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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: Alex on February 04, 2009, 12:22:16 AM

Title: Virginia
Post by: Alex on February 04, 2009, 12:22:16 AM
3.5-mile toll spur to serve new development proposed from Interstate 95 in Fredericksburg:

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3979 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3979)

Like Fredericksburg needs more sprawl and Interstate 95 through there needs more traffic.   :-/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on February 04, 2009, 01:07:11 AM
Quote
We'll call it the Silver/3 Pike or S3 Pike.

So true.

That area doesn't need any more sprawl. The whole Fredericksburg region is like a giant monument to the Silver Companies and their vast wealth, and I'm not surprised that one of the options for the location of the main toll plaza would benefit them, because customers to their developments wouldn't be tolled.

I also know that no one up there would ever use a toll road, and that this is unlikely to ever be built, like the Outer Connector before it (which pretty much died when the development of Celebrate Virginia before it).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on February 04, 2009, 10:12:30 AM
Argh. Another proposal destined to fail. I really don't see the point of that proposal.
And agreeing with SyntheticDreamer, Spotsylvania County really does not need more suburban sprawl...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on February 04, 2009, 11:11:08 AM
The whole Interstate 95 corridor between Richmond and Washington is the bane of my existence. That road has changed dramatically since the 1980s. A friend and I filmed it in 1994 from D.C. southward to Richmond, and even then it was terrible. Any additional development along the corridor pinches the gridlock that much more and without any alternate corridors (I tried U.S. 1 once, bad mistake), its just fuel on the fire.

DTP, don't know if you saw this, but the proposal to build a new Elizabeth River toll bridge is moving forward: http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3972 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3972)

FYI, I am attempting to move posts that have topics for them out of the general VA thread and into those topics if possible.  We will see how far I get with this.
-Mark
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: akotchi on February 04, 2009, 01:17:25 PM
I have always been curious about the end of the separated HOV lanes on I-95 well south of the Beltway.

First, are they to be extended?  I seem to recall seeing unused pavement and bridge.

Secondly, how much of a time savings can there really be southbound in the afternoon, when the HOV lanes merge into the general lanes?  I seem to recall getting caught up in tieups there and seeing backups in the HOV lanes, too.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on February 04, 2009, 02:20:40 PM
I have always been curious about the end of the separated HOV lanes on I-95 well south of the Beltway.

First, are they to be extended?  I seem to recall seeing unused pavement and bridge.

Secondly, how much of a time savings can there really be southbound in the afternoon, when the HOV lanes merge into the general lanes?  I seem to recall getting caught up in tieups there and seeing backups in the HOV lanes, too.

Each time they extend it, they leave a stub end. Froggie probably has a better idea of where they may end, but in all honesty they should extend southward to Fredericksburg, perhaps where U.S. 17 leaves the freeway for its route east of Interstate 95.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2009, 04:18:37 PM
Is the Staunton bypass complete now? I drove the southern half in 2005 and have not revisited it.

Also I noted on the latest Virginia official state map that Virginia 37 is shown as proposed to continue east of Interstate 81. What is the background on this?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Lyle on February 12, 2009, 03:31:22 PM
Quote
Yes the Staunton bypass is complete (was completed August 2006).  And fully signed as VA 262...it replaced VA 275 on the northern segment.

But it's not a full freeway, is it? Google Maps shows it as just a 2-lane highway with some intersections on the northern part.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 13, 2009, 05:41:43 PM
That's correct.

From I-81 south to west of Old Greenville Rd (but before VA 252), it's a 4-lane freeway.  From there around to US 250, it's a Super-2 Freeway.  From there back around the north side to just west of I-81, it's a Super-2 Expressway.

The section of VA 262(including OLD VA 275) that is two lanes is on a 4-lane ROW throughout similar to VA 171 east of VA 134 to Poquoson right????
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on February 13, 2009, 11:06:25 PM
Is Victory Blvd. (VA-171) actually on a 4-lane ROW? I know there's a stub for the westbound lanes when it transitions right before Hampton Hwy., (VA-134) but I seem to recall there being a ditch and then woods pretty immediately on either side... and I drive through there every day almost...
Actually, upon closer inspection I see that it is... hmm... I remember that now.

Sorry, slightly OT. I should start a topic about these things...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Chris on February 15, 2009, 01:27:26 PM
What was this intended to be? (at the border of Alexandria and Arlington)
(http://i44.tinypic.com/dph6ia.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mightyace on February 16, 2009, 01:08:06 PM
Formerly rail bridges across 4 Mile Run.  The commercial area you see south of the creek and east of US 1 was built on what was originally a huge railway yard.  The area is called "Potomac Yards".

I do some of my shopping there.  It's the closest Best Buy and Barnes & Noble to me, and the second-closest Target.


Interesting.

Since I'm a railfan as well as a road geek, I know that while "Potomac Yards" may have been the official name of the location.  However, railfans and railroad employees alike generally referred to it as "Pot Yard".

(I think that name was made before Pot became a synonym for a certain plant people smoke.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 19, 2009, 04:58:37 PM
I am about 95% sure that this is the case but isn't there now a ramp from VA 168 North to VA 190(Kempsville Rd)?  I believe that it is Exit 12 if it exists.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on February 20, 2009, 08:53:55 PM
Yes there is. I was just down there recently and they were wrapping up some construction on Kempsville, which was the first time I looked and noticed that ramp. It's from 168 North to Kempsville East only though.
And it's already on google earth too btw.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on February 21, 2009, 09:34:08 AM
BTW, that ramp has been there for several years.

Yeah I remember seeing it going to Nags Head about 3.75 years ago.  I just knew it was there but every website that has something on the Chesapeake Expressway(VA 168) still says that there is no connection there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: slinky on March 04, 2009, 05:28:42 PM
What was this intended to be? (at the border of Alexandria and Arlington)

That imagery is a bit dated.  There's been an apartment building and grocery store on that vacant piece of land for a couple of years now.  The bridges are still there though, I think. If Alexandria decides to replace the shopping center to the south with a street grid in the future, I wonder if those bridges would be carrying vehicular traffic.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on March 07, 2009, 11:33:08 AM
Does anyone know exactly what's happening on the VA 288 South C/D Road at US 60?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: flaroads on March 07, 2009, 03:03:00 PM
Does anyone know exactly what's happening on the VA 288 South C/D Road at US 60?

Yes. In a word, sprawl. Westchester Commons (http://www.westchester-commons.com/), a huge outdoor type shopping mall is being constructed at the northwest corner of the interchange. And a part of that construction involves a ramp leading directly to the new shopping area. Nice, eh?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on March 07, 2009, 03:06:38 PM
To go along with flaroadgeek's response:

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/mid-atlantic/us-060_eb_app_va-288.jpg)

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/mid-atlantic/us-060_va-288_sprawl.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on March 07, 2009, 03:10:04 PM
Does anyone know exactly what's happening on the VA 288 South C/D Road at US 60?

Yes. In a word, sprawl. Westchester Commons (http://www.westchester-commons.com/), a huge outdoor type shopping mall is being constructed at the northwest corner of the interchange. And a part of that construction involves a ramp leading directly to the new shopping area. Nice, eh?
 At least it makes sense considering that it has already happened at US 360 with the ramps to/from SR 2055/Commonwealth Centre Pkwy and there will now be four VA 288 South exits(Watkins Centre Pkwy, both US 60 exits, and SR 667/Otterdale Rd).  From the Richmond-Times Dispatch(writes about other improvements in the area as well) http://www.westchester-commons.com/RichmondTimesDispatch_021708.pdf (http://www.westchester-commons.com/RichmondTimesDispatch_021708.pdf) 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on March 25, 2009, 03:11:20 PM
Quote
from SyntheticDreamer  When signs go up, I'll take photos of them so I can send them to both you and Froggie. It actually took three tries for me to get a response from DPW; I guess former Mayor Wilder wasn't interested at the time, and now that Richmond has a new mayor, they're more interested in getting this stuff fixed.
  Could you please post here when they are posted so I can go check the area out if I don't go to Richmond any time soon?  Also I still think it would be much simpler if US 33 stayed on US 250(Broad St) until Belvidere(US 1/US 301) and followed Belvidere to end at VA 33/Leigh St :nod: :spin:
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on April 14, 2009, 11:53:54 AM
Quote
Also I noted on the latest Virginia official state map that Virginia 37 is shown as proposed to continue east of Interstate 81. What is the background on this?
Quote
The Winchester long-range transportation plan envisions VA 37 forming a complete loop, on both sides of I-81.  The southeast leg that appears on the VDOT map (and has been appearing as such since the 1998 map) is the next segment being considered.  'Course, VDOT being as broke as they are, I wouldn't expect to see it anytime soon, let alone the full loop...
  First VDOT plans to survey the  proposed VA 37 (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/frederick_county_-_route_37_survey.asp) east of I-81 with aerial photographs; however, construction is still many years off.  Second VDOT is installing zigzag pavement markings (http://www.virginiadot.org/news/northern_virginia/2009/experimental_pavement_markings_aimed39774.asp) where SR 846/Sterling Blvd and SR 659/Belmont Ridge Rd cross the Washington & Old Dominion(W&OD) Trail in Loudoun County.  Of course even though VDOT is broke there is now construction on VA 106 in Prince George(not far from my house) for a sidewalk at the I-295 underpass extending west to SR 634/Allin Rd. (no wonder toll roads are sprouting across the country)> ;-) :-/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 14, 2009, 02:51:56 PM
^^ The zigzag markings, I think, are a good idea. They'll get more drivers attention, since it's something different. You'll still have some folks that won't pay attention (or care) one way or the other.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Chris on April 14, 2009, 03:21:14 PM
Oh we have those zigzags a lot in the Netherlands. Works quite good to get the drivers attention, especially in build-up areas with lots of trees etc. where a pedestrian / cyclist crossing is not always very clear to see.

They use a similar thing for the side markings in Britain too, but I'm not sure what it's purpose is...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Truvelo on April 15, 2009, 05:47:13 AM
Oh we have those zigzags a lot in the Netherlands. Works quite good to get the drivers attention, especially in build-up areas with lots of trees etc. where a pedestrian / cyclist crossing is not always very clear to see.

They use a similar thing for the side markings in Britain too, but I'm not sure what it's purpose is...

In Britain they're used at crosswalks and it's illegal to stop or park on them. Schools normally have yellow zigzags near the entrance where stopping is forbidden during school hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 15, 2009, 10:39:50 AM
^^ It's illegal to pass along them as well, isn't it?


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Truvelo on April 15, 2009, 01:36:50 PM
^^ It's illegal to pass along them as well, isn't it?

Yeah, that's illegal also although some people turn a blind eye to it. It's the same with the parking restrictions, for example if someone wants to park outside a store to buy something and there's no other space than to park on the zigzags they will do so and stick their hazard flashers on as if it makes it OK to park illegally.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 15, 2009, 01:57:45 PM
^^ Always an easy way for the parking authority to ticket and tow your vehicle, I'm sure. :D


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on April 15, 2009, 08:51:27 PM
In Hawai`i there are zigzag lanes in Hilo on HI 19 - http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/hi_19/emamo.jpg (http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/hi/hi_19/emamo.jpg)

Fixed link... -DTP
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 15, 2009, 10:25:47 PM
^^ Very cool.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on April 17, 2009, 11:13:12 AM
Quote
As for the toll road proposal, it should be pointed out that VA 3 to the west of I-95 is a painful drive due to signals and commercialization.  I'd hazard a bet that the toll road promoters are banking on drivers (commuters especially) wanting to pay a toll to avoid that VA 3 mess.
  The stimulus has also allowed for widening of  VA 3 (http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/042009/04172009/459998)  west of Fredericksburg to six lanes out to Gordon Rd.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on April 27, 2009, 03:26:31 PM
VDOT is making motorists as of May 29 pay exact change or have an EZPASS to exit  VA 76 (http://www.virginiadot.org/news/courthouse_road.asp) North onto SR 653/Courthouse Rd or from SR 653/Courthouse Rd to VA 76 South
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mightyace on April 27, 2009, 03:30:14 PM
^^
At least there still is some kind of cash option.

Most ramp plazas in Illinois are unattended with a case option.  And, even before EZPass/I-Pass, they've been unattended going back 35 or more years.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 27, 2009, 07:42:36 PM
I'm glad we only have one toll road in Metro Atlanta. :D And that route can be avoided several ways.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 29, 2009, 03:44:18 PM
I-295 flyover project officially complete  http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/richmond/2009/i-295_flyover_project_complete40705.asp (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/richmond/2009/i-295_flyover_project_complete40705.asp)  I plan to go up there and take photos on Tuesday(since I get to leave school at noon on even days) :colorful:
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 30, 2009, 02:44:32 AM
The end shields I emailed Richmond about a while ago still have not been posted, nor has the VA 147 direction conundrum been corrected. I'm likely going to be emailing them again in a couple weeks, although the 90 days have been up for some time now.

I also plan to get some photos of the I-295 flyover project myself when I get the chance. Downtown Short Pump (http://www.downtownshortpump.com/), a local e-zine that I contribute photos to, had to use an old photo of the ramp being built because I haven't gotten new photos yet.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 23, 2009, 10:40:11 PM
The I-295 repaving project has finally resumed, with VDOT having set up cones and equipment at Woodman Rd and at US 1. This segment of the project will see I-295's southbound lanes repaved between Woodman Rd and US 1/I-95. Frankly, all of I-295 between I-64 (Short Pump) and I-95 is in dire need of repaving, and the resumption of the project is certainly welcome.

