend to take a harder look at such public-private partnerships following a series of past missteps.

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Layne said he has not ruled out pursuing a public-private partnership for the proposed $2.1 billion I-66 project under the right conditions.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on May 20, 2015, 12:04:08 AM
I was making fun of my own life experiences:  I bought my first home at age 23 at the corner of Old Baltimore Road and Edmonston in Rockville in July 1986, sold it 18 months later at a 50% markup and bought a big vic on the river with acreage in Brunswick MD, I look at google map views of stupid attempts at walkable cityscape developments in places I used to hang like Lovettsvile VA

I am quite familiar with all of those places.  Old Baltimore and Edmonston is near the Civic Center, right?

Funny thing about Brunswick - it is pretty far out, but a fair number of people residing there ride transit to work, because the MARC trains stop there (and for some trips, that's the end of the line).

Yep, I owned the house diagonally across the intersection from the civic center with the 2 HUGE oaks in front.  Bought it in 1986 for $88,000 sold it in 1988 for $136K, I was 23 and thought:  Wow! real estate investing is easy.

Back in Brunswick, they did not even have the required signalling for 24 hour operation back then.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 20, 2015, 04:12:19 PM
How much does anyone want to bet nothing happens to Interstate 66 inside the beltway? Not that I am against the HOT Lane proposal.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on May 20, 2015, 04:18:21 PM
Converting it to HO/T-3 will probably happen.  There's enough VDOT and political support for it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 20, 2015, 07:46:07 PM
At a minimum, I think even if they were to defer the inside-the-Beltway HO/T project, they'll still restore the old HOV-3 restriction instead of HOV-2 (they already said they plan to do that), and I think they'd consider imposing it in both directions during both rush hours (that is, instead of the current "to DC AM, from DC PM" system—to borrow terminology from the MTA's peak-direction express trains—HIV would apply both inbound and outbound in both the morning and afternoon). Traffic volumes certainly warrant consideration of bi-directional HOV, given how the road serves what some people still call "reverse commuters" from DC and Arlington to Tysons or Fair Lakes. (I think the term "reverse commute" is somewhat outdated in today's DC area.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2015, 10:19:46 AM
At a minimum, I think even if they were to defer the inside-the-Beltway HO/T project, they'll still restore the old HOV-3 restriction instead of HOV-2 (they already said they plan to do that), and I think they'd consider imposing it in both directions during both rush hours (that is, instead of the current "to DC AM, from DC PM" system—to borrow terminology from the MTA's peak-direction express trains—HIV would apply both inbound and outbound in both the morning and afternoon).

HIV?  Used by an anti-road/anti-auto activist from Takoma Park to describe Maryland HOV lane projects that he was opposed to (he was opposed to any and all highway improvement projects).

IMO, you have the right idea. 

Quote
Traffic volumes certainly warrant consideration of bi-directional HOV, given how the road serves what some people still call "reverse commuters" from DC and Arlington to Tysons or Fair Lakes. (I think the term "reverse commute" is somewhat outdated in today's DC area.)

Agreed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: JawnwoodS96 on May 21, 2015, 11:28:09 AM
to borrow terminology from the MTA's peak-direction express trains—HIV
Presuming you mean HOV, I agree that I-66 inside the beltway warrants a reversible HOV (Most likely a HOV-3). I don't know if they will improve anything inside the beltway, but god knows they should.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 21, 2015, 02:12:57 PM
Obviously, "HIV" was a typo. For a good long time, my iPad autocorrect recognized when I wanted "HOV," but in the past week it appears to have lost that entry and several others.

I suppose that says something about getting too used to autocorrect.

I was not referring to a reversible HOV facility like the one on I-395, BTW. I meant keeping the road basically as-is but having HOV apply in both directions. That is, under the current system it's HOV outbound from 16:00 to 18:30 weekdays. I expect VDOT would make it HOV both inbound and outbound during those hours even if they don't implement tolling operations. (Same would apply in the morning. I don't recall the morning HOV hours and don't want to look them up since I'm typing this on an iPhone.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2015, 04:35:12 PM
Obviously, "HIV" was a typo. For a good long time, my iPad autocorrect recognized when I wanted "HOV," but in the past week it appears to have lost that entry and several others.

I suppose that says something about getting too used to autocorrect.

Figured as much.


I was not referring to a reversible HOV facility like the one on I-395, BTW. I meant keeping the road basically as-is but having HOV apply in both directions. That is, under the current system it's HOV outbound from 16:00 to 18:30 weekdays. I expect VDOT would make it HOV both inbound and outbound during those hours even if they don't implement tolling operations. (Same would apply in the morning. I don't recall the morning HOV hours and don't want to look them up since I'm typing this on an iPhone.)

The morning HOV I-66 hours (eastbound only) are 6:30 to 9:00 inside the Beltway and 5:30 to 9:30 outside the Beltway.

I agree with the idea of managing it in both directions in both peak commute periods with tolls and HOV-3 restrictions.  Of course, elected officials in Arlington County are very worried that the revenue might be used to fund a widening of I-66 in their county, or nearby.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on June 17, 2015, 02:55:15 PM
CTB held a workshop where an update to I-66 improvements was given:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2015/june/pres/I66Update.pdf

Open to traffic in 2021...

Mike
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: skaguy on June 17, 2015, 06:24:46 PM
It seems to me the biggest issue with I-66 outside of the Beltway is between Lee Jackson (US 50) and the Beltway which are the areas with lane control.  Even on the weekends, during the afternoon there's congestion both ways on this stretch of I-66.  However, once you get west of US 50, it always clears up and traffic moves fine.  I think adding an extra lane would help tremendously on this stretch, especially during non-peak times.

To echo what C. Patrick said a while back, the I-66/VA 28 interchange is terrible and I do hope to see improvements made there.  However, it is better since the turn lanes were extended on VA 28 South.  The traffic lights are synced up so once the light is green at Braddock/Walney, the waiting at the interstate to go East is minimized or eliminated.  I've found equally as bad is the off ramp from I-66 East to VA 28 North.  During the morning rush, it frequently backs up and drivers are always trying to cut in front as well.  Also, people inattentive drivers can create problems with a sudden stop.  It appears VDOT may be extending the lane for the off ramp based on the addition of a 5th light in the new lane control system which is not active yet.  However, this could actually be worse, because unless an additional emergency lane is added it doesn't give room for drivers to swerve to avoid rear end collisions without going completely off the highway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 17, 2015, 08:19:19 PM
Here are the maps for the proposals for the Route 28 interchange. It's definitely on their radar—to say the least!

http://www.transform66.org/documents/meetings/2015may/38_2A_Route_28.pdf

http://www.transform66.org/documents/meetings/2015may/70_2B_Route_28.pdf

Somewhere, ethanman62187 would be excited if he saw those....
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 18, 2015, 04:31:44 PM
Washington Post: Arlingtonians share their concerns about I-66 plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/06/18/arlingtonians-share-their-concerns-about-i-66-plan/)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 19, 2015, 03:33:48 PM
Thread revived to note that VDOT has shown a new "Alternative 2D" for the Beltway/I-66 interchange. The most notable change that catches my eye is a revision to the connection from the Inner Loop HO/T lanes to the westbound I-66 general-purpose lanes. One of the other alternatives called for rebuilding the recently-demolished portion of the left-side exit ramp that has existed, in different configurations, since I-66 opened (I'm referring here to the portion built in the mid-1990s that consisted of a sort of "kink" where the ramp abruptly curved to the right so as to enter I-66 from the right side). This proposal ditches that idea in favor of using the existing HO/T exit, bearing right towards DC, then bearing right again onto a new ramp that would fly back over the Inner Loop to join the new proposed flyover that would run from the Inner Loop's right side to westbound I-66's right side. VDOT says this alternative would reduce the interchange's height and its impact on, in particular, Stenwood Elementary School's grounds.

.PDF diagram here: http://outside.transform66.org/learn_more/asset_upload_file185_79351.pdf

People are going to crap themselves when construction on that interchange starts up again since the Beltway HO/T lane construction still doesn't feel all that long ago!

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on August 20, 2015, 11:09:05 AM
I compared the two alternatives (2C and 2D) and it looks like it does cut the right-of-way needs on the school property (as well as several other properties abutting 66) by a good chunk.  Not zero-impact as the Dunn Loring neighborhood is wanting, but I'd guesstimate the ROW requirement from the school is about 60% less with 2D than with 2C.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 20, 2015, 12:01:05 PM
Zero-impact is unreasonable, IMO, unless one feels "no-build" is reasonable.

I know it stinks if your property is the one affected, but I can't be entirely sympathetic because I think if you buy property next to a major road (doesn't have to be an Interstate or a junction, either), the risk of a widening project someday affecting your property, or even taking all your property, is part of what goes with the location.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on September 17, 2015, 07:20:35 AM
The Washington Post reported yesterday that VDOT has released its preferred alternative for I-66 outside the Beltway (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/09/16/vdot-shows-its-preferred-plan-for-i-66-hot-lanes/). The most notable element of this particular article is that the HO/T lanes wouldn't extend to Haymarket, at least not initially; instead, they'd end at the University Boulevard overpass, which is the relatively new one located between Gainesville and the Route 234 (bypass) interchange. The existing HOV ramps at Stringfellow Road and Monument Drive would mostly retain their current configurations with slight modifications, I assume to allow two-way usage at all times.

I haven't had the time to look elsewhere online to see which interchange designs they chose. Dr. Gridlock didn't provide a link to any such info and a mishap last night involving a glass of red wine and a white carpet meant my attention was focused elsewhere!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on September 18, 2015, 08:30:58 PM
A video of I-66 HOT alternative is on Youtube.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 19, 2015, 08:25:04 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: What’s not to like about I-66 HOT lanes? Everyone can find something. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/whats-not-to-like-about-i-66-hot-lanes-everyone-can-find-something/2015/09/18/25f11450-5d72-11e5-9757-e49273f05f65_story.html)

Quote
After spending much of 2015 working on Virginia’s effort to rebuild Interstate 66 and add tolls, state Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne had reached this conclusion: “Everyone may not like every aspect of what we’re planning.”

Quote
There’s one statement about the multibillion-dollar, multiphase, multiyear, multi-modal, multijurisdiction program that will draw widespread agreement. After that, accord begins to break down.

Quote
Although the overall plan has significant support, anything this complicated also has plenty of skeptics, doubters and flat-out naysayers.

Quote
Here’s an incomplete list of what they can pick on: The taking of 11 private properties for the outside-the-Beltway portion of the high-occupancy toll lanes project, the lack of additional lanes for the inside-the-Beltway portion, the possibility that more lanes will be added later, the possibility that the state will finance the project, the possibility that the state will enlist a private partner to finance the project, the uncertainty over the carpool standard needed for a free ride, the exclusion of hybrids from the free-ride category and — oh, yeah — the tolls.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 19, 2015, 02:49:38 PM
VDOT produced a 13-minute video outlining their preferred alternative for I-66 outside the Beltway. Dr. Gridlock posted it on his blog:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/10/19/whats-virginia-trying-to-fix-on-i-66/
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2015, 03:24:45 PM
[Op-Ed] column by Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne on WTOP.COM: The truth behind I-66 inside the Beltway (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/10/commentary-the-truth-behind-i-66-inside-the-beltway/)

Quote
Virginians deserve a healthy public discussion about how best to improve our transportation system. But that discussion must also be grounded in fact, not political rhetoric.  Unfortunately, the leadership of the House Republican Caucus is engaged in a campaign of misleading and flatly incorrect information on the McAuliffe administration’s proposal to improve I-66 inside the Beltway. So in the interest of good public policy, here are the facts.

Quote
Fact 1: Despite unfounded claims to the contrary, dynamic tolling on I-66 will reduce congestion.

In 2013 the McDonnell Administration released a study on reducing traffic congestion in the I-66 corridor. It was the third such study in 15 years.

The study stated that dynamic tolling and multi-modal improvements could move 40,000 more people a day through the I-66 corridor, which is equivalent to 10 additional interstate lanes in the morning and another 10 in the evening.  The proposal would increase travel speeds from today’s low of 5 miles per hour to a more reliable pace of 45 miles per hour or faster.

The tangible congestion alleviation benefits this proposal will generate have led the Fairfax and Loudoun County Chambers of Commerce to express support for the proposed improvements.  We are working collaboratively with Fairfax, Arlington and Falls Church on the proposed project.  Just recently the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board approved adding this project to the region’s Constrained Long Range Plan.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2015, 05:32:14 PM
He's not wrong.  There are actually NO losers initially in this.  With limited exceptions, SOV drivers can't use the road anyway right now during rush hour...this would allow them to as long as they pay the toll.

The only "losers" in the long run are those currently running HOV-2 who will either need to pay the toll or add a carpooler when they change the HOV requirements to 3 minimum.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2015, 09:05:17 PM
The only "losers" in the long run are those currently running HOV-2 who will either need to pay the toll or add a carpooler when they change the HOV requirements to 3 minimum.

And perhaps the drivers of Toyota Priuses, Honda Civic hybrids and similar vehicles with grandfathered "CF" Virginia registration plates allowing them access to the HOV lanes regardless of how many people are in the vehicle. Their "free ride" in what are now HOV lanes presumably comes to an end with a transition to HOV/Toll lanes, as it did in what are now the 95Express lanes in the I-95 and southern I-395 corridor.

But - supposedly the Virginia DMV had (has?) regulations requiring purchasers of such cars to be warned by the dealer that the access to the HOV lanes could be cancelled at any time.  Not sure if the dealers complied with this, nor am I sure that any of the purchasers of cars listened.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 25, 2015, 09:40:12 PM
Like the 495 HOT lanes, people will complain about them and then use them. People don't know what they want nor what they need when it comes to infrastructure.

Also, is it safe to assume that there won't be any non-toll new highway construction (at least part of the new lanes being tolled) ever again? I would figure not.

Pretty soon Maryland and DC will look to improve and HOT 295 from the Beltway to the 11th Street Bridge, I bet.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2015, 09:48:48 PM
Like the 495 HOT lanes, people will complain about them and then use them. People don't know what they want nor what they need when it comes to infrastructure.

Though in the case of I-66 inside the Beltway, they will not have a (congested) freeway choice as a "free" alternative.  The "free" routes most likely to be used by shunpikers probably the same as today - U.S. 50 (Arlington Boulevard), U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) and the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Also, is it safe to assume that there won't be any non-toll new highway construction (at least part of the new lanes being tolled) ever again? I would figure not.

That may be a reasonable assertion, though I am not very good about predicting the future.  If someone had told me that Md. 200 (ICC) would be built and open to traffic in 2011 back in 2000 (when anti-all-highways Gov. Parris Nelson Glendening was still in office),  I would have been pretty dismissive of such talk.  But things happen, and the (toll-financed) road is there today.

Pretty soon Maryland and DC will look to improve and HOT 295 from the Beltway to the 11th Street Bridge, I bet.

The only interstate (note lower-case "i," as I include any highway improvement project between an adjoining jurisdiction and Maryland) HOV/Toll project I am aware of that has gotten on-the-record interest from anyone in Maryland is at the American Legion Bridge (yes, that's part of I-495).   That interest was expressed (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6048.msg2101785#msg2101785) in the form of a joint letter to the secretaries at Maryland DOT and Virginia DOT and signed by the members of the Montgomery County Council and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. 

Note that the counties would presumably not be involved in funding or operating HOV/Toll lanes at the American Legion Bridge or anywhere else, so the ball is effectively in the court of the state DOTs and the governors.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2015, 09:57:58 PM
DDOT has looked into toll lanes both on the SE/SW Freeway and on 295.  Not sure what the status of their inquiry is.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2015, 10:04:19 PM
DDOT has looked into toll lanes both on the SE/SW Freeway and on 295.  Not sure what the status of their inquiry is.

IMO good potential corridors for both.  Also IMO, they need to widen D.C. 295 to be six lanes all the way from the 11th Street Bridge to the Maryland border, but that could be funded out of HOV/Toll lane revenues.

Have not heard anything about it lately. 

Since VDOT is apparently talking to Transurban about extending the 95 Express HOV/Toll lanes project north from Turkeycock Run to either the Pentagon or all the way to the Virginia shoreline of the Potomac River, it seems that DDOT would be very smart to cut a deal with Transurban to extend the HOV/Toll treatment into D.C. - at least for the (former) HOV bridges and their ramps on the D.C. side of the Potomac.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on October 26, 2015, 07:51:39 AM
I'd rather VDOT keep it in house than give it to Transurban.  We've enough problems with their existing Transurban deals as it is...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2015, 09:17:54 AM
I'd rather VDOT keep it in house than give it to Transurban.  We've enough problems with their existing Transurban deals as it is...

I would not normally be in favor of having a private company run things, but because there is already a deal in place with Transurban and Transurban is already controlling some operational aspects of the I-395 HOV lanes, I would not have a problem with giving the rest of the corridor to them (albeit with contract terms better to the citizens of the Commonwealth and better controls on fees and charges) - and extension of the managed lanes along I-95 at least as far south as Va. 3).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2015, 01:01:17 AM
Washington Post: I-66 HOT lanes plan clears another hurdle (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/10/27/i-66-hot-lanes-plan-clears-another-hurdle/)

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The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board voted unanimously Tuesday to advance the state’s plan to build HOT lanes on Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway, after spending much more time reviewing the other toll plan for the stretch inside the Beltway.

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In this election season for the Virginia General Assembly, it’s the inside plan that is generating the most political heat. The state’s plan is to toll the interior 10 miles without building extra lanes, the first time in the D.C. region that tolls would be added without also adding asphalt.

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There’s plenty of controversy about the outside the Beltway portion, too, but at the moment, it’s muted compared to the concerns expressed by local officials and commuters.

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Nonetheless, several people made the journey from Northern Virginia to the board’s meeting in Virginia Beach to testify about the Virginia Department of Transportation’s outside-the-Beltway plan.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 28, 2015, 07:44:55 AM
Note the CTB signed onto the portion outside the Beltway. It's the inside-the-Beltway portion that's provoked the media stink and the TV attack ads over the past week or so.

(It seems to me the only people with a legitimate beef about the inside-the-Beltway proposal are the ones who commute in the opposite direction from the current HOV restrictions. If you can't currently use that road in the peak direction due to being an SOV, making the road HO/T gives you an option you do not now have. The fact that you would have to pay for it is irrelevant, because if you deem the toll unacceptable or too expensive, it means you continue to use the same route you do today. True, some HOV-2s are mad that they'd have to pay a toll in a few years when the "free" requirement changes from 2 to 3, but since the change to HOV-3 was to happen regardless of tolling, I don't see their gripe as valid either.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 08:31:43 AM
Why is it that the concept of even charging a nominal toll on a previously-free highway is the subject of breathless commentary and the like, but public transportation fares often get raised despite public objections?

It just seems disingenous to act as if there is some God-given right to toll-free highways in perpetuity.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 28, 2015, 08:41:58 AM
Why is it that the concept of even charging a nominal toll on a previously-free highway is the subject of breathless commentary and the like, but public transportation fares often get raised despite public objections?

It just seems disingenous to act as if there is some God-given right to toll-free highways in perpetuity.

Prices are going to go up.  You can't ride a bus for 25 cents in perpetuity either.  It's a rare day in hell when people don't mind their prices or fares raised.  The biggest difference is that all your stores don't have to ask for public comment before they raise the prices on their products.  Mass Transit agencies do.  Eliminate the public comment (and related newspaper articles), and you'll hear a lot fewer people complaining.

With roads, because of the historic system of funding them via fuel taxes, people do feel as if they have paid for them already.  It's much easier to build a new toll road from scratch than to convert a free road to a toll road. But even then you'll get the people that say they are paying for the road twice - once via the tolls, and twice via the fuel tax they paid.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 08:47:15 AM
I'm 26 and I feel like there's always been a gas-tax shortfall. Clearly the "free-highway" model concept may have worked in a previous era, but I'll believe it when I see it in the modern sense.

Besides, people complain too much. The people commuting from Loudoun and western Fairfax, where household incomes are well over 100K, will survive paying some tolls.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on October 28, 2015, 01:02:03 PM
If the fuel tax kept pace with inflation and wasn't diverted to other things, we wouldn't have problems.  Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if the reasons behind the "political impossibility" for raising the fuel tax are part of a secret game to raise support for a mileage tax and shoving in a GPS to track every single car.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 28, 2015, 01:41:05 PM
I think we'd still have problems as fuel efficiency increases. Put differently, a Prius can put the same wear and tear on the road as other compact cars, but its owner will pay a lot less in fuel taxes if he mostly uses it for city driving. Then you have alternative-fuel vehicles whose owners pay NO gas tax. That's a serious conundrum—on the one hand, it's good to reduce oil consumption, but doing so reduces road funds from the gas tax.

Virginia tried imposing an annual tax on alternative-fuel vehicles and hybrids a few years back. The people who owned those types of vehicles screamed bloody murder and it was repealed.

I find the idea of a mileage tax insidious because it'd be used to open the door to other things. It wouldn't stop at simply recording distance driven. It'd be expanded to track your whereabouts at any given time and to assess whether you're somewhere you "should" be. Doesn't matter what laws might be put in place. The government's secret little stooge court would be used to let them do whatever they want in secret.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 01:53:29 PM
If the fuel tax kept pace with inflation and wasn't diverted to other things, we wouldn't have problems.

And if my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon.

Besides, I never understood the idea of having a closed environment between fuel taxes and highway spending. Money is money, it's all fungible. Once it's in the government's coffers, spend it where it needs to go.

It makes as much sense as decreeing that taxes on groceries can only be used on school lunch funding.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2015, 01:58:24 PM
I find the idea of a mileage tax insidious because it'd be used to open the door to other things. It wouldn't stop at simply recording distance driven. It'd be expanded to track your whereabouts at any given time and to assess whether you're somewhere you "should" be. Doesn't matter what laws might be put in place. The government's secret little stooge court would be used to let them do whatever they want in secret.

Hoo, I have a bigger problem with such taxes, and it relates directly the antics of places like Hopewell, Va. and Takoma Park, Md. and more than a few other municipalities.

Unless mileage-based user fees (MBUF) are set only at the statewide level, small municipalities like those two (and many others) will rationalize the "fairness" of collecting extremely high per-mile fees on traffic only passing through.

On a larger scale, am quite sure that New York City would enumerate the huge expense associated with running its subway and public transit bus systems (and delivering an assortment of other services - mostly to city residents) as excuses to hammer drivers passing though either way on I-95, or trying to get from New Jersey or Westchester County to Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2015, 02:11:40 PM
WTOP.COM: Where exactly will the toll money go from I-66 inside the Beltway? (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/10/where-exactly-will-the-toll-money-go-from-i-66-inside-the-beltway/)

Quote
WASHINGTON — Carpoolers will still travel free when rush-hour tolls are added to Interstate 66 inside the Beltway in the next couple of years, but people who violate HOV rules now will have to pay up to $17 a day round trip if they go the full length at the busiest times, but Virginia transportation leaders say the money would return to help ease their commute or provide other options.

Quote
Deputy Transportation Secretary Nick Donohue says that in addition to a legal requirement, the toll revenue from inside the Beltway project must benefit toll-paying users of the road. The state will ask the regional body that decides on the improvements to prove that the extra transit options, or road improvements, have the desired impact.

Quote
“All revenues will stay in this corridor and must, by law, benefit the toll-paying users on I-66 inside the Beltway. It means we can’t widen, say, Route 17 in Stafford County, because that doesn’t benefit the toll-paying users on I-66. It also means we can’t build sidewalks out of gold in Alexandria, because that doesn’t benefit the toll-paying users of I-66,” Donohue says.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 28, 2015, 02:37:09 PM
Just wondering...has there been any issues with carpoolers saying they've been charged for a ride even though it should have been free (regardless if it was on the honor system or with EZ Pass Flex), or, vice-versa, SOVs are using the HO/T lanes with an EZ Pass Flex and getting (or not getting) caught?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2015, 03:05:35 PM
Just wondering...has there been any issues with carpoolers saying they've been charged for a ride even though it should have been free (regardless if it was on the honor system or with EZ Pass Flex), or, vice-versa, SOVs are using the HO/T lanes with an EZ Pass Flex and getting (or not getting) caught?

Regarding incorrect reads and the E-ZPass Flex transponders, I have not heard of anyone having a problem with that (and if there was a problem, I suspect the news media would be all over it),

Use of the E-ZPass Flex without the 3 persons required for HOV (free) use is enforced by the Virginia State Police, and yes, they have caught some scofflaws (not sure how many).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 03:09:51 PM
At least I-66 monies should in theory remain in Northern VA, as opposed to being re-routed to fiscal disasters like the US-460 scandal.

I'd like to see 66 revenues going towards the following, in the following order:

1) Completion of VRE expansion to Haymarket. That should be a no-brainer in terms of improving mobility along the I-66 corridor
2) Subsidies of transit improvements to existing Metrorail. We have Metro stations along the Orange and Silver line, so make it easier for commuters to access those stations (i.e. more frequent buses).
3) Pedestrian and bike improvements, also access to Metorail stations.

2) and 3) get a lot of grief by road fans and politicians in Fairfax and Loudoun, but every commuter who can walk, bike, or transit to Metrorail (or VRE) is one less commuter driving to the park-and-ride stations along Orange and Blue lines.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 03:10:51 PM
Use of the E-ZPass Flex without the 3 persons required for HOV (free) use is enforced by the Virginia State Police, and yes, they have caught some scofflaws (not sure how many).

Not enough. I know some people who say that they're willing to play the odds because it pays for itself in the long run.

They also said it helps that VSP announces their enforcement blitzes ahead of time.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 28, 2015, 03:28:01 PM
Not enough. I know some people who say that they're willing to play the odds because it pays for itself in the long run.

They also said it helps that VSP announces their enforcement blitzes ahead of time.

I have seen the trooper cars out there (more on I-495, since I do not drive the I-95/I-395 corridor all that often), apparently enforcing HOV (and Transurban pays for that not Virginia taxpayers).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on October 28, 2015, 04:02:22 PM
I see several troopers every day along the lengths of 495 and 95 Express Lanes doing enforcement activity of some sort.  Frequently they have somebody pulled over for something.

Interestingly I finally witnessed a semi use 10+ miles of the 95 express lanes and get away with it (I typically see one pulled over every couple of weeks).

Mike
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 28, 2015, 04:07:49 PM
But for every car pulled over, how many get away?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on October 28, 2015, 08:23:13 PM
But for every car pulled over, how many get away?


Unless you have about as many troopers as road users, this question will always be out there...

Mike
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on October 28, 2015, 09:15:57 PM
But for every car pulled over, how many get away?


Hundreds or Thousands. 

Even if there was a cop on the road at all times, the 15 minutes it takes for him to do a traffic stop means 15 minutes of motorists able to skirt the law.  In theory, a single cop can only stop about 3 or 4 people per hour.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 28, 2015, 09:57:45 PM
According to the Washington Post, on his radio show on WTOP today the governor said the inside-the-Beltway plan is being changed in response to public comment such that the HO/T operation would apply only in the traditional peak direction (to DC AM, from DC PM).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/mcauliffe-calls-republican-senate-candidate-liar-over-i-66-toll-proposal/2015/10/28/6f819f42-7d91-11e5-beba-927fd8634498_story.html



I find the idea of a mileage tax insidious because it'd be used to open the door to other things. It wouldn't stop at simply recording distance driven. It'd be expanded to track your whereabouts at any given time and to assess whether you're somewhere you "should" be. Doesn't matter what laws might be put in place. The government's secret little stooge court would be used to let them do whatever they want in secret.

Hoo, I have a bigger problem with such taxes, and it relates directly the antics of places like Hopewell, Va. and Takoma Park, Md. and more than a few other municipalities.

Unless mileage-based user fees (MBUF) are set only at the statewide level, small municipalities like those two (and many others) will rationalize the "fairness" of collecting extremely high per-mile fees on traffic only passing through.

On a larger scale, am quite sure that New York City would enumerate the huge expense associated with running its subway and public transit bus systems (and delivering an assortment of other services - mostly to city residents) as excuses to hammer drivers passing though either way on I-95, or trying to get from New Jersey or Westchester County to Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island.

That's an interesting point that didn't occur to me when I was typing that post during lunch. Crossing state lines of course means a mileage-based system requires tracking the vehicle's location at all times. Obviously it's not appropriate for the state where the vehicle is registered just to collect a tax on the total distance driven if portions of that were incurred in other states (I guess Hawaii wouldn't face the issue very much). That in turn raises the problem of double taxation if your home state taxes you on the total distance driven and another state makes you pay tax for your distance driven there. This problem already occurs with income tax. Some states won't give you a 100% credit for income tax paid to another state if the other state imposes a higher tax rate than your home state does (I experienced this several times at a prior job where I had to pay New York income tax as a non-resident—Virginia didn't give a 100% credit). I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar happen.

I have not taken the time to think about whether there would be constitutional issues if the US government tried to regulate this sort of thing, and since I'm typing this during intermission of the hockey game I won't be thinking about that tonight. I don't know whether a tax on distance driven would be a "direct tax." Recall the first attempt at a federal income tax was struck down by the Supreme Court and a constitutional amendment was required to allow the current income tax to be collected.

Typing that made me think of the interesting question of whether differing tax rates from state to state could lead to the peculiar situation of people taking longer routes through states with lower rates if doing so could save money. Obviously only a sensible idea up to a certain point, of course.



Regarding the E-ZPass issue, there is a guy on Dr. Gridlock's blog with username "sneedel" who claims his E-ZPass Flex was charged a toll when he was using it in HOV mode. I haven't heard about that from anyone else, and I'm sure the media would have been all over it.

I remember before the Beltway lanes opened some people were convinced the toll gantries would charge people driving in the far left general-purpose lane. I haven't heard of that happening either.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 13, 2015, 11:17:49 PM
Washington Post op-ed: Beyond the rhetoric on I-66 tolls, D.C. parking meters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/beyond-the-rhetoric-on-i-66-tolls-dc-parking-meters/2015/11/13/2e25a7f0-8886-11e5-be39-0034bb576eee_story.html)

Quote
Would you rather pay $27 a month or $2.50 a month for your phone? A lower price means more dollars in your pocket, right? But what if one of those were an iPhone and the other a flip phone? We’re buying smartphones in droves even though they cost 10 times as much as the flip phones of old. Clearly, there’s more to these decisions than price.

Quote
We make decisions based on value, not just cost. But on a pair of transportation issues, we’re hearing rhetoric that tries to obscure this issues. It’s coming from groups of people more concerned with swaying public opinion than informing the public.

Quote
The first issue is tolls on Interstate 66. This road is a constant source of frustration for drivers and limited to carpools in rush hour in peak directions. The Virginia Department of Transportation wants to let solo drivers pay to use extra space on I-66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 14, 2015, 05:46:42 PM
People will adjust to peak-of-the-peak prices for the HOT lanes and for downtown parking. In the event of the latter, private parking has always been non-static; that is, garages are cheaper on nights and weekends than weekdays. The incentive for both HOT and dynamic parking prices should be to move away the fringe/marginal customers to different areas/roads or different modes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 02, 2015, 10:00:14 AM
WAMU Radio: Hybrid Owners To Lose 'Clean Fuel' HOV Exemption On Virginia's I-66 (http://wamu.org/news/15/11/23/hybrid_owners_to_lose_clean_fuel_hov_exemption_on_virginias_i_66)

Quote
The owners of the 18,000 cars with special "clean fuel" license plates are unhappy with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s plans to build toll lanes on I-66.

Quote
During rush hour, only HOV-2 carpoolers are allowed to use I-66 inside the Beltway, unless the car has the exemption printed on its license plate. According to VDOT, there are 18,638 active clean fuel plates. The state stopped issuing the plates in 2011, but the drivers have been allowed to continue to use the HOV lanes during rush hour as single-occupant vehicles.

Quote
But under plans to begin tolling I-66 inside the Beltway in 2017, the clean fuel exemption will be lifted, angering motorists who purchased hybrids.

Quote
“They were incentivized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to buy hybrids and one of those incentives was that they could use 66 inside the Beltway,” said Matt Letourneau, a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and opponent of the tolling plans.

Quote
“Thousands of people have built their lives, their commutes, where they work, where they live, around the ability to use 66. The Commonwealth's plan moving forward is to charge all those people tolls just the same as anyone else, so it's basic issue of fairness,” he said.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 02, 2015, 10:12:30 AM
Quote
Thousands of people have built their lives, their commutes, where they work, where they live, around the ability to use 66.

And, like most residents out there, the politicians don't realize that this is the root cause of the congestion problem on 66...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 02, 2015, 10:14:06 AM
66 isn't going anywhere. In fact, solo commuters will be able to use 66 more freely thanks to the toll option. And they can always add passengers to meet the HOV threshold.

Besides, terms of commuting change all the time. Bus and rail fares go up. I don't see why roads should be any different.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 02, 2015, 10:22:29 AM
Someone on the comments page for the WAMU article made a good point that the young/poor couldn't afford hybrids relative to conventional cars.

