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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: cpzilliacus on May 16, 2018, 12:42:36 PM

Title: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 16, 2018, 12:42:36 PM
WTOP Radio: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond? Business leaders push them to ease traffic jams (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/05/business-leaders-want-more-toll-lanes-around-dc-area/)

Quote
A group of powerful business leaders is calling for more toll lanes on highways from Richmond, Virginia, to Baltimore.

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The first focus of the Greater Washington Partnership’s toll lane push is expected to be on Maryland’s plans for toll lanes around the Capital Beltway and up part of Interstate 270, with lobbying from the CEOs of some of the largest companies in Maryland, Virginia and the District to get the rules in Maryland to match those on Virginia’s Interstate 495 Express Lanes.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: plain on May 16, 2018, 02:44:28 PM
WTOP Radio: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond? Business leaders push them to ease traffic jams (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/05/business-leaders-want-more-toll-lanes-around-dc-area/)

Quote
A group of powerful business leaders is calling for more toll lanes on highways from Richmond, Virginia, to Baltimore.

Quote
The first focus of the Greater Washington Partnership’s toll lane push is expected to be on Maryland’s plans for toll lanes around the Capital Beltway and up part of Interstate 270, with lobbying from the CEOs of some of the largest companies in Maryland, Virginia and the District to get the rules in Maryland to match those on Virginia’s Interstate 495 Express Lanes.
Ummm....(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180516/2ab6556df4dc93cefb18253538ff34d2.jpg)

SM-S820L

Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 16, 2018, 02:56:03 PM

Ummm....(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180516/2ab6556df4dc93cefb18253538ff34d2.jpg)

SM-S820L

There's no need for toll roads or managed HOV/toll lanes need to be owned outright or leased to a private-sector toll concession.

Not even a concession owned by Rich Uncle PennyBags (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Uncle_Pennybags) (sometimes called Monopoly Man).
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: plain on May 16, 2018, 03:41:59 PM
Lol agreed. Maybe I would've felt differently about all of these HOT lanes popping up if they were ran by a classic public authority or by the state(s) but I feel like these private owners are charging whatever they feel like charging. But at least the Norfolk ones are reasonable.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 16, 2018, 03:55:58 PM
Not really sure where HOT lanes in the Richmond metro area would even work. Furthermore, the I-95 reversible HOT lanes likely can't be extended any further south than Exit 126 due to the financial and logistical limitations of the current system. Seems like some sort of publicity stunt IMO.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: TheOneKEA on May 16, 2018, 07:10:45 PM
Not really sure where HOT lanes in the Richmond metro area would even work. Furthermore, the I-95 reversible HOT lanes likely can't be extended any further south than Exit 126 due to the financial and logistical limitations of the current system. Seems like some sort of publicity stunt IMO.

IMO it was not optimal to extend the HOT lanes as far south as they were. The longer the reversible carriage way gets, the harder it becomes to quickly and easily reverse its flow to suit the traffic situation, and the more problems it causes at the ramps to and from the GP lanes. It would have been far more optimal, IMO, to have built two carriageways like the MDTA did north of Baltimore.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 16, 2018, 10:55:52 PM
IMO it was not optimal to extend the HOT lanes as far south as they were. The longer the reversible carriage way gets, the harder it becomes to quickly and easily reverse its flow to suit the traffic situation, and the more problems it causes at the ramps to and from the GP lanes. It would have been far more optimal, IMO, to have built two carriageways like the MDTA did north of Baltimore.

Unless they build that all the way to the 14th Street Bridge then it would not be a matching and functional design.  As it was the reversible roadway between south of Springfield and the 14th Street Bridge was completed back in 1975.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 17, 2018, 09:23:31 AM
The longer the reversible carriage way gets, the harder it becomes to quickly and easily reverse its flow to suit the traffic situation

AFAIK, the reversible lanes operate on a set schedule that isn't changed due to traffic flow.  Yes, it takes longer to clear them out when the lanes are longer, but that happens in the middle of the day/night, when traffic volumes are lower.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Henry on May 17, 2018, 09:28:09 AM
Hey, it's I-95! But yeah, I don't see any need for any HOT lanes, especially in the current configuration between DC and Fredericksburg.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 17, 2018, 09:52:30 AM
Hey, it's I-95! But yeah, I don't see any need for any HOT lanes, especially in the current configuration between DC and Fredericksburg.