The last remaining section of I-295 between both I-64 exits to be repaved is between I-64 in Short Pump and just past Nuckols Rd, which is probably the bumpier of the two segments. It's a stimulus project and will be repaved this fall.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 05, 2009, 02:31:47 AM
Went to Virginia Beach today (didn't drive but served as a navigator). I noticed that signage within the city has improved quite a bit. Some routes are better posted than they were previously, and a lot of oval shields have been replaced. Unfortunately, the newer shields are either deformed semicircles or Interstate-like shapes. So the signage is better but they have a ways to go.

Old VA 305 is erroneously still posted at the main entrance to Fort Story, but in a semicircle and not an oval. There are also more reassurance markers for US 60 along Shore Dr and Atlantic Ave. VA 190 was well posted at US 58 (but not at I-264 still), as was VA 403. The erroneous VA 343 ovals are now semicircles, but VA 343's southern stub is still not posted.

There is a "decapitated" I-225 shield at the interchange with US 13. Same deal with VA 279 at US 60, but this was noted on the VA Hwys Project already. The US 225 shield on US 60 is still there but I didn't get a photo of it. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few "VA 615" shields lurking about now that Virginia Beach has been putting up more signs.

There's more Clearview, as 74/171FAN captured before. Most of the signage on I-264 has been replaced with carbon copy Clearview, and the BGS for US 60 on northbound US 13 is also Clearview with SHORE DRIVE in all capital letters for some reason. Almost every sign along I-564 is in Clearview now, and I think I-564 is probably the closest to being the first interstate in VA to have 100% Clearview signage (unless I-381 has all Clearview signs now, that is... :p).

The strange, old US 13 and US 60 BGS with the directions inside the route shields is still there.

The VA 564 error at the Naval Exchange is still there.

Nearer to the beach, there is a lot more signage for I-264 now than there used to be. Most of the signage directs traffic to streets other than 22nd Street (which actually becomes I-264) due to congestion, but congestion remains a huge problem. The posted alternates (Norfolk Ave and Laskin Rd/US 58 to Birdneck Rd) are just as congested.

The actual end of US 60 (at the south end of Atlantic) is still not posted. Which is a shame because we went through a ton of trouble to get there (the trip down Atlantic and Pacific took about 30 minutes). The erroneous SOUTH/NORTH US 60 setup at where Atlantic and Pacific split is still there.

I took a lot of photos, and I'll post those later when I've gone through them all. Unfortunately I had to use two different cameras since my Olympus's batteries (I have two packs) both died because I forgot to charge them. :pan:
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 05, 2009, 06:48:37 PM
Photos are here (http://picasaweb.google.com/coredesat/VirginiaBeachHamptonRoads7409#). I haven't finished captioning everything, though.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 14, 2009, 12:55:14 AM
For some reason Richmond has removed the END VA 6 sign at VA 6's eastern terminus at Kensington Ave and Boulevard (VA 161). Seems the sign was removed to make way for a pedestrian signal. The signal was needed, sure, but they really didn't have to remove the sign.

I also found an END VA 161 shield at Commerce Rd & I-95 in southside Richmond the other day.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 16, 2009, 11:36:49 AM
Hampton Roads is trying to get some stimulus money for things such as I-564 and US 58 widening in Suffolk  http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/i564-lesner-bridge-regions-stimulus-wish-list (http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/i564-lesner-bridge-regions-stimulus-wish-list)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 30, 2009, 06:26:42 PM
The I-64 Battlefield Blvd project in Chespeake is now officially complete  http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2009/i-64_battlefield_boulevard_project41966.asp (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2009/i-64_battlefield_boulevard_project41966.asp)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on August 16, 2009, 11:31:21 AM
I've a question about I-64 & I-664 (Hampton Roads Beltway) in Hampton Roads. Wouldn't it be easier to begin/end I-64 in Hampton, and have I-664 take over the entire beltway? That would end the confusion, wouldn't it?


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 16, 2009, 12:19:53 PM
That got discussed in another thread last month, and it gets brought up in the Virginian Pilot (Norfolk-area newspaper) at least once a year.

To make a long story short, the route numbering won't change because the cities can't come to an agreement on how to renumber the Interstates, and nobody who currently has I-64 wants to give up being on a "major 2-digit Interstate".

This is partially why the Hampton Roads Beltway designation was created....though based on experience, almost nobody down in Tidewater uses the beltway designation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on August 16, 2009, 12:55:12 PM
^^ Okay, thanks.

But, for sake of argument, I-664 couldn't take over the entire beltway and the other spur routes stay in tact?


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 16, 2009, 03:58:26 PM
At this point it might be easier just to make the whole beltway I-64 and find some creative way to sign it. Or we can leave it alone. ;)

BTW, I was in the Williamsburg area yesterday (re-clinching VA 359 in the process). VA 359 is no longer signed with directional banners like it was before it was rerouted. There is one VA 359 shield southbound near an entrance to the Jamestown Settlement, but no shields northbound or at the Colonial Parkway (which is understandable). It's also currently impossible to go anywhere from the southern end of VA 359, as part of the Colonial Parkway is closed due to bridge repair. I did take photos (including of the western end of the Colonial Parkway) and I'll post them later. I would've gone into Jamestown to see how the Parkway is signed from in there, but I'm not paying $10 to visit a place I've already been to once in my life! :p

The error US 359 shields mentioned on the VA Hwys Project are long gone.

On another note, there are now overhead END VA 143 signs near Camp Peary and the I-64 interchange. I think I might've seen an end shield near the entrance to Camp Peary, but I didn't want to go near it. :p
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 16, 2009, 05:29:02 PM
Quote
But, for sake of argument, I-664 couldn't take over the entire beltway and the other spur routes stay in tact?

It could, yes.

More realistic is I-664 taking over I-64 between Bower's Hill (I-64/264/664) and the I-264 interchange in Norfolk.  That's really the only segment that's "directionally challenged" to begin with...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on September 03, 2009, 04:40:59 PM
The older BGSes on VA 195 westbound (the distance sign and Belvidere St signs) have been replaced with Clearview signs. I don't know if the one on 12th St at the ramp to VA 195 has also been replaced.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: City on September 11, 2009, 08:51:38 PM
Have you noticed yet that when Interstate 74 is extended into VA with I-77, and junctions I-81, it would form an interstate triplex?   :)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2009, 09:15:18 PM
Chances are, the occasionally-talked-about splitting of the I-77 and I-81 duplex will have been built before that happens...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on September 13, 2009, 12:18:12 AM
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/ROAD12_20090911-220209/292321/ (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/article/ROAD12_20090911-220209/292321/)  Some of the stimulus money is going to widen VA 10 in Chester and US 250 in Goochland along with widening SR 802(Lewistown Rd) around I-95 which includes replacing the bridge over I-95 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on September 20, 2009, 04:07:17 PM
Are or were there plans to extend Prince William Parkway northwest?

http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=38.797544~-77.570236&style=h&lvl=16&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1 (http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=38.797544~-77.570236&style=h&lvl=16&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: njroadhorse on September 20, 2009, 05:58:38 PM
Yes, there are
http://www.smartergrowth.net/issues/transportation/roads/outerbeltway/vaouterbeltway/tcpbb/index.html (http://www.smartergrowth.net/issues/transportation/roads/outerbeltway/vaouterbeltway/tcpbb/index.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on September 21, 2009, 12:17:45 AM
IIRC this is one of the proposals for the Tri-County Parkway. It's listed as a proposed VA 411 in the 2001 VDOT route log, source: VA Hwys Project. I really don't like that choice of number, but it doesn't really matter as it isn't likely to happen any time soon, if at all, due to public opposition.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 21, 2009, 09:13:54 AM
Here's VDOT's official site (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/tcp.asp) on the Tri-County Parkway.  PWC's longstanding plans to extend a Manassas/battlefield bypass of VA 234 north of I-66 were eventually rolled into the TCP.  The full TCP may never get built, but I'd hazard a bet that the VA 234 bypass part eventually will...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 16, 2009, 12:46:52 PM
Latest CTB minutes and resolutions are posted.

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings.asp (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings.asp)

Not much worthy of note this month, but frontage road F-100 in Henrico County has been decommissioned. There are also some changes to VA 28's intersection with Steeplechase Dr in Loudoun County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 19, 2009, 05:59:06 PM
Per a good friend of mine, Virginia Beach has done some rearrangement of signage in the city limits. As a result, VA 408 is no longer signed (which is correct, as it was decommissioned a few years ago). However, VA 225 is now erroneously signed on Great Neck Road southbound, part of which is actually VA 279. I'll hopefully get pictures from him in a couple days.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 30, 2009, 01:39:20 PM
The next phase of the John Rolfe Parkway (http://www.downtownshortpump.com/2009/10/29/small-but-important-segment-of-john-rolfe-parkway-opening-friday/) is scheduled to open today. This is a short segment (probably not even half a mile long) connecting US 250 with Three Chopt Rd in the Short Pump area. IIRC, the next segment to be completed after this will be the Three Chopt Rd to Pump Rd segment. All the traffic signals are installed but they hadn't begun paving yet when I was over there a couple weeks ago.
Title: Virginia 37
Post by: Alex on March 04, 2010, 01:20:50 AM

Also I noted on the latest Virginia official state map that Virginia 37 is shown as proposed to continue east of Interstate 81. What is the background on this?

There was a response to this, but it looks like it was deleted. What is the scoop on the Virginia 37 extension east of Interstate 81? Will it go all the way to U.S. 17 & 50, or just U.S. 522? The Virginia Highways 37 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va037.htm) page only indicates:
Quote
Officials since 1998 show a proposed extension of VA 37 southeast across US 522 to US 17-50.
and
Quote
If VA 37 is extended southeast to US 522 or US 17-50, will any of those routes be put on the highway to bypass Winchester?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 04, 2010, 06:22:40 AM
I checked the VDOT site...

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/i-81_exit_310.asp

This mentions that VA 37 will be extended slightly east of I-81 as a result of this project.

The 6-year Improvement Program lists this VA 37 project, which looks to be a full loop east of I-81 all the way back up to I-81 to form a complete VA 37 loop.  Only preliminary engineering is included in the project, it appears.

http://syip.virginiadot.org/LineItemDetail.aspx?syp_scenario_id=158&line_item_id=555559&pf=LineItems.aspx&pfn=Line+Items&showMap=0

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on March 04, 2010, 04:15:19 PM
I checked the VDOT site...

http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/staunton/i-81_exit_310.asp

This mentions that VA 37 will be extended slightly east of I-81 as a result of this project.

The 6-year Improvement Program lists this VA 37 project, which looks to be a full loop east of I-81 all the way back up to I-81 to form a complete VA 37 loop.  Only preliminary engineering is included in the project, it appears.

http://syip.virginiadot.org/LineItemDetail.aspx?syp_scenario_id=158&line_item_id=555559&pf=LineItems.aspx&pfn=Line+Items&showMap=0

Mapmikey

Thanks for posting that.

Really a full loop? That would have to entail a new interchange and tie in with VA 37 west of US 11, as the US 11 diamond on the north end of town is congested with industrial parks and traveler services. The spread diamond interchange looks like it will have to directly front the commercial sprawl at the southwest corner of I-81/VA 37 (their aerial is way out of date). I also see a signalized at-grade displayed to the east, and the existing eastbound side frontage road would be redirected somehow to a north-south road at that same intersection. So much for a full freeway...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 04, 2010, 07:45:13 PM
Perhaps this (http://www.vahighways.com/froggie/winchester-20yr-plan.jpg) will shed some light on things.

It's Winchester's long range plan from ca. 2000, where they envision a full-loop VA 37.  The tie-in on the north end would be about halfway between US 11 and US 522.
Title: A Fourth Virginia 158?
Post by: Alex on March 22, 2010, 11:34:09 AM
The Virginia 158 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va141-160.htm#va158) page on VAHighways indicates two former alignments of Virginia 158 and the current 2.41-mile route in Wise County. However, Bing Maps and the USGS Quad show VA 56-158 overlapped between Colleen and Piney River. Was there a third decommissioned alignment posted between 1943 and 1999?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 22, 2010, 01:59:33 PM
Upon review, yes there was a third, decommed VA 158 (briefly mentioned on both the VA 56 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va049-060.htm#va56) and VA 151 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va141-160.htm#va151) entries).  It was created in 1947, when US 29 was moved to its present-day alignment between Amherst and Colleen.  It followed the former alignment of VA 151 west of Shady Lane to US 60 (VA 151 was thus rerouted along old US 29 to the present-day US 29/VA 151 intersection), then the former US 29 alignment east of Shady Lane/VA 151 to Colleen.  You can see maps of the change under the VA 150 #1 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va141-160.htm#va150) entry.

In 1954, the stretch west of VA 151 was dropped, becoming today's SR 778.