Bear in mind that Loudoun has the highest household income of any county in the US (within the margin of error). I'm sure all of those homeowners who planned their lives around 66 will be able to afford a toll if they really are so opposed to taking carpoolers. It's sort of funny when you compare it to areas like New York where you have commuters in less-wealthy counties paying steeper tolls. Loudoun will survive.

Maybe all that "cheap land" out that way isn't as cheap when you consider the real costs of living far out.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 02, 2015, 11:34:09 AM
The bleating from the hybrid owners gets old. The hybrids aren't the only vehicles eligible for the CF exemption, but all eligible vehicles will lose the exemption. At least with the hybrid you have what is essentially a perfectly good car that will work just like any other for any driving you want to do (except stuff like off-road driving, of course). Cars powered by CNG or propane or the like are largely impractical beyond commuting and are a hassle even for commuting, but the CF exemption outweighed the hassle for some people. With the hybrid, you can easily use it on your trip across country. Not so much with the other alternative-fuel vehicles.

The CF exemption is already gone on I-95 as it is. I'm not sure why I-66 users think they deserve different treatment from I-95 users.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 02, 2015, 11:42:38 AM
The CF exemption is already gone on I-95 as it is. I'm not sure why I-66 users think they deserve different treatment from I-95 users.

Because you hold onto whatever you can while you can. Why would anyone give up a freebie?

They'll pout and stamp their hooves, but life will go on and nothing fundamental will shift. My guess is the VDOT always had some sort of "we reserve the right to rescind the exemption at any time" clause in the regulation anyway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 02, 2015, 11:56:35 AM
The CF exemption is already gone on I-95 as it is. I'm not sure why I-66 users think they deserve different treatment from I-95 users.

Because you hold onto whatever you can while you can. Why would anyone give up a freebie?

They'll pout and stamp their hooves, but life will go on and nothing fundamental will shift. My guess is the VDOT always had some sort of "we reserve the right to rescind the exemption at any time" clause in the regulation anyway.

You are correct on both fronts, but I still find the bleating disingenuous. "We relied on this when we moved here." So did people along I-95. They lost their free pass. I-66 people's "reliance" on the exemption is no different.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 02, 2015, 11:57:51 AM
The CF exemption is already gone on I-95 as it is. I'm not sure why I-66 users think they deserve different treatment from I-95 users.

Because you hold onto whatever you can while you can. Why would anyone give up a freebie?

They'll pout and stamp their hooves, but life will go on and nothing fundamental will shift. My guess is the VDOT always had some sort of "we reserve the right to rescind the exemption at any time" clause in the regulation anyway.

You are correct on both fronts, but I still find the bleating disingenuous. "We relied on this when we moved here." So did people along I-95. They lost their free pass. I-66 people's "reliance" on the exemption is no different.

Careful now...  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 02, 2015, 12:23:20 PM
The difference is, I explained why I think the argument is disingenuous.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 02, 2015, 12:27:34 PM
I'll end my thoughts on the topic (for now) with this anecdote.

When the 495 HOT lanes were being built, someone close to me lives nearby was going on about Lexus Lanes, how she'd never use them, etc etc, wouldn't fix anything.

After the lanes opened, the topic of it came up, she would sheepishly admit how she liked the lanes and liked the guaranteed travel time. I figure many out that way (again, among the wealthiest counties in the US) will quickly come to that view as well. I expect many to continue to drive solo, because the vibe I always got from people in the western VA suburbs is that they're not the type to carpool/use public transit. Revenue from I-66 HOT will do well.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 02, 2015, 12:30:08 PM
The difference between 95 and 66 in this case is as follows:  95 isn't in the "favored quarter"...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 02, 2015, 12:35:31 PM
And, like most residents out there, the politicians don't realize that this is the root cause of the congestion problem on 66...

Not sure about root cause (were you posted to the D.C. area back when the restriction was HOV-3?) - but - there are enough of those HOV-exempt vehicles (along with the Dulles exemption) to really impact performance of I-66, when it should be running at free-flow.

The difference between 95 and 66 in this case is as follows:  95 isn't in the "favored quarter"...

Agreed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 02, 2015, 12:35:49 PM
The CF exemption is already gone on I-95 as it is. I'm not sure why I-66 users think they deserve different treatment from I-95 users.

Because you hold onto whatever you can while you can. Why would anyone give up a freebie?

They'll pout and stamp their hooves, but life will go on and nothing fundamental will shift. My guess is the VDOT always had some sort of "we reserve the right to rescind the exemption at any time" clause in the regulation anyway.

You are correct on both fronts, but I still find the bleating disingenuous. "We relied on this when we moved here." So did people along I-95. They lost their free pass. I-66 people's "reliance" on the exemption is no different.

No doubt so did people when they moved into a once rural area that become suburban then almost urban with traffic.

Best complaints are when a new housing development opens up, and some people choose a house on the edge of the development where there's trees behind them.  Then that land is sold for a housing development, and the people complain they chose their house based on the trees there. 

Sorry...but let's go back to the people that have lived in the area for decades and didn't get a say on your development going up.  I'm not crying that you had those lovely trees for 3 months before that land got sold as well.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 02, 2015, 12:40:48 PM
I'll end my thoughts on the topic (for now) with this anecdote.

When the 495 HOT lanes were being built, someone close to me lives nearby was going on about Lexus Lanes, how she'd never use them, etc etc, wouldn't fix anything.

After the lanes opened, the topic of it came up, she would sheepishly admit how she liked the lanes and liked the guaranteed travel time. I figure many out that way (again, among the wealthiest counties in the US) will quickly come to that view as well. I expect many to continue to drive solo, because the vibe I always got from people in the western VA suburbs is that they're not the type to carpool/use public transit. Revenue from I-66 HOT will do well.

Similar story in Montgomery County, Maryland. 

The hyperactive and hyperinvolved civic and environmentalist groups in the county confidently predicted that "nobody will use the InterCounty Connector" [Md. 200] (because they were opposed to the construction of the new road and because they claimed to be opposed to highway tolls generally).

Now that it has been open for a few years, the tolls are covering operating and  maintenance costs and paying down the debt that was issued by MdTA to build it, and it is averaging (over the course of an entire year) between 35,000 and 40,000 vehicles per day, between the interchanges from I-370 to I-95 (the far eastern end between I-95 and U.S. 1 has much less traffic).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 02, 2015, 12:44:25 PM
And, like most residents out there, the politicians don't realize that this is the root cause of the congestion problem on 66...

Not sure about root cause (were you posted to the D.C. area back when the restriction was HOV-3?) - but - there are enough of those HOV-exempt vehicles (along with the Dulles exemption) to really impact performance of I-66, when it should be running at free-flow.

Wasn't referring specifically to HOV lanes here.  Using the Supervisor's words literally...their ability to "use 66" (regardless of whether HOV or not) is what drove massive hordes of population to Loudoun and western Fairfax, and is the "root cause" of 66 congestion.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 02, 2015, 12:54:24 PM
I'll end my thoughts on the topic (for now) with this anecdote.

When the 495 HOT lanes were being built, someone close to me lives nearby was going on about Lexus Lanes, how she'd never use them, etc etc, wouldn't fix anything.

After the lanes opened, the topic of it came up, she would sheepishly admit how she liked the lanes and liked the guaranteed travel time. I figure many out that way (again, among the wealthiest counties in the US) will quickly come to that view as well. I expect many to continue to drive solo, because the vibe I always got from people in the western VA suburbs is that they're not the type to carpool/use public transit. Revenue from I-66 HOT will do well.

Reminds me of the story from the 1970s about how one of the leaders of New York's fight to keep Concorde out of JFK due to noise issues realized she would be late for a protest, so she flew Concorde to Washington to get back on time.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2015, 02:11:30 PM
And, like most residents out there, the politicians don't realize that this is the root cause of the congestion problem on 66...

Not sure about root cause (were you posted to the D.C. area back when the restriction was HOV-3?) - but - there are enough of those HOV-exempt vehicles (along with the Dulles exemption) to really impact performance of I-66, when it should be running at free-flow.

Wasn't referring specifically to HOV lanes here.  Using the Supervisor's words literally...their ability to "use 66" (regardless of whether HOV or not) is what drove massive hordes of population to Loudoun and western Fairfax, and is the "root cause" of 66 congestion.

Though a a pretty fair number of Loudoun County residents are not going to Arlington County or the District of Columbia.

I get the impression that plenty of them work along the Va. 267 corridor, or the Va. 28 corridor, or at the CIA complex on Va. 123 - often in jobs related to the "intelligence communty" which pay very well and allow them to purchase McMansions in Loudoun County if they cannot afford a McMansion in Fairfax County.

There is also a fair amount of employment related to aviation in Loudoun County, most of which does not need I-66.  Obviously at Dulles Airport, but also at the Federal Aviation Administration's Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center on Va. 7 (Harry Byrd Highway) just east of the Leesburg Bypass.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 03, 2015, 02:17:16 PM
And, like most residents out there, the politicians don't realize that this is the root cause of the congestion problem on 66...

Not sure about root cause (were you posted to the D.C. area back when the restriction was HOV-3?) - but - there are enough of those HOV-exempt vehicles (along with the Dulles exemption) to really impact performance of I-66, when it should be running at free-flow.

Wasn't referring specifically to HOV lanes here.  Using the Supervisor's words literally...their ability to "use 66" (regardless of whether HOV or not) is what drove massive hordes of population to Loudoun and western Fairfax, and is the "root cause" of 66 congestion.

Though a a pretty fair number of Loudoun County residents are not going to Arlington County or the District of Columbia.

I get the impression that plenty of them work along the Va. 267 corridor, or the Va. 28 corridor, or at the CIA complex on Va. 123 - often in jobs related to the "intelligence communty" which pay very well and allow them to purchase McMansions in Loudoun County if they cannot afford a McMansion in Fairfax County.

A GS-15 in intelligence makes as much as a GS-15 at the Department of Education. So I wouldn't chalk up affluence to the specific federal agency for which they work.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2015, 02:17:45 PM
Reminds me of the story from the 1970s about how one of the leaders of New York's fight to keep Concorde out of JFK due to noise issues realized she would be late for a protest, so she flew Concorde to Washington to get back on time.

That's a pretty good one.  Reminds me of the many anti-highway activists (in Montgomery County especially, but also other places) that have shown up at anti-highway demonstrations in their private automobiles because they did not have time to get there by transit or on a bike.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2015, 02:21:06 PM
A GS-15 in intelligence makes as much as a GS-15 at the Department of Education. So I wouldn't chalk up affluence to the specific federal agency for which they work.

That was formerly the case, but most government employees in the intelligence agencies are paid on a different scale that generally pays the intelligence workers more money.

But I was thinking about the "cleared professionals" that work for private-sector contractors for agencies like the CIA, NSA and others.  That's where the really big money is paid.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 03, 2015, 02:28:42 PM
A GS-15 in intelligence makes as much as a GS-15 at the Department of Education. So I wouldn't chalk up affluence to the specific federal agency for which they work.

That was formerly the case, but most government employees in the intelligence agencies are paid on a different scale that generally pays the intelligence workers more money.

But I was thinking about the "cleared professionals" that work for private-sector contractors for agencies like the CIA, NSA and others.  That's where the really big money is paid.

Yes and no. The lawyers make out better than civil servants but they're not living in Loudoun; they're living in McLean and Vienna. Same with defense contractor executives. The very wealthy of Loudoun aren't living in McMansions, they're living on estates. The upeer-middle-class of Loudoun want the big house but need the cheap land hence they move out.

The civil servants I know who live in Loudoun would make enough to also live in Arlington or Alexandria, but in a significantly smaller house or a townhouse. It's the trade-off they've chosen to make. Incidently, more often than not they're transplants from elsewhere in the country, and I think they have very little desire to raise a family in a smaller house or townhouse.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 03, 2015, 02:32:30 PM
Reminds me of the story from the 1970s about how one of the leaders of New York's fight to keep Concorde out of JFK due to noise issues realized she would be late for a protest, so she flew Concorde to Washington to get back on time.

That's a pretty good one.  Reminds me of the many anti-highway activists (in Montgomery County especially, but also other places) that have shown up at anti-highway demonstrations in their private automobiles because they did not have time to get there by transit or on a bike.

Anti-highway is different from anti-car. Plus thanks to poor standards and negligent transportation officials, most suburban roads aren't safe to bike on.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2015, 02:45:13 PM
Anti-highway is different from anti-car. Plus thanks to poor standards and negligent transportation officials, most suburban roads aren't safe to bike on.

I disagree.  The activists in question certainly are not anti-car or anti-highway as far as their own lives and lifestyles are concerned.

But they are very anti-car and anti-highway when it comes to unspecified "other people" using the transportation system.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 03, 2015, 02:55:37 PM
I know. I was just pointing out that it's not hypocritical to drive to an anti-highway rally.

It would be hypocritical to take a higway to an anti-highway rally, or to drive to an anti-automobile rally.

But you presented somebody driving (didn't characterize what road) to an anti-highway rally. Suppose they took all local roads?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 03, 2015, 02:57:34 PM
It's do as I say, not as I do. Right, cpzilliacus?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2015, 05:10:58 PM
It's do as I say, not as I do. Right, cpzilliacus?

Absolutely. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 04, 2015, 04:42:14 PM
When this is implemented, will anyone try out the lanes, just for fun?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2015, 10:21:57 PM
When this is implemented, will anyone try out the lanes, just for fun?

I'd use them for practical reasons, just as I do with the Beltway lanes now. My wife and I drive to work together on Fridays. Coming home we take I-66 (HOV-2) to the Beltway and then the toll lanes. It's about 26 miles that way and we've made it in as little as 23 minutes. Via the most direct route it's 15 miles, but it takes at least 45 minutes and often longer. In my view it's an easy call to pay the toll, even when it's high like it was tonight ($8.20, and we paid an additional $1.75 on I-95 because we were going to Wegmans instead of coming directly home).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2015, 10:37:24 AM
When this is implemented, will anyone try out the lanes, just for fun?

I'd use them for practical reasons, just as I do with the Beltway lanes now. My wife and I drive to work together on Fridays. Coming home we take I-66 (HOV-2) to the Beltway and then the toll lanes. It's about 26 miles that way and we've made it in as little as 23 minutes. Via the most direct route it's 15 miles, but it takes at least 45 minutes and often longer. In my view it's an easy call to pay the toll, even when it's high like it was tonight ($8.20, and we paid an additional $1.75 on I-95 because we were going to Wegmans instead of coming directly home).

So you will drop the I-66 "detour" and just take the HOV/Toll lanes on 395 instead?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 10, 2015, 11:44:48 AM

When this is implemented, will anyone try out the lanes, just for fun?

I'd use them for practical reasons, just as I do with the Beltway lanes now. My wife and I drive to work together on Fridays. Coming home we take I-66 (HOV-2) to the Beltway and then the toll lanes. It's about 26 miles that way and we've made it in as little as 23 minutes. Via the most direct route it's 15 miles, but it takes at least 45 minutes and often longer. In my view it's an easy call to pay the toll, even when it's high like it was tonight ($8.20, and we paid an additional $1.75 on I-95 because we were going to Wegmans instead of coming directly home).

So you will drop the I-66 "detour" and just take the HOV/Toll lanes on 395 instead?

I don't know yet and the reason is that it is a hassle to get from my wife's office at the Watergate to I-395 due to reversible roads, whereas there's a direct ramp onto the Roosevelt Bridge. The alternatives to I-395 are either 23 Street or go over the bridge and turn around somewhere. The latter option stinks due to backups at the two exits prior to the HOV area.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 14, 2015, 04:55:25 PM
Anti-highway is different from anti-car. Plus thanks to poor standards and negligent transportation officials, most suburban roads aren't safe to bike on.

It is quite possible to make biking in the U.S. much safer than it is today.  But the politics of same have prevented it.

Case in point is the ICC bike and pedestrian trail.  IMO it should have run end-to-end from Shady Grove to U.S. 1. 

Instead we have a trail that is badly fragmented into at least 6 sections, and not much connectivity between those sections. Some of the blame goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but I think more of the blame lies with the county governments for not insisting and demanding a trail all the way.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 14, 2015, 05:57:24 PM
Anti-highway is different from anti-car. Plus thanks to poor standards and negligent transportation officials, most suburban roads aren't safe to bike on.

It is quite possible to make biking in the U.S. much safer than it is today.  But the politics of same have prevented it.

Case in point is the ICC bike and pedestrian trail.  IMO it should have run end-to-end from Shady Grove to U.S. 1. 

Instead we have a trail that is badly fragmented into at least 6 sections, and not much connectivity between those sections. Some of the blame goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but I think more of the blame lies with the county governments for not insisting and demanding a trail all the way.

http://stevepatrickadams.com/if-roads-were-like-bike-lanes/

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/40/87/58/408758c780b37393711a2d2580456270.jpg
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 14, 2015, 07:21:33 PM
Fragmented bike lanes are common around here. NJ has a complete streets initiative, but that usually means just a recently reconstructed section of roadway gets shoulder bike lanes. Municipal borders are another enemy of bike lanes, cross an invisible line and a nice network of bike lanes and signed routes just vanishes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 14, 2015, 09:59:28 PM
Fragmented bike lanes are common around here. NJ has a complete streets initiative, but that usually means just a recently reconstructed section of roadway gets shoulder bike lanes. Municipal borders are another enemy of bike lanes, cross an invisible line and a nice network of bike lanes and signed routes just vanishes.

In the case of the ICC, none of those reasons really apply, since the state was building the entire project, and there were two counties and zero municipalities involved.  The bike/pedestrian trail was in the plans of both counties, but they were apparently unwilling to push the state - hard - to get it built, or to put up some of their own dollars to move things along.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 13, 2016, 10:40:01 PM
WTOP Radio: Va. lawmakers differ on future of I-66 tolls (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/01/va-lawmakers-differ-on-future-of-i-66-tolls/)

Quote
With several bills on the table that would block tolls for solo drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne made his case to some skeptical lawmakers Wednesday morning, just before the 2016 General Assembly session began.

Quote
“I know there was a lot of rhetoric during the election, and if I contributed to that, I am here to apologize, I know it got very heated in that regard, but the average toll is $6,” Layne says.

Quote
Layne says the expanded hours for HOV rules in conjunction with allowing solo drivers a way to use the road during restricted periods for the first time add capacity to the roadway.

Quote
But opponents of the HOV changes and toll plans, such as Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, dispute that.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 19, 2016, 11:26:03 PM
WTOP Radio: VDOT recommends funding I-66 toll project (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/01/vdot-recommends-funding-i-66-toll-project/)

Quote
The plan to bring tolls and new HOV rules to Interstate 66 from Gainesville to the Capital Beltway is the top project in Virginia when it comes to cutting delay times and increasing access to jobs or transit, according to a new analysis released Tuesday by Virginia’s secretary of transportation.

Quote
The analysis scored transportation plans to help determine which projects warrant limited state funds, part of a newly required process under Virginia law. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has the final say over which projects should receive funding.

Quote
All of the raw scores are relative to the other projects that need funding.

Quote
After hundreds of Virginia Department of Transportation staff and consultants spent months analyzing the projects, staff presented recommendations Tuesday for the projects that should be funded during the next six years.

Quote
In Northern Virginia, staff recommended funding for projects that will bring toll lanes to I-66 outside the Beltway, widen Route 28 in Fairfax County, widen Route 1 and Telegraph Road in Prince William County and add a second entrance to the Ballston Metro Station that would promote more development there.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2016, 01:35:55 AM
Washington Post: I-66 vote to put Virginia legislators on HOT seat with commuters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/i-66-vote-to-put-virginia-legislators-on-hot-seat-with-commuters/2016/01/22/1437d636-bfc9-11e5-83d4-42e3bceea902_story.html)

Quote
Even as some members of the Virginia General Assembly attempt to block the plan to create high-occupancy toll lanes on Interstate 66, the state is about to hold hearings on the inside the Capital Beltway design.

Quote
If you bought your way into today’s high-occupancy vehicle lanes by purchasing a hybrid car with an exemption, you’re probably pleased by that proposal, though it may have no effect in preserving the exemption.

Quote
Others worried about the future of commuting along these nine miles or so of interstate highway would be pretty much out of luck for the next decade or more.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2016, 11:18:13 AM
Washington Post opinion: Traffic hypocrisy in Richmond (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/traffic-hypocrisy-in-richmond/2016/01/24/64257710-c12d-11e5-9443-7074c3645405_story.html)

Quote
FOR FOUR DAYS last fall, along one of the most heavily trafficked corridors in the mid-Atlantic, Virginia state police did something novel: They enforced the law.

Quote
They cracked down on Northern Virginia scofflaws driving at rush hour without passengers inside the Beltway on I-66, Northern Virginia’s most critical east-west artery. Since the road opened more than 30 years ago, rush-hour drivers on that segment have been required to carry at least one passenger or be subject to ticket with fines up to $1,000.

Quote
The law is widely ignored; at least 20 percent to 30 percent of rush-hour drivers on I-66 are alone in their cars, choosing the (usually slight) risk of a ticket over the hassle of carpooling. After four days of enforcement, the tally was nearly 250 tickets. That sounds like a lot, but it could have been three or four or 10 times as many; police say it’s dangerous to do more on a highway as clogged as I-66.

Quote
Those traffic-clogging scofflaws also happen to be voters, which is why politicians in Northern Virginia are afraid of them. So afraid that some state lawmakers would rather protect their “right” to continue breaking the law rather than embrace a balanced, long-term financing plan to alleviate congestion along the corridor.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 25, 2016, 12:50:51 PM
Do people that obey the HOV rules vote also?  I would think those people would be happy the police are cracking down.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 25, 2016, 02:44:22 PM
Back to the HOT Lanes on Interstate 66: IMHO, just build them, and let SOVs use the lanes 24/7 for a price. We can't always cater to the naysayers.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2016, 05:12:00 PM
Dr. Gridlock has a blog posting noting the postponement of the public meetings for the inside-the-Beltway project. Of interest is the included map showing where the gantries will be. It also shows a "registration gantry" on the eastbound Dulles Access Road Extension, though it doesn't explain what that is and I haven't yet tried to find out whether there's an explanation anywhere online.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/01/25/vdot-postpones-2-hearings-on-i-66-hot-lanes/
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2016, 09:00:20 PM
Presumably it's something to preserve the exemption for Dulles traffic, though I don't know how they plan to filter for just traffic from Dulles as the ramps for I-66, the toll road, and VA 123 all merge in before that point.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 25, 2016, 09:37:53 PM
Presumably it's something to preserve the exemption for Dulles traffic, though I don't know how they plan to filter for just traffic from Dulles as the ramps for I-66, the toll road, and VA 123 all merge in before that point.

The Dulles airport access road merges with (eastbound)/splits from (westbound) non-Dulles traffic east of VA 123, at about the point where the registration gantry would be located. So that gantry could be set up to pick up only traffic to or from the airport.

Is it implicit in the "registration gantry" scheme that traffic to or from the airport would still need to have an E-ZPass to use I-66? (Strangely enough, I haven't been following the I-66 HO/T lanes plans or this thread, even the plans would directly affect my county.) That would be the easiest way to cancel out any toll assessment on I-66, though I could see license plate recognition used instead.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2016, 09:43:54 PM
Presumably it's something to preserve the exemption for Dulles traffic, though I don't know how they plan to filter for just traffic from Dulles as the ramps for I-66, the toll road, and VA 123 all merge in before that point.

They've already said there will be no Dulles exemption.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: davewiecking on January 29, 2016, 10:28:07 PM
It could be located to filter traffic from the airport differently from 495 & 123, but the plans I just found show the location, and it won't allow that. It could differentiate the traffic entering 66 at VA 7 from all that on the Access Road, but why? Not much of a difference in feet of asphalt used. I hope Dr. G. finds an answer to your question.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 30, 2016, 09:57:28 AM
He didn't answer me in the comments there. Maybe I'll send him a tweet. He usually replies to those.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on February 02, 2016, 06:06:35 AM
I'm glad that there will not be a Dulles exemption from the I-66 HOT lanes proposal.  I beleive that HOV should be limited to those with multiple passengers - vehicles that actually improve traffic.  I'm glad that clean vehicle exemptions and other similar exemptions are also falling by the wayside here.  All of those people are still wlecome to use the road, just pay a toll.

And there are fewer and fewer Dulles people coming from DC and Arlington as flights expand in Reagan.  And the Dulles drivers still get a huge toll break by being allowed on the Dulles access road.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on February 02, 2016, 02:30:39 PM
I wouldn't say the Access Road is a "break" on the tolls because it was there long before the Toll Road was built (and indeed a major reason it was built was because of the FAA's reluctance to allow non-airport traffic onto the Access Road, although for a year or two before the Toll Road opened people in Reston were able to get a "Commuter" decal that let them use the ramp at what was then Reston Avenue to commute on the Access Road).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 02, 2016, 03:44:17 PM
I'm glad that there will not be a Dulles exemption from the I-66 HOT lanes proposal.  I beleive that HOV should be limited to those with multiple passengers - vehicles that actually improve traffic.  I'm glad that clean vehicle exemptions and other similar exemptions are also falling by the wayside here.  All of those people are still wlecome to use the road, just pay a toll.

And there are fewer and fewer Dulles people coming from DC and Arlington as flights expand in Reagan.  And the Dulles drivers still get a huge toll break by being allowed on the Dulles access road.

When I-66 from the Capital Beltway to the Rosslyn Tunnel was built and opened to traffic in 1982 (followed shortly after by the Dulles Connector Road), there was an understanding that I-66 was an eastern extension of the Dulles Access Road, hence the "Dulles" exemption.

I am in favor of the Dulles exemption, as long as it is handled through all electronic means, with gantries over the east end of the Dulles Access Road - for this reason - taxicabs. Non-airport cabs must deadhead back to "home" to get more business, and airport cabs seldom, if ever, get a fare to the airport.

Alternatively, deregulate taxicabs at Dulles and allow any cab to drop-off or pick up there, as is the case at DCA.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 10, 2016, 01:39:21 PM
Washington Post: McAuliffe announces deal on I-66 HOT lanes that would speed up highway widening (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/02/10/mcauliffe-announces-deal-on-i-66-hot-lanes/)

Quote
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced Wednesday morning that he has agreed to speed up the widening of Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway as a compromise with state legislators who were opposed to imposing tolls on those nine miles of highway before an expansion.

Quote
The deal is the latest significant compromise McAuliffe has reached with the Republican-controlled General Assembly, following an agreement on gun regulations announced in January, and it already is drawing strong reaction from supporters and opponents.

Quote
The I-66 deal shortcuts the McAuliffe administration’s plan to create high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in 2017, study their performance in managing traffic, then decide whether the interstate should be widened. The governor’s original plan called for financing the any widening through the toll revenues. Under the deal announced Wednesday, the cost of the widening will be financed through the state budget. The widening will occur along four miles in the eastbound direction between the Dulles Connector and Ballston, the zone where traffic is heaviest. The budget revisions will allow for a cost up to about $140 million, state transportation officials said.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 10, 2016, 04:20:19 PM
So it begins, the first concession to residents of Fairfax and Loudoun County. Next thing we know, they'll put an HOV cap at 2 passengers (after sob-story testimony of husband-and-wife carpoolers) and a cap on tolls (after sob-story testimony of homeowners in $800K houses who "can't afford it").

Seen this movie before, unfortunately.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 10, 2016, 07:37:59 PM
So it begins, the first concession to residents of Fairfax and Loudoun County. Next thing we know, they'll put an HOV cap at 2 passengers (after sob-story testimony of husband-and-wife carpoolers) and a cap on tolls (after sob-story testimony of homeowners in $800K houses who "can't afford it").

It used to be HOV-4 when I-66 opened in 1982, then reduced to HOV-3, and to HOV-2 (at the behest of then-Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia 10)) in 1995 or 1996. 

Not everyone beyond the Capital Beltway lives in an $800,000 home, even in Northern Virginia. 

Seen this movie before, unfortunately.

Where have you seen that?  An attempt to change the HOV requirement on I-10 in Los Angeles County (El Monte Busway) from HOV-3 to HOV-2 was quickly raised back to HOV-3 [I believe it is now one of LACMTA's HOV/toll facilities] when it was evident that the restricted lanes performed badly at HOV-2.

IMO, HOV-3, combined with tolled passage for vehicles not meeting the HOV requirement, is the right way to go.   In the I-66 corridor, functioning HOV lanes might actually lead to some slugging, which is a low-cost way to encourage car-pooling, itself a pretty cheap way to efficiently use highway infrastructure.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 10, 2016, 10:01:07 PM
Seen this movie before, unfortunately.
Where have you seen that?
[/quote]

Remind me of all of the transit improvements that have come about from the 395, 95 and 495 HOT lane projects? I think there were a few subsidized routes that had a 1 or 2 year shelf life.

Plus, representatives from distant suburbs have been making noise about money from the tolls going to Arlington for bike lanes and transit. If the administration has already decided to fold on its plans, who is to say that future administrations won't cave in to do "commonsense" reallocation of toll monies?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on February 10, 2016, 10:04:49 PM
The HOV-2 change was in the spring of 1995. I remember this because the summer of 1995 was the summer between my final year of college and my first year of law school and I worked downtown near my father's office, so we commuted together to take advantage of the HOV-2 rule.

Ms1995hoo and I live outside the Beltway and our house is nowhere near $800,000.



I posted the following comment on that Dr. Gridlock posting tonight, so I'll just copy and paste it here:

Quote
This makes a heck of a lot of sense to me. I use I-66 outbound from DC to the Beltway reasonably often in the afternoon rush hour (connecting to the Beltway HO/T lanes). I don't use it inbound all that often because it's too far out of the way and too slow, but when I do use it inbound, the backup always begins just east of Route 7, starts to loosen at Exit 69 in Falls Church, and fully opens up at Exit 71 for Fairfax Drive/Glebe Road. The same problem does NOT occur in the evening rush hour. The problem is obvious: Two lanes join I-66 from the Dulles Access Road Extension and everyone in them has to shove left by the time you reach Exit 69. A large percentage of the traffic exits at Exit 71 for the Ballston/Clarendon corridor. 
 
Simply imposing HO/T won't solve the problem because the problem already exists with an HOV system. In theory, HO/T sells the excess capacity. But anyone who drives inbound on that road knows there's no excess capacity. Traffic doesn't go much above 10 mph, if that fast. (I often find I'm using the clutch, rather than the accelerator, to move forward.) So you need to do something else to get the traffic to keep moving. Adding one lane to connect the chokepoint to the break-free point is a good move. 
 
Widening past Exit 71 isn't a good option because there's no space on the elevated segment near Spout Run and through the Rosslyn tunnel.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 10, 2016, 10:09:46 PM
I make no bones about the technical aspects. My fears are purely political. So far everything is still on paper, and when things are on paper, they can be modified. You can bet a Big Mac that this won't be the end of the eroding away of the deal. The constituency of the outer suburbs is really mostly interested in one thing, and that's highway lanes which are not tolled.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on February 10, 2016, 10:28:30 PM
I really don't understand the fuss. The I-66 inside the Beltway proposal is unique among Virginia's HO/T lanes in that it's supposed to be peak-direction only during peak hours only (to paraphrase the usage from the New York Subway in referring to the diamond express trains, it's "to DC AM, from DC PM"). If you're using the road legally as an HOV, you get to continue to do so until they change it to HOV-3 (which they had already planned to do in 2020). If you're not using it now because you don't satisfy the HOV rule, you'll have a new option. The only people who lose are the people with vehicles eligible for the clean-fuel exemption since that exemption is to end when HO/T operations begin.

I understand the squawking about the outside-the-Beltway proposal more than I do the squawking about inside-the-Beltway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on February 10, 2016, 10:47:36 PM
Quote
The I-66 inside the Beltway proposal is unique among Virginia's HO/T lanes in that it's supposed to be peak-direction only during peak hours only

Which could also be termed "HOT creep".  The previous proposal was for tolling in both directions during peak hours, which makes sense from an operational perspective since the reverse commute can be just as bad as the "peak direction".  But too many people squawked so that plan was pulled.

Also regarding an earlier comment of yours, the previous proposal was also to implement tolling and HOV-3 at the same time.  That would have opened up capacity for solo drivers and those HOV-2 users willing to pay the toll.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 10, 2016, 10:49:23 PM
Quote
The I-66 inside the Beltway proposal is unique among Virginia's HO/T lanes in that it's supposed to be peak-direction only during peak hours only

Which could also be termed "HOT creep".  The previous proposal was for tolling in both directions during peak hours, which makes sense from an operational perspective since the reverse commute can be just as bad as the "peak direction".  But too many people squawked so that plan was pulled.

Also regarding an earlier comment of yours, the previous proposal was also to implement tolling and HOV-3 at the same time.  That would have opened up capacity for solo drivers and those HOV-2 users willing to pay the toll.