Have you ever sat in the congestion on I-95 between DC and Fredericksburg?
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 17, 2018, 10:06:31 AM
The longer the reversible carriage way gets, the harder it becomes to quickly and easily reverse its flow to suit the traffic situation
AFAIK, the reversible lanes operate on a set schedule that isn't changed due to traffic flow.  Yes, it takes longer to clear them out when the lanes are longer, but that happens in the middle of the day/night, when traffic volumes are lower.

AFAIK, the southernmost extension proposal is to Massaponax.  South of there the directional spilt for rush hours is little or nothing.  No need for reversible lanes south of there.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 17, 2018, 10:26:07 AM
The longer the reversible carriage way gets, the harder it becomes to quickly and easily reverse its flow to suit the traffic situation
AFAIK, the reversible lanes operate on a set schedule that isn't changed due to traffic flow.  Yes, it takes longer to clear them out when the lanes are longer, but that happens in the middle of the day/night, when traffic volumes are lower.

AFAIK, the southernmost extension proposal is to Massaponax.  South of there the directional spilt for rush hours is little or nothing.  No need for reversible lanes south of there.

I think there's enough people commuting from there to DC/NoVA to warrant a directional split.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: AlexandriaVA on May 17, 2018, 11:05:59 AM
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was largely responsible for the push for a private operator of the HOT lanes in VA. I'm not sure if this was for ideological reasons (preference for private vendors and operators), financial (from a state budget perpsective) or financial (from Mr. McDonnell's perpsective, who was known to take gifts from private interests).

The I-66 HOT lane facility is operated by the state government, by contrast.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2018, 11:17:46 AM
Not really sure where HOT lanes in the Richmond metro area would even work. Furthermore, the I-95 reversible HOT lanes likely can't be extended any further south than Exit 126 due to the financial and logistical limitations of the current system. Seems like some sort of publicity stunt IMO.

There are ways that the concessionaire can speed the reversal of the lanes, such as using two or even three teams to drive the lanes after they close in one direction and prior to reversal.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2018, 11:21:36 AM
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was largely responsible for the push for a private operator of the HOT lanes in VA. I'm not sure if this was for ideological reasons (preference for private vendors and operators), financial (from a state budget perpsective) or financial (from Mr. McDonnell's perpsective, who was known to take gifts from private interests).

The I-66 HOT lane facility is operated by the state government, by contrast.

The ideology  favoring private-sector toll concession projects goes back to the administration of George F. Allen (R), in office 1994 to 1998, when the Public-Private Partnership Transportation Act was passed and signed into law by Allen.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 17, 2018, 11:58:51 AM
Not really sure where HOT lanes in the Richmond metro area would even work. Furthermore, the I-95 reversible HOT lanes likely can't be extended any further south than Exit 126 due to the financial and logistical limitations of the current system. Seems like some sort of publicity stunt IMO.

There are ways that the concessionaire can speed the reversal of the lanes, such as using two or even three teams to drive the lanes after they close in one direction and prior to reversal.

How are the lanes closed?  Are the closed all at one time, sections at one time, or in sequential order based on the flow of traffic. 

Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 17, 2018, 02:08:10 PM
Not really sure where HOT lanes in the Richmond metro area would even work. Furthermore, the I-95 reversible HOT lanes likely can't be extended any further south than Exit 126 due to the financial and logistical limitations of the current system. Seems like some sort of publicity stunt IMO.

There are ways that the concessionaire can speed the reversal of the lanes, such as using two or even three teams to drive the lanes after they close in one direction and prior to reversal.

How are the lanes closed?  Are the closed all at one time, sections at one time, or in sequential order based on the flow of traffic.