1970 is when the rest of VA 158 (between VA 151 and US 29) was renumbered to VA 56.  I'm not sure when that USGS Quadrangle was created, but if it was around 1970 (entirely plausible), that would explain why it shows both 56 and 158.  And Microsoft conveniently fed on that for the Bing map.  As far as I can tell (and looking at the CTB minutes), there was never a 56/158 duplex...it simply switched from one route number to the other.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on March 23, 2010, 05:59:30 PM
Have you guys seen this page (http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2009/09/new_roads_recommendation.html)?

Quote
A Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) report on the future of U.S. 29 will recommend the consideration of two new roads in the Charlottesville area. The first would extend the University of Virginia’s Leonard Sandridge Road using some portions of the right-of-way previously purchased for the U.S. 29 Western Bypass.  The second would connect U.S. 29 to the 250 Bypass via a partially elevated roadway near the Kroger at Hydraulic Road.

Springer said the idea of a four-lane limited access Western Bypass is "no longer an effective option to serve corridor-wide trips."  However, he said the study would recommend that the right-of-way, currently owned by VDOT be considered as a possible transportation corridor to serve local traffic.. He suggested this could take the form of an extension of Leonard Sandridge Road.

The commercialized hell that is US 29 between the US 250 bypass and the South Fork Rivanna River is such a pleasure to drive!

Quote

"The idea is to extend the parallel road system that comes out of Places29 and taking that down to Route 250," Springer said.

Springer said the study will recommend three potential alternatives for the extension. Alternative 1 would connect Leonard Sandridge Road to the intersection of Georgetown Road and Barracks Road along a new route. Alternatives 2 and 3 would both follow portions of the Western Bypass route, with one connecting at Hydraulic Road near Albemarle High School and the other connecting onto Earlysville Road.

"It would not function as a bypass but would serve local traffic," said Charlie Rasnick, a retired VDOT engineer who is working on the study. He said the idea was to extend the parallel roads concept.
VDOT began purchasing parcels of land along the bypass’s route in the mid-1990's and has spent $33.7 million to acquire at least some of the right-of-way. State law requires the agency to begin selling back those parcels twenty-years after the original purchase date if they are not used.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 24, 2010, 06:50:51 AM
Haven't seen that page specifically, but I have read up on Places29, which discusses both the parallel-roads concept and improvements to 29 itself.
Title: U.S. 501 in Buena Vista
Post by: Alex on March 24, 2010, 04:02:43 PM
On the VAHighways U.S. 501 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/us001.htm#us501) page it states:

Quote
In 2004, US 501 was realigned slightly in Buena Vista, following the former US 501 ALT alignment along Sycamore Ave.  Old US 501 along Magnolia Ave became BUSINESS US 501.

Looking at GSV, the split of U.S. 501 and U.S. 501 Business heading north along Magnolia Avenue at the wye with Sycamore Avenue is signed, but there is no coverage of Sycamore north of there, and no shielding at all along Magnolia north from there.

When I drove through in 2005, signs directed me southward along Beech Avenue. The U.S. 501 shields were coupled with "Truck Route" signs as well. So does U.S. 501 remain along Beech Avenue south from Park Avenue to Sycamore Avenue, or does it turn onto Park Avenue east to make the connection to Sycamore Avenue south? Also, I noted no shields for Business U.S. 501 at Beech and Park or along Park Avenue itself within the immediate vicinity.

Both Bing and Google (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=buena+vista,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.176833,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Buena+Vista,+Virginia&ll=37.738973,-79.354892&spn=0.01215,0.027466&z=16) continue to show the old alignment along Park and Magnolia Avenues as U.S. 501 alone.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on March 24, 2010, 04:17:59 PM
On the US 29 proposal: Outside of redoing the US 250/US 29 interchange, I don't see how that proposal would really relieve traffic that much(even local traffic) especially north of the immediate Hydraulic Rd area.
Title: Re: U.S. 501 in Buena Vista
Post by: hbelkins on March 24, 2010, 04:29:25 PM

Looking at GSV, the split of U.S. 501 and U.S. 501 Business heading north along Magnolia Avenue at the wye with Sycamore Avenue is signed, but there is no coverage of Sycamore north of there, and no shielding at all along Magnolia north from there.

When I drove through in 2005, signs directed me southward along Beech Avenue. The U.S. 501 shields were coupled with "Truck Route" signs as well. So does U.S. 501 remain along Beech Avenue south from Park Avenue to Sycamore Avenue, or does it turn onto Park Avenue east to make the connection to Sycamore Avenue south? Also, I noted no shields for Business U.S. 501 at Beech and Park or along Park Avenue itself within the immediate vicinity.


http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2008_Richmond_trip_Day_3/Pages/545.html and the next page (/546.html) show signage but there are no other clues as to routing.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 24, 2010, 11:27:50 PM
It should be noted that Buena Vista is an independent city.  Need I say more about signage practices? :)

As for mainline US 501, we may need to reevaluate this.  Mike mentioned the change in 2004 based on the signage that I noted that year.  However, VDOT's traffic log still has mainline US 501 following Park Ave/Magnolia Ave, and ALT US 501 following Beech Ave/Sycamore Ave.  I'll probably have to pull in the shapefiles and/or one of us take a trip over that way (which I may do in a couple weeks anyway) to verify one way or the other...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 25, 2010, 07:01:57 AM
US 501 Business in Buena Vista is posted heading SB on the rerouted US 501.  US 501 Business leaves Sycamore at 22nd, cuts over to Magnolia and heads south.

The VDOT on-line map still shows the old alignments, even the south end which is physically different from before.  I just did a hand search of CTB minutes from 2002-2004 and there was no mention of any changes.

I can't recall if 501 SB was posted to turn onto Beech when I first visited in the mid 90s.  It is definitely not posted to do that now.

Here is Sycamore at 22nd, followed by 22nd and Magnolia (pics from Oct 2008).  These postings were still there last time I visited, in Dec 2009.
(http://www.vahighways.com/va-ends/bannered/bus501bv_nt.jpg)
(http://www.vahighways.com/va-ends/bannered/bus501bv_nt_02.jpg)

Mapmikey
Title: Virginia 381 designing
Post by: Alex on March 25, 2010, 07:01:02 PM
The US 501 Buena Vista issue still sound confusing...   :confused:

On the Virginia 381 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va381-400.htm) entry:

Quote
Posting:  Several reports on mtr that VA 381 is no longer posted anywhere

I did not even realize that Virginia 381 signs were taken down until reading this. Reviewing some photos Andy took in May 2007 and some photos I took in July 2005, sure enough, they were all gone. What was the logic in this? I can understand the multiplex south of Euclid on Commonwealth, but the continuation of I-381 as VA 381 to US 11-11E-11W-19-421 made sense.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 25, 2010, 07:18:28 PM
You'd have to ask the city of Bristol...it's their jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 25, 2010, 08:47:22 PM
Due in part to the earlier discussion, I updated the VA 158 #3 (http://www.vahighways.com/route-log/va141-160.htm#va158) entry this evening, as well as a few other route entries.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 25, 2010, 09:01:50 PM
Regarding Buena Vista confusion, there is a history in Virginia of changing route signage and going a long time without making the change formal in the CTB or elsewhere.  For instance, US 17 Bus in Fredericksburg was rerouted in the field in the early 2000s but not on any document I've seen.  Another example is the creation of US 60 Truck in Lexington.  The longest lived examples I can think of are the US 60 END sign in Virginia Beach (if the intent was to move 60 onto Pacific all the way) and the US 60 duplex with itself in Newport News, which has been around awhile but is not reflected in documents.  VA 31 wasn't officially truncated out of Camp Peary until the late 60s even though it was closed to the public during WW2 IIRC.

VA 113 was also fully deposted in Bristol based on all reports I have seen.  I'm going to try to get out there this summer to see if I can find a stray shield.

As I advocate in the upcoming update to the 381-400 page, VA 381 could either be Green I-381 or US 19 (which should also replace VA 140 - US 19 is a through route and could easily behave like US 58 in this area).

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on March 25, 2010, 09:57:41 PM

VA 113 was also fully deposted in Bristol based on all reports I have seen.  I'm going to try to get out there this summer to see if I can find a stray shield.

As I advocate in the upcoming update to the 381-400 page, VA 381 could either be Green I-381 or US 19 (which should also replace VA 140 - US 19 is a through route and could easily behave like US 58 in this area).

Mapmikey


VA 381 was fully posted when the cutouts were removed and replaced with modern signage. Now those signs are gone.

There are no VA 113 signs out there, either. I was in Bristol summer before last and drove through town pretty extensively, checking for leftover cutouts and the new alignment of US 421. Saw no VA 113 signage, and don't remember any new signage for that route being installed when the cutouts were removed throughout the city.
Title: Removed Virginia 381 signage
Post by: Alex on March 25, 2010, 11:50:06 PM
Virginia 381 removed signage:
(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011_019_sb_at_us-011e_011w_421.jpg)

Note the empty space north of the I-81 shield.

Commonwealth Avenue south of Euclid:
before (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011e_019_421_va-381_sb_after_merge.jpg) and after (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011e_019_421_sb_after_us-011.jpg)

This sign assembly was removed completely:

(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011w_nb_421_sb_app_us-011_011e_019_02.jpg)

As was this one:

(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011w_nb_421_sb_at_us-011_011e_019_03.jpg)

Priority is now given to the sign bridge (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia010/us-011w_nb_421_sb_at_us-011_011e_019_02.jpg).


The story is the same along Commonwealth Avenue. I have photos of Andy and Carter's from May 2007 to post in my next update, which will revamp the I-381/VA 381 entry.
In the meantime, I added their photos of US 11 (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0011va), US 11E (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0011eva), US 11W (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0011wva), which also covers US 19 (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0019va) and US 421 (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0421va).

Also made a small update to US 501 (http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0501va). I may or may have not gotten the situation at Beech and Park Avenues in Buena Vista correct...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 26, 2010, 08:43:31 AM
your description of US 501 Bus is incorrect.  It leaves Beech at 22nd and used 22nd to Magnolia.  The photos of the US 501 Business shields earlier in this thread show this alignment.  Magnolia north of 22nd is no longer 501-anything.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on March 26, 2010, 12:12:10 PM
your description of US 501 Bus is incorrect.  It leaves Beech at 22nd and used 22nd to Magnolia.  The photos of the US 501 Business shields earlier in this thread show this alignment.  Magnolia north of 22nd is no longer 501-anything.

Mapmikey

I was uncertain if it followed Park Avenue to Sycamore. Your description above addresses the correct alignment, and I will update the page accordingly, thanks!
Title: Old U.S. 211 in New Market?
Post by: Alex on March 26, 2010, 02:01:58 PM
Was Old Cross Road (SSR 1002) leading east from U.S. 11/211 in New Market to Lee Highway the original alignment of U.S. 211?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=new+market,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.77044,84.814453&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=New+Market,+Shenandoah,+Virginia&ll=38.647679,-78.671014&spn=0.012904,0.028882&t=h&z=16
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 26, 2010, 03:15:14 PM
Yes it was.  Couldn't tell you when it was moved to the current alignment, but the old alignment appears on the 1936 county map.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 26, 2010, 04:47:59 PM
US 211 was removed from SR 1002 in the Feb 1951 CTB (has the same project number matching a 1949 contract for construction on US 211 from US 11 to west of Smith Creek...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on March 30, 2010, 11:38:28 PM
Check out how badly (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=weber+city,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=46.812293,114.521484&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Weber+City,+Scott,+Virginia&ll=36.629374,-82.54642&spn=0.011727,0.036135&t=h&z=16) the aerial, map data, and street view photography jive at the reconfigured US 23/58/421 and VA 224 junctions.

Edited to 421 instead of 221
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on March 31, 2010, 03:56:17 PM
Check out how badly (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=weber+city,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=46.812293,114.521484&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Weber+City,+Scott,+Virginia&ll=36.629374,-82.54642&spn=0.011727,0.036135&t=h&z=16) the aerial, map data, and street view photography jive at the reconfigured US 23/58/421 and VA 224 junctions.
  I think that might have been the worse I've seen by far.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on March 31, 2010, 11:46:59 PM
Check out how badly (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=weber+city,+va&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=46.812293,114.521484&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Weber+City,+Scott,+Virginia&ll=36.629374,-82.54642&spn=0.011727,0.036135&t=h&z=16) the aerial, map data, and street view photography jive at the reconfigured US 23/58/421 and VA 224 junctions.

Edited to 421 instead of 221

The map is pretty much accurate. I drove the new configuration last Friday, turning from US 23 south to US 58 east. The through connection here is now VA 224, which is now signed from US 23.

But there is more work to be done here, right?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on April 01, 2010, 06:27:53 AM
Phases 2 and 3 of this project wil tie VA 72 to this area as new construction.  According to VDOT's website ROW acquisition completion and start of construction are on hold pending funding.