This is what I'm talking about...they've already backed off bi-directional peak-hour tolling. Now they're backing off the waiting period to add the third lane. What's the next hammer to drop?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on February 10, 2016, 10:59:18 PM
Quote
The I-66 inside the Beltway proposal is unique among Virginia's HO/T lanes in that it's supposed to be peak-direction only during peak hours only

Which could also be termed "HOT creep".  The previous proposal was for tolling in both directions during peak hours, which makes sense from an operational perspective since the reverse commute can be just as bad as the "peak direction".  But too many people squawked so that plan was pulled.

....

I definitely agree it made sense in both directions, especially as Tysons becomes more and more of an "urban" area over time. The old idea of a "reverse commute" doesn't really apply in that corridor. Looking at eastbound I-66 in the evenings, the backup in the same spot I cited before is hideous. Hard for me to comment on westbound in the mornings. We were on there last week after dropping my wife's car at an auto body shop in Fairfax, but the sun glare was so bad I had trouble looking at anything other than where I was going. I know westbound is no picnic then, though.

But doing something is better than leaving it as it is now.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2016, 05:33:39 PM
I make no bones about the technical aspects. My fears are purely political. So far everything is still on paper, and when things are on paper, they can be modified. You can bet a Big Mac that this won't be the end of the eroding away of the deal. The constituency of the outer suburbs is really mostly interested in one thing, and that's highway lanes which are not tolled.

If there is a legally-binding Record of Decision (note: not sure if one is required for this project), as there were with the Beltway HOV/Toll lanes, the Springfield Interchange, the Wilson Bridge and the ICC, then everyone has to follow that. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 14, 2016, 12:59:53 AM
Washington Post: The I-66 deal is more like an armistice than a peace treaty for commuters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/the-i-66-deal-is-more-like-an-armistice-than-a-peace-treaty-for-commuters/2016/02/12/4d3d660e-cde2-11e5-abc9-ea152f0b9561_story.html)

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It’s a big deal, but not a done deal. For commuters, the compromise between Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the General Assembly on the future of one of America’s most controversial highways will be meaningful only when things start to happen on I-66.

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Feuding over I-66 was inevitable. People have been battling for decades over whether it should exist, who should use it and how big it should be. And it isn’t going to stop just because some people in Richmond shake hands.

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Once the governor made his announcement Wednesday morning, interested parties inundated us with their takes on the deal. Proponents and opponents of tolling and widening were unavoidable for comment.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 14, 2016, 11:49:25 AM
My point (and fear) exactly. This isn't over by a long shot.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 29, 2016, 09:17:31 AM
WTOP Radio: Feds give go-ahead on I-66 transformation (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/06/feds-give-go-ahead-66-transformation/)

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The Federal Highway Administration has given its blessing to Virginia to move forward with plans to transform one of the region’s most heavily congested commuter routes — Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway.

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After a two-year study, the federal highway agency ruled that the Virginia Department of Transportation can begin seeking bids for design and construction of a multi-modal system in the 25-mile stretch between Route 15 in Haymarket and the Beltway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on August 01, 2016, 06:26:15 PM
Gov. McAuliffe has announced that work will begin later this summer for I-66 Inside the Beltway. (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2016/governor_mcauliffe_announces_groundbreaking106420.asp)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 01, 2016, 09:42:00 PM
Gov. McAuliffe has announced that work will begin later this summer for I-66 Inside the Beltway. (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2016/governor_mcauliffe_announces_groundbreaking106420.asp)

WTOP Radio: Toll gantry construction begins along I-66 (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/08/toll-gantry-construction-begins-along-i-66/)

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Construction officially began Monday to add toll gantries over Interstate 66 east of the Capital Beltway.

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Rush hour tolls for solo drivers are scheduled to begin next summer. Eight electronic toll gantries and a number of pricing signs will be installed in the meantime. That work will require some lane and ramp closures, mainly during overnight hours, which will be announced in advance.

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“This will give solo drivers for the first time ever a new option to use lanes that are now restricted by paying a variable toll during the travel times,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said at the official groundbreaking held on an overpass in Arlington County.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on August 05, 2016, 06:55:37 AM
Looking at the search function does not give me a good I-66 topic to post this in so I will post it here: (since the VA 28 interchange will ultimately be reconstructed)

There is a new traffic pattern on I-66 WB at VA 28 NB (http://virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern_virginia/2016/i-66_overhead_signs_create106530.asp) that is intended to make the right lane leading up to the interchange exit-only during the morning rush hour.  (see the graphic)

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 07, 2016, 09:14:36 PM
Washington Post: Virginia breaks ground on I-66 HOT lanes project, without the  (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/virginia-breaks-ground-on-i-66-hot-lanes-project-without-the-ground/2016/08/06/ee258974-58f8-11e6-9767-f6c947fd0cb8_story.html)

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There were several unusual things about Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the high-occupancy toll lanes on Interstate 66.

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First, there was no ground to break. At such events, the dignitaries are normally provided with shovels and a pile of dirt to dig into. At this one, the project’s go-ahead was marked by the illumination of an electronic message board proclaiming that the transformation of the interstate was about to begin.

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The second noteworthy feature of the event was the presence of Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey (D). Those familiar with the decades of debate about the highway’s future might have expected Arlington leadership to shun a project that would do anything other than close the interstate.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 08, 2016, 04:54:58 PM
As expected, there are a lot of complainers in the comments section. My advice to them: Don't use Interstate 66 if paying a toll to bypass gridlock will give you ulcers.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 09, 2016, 06:30:39 AM
As expected, there are a lot of complainers in the comments section. My advice to them: Don't use Interstate 66 if paying a toll to bypass gridlock will give you ulcers.

To be fair, there's a lot to complain about here. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2016, 07:39:31 AM
Inside the Beltway, outbound I-66 works very well during HOV hours. You occasionally get the annoying troll doing 50 mph in the left lane who's impossible to pass, but for the most part it moves very quickly and it's possible to get from the Roosevelt Bridge to the Beltway in ten minutes. We use it regularly on the commute home (connecting to the I-495 HO/T lanes). The same is not true of inbound I-66 in the morning, due primarily to the Dulles merge and the subsquent drop from four lanes to two. It backs up. As it is right now, I cannot imagine when I'd be willing to pay a toll to sit in stopped traffic on that road.

The widening that's slated to follow the start of tolling may help since the majority of the traffic exits no further east than Ballston, but I wonder if a new backup will form further east due to the tolling changing access patterns for the Roosevelt Bridge (which is not, and will not be, part of the HO/T system).

I thought the original proposal to impose HO/T in BOTH directions during rush hours made sense, especially as Virginia works to turn Tysons Corner into a sort of high-density downtown-type area.

But the big thing I note is that this proposal does absolutely nothing to restrict anyone's access to I-66 (except the people with the clean-fuel exemption and Dulles Airport traffic) and instead gives more people the option of using it. As I say above, in the mornings that's a bit problematic because it's already congested and now there'll be more traffic dumped into the backup, but on the whole, if you're an SOV, you'll have a new option you didn't legally have before. You don't have to use that new option if you don't like it! The argument about the HOV-2 standard rising to HOV-3 is a bit of a red herring because VDOT had previously announced it was to rise to HOV-3 in 2020 regardless of whether an HO/T system were imposed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on August 09, 2016, 08:47:14 AM
The widening that's slated to follow the start of tolling may help since the majority of the traffic exits no further east than Ballston, but I wonder if a new backup will form further east due to the tolling changing access patterns for the Roosevelt Bridge (which is not, and will not be, part of the HO/T system).

I have no reason to doubt you because I know you are a regular commuter, but I find that astonishing.

Did you mean to say "no further WEST than Ballston"?

I thought the original proposal to impose HO/T in BOTH directions during rush hours made sense, especially as Virginia works to turn Tysons Corner into a sort of high-density downtown-type area.

It would make things simpler too, I think (HOT 24x7, no exception). I suppose they can always just change that with the stroke of a pen.



But the big thing I note is that this proposal does absolutely nothing to restrict anyone's access to I-66 (except the people with the clean-fuel exemption and Dulles Airport traffic) and instead gives more people the option of using it. As I say above, in the mornings that's a bit problematic because it's already congested and now there'll be more traffic dumped into the backup, but on the whole, if you're an SOV, you'll have a new option you didn't legally have before. You don't have to use that new option if you don't like it! The argument about the HOV-2 standard rising to HOV-3 is a bit of a red herring because VDOT had previously announced it was to rise to HOV-3 in 2020 regardless of whether an HO/T system were imposed.

Well, it follows that in the morning, presumably the tolls would be very high.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2016, 09:38:27 AM
No, I meant that inbound in the morning, the majority of the eastbound traffic doesn't continue east past Exit 71. Hence "exits no further east than Ballston"—that is, they exit at or before that point.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on August 09, 2016, 09:41:09 AM
That's pretty remarkable...I would have thought that DC would have significantly more destinations than Ballston or points west of Ballston. From the sound of it, that's not the case.

Perhaps the utility of 66 drops off once you get east of Ballston due the slowdowns, so people going all the way into downtown DC would just opt for the Orange Line instead?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2016, 11:10:50 AM
That's pretty remarkable...I would have thought that DC would have significantly more destinations than Ballston or points west of Ballston. From the sound of it, that's not the case.

Perhaps the utility of 66 drops off once you get east of Ballston due the slowdowns, so people going all the way into downtown DC would just opt for the Orange Line instead?

The generally-accepted maximum load point on I-66 inside the Beltway has always been between Sycamore Street and Va. 237/Va. 120 (Fairfax Drive/Glebe Road at Exit 71).

Eastbound east of Exit 71, there is seldom much congestion until past the Rosslyn Tunnel - and severe congestion is often due to (as the WTOP traffic reporters put it) a "long standing" crash or other incident on the T. Roosevelt Bridge or elsewhere in D.C., such as the E Street, N.W. Expressway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on August 09, 2016, 03:15:00 PM
Quote
No, I meant that inbound in the morning, the majority of the eastbound traffic doesn't continue east past Exit 71. Hence "exits no further east than Ballston"—that is, they exit at or before that point.

Not according to traffic volume data.  Per the Traffic Technical Report (http://inside.transform66.org/documents/meetings/jan2015designhearing/i-66itb_draft_ttr_01082016.pdf) done as part of the Inside the Beltway studies, there are about 8,600 vehicles on eastbound 66 east of Sycamore St during the AM peak (defined as 6:30-9am).  Of that 8,600, only about 1,200 exit at Fairfax Dr (Exit 71).
Title: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2016, 03:53:32 PM
How many vehicles are there west of Sycamore? I see you linked it, but I'm posting from an iPhone and would prefer not to load something like that via a cellular connection on this small screen.

The traffic seriously thins out, regardless of traffic count, once you pass Exit 71, though if you don't take Exit 73 you get stuck in a backup heading for the Rosslyn tunnel.

Edited to add: Loaded it on my iPad at home. 274 pages? I don't care that much to dig through that.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 10, 2016, 01:31:42 AM
Two way AADT's for 2015:

Fairfax County/Arlington County  line: 128000
Sycamore Street: 112000
Va. 237 - Fairfax Drive: 86000
Va. 120 - Glebe Road: 99000
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on August 10, 2016, 08:40:10 AM
Coming off the DTR, there are about 9,300 vehicles during the "AM Peak" (again, defined as 6:30-9am).  A little over 1,300 exit between Westmoreland (Exit 68) and Lee Hwy/Washington Blvd (Exit 69), then about 800 get on eastbound 66 from Sycamore.  Numbers don't add up exactly due to both rounding and how they did the individual ramp/segment counts in the report.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on August 21, 2016, 04:30:25 PM
So I guess a more precise way of explaining I-66 EB during morning rush is not that a majority of the traffic exits at Ballston (we see that that isn't true based on AADT counts), but that enough of the traffic does exit there so as to provide a significant reduction of congestion at that point.

Something similar happens on the outerloop of the Beltway in MD.  The road is very congested on the outerloop (westbound) from I-95/I-495 in College Park until Georgia Avenue, but once you get passed Georgia, the road generally flows at speed limit all the way to the 270 split.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 21, 2016, 09:00:50 PM
So I guess a more precise way of explaining I-66 EB during morning rush is not that a majority of the traffic exits at Ballston (we see that that isn't true based on AADT counts), but that enough of the traffic does exit there so as to provide a significant reduction of congestion at that point.

[Emphasis added above]

Yes, sometimes a small reduction in traffic can lead to a big improvement in performance.

Something similar happens on the outerloop of the Beltway in MD.  The road is very congested on the outerloop (westbound) from I-95/I-495 in College Park until Georgia Avenue, but once you get passed Georgia, the road generally flows at speed limit all the way to the 270 split.

I think it is a different phenomenon at work there.  The 2015 AADT published in the Highway Location Reference says the two-way AADT at Md. 97 (Georgia) is 218,800 (Exit 31); just east of Md. 185 (Connecticut) (Exit 33) it is 227,870; and at Md. 355  (Rockville Pike) (just east of I-270) it is 212,690.

I've been driving that section of freeway over 40 years, and I believe the congestion eases once the last of heavy entry of traffic (in AM on the Outer Loop - headed toward employment in Bethesda, along I-270 and in Northern Virginia) has entered from Md. 97, everything flows more smoothly.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on August 23, 2016, 06:08:53 PM
Not currently directly related to the HOT lanes, but probably will be sooner rather than later.  I-66 widening to 8 lanes out from US 29 (Exit 43) in Gainesville to US 15 (Exit 40) in Haymarket is complete (http://virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern_virginia/2016/i-66_widening_in_prince106922.asp).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 23, 2016, 09:33:42 PM
Not currently directly related to the HOT lanes, but probably will be sooner rather than later.  I-66 widening to 8 lanes out from US 29 (Exit 43) in Gainesville to US 15 (Exit 40) in Haymarket is complete (http://virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern_virginia/2016/i-66_widening_in_prince106922.asp).

Good news.  I have to wonder if there's going to be recurring afternoon congestion  on westbound I-66 approaching and passing U.S. 15.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on August 23, 2016, 09:39:12 PM
As I understand it, there isn't much recurring mainline congestion once you're past Sudley Rd.  It's all after one's off 66, whether downstream on 29 or on the off-ramp to 15.  The new interchange at 55/Linton Hall will move the former further downstream, and the DDI will theoretically address some (but I doubt all) of the latter.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 24, 2016, 12:37:51 AM
As I understand it, there isn't much recurring mainline congestion once you're past Sudley Rd.  It's all after one's off 66, whether downstream on 29 or on the off-ramp to 15.  The new interchange at 55/Linton Hall will move the former further downstream, and the DDI will theoretically address some (but I doubt all) of the latter.

There is a significant amount of new home construction beyond Fauquier County in jurisdictions like Warren County (around Front Royal) and Frederick County (and City of Winchester), at least some of which is "leapfrog" development, a frequently inevitable result of restrictive land use policies in counties closer-in.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on August 24, 2016, 01:32:58 AM
As I understand it, there isn't much recurring mainline congestion once you're past Sudley Rd.  It's all after one's off 66, whether downstream on 29 or on the off-ramp to 15.  The new interchange at 55/Linton Hall will move the former further downstream, and the DDI will theoretically address some (but I doubt all) of the latter.


The US-29 exit in Gainesville is where the real mainline congestion starts when going east and drops off when going west. In fact I believe the traffic on US-29 south of exit 43 is just about equal to the traffic west of exit 43 on I-66. Both the widening of I-66 to Haymarket and the recently completed US-29/Linton Hall Road interchange helped this area extremely when it comes to traffic. Pretty much the only thing left is that US-29 desperately needs to be widened from 4 to 6 lanes all the way to Warrenton.

 I too also have my concerns about the new DDI in Haymarket as most of the current ones in the US are in more rural areas and haven't seen or used by commuters. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes  the local commuters here to adapt to it. Nevertheless I'm excited for its completion next summer.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on September 16, 2016, 04:46:16 PM
So I guess a more precise way of explaining I-66 EB during morning rush is not that a majority of the traffic exits at Ballston (we see that that isn't true based on AADT counts), but that enough of the traffic does exit there so as to provide a significant reduction of congestion at that point.

[Emphasis added above]

Yes, sometimes a small reduction in traffic can lead to a big improvement in performance.

Something similar happens on the outerloop of the Beltway in MD.  The road is very congested on the outerloop (westbound) from I-95/I-495 in College Park until Georgia Avenue, but once you get passed Georgia, the road generally flows at speed limit all the way to the 270 split.

I think it is a different phenomenon at work there.  The 2015 AADT published in the Highway Location Reference says the two-way AADT at Md. 97 (Georgia) is 218,800 (Exit 31); just east of Md. 185 (Connecticut) (Exit 33) it is 227,870; and at Md. 355  (Rockville Pike) (just east of I-270) it is 212,690.

I've been driving that section of freeway over 40 years, and I believe the congestion eases once the last of heavy entry of traffic (in AM on the Outer Loop - headed toward employment in Bethesda, along I-270 and in Northern Virginia) has entered from Md. 97, everything flows more smoothly.

While I work in Downtown DC and take Metro to work, I live equally close to the Colesville Rd exit and the Georgia Ave exit of the Beltway.  Those I know who work in the west all would tell you that you should take surface streets toward Georgia and enter the Beltway there in the AM rush hour and not to enter it from Colesville or any point earlier.

THe few times that I'm driving about during AM rush I can vouch for this.  People from my neighborhood can face a small amount of congestion leading to Georgia/Forest Glen and then they can take the ramp to the outer loop and are relatively smooth sailing towards 270 or the American Legion Bridge.

And I tell this to my wife who now has physical therapy appointments in Gaithersburg in the morning.  Even though my son's day care is very close to US 29/ Beltway, she is better off taking side streets to the Georgia Ave on-ramp to get to physical therapy.

Sadly, the reverse is not true.  Everyone has to suffer on the inner loop in the afternoon.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 16, 2016, 05:05:12 PM
While I work in Downtown DC and take Metro to work, I live equally close to the Colesville Rd exit and the Georgia Ave exit of the Beltway.  Those I know who work in the west all would tell you that you should take surface streets toward Georgia and enter the Beltway there in the AM rush hour and not to enter it from Colesville or any point earlier.

That merge from southbound U.S. 29 to westbound [Outer Loop] I-495 has been brutal for years, ever since I lived in Four Corners (I moved away in the mid-1980's). Concur with taking Forest Glen Road, which usually works better, or even Dennis Avenue, to Md. 97 (Georgia Avenue) then south to I-495.

THe few times that I'm driving about during AM rush I can vouch for this.  People from my neighborhood can face a small amount of congestion leading to Georgia/Forest Glen and then they can take the ramp to the outer loop and are relatively smooth sailing towards 270 or the American Legion Bridge.

You are beyond the massive funnel that are the interchanges at I-95, Md. 650 and U.S. 29 if you enter from Md. 97, especially southbound.

And I tell this to my wife who now has physical therapy appointments in Gaithersburg in the morning.  Even though my son's day care is very close to US 29/ Beltway, she is better off taking side streets to the Georgia Ave on-ramp to get to physical therapy.

If you want to pay the tolls, I think you are far enough north that you should consider taking either Md. 650 or U.S. 29 north to Md. 200, then  take that west to Md. 355 or I-270.  I suspect this will be a faster and less-stressful trip than I-495.  That may be true even if the day care is in Four Corners.  Northbound U.S. 29 is usually not bad in the mornings.

Sadly, the reverse is not true.  Everyone has to suffer on the inner loop in the afternoon.

Seems to thin-out some east of Md. 185 (that being the last of the "funnel" exits eastbound on the Inner Loop), but it's never much fun.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 25, 2016, 11:46:28 AM
WTOP Radio: New Va. HOT lane tolls to be a fraction of I-66 estimates (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/09/new-va-hot-lane-tolls-fraction-66-estimates/)

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People who choose to pay a toll to drive alone on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway next year may feel some pangs of jealousy when they see the bill. Toll prices in a similar conversion of HOV lanes to HOV or toll lanes in the Hampton Roads area are expected to be just a fraction of the cost.

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A Virginia Department of Transportation presentation to the Commonwealth Transportation Board last week indicated that expected tolls on the stretch of Interstate 64 between Interstate 564 and just beyond Interstate 264 would be less than $2.

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While tolls would only be in effect at rush hour on I-66, the tolls are expected to be around $6.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: epzik8 on October 04, 2016, 09:45:13 PM
So I just wanted clarification that the left HOV lanes that begin and end at Haymarket are open to all traffic outside of the posted weekday morning hours? That's how I interpret it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on October 05, 2016, 07:31:19 AM
So I just wanted clarification that the left HOV lanes that begin and end at Haymarket are open to all traffic outside of the posted weekday morning hours? That's how I interpret it.

For now, yes, until they rebuild the highway to have two barrier- or pylon-separated lanes on the left, at which time said lanes will be 24-7 HO/T lanes.

Technically the lane that ends at Haymarket is HOV during the afternoon rush hour, not morning, but I knew what you meant. No doubt someone else would have rushed to "correct" your "ignorance," though.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 05, 2016, 10:53:06 AM
Technically the lane that ends at Haymarket is HOV during the afternoon rush hour, not morning, but I knew what you meant. No doubt someone else would have rushed to "correct" your "ignorance," though.

Was out there this past weekend. The eastbound side of I-66 now has the concurrent-flow HOV starting just  east of the U.S. 15 interchange. 

Curiously, the westbound HOV lane extends some distance past U.S. 15 before it drops. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on October 19, 2016, 08:12:33 PM
WTOP:  VDOT skips public comment for big rigs on I-66 HOT Lanes Outside Beltway (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/10/big-rigs-on-i-66-hot-lanes-vdot-apologizes-for-skipping-public-comment/)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 03, 2016, 04:06:41 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/11/03/virginia-picks-new-partner-to-build-i-66-hot-lanes/

Transburban is not in on this one, instead it is the I-66 mobility partners which related to the Spanish tolling company Cintra. Although Cintra doesn't exactly have a good recent record(Texas Route 130 bankruptcy, I-77 HOT lanes in NC, and US-460 Scandal) this does to be appear to be a very smart deal for the VA taxpayers as it looks like they won't be paying a dime.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on April 05, 2017, 09:01:15 PM
Adam Tuss reports the I-66 outside-the-Beltway HO/T lanes project has run into a big problem (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I-66-Express-Lanes-Project-Planners-Run-Into-Major-Obstacle-418440273.html)—they didn't account for the WMATA power station near the Dunn Loring Metro, and it seems they may want to build a flyover to the Beltway that would rise 30 feet above Gallows Road! Hard to visualize that (I should note I have not watched the video at that link).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 05, 2017, 09:57:11 PM
Adam Tuss reports the I-66 outside-the-Beltway HO/T lanes project has run into a big problem (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I-66-Express-Lanes-Project-Planners-Run-Into-Major-Obstacle-418440273.html)—they didn't account for the WMATA power station near the Dunn Loring Metro, and it seems they may want to build a flyover to the Beltway that would rise 30 feet above Gallows Road! Hard to visualize that (I should note I have not watched the video at that link).

Quote
"You can imagine this ramp is going to go right over - an interstate is going to go right over where we walk," Heier said. "To see a new ramp pop up that's going to go right up over where we shop and walk, it just tells us that they didn't get it the first time."

Best I can tell, this person (a 'community activist'...yay) has no clue what the plans are.  From what I'm looking at, the flyover will basically be above the existing roadway.  It's not exactly going up over where she shops and walks.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2017, 10:17:46 PM
Quote
It's not exactly going up over where she shops and walks.

Yes it will.  If they go the flyover route, it'll have to be high enough to clear Gallows Rd, which carries a lot of pedestrians walking to/from the Metro station.

As for "that person", I've had correspondence with her before...I'd say she's very aware of what the plans are as she lives in the neighborhood that will be most affected by right-of-way purchases.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on April 06, 2017, 06:20:14 AM
Quote
It's not exactly going up over where she shops and walks.

Yes it will.  If they go the flyover route, it'll have to be high enough to clear Gallows Rd, which carries a lot of pedestrians walking to/from the Metro station.

As for "that person", I've had correspondence with her before...I'd say she's very aware of what the plans are as she lives in the neighborhood that will be most affected by right-of-way purchases.

A bridge going over where someone walks is hardly an unusual occurrence.  No different than a walkway going over a highway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 06, 2017, 07:59:42 AM
Best I can tell, this person (a 'community activist'...yay) has no clue what the plans are.  From what I'm looking at, the flyover will basically be above the existing roadway.  It's not exactly going up over where she shops and walks.

It would have to be a high flyover, since the difference in grade between I-66 and the surface on which the power substation site is rather substantial. 

I  mentioned this in another forum:

Quote
Keep in mind that this is a traction power station for WMATA's Metrorail system and is hard up against the right lane of eastbound I-66. It does not power Dominion Virginia Power customers in that area of Fairfax County.

Probably cheaper to move the traction  power station.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on April 06, 2017, 09:20:14 PM
I looked at the diagrams on the transform66 site, but I'm having trouble putting the separate ones together in my kind and I can't picture where that flyover would go.

Either way, I can't say as I'd necessarily blame people who live there for opposing it. As cp says, it would be one high ramp and you don't want that near your condo/house. On the other hand, even though I can't necessarily blame them for opposing it, I'm also not totally sympathetic to people who buy housing right near a major interchange. Years ago my father told me I should never buy a house on a main road or next to an Interstate because of the risk of losing property to eminent domain when the road needs to be widened. This isn't quite the same thing, but it's pretty similar conceptually in terms of unsightliness and the like. If you choose to live so close to a major highway junction, you're putting yourself at risk of having your life disrupted when it comes time to improve the road.

That interchange at the Beltway and I-66 looks like it'll be interesting to see when it's done, either way.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on April 20, 2017, 07:30:45 PM
http://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/04/i-66-express-lanes-hit-speed-bump-over-design-changes/
http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/i--express-lanes-pushback-on-design-delays-fairfax-portion/article_865f2102-25e8-11e7-a0a6-471dc157b0ef.html

Looks like that troublesome Metro power station along with nearby residential complaints, have for at least in the meantime delayed the I-66 outside the beltway project from US-50 to I-495 while it goes under design review. The rest of the project from US-50 to Gainesville is clear to proceed with an air quality analysis from the region's transportation planning board.

If it was up to me, I would have the I-66 HOT lanes end about half a mile after Exit 62 Nutley Street and then basically have a similar setup from there as the southern end of the I-495 HOT lanes approaching the Springfield Interchange. I think all this would require is widening I-66 from 4 lanes to 5(3 regular, 2 HOT) and avoids building any new flyovers and reconstructing the I-66/I-495 interchange again.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on April 23, 2017, 04:17:17 PM
http://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/04/i-66-express-lanes-hit-speed-bump-over-design-changes/
http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/i--express-lanes-pushback-on-design-delays-fairfax-portion/article_865f2102-25e8-11e7-a0a6-471dc157b0ef.html

Looks like that troublesome Metro power station along with nearby residential complaints, have for at least in the meantime delayed the I-66 outside the beltway project from US-50 to I-495 while it goes under design review. The rest of the project from US-50 to Gainesville is clear to proceed with an air quality analysis from the region's transportation planning board.

If it was up to me, I would have the I-66 HOT lanes end about half a mile after Exit 62 Nutley Street and then basically have a similar setup from there as the southern end of the I-495 HOT lanes approaching the Springfield Interchange. I think all this would require is widening I-66 from 4 lanes to 5(3 regular, 2 HOT) and avoids building any new flyovers and reconstructing the I-66/I-495 interchange again.

I agree.   There are plenty of ramps already at that interchange.  From Front Royal, you have ramps to I-495 north and south on the right as well as ramps to the I-495 express lanes on the left (a ramp to express lanes north with a special u-turn ramp to express lanes south).  The notion that the I-66 express lanes should now get more ramps so those points seems ridiculous.  I like your solution too.  Express lanes to Nutley become all-traffic lanes after Nutley.  Those drivers who will continue to I-495 express lanes keep left and those to the general lanes will merge with general traffic in the right lanes.  No new ramp construction at the interchange.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on April 26, 2017, 11:29:22 AM
Apparently Gov. McAuliffe said on WTOP this morning they're scrapping the proposed flyover. I have no further details beyond that other than that they have not decided what to do about the power substation, but they will not do the big flyover.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on April 26, 2017, 11:54:01 AM
http://liveblogwp.wtop.com/Event/Ask_the_Governor_with_Terry_McAuliffe_April_26_2017?_ga=1.37005920.1960426794.1493221937

Quote
WASHINGTON — Plans to build a flyover ramp near the Dunn Loring Metro Station as part of the Interstate 66 express lanes project have been scrapped, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday.

Neighbors complained that updated design plans released in March were worse than the initial design and said that the state transportation officials weren't listening to their concerns regarding noise, light and the aesthetics of the design. 

"We're canceling it because of the public input," McAuliffe said.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 10, 2017, 07:01:32 AM
WTOP: I-66 toll lane ramp ideas detailed for Fairfax Co. officials (http://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/05/66-toll-lane-ideas-detailed/)

There is a powerpoint in the middle of the article that shows diagrams of current toll-lane access plans from US 50 east to the Beltway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 11, 2017, 11:37:42 AM
I tweeted VDOT to ask when the inside-the-Beltway HO/T operations are expected to begin because I want to get an E-ZPass Flex but I also want to avoid the $10 fee for not using it in HOV mode. They responded, "Looks like late 2017." That's a notable change from the original plan for it to be over the summer.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on May 17, 2017, 09:45:53 PM
WTOP: I-66 toll lane ramp ideas detailed for Fairfax Co. officials (http://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/05/66-toll-lane-ideas-detailed/)

There is a powerpoint in the middle of the article that shows diagrams of current toll-lane access plans from US 50 east to the Beltway.

I am glad to see direct exit and entrance ramps to I-66 HOT.  It is important to have direct connections from the express lanes to the nearby surface street.  I-395 and I-495 employ this as well.

Too bad I-270 in MD can't get on board as well.  There are no direct ramps to any exits on the northern side of 270 and one has to aggressively force their way out of the HOV lanes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 27, 2017, 04:52:49 PM
I-66 tolling signs are up on the Inner Loop between Route 50 and Route 29 (we exited there today, so I don't know if there are any more). My dashcam malfunctioned so I don't have a picture. The signs will list the rates to Route 7, Washington Boulevard, and the Roosevelt Bridge. Black-on-white signs with no Clearview.

If we go to Tysons tomorrow, I'll make sure to get a picture now that I know they're up.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: HTM Duke on May 27, 2017, 08:57:32 PM
I-66 tolling signs are up on the Inner Loop between Route 50 and Route 29 (we exited there today, so I don't know if there are any more).

One has also been erected on VA-123 north at the exit to VA-267 east/Dulles Connector Rd.  Apart from these two, I haven't seen any others, but I haven't exactly been looking for them either.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 27, 2017, 09:15:51 PM
I-66 tolling signs are up on the Inner Loop between Route 50 and Route 29 (we exited there today, so I don't know if there are any more).

One has also been erected on VA-123 north at the exit to VA-267 east/Dulles Connector Rd.  Apart from these two, I haven't seen any others, but I haven't exactly been looking for them either.

I think—I did not get a good look due to rush hour traffic—there may be one on westbound Route 29 just west of Rosslyn as it goes up the hill towards the left-side ramp to I-66. I didn't mention it Friday because I didn't get a good look.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on May 27, 2017, 09:33:12 PM
There is one on the outer loop prior to the Dulles Toll Rd but it has been covered since installation.  The two that are visible on the inner loop have a really sharp VA 7 shield (resembles a cutout) IMO...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Steve D on May 27, 2017, 09:40:42 PM
There is one on the outer loop prior to the Dulles Toll Rd but it has been covered since installation.  The two that are visible on the inner loop have a really sharp VA 7 shield (resembles a cutout) IMO...
There are two of these new signs on the Dulles Toll Road/Access Road just prior to the Beltway.

These signs look so different than the toll rate signs for the 495 HOT Lanes (which are mostly dot-matrix) - much cheaper looking, with the toll in a small box, similar to that in Maryland for Toll 200 (Intercounty Connector).  Also, the signs list Washington Blvd on one line and just Washington (as in DC; Roosevelt Bridge) on the next which seems odd.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 29, 2017, 08:50:06 AM
There is one on the outer loop prior to the Dulles Toll Rd but it has been covered since installation.  The two that are visible on the inner loop have a really sharp VA 7 shield (resembles a cutout) IMO...
There are two of these new signs on the Dulles Toll Road/Access Road just prior to the Beltway.

These signs look so different than the toll rate signs for the 495 HOT Lanes (which are mostly dot-matrix) - much cheaper looking, with the toll in a small box, similar to that in Maryland for Toll 200 (Intercounty Connector).  Also, the signs list Washington Blvd on one line and just Washington (as in DC; Roosevelt Bridge) on the next which seems odd.

I found it a little odd not to see the Ballston exit listed on there in some form (the Fairfax Drive exit, although the signs say Glebe Road).