I think they're all closed to new users at the same time.  Then, once the lanes are empty, they're opened to the reverse flow of traffic.  And I sort of assumed they used cameras to determine when the lanes were clear of traffic and could be reversed, not teams of drivers.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Mapmikey on May 17, 2018, 09:07:23 PM
Hey, it's I-95! But yeah, I don't see any need for any HOT lanes, especially in the current configuration between DC and Fredericksburg.

Have you ever sat in the congestion on I-95 between DC and Fredericksburg?

Ooh Ooh! Pick me! Pick Me!
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: 1995hoo on May 17, 2018, 09:10:23 PM
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was largely responsible for the push for a private operator of the HOT lanes in VA. I'm not sure if this was for ideological reasons (preference for private vendors and operators), financial (from a state budget perpsective) or financial (from Mr. McDonnell's perpsective, who was known to take gifts from private interests).

The I-66 HOT lane facility is operated by the state government, by contrast.


The I-495 lanes were contracted for by Tim Kaine’s administration, not McDonnell’s. I don’t recall the timing on the I-95 deal. I-66 inside the Beltway is run by VDOT; i-66 outside the Beltway will be a PPTA arrangement (agreed to by the McAuliffe administration).
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 17, 2018, 09:21:27 PM
How are the lanes closed?  Are the closed all at one time, sections at one time, or in sequential order based on the flow of traffic.
I think they're all closed to new users at the same time.  Then, once the lanes are empty, they're opened to the reverse flow of traffic.  And I sort of assumed they used cameras to determine when the lanes were clear of traffic and could be reversed, not teams of drivers.

That is the way it has always worked, from the first 11 mile installation in 1975 between south of Springfield and the Eads Street interchange where the express lanes become dual-divided.  Close all the gates for that direction, let the traffic empty out, conduct a flushing operation to remove any disabled vehicles (rare today but common back in the days of carburators and bias ply tires), then open all the gates for the opposite direction.  Back in the days with widely spaced cameras they did need to use at least one vehicle to run the length and verify that it is clear.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2018, 11:50:56 PM
Back in the days with widely spaced cameras they did need to use at least one vehicle to run the length and verify that it is clear.

Transurban, no longer VDOT, now runs the reversal operation from the current south end just south of I-95 Exit 143 (VA-610, Garrisonville Road) in Stafford County - to the north end on I-395 still at Eads Street near the Pentagon in Arlington County, as described above.  I believe it is still done by at least one Transurban truck running the entire length of the managed lanes before the managed lanes are opened to traffic in the "other" direction. 

The I-395 part of the corridor, from Turkeycock Run (near the  Fairfax County/City of Alexandria border to  Eads Street) is still run as an HOV-3 facility, though it will become an HOV/Toll facility in relatively near future (Transurban is currently adding a third lane to the two existing lanes).
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 18, 2018, 06:17:43 AM
Transurban, no longer VDOT, now runs the reversal operation from the current south end just south of I-95 Exit 143 (VA-610, Garrisonville Road) in Stafford County - to the north end on I-395 still at Eads Street near the Pentagon in Arlington County, as described above.  I believe it is still done by at least one Transurban truck running the entire length of the managed lanes before the managed lanes are opened to traffic in the "other" direction. 

Camera coverage is at least one per mile and theoretically may be able to view the entire reversible roadway, but in rainy weather probably not.

The I-395 part of the corridor, from Turkeycock Run (near the  Fairfax County/City of Alexandria border to  Eads Street) is still run as an HOV-3 facility, though it will become an HOV/Toll facility in relatively near future (Transurban is currently adding a third lane to the two existing lanes).

I drove that a few weeks ago and it is well under construction.   I did drive that new reversible HOV ramp at Seminary Road about a year ago.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 18, 2018, 05:06:52 PM
I feel like I read somewhere VDOT was considering an extension of the HOT lanes from the Springfield interchange to Wilson Bridge. Anyone know if that's true or not? Not really sure how it would work due to the space limitations and current Thru and Local set up. Regardless, there appears to be enough room to add a 3rd thru lane in each direction, something that section of the Beltway could definitely use.
 