The disparity of satellite vs. street view dates back to at least May 2008 when I took these pictures:
http://www.vahighways.com/va-ends/va200/va224_nt.jpg
http://www.vahighways.com/va-ends/va200/va224_nt_02.jpg


Another disparity (not as bad as this one I suppose) I found earlier this week was at the US 89-180 jct in Flagstaff
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=flagstaff,+az&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.550571,90.175781&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Flagstaff,+Coconino,+Arizona&ll=35.220941,-111.587223&spn=0.006688,0.011008&t=h&z=17

Street view and the map show the interchange shown in the satellite removed (and a US 89 END shield has been put up)

Mapmikey

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on April 01, 2010, 10:44:49 AM

Another disparity (not as bad as this one I suppose) I found earlier this week was at the US 89-180 jct in Flagstaff
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=flagstaff,+az&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.550571,90.175781&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Flagstaff,+Coconino,+Arizona&ll=35.220941,-111.587223&spn=0.006688,0.011008&t=h&z=17

Street view and the map show the interchange shown in the satellite removed (and a US 89 END shield has been put up)

Mapmikey



Why would anyone remove a grade-separated interchange and replace it with a T intersection with a traffic light?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: rawmustard on April 01, 2010, 11:06:08 AM
Why would anyone remove a grade-separated interchange and replace it with a T intersection with a traffic light?
Maybe traffic levels have dropped to the point where all that's necessary is an at-grade rather than taking on the expense of replacing and maintaining bridges. There's been a few places in Michigan where this has happened.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on April 01, 2010, 01:01:02 PM
Replacing a trumpet interchange with a signalized intersection?  :banghead:



(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia077/i-077_sb_081_nb_exit_077_04.jpg)

Anyone recall what was displayed on this sign for I-77/81 Exit 77?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 01, 2010, 02:28:40 PM
Quote
Replacing a trumpet interchange with a signalized intersection?

Brian mentioned one possibility.  Another possibility is that the old interchange was sub-standard, bringing it up to standard was cost- or ROW-prohibitive, but a traffic signal could adequately handle traffic volumes.  One item leading credence to this theory is the bridge over the railroad was replaced.

Quote
Anyone recall what was displayed on this sign for I-77/81 Exit 77?

Couldn't tell you myself, but it's likely an off-shoot of when/how I-81 was built through there, effectively an upgrade of the then-existing US 11/52 4-lane highway back in the mid-80s.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on April 01, 2010, 09:25:16 PM
Quote
Replacing a trumpet interchange with a signalized intersection?

Brian mentioned one possibility.  Another possibility is that the old interchange was sub-standard, bringing it up to standard was cost- or ROW-prohibitive, but a traffic signal could adequately handle traffic volumes.  One item leading credence to this theory is the bridge over the railroad was replaced.

I'm thinking that all the bridges had to be replaced, and it's of course a lot cheaper to do one than two.  Then factor in that I-40 probably wasn't there when the trumpet was first constructed.  Finally, the DOT can sell the extra trumpet land for development.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on April 02, 2010, 08:27:50 AM
Quote
Replacing a trumpet interchange with a signalized intersection?


I'm thinking that all the bridges had to be replaced, and it's of course a lot cheaper to do one than two.  Then factor in that I-40 probably wasn't there when the trumpet was first constructed.  Finally, the DOT can sell the extra trumpet land for development.

The original RR bridge is still listed at nationalbridges.com and shows a build date of 1967.  So I believe the trumpet interchange dates to the completion of I-40 in this area, as US 66 didn't use Country Club Rd (used Historic 66 under the RR bridge) prior to I-40.

As for the Exit 77 sign on I-77/81, I do not recall it looking any different from that either.  It is possible the road to the south was in the SR system at one time.  More remote would be a VA 336 shield or the words State Police HQ

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Stephane Dumas on April 05, 2010, 03:02:11 PM
Replacing a trumpet interchange with a signalized intersection?  :banghead:

I don't know if it could had been worse or better then the signalized intersection, how about replacing a trumpet interchange with a roundabout? :confused:
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on April 23, 2010, 01:33:51 PM
In a fit of self-congratulations...

Yesterday after an 18-hour, 930 mile ride, I have clinched the entire (normal) primary highway system in Virginia that is accessible to the public (VA 165Y is not).  Yesterday's ride included VA 70, VA 352 and the final route to be clinched, US 421.  My definition of clinched is highways I have actually driven.

The first Virginia route I clinched was US 21 in 1987.  So it only took 23 years...

The only 300 series routes I have not clinched to my satisfaction are 302, 303, and 314.  A few pieces of the 300-series are not accessible to the public, notably 315 (state capitol, which I -have- driven) and some of the prison routes.

One note from yesterday's ride - VA 370 has two distinct, separate segments (SR 871 and also SR 646) and BOTH are posted with shields.

Of course this is all temporary...until the Hillsville Bypass is opened or some other project comes along...

Mapmikey
Co-curator Virginia Hwys Project
www.vahighways.com



Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 29, 2010, 11:56:20 PM
Noticed something interesting when for some strange reason I checked my rearview mirror exiting the eastbound (formerly 2-way) tube of the HRBT:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=128+River+Walk+Ct,+Hampton,+Virginia+23669&ll=36.984279,-76.30319&spn=0,0.026157&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=36.984358,-76.303262&panoid=93-JIRniLNr-BBe1ADWsqQ&cbp=12,326.22,,0,-13.97
Very old "Do Not Change Lanes In Tunnel" sign. I would assume that it dates to the 70s at the latest--when the HRBT was twin spanned.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on April 30, 2010, 10:47:38 AM
The WB tunnel exit has the same thing, in better shape:

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=128+River+Walk+Ct,+Hampton,+Virginia+23669&t=h&layer=c&cbll=37.001145,-76.317974&panoid=PINFWHM9tYLL89XoTA0FRw&cbp=12,177.02,,0,5&ll=37.001233,-76.318052&spn=0,0.015235&z=16

I'm pretty sure the HRBT is set up to run 2-way traffic on either side if they needed to. 

Incidentally, the EB direction is the newer structure.  It has the older railings now because the WB bridge (1957) used to have no shoulders and some were added in the 90s.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Roadgeek Adam on May 01, 2010, 11:11:55 PM
Quick question - how much of the 4di Parkway Routes (3000, 7100, etc) are actually signed as 3000 or 7100 and such?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 01, 2010, 11:59:28 PM
Quick question - how much of the 4di Parkway Routes (3000, 7100, etc) are actually signed as 3000 or 7100 and such?

There's nothing really special about those routes, they're normal secondary routes built to high or sometimes freeway standards (often with substantial county funding). The Prince William Parkway (SR 3000), Fairfax County Parkway (SR 7100), Franconia-Springfield Parkway (SR 7900), and Centreport Parkway (Stafford County SR 8900, 2-lane for entire route) are all fully posted. My hunch is the numbers were chosen to be more recognizable; these routes aren't primary because they mainly serve one county's interests.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 10, 2010, 03:54:24 PM
According to TOLLROADSnews the I-495/Capital Beltway HOT lanes could eventually be extended to the Potomac.  http://tollroadsnews.com/node/4743 (http://tollroadsnews.com/node/4743)  Honestly I'm not sure how long it would take before money is financed for this.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on May 11, 2010, 07:34:43 AM
Here's the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/08/AR2010050803030.html) article on the subject.

Meanwhile, BRAC will be causing us further problems (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/08/AR2010050803330_3.html?sid=ST2010050900156) in Northern Virginia...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on May 11, 2010, 06:33:37 PM
....and where is all that traffic going to go once it reaches the Potomac? Unless they are planning on eventually widening the American Legion Bridge, that will be just a tad of a bottleneck.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 28, 2010, 10:19:39 AM
(also posted on MTR)

The Opal interchange (where US 17 splits off from US 15/29 south of Warrenton) was advertised for bids (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/culpeper/2010/opal_interchange_project_advertised47269.asp) last week on Wednesday.  Bids will close on 8/25.  I got a PDF with the project layout in an E-mail from VDOT.  Of note:  this project only addresses southbound travel, with a loop ramp for the SB US 17 "through movement", and a ramp from NB 15/29 to SB 17.  Northbound 17 travel, plus travel to the local businesses on the east side of 15/29, will continue to use the existing intersection.

The "interchange" will be centered about halfway between US 17/SR 687 and SR 844, with the roadway rejoining existing US 17 about halfway between SR 844 and SR 663.  Frontage roads will be built on both sides of 15/29 between the new interchange and SR 844.  It appears that SR 844 will dead-end and be cul-de-sac'd on either side of the new roadway.  It also appears that a southbound auxiliary lane will be built between the existing intersection and the new interchange.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Stephane Dumas on July 05, 2010, 06:15:48 PM
According to TOLLROADSnews the I-495/Capital Beltway HOT lanes could eventually be extended to the Potomac.  http://tollroadsnews.com/node/4743 (http://tollroadsnews.com/node/4743)  Honestly I'm not sure how long it would take before money is financed for this.

I guess they could extend it even further north if they reach an agreement with MD DOT to link the HOT lanes with a proposed ETL (Express toll lanes) with I-270 http://www.i270multimodalstudy.com/highway-improvements/alternatives

Btw, there some pics of the demoliton of the southbound VA-123 bridge http://www.virginiahotlanes.com/beltway/gallery/view.php?id=11

I wonder does the HOT lanes will have a BGS or a BPS (Big purple sign) like the Westpark tollway in Houston have?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 05, 2010, 07:24:58 PM
Quote
I guess they could extend it even further north if they reach an agreement with MD DOT to link the HOT lanes with a proposed ETL (Express toll lanes) with I-270

They'd have to get across the American Legion Bridge first, which won't be possible given the existing configuration.

Quote
I wonder does the HOT lanes will have a BGS or a BPS (Big purple sign) like the Westpark tollway in Houston have?

Neither, since they won't be completed for another 3 years.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 20, 2010, 12:21:50 PM
A neat little YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRLeqDojTrk) showing VDOT's demolition and removal last month of the old Outer Loop (I-495/DC Beltway) bridge over VA 123....part of the I-495 HOT lane project.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 14, 2010, 07:15:26 PM
While heading home from today's excursion (which got me as far as Warm Springs), I noticed two things.

First, a few of VDOT's older style guide signs, where the route shields are black-bordered and use Series D numerals on the secondary route shields (instead of the present-day Series C) still exist along northbound I-81 between Port Jackson and Strasburg, including this example (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/virginia081/i-081_nb_exit_279_01.jpg) of Alex's.

Second, Warren County seems to have a fetish for I-66 reassurance shields using Series C numerals instead of Series D...at least eastbound.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 14, 2010, 07:24:38 PM

Second, Warren County seems to have a fetish for I-66 reassurance shields using Series C numerals instead of Series D...at least eastbound.


any of them with the state name, or all neutered with the huge numbers?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 15, 2010, 07:50:26 AM
Every mainline shield I've seen or recall seeing west of the Beltway is neutered.  Gotta go to the side roads to find state name trailblazers.  There might be a few lingering inside the Beltway, but I'm not 100% on that.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 15, 2010, 01:02:59 PM
Every mainline shield I've seen or recall seeing west of the Beltway is neutered.  Gotta go to the side roads to find state name trailblazers.  There might be a few lingering inside the Beltway, but I'm not 100% on that.


not on the mainline as far as I remember - but yes, plenty on the side streets.  '57 spec, too, for the most part, as VA's use of the '70 spec appears to have been brief before they went to neutered, and the side-street trailblazers were planted, and forgotten, before that transitional period.

there are occasional new state-named shields that pop up in VA (some for I-95 just north of Richmond come to mind) and those are '70 spec.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on August 15, 2010, 11:57:52 PM
There were a handful of state-named shields westbound inside the beltway last fall when I drove it.

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/631.jpg)

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/644.jpg)

And at least one well outside the beltway...

(http://www.millenniumhwy.net/2009_Northeast_Day_5/Images/710.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 16, 2010, 10:51:00 AM
VDOT's adding another FYA, this time near Roanoke (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/salem/2010/flashing_yellow_arrow_comes48017.asp).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: njroadhorse on August 16, 2010, 01:23:57 PM
VDOT's adding another FYA, this time near Roanoke (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/salem/2010/flashing_yellow_arrow_comes48017.asp).


Sweet! I can actually go check this one out! :-D
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on September 12, 2010, 08:54:24 PM
VDOT has awarded the contract for a new interchange on  I-295 (http://virginiadot.org/newsroom/richmond/2010/transportation_commissioner_approves_a48347.asp) in Enon at SR 618/Meadowville Rd.  Personally I don't believe the interchange is needed right now as I believe the VA 10 interchange currently handles the traffic pretty well but the business park they are building off Meadowville Rd made this happen. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on September 12, 2010, 09:28:29 PM
VDOT has awarded the contract for a new interchange on  I-295 (http://virginiadot.org/newsroom/richmond/2010/transportation_commissioner_approves_a48347.asp) in Enon at SR 618/Meadowville Rd.  Personally I don't believe the interchange is needed right now as I believe the VA 10 interchange currently handles the traffic pretty well but the business park they are building off Meadowville Rd made this happen. 

It's not needed at all; it's too close to the existing VA 10 interchange, IMO.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 07, 2010, 10:17:27 AM
Both the Post's Dr. Gridlock (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dr-gridlock/2010/12/vdot_oks_11_billion_in_spendin.html[/url) and WTOP (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=600&sid=2191269) are reporting that VDOT is set to advertise about $1.1 billion in road projects for the first half of Fiscal Year 2011.  This is the first large-scale use of the over-$1B supposedly found in the recent VDOT audit.

WTOP goes into a little more detail, noting that the vast bulk of the money will be on repaving and not on new construction or expanded capacity.

One of the projects in this area...repaving I-66 between the Beltway and US 50/Fair Oaks...has been needed for years.