I'll be interested in hearing the public reaction to the signs (too bad Dr. Gridlock retired!) simply because, as you note, they're different from the other HO/T lane signs in Northern Virginia. A lot of people claim to have found the signs confusing for the existing lanes, so (assuming they were actually confused) I would expect those people would be confounded by a different style of sign now!

I didn't get any pictures yesterday because we didn't go further than I-395 on the Beltway. The day took a different course than we had planned.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on May 29, 2017, 10:58:35 AM
Shrouded price sign seen at US-29 (Lee Hwy) and I-66
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on May 29, 2017, 11:22:25 AM

I'll be interested in hearing the public reaction to the signs (too bad Dr. Gridlock retired!) simply because, as you note, they're different from the other HO/T lane signs in Northern Virginia. A lot of people claim to have found the signs confusing for the existing lanes, so (assuming they were actually confused) I would expect those people would be confounded by a different style of sign now!


The different design could be intentional, since some of the destinations are the same.  Imagine coming up the Inner Loop and seeing another dot matrix sign telling you the toll to VA 7...if the sign were indistinguishable from the current ones you might think that toll applies to you.

Wonder if the signs along I-66 itself will also be this different design...I assume they will be...

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on May 29, 2017, 11:54:42 AM

I'll be interested in hearing the public reaction to the signs (too bad Dr. Gridlock retired!) simply because, as you note, they're different from the other HO/T lane signs in Northern Virginia. A lot of people claim to have found the signs confusing for the existing lanes, so (assuming they were actually confused) I would expect those people would be confounded by a different style of sign now!


The different design could be intentional, since some of the destinations are the same.  Imagine coming up the Inner Loop and seeing another dot matrix sign telling you the toll to VA 7...if the sign were indistinguishable from the current ones you might think that toll applies to you.

Wonder if the signs along I-66 itself will also be this different design...I assume they will be...

That makes a lot of sense. I also recall mtantillo of this forum noting some time ago how the federal standards for these sorts of signs have evolved considerably since Virginia got approval for the original signs for the Beltway HO/T lanes. No doubt that factored in as well.

The sign I saw last week near Rosslyn looked similar to the ones I saw on the Beltway, but I couldn't see what the destinations were due to trees in the way.

Seeing these signs going up is making me think maybe it's time to order the E-ZPass Flexes, but I may wait because there's no sign of the tolling equipment yet. Yeah, I'm being cheap about that $10 fee!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on June 01, 2017, 10:35:43 PM
http://wtop.com/virginia/2017/06/mcauliffe-tolls-not-reached-tipping-point-yet-in-no-va/

Quote
McAuliffe: Tolls not reached tipping point yet in No. Va.

WASHINGTON — Northern Virginia roads are not yet maxed out on tolling, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday.

Quote
“You make the decision whether you want to pay the toll or not,” McAuliffe said. “This is done. This was a contract that was signed with a private company, as you know. But you clearly can stay in the free lanes, and you have to make that choice if it works for your business or doesn’t work for your business.”
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 01, 2017, 10:45:56 PM
For once I agree with McAuliffe. People think the tolls are too high? As I've said before, that says to me the variable tolling system is probably working as intended for the most part, especially because in my admittedly unscientific observation the traffic usually keeps moving pretty well (southern end of the I-95 lanes excepted, but I seldom go down I-95 these days). It seems to me that if the "free" lanes are stopped, the toll lanes have a toll of $11.00 to go eight miles, and the toll lanes are moving at 70 mph, then the system is working correctly. I guess to me it's capitalism in action on the roads. The service is worth what people are willing to pay. So far the maximum I've paid at rush hour from I-66 to Springfield was $20.30 on a rainy afternoon a few weeks ago, and it was worth it that day. I'm not sure at what point I'd say "too much." What I might do if the toll got too much higher would be to pay the smaller toll to Gallows Road and come the rest of the way home via the streets. The Gallows/Backlick combination used to be a route I used in the mornings sometimes prior to the construction of the HO/T lanes.

It IS a big problem when the toll lanes are at a crawl because of a wreck or other incident and they jack up the toll rate to discourage traffic from entering, yet if you go in there you get stuck barely moving. I have no idea what the solution is short of crediting the toll back to people's accounts.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on June 01, 2017, 10:49:53 PM
As you mentioned, the fact that the tolls are "too high" for some people means that the system is in fact working.

I'd be more interested to know how many people who back in 2010 said they would "never use the lanes" are now at least occasional HOT lane users. Those open lanes must be very tempting.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 02, 2017, 07:32:39 AM
As you mentioned, the fact that the tolls are "too high" for some people means that the system is in fact working.

I'd be more interested to know how many people who back in 2010 said they would "never use the lanes" are now at least occasional HOT lane users. Those open lanes must be very tempting.

I'd like to know that as well, especially as to travel outside of rush hours when the tolls are lower. I know some people who say there's no reason to use them outside rush hour, but one reason why I will use them is convenience with the new exits—exiting directly onto Route 29, for example, instead of going around via Fairview Park. (This is likely less of an issue on I-95 due to there being fewer new ramps.)

In my again unscientific observation, the Beltway lanes have gotten considerably busier in the four and a half years since they opened, especially at rush hour.

I'd also love to know what the count of toll violators is, since there are plenty of people who claim they'll go in HOV mode even as solo drivers because they won't be caught. Certainly some of that goes on.

On I-95, I've wondered whether slugging has expanded much outside the traditional HOV hours. In theory, the HO/T lanes provide an incentive for slugging to operate at other times because it lets drivers use the lanes for free.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on June 02, 2017, 08:24:33 AM
My guess is that you have some increased slugging at the margins of the former peak hours, but also you're going to lose slugging during the peak hours (e.g. people who used carpooling to use the carriageway but now pay their way on). My guess is a net loss in slugging.

I-66, for a number of reasons I think, will see increases in slugging (mostly due to the loss of spouse-pooling).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 03, 2017, 01:05:23 PM
Picture taken about half an hour ago on my way to Fair Oaks. I noted there is one of these above the HO/T lanes and one above the general-purpose lanes and that's it. Don't know if there will be another added.

I agree with Mapmikey about how the Route 7 shield looks good. Much better than most current VDOT signage does.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/66F437F7-6A03-425A-90F8-ADEE93FAA1C7_zps1ogpyket.jpg)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 03, 2017, 05:21:05 PM
Picture taken about half an hour ago on my way to Fair Oaks. I noted there is one of these above the HO/T lanes and one above the general-purpose lanes and that's it. Don't know if there will be another added.

I agree with Mapmikey about how the Route 7 shield looks good. Much better than most current VDOT signage does.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/66F437F7-6A03-425A-90F8-ADEE93FAA1C7_zps1ogpyket.jpg)

Great catch!

I agree the VA-7 shield looks good (and lots better than the awful "secondary" VA-7 on Market Street in Leesburg, which I think is still there, and at least one awful shield on westbound VA-7 west of Leesburg). 

Otherwise, I do not like this much below the VA-7 shield:

0. No mention of VA-120 (North Glebe Road).  A lot of traffic exits I-66 eastbound in the mornings to Ballston.

1. They could have put in a VA-237 shield (which is Washington  Boulevard from the I-66 interchange to VA-120), they could also have paired it with U.S. 29 (Lee Highway).  My  own preference would have been for a U.S. 29 and VA-237 shields with no street name.

2. "Washington" is IMO also misleading, since I think the tolled part ends at the Rosslyn Tunnel, so signing it Washington and Rosslyn would make better sense, even if Washington  had to be abbreviated, as it already is for Washington Boulevard.

3. The two Washingtons could also cause confusion.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 03, 2017, 05:48:11 PM
I definitely agree with your point "zero" about Ballston. As to the city name, I think "Washington DC" would be clearer. I've seen it used on a few signs here and there, but not often.

I'm not sure putting a Route 237 shield with no name would be helpful to most drivers because it's not a route number I think most people ever use.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 03, 2017, 07:39:42 PM
As you mentioned, the fact that the tolls are "too high" for some people means that the system is in fact working.

I agree.

I'd be more interested to know how many people who back in 2010 said they would "never use the lanes" are now at least occasional HOT lane users. Those open lanes must be very tempting.

The anti-ICC cottage industry in Montgomery County made similar claims, saying that the tolls would be "too high" once it opened to traffic to complete the connection from I-270 to I-95 (of course, these were some of the same people that wanted massively higher motor fuel taxes, with  all of the dollars going to transit subsidies). 

MD-200 carries plenty of paying traffic now, though I still see propaganda from time-to-time that "nobody uses the ICC" (those are usually patently false statements).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 03, 2017, 07:50:21 PM
I definitely agree with your point "zero" about Ballston. As to the city name, I think "Washington DC" would be clearer. I've seen it used on a few signs here and there, but not often.

I'm not sure putting a Route 237 shield with no name would be helpful to most drivers because it's not a route number I think most people ever use.

My preference would have been U.S. 29 and VA-237, consistent with how I-66 eastbound approaching Exit 69 (Washington Boulevard) is signed now.

U.S. 29 and VA-237 have always been signed on the eastbound side of I-66 approaching Exit 69 at East Falls Church.  VA-237 (with VA-120) is also signed eastbound approaching Exit 71 at Fairfax Drive/North Glebe Road/Ballston.

However, there is no mention of VA-237 westbound approaching Exit 71 (I-66 is signed for VA-120), and no mention of U.S. 29 or VA-237 westbound approaching Exit 69 (it is signed for Sycamore Street and Falls Church and nothing else).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on June 04, 2017, 12:00:39 AM
Nobody in Arlington refers to it as "VA-237". I didn't even know there was a route number. At least US-29/Lee Hwy has some currency to both descriptions.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 09, 2017, 07:19:41 AM
I finally get to follow up! On Sunday night we were on the Dulles Toll Road coming back from L'Auberge Che François and I noted the I-66 toll signs on there listed Wash Blvd, Fairfax Dr, and Washington (no picture, traffic was busy and I was driving my wife's new car so I didn't want to divert my attention from driving). "Fairfax Dr" is, of course, a more accurate listing for the "Glebe Road" exit inbound.

Another smaller sign in the median noted tolling hours will be from 5:30 to 9:30. I believe that's an extension of the current HOV-2 hours, which I think are 6:00 to 9:30. I didn't get a good look at the rest of the sign.

Finally, Adam Tuss of Channel 4 reports tolls will begin in December. They still have to put up the equipment and test it before real operations begin.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 09, 2017, 11:23:47 AM
I should also make it clear that I personally think tolls are the right way to deal with  congestion in the I-66 corridor (as demonstrated elsewhere, as the tolled lanes on I-495; I-395 and I-95 and MD-200 are working).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on June 09, 2017, 05:11:35 PM
I should also make it clear that I personally think tolls are the right way to deal with  congestion in the I-66 corridor (as demonstrated elsewhere, as the tolled lanes on I-495; I-395 and I-95 and MD-200 are working).

I agree with this as a general matter, subject to the caveat (which doesn't apply to I-66) that I do not like the idea of imposing an HO/T restriction on lanes that are generally-available unless the road is reconstructed or otherwise seriously improved.

In other words, on I-66 inside the Beltway they're imposing peak-direction HO/T during a minimally-expanded version of existing HOV hours, so essentially what they're doing is selling the excess capacity to people willing to pay to access it. That's fine with me. If instead they had made the existing road two-way 24/7 HO/T, I think it would be a very serious problem unless the road underwent major reconstruction to the point of being essentially a new road paid for by the tolls. I'm not sure I think the I-95 lanes meet that criterion, although it doesn't stop me from using them when I feel the need.

I guess in my mind the difference is that if you convert HOV to HO/T during more or less the same hours, you're basically allowing all the same people who are already using the road to continue to use the road while creating a new option for previously-ineligible people (and yes, I know I-66 will change from HOV-2-with-Flex to HOV-3-with-Flex in a few years). If you impose HO/T on a previously free road, you're sort of taking away an option.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2017, 12:02:48 PM
[Note that the comments in this article are amusing]

ARLNow.com: Historic Preservationists Say I-66 Project Threatens Highway’s History (https://www.arlnow.com/2017/07/05/historic-preservationists-say-i-66-project-threatens-custis-memorial-parkway/)

Quote
A plan to revamp Interstate 66 is threatening the character of the Custis Memorial Parkway, the highway’s name inside the Capital Beltway, historic preservation advocates said today (Wednesday).

Quote
Preservation Arlington, a nonprofit group that looks to protect Arlington’s architectural heritage, released its annual list of “endangered historic places,” with the parkway named as one.

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation is in the midst of an ambitious plan known as “Transform 66” to widen I-66 from the Dulles Connector Road to the Fairfax Drive exit in Ballston within the existing eastbound right-of-way.

Quote
Under the plan, VDOT would also add tolls and improve local trails, as well as build a pedestrian bridge in East Falls Church.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 06, 2017, 12:13:33 PM
Quote
"Plantings are no longer maintained. Corten steel guardrails and sign supports are being replaced with standard, steel interstate highway components,” the group wrote. “The new toll road gantries, and large, new sign supports (and highway signage) on nearby arterial roads have further eroded the parkway’s ability to blend into its surroundings.”

LOL
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2017, 01:19:46 PM
I agree with this as a general matter, subject to the caveat (which doesn't apply to I-66) that I do not like the idea of imposing an HO/T restriction on lanes that are generally-available unless the road is reconstructed or otherwise seriously improved.

In general, I agree with you, though there are probably exceptions out there somewhere.

In other words, on I-66 inside the Beltway they're imposing peak-direction HO/T during a minimally-expanded version of existing HOV hours, so essentially what they're doing is selling the excess capacity to people willing to pay to access it. That's fine with me. If instead they had made the existing road two-way 24/7 HO/T, I think it would be a very serious problem unless the road underwent major reconstruction to the point of being essentially a new road paid for by the tolls. I'm not sure I think the I-95 lanes meet that criterion, although it doesn't stop me from using them when I feel the need.

I would rather have the pricing, raise the HOV requirement back to HOV-3 and get rid of the recurring congestion (which was not supposed to be there, but which has gotten worse over the years (as a result of growth in traffic, the Dulles exception and a relaxation of the  HOV requirement from HOV-4 to HOV-3 to HOV-2)).

I guess in my mind the difference is that if you convert HOV to HO/T during more or less the same hours, you're basically allowing all the same people who are already using the road to continue to use the road while creating a new option for previously-ineligible people (and yes, I know I-66 will change from HOV-2-with-Flex to HOV-3-with-Flex in a few years). If you impose HO/T on a previously free road, you're sort of taking away an option.

I could be convinced to suggest pricing in almost any congested highway corridor (or at least provide a non-congested priced alternative in the way that the Transurban lanes do today on I-495 and I-95 and a small part of I-395) - but - such a change (from totally free to priced with an HOV component) should be subject to a lot of (public) scrutiny and discussion.

MD-200 got an excessive amount of same, but the toll road that is there today is vastly better than what had been envisioned in the 1970's and early 1980's (the 1983 (!) DEIS for MD-200 is online and can be found via its Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_Route_200)).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 18, 2017, 07:10:13 AM
WTOP:  Va. to spend $2M more for new I-66 toll lanes (http://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/07/va-spend-2m-new-66-toll-lanes/)

Quote
The Interstate 66 rush-hour toll system inside the Capital Beltway that is due to begin charging solo drivers in December will cost at least $2 million more up front than previously planned.
“With the tolling coming online for the first time, this dynamic pricing for the first time for VDOT, it was requested [by VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne] that we extend our testing into a further testing program,” Baxter said.

While there are other, similar toll lanes in the state, those are operated privately rather than through direct VDOT control. Full testing and training required staffing up to a level close to what will be needed when tolling begins, but without having the toll revenue coming in to begin paying the salaries.

During testing through November, Baxter said drivers will see images or text on the new message signs along I-66; and crews will test E-ZPass reader boxes, cameras and beacons that will identify non-HOV users.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking the Commonwealth Transportation Board Wednesday to approve the additional $2 million in order to keep the project on schedule, based on VDOT and contractor estimates for upcoming costs.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 09, 2017, 03:00:49 PM
This is the first I've heard of an actual date:

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 12, 2017, 12:43:40 PM
Full-page color ad in the Sunday Post (12 November)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lfrqkn8IKqYPKtlBRIlACj94fG-Y-_ie6yDxqflcRolf47inhebyDAeE6l2Ic4DOpupABEbMP29PXgPTpYVWdhy6A3onvpLkM1FMeNpfRB6PdY4xzRRz8bIlvNrZEMyuC7Z63dsV2oKfEMFK2gDUZghnkiFfw2rM41to1k3M9V45g2LfFx_zxGZtx5DELjlba8jWP22dkz4qgu_oLY1GWbMMThG5bhU74-T8gUPBomH_zFuee3hzTBSUYAshnQUWiKwgScTXtxL4EG1oNZnTniXZ6pLzSF2tPdQ_POfo-LrcTG1KUrlzYyW4lY0sZUamUs1g9pEERGnHkg0xvzoIWT5CNF29qbjDbIL-vVET0AAyeuxf8OjO1YasB9GvfVX9SbX1UrIn2SiUuOME5PdoBx7PUYfDr1BysZ1sVi2grhsOX_Q-S__bQ_RfxYl7GWRPKOgoMIk2fWtskikHCzb9nojtDNkYvSaA_UllUZVjKKHJ577O2pKN1vnkJAGWhH2nLtQRRyeyrohD8wUjY5SRyG47MBWtARDwg_KcuFdVhFqqhKCugs4l0lUdNw367A3Ej7ASCslZT69PK4xL5WzvcdT_Sbn5J0MUKpUZf_OcOg=w358-h637-no)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2017, 03:09:53 PM
The images you’re uploading aren’t displaying—I get a grey “Do Not Enter” symbol. (I saw the ad in the paper this morning, so I know what the image would have been, but others may not.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: DeaconG on November 15, 2017, 07:30:25 PM
The images you’re uploading aren’t displaying—I get a grey “Do Not Enter” symbol. (I saw the ad in the paper this morning, so I know what the image would have been, but others may not.)

Same here.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 17, 2017, 07:45:53 PM
Went to the I-66 Design Public Hearing in Bristow last night to both better see all the designs/plans, and to chat with VDOT employees about the upcoming mega-project.
One particular thing that I noticed from looking at the designs was located in the vicinity of the future and basically unrecognizable I-66/VA-28 interchange plans. While although an individual in both the eastbound and westbound express lanes will have direct access to Braddock and Walney Roads, individuals coming from Braddock and Walney Roads will only access to the westbound I-66 express lanes. I found that to be strange and asked a VDOT employee how someone coming from Braddock and Walney roads would supposedly access the eastbound I-66 express lanes. He at first also seemed a little surprised from the lack of a direct connection, however he eventually informed me that someone would either have to get on to VA-28 south and do a u-turn at the US-29 interchange or access the eastbound I-66 express lanes at another exit. He assumed this lack of a direct connection was due to the fact that there was basically no room left in the vicinity of the major interchange in which to add one. In no way does this make or break my opinion on the project, I just thought it was an interesting detail.

Also for the fun of it, I asked the same VDOT employee whether or not he thought VA-28 ever has a chance of becoming an interstate after the final lights are removed north of I-66. He told me(to my dismay) it was unlikely. However, he did state that he is in favor of extending VA-28 north into Maryland and believes that an HOV or even a similar HOT lane project could be in VA-28's future in about 5 to 10 years.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on November 17, 2017, 07:53:08 PM
Someone needs to introduce that VDOT guy to ethanman.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on November 17, 2017, 08:06:32 PM
Someone needs to introduce that VDOT guy to ethanman.
Haha yeah. His reasoning was that most spur interstates connect to a city center such as I-581, I-381, and I-395 and while VA-28 would go to Dulles Airport, he didn't think it would be a good enough "control city" to warrant an interstate designation. I obviously disagree with that logic( I didn't tell him) due to the fact that not all interstate spurs connect to downtown areas such as I-564 in  Norfolk, I-795 north of Baltimore, and I-195 south of Baltimore(BWI is its control city). I was expecting him to instead say that a change such as an interstate designation would cause too much confusion.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 20, 2017, 07:43:15 AM
Heard on the radio this morning there is to be a groundbreaking ceremony today for the I-66 reconstruction outside the Beltway. They did not say where or when. The Governor's website says 2:00 PM at 5690 Sully Road. That's basically the southwest corner of the I-66/VA-28 interchange.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 21, 2017, 01:15:01 PM
WAMU's Martin DiCaro has a story up about yesterday's groundbreaking ceremony (https://wamu.org/story/17/11/21/virginia-breaks-ground-22-mile-toll-lane-project-unclog-66/). The part I found the most interesting was the video embedded in that story. The discussion of the Route 28 interchange begins at about the 2:20 mark. At 2:45, a text box appears in the lower right corner reading, "The interchange will be built to accommodate future Route 28 HOV lanes, reducing the impact on drivers during future construction." That's the first time I'd heard mention of HOV lanes on Route 28 and I couldn't help but wonder if they have something in mind or whether they're just trying to plan ahead. I assume the latter, but does anyone know?

Edited to add: I just looked back at the thread and I see Jmiles32 mentioned the prospect a few posts ago. Sounds like they're just planning ahead.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 22, 2017, 07:34:44 AM
I heard advertisements on practically even DC station I listened to in my car when I drove through the area last night on the way to my parents' house.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 22, 2017, 08:33:27 AM
I heard advertisements on practically even DC station I listened to in my car when I drove through the area last night on the way to my parents' house.

I tend to tune out commercials when I listen to FM radio, but I'd guess those are probably for the inside-the-Beltway HO/T system that begins operation on December 4.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 24, 2017, 05:36:07 PM
I heard advertisements on practically even DC station I listened to in my car when I drove through the area last night on the way to my parents' house.

I tend to tune out commercials when I listen to FM radio, but I'd guess those are probably for the inside-the-Beltway HO/T system that begins operation on December 4.

Yes that is correct. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 29, 2017, 09:04:35 AM
We were on I-66 from the Roosevelt Bridge to the Beltway just after 5:30 last night. Interesting to discover the overhead VMS units that usually display travel time info are full-color signs—last night, they were displaying two screens of information about the start of tolling this coming Monday.

There was SERIOUS HOV enforcement last night, too—about six cop cars on the shoulder between Route 7 and the Beltway. Traffic slowed to a crawl to get by, which is probably what the cops wanted because they were pulling over loads of people. I think there were at least six violators stopped when we came through. (I kind of wished I had slowed more and asked Ms1995hoo to ask the cops to tell the idiot behind us to turn off her high-beams.) Channel 4's Adam Tuss apparently did a story this morning about there being stepped-up HOV enforcement over the next few days prior to the start of tolling. I didn't see the story, but if they post it online I'll edit this to include it. Perhaps the notion is that the current HOV violators might be considered likely to become toll cheats, either intentionally or through ignorance, and by pulling them over now maybe the idea is to give them one more warning about the start of tolling before they start getting expensive violation notices?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on November 29, 2017, 04:35:48 PM
We were on I-66 from the Roosevelt Bridge to the Beltway just after 5:30 last night. Interesting to discover the overhead VMS units that usually display travel time info are full-color signs—last night, they were displaying two screens of information about the start of tolling this coming Monday.

There was SERIOUS HOV enforcement last night, too—about six cop cars on the shoulder between Route 7 and the Beltway. Traffic slowed to a crawl to get by, which is probably what the cops wanted because they were pulling over loads of people. I think there were at least six violators stopped when we came through. (I kind of wished I had slowed more and asked Ms1995hoo to ask the cops to tell the idiot behind us to turn off her high-beams.) Channel 4's Adam Tuss apparently did a story this morning about there being stepped-up HOV enforcement over the next few days prior to the start of tolling. I didn't see the story, but if they post it online I'll edit this to include it. Perhaps the notion is that the current HOV violators might be considered likely to become toll cheats, either intentionally or through ignorance, and by pulling them over now maybe the idea is to give them one more warning about the start of tolling before they start getting expensive violation notices?

The VMS on the I-95 toll lanes were also warning of strict HOV/HOT enforcement yesterday afternoon...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 29, 2017, 05:28:36 PM
Here is Adam Tuss's report (video link):

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I66-Toll-Crackdown_Washington-DC-460792533.html
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2017, 12:14:10 AM
Here is Adam Tuss's report (video link):

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I66-Toll-Crackdown_Washington-DC-460792533.html

I get a 404 on that.

Appears to have been taken down.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 30, 2017, 09:08:51 AM
Weird. I’ll see if I can find it later today.

Edited to add: Looks like they must have removed it overnight. I wonder why. The gist of the report was that he said the State Police are doing heavy HOV enforcement on I-66 this week in preparation for HO/T operations, but he said the reason is that violators would cause the toll prices to be higher because there would be more traffic. I guess—he did not say this, but it makes sense—the idea is that they have to come up with some sort of way to estimate what the initial tolls should be based on traffic under the existing rules, since they won't have sufficient HO/T data for some time. So the HOV violators contribute to the traffic counts and result in higher tolls during that initial period.

I'm not sure that theory is entirely convincing because it's by no means clear that the violators would not continue to use the road (whether legally with an E-ZPass or as toll violators). I guess we can reasonably assume some of them will use other roads because cheating will now have more consistent consequences—you fail to use an E-ZPass and you get a bill in the mail, whereas under the HOV system most days you probably won't get a ticket—but surely they won't all switch to other routes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 30, 2017, 09:45:46 AM
Saw test patterns lit-up on a new I-66 HO/T lanes board while on VA-110 (Rosslyn) approaching I-66 in Rosslyn.

It looks like they have a purple "Toll" part of the sign that lights up with the word "toll", presumably when the HO/T restrictions are in effect.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on November 30, 2017, 10:22:24 AM
Saw test patterns lit-up on a new I-66 HO/T lanes board while on VA-110 (Rosslyn) approaching I-66 in Rosslyn.

It looks like they have a purple "Toll" part of the sign that lights up with the word "toll", presumably when the HO/T restrictions are in effect.

The signs I've seen have the black word "Toll" on a yellow background that is to light up during the HO/T hours. (The foregoing includes various BGSs leading to that portion of I-66, such as approaching eastbound on I-66 from Nutley Street.) The white toll-rate signs also have a purple light-up panel that says "E-ZPass Required" and then, below the toll rates, a panel that for the next four-plus years will say "HOV 2+" to the left of the permanent words "NO TOLL." (This panel is designed so it can say "3+" when the time comes in 2022.) The white signs don't appear to have a mention of E-ZPass Flex as a requirement for the free ride.

I've noticed there are no white toll-rate signs going westbound out of DC over the Roosevelt Bridge. The existing VMS just before the Rosslyn exit has been modified to include the yellow "Toll" banner. I assume they plan to use the VMS panels to advertise the toll rates in a manner similar to the Beltway and I-95 lanes.

We got a flyer about the I-66 lanes in the mail last night as part of a larger advertising mailer. Ms1995hoo and I both found a couple of things to be a little bit misleading:

(1) They keep saying "Express Lanes" (usually, but not always, capitalized like that) are "opening on I-66 Inside the Beltway" during rush hour and that you can "choose to use the lanes." We found this to be misleading because they're not "opening" any new lanes. The road isn't going to change at all until they widen part of the inbound carriageway. We both felt saying "Express Lanes are opening" implies that they built something new, like on the Beltway, and we both felt that the word "express" implies that there's a "local" option (I guess you might say the surface streets are that option?). It's not so much a case of "choosing to use the lanes" as it is "choosing to use I-66 where in the past you may not have been allowed to do so."

(2) They still insist you will lock in your toll rate when you pass the second pricing sign "before entering the express lanes." That's not really true—you lock in your rate when you pass under the first toll gantry, which may be some distance away. If there's congestion for any reason, such as an accident, the rate may well change before you reach that gantry (this has happened to me on the Beltway lanes when there was a crash and traffic crawled down the ramp from I-66 to the Inner Loop—it's a mile and a half from the toll rate sign near Virginia Lane on I-66 to the first toll gantry just north of Route 29 on the Beltway, and when it took over ten minutes to drive that distance, the toll went up by over a dollar.) The first westbound gantry is west of the partial interchange with Route 29 near Spout Run Parkway (Exit 72) just before you pass under that parking structure near the planetarium. That's a pretty good distance if traffic is heavy. It's an extreme example, but I remember the night there was an overturned car on the inbound side at that exit. Obviously, westbound traffic crawled. I don't think they should mislead people by saying you lock in your price when you pass the toll sign. (I do think this is a good reason for putting the gantries at the entrance points, meaning over the on- and off-ramps and over the mainline where the tolling begins and ends, instead of configuring it the way they have.)

The centered subheading on the flyer's inside is the best summary: "Starting in December 2017, anyone can travel on I-66 from I-495 to U.S. Route 29 in Rosslyn." I think that's a great summary of what the HO/T project does on that road and I think they should have used that tagline from the beginning. Of course if that's all you say you're guilty of a major oversimplification, but it's an excellent summary.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on November 30, 2017, 12:40:43 PM


(2) They still insist you will lock in your toll rate when you pass the second pricing sign "before entering the express lanes." That's not really true—you lock in your rate when you pass under the first toll gantry, which may be some distance away. If there's congestion for any reason, such as an accident, the rate may well change before you reach that gantry (this has happened to me on the Beltway lanes when there was a crash and traffic crawled down the ramp from I-66 to the Inner Loop—it's a mile and a half from the toll rate sign near Virginia Lane on I-66 to the first toll gantry just north of Route 29 on the Beltway, and when it took over ten minutes to drive that distance, the toll went up by over a dollar.) The first westbound gantry is west of the partial interchange with Route 29 near Spout Run Parkway (Exit 72) just before you pass under that parking structure near the planetarium. That's a pretty good distance if traffic is heavy. It's an extreme example, but I remember the night there was an overturned car on the inbound side at that exit. Obviously, westbound traffic crawled. I don't think they should mislead people by saying you lock in your price when you pass the toll sign. (I do think this is a good reason for putting the gantries at the entrance points, meaning over the on- and off-ramps and over the mainline where the tolling begins and ends, instead of configuring it the way they have.)



This is also likely an issue on the new extension of the 95 Express lanes at Garrisonville.  There is no added gantry between the new first entrance and the one that had been first (2+ miles away).  The displayed toll rates at both locations are usually the same, but at least once with nothing slowing traffic down the rate displayed went up at the 2nd entrance after I entered the lanes at the 1st entrance.  So I assume I ended up paying the higher one.

Incidentally, after a month in operation, 95 NB at SR 610 Exit 143 is still wide open now at the time I pass through.  The 2+ mile crawl has not re-materialized.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on December 02, 2017, 09:50:56 PM
Here is Adam Tuss's report (video link):

https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/I66-Toll-Crackdown_Washington-DC-460792533.html

I checked if there might be some cache version on Google or Bing, I archived the Bing cache on Archive.is http://archive.is/2cyx0

I get a 404 on that.

Appears to have been taken down.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 02, 2017, 11:02:31 PM
Washington Post: Interstate 66 tolling starts Monday. Here’s what you need to know. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/interstate-66-tolling-starts-monday-heres-what-you-need-to-know/2017/12/02/800454e2-d535-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 02, 2017, 11:36:58 PM
Washington Post: Interstate 66 tolling starts Monday. Here’s what you need to know. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/interstate-66-tolling-starts-monday-heres-what-you-need-to-know/2017/12/02/800454e2-d535-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html)

"from Route 29 in Rosslyn to Interstate 495
"The hours of [variable tolling] operation will be 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. eastbound and 3 to 7 p.m. westbound, Monday through Friday.
The lanes will be free to all users during off-peak hours and weekends."

Different from the I-495 and I-95/I-395 HOT lanes, which toll 24/7/365.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 03, 2017, 09:41:19 AM
Washington Post: Interstate 66 tolling starts Monday. Here’s what you need to know. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/interstate-66-tolling-starts-monday-heres-what-you-need-to-know/2017/12/02/800454e2-d535-11e7-a986-d0a9770d9a3e_story.html)

Don't read the comments under that article (other than mine :bigass:) unless you want to feel your intelligence dribbling away. The usual collection of whiners and hand-wringers. If they actually oppose the project so strongly, where were they when it was proposed and during the public comment process? Then there's the guy who claims it's "unfair" that this article ran today and tolling starts tomorrow because that's not enough time to get a transponder and VDOT didn't publicize it. I've been seeing publicity from both VDOT and the local media at least since October.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on December 03, 2017, 10:54:48 AM
It's amusing how so many individuals think that money for road projects/improvements just fall out of the sky. Overall I support the project, but probably agree with most that the expanded hours might be a stretch. Would much rather see 6:30 to 9:30 a.m eastbound and 3 to 6 p.m. westbound. Will be interesting to see if people do start more heavily using local roads parallel to I-66 like US-50 and US-29. Either way, I would like to see some of the revenue collected by VDOT go towards improving US-50 inside the beltway(widening to six lanes and more interchanges).