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 18, 2018, 05:35:43 PM
I feel like I read somewhere VDOT was considering an extension of the HOT lanes from the Springfield interchange to Wilson Bridge. Anyone know if that's true or not? Not really sure how it would work due to the space limitations and current Thru and Local set up. Regardless, there appears to be enough room to add a 3rd thru lane in each direction, something that section of the Beltway could definitely use.

The 7.5 mile WWB Project includes future 3rd lanes on the express roadways.  It looks like a couple short sections were omitted near US-1, probably pending building the future HOV easterly ramps between US-1 and I-495.

I can't seem to find it now, but there was a "I-495 Gap Project" study to address the section between the Springfield Interchange and the WWB Project, that currently has 4 lanes each way.  One proposal was to widen that to 5 lanes each way with the inner lane HOV, and thus have HOV/busway lanes extended from Springfield to east of MD-210 Indian Head Highway.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 19, 2018, 03:10:29 PM
I feel like I read somewhere VDOT was considering an extension of the HOT lanes from the Springfield interchange to Wilson Bridge. Anyone know if that's true or not? Not really sure how it would work due to the space limitations and current Thru and Local set up. Regardless, there appears to be enough room to add a 3rd thru lane in each direction, something that section of the Beltway could definitely use.

The 7.5 mile WWB Project includes future 3rd lanes on the express roadways.  It looks like a couple short sections were omitted near US-1, probably pending building the future HOV easterly ramps between US-1 and I-495.

I can't seem to find it now, but there was a "I-495 Gap Project" study to address the section between the Springfield Interchange and the WWB Project, that currently has 4 lanes each way.  One proposal was to widen that to 5 lanes each way with the inner lane HOV, and thus have HOV/busway lanes extended from Springfield to east of MD-210 Indian Head Highway.

Interesting. I guess the question is when exactly a project like that will actually happen. My guess is that VDOT is probably waiting for Maryland to finalize their own Beltway Express Lanes Plan first, and then will decide what to do from there.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 19, 2018, 03:47:41 PM
I can't seem to find it now, but there was a "I-495 Gap Project" study to address the section between the Springfield Interchange and the WWB Project, that currently has 4 lanes each way.  One proposal was to widen that to 5 lanes each way with the inner lane HOV, and thus have HOV/busway lanes extended from Springfield to east of MD-210 Indian Head Highway.
Interesting. I guess the question is when exactly a project like that will actually happen. My guess is that VDOT is probably waiting for Maryland to finalize their own Beltway Express Lanes Plan first, and then will decide what to do from there.

I personally would like to see it get done soon.  The entire WWB Project was complete by 2013, and it is time to make use of those future lanes as soon as possible.  I do not believe there is any current or future ridership warrant for rail transit across the WWB.  The decision should be HOV or HOT.

It is only about 1.7 miles, given that the WWB has one future HOV lane each way, the gap project would not feasibly have more than one HOV lane each way, they could build the gap project and then open HOV/busway lanes between I-395 and east of MD-210 Indian Head Highway which is 10 miles.  These lanes would interface with the current direct connections to the I-95/I-395 HOT and the I-495 HOT.

There are two unbuilt WWB project segments that are not needed until the HOV service starts --
- Northerly ramps between US-1 and Beltway HOV
- Northerly ramps between Beltway HOV and I-295

Enhanced HOV and express bus service on the corridor.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Jmiles32 on May 19, 2018, 04:13:36 PM
I personally would like to see it get done soon.  The entire WWB Project was complete by 2013, and it is time to make use of those future lanes as soon as possible.  I do not believe there is any current or future ridership warrant for rail transit across the WWB.  The decision should be HOV or HOT.
Agreed

There are two unbuilt WWB project segments that are not needed until the HOV service starts --
- Northerly ramps between US-1 and Beltway HOV
- Northerly ramps between Beltway HOV and I-295

Did these unbuilt HOV ramps ever make it to the design phase?
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: 1995hoo on May 19, 2018, 04:22:55 PM
Our district's member of the Board of Supervisors has referred to the Beltway between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge split into local/thru lanes as the "forgotten segment." He rather strongly indicated at our HOA's most recent annual meeting that no work on there is in the cards in the near term. Perhaps Maryland's project, if it actually happens, will be the event that pushes Virginia to do something along there.