The Governor's office also has a press release (http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=496) on the topic.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: VaF on December 16, 2010, 01:12:40 PM
I saw a powerpoint from VDOT saying they are going to use asphalt overlay instead of concrete. Which is unfortunate b/c concrete lasts twice as long. But I guess it's because it's cheaper and easier to maintain. Either way... it will be nice to finally drive on smooth road on that stretch of I-66.

I do take issue with the Governor's plan to borrow heavily in order to pay for construction projects. I think the better way to do it is a modest increase in the state gas tax and continuing to ensure VDOT properly untilizes all or most of the funds it has available to it. I don't see how running up the state's credit card is a better way to fund projects. Because it will probably lead to higher taxes down the road anyway when the bill comes due.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2010, 01:15:23 PM
Doesn't surprise me.  Could you imagine the traffic nightmare if VDOT tried replacing the concrete through there?  Especially at Nutley St.

The first part of the bonding makes some sense, but the GARVEE bonds don't.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: CanesFan27 on February 27, 2011, 10:44:57 PM
This past weekend I came across this recently installed Historic Route 1 and US 1 shield in Brunswick County, VA

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15530177@N05/5483031214/in/photostream/

(Sorry, I've yet to figure out how to post flickr images onto here)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mightyace on February 28, 2011, 02:49:40 AM
^^^

Those signs puzzle me.  If it is still US 1, why is there a Historic Route 1 sign.  And, if it is just "historic," shouldn't it have the brown historic US route sign?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on February 28, 2011, 06:08:29 AM
We have small circular "Historic Route 1" signs that serve a similar purpose up here in Fairfax County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: CanesFan27 on February 28, 2011, 08:16:52 AM
Mightyace,

You are looking at it more on a roadgeek level.  My guess they are trying to promote US 1 for highway tourism - similar to old 66, Lincoln Highway's revival, etc.    Historic Route 1 is most likely the name of the drive kinda like the scenic byways they have in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on February 28, 2011, 09:21:01 AM
These must be fairly new...I haven't seen any yet in the Fredericksburg to Richmond section.

There is the possibility this applies to the original VA 1 which existed 1918-1923.  Because it is not 4-laned here, the picture is almost certainly north of SR 712.
VA 1 used US 1's corridor from SR 712 to Richmond and also some sections from Fredericksburg to D.C.

Mapmikey
co-curator Virginia Hwys Page
www.vahighways.com
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: njroadhorse on February 28, 2011, 10:28:40 AM
Idk if it's been mentioned, but if you want a lot of nice cutouts, head down US 11 in Christiansburg.  I found a decent amount of nice ones there a few weekends ago.  A couple US 11 shields, at least one VA 8, a couple I-81s and maybe a US 460 too.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on February 28, 2011, 10:45:38 AM
I was hoping VA 1 was the inspiration, but it is not:

http://chrispeace.com/2010/03/08/bill-to-designate-us-1-as-historic-route-1-passes/

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 29, 2011, 11:06:40 AM
I saw a powerpoint from VDOT saying they are going to use asphalt overlay instead of concrete. Which is unfortunate b/c concrete lasts twice as long. But I guess it's because it's cheaper and easier to maintain. Either way... it will be nice to finally drive on smooth road on that stretch of I-66.

....
The issue that concerns me about the switch from concrete to asphalt is the use of the shoulder as a traffic lane at certain times of day on that road. When they first started doing that back in the 1990s, VDOT made a big deal about how the "shoulder lane" would be a different color from the other lanes and would also have the red "X"/green arrow signals. The different color was considered important in light of prior negative experience on I-95 between the Beltway and Woodbridge, where the shoulder had been used as a lane but was denoted simply by a solid line (instead of dashed) and a bunch of signs. An older man suffered a breakdown during the hours when the shoulder was not to be used as a lane, so he stopped on the shoulder and promptly got pancaked by a tractor-trailer using that "lane" illegally. When the shoulder lane thing began on I-66, there was much fuss made about how the different-colored surface would help call drivers' attention to the special status of that lane. (While lots of people use it illegally, especially between the Beltway and Nutley or vice-versa, the violation rate does seem a lot lower than it was on I-95.)

But either way, the most important thing is that they finally repave that road, however they do it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on May 08, 2011, 02:46:53 PM
I don't think VDOT really cares about the shoulder being a different color to denote shoulder running only being allowed at certain times. On I-264 in Virginia Beach there are a few miles where the shoulder is open during rush hour (in order to maintain 4 general purpose lanes when HOV restrictions are in effect for the left lane) and the shoulder is the same concrete as the rest of the road. Admittedly, however, everyone treats it as a regular lane, even though it is separated from the main travel lanes by a solid line and every 1/4 mile or so is an overhead VMS saying whether it is open or closed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 09, 2011, 06:23:29 PM
I don't think VDOT really cares about the shoulder being a different color to denote shoulder running only being allowed at certain times. On I-264 in Virginia Beach there are a few miles where the shoulder is open during rush hour (in order to maintain 4 general purpose lanes when HOV restrictions are in effect for the left lane) and the shoulder is the same concrete as the rest of the road. Admittedly, however, everyone treats it as a regular lane, even though it is separated from the main travel lanes by a solid line and every 1/4 mile or so is an overhead VMS saying whether it is open or closed.

They may well have changed their tune on that since it was first put in place on I-66. I definitely remember them making a big deal when they opened it about how the shoulder lane was paved with asphalt to create a contrast with the other lanes that are concrete. The red "X"/green arrow signs are probably the more important designators on the whole, although of course there are always going to be schmucks who think they're entitled to ignore the "X."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on May 10, 2011, 10:37:44 PM
Trust me, everyone ignores it here. Though rather than use a red X / green arrow as you'd expect, the signs are just a regular old 3-line VMS with a white panel above that says "SHOULDER". The lane closed X is just on the bottom line of the VMS with "SHOULDER CLOSED" above it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 24, 2011, 10:40:09 AM
VDOT is proposing what will be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the state, at the I-64/US 15 interchange (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/i-64_zion_crossroads_interchange.asp) near Zion Crossroads.  Construction is expected in 2012.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 25, 2011, 12:55:21 AM
Not exactly surprised at this, there's been an explosion of development near Zion Crossroads over the past few years. I'm actually surprised this was not proposed earlier. I'm actually a little surprised they proposed a diverging diamond, though; I sort of expected them to propose a SPUI first, THEN suggest a DDI as an alternative.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on June 25, 2011, 09:53:11 AM
VDOT is proposing what will be the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the state, at the I-64/US 15 interchange (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/culpeper/i-64_zion_crossroads_interchange.asp) near Zion Crossroads.  Construction is expected in 2012.

Not exactly surprised at this, there's been an explosion of development near Zion Crossroads over the past few years. I'm actually surprised this was not proposed earlier. I'm actually a little surprised they proposed a diverging diamond, though; I sort of expected them to propose a SPUI first, THEN suggest a DDI as an alternative.

Wow. I went through there nearly two years ago (exited I-64 eastbound to go north on US 15) and there wasn't much there at all. Certainly didn't see the need for any kind of renovations to that interchange when I was there.

SPUI -- wouldn't the name SPRI (single-point rural interchange) be more appropriate for that location?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 25, 2011, 09:58:35 AM
Given that the immediate area is urbanizing, no.

Will:  makes sense that they'd propose the DDI first instead of the SPUI.  SPUI would require replacing/expanding the existing bridges over 64...DDI doesn't.  That's a *HUGE* cost factor for limited additional benefit.  Since there's no space constraints at the interchange, there's no real need for the compactness of a SPUI.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 25, 2011, 03:35:19 PM
Wow. I went through there nearly two years ago (exited I-64 eastbound to go north on US 15) and there wasn't much there at all. Certainly didn't see the need for any kind of renovations to that interchange when I was there.

It surprised me too; I passed by the area late in 2007 and there wasn't much there yet. Since then, a Walmart Supercenter has opened and given rise to a fairly large shopping center for the middle of nowhere, and several fairly large subdivisions have gone up or are being planned (including one with a golf course). It's actually fairly comparable to Short Pump, which was virtually empty in 2000 but developed explosively once Walmart appeared in 2002 or so.

I'm guessing VDOT is working on the reasonably safe assumption that this growth will continue to the point that an improved interchange will be needed within the next few years.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on June 25, 2011, 06:45:56 PM
The issue that concerns me about the switch from concrete to asphalt is the use of the shoulder as a traffic lane at certain times of day on that road. When they first started doing that back in the 1990s, VDOT made a big deal about how the "shoulder lane" would be a different color from the other lanes and would also have the red "X"/green arrow signals. The different color was considered important in light of prior negative experience on I-95 between the Beltway and Woodbridge, where the shoulder had been used as a lane but was denoted simply by a solid line (instead of dashed) and a bunch of signs. An older man suffered a breakdown during the hours when the shoulder was not to be used as a lane, so he stopped on the shoulder and promptly got pancaked by a tractor-trailer using that "lane" illegally. When the shoulder lane thing began on I-66, there was much fuss made about how the different-colored surface would help call drivers' attention to the special status of that lane. (While lots of people use it illegally, especially between the Beltway and Nutley or vice-versa, the violation rate does seem a lot lower than it was on I-95.)

Recently, I had a long discussion over whether or not the different color pavement on I-66 was considered a "traffic control device".  The conclusion we came to is that, in and of itself, the different color shoulder is not a traffic control device, however everyone acknowledged that the different color pavement is an excellent way to emphasize the traffic control devices that do exist (the arrow/X's, the  solid white line, and the white regulatory signs). 

I do know that VDOT is well aware of the existence of colored asphalts, which could theoretically be used to differentiate from plain black asphalt. :)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on June 25, 2011, 11:50:34 PM
http://maps.google.com/?ll=37.977492,-78.20961&spn=0.037888,0.077076&t=h&z=14

What's the draw here? Proximity to Charlottesville?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on June 26, 2011, 01:31:04 AM
http://maps.google.com/?ll=37.977492,-78.20961&spn=0.037888,0.077076&t=h&z=14

What's the draw here? Proximity to Charlottesville?

Yes, HB.  C-ville and Albemarle County are both very "Progressive" jurisdictions, with all sorts of grand plans to preserve open space, have smart growth, etc.  This in turn drives up the cost of real estate, and limits the amount of housing that can be constructed at reasonable prices within easy commuting distance of C-ville.  Thus, you see the adjacent counties cashing in by allowing the development that Albemarle County residents do not want.  So you have areas like Zions X-Roads, Lake Monticello, Ruckersville, which are booming with new development.  Ruckersville always seemed to be the preferable place to be, but as more and more gets built on 29 north of Charlottesville, the commute gets worse and worse.  At the very least, its an annoying drive, with a lot of signals, whereas Zions X-Roads is a straight shot out on I-64.  Additionally, from Zions X-Roads, you have the ability to commute to jobs in the western fringes of Richmond, while living out in the country. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 26, 2011, 10:17:36 PM
The catch being that the cost of the commute winds up being much higher, not just in time, but in monetary cost.

Nevermind that, if they continue to allow development, it won't remain "out in the country" for long.  Heck, it wasn't all that long ago that eastern Loudoun County was "out in the country"...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 06, 2011, 11:58:28 AM
http://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/dp-nws-virginia-secondary-roads-wire-20110706,0,6312192.story

Thoughts? This pops up every once and a while but nothing is usually done.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on July 10, 2011, 11:08:36 PM
Quick question: Is the independent city of Chesapeake still referred to as being in Norfolk County, or what? The reason that I ask is because I heard someone refer to it as such, recently.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 10, 2011, 11:35:44 PM
No, it's just that - independent.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 11, 2011, 06:56:50 AM
Hasn't since 1963.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Bryant5493 on July 11, 2011, 07:49:57 AM
Thank y'all -- that's what I thought.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 05, 2011, 10:43:38 AM
I drove out to Fairfax on Wednesday and I discovered that the left lane of the Inner Loop in Springfield has already been restriped in advance of the HOT project and the new ramps from Shirley Highway* opening. The first picture is as you go up the hill after passing under I-395 prior to the point where the existing ramps join on the right (they're on the other side of that wall). The new express lane ramps will join the road at this point. (It's initially what I guess you could call a "double double white line" where the two middle lines later come together and vanish, leaving a single double white line....if all that makes any sense! The lines come together roughly opposite that SUV that's in my lane some distance ahead.)

The second picture is as you come off the overpass above Backlick Road. The new striping shown in the second picture continues up to just before the overpass above Heming Avenue at the point where the lanes shift left and are marked with solid lines. At present, the lane to my left here continues as the left lane of the Beltway; eventually it will become an HOT lane (I don't know whether it will split into two HOT lanes or whether the road will be configured some other way).

When I initially saw this I was rather taken aback because the HOT lanes aren't supposed to open until sometime late next year. I suppose perhaps it's something to do with the new Beltway-to-Shirley Highway ramps—maybe they'll open prior to the HOT lanes. (The big loop-around ramp connecting traffic going to and from the south doesn't look anywhere near ready, though, as can be seen in the third picture below, which of course was taken prior to the other two.)

Incidentally, on Wednesday there was almost nobody in the left lane through there. When I went through again yesterday afternoon more people were using it. I wonder if the striping might cause some people to think that lane is going to end or some such.

The pictures are all screen captures from a video taken on my iPhone when it was clipped to the passenger-side sun visor.