Also, will the I-66 Spot 3 improvements still happen? The project is on Vdot's website but I haven't heard anything about in a while. It would construct an auxiliary lane connecting the on-ramp from Route 29 (Lee Highway) Exit 72 to the off-ramp to North Glebe Road (Route 120) on westbound I-66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 03, 2017, 12:16:22 PM
Edit: Just saw a halftime report on the local Fox affiliate. The report mentioned the new I-66 rules, but didn't mention that only the inside the Beltway part is affected by tomorrow's changes. Not helping is that the accompanying video shows shots only of the outside the Beltway part of I-66 (looks like near the VA 123 interchange). This is bound to confuse viewers who weren't in the bathroom getting ready for the second half of the Panthers-Saints game.

Overall I support the project, but probably agree with most that the expanded hours might be a stretch. Would much rather see 6:30 to 9:30 a.m eastbound and 3 to 6 p.m. westbound.

Existing hours are 6:30-9am eastbound and 4-6:30pm westbound. DC area rush hours run late, moving the cutoff back to 6pm is unrealistic. Even with the existing hours, you get congestion for people traveling early or late to beat the HOV restrictions. The expanded hours are a good solution for that problem, though I can see some people working even later than they do now to beat the tolls.

I'm retired, but occasionally take I-66 weekdays outside HOV hours to get from one side of Arlington to the other. Whenever I travel on I-66 WB in the 3-4pm time slot, I usually run into congestion, sometimes to the point of worrying I'll be trapped into an HOV violation if I can't exit I-66 before 4pm. For me, letting me use I-66 for a toll in that time slot is marginally helpful, even though I'm done out of a chance to avoid both toll and HOV restrictions. Of course, I'll have to make sure I have a transponder mounted in the vehicle I'm using (right now, I have one transponder for two vehicles, switching as needed).

Quote
Also, will the I-66 Spot 3 improvements still happen? The project is on Vdot's website but I haven't heard anything about in a while. It would construct an auxiliary lane connecting the on-ramp from Route 29 (Lee Highway) Exit 72 to the off-ramp to North Glebe Road (Route 120) on westbound I-66.

Spot Improvements 1 and 2 have been done, and are working well. #3, which you mention, seems to have gotten a little work lately, but not enough to put it on track to completion unless the toll project would provide funding. It's always been the least-expensive but also least helpful spot improvement, though it's cheap enough that it would be a quick fix for one of the bottlenecks for westbound traffic.

It was also the least controversial of the spot improvements. I heard some whining from a bicyclist who uses the parallel bike trail, who didn't realize that I-66 wouldn't be widened in the part right next to the trail, and the part that would be widened is separated from the bike trail by the concrete pillars for a high school parking lot above the freeway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 04, 2017, 06:25:51 AM
At 5:35 this morning the toll from I-495 to Washington DC was posted as $8.50

IIRC the toll to Wash Blvd was something like $3.50.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 08:02:54 AM
I asked a colleague who commutes from Front Royal, but he was in by 5:30 and did not see the toll rates. Meanwhile, half an hour ago....

Invalid Tweet ID
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 08:14:31 AM
Just got a WTOP breaking news e-mail saying tolls topped $26.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 08:58:15 AM
Invalid Tweet ID
Edited: This post originally had a tweet from a local reporter showing a photo of the toll being $34.50.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 04, 2017, 09:07:00 AM
Still cheaper than the old HOV violation fine of $300!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 04, 2017, 10:38:58 AM
Invalid Tweet IDEdited: This post originally had a tweet from a local reporter showing a photo of the toll being $34.50.

It would be helpful if they provided a profile of all tolls paid by hour.  Those very high tolls could be short "bursts" in timespan designed to keep vehicles from entering when congestion is starting, and the average toll could be much lower.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 11:32:43 AM
I would hesitate to consider today’s numbers to be typical anyway because I’m sure there were plenty of people who had no idea what they were doing out there.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 04, 2017, 11:38:30 AM
Invalid Tweet IDEdited: This post originally had a tweet from a local reporter showing a photo of the toll being $34.50.

It would be helpful if they provided a profile of all tolls paid by hour.  Those very high tolls could be short "bursts" in timespan designed to keep vehicles from entering when congestion is starting, and the average toll could be much lower.

Yep.  That info would probably have to come from the source though, unless someone sits around nearby to monitor the pricing.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 04, 2017, 12:09:22 PM
I would hesitate to consider today’s numbers to be typical anyway because I’m sure there were plenty of people who had no idea what they were doing out there.

Instead, there will be plenty of people scared away from even trying I-66 inside the Beltway, which should reduce traffic and prices for other drivers. Then once prices drop to less scary levels, traffic volumes, rates, and complaints will creep back up.

Give it a few days (or weeks) for traffic volumes and toll rates to stabilize.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 12:19:39 PM
I’d say give it a month. Traffic patterns will change anyway after next week due to lower volumes around Christmas and New Year’s.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 04, 2017, 12:41:13 PM
From I-66 west entry to DC this morning:

5:30 - $8.50
6:00 - $9.75
6:30 - $9.25
7:00 - $13.50
7:30 - $23.50
7:45 - $28.50
8:00 - $18.00
8:15 - $21.00
8:30 - $30.00
8:45 - $30.00
9:00 - $16.50
9:29 - $7.75
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 04, 2017, 01:11:37 PM
From I-66 west entry to DC this morning:
5:30 - $8.50
6:00 - $9.75
6:30 - $9.25
7:00 - $13.50
7:30 - $23.50
7:45 - $28.50
8:00 - $18.00
8:15 - $21.00
8:30 - $30.00
8:45 - $30.00
9:00 - $16.50
9:29 - $7.75

When I wrote, "a profile of all tolls paid by hour", I meant averaging of all tolls paid.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 02:49:57 PM
It’d be a pain to figure this out, but what I think would be more interesting is what the tolls were for each part of the road—that is, by how much did various portions increase over others? The Post said there were no reported backups. There always used to be a big backup from Exit 67 to Exit 69, then a slowdown (less of a backup) until after the Sycamore Street onramp, and after that it picked up speed. It’d be interesting to know what portion of the overall tolls was attributable to what part of the road because it would indicate where congestion management was most needed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 03:08:00 PM
Invalid Tweet ID
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mergingtraffic on December 04, 2017, 04:52:44 PM
This is what I don't get...yeah the toll is high but what did all these people do BEFORE today? Before today the road was only open to HOV users. People are complaining but it's not like a free road was turned into a toll road costing $34. HOV is still free, the other non I-66 routes are still the same. The only thing different is the option to drive I-66 and pay (a big) toll. I really don't see a big issue. Nothing free was taken away.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on December 04, 2017, 07:53:15 PM
Quote
Also, will the I-66 Spot 3 improvements still happen? The project is on Vdot's website but I haven't heard anything about in a while. It would construct an auxiliary lane connecting the on-ramp from Route 29 (Lee Highway) Exit 72 to the off-ramp to North Glebe Road (Route 120) on westbound I-66.

Spot Improvements 1 and 2 have been done, and are working well. #3, which you mention, seems to have gotten a little work lately, but not enough to put it on track to completion unless the toll project would provide funding. It's always been the least-expensive but also least helpful spot improvement, though it's cheap enough that it would be a quick fix for one of the bottlenecks for westbound traffic.

It was also the least controversial of the spot improvements. I heard some whining from a bicyclist who uses the parallel bike trail, who didn't realize that I-66 wouldn't be widened in the part right next to the trail, and the part that would be widened is separated from the bike trail by the concrete pillars for a high school parking lot above the freeway.
Interesting. I guess VDOT kinda put the project on the backburner while they were pre-occupied with I-66 HOT lanes conversion. Now that that's done and with the I-66 eastbound widening on the horizon, perhaps now VDOT will be able to refocus on the short, but helpful final spot improvement on I-66 westbound between US-29(EXit 72) and VA-120(Exit 71) which btw can now be easily funded($34 tolls).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 07:55:30 PM
This is what I don't get...yeah the toll is high but what did all these people do BEFORE today? Before today the road was only open to HOV users. People are complaining but it's not like a free road was turned into a toll road costing $34. HOV is still free, the other non I-66 routes are still the same. The only thing different is the option to drive I-66 and pay (a big) toll. I really don't see a big issue. Nothing free was taken away.

The only people I think might have a bit of a beef are those who had the clean fuel plate exemption. But you know, they rode that gravy train for 12+ years and had a pretty good deal while it lasted, and it’s not like their cars are suddenly useless!

People here just like to whine.

BTW, the $34.50 toll was only in effect for about six minutes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 04, 2017, 08:18:25 PM
The only people I think might have a bit of a beef are those who had the clean fuel plate exemption. But you know, they rode that gravy train for 12+ years and had a pretty good deal while it lasted, and it’s not like their cars are suddenly useless!

Don't forget about travelers to and from Dulles airport (IAD), who had an HOV exemption but now must have an E-ZPass and pay toll if they travel on I-66 east of VA 267 during rush hours. I don't often drive to and from that airport (preferring the closer Reagan National), but when I do it's often in rush hours, especially after returning from California or Hawaii on red-eyes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on December 04, 2017, 08:42:39 PM
What happened to all the former HOV users?  From what I understand, prior to becoming HOT lanes, I-66 was getting congested, and increasing to HOV-3 would soon be necessary.  Where did all those people go?  Were there that many clean fuel plates, people going to/from Dulles, and violators?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 04, 2017, 08:56:09 PM
What happened to all the former HOV users?  From what I understand, prior to becoming HOT lanes, I-66 was getting congested, and increasing to HOV-3 would soon be necessary.  Where did all those people go?  Were there that many clean fuel plates, people going to/from Dulles, and violators?

Your point is a major reason why I find so much of today’s whining to be kind of confusing. Disingenuous, too. Nobody’s being “forced” to pay anything, Twitter objectors notwithstanding. If you couldn’t legally use I-66 before, now you can, but if you don’t want to pay the toll, you just use the same route you used before.

Of course, plenty of people have complained about HOV for the past 35 years too! (I-66 between the Beltway and Rosslyn opened a few days before Christmas in 1982. Back then the restriction was HOV-4.) I’ve seen plenty of arguments along the lines of, “My taxes paid for this road, so who are you to tell me I can’t use it?” Heh. I’d like to be in court the day a “sovereign citizen” gets busted for toll violations.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 04, 2017, 10:51:47 PM
Let's be real - a lot of people were HOV violators and are now mad that their bill is (literally) due. Find a slug lot and do what all of the 95/395 commuters have been doing for years.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 04, 2017, 11:25:24 PM
What happened to all the former HOV users?  From what I understand, prior to becoming HOT lanes, I-66 was getting congested, and increasing to HOV-3 would soon be necessary.  Where did all those people go?  Were there that many clean fuel plates, people going to/from Dulles, and violators?

Your point is a major reason why I find so much of today’s whining to be kind of confusing. Disingenuous, too. Nobody’s being “forced” to pay anything, Twitter objectors notwithstanding. If you couldn’t legally use I-66 before, now you can, but if you don’t want to pay the toll, you just use the same route you used before.

Of course, plenty of people have complained about HOV for the past 35 years too! (I-66 between the Beltway and Rosslyn opened a few days before Christmas in 1982. Back then the restriction was HOV-4.) I’ve seen plenty of arguments along the lines of, “My taxes paid for this road, so who are you to tell me I can’t use it?” Heh. I’d like to be in court the day a “sovereign citizen” gets busted for toll violations.

I'm still waiting for people to scream " My taxes paid for that prison. Why can't I use it?"
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 06:38:35 AM
Washington Post: I-66 express lanes debut with $34.50 toll, among the highest in U.S. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/i-66-express-lanes-debut-with-3450-toll-among-the-highest-in-us/2017/12/04/ad60ce38-d900-11e7-a841-2066faf731ef_story.html)

Quote
The Interstate 66 toll lanes opened Monday in Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs with prices so steep they could be among the highest drivers have paid for the privilege of traveling on a state-owned highway in the United States.

Quote
Tolls in the high-occupancy toll lanes hit $34.50 — or close to $3.50 a mile — to drive the 10-mile stretch from the Beltway to Washington during the height of the morning commute.

Quote
The lanes, on one of the region’s most congested highways, were billed as a way to help the state better manage traffic, foster carpooling and public transit use, and give commuters more options.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 06:41:05 AM
Let's be real - a lot of people were HOV violators and are now mad that their bill is (literally) due. Find a slug lot and do what all of the 95/395 commuters have been doing for years.

Yes, there's some of that, though the HOV restrictions were enforced (at places) in the  corridor before.  But the Dulles exemption made enforcement difficult east of the Dulles Connector, and then  there were the scores of hybrid vehicles with "CF" tags that used the corridor every day without regard to the HOV-2 requirement.

Slug lines may well grow up here, but probably not until after the HOV/Toll project outside the Beltway gets running.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 05, 2017, 07:11:32 AM
Quote from: Washington comPost
The Interstate 66 toll lanes opened Monday in Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs with prices so steep they could be among the highest drivers have paid for the privilege of traveling on a state-owned highway in the United States.

Tolls in the high-occupancy toll lanes hit $34.50 — or close to $3.50 a mile — to drive the 10-mile stretch from the Beltway to Washington during the height of the morning commute.

The same junk 'news' that has been outputted from other outlets.  Again, what was the overall toll profile?  Did it momentarily spike to $34.50 when congestion needed to be alleviated by the need to discourage entry for 10 minutes or so?  Were the average tolls much lower?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 05, 2017, 07:48:20 AM
It’d be a pain to figure this out, but what I think would be more interesting is what the tolls were for each part of the road—that is, by how much did various portions increase over others? The Post said there were no reported backups. There always used to be a big backup from Exit 67 to Exit 69, then a slowdown (less of a backup) until after the Sycamore Street onramp, and after that it picked up speed. It’d be interesting to know what portion of the overall tolls was attributable to what part of the road because it would indicate where congestion management was most needed.

Right now (7:40), with sigalert showing the avg speed east of the beltway to be at least 35 everywhere, the tolls if entering at the west end:

exit at:
VA 7 - $1.25
Westmoreland St - $9.75
Washington Blvd - $9.75
Fairfax Dr - $23.75
Lee Hwy and all further exits east - $30.00

Looks like substantial volume comes from VA 267 and Falls Church

Traffic does not have to be at any sort of standstill to drive up the tolls.  It might be appropriate to recalibrate their algorithm if there are no backups and the toll is $30 for 10 miles.  At the height of afternoon rush, the outer loop's 14 miles, which does have brief slowdowns occasionally, hovers in the $18-22 range.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2017, 08:11:54 AM
Quote
Looks like substantial volume comes from VA 267 and Falls Church

That’s pretty consistent with how it feels on the road. You move along at 65 mph until just past Route 7. It slows to a crawl next to the Metro stop. The speed starts picking back up after Exit 69 departs, though it’s still usually a bit slow until after the Sycamore onramp (where there often used to be HOV enforcement for entering traffic, but of course everyone had to look).

I think it’s no coincidence that the stretch between 267 and Exit 69 matches with Route 267 traffic entering and neither of the two lanes used by that traffic continuing as a thru lane. The planned widening east to Exit 71 should help with that.


Meanwhile.....

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 05, 2017, 08:26:02 AM
It’d be a pain to figure this out, but what I think would be more interesting is what the tolls were for each part of the road—that is, by how much did various portions increase over others? The Post said there were no reported backups. There always used to be a big backup from Exit 67 to Exit 69, then a slowdown (less of a backup) until after the Sycamore Street onramp, and after that it picked up speed. It’d be interesting to know what portion of the overall tolls was attributable to what part of the road because it would indicate where congestion management was most needed.

Right now (7:40), with sigalert showing the avg speed east of the beltway to be at least 35 everywhere, the tolls if entering at the west end:

exit at:
VA 7 - $1.25
Westmoreland St - $9.75
Washington Blvd - $9.75
Fairfax Dr - $23.75
Lee Hwy and all further exits east - $30.00

Looks like substantial volume comes from VA 267 and Falls Church

Traffic does not have to be at any sort of standstill to drive up the tolls.  It might be appropriate to recalibrate their algorithm if there are no backups and the toll is $30 for 10 miles.  At the height of afternoon rush, the outer loop's 14 miles, which does have brief slowdowns occasionally, hovers in the $18-22 range.

Being the purpose is to avoid backups, the $30 may be appropriate.  Bringing it down to $25 and having backups will irritate everyone; Keeping it at $30 with no backups irritates those that don't want to pay $30. 

Or, as mentioned, a high toll is designed to discourage most everyone from using the road until congestion that is forming dissipates.


Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2017, 08:30:25 AM
It seems to me that if the toll is high, traffic is moving well, and some people say it’s too expensive, then it’s working exactly as intended.

Channel 9’s Ellen Bryan says it briefly hit $40 a while ago.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 05, 2017, 08:44:56 AM
I don't recall hearing it for the opening of 66 toll lanes, but for the beltway and 95/395 advertising campaigns it was suggested that people using the toll lanes would only want to do so when they needed a guaranteed more consistent commute on a given day.

Another distinction that might contribute to the higher tolls on 66 than experienced elsewhere around here is that no added capacity came with the tolls, and the baseline amount of traffic using the 66 lanes was already not completely wide open, so it probably doesn't take much extra traffic from the toll payers to drive it up.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: KEVIN_224 on December 05, 2017, 09:16:17 AM
Is there any good alternative to that interstate? I've only been in the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, right around the Key Bridge to Georgetown. (I'm from Connecticut and was last in that area in May of 2015.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 05, 2017, 09:36:51 AM
Is there any good alternative to that interstate? I've only been in the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, right around the Key Bridge to Georgetown. (I'm from Connecticut and was last in that area in May of 2015.)

Probably the best ones are US 50, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. US 50 has a mix of stoplights and interchanges. The Parkway is perhaps the better alternative for people driving in from the area between Tysons Corner and Leesburg, including Dulles Airport.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on December 05, 2017, 09:38:18 AM
Is there any good alternative to that interstate? I've only been in the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, right around the Key Bridge to Georgetown. (I'm from Connecticut and was last in that area in May of 2015.)
US 29 and US 50 roughly parallel I-66 in Arlington County and could theoretically serve as a free alternative, but they're a traffic nightmare in and of themselves.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2017, 09:48:10 AM
Is there any good alternative to that interstate? I've only been in the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, right around the Key Bridge to Georgetown. (I'm from Connecticut and was last in that area in May of 2015.)
US 29 and US 50 roughly parallel I-66 in Arlington County and could theoretically serve as a free alternative, but they're a traffic nightmare in and of themselves.

Even some roads farther away provide alternatives....coming from Fairfax City, back in the early 1990s my father and I worked near each other downtown and commuted together. We used I-66 after it went to HOV-2; prior to the change, we used Columbia Pike. That can be a frustrating drive due to not enough left-turn lanes in Arlington combined with a lot of buses, so you wind up constantly changing lanes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 05, 2017, 10:36:38 AM
I think express buses are going to be very popular soon enough...

The consensus among local transportation watchers seems to be that the chickens are coming home to roost on former HOV cheats. Good riddance I say.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 11:06:09 AM
Another distinction that might contribute to the higher tolls on 66 than experienced elsewhere around here is that no added capacity came with the tolls, and the baseline amount of traffic using the 66 lanes was already not completely wide open, so it probably doesn't take much extra traffic from the toll payers to drive it up.

Eastbound only, there are two lanes between Sycamore Street and Fairfax Drive. VDOT added a lane on I-66 westbound between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street, and it really helped.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 11:09:21 AM
WTOP Radio:  Dynamic tolls on I-66 climb to $40 at height of morning commute (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/12/dynamic-tolls-66-climb-36/)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 11:11:03 AM
I think express buses are going to be very popular soon enough...

The consensus among local transportation watchers seems to be that the chickens are coming home to roost on former HOV cheats. Good riddance I say.

Not just cheaters.  Also those taking advantage of the Dulles exemption and, of course all of the  vehicles with Virginia "CF" tags (mostly Toyota Priuses, also others).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 01:07:13 PM
I'd argue that the worse situation eastbound is because, quite simply, I-66 ends at a mix of at-grade streets, so there's inherent bottleneck.  That isn't the case westbound, where you also have a major traffic split between 66 West and 267.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 05, 2017, 01:25:14 PM
I'd argue that the worse situation eastbound is because, quite simply, I-66 ends at a mix of at-grade streets, so there's inherent bottleneck.  That isn't the case westbound, where you also have a major traffic split between 66 West and 267.

No.  The queues crossing the T. Roosevelt Bridge inconsistently back-up all the way to the Virginia shoreline.  Sometimes they do, and it appears to me to be as much about traffic entering the bridge from U.S. 50 (Arlington  Boulevard) as it is I-66 traffic.

The consistent I-66 bottleneck is well upstream, approaching and passing the entrance ramp from Sycamore Street to I-66 eastbound.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: theroadwayone on December 05, 2017, 03:25:42 PM
Why don't they build some outer loop of Washington, D.C., and call it I-666? (Sorry for whoever's idea I stole.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 05, 2017, 04:58:57 PM
Why don't they build some outer loop of Washington, D.C., and call it I-666? (Sorry for whoever's idea I stole.)

Because it would waste billions of dollars and solve a transportation problem that doesn't exist.

VDOT already concluded that the best investment would be a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 05, 2017, 05:17:30 PM
VDOT already concluded that the best investment would be a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.

Really?  When did they do that?  VDOT does not administer WMATA projects.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2017, 05:20:21 PM
I thought it was the NVTA rather than VDOT.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 05, 2017, 05:34:28 PM
Some stats. Hopefully the images will be legible if you click on them.

Invalid Tweet ID
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: LM117 on December 05, 2017, 05:43:32 PM
A lot of unhappy campers...

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/05/dc-area-drivers-blast-66-tolling-system-as-fees-hit-40-mark.html (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/05/dc-area-drivers-blast-66-tolling-system-as-fees-hit-40-mark.html)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 05, 2017, 05:46:38 PM
VDOT already concluded that the best investment would be a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.

Really?  When did they do that?  VDOT does not administer WMATA projects.

VDOT can study whatever they want. The "T" stands for transportation, in case you weren't aware.

Fair enough, VDOT only drew conclusions about throughput, not ROI. But VDOT did state that the Rosslyn Metro tunnel facilitates the most cross-Potomac movements during rush hour:

http://www.virginiadot.org/PotomacRiverStudy.pdf
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 05, 2017, 06:38:06 PM
Why don't they build some outer loop of Washington, D.C., and call it I-666? (Sorry for whoever's idea I stole.)

Because it would waste billions of dollars and solve a transportation problem that doesn't exist.

VDOT already concluded that the best investment would be a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.

A transportation problem that doesn't exist?  Are we looking at the same beltway that's severely congested in sections nearly every day of the week?  A beltway that was just widened to add in HOT lanes?  A beltway that had a major interchange and bridge reconstruction a number of years ago?  A new highway that was built north of the beltway?

Also, about 1/2 the beltway is in Maryland, in case you forgot.  VDOT may include transportation in its name, but V isn't the abbreviation for Maryland.

While theroadwayone was somewhat joking, you seem quite ignorant of the traffic issues around the area if you believe a single metrorail tunnel in one location will solve the area's transportation woes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on December 05, 2017, 06:38:36 PM
Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but I wanted to ask some very specific questions:

Traveling eastbound, how far can a car travel during morning peak without a transponder when coming from I-66?  When coming from the Dulles Toll Road or Dulles Airport Access Road?

As you drive eastbound, is there a certain point when you lock in your toll rate?  If you drive by that point at 5:29 am, does that mean that you can then ride free all the way to DC or will there be another point that will force an exit for those who don't want to pay?

On the mid-section of I-66, are there transponder readers on the onramps/offramps or just on the mainline of the highway?

Traveling westbound, how far can a car travel during afternoon peak without a transponder when coming from the TR Bridge?

As you drive westbound, is there a certain point when you lock in your toll rate?  If you drive by that point at 2:59 pm, does that mean that you can then ride free all the way to DC or will there be another point that will force an exit for those who don't want to pay?  And if you enter at 6:59 pm, does that mean you onlly pay up to the first exit and get a free ride after that, even if you drive beyond the Beltway?



Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 05, 2017, 07:09:40 PM
Traveling eastbound, how far can a car travel during morning peak without a transponder when coming from I-66?  When coming from the Dulles Toll Road or Dulles Airport Access Road?

Coming from I-66, you need to leave at I-495. From the Dulles roads, VA 123 is the last exit before tolls.

Quote
Traveling westbound, how far can a car travel during afternoon peak without a transponder when coming from the TR Bridge?

You can get off at the exits for the GW Parkway or US 50 westbound, or after that at the US 29/Key Bridge exit in Rosslyn. Past US29/Key Bridge, there is no westbound exit until VA 120, which is preceded by a transponder reader gantry.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 07:31:37 PM
Quote from: jeffandnicole
While theroadwayone was somewhat joking, you seem quite ignorant of the traffic issues around the area if you believe a single metrorail tunnel in one location will solve the area's transportation woes.

He didn't say that it would solve the area's transportation woes...the conclusion was that it'd be the best investment for the forseeable future.  And he's correct in that VDOT (to a degree) has studied the issue with NVTA (the regional agency that works with MWCOG and is tasked with distributing Northern Virginia's Federal transportation funding).

Also, while you were correct in noting that Virginia isn't Maryland, you probably didn't realize that Maryland is EVEN LESS INTERESTED in building an outer beltway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 05, 2017, 07:45:13 PM
VDOT already concluded that the best investment would be a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.
Really?  When did they do that?  VDOT does not administer WMATA projects.
VDOT can study whatever they want. The "T" stands for transportation, in case you weren't aware.
Fair enough, VDOT only drew conclusions about throughput, not ROI. But VDOT did state that the Rosslyn Metro tunnel facilitates the most cross-Potomac movements during rush hour:
http://www.virginiadot.org/PotomacRiverStudy.pdf

I didn't see there where they were recommending a second Metrorail tunnel at Rosslyn.

That would not be a standalone segment, it would have to be part of a parallel subway line that would separate the Blue and Orange lines in Arlington and D.C., and it would be at least 5 miles long according to schemes that I have seen in the past, and it would cost multiple billions of dollars to build.

The report did say this --

Rosslyn Tunnel is at capacity in the peak hours
• 8 car trains will increase capacity by ~15%
• Significant investment is required in the future to further address core capacity issues on WMATA

It also said this --

Several options to address issues at [I-495] American Legion Bridge
• Extend HOT lanes across American Legion Bridge to the 270 spur
• Construct new ‘outer’ bridge crossing
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 06, 2017, 12:48:54 AM
That would not be a standalone segment, it would have to be part of a parallel subway line that would separate the Blue and Orange lines in Arlington and D.C., and it would be at least 5 miles long according to schemes that I have seen in the past, and it would cost multiple billions of dollars to build.

I think it unlikely  that Maryland would be  willing to contribute anything to such a project (they did not contribute to Dulles Rail, though they did say that they would provide added operating subsidy as per the  current agreement that divides up the subsidy).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 06, 2017, 01:02:26 AM
Is there any good alternative to that interstate? I've only been in the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, right around the Key Bridge to Georgetown. (I'm from Connecticut and was last in that area in May of 2015.)
US 29 and US 50 roughly parallel I-66 in Arlington County and could theoretically serve as a free alternative, but they're a traffic nightmare in and of themselves.

One big problem with US 29 is that it has no interchange with I-495, except NB off/SB on ramps only to the I-495 express toll lanes. To get from I-66 while avoiding tolls, you'd have to get off at VA 243 a few miles west of I-495 before heading east on 29, which means a few more miles of slogging through stoplights. With US 50, you can take I-495 south to 50. US 50 (but not US 29) also has interchanges at key locations, which lessen the pain but still leave it a good deal slower than I-66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 06, 2017, 07:18:07 AM
One big problem with US 29 is that it has no interchange with I-495, except NB off/SB on ramps only to the I-495 express toll lanes. To get from I-66 while avoiding tolls, you'd have to get off at VA 243 a few miles west of I-495 before heading east on 29, which means a few more miles of slogging through stoplights. With US 50, you can take I-495 south to 50. US 50 (but not US 29) also has interchanges at key locations, which lessen the pain but still leave it a good deal slower than I-66.

That is the same situation with regard to avoiding the I-66 HOV lanes inside the Beltway in the past.

US-29 suffers from the fact that the I-495 interchanges for US-50 and I-66 are only 1.1 mile apart, and that US-29 crosses that section of I-495.  Much too close to build an interchange for US-29.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2017, 07:34:17 AM
Another route is to exit I-66 to SB I-495, then towards EB US-50 but use the ramp marked “Fairview Park.” Brings you out on 29 by the golf course (next light east of Shreve Road). Downside is, that route uses the slowest segment of I-66 (Nutley to the Beltway) and may take longer than exiting at Nutley even with all the lights on Nutley and 29.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2017, 08:04:09 AM
BTW, so far I’m not seeing the outraged tweets today. As of 8:00, the full eastbound run is at $15.75.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the furor die down even if the tolls don’t change much. People will move on to complain about something else. Recall when the I-495 lanes opened there were two or three days of screaming, plus some bad wrecks, and then the hubbub died quickly.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 06, 2017, 08:27:00 AM
Also, while you were correct in noting that Virginia isn't Maryland, you probably didn't realize that Maryland is EVEN LESS INTERESTED in building an outer beltway.

Yet, their MD 200 is the closest thing to an outer beltway!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2017, 08:51:36 AM
Also, while you were correct in noting that Virginia isn't Maryland, you probably didn't realize that Maryland is EVEN LESS INTERESTED in building an outer beltway.

Yet, their MD 200 is the closest thing to an outer beltway!

The Fairfax County Parkway would qualify too, tragic lights notwithstanding.

Edited: OK, that’s an autocorrect issue that actually sounds better than what I thought I typed.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 06, 2017, 09:22:53 AM
Also, while you were correct in noting that Virginia isn't Maryland, you probably didn't realize that Maryland is EVEN LESS INTERESTED in building an outer beltway.
Yet, their MD 200 is the closest thing to an outer beltway!
The Fairfax County Parkway would qualify too, tragic lights notwithstanding.
Edited: OK, that’s an autocorrect issue that actually sounds better than what I thought I typed.

The radical environmentalist/transit groups claim that Virginia has built a number of "stealth outer beltways".   The Fairfax County Parkway / Franconia Springfield Parkway, VA-123 between I-95 and I-66, the Prince William Parkway, VA-234 between I-95 and I-66, and VA-28 between Manassas and VA-7.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 06, 2017, 09:51:24 AM
Can we nix this discussion? An upriver crossing wont' happen for probably at least 35-50 years, if ever (it's a waste of money anyway), and this isn't the forum for it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 06, 2017, 10:39:00 AM
Washington Post says today’s peak toll was $23.50 at around 9:00.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 06, 2017, 03:27:06 PM
Can we nix this discussion? An upriver crossing wont' happen for probably at least 35-50 years, if ever (it's a waste of money anyway), and this isn't the forum for it.

Which part of the discussion?  The proposal to extend the I-495 HOT lanes across the American Legion Memorial Bridge to the I-270 spur, is a feasible and reasonable project to discuss.

http://nvta.org/priority/american-legion-bridge/
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 06, 2017, 03:39:23 PM
Can we nix this discussion? An upriver crossing wont' happen for probably at least 35-50 years, if ever (it's a waste of money anyway), and this isn't the forum for it.

Which part of the discussion?  The proposal to extend the I-495 HOT lanes across the American Legion Memorial Bridge to the I-270 spur, is a feasible and reasonable project to discuss.

http://nvta.org/priority/american-legion-bridge/

Quote
I-66 HO/T Lanes

I'm all for upgrading the existing freeways inside the Beltway, and including the Beltway, into HOT facilities but this topic concerns I-66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on December 06, 2017, 08:18:07 PM
Can we nix this discussion? An upriver crossing wont' happen for probably at least 35-50 years, if ever (it's a waste of money anyway), and this isn't the forum for it.
I'm sure traffic not from DC going to places not DC would be forever grateful to have a way to bypass DC's hellish traffic.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 06, 2017, 08:21:13 PM
Can we nix this discussion? An upriver crossing wont' happen for probably at least 35-50 years, if ever (it's a waste of money anyway), and this isn't the forum for it.
I'm sure traffic not from DC going to places not DC would be forever grateful to have a way to bypass DC's hellish traffic.

Worthy of discussion (if there's anything new to say about it), but not in this thread.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2017, 10:38:11 PM
[ H/T Beltway ]

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has some good news (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2017/ctb_awards_four_contracts121584.asp) about widening of eastbound I-66 at its most miserably congested point inside the Beltway.

Quote
  • Eastbound I-66 Inside the Beltway will be widened between the Dulles Connector Road and Fairfax Drive

An $85.7 million contract was awarded to Lane Construction Corp. of Chantilly to add a through lane along approximately four miles of eastbound Interstate 66 between the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) and Fairfax Drive (Route 237) in Fairfax and Arlington counties, in VDOT’s Northern Virginia District.

The project includes ramp modifications at Exits 69 and 71, rehabilitation and/or repairs to bridges, construction of noise barriers eastbound and westbound and widening bridges and constructing a new grade-separated crossing of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail at Lee Highway.