It'd be nice if a reconstruction would include a rebuild for the Van Dorn interchange, which is failing due to an inadequate offramp layout that's essentially unchanged since it was built in the 1960s (the one change was an additional onramp from northbound Van Dorn to the Outer Loop).

BTW, regarding rail transit across the bridge, I read somewhere, but I don't remember where, that WMATA was very skeptical of the concept because of the drawbridge. Seems to me that ought to be the least of WMATA's concerns, but setting that aside, I certainly think their priority ought to be getting what they have operating properly before they expand further (aside from the Silver Line extension, of course), so they shouldn't be considering subway service over the bridge. At one point, DC was supposedly exploring the very ambitious concept of a streetcar line from the Anacostia Metro stop to National Harbor. If they could do that (which I doubt!), and if they could get Virginia to cooperate (which I also doubt), it'd be a nice idea to extend the line over the bridge to connect to the Yellow Line at Huntington or Eisenhower Avenue. I highly doubt any of that has any chance of ever happening.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 19, 2018, 04:31:35 PM
There are two unbuilt WWB project segments that are not needed until the HOV service starts --
- Northerly ramps between US-1 and Beltway HOV
- Northerly ramps between Beltway HOV and I-295
Did these unbuilt HOV ramps ever make it to the design phase?

Yes, at least to a 60% design phase.  They were shown on the segment schematic for the whole project.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 19, 2018, 04:36:50 PM
BTW, regarding rail transit across the bridge, I read somewhere, but I don't remember where, that WMATA was very skeptical of the concept because of the drawbridge. Seems to me that ought to be the least of WMATA's concerns, but setting that aside, I certainly think their priority ought to be getting what they have operating properly before they expand further (aside from the Silver Line extension, of course), so they shouldn't be considering subway service over the bridge. At one point, DC was supposedly exploring the very ambitious concept of a streetcar line from the Anacostia Metro stop to National Harbor. If they could do that (which I doubt!), and if they could get Virginia to cooperate (which I also doubt), it'd be a nice idea to extend the line over the bridge to connect to the Yellow Line at Huntington or Eisenhower Avenue. I highly doubt any of that has any chance of ever happening.

Having a drawbridge on a rail transit line is rare but there are some examples.  The WWB opens on average once a month so that should not be an issue.

I read recently that D.C. is considering canceling their streetcar plans entirely.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 21, 2018, 10:46:22 AM
BTW, regarding rail transit across the bridge, I read somewhere, but I don't remember where, that WMATA was very skeptical of the concept because of the drawbridge. Seems to me that ought to be the least of WMATA's concerns, but setting that aside, I certainly think their priority ought to be getting what they have operating properly before they expand further (aside from the Silver Line extension, of course), so they shouldn't be considering subway service over the bridge. At one point, DC was supposedly exploring the very ambitious concept of a streetcar line from the Anacostia Metro stop to National Harbor. If they could do that (which I doubt!), and if they could get Virginia to cooperate (which I also doubt), it'd be a nice idea to extend the line over the bridge to connect to the Yellow Line at Huntington or Eisenhower Avenue. I highly doubt any of that has any chance of ever happening.

Having a drawbridge on a rail transit line is rare but there are some examples.  The WWB opens on average once a month so that should not be an issue.

I read recently that D.C. is considering canceling their streetcar plans entirely.

The CTA has at least two drawbridges, one carrying the Brown and Purple Lines across the Chicago River at Wells Street, one carrying the Green and Pink Lines across the river at Lake Street.

If WMATA ever runs heavy rail over the WWB, I'll eat my hat.  If they ever run light rail across the WWB, I'll eat the brim.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 21, 2018, 11:16:17 AM
I feel like I read somewhere VDOT was considering an extension of the HOT lanes from the Springfield interchange to Wilson Bridge. Anyone know if that's true or not? Not really sure how it would work due to the space limitations and current Thru and Local set up. Regardless, there appears to be enough room to add a 3rd thru lane in each direction, something that section of the Beltway could definitely use.