*I sometimes use the name "Shirley Highway" because it sounds less awkward to me than "I-95/I-395."



(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/a299bfc5.jpg)



(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/63b5cdc4.jpg)



(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/657e4a34.jpg)


Incidentally, that last picture shows pretty clearly why the southbound I-95 flyover ramp had to be elevated so much higher than than the northbound flyover in order to provide clearance for the express lane ramp.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on August 05, 2011, 11:19:21 AM
Though your photos don't show it, the overhead gantries for the HO/T lanes on the Inner Loop were installed about a month or so ago.  They'd be located just before the location of your first photo.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 05, 2011, 12:45:20 PM
Though your photos don't show it, the overhead gantries for the HO/T lanes on the Inner Loop were installed about a month or so ago.  They'd be located just before the location of your first photo.


I can upload a shot of those later today if anyone likes, as they appear in the video as well. There are similar gantries on the Outer Loop coming from Fairfax as you approach the new express lane ramps, but I don't have any pictures of those.

BTW, I've been watching the new signage on the Beltway as it goes up. The signs on the Inner Loop at I-66 are much improved and make the HOV info clearer, although I think they neglected to post "No Trucks" in any prominent fashion.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on August 05, 2011, 12:59:37 PM
I wonder if the pavement on that portion of the Beltway is the final, permanent layer of pavement? If so, there might be an explanation for the striping. 

The type of pavement marking material used by VDOT on all interstates (and many other roadways) is called "B-6 Tape" (Type B, Class VI Tape, or "Wet Night Reflective Tape", according to VDOT Road and Bridge Specifications).  This stuff is the most reflective material out there (or so says 3M), and to install it, the construction workers will press it into the pavement just after it is poured while it is still soft.  This is why, when you see a re-paved interstate in Virginia, the final pavement markings are always there with the top layer (and you don't have "unmarked pavement ahead" for weeks). 

If they just repaved that section of the Beltway, it would make sense that they put the final, permanent markings in now rather than trying to retrofit B-6 tape into existing pavement (which is difficult if not near impossible) later in.  Though I wonder why they re-paved it now?  Typically, in most states on major projects, they will pave up to the second-to-last layer as each phase is completed, and then when the entire project is completed, they'll go back and pave the entire thing with the final layer, including the final markings. I guess maybe the HOT lanes are complicated by the fact that some of the structures (the induction loops and the flex tube plastic pole "barrier") will need to go on top of the final layer of pavement, so they need to get that pavement down as soon as they can? 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 05, 2011, 02:18:22 PM
The part after Backlick absolutely hasn't been repaved. Quite frankly I wasn't paying attention to that aspect when I was going up the hill. I'm meeting someone this afternoon who owes me some money and I'll be in that general direction, so if I have the chance I'll make another pass. But getting the money is way more important!!!

I'm going to save your explanation to send to my father, as he always grumbles about how when Virginia shifts the lanes, the old lines leave behind ruts that cause a sensation similar to torque steer. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 05, 2011, 03:58:27 PM
OK, this is why you never say absolutely: it's now been repaved from the gantry froggie mentioned as far as the overpass at Heming. They did it last night—the guy who owed me the check was in Fredericksburg and got stuck in the traffic. There is one lane not yet repaved. I swung through on the way out earlier. MUCH better surface than the minefield that was there before.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on August 07, 2011, 11:22:09 PM
I'm going to save your explanation to send to my father, as he always grumbles about how when Virginia shifts the lanes, the old lines leave behind ruts that cause a sensation similar to torque steer. 

Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on August 08, 2011, 12:33:30 AM
Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves. 

When painted lines are reconfigured, why do they grind them up? Why not cover them with black paint?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on August 08, 2011, 09:50:32 AM
When painted lines are reconfigured, why do they grind them up? Why not cover them with black paint?

HB, the lines are not painted.  They are formed from inlaid pre-formed plastic tape.  You cannot remove the stuff.  You cannot paint over it (according to the manufacturer's specs).  It is designed to stay down and in place for the entire life of the pavement.  On 99% of the interstate miles, this is fine.  On the 1% where the lane configuration changes, they have to grind it up to get it out. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 08, 2011, 10:23:14 AM
The tape can be very noticeable if you're driving a front-wheel drive vehicle and you stop facing up a hill at a red light in the rain. The wheel hop can be pretty bad if you don't leave yourself a little room to get moving before you hit the line.


Here's a video capture of the gantries froggie mentioned earlier. This one is on the Inner Loop and you can see the corresponding one on the Outer Loop up above. Interesting-looking assembly because they look a little bit like open-road tolling gantries, but I was under the impression that the HOT facility was not to begin until just west of the Robinson Terminal a bit further up the road from here, so perhaps these are for signs. But having two gantries so close together strongly suggests they're for something other than signage.

BTW, the resurfaced part of the road, as of Friday afternoon at least, began just past the end of that jersey wall on the left where the two lanes coming from the new ramp join the road.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/37b66272.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on August 08, 2011, 01:24:38 PM
The tape can be very noticeable if you're driving a front-wheel drive vehicle and you stop facing up a hill at a red light in the rain. The wheel hop can be pretty bad if you don't leave yourself a little room to get moving before you hit the line.

Thats actually different material...thermoplastic. 

Paint is...paint. 

Thermoplastic is definitely raised (you can feel it as you drive over it). 

Tape is not raised, and it looks like it has a "waffle pattern" in it.  Some engineers call it waffle tape. 

All pavement markings on Virginia Interstates should be "Wet night reflective tape" (Type B, Class VI tape). 
All stop bars are generally thermoplastic (tape is expensive and would not be cost effective to use for such a wide non-longitudinal marking such as a stop bar). 

Here are VDOT's Road and Bridge Specifications: http://www.virginiadot.org/business/resources/const/2007SpecBook.pdf
Pavement Marking Material is discussed in the sections that begin on Page 261 and Page 698.  The table of marking material types is on Page 700. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: J N Winkler on August 08, 2011, 01:39:07 PM
Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves.

When painted lines are reconfigured, why do they grind them up? Why not cover them with black paint?

Aside from the reasons Mike mentioned, the MUTCD does not allow covering of inapplicable pavement markings with black paint.  Some other countries (like Britain) do, and you can see the reason why the MUTCD insists on total removal when the black paint wears off and you can see the white underneath.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2011, 10:17:15 AM
The HOT project has this overhead view of the Beltway through Tysons posted on their online photo gallery (link to the gallery is below the photo). The original Tysons Corner Center is at the bottom left (the part where Woodies used to be). The first overpass north of there, the one rising out of the Beltway, will be an exit ramp connecting the bridge between Tysons I and II to the HOT lanes. The concrete overpass is the Dulles Metrorail trackway.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/70ef64b0.jpg)


http://www.vahotlanes.com/beltway/gallery/view.php?id=24
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on August 09, 2011, 12:20:01 PM
Yes, they actually have to grind up the tape and scrape it out...which leaves behind little grooves.

When painted lines are reconfigured, why do they grind them up? Why not cover them with black paint?

Aside from the reasons Mike mentioned, the MUTCD does not allow covering of inapplicable pavement markings with black paint.  Some other countries (like Britain) do, and you can see the reason why the MUTCD insists on total removal when the black paint wears off and you can see the white underneath.

And it is especially discouraged to use black paint to wipe out markings on concrete pavement.  I know that was shown in one of the FHWA MUTCD training presentations as a "big no-no".
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on August 12, 2011, 09:47:20 PM
If you have a temporary lane shift in place for a day (emergency repairs, let's say), you would use black masking tape over the existing lines and then apply temporary stripes. The life of the special pavement tape is on the order of weeks, not months, so it's not really intended for long-term applications. If you need to restripe anyway at the end of the project, grind em up now.
Title: New express lane ramp signs (Re: Virginia)
Post by: 1995hoo on September 02, 2011, 05:13:29 PM
The first of the signs for the new ramps connecting the Beltway to the Shirley Highway express lanes is in place, though covered with plastic. It went up sometime since Wednesday morning, as we used the Beltway there en route to Woodbridge just before noon on Wednesday and neither the gantry nor the sign had been hoisted yet. I spotted it this morning from the overpass on the on-ramp from Van Dorn and turned on the video camera on my mobile phone to capture an image.

Don't know how the whole sign will look, but this looks like a major improvement over most of the signage for that HOV facility that's currently in place simply because of the addition of the I-95 shield. I assume the variable-message bottom portion will be used to advise whether the express lanes are pointed north or south.

BTW, when I went through there today I was headed out to the Fair Oaks area for a business meeting and I also went through the I-66 interchange. The new signs there are a huge improvement over the old ones because they reflect some level of consistent thought instead of being a mishmash of what was thrown up over the years. The signs for the portion inside the Beltway, in particular, are much clearer than the old signs in terms of advertising the HOV restriction (though I notice they now omit the "No Trucks" banner). I haven't taken any pictures there because driving solo it's simply too dangerous and difficult to work the mobile phone camera and the manual transmission in the traffic near that interchange.

I also see on WTOP's website that Exit 49C, the annoying left-hand ramp from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66, is to close sometime near the end of this month. Good riddance! (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=1015&sid=2525879) I will be very amused to listen to the howls of rage from all the people who use that ramp and who have no idea about its impending demise. Exit 49A, the loop-around ramp on the right side, is being widened to two lanes to accommodate the increased traffic, though currently only one lane is open.

Here's the picture of the new HOV sign:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/05983a36.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 05, 2011, 09:57:45 PM
Heh, I actually wasn't expecting those signs to have an I-95 shield in them.  It is a nice change, and one that makes sense because you can access every interchange on I-95 that you would access after taking the left exit (not 644, because that is accessed directly from the Beltway).  The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that. 

I'll be glad to see that left exit to I-66 go too.  What surprises me is the sheer number of people that complain about people entering at US 50 and cutting across all lanes to go onto I-66.  Not because many people feel the need to cut across that many lanes (this is DC, land of rude drivers, afterall), but because there are a lot of people using the Beltway just to go one exit.  Given the horrible traffic, if you are on US 50, it would likely be faster most of the time to get onto I-66 at Nutley or 123. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 06, 2011, 07:47:21 AM
Quote
The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that.

For now.  But there's the planned HOV ramp at Mark Center.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 06, 2011, 09:28:52 AM
Heh, I actually wasn't expecting those signs to have an I-95 shield in them.  It is a nice change, and one that makes sense because you can access every interchange on I-95 that you would access after taking the left exit (not 644, because that is accessed directly from the Beltway).  The northbound reversible lanes, I'm torn on whether or not an I-395 shield should be used, as there are very few I-395 exits you can actually reach from those lanes....almost seems easier just to sign "Express to Pentagon/Washington" or something like that.  

Actually, from looking at the construction, I believe you will indeed be able to access 644 from that HOV ramp, though in the westbound direction only, as there is currently an exit from the southbound HOV to westbound 644 (with no turn permitted off 644 until you've passed under the Amherst Avenue overpass). The HOV ramp connecting the south-of-the-Beltway part of the reversible facility to the Beltway will exit on the right (heading north) and enter on the left (heading south) to the north of the existing 644 entrance/exit, so that sort of access will be feasible. It raises the question of whether the "Bob's" slug line in Springfield might someday evolve to serve Tysons Corner as well as the existing destinations at the Pentagon and downtown.

Of course, I don't really know WHY you'd want to use the HOV ramp to make this maneuver unless there were a crash or something.

I definitely DO foresee people using the HOV ramp in order to get from the Beltway to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway—or vice versa—without having to loop around on surface streets through Springfield.


Edited to add: BTW, I suppose there might be an I-395 shield on that sign in the area covered up by the plastic between the white banner on top (which I'm guessing says "Restricted Lanes") and the I-95 shield visible in the picture. There might not be one. Guess we'll find out when the ramp opens, which is still some ways off based on how it looked when I passed through there Saturday afternoon.


Quote
I'll be glad to see that left exit to I-66 go too.  What surprises me is the sheer number of people that complain about people entering at US 50 and cutting across all lanes to go onto I-66.  Not because many people feel the need to cut across that many lanes (this is DC, land of rude drivers, afterall), but because there are a lot of people using the Beltway just to go one exit.  Given the horrible traffic, if you are on US 50, it would likely be faster most of the time to get onto I-66 at Nutley or 123.  

I saw your comment on WTOP and didn't respond because I was reading it on my phone. I think for a lot of people the option you cite has never occurred to them or they just assume it would take too long. People can be funny about these things. When I was in college I worked downtown two summers and rode in with my father. During the first of those summers, I-66 was HOV-3, and during the second it was HOV-2. I suggested we use I-66 and he said the Beltway was too backed up. They live fairly close to Woodson High School in Fairfax and I suggested we go west to Pickett Road, then up to Nutley Street to enter I-66 there. My father thought it was crazy talk because it involved going "the wrong way" for about a mile and a half (west on 236 to Pickett, i.e., away from downtown), but when he gave in and we tried it, we made it downtown in half the time it took us when we used Columbia Pike or I-395. The faster travel when we were MOVING on the HOV portion made up for the slower trip through the lights and the short detour to the west.