Additionally, an auxiliary lane will be added to the existing I-66 eastbound exit ramp and a slip ramp will be constructed from the I-66 eastbound exit ramp to the Route 7 southbound entrance flyover ramp, providing more direct access to the West Falls Church Metro Station Parking Garage.

The additional eastbound lane will be open to traffic in fall 2020 and the overall project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 07, 2017, 10:48:30 PM
By 2020 the finished Silver Line, W&OD trail improvements, and a robust slugging culture along the I-66 corridor will render the new lane moot. 66 will have less traffic than today.  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 07, 2017, 11:26:50 PM
I doubt that...

But it's funny you mention slugging.  Saw a tweet this evening that referenced a story about someone in NoVA trying to start some slugging lines along 66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2017, 11:36:38 PM
I doubt that...

But it's funny you mention slugging.  Saw a tweet this evening that referenced a story about someone in NoVA trying to start some slugging lines along 66.

I was told by a reliable source (a colleague) that there is an operating slug line at the Herndon Monroe parking deck (future Metrorail Silver Line station) along  VA-267.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2017, 11:38:02 PM
By 2020 the finished Silver Line, W&OD trail improvements, and a robust slugging culture along the I-66 corridor will render the new lane moot. 66 will have less traffic than today.  :sombrero:

Those are the  sorts of promises that were made about the Metrorail system in the 1960's and 1970's by its boosters.  Especially the one that claimed "everyone will be riding Metro so there will be no more traffic congestion."
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 08, 2017, 12:12:07 AM
By 2020 the finished Silver Line, W&OD trail improvements, and a robust slugging culture along the I-66 corridor will render the new lane moot. 66 will have less traffic than today.  :sombrero:

Those are the  sorts of promises that were made about the Metrorail system in the 1960's and 1970's by its boosters.  Especially the one that claimed "everyone will be riding Metro so there will be no more traffic congestion."

You probably miss the days when downtown DC was riddled with surface parking lots to accommodate commuters. Which do you like more?

(http://cdn.ghostsofdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/27193234/busstrike-traffic4.jpg)

(https://media.glassdoor.com/l/41481/us-customs-and-border-protection-office.jpg)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 08, 2017, 06:54:09 AM
By 2020 the finished Silver Line, W&OD trail improvements, and a robust slugging culture along the I-66 corridor will render the new lane moot. 66 will have less traffic than today.  :sombrero:
Those are the  sorts of promises that were made about the Metrorail system in the 1960's and 1970's by its boosters.  Especially the one that claimed "everyone will be riding Metro so there will be no more traffic congestion."
You probably miss the days when downtown DC was riddled with surface parking lots to accommodate commuters. Which do you like more?

The D.C. area had a very extensive bus transit system with over 2,000 buses before Metrorail was built.  It still does but is mostly oriented toward feeding Metro stations.  Back then it had many high capacity radial lines that connected VA and MD and the outer parts of DC to the downtown.  There were a couple entire blocks of downtown street that were closed to traffic and utilized for surface bus stations.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 08, 2017, 08:04:16 AM
I doubt that...

But it's funny you mention slugging.  Saw a tweet this evening that referenced a story about someone in NoVA trying to start some slugging lines along 66.

I was told by a reliable source (a colleague) that there is an operating slug line at the Herndon Monroe parking deck (future Metrorail Silver Line station) along  VA-267.

I’ve seen a photo of a sign for a slug line at the Vienna Metro, but I don’t know how well the line is doing. Check the forum at slug-lines.com if you want info.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 08, 2017, 08:13:57 AM
By 2020 the finished Silver Line, W&OD trail improvements, and a robust slugging culture along the I-66 corridor will render the new lane moot. 66 will have less traffic than today.  :sombrero:

Those are the  sorts of promises that were made about the Metrorail system in the 1960's and 1970's by its boosters.  Especially the one that claimed "everyone will be riding Metro so there will be no more traffic congestion."

You probably miss the days when downtown DC was riddled with surface parking lots to accommodate commuters. Which do you like more?


I know you're very transit-oriented, but you're missing the point. Promises have been made in the past, that have proven false (and that goes for both sides...roads and transit).  If you think in 3 years traffic will have subsided, you're truly kidding yourself.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 08, 2017, 08:53:56 AM
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: seicer on December 08, 2017, 08:56:07 AM
You can't have optimum transit with low density housing. Extensive bus networks with 15 minute intervals just isn't possible unless you are willing to have high transit taxes, which wouldn't produce the best ROI because of the density. The transit oriented developments (TOD) occurring all throughout the metro - and in DC itself, is one of the best ways to deliver upon higher density in the suburbs. High density around the TOD with feeder buses to the TOD from medium density outlying areas.

You also have the horrible funding issue with Metro, which never got resolved from when the transit program was initially implemented. Yes, you can have shiny new lines (Silver), but the funding hardly covers maintenance.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2017, 10:01:01 AM
Also, while you were correct in noting that Virginia isn't Maryland, you probably didn't realize that Maryland is EVEN LESS INTERESTED in building an outer beltway.

Yet, their MD 200 is the closest thing to an outer beltway!

Not Maryland, but a relatively small collection of anti-highway and  anti-car voters that always show up on primary election day for Democratic candidates for County Council in both Prince George's and Montgomery County, which greatly  exaggerates their influence.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 08, 2017, 02:00:46 PM
An analysis of the beginning of the I-66 tolling that looks at averaging instead of the extremes:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/12/08/forget-the-infamous-40-toll-heres-what-the-i-66-tolls-are-averaging/?hpid=hp_local-news_tolls-8am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4706d4349871

Quote
Here are some highlights from first-day numbers:

The average morning toll Monday was $10.70.  This exceeds the projections of $9 for an eastbound trip for the entire 10 miles from the Capital Beltway to the District line.
The evening commute was less expensive, averaging $3.80. The state had projected the westbound trip would cost $8.
This puts the average round-trip at $14.50, below the estimated $17 that state transportation officials presented to the public two years ago.
So, how many solo commuters chose to pay Monday’s peak of the peak toll? VDOT said 39 vehicles paid the $34.50 that posted around 8:36 a.m.

WTOP every afternoon has been disclosing what the full length WB toll is on occasion.  Have not heard a value above $10 in the 430-500 p.m. timeframe.  So whatever is happening in the morning EB does not repeat itself WB in the afternoon.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: abefroman329 on December 08, 2017, 02:18:16 PM
Christ, I couldn't imagine anything more unappealing than slugging or picking up a slug.  Too many stories from people who slug and ended up listening to a husband and wife fight the whole way as if they weren't even in the car.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 08, 2017, 04:57:18 PM
Christ, I couldn't imagine anything more unappealing than slugging or picking up a slug.  Too many stories from people who slug and ended up listening to a husband and wife fight the whole way as if they weren't even in the car.

Slugging's been a routine part of local culture on the 395 corridor for decades, with few incidents. There is even suggested rules of behavior: http://www.slug-lines.com/Slugging/Etiquette.asp

It's less of an issue than you're imagining it to be.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 08, 2017, 06:46:06 PM
I know several people who have slugged for years with no issues. Sometimes you get someone who wears too much perfume or a driver who listens to a radio station you don’t like or whatever, but you suck it up because it’s a free ride. Both the driver and the riders benefit.

I picked up slugs a couple of times many years ago when I needed to get down I-395 promptly and it worked quite well.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2017, 09:51:51 PM
Slugging's been a routine part of local culture on the 395 corridor for decades, with few incidents. There is even suggested rules of behavior: http://www.slug-lines.com/Slugging/Etiquette.asp

It's less of an issue than you're imagining it to be.

I agree.  I have never lived in the I-95/I-395 Corridor, but I have had business there sometimes, which made it useful to pick up slugs to save time.

The slugs that I have spoken with have been friendly and respectful, and appreciative of getting a free ride to where their car is parked.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 09, 2017, 12:50:36 PM
This just showed up. Some interesting points here about what some other toll facilities cost.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 09, 2017, 12:59:08 PM
This just showed up. Some interesting points here about what some other toll facilities cost.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 2 miles, $17 to Staten Island.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 09, 2017, 01:08:38 PM
This just showed up. Some interesting points here about what some other toll facilities cost.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, 2 miles, $17 to Staten Island.


I thought of that as well. I suppose some people might argue that the one-way tolling should be viewed as double the toll (comparing it to, say, the Whitestone Bridge where they toll in both directions), but even if you divide it in half, it's still $4.25 a mile. Obviously the author of that piece doesn't buy that theory (I don't either) because he cited the Lincoln Tunnel, but I guess the reason he cited that rather than the Verrazano is that he was focused on access to the urban core. Staten Island is definitely not the urban core (Bay Ridge isn't either, of course).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2017, 10:39:35 PM
WTOP Radio: What happens to I-66 tolls when it snows? (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/12/happens-66-tolls-snows/)

Quote
Neither snow nor rain nor the gloom of an early sunset will keep the Interstate 66 tolls for solo drivers and the newly expanded HOV hours from kicking in on weekdays.

Quote
“There’s no turning it off,” Virginia Department of Transportation Tolling Director David Caudill said.

Quote
“Rain and snow, it’s going to work,” he said of the I-66 tolls. They apply on weekdays from the Beltway toward Rosslyn between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and from Rosslyn toward the Beltway between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Quote
The tolls and HOV rules do not apply on federal holidays.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2017, 06:59:10 PM
Bacon's Rebellion: Actually, Travel Times Are Faster on I-66, VDOT Says (http://baconsrebellion.com/41474-2/)

(https://i1.wp.com/baconsrebellion.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/i66-inside-beltway.jpg?resize=768%2C489)

Quote
Many Northern Virginia motorists and politicians seem to be having mental breakdowns over the opening of HOT lanes on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway. Most notably, they point to the first-day, one-way $34.50 peak toll as an outrage against the driving public. Ironically, though, morning and afternoon commutes were faster during the first four days of HOT lane operation than the same period last year, asserts the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Quote
The average toll price during morning rush hour was $10.70 and during evening rush hour $3.80, stated VDOT in a press release issued yesterday evening. Only 39 vehicles paid the posted highest toll of $34.50. A third paid less than $10. And average travel times for the 10-mile route were 10 to 12 minutes compared to 15 to 30 minutes last December.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2017, 07:11:22 PM
You also have the horrible funding issue with Metro, which never got resolved from when the transit program was initially implemented. Yes, you can have shiny new lines (Silver), but the funding hardly covers maintenance revenue from the farebox and taxpayer subsidies do not cover enough maintenance and all heavy overhaul and repair and rehabilitation costs (usually called capital costs) are funded from sources having little or nothing to do with Metro.

FTFY.

In the early days of Metro (prior to 1976), its boosters (including at least some WMATA staff people) claimed that one the system was complete, it would be  able to fund all costs out of farebox and other revenues.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 10, 2017, 09:08:22 PM
Bacon's Rebellion:

"Bacon's Rebellion" is run by RE/T groups.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2017, 11:12:45 PM
Bacon's Rebellion:

"Bacon's Rebellion" is run by RE/T groups.

Have you ever met Jim Bacon? 

I have, and while I dislike the PEC, which has supported his activities in the past (but I don't think  they do now), he has done some pretty good writing over the years.  This was a generally fair article, IMO.

Bacon has also been  open about getting  support from the PEC.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 11, 2017, 07:07:43 AM
Bacon's Rebellion:
"Bacon's Rebellion" is run by RE/T groups.
Have you ever met Jim Bacon? 
I have, and while I dislike the PEC, which has supported his activities in the past (but I don't think  they do now), he has done some pretty good writing over the years.  This was a generally fair article, IMO.
Bacon has also been  open about getting  support from the PEC.

If he gets support from the PEC then he most likely is getting support from other RE/T groups as well.  I haven't been to that site in years.  Does Larry Grossbelch still post there?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 11, 2017, 08:22:26 AM
The issue isn't so much that Bacon is on the take, he is and admits it. The issue is that he's wrong a lot. He seems clueless about the realities of Northern Virginia, and is way too narrowly-focused on Richmond-area stuff.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 11, 2017, 08:44:58 AM
If he gets support from the PEC then he most likely is getting support from other RE/T groups as well.  I haven't been to that site in years.  Does Larry Grossbelch still post there?

I have seen posts from that person, yes.  I generally ignore them, though I have corrected a few blatantly false statements about Maryland toll projects posted by  him (I think regarding the HWN and the ICC).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 11, 2017, 08:46:47 AM
The issue isn't so much that Bacon is on the take, he is and admits it. The issue is that he's wrong a lot. He seems clueless about the realities of Northern Virginia, and is way too narrowly-focused on Richmond-area stuff.

I am not claiming that Jim Bacon is right all the time - IMO clearly he is not.  And yes, he does  spend a lot of time on Richmond-area issues, though he did publish a photograph I took from far-away Buchanan County, Virginia, and a little story to go with it (about ADHS Corridor Q).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 11, 2017, 10:24:06 AM
The issue isn't so much that Bacon is on the take, he is and admits it. The issue is that he's wrong a lot. He seems clueless about the realities of Northern Virginia, and is way too narrowly-focused on Richmond-area stuff.

I didn't find his Richmond / state govt stuff very useful, either, so it has been probably 7 or 8 years since I have been to his site.  I didn't care to see the diatribes posted by some of the blog posters.  It's not even clear exactly where he stood on the issues, just that it was decidedly leaning toward anti-mobility and anti-development.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 11, 2017, 10:49:45 AM
The issue isn't so much that Bacon is on the take, he is and admits it. The issue is that he's wrong a lot. He seems clueless about the realities of Northern Virginia, and is way too narrowly-focused on Richmond-area stuff.

I didn't find his Richmond / state govt stuff very useful, either, so it has been probably 7 or 8 years since I have been to his site.  I didn't care to see the diatribes posted by some of the blog posters.  It's not even clear exactly where he stood on the issues, just that it was decidedly leaning toward anti-mobility and anti-development.

Dominion doesn't like energy efficiency  :sombrero:
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 11, 2017, 03:35:21 PM
The issue isn't so much that Bacon is on the take, he is and admits it. The issue is that he's wrong a lot. He seems clueless about the realities of Northern Virginia, and is way too narrowly-focused on Richmond-area stuff.
I didn't find his Richmond / state govt stuff very useful, either, so it has been probably 7 or 8 years since I have been to his site.  I didn't care to see the diatribes posted by some of the blog posters.  It's not even clear exactly where he stood on the issues, just that it was decidedly leaning toward anti-mobility and anti-development.
Dominion doesn't like energy efficiency  :sombrero:

They do a poor job of maintaining the lines, lack of tree trimming in the neighborhoods, every time there is a major storm tens of thousands of people lose power.  It was never this bad 15 to 30 years ago.  I lost power for over 12 hours in the 4 inch snowstorm a few days ago, granted it was a wet snow that caused tree branches to fall.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 11, 2017, 10:16:34 PM
Dominion doesn't like energy efficiency  :sombrero:

The late Henry Howell (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Howell) (a Virginia Democratic politician, enemy of the Byrd Machine and failed candidate for Governor of the Commonwealth) used to refer to the Virginia Electric & Power Company, VEPCO for short (the primary predecessor company to what is now Dominion) as the Very Expensive Power Company, which got him a lot of laughs (and was apparently true  in the past).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 11, 2017, 10:19:54 PM
They do a poor job of maintaining the lines, lack of tree trimming in the neighborhoods, every time there is a major storm tens of thousands of people lose power.  It was never this bad 15 to 30 years ago.  I lost power for over 12 hours in the 4 inch snowstorm a few days ago, granted it was a wet snow that caused tree branches to fall.

Regarding removal of vegetation near and along overhead lines, is that really Dominion's fault?  I get the impression that many people who live along streets and roads with Dominion distribution lines get mighty upset when utility tree contractors (such as Asplundh) show up to remove limbs and branches from near those lines, and then the branches come down on the wires during storms (including snow and ice storms and hurricanes and severe thunderstorms in  the warmer months).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 11, 2017, 11:38:39 PM
This just showed up. Some interesting points here about what some other toll facilities cost.


Almost always, bridge tolls cost more than highway tolls per mile.  In most cases, the bridges/tunnels have their own police department.  In most cases, the jurisdiction boundaries run a lot further away from just the bridge/tunnel mentioned. 

In the PANYNJ's case, they have multiple buildings and structures.  The PANYNJ runs a bus terminal that serves 8,000 buses and 225,000 people every DAY with a complex ramp system that gets most buses to and from the Lincoln tunnel in short distances mixing with normal vehicular traffic.  A lot of this is supported with bridge/tunnel tolls.

The PA Bus Terminal had a terrorist attack occur underneath it today, shutting it down for a whole 6 hours (and while it was reported that no activity was occurring for a few hours, I could see buses rolling from it just an hour after the attack).  VDOT simply tries keeping traffic moving at 55 mph.  The comparison is almost incredibly silly, because it looks, incorrectly, at very, very generic numbers.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 12, 2017, 12:27:18 AM
They do a poor job of maintaining the lines, lack of tree trimming in the neighborhoods, every time there is a major storm tens of thousands of people lose power.  It was never this bad 15 to 30 years ago.  I lost power for over 12 hours in the 4 inch snowstorm a few days ago, granted it was a wet snow that caused tree branches to fall.
Regarding removal of vegetation near and along overhead lines, is that really Dominion's fault?  I get the impression that many people who live along streets and roads with Dominion distribution lines get mighty upset when utility tree contractors (such as Asplundh) show up to remove limbs and branches from near those lines, and then the branches come down on the wires during storms (including snow and ice storms and hurricanes and severe thunderstorms in  the warmer months).

I haven't heard of anyone getting upset about it, and the power company has a permanent easement along the power lines behind the houses, property owners can't do this, it is the responsibility of the power company.

I have lived here since 1994 and I have never seen power company works to trim trees, and there is a tangle of big trees along the power lines.  I have complained 3 times by phone in the last 15 years.  I need to send a letter this time.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2017, 08:41:14 AM
As I kind of expected would be the case, I’ve neither seen nor heard anything yesterday or so far today about the I-66 tolls. People’s initial outrage couldn’t last as their attention moved on to other things, I guess.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 12, 2017, 08:51:41 AM
As I kind of expected would be the case, I’ve neither seen nor heard anything yesterday or so far today about the I-66 tolls. People’s initial outrage couldn’t last as their attention moved on to other things, I guess.

Especially when most of the people expressing outrage weren't impacted whatsoever by the tolls.  Some of them probably don't even live in the region, but still keep tabs on the news in the area.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2017, 02:26:52 PM
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 13, 2017, 10:43:42 AM
As I kind of expected would be the case, I’ve neither seen nor heard anything yesterday or so far today about the I-66 tolls. People’s initial outrage couldn’t last as their attention moved on to other things, I guess.

Especially when most of the people expressing outrage weren't impacted whatsoever by the tolls.  Some of them probably don't even live in the region, but still keep tabs on the news in the area.

This comment really hits home this morning: Last night my wife’s brother called. He lives near Miami. She answered the phone, but it was pretty clear that he had seen a news report about the I-66 tolls and he was outraged, said “they” should ban “that sort of thing.” My wife tried to give him facts, but he’d already made up his mind. Maybe if we see him next week when we’re in Florida I can explain it better if it comes up. But seriously, why the heck is someone near Miami, who has not been to the DC area since September 2009, worried at all about the I-66 tolls?!
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 13, 2017, 08:26:20 PM
WTOP had two interesting articles today.

The first is a bunch of stats from the I-66 HO/T system's first four days: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/12/first-4-days-66-tolling-numbers/

The second one says Virginia may use some of the toll revenue to help fund a PPTA arrangement to build a second Rosslyn Metro station and/or to rebuild the Long Bridge: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/12/part-66-tolls-fund-new-rosslyn-metro-station-vre-bridge/

The Rosslyn part is interesting but sounds like a pipe dream because of the need to fund another tunnel across the District to which the new station would connect. Still, it's something WMATA should be taking seriously and making efforts to design for the future.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 13, 2017, 10:00:22 PM
The second one says Virginia may use some of the toll revenue to help fund a PPTA arrangement to build a second Rosslyn Metro station and/or to rebuild the Long Bridge: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2017/12/part-66-tolls-fund-new-rosslyn-metro-station-vre-bridge/
The Rosslyn part is interesting but sounds like a pipe dream because of the need to fund another tunnel across the District to which the new station would connect. Still, it's something WMATA should be taking seriously and making efforts to design for the future.

At the CTB meeting last week one of the agenda items was an update on the plan to add 2 tracks to the 2-track Long Bridge (Potomac River, mainline railroad), that is a needed and worthwhile project.

The "second Rosslyn Metro station" would be part of a new subway line in VA and D.C. that would probably entail $5 to $8 billion in construction costs depending on the length.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 14, 2017, 09:41:23 AM
Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 14, 2017, 11:46:12 AM
Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.


This is all a valid analysis that would merit consideration, although I do know from a practical standpoint WMATA have been against the idea of ending trains short of downtown in regular weekday operation for fear of losing passengers if people are required to change trains to get into the city. They made a big deal about providing a “one-seat ride” when the Silver Line was designed (this is why it doesn’t end at West Falls Church).

Of course, they sometimes seem to want to delete the Blue Line altogether, so maybe they’d reconsider the “one-seat” policy. The overall experience with “Rush Plus” Yellow Service from Springfield being less popular than they’d hoped should counsel caution, though. There are a lot of riders who go from Springfield to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 14, 2017, 12:03:02 PM
Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.
This is all a valid analysis that would merit consideration, although I do know from a practical standpoint WMATA have been against the idea of ending trains short of downtown in regular weekday operation for fear of losing passengers if people are required to change trains to get into the city. They made a big deal about providing a “one-seat ride” when the Silver Line was designed (this is why it doesn’t end at West Falls Church).
Of course, they sometimes seem to want to delete the Blue Line altogether, so maybe they’d reconsider the “one-seat” policy. The overall experience with “Rush Plus” Yellow Service from Springfield being less popular than they’d hoped should counsel caution, though. There are a lot of riders who go from Springfield to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West.

Even at 3-platform stations that were designed for sub-line turnarounds, WMATA has seen little practical utility in actually running such lines.

There is a problem in putting 3 lines on one route, in this case between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory.  The system was well balanced with the original single line and double line scheme.  There is no really ideal way to do it, and having a line terminate in the urban core would have its own problems.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 14, 2017, 03:46:25 PM
Seems the I-66 toll reached $44.00 for six minutes this morning due in part to slow traffic related to an incident on the Roosevelt Bridge. I’m sure the fact that it was for only six minutes will be omitted from most news reports.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: DeaconG on December 14, 2017, 07:10:37 PM
As I kind of expected would be the case, I’ve neither seen nor heard anything yesterday or so far today about the I-66 tolls. People’s initial outrage couldn’t last as their attention moved on to other things, I guess.

Especially when most of the people expressing outrage weren't impacted whatsoever by the tolls.  Some of them probably don't even live in the region, but still keep tabs on the news in the area.

This comment really hits home this morning: Last night my wife’s brother called. He lives near Miami. She answered the phone, but it was pretty clear that he had seen a news report about the I-66 tolls and he was outraged, said “they” should ban “that sort of thing.” My wife tried to give him facts, but he’d already made up his mind. Maybe if we see him next week when we’re in Florida I can explain it better if it comes up. But seriously, why the heck is someone near Miami, who has not been to the DC area since September 2009, worried at all about the I-66 tolls?!

Because FDOT and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise might decide to do the same thing with the I-95 and I-595 HOT lanes in Miami? "Well hell, it works for Virginia and we can use the money, so why the hell not?" Mind you, we're a state that's opening HOT lanes on a TOLL ROAD...
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 14, 2017, 08:33:33 PM
Seems the I-66 toll reached $44.00 for six minutes this morning due in part to slow traffic related to an incident on the Roosevelt Bridge. I’m sure the fact that it was for only six minutes will be omitted from most news reports.

The Drive-By News Media is just as bad in its reporting of local transportation issues.

It hoses bullets all over the place and then drives away and lets someone else clean up the mess that it made.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 15, 2017, 10:34:58 AM
Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.

Send money. Lots of money.  And don't expect to be seeing any money from MDOT to support this.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 15, 2017, 10:39:39 AM
Funding just a 2nd Rosslyn station is well within the realm of possibility from NoVA funding sources.  And if Maryland doesn't want to fund extra Orange/Silver Line trains east of Stadium-Armory...well...that's their business.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on December 15, 2017, 11:38:18 AM
Funding just a 2nd Rosslyn station is well within the realm of possibility from NoVA funding sources.  And if Maryland doesn't want to fund extra Orange/Silver Line trains east of Stadium-Armory...well...that's their business.

How to build "just a 2nd Rosslyn station"?  It needs to be connected to the route in D.C., and I don't think that could be done without building transition tunnels extending under the river.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 15, 2017, 11:24:35 PM
Funding just a 2nd Rosslyn station is well within the realm of possibility from NoVA funding sources.  And if Maryland doesn't want to fund extra Orange/Silver Line trains east of Stadium-Armory...well...that's their business.

Maryland did not contribute anything to the construction cost of Dulles Rail, but they are willing to (and do) Nfund operating losses from Maryland residents riding that line.

On the other hand, I don't think D.C. and Virginia contributed to the cost of building the Blue Line extension from Addison Road to Largo Town Center either. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 17, 2017, 12:21:51 AM
It only took less than two weeks for James Bacon to change his mind on I-66 HOT lanes:

Quote
Yikes, the I-66 Toll Hits $44, http://baconsrebellion.com/41540-2/
(15 December)
Quote
Politically, $44 tolls for a 10-mile ride will be hard to sustain.

Compare that to:

Quote
Actually, Travel Times Are Faster on I-66, VDOT Says, http://baconsrebellion.com/41474-2/
(8 December)

Quote
Hey, I-66 Whiners: Join a Friggin’ Carpool!, http://baconsrebellion.com/41450-2/
(5 December)

I don't know what capping the tolls would do, seeing as it would by definition make things less free-flowing. As unpopular as $44 max tolls may theoretically be, I doubt many people are paying them, so what political constituency is there? Besides, I'd rather pay $44 and get free-flowing conditions than have a $20 cap and still be stuck in traffic.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 17, 2017, 07:53:03 AM
I was under the impression that the $44 toll only existed for 6 minutes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 17, 2017, 08:49:16 AM
I was under the impression that the $44 toll only existed for 6 minutes.


You are correct. The same was true of the $40 and $34.50 tolls the previous week.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 17, 2017, 09:16:58 AM

I don't know what capping the tolls would do, seeing as it would by definition make things less free-flowing. As unpopular as $44 max tolls may theoretically be, I doubt many people are paying them, so what political constituency is there? Besides, I'd rather pay $44 and get free-flowing conditions than have a $20 cap and still be stuck in traffic.

IIRC only 39 people paid the highest toll on the first day it was up and running.

The point of the extremely high tolls at the busiest times is to keep people out and the traffic flowing.  For the few people who are choosing to pay the highest tolls, they will learn the pattern of how well 66 moves at the given toll levels and will make educated decisions about cost vs. reward of riding 66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Rothman on December 17, 2017, 12:04:29 PM

I don't know what capping the tolls would do, seeing as it would by definition make things less free-flowing. As unpopular as $44 max tolls may theoretically be, I doubt many people are paying them, so what political constituency is there? Besides, I'd rather pay $44 and get free-flowing conditions than have a $20 cap and still be stuck in traffic.

IIRC only 39 people paid the highest toll on the first day it was up and running.

The point of the extremely high tolls at the busiest times is to keep people out and the traffic flowing.  For the few people who are choosing to pay the highest tolls, they will learn the pattern of how well 66 moves at the given toll levels and will make educated decisions about cost vs. reward of riding 66.
If only 39 cars paid the highest tolls, I am sure the toll lane had more capactiy than that.  Toll was set too high.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 17, 2017, 12:30:14 PM

I don't know what capping the tolls would do, seeing as it would by definition make things less free-flowing. As unpopular as $44 max tolls may theoretically be, I doubt many people are paying them, so what political constituency is there? Besides, I'd rather pay $44 and get free-flowing conditions than have a $20 cap and still be stuck in traffic.

IIRC only 39 people paid the highest toll on the first day it was up and running.

The point of the extremely high tolls at the busiest times is to keep people out and the traffic flowing.  For the few people who are choosing to pay the highest tolls, they will learn the pattern of how well 66 moves at the given toll levels and will make educated decisions about cost vs. reward of riding 66.
If only 39 cars paid the highest tolls, I am sure the toll lane had more capactiy than that.  Toll was set too high.

They paid tolls at the peak of traffic on the two to four toll lanes in their direction. The peak didn't last long, but doesn't demonstrate that there was unused capacity during those few minutes.

Keep in mind that HOV-2+ users were in those lanes as well, toll-free.

With more experience, users will figure out when the tolls will be highest, and avoid those times if they can.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 17, 2017, 01:33:06 PM
Left unsaid in many discussions is the fact that I-66 was probably always at/over capacity during rush hour, so the toll in those cases should absolutely be a divide-by-zero asymptotic situation where the price is tending towards infinity, or some other god-awfully high number, like $100 or whatever, essentially saying "there is no more room on this road, do not drive on it".
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Mapmikey on December 17, 2017, 04:29:41 PM

If only 39 cars paid the highest tolls, I am sure the toll lane had more capactiy than that.  Toll was set too high.

If only 39 cars paid the highest tolls, I am sure the toll lane maintained the capacity that it had.  Toll was set more appropriately.

Also in a way the 39 cars thing is mis-interpreted, as there were additional cars that paid the maximum toll from wherever they entered during that same time period.  Just those who entered west of the beltway got the full $34.50.

The Beltway actually had the opposite problem when it first started its toll lanes.  A $13 toll would occur and the lanes weren't free-flowing.  They actually adjusted the tolls upward and while it is now more expensive, it is still free flowing and 20 minutes faster on most days than the regular beltway lanes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 17, 2017, 04:54:32 PM
If the toll was too high, it will go back down when people don’t pay it, right? Isn’t that what happened? It seems to me if it goes “too high,” it’s doing what it’s supposed to because at lower points presumably people were willing to pay.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Rothman on December 17, 2017, 05:41:56 PM
So there are just as many cars on the road as before, the travelers are just getting bilked for it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on December 17, 2017, 06:29:51 PM
So there are just as many cars on the road as before, the travelers are just getting bilked for it.

Not the ones in carpools, commuter buses, or other vehicles qualifying for the HOV exemption, provided they have Flex transponders to electronically claim the exemption.

Basically, the travelers who previously were exempt from HOV because they drove qualifying hybrids (not me, I bought mine just after the cutoff for that exemption), or were going to or from Dulles airport, are the ones getting hosed. The other users who pay tolls were generally unable to legally drive I-66 during rush hours anyway, so no real loss for them.

VDOT could narrow the HOV exemption to HOV-3, as it has long warned might be necessary at some point. But if that happens, that will likely to keep two-person carpools from congesting I-66 (not happening yet), rather than to reduce tolls for solo drivers.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 17, 2017, 06:48:32 PM
They had previously announced—prior to the HO/T projects—that I-66 inside the Beltway was to change to HOV-3 in 2020. It’s now scheduled to become HOV-3 for the free ride when the outside-the-Beltway HO/T lanes open (estimated 2022).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2017, 07:15:46 PM
We used I-66 under the HO/T rules for the first time this afternoon just after 5:30. The sign on the Roosevelt Bridge listed an $8.75 toll to the Beltway, although the next sign said $7.75. We didn't pay anything, of course, since we put the switch in HOV mode. It felt like about the same amount of traffic there was under the old rules but with a steadier speed—it was pretty much 55–65 mph the whole way, whereas before it usually slowed to about 45 passing underneath that parking structure just east of Glebe Road.

The gantry light flashes a different color when a vehicle with the HOV switch turned on passes underneath—I think HOVs got a red flash and others got white, but I'm not positive. There was a state trooper sitting just after the easternmost gantry, though whether he was monitoring the transponders or something else was unclear.

Flipping the HOV switch to the off position while going down the ramp to the Beltway was no big deal.

All in all, it confirmed my overall position that if you used it as an HOV before, all the hubbub is a tempest in a teapot because nothing changes for you until 2022 when the free ride requirement goes to HOV-3.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 18, 2017, 07:54:09 PM
All in all, it confirmed my overall position that if you used it as an HOV before, all the hubbub is a tempest in a teapot because nothing changes for you until 2022 when the free ride requirement goes to HOV-3.

An HOV-2 fam-pool can become HOV-3 as early as late 2018  :)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on December 19, 2017, 12:49:24 AM
Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.


This is all a valid analysis that would merit consideration, although I do know from a practical standpoint WMATA have been against the idea of ending trains short of downtown in regular weekday operation for fear of losing passengers if people are required to change trains to get into the city. They made a big deal about providing a “one-seat ride” when the Silver Line was designed (this is why it doesn’t end at West Falls Church).

Of course, they sometimes seem to want to delete the Blue Line altogether, so maybe they’d reconsider the “one-seat” policy. The overall experience with “Rush Plus” Yellow Service from Springfield being less popular than they’d hoped should counsel caution, though. There are a lot of riders who go from Springfield to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West.