The 7.5 mile WWB Project includes future 3rd lanes on the express roadways.  It looks like a couple short sections were omitted near US-1, probably pending building the future HOV easterly ramps between US-1 and I-495.

I can't seem to find it now, but there was a "I-495 Gap Project" study to address the section between the Springfield Interchange and the WWB Project, that currently has 4 lanes each way.  One proposal was to widen that to 5 lanes each way with the inner lane HOV, and thus have HOV/busway lanes extended from Springfield to east of MD-210 Indian Head Highway.

Interesting. I guess the question is when exactly a project like that will actually happen. My guess is that VDOT is probably waiting for Maryland to finalize their own Beltway Express Lanes Plan first, and then will decide what to do from there.

Hopefully if VA has plans, they're working with Maryland *now* to see how they can meet them, rather than having a potential fatal flaw that'll require additional work to make the project work.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2018, 11:38:24 AM
If WMATA ever runs heavy rail over the WWB, I'll eat my hat.  If they ever run light rail across the WWB, I'll eat the brim.

I tend to agree. Supposedly the unused lanes on the middle spans can accommodate rail if it were to be desired (WMATA's technical staff was consulted during preliminary and final engineering of the crossing).

Reasons why it will likely not happen:

EDIT: One more item.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 21, 2018, 01:24:01 PM
If WMATA ever runs heavy rail over the WWB, I'll eat my hat.  If they ever run light rail across the WWB, I'll eat the brim.

I will eat both and then blow my groceries.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 21, 2018, 03:34:06 PM
If WMATA ever runs heavy rail over the WWB, I'll eat my hat.  If they ever run light rail across the WWB, I'll eat the brim.

I tend to agree. Supposedly the unused lanes on the middle spans can accommodate rail if it were to be desired (WMATA's technical staff was consulted during preliminary and final engineering of the crossing).

Reasons why it will likely not happen:

  • Cost to construct, including long structures to get rail vehicles from what is effectively the median of the Capital Beltway to desired locations.
  • This project would need approval from the two state general assemblies, and I am not at all sure they would be willing to give that approval.  It would probably also need approval from the D.C. Council, since part of the bridge is in D.C. territory.
  • WMATA has its hands full now with getting the existing Metrorail system to a state of good repair, and it is having to spend a lot of money that might otherwise go to a rail line over the Wilson Bridge.
  • Maryland is spending a large sum of money constructing the Purple Line (https://www.purplelinemd.com/en/) between Prince George's County and Montgomery County.
  • Land use on both sides of the Potomac River is not especially transit-supportive (yes, National Harbor is a large draw for tourist traffic and some of its employees do ride WMATA bus service to get there, but still, it is located in  a very suburban area).
  • Bus service to and from this area satisfies the demand for transit now, and probably will for many years to come.

I don't really know why they left that as an option at all.  As you said, the lack of a logical connection from any existing line is glaring.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 21, 2018, 03:42:47 PM
If WMATA ever runs heavy rail over the WWB, I'll eat my hat.  If they ever run light rail across the WWB, I'll eat the brim.

I tend to agree. Supposedly the unused lanes on the middle spans can accommodate rail if it were to be desired (WMATA's technical staff was consulted during preliminary and final engineering of the crossing).

Reasons why it will likely not happen:

  • Cost to construct, including long structures to get rail vehicles from what is effectively the median of the Capital Beltway to desired locations.
  • This project would need approval from the two state general assemblies, and I am not at all sure they would be willing to give that approval.  It would probably also need approval from the D.C. Council, since part of the bridge is in D.C. territory.
  • WMATA has its hands full now with getting the existing Metrorail system to a state of good repair, and it is having to spend a lot of money that might otherwise go to a rail line over the Wilson Bridge.
  • Maryland is spending a large sum of money constructing the Purple Line (https://www.purplelinemd.com/en/) between Prince George's County and Montgomery County.
  • Land use on both sides of the Potomac River is not especially transit-supportive (yes, National Harbor is a large draw for tourist traffic and some of its employees do ride WMATA bus service to get there, but still, it is located in  a very suburban area).
  • Bus service to and from this area satisfies the demand for transit now, and probably will for many years to come.