I think a lot of people have the same mindset as my father did: It's "out of the way," or it has "too many lights," or they just don't know that there are ways available other than taking the highway. (You know, it's funny, that's the OPPOSITE of the mindset I saw among classmates at Duke who lived along University Drive down near South Square Mall. They ALWAYS took NC-751 and they complained when it was closed after Hurricane Fran and they "had to take 15-501.") Sometimes the seemingly longer way 'round is faster due to fewer lights, or less traffic, or other factors—for example, if you're at Fair Oaks Mall and you want to get to Alexandria, it can be faster to take Shirley Gate to Braddock to the Beltway than it is to take I-66 or VA-236 (236 can be slow due to a lot more lights and passing through the heart of Fairfax City with a 25-mph speed limit).

I've always felt that if you live in the DC area, especially Northern Virginia, it behooves you to know multiple ways to get everywhere, but a lot of people don't. I suppose that should be fine with me because it leaves my alternate routes a bit clearer.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 07, 2011, 10:16:46 AM
Congratulations, fellow Fairfaxer.  You got mentioned by Dr. Gridlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/virginia-hot-lanes-project-brings-beltway-changes/2011/09/07/gIQANFXG9J_blog.html) this morning about the Inner Loop-to-66 West ramp closure.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 07, 2011, 09:30:56 PM
Congratulations, fellow Fairfaxer.  You got mentioned by Dr. Gridlock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/virginia-hot-lanes-project-brings-beltway-changes/2011/09/07/gIQANFXG9J_blog.html) this morning about the Inner Loop-to-66 West ramp closure.


Hey, thanks for the link. Power just came back on at 21:17 after being out since 10:30 or so, so I hadn't seen this earlier today.
Title: Old "HOV" sign (Re: Virginia)
Post by: 1995hoo on September 08, 2011, 12:21:46 PM
I found this old photo of northbound Shirley Highway (then I-95, now I-395) between Edsall Road and the Turkeycock ramp. I wonder why they used the term "Pool Cars" instead of "Carpools." The term "HOV" didn't appear in Northern Virginia until shortly before I-66 opened inside the Beltway in December 1982.

The HOV signs on that road all used to be the white-on-black color scheme shown here. I seem to recall the signs changing to green sometime in the late 1980s. The old scheme reminds me of how the signs on Route 401 through Toronto use different colors for the collector lanes and the express lanes.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/f7c13517.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 08, 2011, 01:02:06 PM
Wow, neat!!  I especially like that divider line.

I think the term HOV was just beginning to be used around the time I-66 opened.  That is why there were so many educational signs explaining that HOV-2 = High Occupancy Vehicle - 2 or more persons when the term first started to come into widespread use. 

Now, its been so ingrained into everyone's head what HOV means, and the term has been almost universally applied across the country, there really isn't as much of a need for the educational signs.  They are still posted in most locations as a reminder though.

As with anything, my advice is, "if you don't know what HOV means, you probably would be safe by not using those lanes."  But I still pity the poor soul from far away that doesn't realize that all of I-66 is HOV-only during rush hour, and is forced off onto the Beltway after obediently following the signs, and then has no idea how to get the rest of the way into DC. 
Title: Re: Old "HOV" sign (Re: Virginia)
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 08, 2011, 01:08:30 PM
that's an interesting sign for two reasons.

1) 11pm to 11am is an odd set of hours to enforce.  I can see this covering the morning rush, but what about, say, 11pm to 5-6am?  why have a carpool lane then?

2) four-occupant vehicles?  gosh, who has three friends in the same car at the same time?  hmm, probably the same teens joyriding around between 11pm and 5-6am...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 08, 2011, 01:27:33 PM
that's an interesting sign for two reasons.

1) 11pm to 11am is an odd set of hours to enforce.  I can see this covering the morning rush, but what about, say, 11pm to 5-6am?  why have a carpool lane then?

2) four-occupant vehicles?  gosh, who has three friends in the same car at the same time?  hmm, probably the same teens joyriding around between 11pm and 5-6am...

As to point #1, the HOV carriageway on that road is reversible. The road is a triple-carriageway setup. This picture is on the inbound side (heading towards DC) where the peak traffic occurs in the morning. When this picture was taken, they'd close all the entrances at around 11 AM, starting in the south and working north to the Pentagon. Then they'd turn around and open the southbound entrances, starting at the Pentagon and working south to Springfield (which is where the HOV facility ended until the early 1990s). They'd reverse it again at night to be ready for the morning traffic. The general operation is still the same in this respect, although the hours have changed. I've often left Washington Capitals games and hit I-395 at 10:00 PM and the HOV facility is already closed to reverse the direction, but the hours have been tweaked since last season ended.

Also, nowadays the HOV restriction doesn't apply at all times like it did back then. Today, if you enter at the ramp to which that sign shown above applies, the HOV hours are 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM, and at all other times when the lanes are heading inbound all traffic can use the facility. (There is one area at the southern end where trucks are prohibited because they have to go through a weigh station reached from the outer carriageways). The southbound restriction applies from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM. The lanes are closed to all traffic in both directions at around noon and midnight to reverse the direction.

As to question #2 about HOV-4, originally when I-66 inside the Beltway opened it was also HOV-4. I-66 changed to HOV-3 within a year because nobody used it. I-395 remained HOV-4 until sometime in the 1990s and I-66 became HOV-2 around 1995. The HOV-4 actually didn't pose a huge problem because Shirley Highway has long been the site of very successful "slug lines," or what Caltrans calls "casual carpooling," where at various commuter car parks and other locations people wanting rides to the Pentagon or DC queue up and people wanting passengers so they can use the HOV lanes pull up and call out their destinations. Riders with the same destination get in and away they go. It works very well in large part BECAUSE of the HOV-3 (and earlier HOV-4) restriction—many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger. Slugging has never taken off on the HOV-2 roads in the DC area and I'm sure this reason is part of it.

I recall some of the slugging community protesting the relaxed HOV-3 restriction when it was changed; some of them even printed up bumper stickers saying "Restore HOV-4."



Regarding mtantillo's point about the term "HOV" being ubiquitous nowadays, it definitely is, but if there's anywhere that probably ought to have some explanatory signs, the DC area may be it simply because of the number of foreign tourists we get who probably don't know that term. New York would be another except I don't believe they have HOV lanes between Kennedy Airport and the city.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 08, 2011, 02:07:46 PM
many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger.

this reminds me of the joke about Your Favorite Ethnic Person being stopped by security, attempting to board the plane with a bomb.  "why, it makes me feel safer.  what's the probability of there being two bombs on the same flight???"
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 08, 2011, 03:23:17 PM
many slugs say the presence of TWO strangers makes them more comfortable than if it were HOV-2 and they were going solo with one stranger.

this reminds me of the joke about Your Favorite Ethnic Person being stopped by security, attempting to board the plane with a bomb.  "why, it makes me feel safer.  what's the probability of there being two bombs on the same flight???"

Maybe, but on the other hand, I understand why women, in particular, would be wary of getting in a car alone with a strange man.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 08, 2011, 07:08:22 PM
Regarding mtantillo's point about the term "HOV" being ubiquitous nowadays, it definitely is, but if there's anywhere that probably ought to have some explanatory signs, the DC area may be it simply because of the number of foreign tourists we get who probably don't know that term. New York would be another except I don't believe they have HOV lanes between Kennedy Airport and the city.

The only bona-fide highway HOV lanes in New York State are on the LIE from the Nassau/Queens line out to Route 112 in Coram (about 40 miles long).  They are buffer separated, HOV-2 both directions/both rush hours, open to all at other times.  There is a bus lane in each direction of the Staten Island Expressway between Todt Hill Road and the Verrazano that is open to HOV-2 only during rush hour in the peak direction. 

The only HOV lane a rider from JFK to Manhattan would encounter are the temporary zipper lanes on the LIE (from the BQE to the Midtown Tunnel) or the BQE (from 92nd Street to the Battery Tunnel), which are HOV-3 / Must Have E-ZPass. 

I like VDOT's educational signs, and I would expect to see them stay, where it is convenient to post them, but I think the need to post them at EVERY entrance to a road with an HOV lane is overkill at this point (especially since if you are first encountering an HOV lane after entering from a local road, you likely live here). 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 16, 2011, 12:15:52 PM
....

I also see on WTOP's website that Exit 49C, the annoying left-hand ramp from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66, is to close sometime near the end of this month. Good riddance! (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=1015&sid=2525879) I will be very amused to listen to the howls of rage from all the people who use that ramp and who have no idea about its impending demise. Exit 49A, the loop-around ramp on the right side, is being widened to two lanes to accommodate the increased traffic, though currently only one lane is open.

....

Dr. Gridlock reports today in his blog (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/the-weekend-and-beyond/2011/09/15/gIQAZIFKXK_blog.html) that the above-referenced closing of the left-hand exit is scheduled for next Saturday, September 24:

Quote
Beltway exit to close

The Capital Beltway inner loop’s left lane exit (49C) to westbound Interstate 66 in Virginia is scheduled to close permanently on Sept. 24 as construction continues on the high-occupancy toll lanes project.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has placed signs to warn drivers about this, but watch for some additional traffic congestion at the I-66 interchange immediately after the closing.

All inner loop drivers heading to westbound I-66 will then use the right-side ramp, exit 49A, which is being widened to accommodate the extra traffic.

As with most changes in traffic patterns, it will take drivers at least a few weeks to get used to the alteration, despite the use of highway signs as reminders. Drivers who forget about the closing won’t have time or space to move across the inner loop to reach the right-side exit.

Sounds like next weekend will be a very good time to avoid the Inner Loop through there.


EDITED: He just revised it to say that VDOT may postpone it a little longer because "the contractor needs more time to prepare," but it's still scheduled for "around the end of September." I hope that means "October 1," as that date falls on a Saturday this year. I tend to think making a change of this magnitude might best be implemented on a weekend to start. It's going to cause problems during the week either way, of course.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 26, 2011, 12:46:37 PM
....

Here's the picture of the new HOV sign:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/05983a36.jpg)

Today I got to see what this sign looks like underneath the cover. There is another sign, already attached to a sign bridge, sitting on the right side of the Beltway just to the west of the ramp connecting to Van Dorn Street. It's essentially waiting to be hoisted into place and it's not covered. There's a paved area between the Van Dorn ramp and the Inner Loop that's marked for "Authorized Vehicles Only." I drove in there to get a look at the sign. Wasn't able to take a picture because there was a cop there (I got out of my car to look at my tires and when he asked what was wrong, I told him I thought I might have a low tire—the car HAD been pulling slightly while I was on the Beltway, so I was telling him the truth). But I did get a look at the sign and here's a fuller description:

Top exit tab in yellow says "Left Exit" as on the sign shown above.

Then there is a white band, diamond on the left, that says "Restricted Lanes," just like most of the current signs for the Shirley Highway HOV facility.

Beneath that is a green band with TWO relatively small shields: I-395 on top and I-95 directly beneath it (you can see the I-95 shield in the sign shown above). These have open spaces next to them. I couldn't tell what's supposed to go into those spaces, but I assume there will be some sort of VMS units to give a compass point.

Then there's the VMS portion as in the sign shown above. I presume this will give the HOV information and perhaps a control city.

Then at the bottom there's a yellow bar giving the distance to the ramp, as shown above.

Strikes me as a well-done sign, assuming the VMS part operates properly and is used in an intelligible way. My big gripe about the "off–Shirley Highway" signs for that HOV facility has always been that nowhere do any of the signs give the route number (consider the BGSs on the Franconia–Springfield Parkway, some of which use "Restricted Lanes"—with no shield—almost as if it were a control city). These signs address that issue in a very clear fashion.


Edited to add: Passed it again this afternoon on my way downtown for the Caps game and it's now been covered. I notice there's some work activity just north of Edsall on I-395 that suggests the express lanes will receive a new gantry, which of course makes perfect sense for the new exit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2011, 05:46:58 PM
Dr. Gridlock reports on his blog that Beltway Exit 49C (the left-hand exit from the Inner Loop to westbound I-66) will close this Friday, although he didn't say when on Friday.

I suggest everyone avoid the Beltway through that area this Friday and possibly this weekend as well. While there ought to be less traffic over the weekend, there's a risk that reduced traffic might actually increase the danger there because it will make it easier for people to try to make high-speed moves across all four lanes to the right-hand exit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2011, 06:36:04 PM
In looking for a good diagram of the I-66 closure to send to a relative, I stumbled across this overhead picture of the Springfield Interchange taken last month. Good image of what the new ramps will do. It underscores one thing I've wondered for a while, though, and I'm wondering if one of you guys might know the answer (Mike seems pretty knowledgeable about this particular project). Look in the lower left quadrant of the interchange. There's what looks sort of like a ramp paved with especially dark asphalt that splits off the Outer Loop just after that route crosses over I-395; the ramp in question then passes under the southbound I-95 flyover and is joined by the ramp coming out of the I-395 HOV facility.

My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.

Just in case it's unclear to anyone, in the picture I-395 to and from DC is to the right, the Beltway to and from the Wilson Bridge is to the bottom, the Beltway to and from Tysons is to the top, and I-95 to and from Richmond is out of the picture to the left.