It seems that the idea of building a 2nd Rosslyn would be to facilitate transfers of those staying within Virgina.  People from Alexandria transferring to Rosslyn-Ballston corridor or Tysons.  If yellow trains would serve both F/S and Huntington along the bridge toward L'Enfant, then there can be a blue line shuttle servicing from National Airport to 2nd Rosslyn.  All travelers headed from F/S or Huntington to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West will transfer to the blue and then transfer again to a frequent silver/orange train.  Not ideal, but it does seem to be a waste that current blue line trains are basically empty beyond McPherson Square (whereas the silver and orange are still somewhat occupied).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2017, 07:28:09 AM
What you describe is precisely the sort of thing they've said they don't want because they believe—probably with some justification—that they'll lose riders if they implement something like that requiring people to change trains to get downtown, especially if it requires them to change twice. (Some people would do so, of course. I used to work with a guy who hated Gallery Place so much that he rode the Yellow to L'Enfant Plaza, changed to an SOB, rode that to Metro Center, then changed to the Red to Dupont Circle. He never had an answer when I asked him why he didn't just ride to Farragut West and walk, since our office was between Dupont and Farragut West, but I guess it's the DC mentality of having to use the closest stop.)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on December 20, 2017, 08:00:50 PM
What you describe is precisely the sort of thing they've said they don't want because they believe—probably with some justification—that they'll lose riders if they implement something like that requiring people to change trains to get downtown, especially if it requires them to change twice. (Some people would do so, of course. I used to work with a guy who hated Gallery Place so much that he rode the Yellow to L'Enfant Plaza, changed to an SOB, rode that to Metro Center, then changed to the Red to Dupont Circle. He never had an answer when I asked him why he didn't just ride to Farragut West and walk, since our office was between Dupont and Farragut West, but I guess it's the DC mentality of having to use the closest stop.)

By instituting a 2nd Rosslyn station, in a manner described above, every station will be connected to Downtown except Arl Cemetary, just not necessarily the part of Downtown where your office may happen to be.  Many people may take the Silver/Orange lines in from Va and still transfer to the red or green for short distances to get to other parts of Downtown.  It really isn't a big deal.

People from the south line have the option to take yellow for direct service to L'Enfant, Archives, Gallery, or Mt Vernon Sq.  They can transfer to other lines at L'Enfant or Gallery for other stations.  Alternatively, they can transfer from Blue at Rosslyn.  The new station would mean that you have the option of keeping the trains that the passengers need very frequent at every transferring point.

One of the problems with the rush=plus system was that it meant that blue line would only be in service once every 12 minutes.  A separate station means that this leg can operate more frequently, but with the cost of a transfer at Rosslyn.  For those going from Alexandria to Rosslyn-Ballston, this is a much better arrangement.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 20, 2017, 08:12:07 PM
I think issue of transfers on its own accord. After all, most commuters already "transfer" from either a bus or park-and-ride lot anyways before getting on Metrorail.

The bigger issue is frequency, as mentioned. I avoid transfers in off-peak hours if possible because if you juuuust miss your train, you may be waiting 20 minutes (often faster to walk the difference, particularly downtown). If you know you won't be waiting more than a few minutes, I don't think it's asking much to have people transfer. Again, it might be faster anyway if you can get more Blue line trains up to Rosslyn than present (to say nothing of a future M St. subway).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 20, 2017, 08:57:48 PM
I think issue of transfers on its own accord. After all, most commuters already "transfer" from either a bus or park-and-ride lot anyways before getting on Metrorail.

The bigger issue is frequency, as mentioned. I avoid transfers in off-peak hours if possible because if you juuuust miss your train, you may be waiting 20 minutes (often faster to walk the difference, particularly downtown). If you know you won't be waiting more than a few minutes, I don't think it's asking much to have people transfer. Again, it might be faster anyway if you can get more Blue line trains up to Rosslyn than present (to say nothing of a future M St. subway).

If you have to put "transfers" in quotations, then that's not what the general public thinks of them.

No one considers the drive to a station as a transfer. 

Most people are fine with a single transfer, whether it be from a bus to a bus, between a bus and train, or a train to a train.  Once people need to transfer twice, then it starts wearing on them.

If you think you can convince millions of people that transferring is ok, good luck.  People do it because they have to, not because they want to.  If there's a way to avoid it, then it should be heavily considered.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 21, 2017, 08:55:00 AM
^ In this case, and given my experience with DC commuters and the Metro, I think most commuters would accept a transfer at Rosslyn if it meant 6-minute Blue Line headways instead of the current 12-minute.  Would also mean that Metro could run more Orange and/or Silver Line trains because they're no longer competing with the Blue Line through the Rosslyn Tunnel.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2017, 04:14:58 PM
^ In this case, and given my experience with DC commuters and the Metro, I think most commuters would accept a transfer at Rosslyn if it meant 6-minute Blue Line headways instead of the current 12-minute.  Would also mean that Metro could run more Orange and/or Silver Line trains because they're no longer competing with the Blue Line through the Rosslyn Tunnel.

There are people that transfer on the Washington Metro every day, and they presumably do it without much thought.  I once used to transfer frequently at Metro Center (when I worked near Farragut West and did not want to walk from or to Farragut North, usually when it was raining or snowing; and when I worked at L'Enfant Plaza), with the trip starting or ending at Silver Spring.  Working at Farragut West was nice when the Red Line broke down, which it did somewhat frequently even in the 1980's when it was less than 10 years old, because I could use the 16th Street, N.W. buses instead.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on December 21, 2017, 05:40:50 PM
All I was saying is that WMATA management have repeatedly said they don't think riders want to change trains (regardless of whether that is true or false, and certainly different commuters will have different tolerances for what they're willing to do).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2017, 06:57:54 PM
The gantry light flashes a different color when a vehicle with the HOV switch turned on passes underneath—I think HOVs got a red flash and others got white, but I'm not positive. There was a state trooper sitting just after the easternmost gantry, though whether he was monitoring the transponders or something else was unclear.

I have not been on I-66 during HOV times in HOV mode (yet), but I know that on the Transurban HOV/Toll lanes on I-495, a red light flashes as you  drive under the transponder readers if the device is in HOV mode.  At least on I-495, this is very  obvious if you drive there with  the transponder in HOV mode in the dark.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 21, 2017, 07:08:50 PM
All I was saying is that WMATA management have repeatedly said they don't think riders want to change trains (regardless of whether that is true or false, and certainly different commuters will have different tolerances for what they're willing to do).

When using computer models to estimate current and future demand for transit, there is a transfer penalty assumed (which makes transit less-attractive for patrons) if those patrons have to transfer between rail lines, or between bus lines, or between rail and bus, and that penalty increases if there are two (or more) transfers required, which reduces the "attractiveness" of the trip, especially for "choice" riders who own a car and where parking is not an issue.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on December 22, 2017, 10:05:59 AM
^ Which depends largely on frequency.  If you have higher frequency, the reality is that the "transfer penalty" is lower.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 08, 2018, 06:26:44 PM
http://potomaclocal.com/2018/01/08/the-money-virginia-officials-stand-to-lose-if-changes-are-made-to-i-66-tolls/
Quote
ARLINGTON — A state official warns any changes to toll collection on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway could force changes to the highway improvement project taking place outside the ring road.

As part of the $3.5 billion effort to add E-ZPass toll lanes to I-66 between Gainesville in Prince William County and the Captial Beltway, the consortium building the lanes, I-66 Mobility Partners, gave $579 million in free money to the state to be used for transportation improvements.

The grant and the “outside the Beltway” E-ZPass toll lanes project are all predicated on tolls being collected on I-66 inside the Beltway, Nick Donohue, Virginia deputy transportation secretary told members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission at its Jan. 4 meeting in Arlington.

“So the “outside the Beltway” [public-private partnership] contract includes a provision that will create a compensation event for the I-66 concessionaire [Express Mobility Parnters] where if the tolling hours or the HOV requirements are different than the 2016 compromise with the General Assembly, then they have the right to file the compensation that was likely would have some impact on that $578.9 concession payment that the commonwealth has received. I’m not in the game of speculating what that impact would be…,” said Donohue.

Without the tolls inside the Beltway, users would less likely to pay to use toll lanes on I-66 outside the Beltway because the trip would not be seamless, said Donohue.

Express Mobility Partners told Potomac Local via email it has no comment on the matter.

The specter of a “compensation event” is similar to a threat we heard from state officials this time last year when Prince William County Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson urged the Virginia Department of Transportation to extend a 4th southbound lane on I-95 from Route 123 to Prince William Parkway.
While this article helps explain why the tolling hours are what they are, IMO at least for now, VDOT should lower the targetted express lanes speed from 55mph to either 50mph or 45mph(the federal minimum) in order to lower tolls and maximize road use when at the moment slugging along the I-66 corridor isn't exactly common or easy.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 15, 2018, 10:38:15 PM
While this article helps explain why the tolling hours are what they are, IMO at least for now, VDOT should lower the targetted express lanes speed from 55mph to either 50mph or 45mph(the federal minimum) in order to lower tolls and maximize road use when at the moment slugging along the I-66 corridor isn't exactly common or easy.

Slugging has grown up already in the I-66 corridor already since tolling started last month. In particular, there are new slug lines in the VA-267 (Dulles Toll Road) corridor that were not there in the "free" HOV-2 era on I-66 inside the  Beltway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 21, 2018, 09:58:24 AM
While this article helps explain why the tolling hours are what they are, IMO at least for now, VDOT should lower the targetted express lanes speed from 55mph to either 50mph or 45mph(the federal minimum) in order to lower tolls and maximize road use when at the moment slugging along the I-66 corridor isn't exactly common or easy.

Slugging has grown up already in the I-66 corridor already since tolling started last month. In particular, there are new slug lines in the VA-267 (Dulles Toll Road) corridor that were not there in the "free" HOV-2 era on I-66 inside the  Beltway.
Regardless of slugging growth along the I-66 and VA-267 corridors, some people still aren't happy...
http://www.insidenova.com/news/politics/new-state-legislation-targets-controversial-i--toll-prices/article_bc8296a4-fd3a-11e7-82d9-bf9daf863146.html#comments
Quote
A pair of Northern Virginia lawmakers is pushing new legislation to reform the controversial tolling system for Interstate 66 inside the Beltway during the morning and evening rush hours.

State Sen. Dick Black, R-13th District, and Del. Dave LaRock, R-33rd District, introduced a bill  Jan. 18 that would shrink the tolling window on the congested highway, and even force state transportation officials to offer refunds to commuters who pay more than $200 in tolls each month.

State leaders have repeatedly defended the new tolls--levied on all drivers traveling between I-495 and Arlington on I-66 during peak commuting times--as a necessary measure to ease gridlock on the highway and fund future improvements to the road. But the tolls haveattracted condemnations from Democrats and Republicans since they went into effect Dec. 4, with the price of a trip along I-66 sometimes reaching as much as $40.

“Northern Virginia was already one of the highest-tolled regions in America — now, commuters driving the 36 miles from Leesburg to Washington, D.C., during peak times travel on three distinct toll roads, paying as much as $53 one way,” LaRock, who represents parts of Loudoun and Clarke counties, wrote in a statement. “My constituents call this ‘highway robbery,’ and I agree. Tolls this high hurt families, hinder economic growth and are just unacceptable.”

Yet the legislation would add new tolls alongside the refunds, imposing tolls on any driver “reverse commuting” during rush hour. That would affect anyone going west away from Washington, D.C., in the morning and east in the evening, with the money going to the fund used to pay for the eventual widening of the highway inside the Beltway.

Additionally, the bill would shrink the tolling windows, further tinkering with a system that transportation officials constructed in order to dissuade solo drivers from using the highway. Currently, the tolls are in place from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the eastbound portion, and 3 to 7 p.m. going west  — the legislation backed by LaRock and Black would change that timeframe to 6:30  to 9 a.m. westbound and 4 to 6:30 p.m. eastbound, until the highway widening is finished (currently projected for the fall of 2020).
“These tolls are among the highest in the nation,” Black, who represents parts of Prince William and Loudoun counties, wrote in a statement. “The new tolling system is not off to a good start."

The new legislation also addresses rates on the Dulles Toll Road and directs the state Department of Transportation to draw up a plan adding tolls to the Dulles Airport Access Road in order to make the road toll-free to drivers by 2030
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2018, 12:21:43 PM
They certainly know their constituency.

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.

Little sympathy here. Many out that way are of means (Loudoun is richest county in US), and they bought out there to live out their mcmansion fantasies. Let them for their lifestyle.

Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 23, 2018, 12:28:36 PM

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.


They don't pay gas taxes when they fuel up?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2018, 12:52:02 PM

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.


They don't pay gas taxes when they fuel up?

Quote
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), from 2021 to 2026 trust fund revenue is projected to total $243 billion, but outlays will amount to $364 billion, resulting in an imbalance of $121 billion.
(https://www.concordcoalition.org/issue-briefs/2016/0223/fixing-highway-trust-fund)

Can we end the dogma on this board that roads are self-funding in this country?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: vdeane on January 23, 2018, 01:33:12 PM
Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2018, 01:49:12 PM
Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.

It is amusing to watch everyone carefully avoiding to admit that they were just flouting the rules all along, and relying on non-enforcement. They couch it in other terms, of course.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 23, 2018, 02:13:26 PM
Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.

It is amusing to watch everyone carefully avoiding to admit that they were just flouting the rules all along, and relying on non-enforcement. They couch it in other terms, of course.

Or using the clean-fuel exemption, which was closed to new users ca. 2008 (before I bought my Prius, so I was ineligible), and has long been living on borrowed time.

The folks in Loudoun County will at least be able to use Metrorail's Silver Line when it's extended out there, subsidized by the tolls they're paying on the Dulles Toll Road.

BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.

It would also make the HO/T restrictions bi-directional, applying to outbound as well as inbound traffic in the morning, and inbound as well as outbound traffic in the afternoon. I think that is inevitable, but it would clobber "reverse commuters" to employers in the Tysons area, which might make Fairfax County unhappy.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2018, 02:52:50 PM
Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.

It is amusing to watch everyone carefully avoiding to admit that they were just flouting the rules all along, and relying on non-enforcement. They couch it in other terms, of course.

Or using the clean-fuel exemption, which was closed to new users ca. 2008 (before I bought my Prius, so I was ineligible), and has long been living on borrowed time.

The folks in Loudoun County will at least be able to use Metrorail's Silver Line when it's extended out there, subsidized by the tolls they're paying on the Dulles Toll Road.

BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.

It would also make the HO/T restrictions bi-directional, applying to outbound as well as inbound traffic in the morning, and inbound as well as outbound traffic in the afternoon. I think that is inevitable, but it would clobber "reverse commuters" to employers in the Tysons area, which might make Fairfax County unhappy.

The reverse-commute HO/T restriction seems like nothing more than a way for them to be able to brag about sticking it to Arlington, Alexandria, and DC residents, which I think is a popular political strategy out that way.

Not to mention that the longest trips on the Silver Line (enjoyed by Loudoun residents) will be far cheaper per-mile than short trips from Arlington, inner Fairfax.

Basically they want it both ways...economic opportunities of a major metro area without bearing any of the costs. Eventually the bill comes due.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 23, 2018, 03:07:01 PM

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.


They don't pay gas taxes when they fuel up?

Quote
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), from 2021 to 2026 trust fund revenue is projected to total $243 billion, but outlays will amount to $364 billion, resulting in an imbalance of $121 billion.
(https://www.concordcoalition.org/issue-briefs/2016/0223/fixing-highway-trust-fund)

Can we end the dogma on this board that roads are self-funding in this country?

Most things in/of this country aren't self-funding.  The deficit is how many trillion?  Transportation is a small part of that deficit.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 23, 2018, 03:20:48 PM
The reverse-commute HO/T restriction seems like nothing more than a way for them to be able to brag about sticking it to Arlington, Alexandria, and DC residents, which I think is a popular political strategy out that way.

There's a reverse-commute congestion problem, which is why I said that HO/T restriction was "inevitable". When VDOT tried to sell Arlington residents on the proposed "spot improvements" to westbound I-66 (two of which have been completed), the story was that reverse-commute HOV restrictions were inevitable, and the spot improvements would do little to forestall those restrictions.

I was pleased that Arlington officials, long opposed to any I-66 improvements, went along with not just HO/T but also widening parts of eastbound I-66. I guess, though, that one ignoble compensation Arlington officials are getting out of this is listening to all the whining coming out of Loudoun.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2018, 04:20:03 PM
The reverse-commute HO/T restriction seems like nothing more than a way for them to be able to brag about sticking it to Arlington, Alexandria, and DC residents, which I think is a popular political strategy out that way.

There's a reverse-commute congestion problem, which is why I said that HO/T restriction was "inevitable". When VDOT tried to sell Arlington residents on the proposed "spot improvements" to westbound I-66 (two of which have been completed), the story was that reverse-commute HOV restrictions were inevitable, and the spot improvements would do little to forestall those restrictions.

I was pleased that Arlington officials, long opposed to any I-66 improvements, went along with not just HO/T but also widening parts of eastbound I-66. I guess, though, that one ignoble compensation Arlington officials are getting out of this is listening to all the whining coming out of Loudoun.

I don't blame Arlington for holding out....land is scarce in this way, and if the best argument for widening was that "it'll make Fairfax and Loudoun commutes easier", that just ain't gonna cut it.

I'm glad they were able to hold out for something better than just widening, without any side benefits (HO/T and transit money).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 23, 2018, 04:33:20 PM
The reverse-commute HO/T restriction seems like nothing more than a way for them to be able to brag about sticking it to Arlington, Alexandria, and DC residents, which I think is a popular political strategy out that way.

There's a reverse-commute congestion problem, which is why I said that HO/T restriction was "inevitable". When VDOT tried to sell Arlington residents on the proposed "spot improvements" to westbound I-66 (two of which have been completed), the story was that reverse-commute HOV restrictions were inevitable, and the spot improvements would do little to forestall those restrictions.

I was pleased that Arlington officials, long opposed to any I-66 improvements, went along with not just HO/T but also widening parts of eastbound I-66. I guess, though, that one ignoble compensation Arlington officials are getting out of this is listening to all the whining coming out of Loudoun.

I don't blame Arlington for holding out....land is scarce in this way, and if the best argument for widening was that "it'll make Fairfax and Loudoun commutes easier", that just ain't gonna cut it.

I'm glad they were able to hold out for something better than just widening, without any side benefits (HO/T and transit money).

Except Arlington officials and residents whined loudly about even adding auxiliary lanes within the existing ROW. Land scarcity might be an issue with three lanes in each direction east of the Lee Hwy/Spout Run exit (not to mention making room for the added traffic in D.C.). But not west of there.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 23, 2018, 10:57:50 PM
BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.
From what I've heard the Dulles Airport Access Road is notoriously underutilized. Provided thats the case, then I have no problem with converting it into HOT lanes in order to get not only more use, but to further encourage more people along that corridor to carpool/slug(if the I-66 inside the beltway HOT lanes aren't already doing that). The prospect of a toll-free Dulles Toll Road is also quite nice.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on January 23, 2018, 11:27:20 PM
BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.
From what I've heard the Dulles Airport Access Road is notoriously underutilized. Provided thats the case, then I have no problem with converting it into HOT lanes in order to get not only more use, but to further encourage more people along that corridor to carpool/slug(if the I-66 inside the beltway HOT lanes aren't already doing that).

What the DAAR could really use is a 70mph speed limit, as much as it may annoy travelers on the DTR stuck with 55mph and having to pay for the privilege.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on January 31, 2018, 11:31:02 AM
WTOP has an article purporting to address what is and is not working with the I-66 tolls. Most notable aspect, IMO, is that so far all the proposed legislation that would cut back the tolling hours, cap the maximum toll per person per month, etc., has been defeated in committee. I think that's a good thing because I don't think they should be rushing to make changes after less than two months of actual operation, especially (I have said this before) when those two months included the Christmas/New Year's traffic lull.

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/01/nearly-2-months-66-tolls-whats-working-whats-not/




BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.
From what I've heard the Dulles Airport Access Road is notoriously underutilized. Provided thats the case, then I have no problem with converting it into HOT lanes in order to get not only more use, but to further encourage more people along that corridor to carpool/slug(if the I-66 inside the beltway HOT lanes aren't already doing that). The prospect of a toll-free Dulles Toll Road is also quite nice.

Who owns the Dulles Access Road these days? I assume MWAA, given that historically the FAA owned the road and the land on which it was built. The FAA's opposition to allowing non-airport traffic on that road was one reason why the Dulles Toll Road was constructed. I don't doubt there might be Virginia legislation regarding the Access Road, but I wonder whether putting a toll on there is really as simple as Virginia enacting a law.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2018, 11:09:57 AM
What the DAAR could really use is a 70mph speed limit, as much as it may annoy travelers on the DTR stuck with 55mph and having to pay for the privilege.

And speeding on that road is not an especially good idea, in particular westbound between VA-123 (Dolley Madison  Boulevard) and VA-684 (Spring Hill Road) through the big interchange at I-495.  Over the years (even long before MWAA took-over the Dulles Toll Road), there have been  several places where the MWAA Police like to hang-out looking for drivers in a rush to get to the airport. 

I assume more than a few of them got  banged with speeding or reckless driving tickets or maybe both (not sure if a person charged with reckless driving also gets a speeding ticket in the Commonwealth, as I have never had the pleasure, and hope that I never  do).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2018, 11:20:56 AM
Who owns the Dulles Access Road these days? I assume MWAA, given that historically the FAA owned the road and the land on which it was built. The FAA's opposition to allowing non-airport traffic on that road was one reason why the Dulles Toll Road was constructed. I don't doubt there might be Virginia legislation regarding the Access Road, but I wonder whether putting a toll on there is really as simple as Virginia enacting a law.

It was built in the early 1960's as an integral part of Dulles Airport. 

Up to the time that MWAA was created, it was patrolled by a special federal police force that was part of the Federal Aviation Administration (these were the same police as at the DCA and IAD airports themselves), and many of them were retired MPD-DC officers that were double-dipping. 

Years ago, this was a highway where people would go to see how fast their cars would run (a guy I once worked with claimed that in his youth the FAA police chased him eastbound (at speeds into the triple digits) on the DAAR to VA-123 (where the road ended), and that he lost them on the streets of McLean).

I believe ownership of the DAAR is still vested in the United States (maybe the FAA?) and that MWAA is obligated to pay the FAA a dollar a year or something symbolic like that for leasing and operating both National and Dulles Airports.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on February 01, 2018, 05:04:14 PM
Years ago, this was a highway where people would go to see how fast their cars would run (a guy I once worked with claimed that in his youth the FAA police chased him eastbound (at speeds into the triple digits) on the DAAR to VA-123 (where the road ended), and that he lost them on the streets of McLean).

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, I liked it as the one highway in the D.C. area where I could drive and have the "low volume rural Interstate feel".  Things like running on high beams most of the time.  That was when I lived in Alexandria and therefore was nearby.  It had no parallel DTR roadways then either, just was a rural-looking 4-lane freeway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on February 04, 2018, 02:33:43 PM
WTOP has an article purporting to address what is and is not working with the I-66 tolls. Most notable aspect, IMO, is that so far all the proposed legislation that would cut back the tolling hours, cap the maximum toll per person per month, etc., has been defeated in committee. I think that's a good thing because I don't think they should be rushing to make changes after less than two months of actual operation, especially (I have said this before) when those two months included the Christmas/New Year's traffic lull.

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/01/nearly-2-months-66-tolls-whats-working-whats-not/




BTW, the proposed legislation would slap tolls on the now-toll free Dulles Airport Access Road, with the goal of making that and the Dulles Toll Road toll-free by 2030. I don't like either idea. Dulles airport users have already lost their exemption from rush-hour HOV (now HO/T) restrictions on I-66. Tolling the access road would rub salt in that wound, and further undermine the goal of encouraging travelers to use Dulles rather than the more congested Reagan National.
From what I've heard the Dulles Airport Access Road is notoriously underutilized. Provided thats the case, then I have no problem with converting it into HOT lanes in order to get not only more use, but to further encourage more people along that corridor to carpool/slug(if the I-66 inside the beltway HOT lanes aren't already doing that). The prospect of a toll-free Dulles Toll Road is also quite nice.

Who owns the Dulles Access Road these days? I assume MWAA, given that historically the FAA owned the road and the land on which it was built. The FAA's opposition to allowing non-airport traffic on that road was one reason why the Dulles Toll Road was constructed. I don't doubt there might be Virginia legislation regarding the Access Road, but I wonder whether putting a toll on there is really as simple as Virginia enacting a law.

I actually like the idea of creating a Dulles Freeway where the general lanes are free (current DTR) and there are two HOT lanes in each direction (current DAAR).   I think this will match the eventual look and feel of the other highways in the area like Beltway, I-66 (outside Beltway), and I-95/395.  It also would help address the underutilization of the DAAR.  A road that wide should not be congested, it just needs to be used in a more efficiient way.  This idea would expand the general lanes from 4 to 5 in each direction (the current HOV lane will become open to all), and reserve the DTR for HOTs (which is likely to be many more people than just those heading to the airport).

And it will also give commuters a toll break.  If you don't mind sitting in traffic, you can take the freeway for free.  This will certainly alleviate traffic on parallel roads like VA-7, especially at off-peak times. (Plus a toll option is available to allow others to skip out on traffic for a fee.)

The problem with this idea is that it will not raise as much money as the current setup. Right now practically everyone, except Dulles Airport users, is paying toll on this corridor.  Toll funds to pay for roadway maintenance and the Silver Line.  If you give these people a free option, the toll revenue will plummet, even with the provision of a HOT lane corridor.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 04, 2018, 04:34:54 PM
I actually like the idea of creating a Dulles Freeway where the general lanes are free (current DTR) and there are two HOT lanes in each direction (current DAAR).   I think this will match the eventual look and feel of the other highways in the area like Beltway, I-66 (outside Beltway), and I-95/395.  It also would help address the underutilization of the DAAR.  A road that wide should not be congested, it just needs to be used in a more efficiient way.  This idea would expand the general lanes from 4 to 5 in each direction (the current HOV lane will become open to all), and reserve the DTR for HOTs (which is likely to be many more people than just those heading to the airport).

And it will also give commuters a toll break.  If you don't mind sitting in traffic, you can take the freeway for free.  This will certainly alleviate traffic on parallel roads like VA-7, especially at off-peak times. (Plus a toll option is available to allow others to skip out on traffic for a fee.)

The problem with this idea is that it will not raise as much money as the current setup. Right now practically everyone, except Dulles Airport users, is paying toll on this corridor.  Toll funds to pay for roadway maintenance and the Silver Line.  If you give these people a free option, the toll revenue will plummet, even with the provision of a HOT lane corridor.

I doubt that is going to happen.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (which now patrols and maintains the Dulles Toll Road along with the Dulles Access Road) needs every penny, nickle, dime and quarter that it can collect in Dulles Toll Road tolls in order to service the bonds that it sold to fund most (between 52% and 53% of a total cost between $5.7 and $5.8 billion) of the design, engineering and construction expenditures of the Metro line to Dulles Airport and beyond to VA-772 in the Ashburn area of Loudoun County.

I assert that having HOV/Toll lanes in the Dulles Corridor might make some sense (so I agree with you in terms of the concept), and providing "free" lanes for drivers not wanting to pay also makes some sense, but I think MWAA feels it must collect revenue from all drivers (except those headed for its airport) in order to pay-off those bonds (not a cent of which is being paid by WMATA or Silver Line passengers).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on February 12, 2018, 07:30:25 AM
WTOP reports I-66 construction outside the Beltway should get moving next month:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/02/i-66-construction-begins/
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 22, 2018, 10:19:53 AM
Quote
I-66 tolls, longer HOV hours not slowing alternative routes, data show

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/02/i-66-tolls-longer-hov-hours-not-tying-up-alternative-routes-data-show/

Quote
Both Interstate 66 tolls for solo drivers and expanded HOV hours have not slowed traffic on most major parallel routes during the morning rush hour, Virginia transportation officials said Tuesday.

Quote
Speeds on parallel routes, such as U.S. 50, U.S. Route 29 and Virginia Route 7, are largely unchanged from a year ago, Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine said.

Again, nobody who was legally using I-66 during rush hour had to change what they were doing.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 06, 2018, 11:20:43 AM
Looks like it didn't take long for the "idle on the shoulder until HO/T restrictions end" strategy to take effect on I-66 inside the beltway during evening rush hour.

https://www.arlnow.com/2018/03/06/video-i-66-drivers-have-found-a-way-to-avoid-tolling/

Quote
Videos sent to ARLnow.com from a Rosslyn resident show commuters idling along the I-66 shoulder. It’s unclear whether or not the drivers are waiting for the toll to lower or if they are waiting for the tolling period to end all together. The evening tolling period is from 3-7 p.m., and our tipster tells us that this happens frequently just before 7 p.m.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: oscar on March 06, 2018, 11:27:45 AM
^ They could try waiting for the tolls to expire by using US 29 west of Rosslyn, and returning to I-66 just west of Spout Run Parkway (VA 124).

Might be time for the police to park along the I-66 WB shoulder just before the US 29 exit, to encourage drivers trying to beat the toll to exit the freeway.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2018, 12:29:48 PM
Looks like it didn't take long for the "idle on the shoulder until HO/T restrictions end" strategy to take effect on I-66 inside the beltway during evening rush hour.

https://www.arlnow.com/2018/03/06/video-i-66-drivers-have-found-a-way-to-avoid-tolling/

Quote
Videos sent to ARLnow.com from a Rosslyn resident show commuters idling along the I-66 shoulder. It’s unclear whether or not the drivers are waiting for the toll to lower or if they are waiting for the tolling period to end all together. The evening tolling period is from 3-7 p.m., and our tipster tells us that this happens frequently just before 7 p.m.

Nothing new to see here. 

Back when I-66 between I-495 and the Rosslyn Tunnel was subject to HOV restrictions only, drivers would illegally stop eastbound on the left shoulder leading up to I-495 to wait for the end  of HOV at 9 AM. 

VSP troopers would chase them away or summons them if they were in the area.

Same thing westbound between  Virginia end of the T. Roosevelt Bridge and the exit to U.S. 29 prior to the Rosslyn Tunnel (when it was just an HOV restriction, it ended at 6:30 PM westbound).

Also had this dynamic on the I-395 HOV lanes southbound after the 14th Street Bridge and before the "temporary" ramp - people would wait on the shoulder illegally until the HOV restriction expired at  6 PM.  This may still be going on, since the transition to the I-395 HOV/toll lanes under Transurban has not happened yet.

Afternoons, I have seen the Arlington County Police ticketing illegally waiting drivers on I-66 and on I-395. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on March 06, 2018, 03:37:30 PM
People also do that northbound at Turkeycock in the HO/T lanes on I-395 to wait for HOV to end north of that spot.

I’ve seen the police showing up to ticket the shoulder-waiters near the Pentagon. It’s rather dangerous because the drivers peel out and bomb into traffic without looking in their eagerness to avoid a ticket.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: theroadwayone on March 17, 2018, 07:11:42 PM

Years ago, this was a highway where people would go to see how fast their cars would run (a guy I once worked with claimed that in his youth the FAA police chased him eastbound (at speeds into the triple digits) on the DAAR to VA-123 (where the road ended), and that he lost them on the streets of McLean).


Find him for me so we can have a drink together.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 17, 2018, 08:50:08 PM

Years ago, this was a highway where people would go to see how fast their cars would run (a guy I once worked with claimed that in his youth the FAA police chased him eastbound (at speeds into the triple digits) on the DAAR to VA-123 (where the road ended), and that he lost them on the streets of McLean).


Find him for me so we can have a drink together.

I lost contact with him many, many years ago. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 30, 2018, 05:06:45 PM
WTOP Radio: Are the I-66 tolls speeding up commutes? It depends (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/03/i-66-tolls-havent-changed-heart-of-evening-rush-hour/slide/1/)

Quote
The move to tolling and expanded HOV hours on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway has boosted speeds during the morning rush hour, but it has had little impact on travel times during the heart of the afternoon.

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Extended hours for HOV rules implemented alongside the tolls have driven some faster trips on the edges of the old afternoon rush hour period, new Virginia Department of Transportation data show.

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On I-66 between Rosslyn and the Capital Beltway, the average travel time westbound between 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. was essentially unchanged in February 2018 compared with February 2017.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: davewiecking on April 02, 2018, 08:18:51 PM
WTOP reports I-66 construction outside the Beltway should get moving next month:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/02/i-66-construction-begins/
And here it comes, starting this weekend:

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/04/4-years-major-i-66-construction-begin-soon/
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 05, 2018, 03:32:16 PM
Washington Post: Took '3 hours to get to work': Metro service suspension, $47 toll frustrate Virginia commuters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/took-3-hours-to-get-to-work-metro-service-suspension-47-toll-frustrate-virginia-commuters/2018/04/05/a1c55da4-38ce-11e8-acd5-35eac230e514_story.html)

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It was a rough Thursday morning commute for Northern Virginia residents.