I don't really know why they left that as an option at all.  As you said, the lack of a logical connection from any existing line is glaring.

All you need is a mouth loud enough that claims the ROW will be needed someday, even though logic will never allow it to happen.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: Beltway on May 21, 2018, 06:43:16 PM
  • Land use on both sides of the Potomac River is not especially transit-supportive (yes, National Harbor is a large draw for tourist traffic and some of its employees do ride WMATA bus service to get there, but still, it is located in  a very suburban area).
  • Bus service to and from this area satisfies the demand for transit now, and probably will for many years to come.
I don't really know why they left that as an option at all.  As you said, the lack of a logical connection from any existing line is glaring.

There are bus bays at the Huntington and Eisenhower Avenue and Branch Avenue Metro stations.  High capacity express bus service is possible between those stations and National Harbor using I-495.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 22, 2018, 04:14:54 PM
  • Land use on both sides of the Potomac River is not especially transit-supportive (yes, National Harbor is a large draw for tourist traffic and some of its employees do ride WMATA bus service to get there, but still, it is located in  a very suburban area).
  • Bus service to and from this area satisfies the demand for transit now, and probably will for many years to come.
I don't really know why they left that as an option at all.  As you said, the lack of a logical connection from any existing line is glaring.

There are bus bays at the Huntington and Eisenhower Avenue and Branch Avenue Metro stations.  High capacity express bus service is possible between those stations and National Harbor using I-495.

Already running, though the NH1 (https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/upload/NH1_161218.pdf) bus route from National Harbor to the Green Line runs to the Southern Avenue rail station.  The NH2 (https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/upload/NH2_161218.pdf) serves two rail stations on the Virginia side of the Potomac River (one in Fairfax County and one in the City of Alexandria) for reasons not clear to me.

The NH2 is the only transit service run by WMATA that takes patrons directly from Virginia to Maryland and vice-versa, with no stop in D.C. (though it does enter D.C. briefly on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge).

Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 22, 2018, 04:27:07 PM
  • Land use on both sides of the Potomac River is not especially transit-supportive (yes, National Harbor is a large draw for tourist traffic and some of its employees do ride WMATA bus service to get there, but still, it is located in  a very suburban area).
  • Bus service to and from this area satisfies the demand for transit now, and probably will for many years to come.
I don't really know why they left that as an option at all.  As you said, the lack of a logical connection from any existing line is glaring.

There are bus bays at the Huntington and Eisenhower Avenue and Branch Avenue Metro stations.  High capacity express bus service is possible between those stations and National Harbor using I-495.

Already running, though the NH1 (https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/upload/NH1_161218.pdf) bus route from National Harbor to the Green Line runs to the Southern Avenue rail station.  The NH2 (https://www.wmata.com/schedules/timetables/upload/NH2_161218.pdf) serves two rail stations on the Virginia side of the Potomac River (one in Fairfax County and one in the City of Alexadria for reasons not clear to me.

NH2 serves a total of three rail stations - King Street, Eisenhower Ave, and Huntington.

I'm not sure why it takes the route it takes either, possibly to maximize connections with other bus lines.  Like the 5A route from L'Enfant Plaza to Dulles Airport, these routes are probably intended for people who work at National Harbor, not patrons of NH.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: ixnay on May 22, 2018, 06:44:57 PM
The NH2 is the only transit service run by WMATA that takes patrons directly from Virginia to Maryland and vice-versa, with no stop in D.C. (though it does enter D.C. briefly on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge).

IIRC the draw is the portion of the Wilson that is over D.C. waters.

ixnay

Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: 1995hoo on May 23, 2018, 10:55:59 AM
Depending on the exact route the NH2 uses, serving the Eisenhower Metro may be a no-brainer because of the Beltway express lane entry/exit just east of that stop via Mill Road. Wouldn’t surprise me if the bus serves Tanger Outlets on the Maryland side, which are closer to the route served by the express lane ramps to/from MD-210.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 23, 2018, 11:40:39 AM
Depending on the exact route the NH2 uses, serving the Eisenhower Metro may be a no-brainer because of the Beltway express lane entry/exit just east of that stop via Mill Road. Wouldn’t surprise me if the bus serves Tanger Outlets on the Maryland side, which are closer to the route served by the express lane ramps to/from MD-210.

Oh, that could be.  It looks like a convoluted route on the map, anyway.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: 1995hoo on May 23, 2018, 11:54:41 AM
Depending on the exact route the NH2 uses, serving the Eisenhower Metro may be a no-brainer because of the Beltway express lane entry/exit just east of that stop via Mill Road. Wouldn’t surprise me if the bus serves Tanger Outlets on the Maryland side, which are closer to the route served by the express lane ramps to/from MD-210.

Oh, that could be.  It looks like a convoluted route on the map, anyway.

I have not looked at the map and that’s why I phrased it the way I did as to “depending on the route.”

Edited to add: I just looked at it. The route TO Maryland uses the express lanes via Mill Road. It then serves the MGM before going down to National Harbor and using the local lanes going back to Virginia.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 23, 2018, 01:55:08 PM
NH2 serves a total of three rail stations - King Street, Eisenhower Ave, and Huntington.

The map on the timetable implies a stop there, but the timetable does not show a stop there.  That's why I did not mention it.

The routing of NH2 is contrary to the way that WMATA normally routes buses, which is to route them to one rail station and only one, absent other factors (in this case, the other factor might be that the City of Alexandria wanted the NH2 to follow this route).

I'm not sure why it takes the route it takes either, possibly to maximize connections with other bus lines.  Like the 5A route from L'Enfant Plaza to Dulles Airport, these routes are probably intended for people who work at National Harbor, not patrons of NH.

National Harbor may be the only employment center in Maryland where a majority of the workforce comes from Virginia.  Which I find interesting, since normally Prince George's County, Maryland (where National Harbor is located) is regarded as a bedroom suburb for both Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: abefroman329 on May 23, 2018, 02:55:54 PM
It's also an odd route because it starts at Huntington, goes north to Eisenhower Ave, north to King Street, and then back south to the Beltway.  I guess that's to prevent people coming from Van Dorn or Franconia-Springfield from having to switch to the Yellow Line at King Street and travel one or two stops south to catch the bus, but how many passengers could there be who travel from Van Dorn or Franconia-Springfield to National Harbor?
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 26, 2018, 01:21:36 PM
WTOP Radio: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond? Business leaders push them to ease traffic jams (https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/05/business-leaders-want-more-toll-lanes-around-dc-area/)

[Same group has just issued this]

Washington Post: Region’s CEOs propose ambitious, costly plan to reduce traffic from Baltimore to Richmond (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/regions-ceos-propose-ambitious-costly-plan-to-reduce-traffic-from-baltimore-to-richmond/2018/11/25/10fd46b8-ecf8-11e8-8679-934a2b33be52_story.html?utm_term=.3b70bd9c8fd4)

Quote
An alliance of the region’s top chief executives is urging ambitious, costly steps to improve commuter rail, bus networks and other transportation systems to reduce chronic traffic congestion and bind together the “super region” stretching from Baltimore to Richmond.

Quote
In a report released Monday after 16 months of study, the Greater Washington Partnership says that residents should be able to hop on a train in the morning in the District, Baltimore or Richmond, attend a meeting in one of the other cities and be back in time for lunch.

Quote
Among the recommendations to help achieve that goal, it wants more dedicated bus lanes, coordinated traffic signals, bike trails, variable tolling on highways and possibly requiring drivers to pay a fee to enter downtown Washington.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: epzik8 on February 13, 2019, 08:33:52 PM
Please no.
Title: Re: More toll lanes from Balto. to Richmond?
Post by: sprjus4 on February 13, 2019, 08:52:28 PM
Please no.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster. More attempts to avoid the reality I-95 needs four -free, general purpose- lanes in each direction.