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Metro had a nearly two-hour shutdown on part of its Orange and Silver lines after smoke was reported at the Virginia Square station and in tunnels between Clarendon and Ballston.

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As the Metro mess unfolded, it was no better for drivers. Congestion brought the toll for a solo driver on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway to $47.

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And Virginia drivers trying to enter the District via the 14th Street Bridge also encountered lengthy delays, with a crash prompting authorities to close three lanes during part of the morning rush.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on April 05, 2018, 04:02:44 PM
Sounds like the system properly responded to higher demand. If I were a car commuter on the I-66 corridor, I'd want Silver and Orange line capacity to be robust and assured, in order to avoid further incidents like this.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on April 06, 2018, 01:30:30 PM
Sounds like the system properly responded to higher demand. ....

Agreed. It seems like the Post is determined to invent an imaginary scandal about the tolls.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 06, 2018, 04:58:19 PM
Sounds like the system properly responded to higher demand. If I were a car commuter on the I-66 corridor, I'd want Silver and Orange line capacity to be robust and assured, in order to avoid further incidents like this.

I have no issues with the higher tolls on I-66, including the  lack of a cap on those tolls.

I do have issues with Metro not being reliable, given the  amount of tax money that has been  spent on it (and will be spent on it in the future). 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 30, 2018, 06:50:58 AM
WTOP Radio: Va. tweaking I-66 toll pricing algorithm (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/04/exclusive-va-tweaking-66-toll-pricing-algorithm/)

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Virginia is making changes as soon as the next few weeks that could lower rush-hour toll prices for some solo drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, WTOP has learned.

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The changes to the pricing algorithm in coming weeks could lower tolls outside of the very busiest times or on certain days of the week, but may not immediately make significant changes to the peak toll prices at the height of the morning rush hour. At the times with the highest tolls, traffic on Interstate 66 has slowed down somewhat from earlier in the morning.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on April 30, 2018, 08:52:57 PM
WTOP Radio: Va. tweaking I-66 toll pricing algorithm (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/04/exclusive-va-tweaking-66-toll-pricing-algorithm/)

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Virginia is making changes as soon as the next few weeks that could lower rush-hour toll prices for some solo drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, WTOP has learned.

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The changes to the pricing algorithm in coming weeks could lower tolls outside of the very busiest times or on certain days of the week, but may not immediately make significant changes to the peak toll prices at the height of the morning rush hour. At the times with the highest tolls, traffic on Interstate 66 has slowed down somewhat from earlier in the morning.


This is a good thing.  This shold be a high toll, but not $40 range.  By aiming for 45 or 50 mph (where most similar facilities nationwide aim) would probably keep tolls around $30 at the height of morning rush hour.  A further improvement in the cost will occur if they restrict it to HOV-3,which will happen when the HOT lanes west of the Beltway open.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 01, 2018, 12:40:42 PM
This is a good thing.  This shold be a high toll, but not $40 range.  By aiming for 45 or 50 mph (where most similar facilities nationwide aim) would probably keep tolls around $30 at the height of morning rush hour.  A further improvement in the cost will occur if they restrict it to HOV-3,which will happen when the HOT lanes west of the Beltway open.

I  agree generally.  Especially  the part about restricting free passage to HOV-3 traffic (originally when it  opened in 1982, I-66 between I-495 and the Rosslyn Tunnel was HOV-4).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 03, 2018, 10:08:25 PM
Washington Post: 66 Express Lanes collect more than $6 million in tolls during first 4 months of operations (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2018/05/03/66-express-lanes-collect-more-than-6-million-in-tolls-during-first-4-months-of-operations/)

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Virginia raked in $6.1 million in tolls during the first four months of operation of the 66 Express Lanes, state transportation officials said Thursday.

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The new system —with tolls that have reached as high as $47.50 and are among the highest in the nation— is expected to generate $12 million by the end of the fiscal year June 30, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

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The state will allocate nearly half of that amount, $5.7 million, to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, which is coordinating transit and other transportation projects along the Interstate 66 corridor.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on August 21, 2018, 07:12:40 AM
WTOP has a report about VDOT’s latest statistics on I-66 HO/T usage: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/08/interstate-66-toll-update-traffic-impacts-how-many-drivers-face-extra-fines-or-fees/slide/7/

Still a substantial number of people without E-ZPass. I wonder when they’ll start getting socked with penalties such that the local media try to invent a scandal.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on August 21, 2018, 08:51:00 AM
WTOP has a report about VDOT’s latest statistics on I-66 HO/T usage: https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/08/interstate-66-toll-update-traffic-impacts-how-many-drivers-face-extra-fines-or-fees/slide/7/

Still a substantial number of people without E-ZPass. I wonder when they’ll start getting socked with penalties such that the local media try to invent a scandal.

Bonus points if they include the phrase "highway robbery".
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on October 16, 2018, 08:08:31 PM
https://www.insidenova.com/news/fairfax/vdot-reworks-plan-for-i--interchange-at-nutley-st/article_db6c7052-d12f-11e8-a3e0-cbef4dba7d65.html
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Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials are proposing a fetching new design for the soon-to-be-revamped interchange at Interstate 66 and Nutley Street in Vienna.

Unlike the previous “diverging diamond” design, which would have had two traffic signals, the new “dog bone” plan would feature a pair of roundabouts on Nutley Street north and south of I-66, VDOT officials told the Vienna Town Council in an Oct. 15 briefing.

The new design would have a smaller footprint, provide better traffic flow, have a westbound exit onto Nutley Street from the new Express Lanes and have a shared-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians featuring no at-grade crossings, said Susan Shaw, VDOT’s Northern Virginia Megaprojects director.

VDOT officials say the “Transform 66 Outside the Beltway” project is on schedule to be completed by December 2022. The $3.7 billion initiative is a public-private partnership between VDOT, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and a private firm, I-66 Express Mobility Partners.

Based off the design the article provides, there also appears to be a new direct exit from the westbound express lanes to Nutley Street with a new light in the middle of the overpass. 
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on October 16, 2018, 08:14:24 PM
https://wtop.com/local/2018/10/virginia-lowers-tolls-for-solo-drivers-on-interstate-66/
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WASHINGTON — Virginia has lowered rush-hour tolls for solo drivers on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, with a change to the pricing algorithm implemented this summer.

While the average toll paid in August largely dropped due to reduced traffic while people were on vacation, Virginia Department of Transportation Division Administrator for Tolling Operations David Caudill said in an interview that the tolls would not have dropped as much without a change made in July to the way the automated system calculated the amount of traffic on the road.

“If you had the same volume back two months ago, you would have seen a higher toll. So in September, we got bigger volumes because you know school’s back in session, tolls give the appearance of a higher rate back up to $40-plus, but that’s due to volume. It would have been higher had we not made the changes that we made in July,” Caudill said.

The change to the traffic density calculations applies in both the morning and afternoon.

“It seems to have worked and not impacted speeds. Keep in mind, we’ve still got to maintain traffic, the HOV users should not be impacted when we make changes like this,” Caudill said.

That indicates the state did not have to charge tolls quite so high as it had been in the first months after the tolling and expanded HOV hours began last December.

Additional changes to the tolling algorithm are planned one at a time so that Caudill’s team can monitor the discrete impact of each change to the system.

“We feel, on the one that we did in July which directly impacted the dynamic pricing, we got a good result on that, and the next one we look at….the volumes on Fridays are clearly lower in the mornings than they are any other time during the rest of the week, we think there’s an opportunity there to change the dynamic pricing parameters,” Caudill said.

Definitely a start, but more still needs to be done. That third eastbound lane from Exit 67 to 71 can't come soon enough.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on September 17, 2019, 09:48:09 AM
The toll rate signs for I-66 inside the Beltway have malfunctioned both yesterday and today, leaving them dark for most or part of the morning rush hour. Tolls were waived on Monday during the outage, and rightly so, IMO, because how could anyone know what the rate would be so as to make an informed decision whether to use the road? They'll probably waive them today, too, but since the outage was for a shorter time, presumably they won't be waived for the whole rush hour.

Today's instance marks at least the third time this has happened within just a few weeks. They're blaming it on a "network" problem. I wonder what's going on. The I-66 HO/T operation is VDOT's responsibility, not Transurban's, and we haven't seen this sort of problem (yet, anyway) on the Beltway or I-95.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 17, 2019, 10:10:30 PM
The toll rate signs for I-66 inside the Beltway have malfunctioned both yesterday and today, leaving them dark for most or part of the morning rush hour. Tolls were waived on Monday during the outage, and rightly so, IMO, because how could anyone know what the rate would be so as to make an informed decision whether to use the road? They'll probably waive them today, too, but since the outage was for a shorter time, presumably they won't be waived for the whole rush hour.

Today's instance marks at least the third time this has happened within just a few weeks. They're blaming it on a "network" problem. I wonder what's going on. The I-66 HO/T operation is VDOT's responsibility, not Transurban's, and we haven't seen this sort of problem (yet, anyway) on the Beltway or I-95.

I have not personally seen any malfunction on the tolled part of I-66, but I seldom drive it when tolls are in effect.

But - problems with such signs are not unique to I-66. 

Since the road was completed from I-95 to I-370, I have reported at least fifteen or twenty malfunctioning toll rate signs at the approaches to MD-200 to the MDTA Police or to the MDTA AOC (Authority Operations Center).

These have ranged from signs being completely dark to something going wrong with the sign or the control unit, causing what is displayed on the sign to "go crazy" and display non-informative and scrambled characters.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Beltway on September 17, 2019, 11:25:28 PM
Since the road was completed from I-95 to I-370, I have reported at least fifteen or twenty malfunctioning toll rate signs at the approaches to MD-200 to the MDTA Police or to the MDTA AOC (Authority Operations Center).
Having worked in IT Support for networked VMS signs and electronic bulletin boards, I have seen how problems can occur with the network, the commercial power supply, the computer that drives the sign or EBB, the main servers, and the smart traffic center controls.

The sooner the problem can be reported to IT Support, the better.  Either agency IT Support or a contractor will be tasked to fix the problem.  Problems -will- occur at times, that is the nature of IT, the important thing is for them to be fixed quickly.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2020, 02:14:02 PM
Washington Post: I-66 tolls push more commuters into carpools or buses, report says (https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2020/03/06/i-66-tolls-push-more-commuters-into-carpools-or-buses-report-says/?fbclid=IwAR3h-RNgalQaCKNE_oaxA20RH9wEubyMCGEAUWbex7p-uysYglFuF-mPxoU)

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Car pools and commuter buses are a bit more common along a stretch of Interstate 66 after some drivers began paying tolls two years ago during peak commuting hours, according to a new report.

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The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission conducted the study to determine whether mass transit ridership and commuter behaviors have changed along the 10 miles of I-66 inside the Beltway. The report showed fewer vehicles are using I-66 during the morning rush, but more people are moving through the corridor.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on March 16, 2020, 08:12:01 PM
I don't know if someone already posted it but there's a video showing the construction update of I-66 HOT lanes filmed last November.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 04, 2020, 08:00:07 PM
(http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Newsroom/Northern_Virginia/2020/asset_upload_file517_161611.jpg)

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern-virginia/2020/new-flyover-ramp-from-i-66-east-to-route-28-north-opening-on-or-about-wednesday-july-87-2-2020.asp
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FAIRFAX – The first new exit ramp and bridge for the under-construction I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is scheduled to open ahead of schedule beginning on or about Wednesday morning, July 8. Drivers on I-66 East will exit to Route 28 North using the new flyover ramp, located prior to Route 28 and the old loop ramp. The new ramp was completed as an early interim milestone for the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project, and is the first of several permanent traffic pattern changes happening this year at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange area.

Once the new I-66 East to Route 28 North ramp opens, the old loop ramp will close permanently to allow for construction of new northbound Route 28 thru-lanes and additional ramps for the redesigned interchange. Drivers should use caution and follow roadway signs when traveling in this area.

The next major change at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is the opening of a new ramp from Route 28 South to I-66 East, planned to occur in August. Later this year, the remaining traffic signals on Route 28 between Westfields Boulevard and Route 29 will be removed, and a new overpass to reconnect Braddock Road and Walney Road is scheduled to open.

As someone who drove through the interchange last week, I figured that at the very least they had another month of construction left on this new ramp. However while this news is surprising, it is most certainly welcome. While I was initially skeptical about the ambitious goal of getting rid of all the lights (4) on VA-28 north of I-66 by the end of 2020, I now am now much more confident and when this happens the current afternoon traffic bottleneck of VA-28 southbound approaching I-66 should greatly be alleviated. Furthermore, with the news of this development being "ahead of schedule", it gives me great hope that other significant parts of this massive 22 mile project are also ahead of schedule. Heres to hoping! 
:cheers:
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on July 05, 2020, 11:24:27 AM


http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern-virginia/2020/new-flyover-ramp-from-i-66-east-to-route-28-north-opening-on-or-about-wednesday-july-87-2-2020.asp
Quote
FAIRFAX – The first new exit ramp and bridge for the under-construction I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is scheduled to open ahead of schedule beginning on or about Wednesday morning, July 8. Drivers on I-66 East will exit to Route 28 North using the new flyover ramp, located prior to Route 28 and the old loop ramp. The new ramp was completed as an early interim milestone for the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project, and is the first of several permanent traffic pattern changes happening this year at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange area.

Once the new I-66 East to Route 28 North ramp opens, the old loop ramp will close permanently to allow for construction of new northbound Route 28 thru-lanes and additional ramps for the redesigned interchange. Drivers should use caution and follow roadway signs when traveling in this area.

The next major change at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is the opening of a new ramp from Route 28 South to I-66 East, planned to occur in August. Later this year, the remaining traffic signals on Route 28 between Westfields Boulevard and Route 29 will be removed, and a new overpass to reconnect Braddock Road and Walney Road is scheduled to open.

As someone who drove through the interchange last week, I figured that at the very least they had another month of construction left on this new ramp. However while this news is surprising, it is most certainly welcome. While I was initially skeptical about the ambitious goal of getting rid of all the lights (4) on VA-28 north of I-66 by the end of 2020, I now am now much more confident and when this happens the current afternoon traffic bottleneck of VA-28 southbound approaching I-66 should greatly be alleviated. Furthermore, with the news of this development being "ahead of schedule", it gives me great hope that other significant parts of this massive 22 mile project are also ahead of schedule. Heres to hoping! 
:cheers:

This is more of teh COVID silver lining.  Less traffic means more construction can occur, even at peak times so construction projects are completed more efficiently.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on July 06, 2020, 10:11:02 PM


http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/northern-virginia/2020/new-flyover-ramp-from-i-66-east-to-route-28-north-opening-on-or-about-wednesday-july-87-2-2020.asp
Quote
FAIRFAX – The first new exit ramp and bridge for the under-construction I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is scheduled to open ahead of schedule beginning on or about Wednesday morning, July 8. Drivers on I-66 East will exit to Route 28 North using the new flyover ramp, located prior to Route 28 and the old loop ramp. The new ramp was completed as an early interim milestone for the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project, and is the first of several permanent traffic pattern changes happening this year at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange area.

Once the new I-66 East to Route 28 North ramp opens, the old loop ramp will close permanently to allow for construction of new northbound Route 28 thru-lanes and additional ramps for the redesigned interchange. Drivers should use caution and follow roadway signs when traveling in this area.

The next major change at the I-66 and Route 28 Interchange is the opening of a new ramp from Route 28 South to I-66 East, planned to occur in August. Later this year, the remaining traffic signals on Route 28 between Westfields Boulevard and Route 29 will be removed, and a new overpass to reconnect Braddock Road and Walney Road is scheduled to open.

As someone who drove through the interchange last week, I figured that at the very least they had another month of construction left on this new ramp. However while this news is surprising, it is most certainly welcome. While I was initially skeptical about the ambitious goal of getting rid of all the lights (4) on VA-28 north of I-66 by the end of 2020, I now am now much more confident and when this happens the current afternoon traffic bottleneck of VA-28 southbound approaching I-66 should greatly be alleviated. Furthermore, with the news of this development being "ahead of schedule", it gives me great hope that other significant parts of this massive 22 mile project are also ahead of schedule. Heres to hoping! 
:cheers:

This is more of teh COVID silver lining.  Less traffic means more construction can occur, even at peak times so construction projects are completed more efficiently.

Speaking of construction, there's a video who was posted on July 1 showing the progress.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 07, 2020, 03:57:09 PM
Good overhead picture of the Route 28 interchange mentioned above. North is to the left (the direction of the infamous I-366); east is at the top.

?s=20
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 07, 2020, 11:12:35 PM
With the confession that I don't know that interchange terribly well (particularly coming from the west), I struggle to see what the big improvement it - it's still a right-hand exit that leads drivers onto the rightmost lane of VA-28 northbound (towards Dulles, etc). Am I missing anything? Is the merge simpler?

EDIT: Just looked up the VDOT project page - I see it's part of a larger overall project, including getting rid of that left turn across VA-28 to get onto inbound 66.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 08, 2020, 10:17:16 AM
With the confession that I don't know that interchange terribly well (particularly coming from the west), I struggle to see what the big improvement it - it's still a right-hand exit that leads drivers onto the rightmost lane of VA-28 northbound (towards Dulles, etc). Am I missing anything? Is the merge simpler?
Just drove on the new ramp this morning. While at the moment I wouldn't really call it much of an improvement due to all the ongoing construction and temporary short merge onto VA-28, it's important to keep in mind that this won't be the case for long as when additional phases of the interchange are completed things will get far better.

EDIT: Just looked up the VDOT project page - I see it's part of a larger overall project, including getting rid of that left turn across VA-28 to get onto inbound 66.
^Correct. The current VA-28/I-66 interchange is arguably the most outdated interchange in the entire Northern Virginia region and is largely responsible for horrendous backups on I-66 eastbound/VA-28 northbound in the morning and I-66 westbound/VA-28 southbound in the afternoon. A nearby traffic light for Braddock Road just north of the interchange didn't help matters. Regardless of whether the larger Transform I-66 project took place, funding for this $300 million dollar interchange upgrade was secured no matter what as it was simply that big of a priority.

As for the new interchange design, it is very impressive IMO and will greatly improve upon exciting connections while also offering plenty of new ones such as to and from Braddock Road, and to and from the I-66 express lanes. Supposedly there is also reserved right of way for potential VA-28 express lanes down the road... (https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/insidenova.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/69/3697475c-43c3-11ea-8a19-3f42dd73de90/5e33793154063.image.jpg?resize=1700%2C956)
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on July 08, 2020, 10:27:24 AM
I'm not certain that a free-flow interchange is really going to help Eastbound 66 in the morning.  While aggravating for 28 drivers, the signals to approach and get onto EB 66 had a metering effect on traffic.  Now you're going to open a flood which, despite the improvements to 66 itself, will still remain a bottleneck.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 08, 2020, 10:50:19 AM
I'm not certain that a free-flow interchange is really going to help Eastbound 66 in the morning.  While aggravating for 28 drivers, the signals to approach and get onto EB 66 had a metering effect on traffic.  Now you're going to open a flood which, despite the improvements to 66 itself, will still remain a bottleneck.


Solid point which is probably why in the hopes of minimizing this potential issue, I-66 directly east of this interchange is planned to be its widest (I believe something around 7 lanes in each direction). While a decent amount of traffic does get off at the next exit (VA-286), it will indeed be interesting to see how a free-flowing interchange will affect I-66 during the morning rush hour.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: mrsman on July 08, 2020, 11:43:54 AM
I'm not certain that a free-flow interchange is really going to help Eastbound 66 in the morning.  While aggravating for 28 drivers, the signals to approach and get onto EB 66 had a metering effect on traffic.  Now you're going to open a flood which, despite the improvements to 66 itself, will still remain a bottleneck.


Solid point which is probably why in the hopes of minimizing this potential issue, I-66 directly east of this interchange is planned to be its widest (I believe something around 7 lanes in each direction). While a decent amount of traffic does get off at the next exit (VA-286), it will indeed be interesting to see how a free-flowing interchange will affect I-66 during the morning rush hour.

While generally rare, there are freeway to freeway metering ramps in some places.  Most notably are the ramps that were put in place on I-105 that runs south of Los Angeles as it interchanges with the 405, 110, 710, and 605 freeways.  A few older freeway to freeway interchanges in CA have also gotten meters, but I do not recall where.

Here is WB 105 to NB 405 metering lights:

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9322027,-118.361913,3a,75y,247.49h,95.19t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sleW-Nz7aBK-e-c11qp4yBA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9363246,-118.368046,3a,75y,11.52h,89.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1EgcAZRqSHQxpCg0T13Lvg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192


If needed, a freeway to freeway meter could address issues at 28/66 - but they probably won't implement it, and it probably will not be necessary.  The widening of I-66 here will probably handle most of the jolt of traffic without the need to meter.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 08, 2020, 12:56:38 PM
It looks to me from that rendering that Braddock Road traffic will be able to reach the outbound express lanes, but not the inbound express lanes (at least not directly, anyway).
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on July 08, 2020, 03:18:00 PM
It looks to me from that rendering that Braddock Road traffic will be able to reach the outbound express lanes, but not the inbound express lanes (at least not directly, anyway).

Yeah, I thought that connection omission (rather important IMO) was interesting so I asked about it at a project public hearing a while back. The answer I received went something along the lines of we wanted to add it but to do so would be nearly impossible due to the little if any remaining room within the interchange's proximity (might be saving the rest of the room for VA-28 express lanes who knows). When I then asked how someone coming from Braddock Road would theoretically access the eastbound express lanes, I was told that accessing them via Westfields Blvd/VA-28, US-29/I-66 (looks like there is a planned access point in between the US-29 and VA-28 interchanges), or further down I-66 east should be sufficient.  However, if down the road VDOT/Cintra feel that a potential connection here could make more than enough money to justify the likely expensive ramp, then I'm sure it would get done.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 08, 2020, 06:38:10 PM
I suppose another option would be to loop around via Stone Road and US-29, though I don’t know how the traffic is on that route. My mom used to work in that area at Ormond Stone Intermediate (the junior high school a little further west on Braddock Road), but she’s been retired for long enough that I’m not inclined to ask her about traffic.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: bluecountry on July 22, 2020, 09:55:36 AM
It looks to me from that rendering that Braddock Road traffic will be able to reach the outbound express lanes, but not the inbound express lanes (at least not directly, anyway).

Yeah, I thought that connection omission (rather important IMO) was interesting so I asked about it at a project public hearing a while back. The answer I received went something along the lines of we wanted to add it but to do so would be nearly impossible due to the little if any remaining room within the interchange's proximity (might be saving the rest of the room for VA-28 express lanes who knows). When I then asked how someone coming from Braddock Road would theoretically access the eastbound express lanes, I was told that accessing them via Westfields Blvd/VA-28, US-29/I-66 (looks like there is a planned access point in between the US-29 and VA-28 interchanges), or further down I-66 east should be sufficient.  However, if down the road VDOT/Cintra feel that a potential connection here could make more than enough money to justify the likely expensive ramp, then I'm sure it would get done.
So how again do you reach express EB 66 via 28?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 22, 2020, 12:37:35 PM
It looks to me from that rendering that Braddock Road traffic will be able to reach the outbound express lanes, but not the inbound express lanes (at least not directly, anyway).

Yeah, I thought that connection omission (rather important IMO) was interesting so I asked about it at a project public hearing a while back. The answer I received went something along the lines of we wanted to add it but to do so would be nearly impossible due to the little if any remaining room within the interchange's proximity (might be saving the rest of the room for VA-28 express lanes who knows). When I then asked how someone coming from Braddock Road would theoretically access the eastbound express lanes, I was told that accessing them via Westfields Blvd/VA-28, US-29/I-66 (looks like there is a planned access point in between the US-29 and VA-28 interchanges), or further down I-66 east should be sufficient.  However, if down the road VDOT/Cintra feel that a potential connection here could make more than enough money to justify the likely expensive ramp, then I'm sure it would get done.
So how again do you reach express EB 66 via 28?

At the present, you don't, because there are no express lanes yet. But for how it is to work in the future, look at the rendering in reply #446 in this thread from Jmiles32 (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=14544.msg2514898#msg2514898) and trace the ramps.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: bluecountry on July 27, 2020, 05:21:47 PM
With the confession that I don't know that interchange terribly well (particularly coming from the west), I struggle to see what the big improvement it - it's still a right-hand exit that leads drivers onto the rightmost lane of VA-28 northbound (towards Dulles, etc). Am I missing anything? Is the merge simpler?
Just drove on the new ramp this morning. While at the moment I wouldn't really call it much of an improvement due to all the ongoing construction and temporary short merge onto VA-28, it's important to keep in mind that this won't be the case for long as when additional phases of the interchange are completed things will get far better.

EDIT: Just looked up the VDOT project page - I see it's part of a larger overall project, including getting rid of that left turn across VA-28 to get onto inbound 66.
^Correct. The current VA-28/I-66 interchange is arguably the most outdated interchange in the entire Northern Virginia region and is largely responsible for horrendous backups on I-66 eastbound/VA-28 northbound in the morning and I-66 westbound/VA-28 southbound in the afternoon. A nearby traffic light for Braddock Road just north of the interchange didn't help matters. Regardless of whether the larger Transform I-66 project took place, funding for this $300 million dollar interchange upgrade was secured no matter what as it was simply that big of a priority.

As for the new interchange design, it is very impressive IMO and will greatly improve upon exciting connections while also offering plenty of new ones such as to and from Braddock Road, and to and from the I-66 express lanes. Supposedly there is also reserved right of way for potential VA-28 express lanes down the road... (https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/insidenova.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/69/3697475c-43c3-11ea-8a19-3f42dd73de90/5e33793154063.image.jpg?resize=1700%2C956)
1.  Whats the pink mean?
2.  So you can get the express lanes from 28 to 66 E/W?
3.  Still no way to get to 28S from 66 E?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: froggie on July 27, 2020, 05:48:57 PM
^ 1. Pink are the bike/ped paths being built as part of the project.
3. No real need for such a connection since US 29 makes the same connection just to the south and is signed for it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: 1995hoo on July 27, 2020, 06:39:14 PM
Regarding bluecountry's question #2, it appears you won’t be able to go from northbound Route 28 to westbound I-66, regardless of whether you want the general-purpose lanes or the HO/T lanes. Similar reason to what froggie cites—you can use Route 29 to connect (basically the same movement he mentions, just in reverse), though I don’t know whether that will offer express lane access because I haven’t looked to try to find out. But southbound Route 28 will connect to the HO/T lanes in both directions, per tracing the ramps in the rendering above, and northbound Route 28 will connect to the eastbound HO/T lanes.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Sonic99 on July 29, 2020, 01:26:34 AM
Technically if someone wants to go from NB 28 to WB 66, they also could use the Braddock Rd interchange to get to the WB lanes, but that is probably a bit more "silly" versus just using WB 29.

To bluecountry...

1. Pink in that map is the walking/biking path through the interchange. Looks like they're moving foot traffic completely away from all the vehicle traffic, so not need for sidewalks or crosswalks.
2. Both NB and SB get to the EB 66 Express Lanes on the south side of the interchange. SB curves left under the NB lanes to a ramp that goes up and over mainline 66. NB has a ramp curving to the right basically above the NB ramps over to connect to it.
3. NB looks pretty obvious that it accesses both the regular 66 lanes and the Express Lanes?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: bluecountry on July 29, 2020, 11:30:05 AM
Regarding bluecountry's question #2, it appears you won’t be able to go from northbound Route 28 to westbound I-66, regardless of whether you want the general-purpose lanes or the HO/T lanes. Similar reason to what froggie cites—you can use Route 29 to connect (basically the same movement he mentions, just in reverse), though I don’t know whether that will offer express lane access because I haven’t looked to try to find out. But southbound Route 28 will connect to the HO/T lanes in both directions, per tracing the ramps in the rendering above, and northbound Route 28 will connect to the eastbound HO/T lanes.

It will not happen soon but if you ask me, I would have liked:
-Access from 28 NB to 66 WB and 66 EB access to 28 SB
THEN
-Extend New Braddock across to Stone Road with full interchange at I-66 west of 29
THEN
-Completely re do 'downtown' Centreville on 29.
  Make thru traffic bypass and use New Braddock Road, completely re-develope 29 between Pickwick and Trinity to a real walkable main street.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: odditude on July 29, 2020, 04:24:45 PM
It will not happen soon but if you ask me, I would have liked:
-Access from 28 NB to 66 WB and 66 EB access to 28 SB
THEN
-Extend New Braddock across to Stone Road with full interchange at I-66 west of 29
THEN
-Completely re do 'downtown' Centreville on 29.
  Make thru traffic bypass and use New Braddock Road, completely re-develope 29 between Pickwick and Trinity to a real walkable main street.

direct access from I-66 EB to SR 28 SB was just removed and redirected to use US 29 for the connection. if they had intended to recreate direct access, i suspect it would've been built as part of the EB-NB flyover ramp construction.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on September 20, 2020, 06:08:31 PM
Just in: According to variable message boards posted along the corridor, it seems the new alignment of the 28 to 66 East ramp is opening this week in phases. First the left turn for SB 28 drivers will open on Wednesday the 23rd, followed by the right turn on NB 28 two days later. This will definitely clear the way for the new NB 28 alignment to head up to the bridge and eliminate said traffic light.

This does also bring up a question. Will the turnaround at the former ECL Park light even open? The Braddock interchange is progressing nicely, but it'll seem pointless to have that turn lane installed for only a short time, if all signalized intersections on 28 are to be eliminated by year's end. I'm not sure where they're even going with the lane shifting happening north of Braddock/Walney to begin with.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on September 20, 2020, 09:06:33 PM
The guys of B&V uploaded a part of one of the new ramps of the I-66/VA-28 interchange on Google Streetview.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8470158,-77.4318956,3a,75y,342.65h,92.87t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipNIrFz1Gxkc1gkiFJmedIoKpNTyjR5aCZSY0Ei_!2e10!3e11!7i7680!8i3840
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: Jmiles32 on September 20, 2020, 11:08:14 PM
This does also bring up a question. Will the turnaround at the former ECL Park light even open? The Braddock interchange is progressing nicely, but it'll seem pointless to have that turn lane installed for only a short time, if all signalized intersections on 28 are to be eliminated by year's end. I'm not sure where they're even going with the lane shifting happening north of Braddock/Walney to begin with.

Probably has to do with the widening of VA-28 through there to four lanes in each direction. Don't anticipate that light ever opening again as a new connector road to the park should take care of those movements.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on September 21, 2020, 04:49:06 PM
The guys of B&V uploaded a part of one of the new ramps of the I-66/VA-28 interchange on Google Streetview.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8470158,-77.4318956,3a,75y,342.65h,92.87t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipNIrFz1Gxkc1gkiFJmedIoKpNTyjR5aCZSY0Ei_!2e10!3e11!7i7680!8i3840

Saw this one. Nice to see them capturing it!
Probably has to do with the widening of VA-28 through there to four lanes in each direction. Don't anticipate that light ever opening again as a new connector road to the park should take care of those movements.

I understand the direct connection to ECL is done for, now filled up entirely. However, the signal at said intersection, as well as the median gap, remain as of this week. There is a tarped-off light which suggests it is to open for U-turn movements. Such has been suggested, but overall I cannot 100% confirm such a movement will open:
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FFixRoute28%2Fposts%2F1110310565840005&width=500
Other than that, it does seem a bit hard to tell what maneuvers they are making with the lane shift thus far. I swear only a few weeks ago, NB 28 was verging on the right-hand shoulder.
I was only wondering if they were to get it into the position needed for such a left-turn lane.

Also a little correction to my previous post - the SB 28 to EB 66 ramp is to shift over to a new loop ramp, on the right-hand side of SB 28 (parallel to the new flyover). I haven't seen the new ramp coming in, but it'll be an interesting situation especially considering a construction yard is inside it.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on October 09, 2020, 01:34:25 PM
Update; seems VDOT has scrapped plans for a U-turn detour at the ECL light. Was by there the other day and it was finally dismantled except for a single pole on the eastern side.
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: bluecountry on October 22, 2020, 04:50:08 PM
Is it me or did the 66 construction plans, with the lane shutdowns especially west of 29, EB just west of 28, around FFXCOPKWY, and around 50, get more disruptive than originally planned, perhaps to take advantage of reduced travel due to COVID?
Title: Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on November 08, 2020, 10:27:05 PM
Is it me or did the 66 construction plans, with the lane shutdowns especially west of 29, EB just west of 28, around FFXCOPKWY, and around 50, get more disruptive than originally planned, perhaps to take advantage of reduced travel due to COVID?

Correct - I have read that they've been able to take more risks with shuffling new road and ramp configurations too.

That being said - anyone hear? The new NB 28 overpass should be opened now, and the last light at Braddock is gone as well. I believe the overpass connection with Walney is also coming this week.