(http://www.vamegaprojects.com/tasks/render/file/?fileID=16E5437B-63DC-4C29-8F5E3AE9C93C034A&ext=.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on September 27, 2011, 07:12:05 PM
My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.
That's what's shown here:
(http://virginiahotlanes.com/uploads/1000/385-Springfield.jpg)
There will be a companion ramp to the right, merging into the inner loop near the sign gantry in the photo.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2011, 07:18:21 PM
Right, but that doesn't address the purpose of the one segment I was mentioning. Look at the diagram. You see how there is an exit from the Outer Loop just below I-395. But it doesn't feed traffic onto either of the new ramps that connect to 395. I'm wondering what it's for.

I'm typing this on my phone, but I could circle the spot I mean next time my PC is on if that would help explain my question.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 27, 2011, 07:43:07 PM
The "ramp" that hoo's asking about will be the HO/T lane for the Outer Loop.  It and the corresponding lane being built on the Inner Loop are so that the HO/T lanes remain on the left side of the roadway even (and especially) with the I-95 merge/diverge.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2011, 07:48:37 PM
Thanks. I didn't realize the HOT facility was to extend that far east. I thought it was to begin/end between Springfield and Braddock Road (which would also allow HOT users to have access to/from Shirley Highway when the express lanes are going in the "wrong direction").
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2011, 11:11:42 PM
Following up on my prior comment—it occurred to me tonight that if the HOT facility will begin/end just east of Springfield, does that mean a solo driver will pay a toll to use the new ramps between the Beltway and the Shirley Highway express lanes? (That would explain the open spaces in the HOV ramp exit signs I posted earlier—they'd need to list the toll rate there.) I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, though it would also explain the small gantries shown in one of my earlier posts.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on September 27, 2011, 11:26:22 PM
My question is, does anyone know the purpose of this particular ramp (the very dark one)? I'm surmising it's probably being built to provide a route in case HOV on the Beltway is ever extended east of the Springfield Interchange and that it was simply cheaper to build it now along with everything else rather than doing it later. It doesn't connect the Beltway to either of the ramps to/from the Shirley Highway HOV facility, so it seems that it must be intended for some other purpose.
That's what's shown here:
(http://virginiahotlanes.com/uploads/1000/385-Springfield.jpg)
There will be a companion ramp to the right, merging into the inner loop near the sign gantry in the photo.
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on September 27, 2011, 11:46:10 PM
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 28, 2011, 09:10:25 AM
OK, just in case it was unclear, the segment shown in red here is the only part I was wondering about. The diagram NE2 posted includes this segment under the category of "HOT Lanes Access Ramps," but I had been under the impression the HOT lanes weren't extending east past Springfield anyway, so it was unclear why there would be a ramp from the Outer Loop into the HOT lanes at that point. There doesn't appear to be a corresponding segment for the Inner Loop, though that could just be a function of the elevated flyovers blocking out the view. The striping on the Inner Loop, particularly since it was repaved, seemed further to suggest that the actual HOT facility is to begin around the Robinson Terminal or maybe a bit further west (which would also allow traffic coming from, say, the I-95 mainline to merge left and enter the HOT facility without having to use the HOV-lane ramp that non-HOVs can't use at certain times of day).

Maybe I'll just look up the address for the project and send in the question to them.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/80e1dbc7.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on September 28, 2011, 07:52:32 PM
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on September 28, 2011, 09:37:05 PM
Its nice that one will be able to directly access the Beltway from the I-95 HOV lanes, but I don't think I'll be using the connection because the lanes will no longer be free. I use those lanes during my NJ-NC trips when open in my traveling direction (offpeak/weekend) because of the higher speed limit and generally less traffic.

I thought these HOV lanes were going to extend all the way to the Wilson Bridge? I guess thats the plan.... eventually.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on September 28, 2011, 10:12:11 PM
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.

Actually only one of them is out of place, unless you are talking about their size.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on September 29, 2011, 10:19:22 AM
No, the HOV lanes end on the east side of the Springfield Interchange.  There have been some conceptual studies on "bridging the gap" between Springfield and the Wilson Bridge, but any construction will be a long time in coming.

The ramps to/from the west (towards Tysons) will most likely be tolled...the gantries are already in place for the ramps to the Inner Loop.  I'm not sure if the ramps to/from the east (towards the Wilson Bridge) will be tolled or not...that would be a good question to ask.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on September 29, 2011, 11:01:18 PM
What's shown there is a horrible misrepresentation.
Are you talking about the colors being off (with no actual color for the HOT lanes)?
The I-95 shields, for two reasons.

Actually only one of them is out of place, unless you are talking about their size.
Those would be the two reasons.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 30, 2011, 10:43:26 AM
....

The ramps to/from the west (towards Tysons) will most likely be tolled...the gantries are already in place for the ramps to the Inner Loop.  I'm not sure if the ramps to/from the east (towards the Wilson Bridge) will be tolled or not...that would be a good question to ask.


I sent them a question but they haven't replied. If I don't get an answer by mid-next week maybe I'll e-mail Steve Titunik. I've exchanged messages with him once before when I sent them an e-mail about erroneous exit numbers on the Beltway (Exit 57A was signed twice, once for I-95 South and once for the thru lanes on the Beltway) and he sent me a VDOT pen and some other stuff as a "thank-you."


Unrelated to Springfield but related to this thread: The closure of Exit 49C has been postponed until tomorrow. Seems sensible to me not to make that sort of big change on a Friday.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 18, 2011, 11:15:42 AM
The pace seems to be picking up on the Beltway as more portions of the new outer lanes open. This is not such a spot, obviously, but I found it interesting to see the toll gantries hoisted into place between US-50 and US-29. At least one other was recently raised between I-66 and VA-7, but I don't have a picture since it was late night when we went through.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/8c5dfa32.jpg)


I noticed the new BGSs for the HOV ramps have been put into place for traffic heading from the Inner Loop to Shirley Highway (i.e., going west into Springfield and exiting to the left of the I-95 flyover). Can't seem to get a good picture due to their location behind the flyover unless I were to hold the camera in my hand, which I don't like to do. They have the white "Restricted Lanes" banner at the top, then the shield and destination, then an empty opening where it looks like a VMS will be inserted. Whether that's going to contain toll rate info or instead HOV info, who knows. They haven't hoisted any toll gantries on that end of the project—the first one you see on the Inner Loop is just west of the main part of the Springfield Interchange going up the hill towards the overpass above Backlick Road.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on October 18, 2011, 12:44:43 PM
The open space is where a small VMS will go showing the toll rate.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 26, 2011, 03:57:40 PM
The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 27, 2011, 12:48:42 AM
The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.

This would be noteworthy as the first non-cloverleaf interchange on I-295, other than its termini and the VA 895 eastern terminus.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on October 27, 2011, 06:26:29 AM
Something I'm slowly starting to see a lot more of is VDOT red left arrow installations.  There are several locations I've seen them in now:  US 1 both in Fairfax County and Spotsylvania County, US 301 at VA 3, US 29 in Centreville, and a few out along the I-81 corridor.  I'm sure there are some I'm missing/not-remembering.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 27, 2011, 09:31:46 AM
Something I'm slowly starting to see a lot more of is VDOT red left arrow installations.  There are several locations I've seen them in now:  US 1 both in Fairfax County and Spotsylvania County, US 301 at VA 3, US 29 in Centreville, and a few out along the I-81 corridor.  I'm sure there are some I'm missing/not-remembering.


There are several of them at the intersection of Van Dorn and Franconia. (Meaning two red arrows in a couple of directions and one red arrow in other directions.)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2011, 12:25:56 PM
The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.
The Meadowville exit for I-295 is progressing. Looks like it's going to be a simple diamond, as there are two sets of covered signals going each way with what appear to be left turn signals among them.

It will be a diamond layout, with space for future loops.  Also with provision for 4-laning of Meadowville Road with a parallel bridge over I-295.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 03, 2011, 02:38:24 PM
More new signs on the Beltway. I was stuck in stopped traffic about half an hour ago coming back from Fairfax and so I took the opportunity to get pictures, as I had noticed the signs on my way out there but couldn't get a good picture due to the ramp in the way. Pictures taken from the eastbound Outer Loop looking across the northbound I-95 flyover; the signs are on the yet-to-open left exit that will lead to the ramps connecting to the express lanes on Shirley Highway. The sign on the right appears to confirm froggie's comments about the HOT facility extending through the Springfield Interchange, although it's a bit odd that there's no space for displaying a toll rate on that particular sign. The renderings I've seen for the HOT lane signs all include a white bar on top with the E-ZPass logo and the letters "HOT." Who knows, perhaps tolling for thru traffic on the Beltway is to begin further to the west of this spot.

I find it mildly interesting that on the advance signs along the Beltway, I-395 is listed above I-95 while this sign reverses it, but since the I-95 ramp will split off first it seems to me that putting I-95 first is the proper order.

You know, the other possibility that occurs to me about the small VMS units that will go on these signs is that they may very well not include toll rates at all (there are still no signs of toll gantries anywhere on that side of the Springfield Interchange) and that instead they may well say "OPEN" or "CLOSED." Obviously, if the ramp from the Beltway to the inbound express lanes on I-395 is open, the ramp to the outbound express lanes on I-95 will be closed—both ramps will never be open at the same time. (My interest in the setup stems from the fact that I can see myself using those ramps very frequently, especially coming home from Caps games.)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/5268f1ed.jpg)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/c9fa6718.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 04, 2011, 04:49:42 PM
From WTOP Radio: No pain, no gain when it comes to HOT lanes construction (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2620482)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 06, 2011, 09:59:04 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Washington Times editorial on [Virginia] HOT lanes, tolling misleading, ill-informed CRITIQUE (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5598)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on November 06, 2011, 10:15:25 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Washington Times editorial on [Virginia] HOT lanes, tolling misleading, ill-informed CRITIQUE (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5598)

Unfortunately, the opposition to tolling VA I-95 is far more widespread than one editorial in one newspaper.

I've seen numerous comments from people who are aware that the tolls would support major capacity addition, who still oppose tolls on the notion of "double taxation", i.e. paying tolls on top of road use taxes.

I see I-95 as a "super corridor" or "principal Interstate", where the needs are so great, that I would love to see funding in the form of tolls + road use taxes. 

An I-95 with 10 or more lanes between Richmond and Washington, and upgraded interchanges, would be well worth it.  E-ZPass and open road tolling would allow tolling at full highway speeds.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 07, 2011, 02:13:28 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Washington Times editorial on [Virginia] HOT lanes (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5598)

Unfortunately, the opposition to tolling VA I-95 is far more widespread than one editorial in one newspaper.

Agreed.  But the opponents have to be educated that the alternative is an increase in the Commonwealth's motor fuel tax rates.  

Quote
I've seen numerous comments from people who are aware that the tolls would support major capacity addition, who still oppose tolls on the notion of "double taxation", i.e. paying tolls on top of road use taxes.

For the indefinite future, there will be a tax on motor fuels (including electric power for electric motor vehicles, if that becomes popular).   Especially in a state like Virginia, where with the exceptions of Arlington and Henrico Counties, all "county" (secondary) highways are maintained by the Commonwealth in the form of VDOT and not by the counties.

Your point about double taxation on toll roads in the U.S. is correct, but I don't see what can be done about that, unless we want to measure the miles that every vehicle drives on every U.S. street, road and highway open to the public.  For trucks and buses that are required to report state-by-state miles because they operate interstate (or to Canada) and weigh over 26,000 pounds (and must display IFTA stickers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fuel_Tax_Agreement)), it strikes me as reasonable to give them a break from road use/fuel taxes that they pay for miles driven on toll roads, though even for that, the U.S., Canada and Mexico might be better off requiring those trucks to explicitly pay for all freeway use, perhaps using technology similar to what Germany uses to toll all heavy trucks (and only trucks) operating on its autobahn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahn) network (details here (http://www.toll-collect.de/) (site comes up in German, click "English" if you don't read German)).

Quote
I see I-95 as a "super corridor" or "principal Interstate", where the needs are so great, that I would love to see funding in the form of tolls + road use taxes.  

An I-95 with 10 or more lanes between Richmond and Washington, and upgraded interchanges, would be well worth it.  E-ZPass and open road tolling would allow tolling at full highway speeds.

Not sure I would like to see a new functional class or other way of designating I-95, beyond what it is today, a freeway.  And given that it attracts a lot of traffic from non-E-ZPass states (even though N.C. is now a member of the E-ZPass IAG), I think cash tolling might need to be an option for some years to come, though I understand the Maine Turnpike is under pressure to go cashless at its southernmost toll barrier on the Maine Turnpike, which is I-95.

I would not mind seeing the entire thing tolled from the Maryland/Delaware border all the way south to South Carolina/Georgia border at the Savannah River - if the revenue was used to improve the corridor.  And I say that as a regular user of most of that road.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 07, 2011, 07:58:28 AM
The Virginia politicians haven't done a good job at all of explaining the differences between the various toll projects, and the media sloppiness doesn't help. Most people here are aware of the HOT lane project on the Beltway. Many people have also heard of the proposal to extend the I-95 express lanes to the south as an HOT facility and to convert the south-of-the-Beltway portion of the express lanes to HOT. But from what I've observed, the majority of non-roadgeeks—and even some politicians to whom I've spoken!!!—don't realize that the "I-95 tolls" proposal is separate from the I-95 HOT proposal. When they realize there's a proposal to toll all traffic on I-95 once you get south of Fredericksburg, they go ballistic and they start complaining that (a) we have a gas tax to pay for that and (b) the General Assembly should just man up and pay the gas tax. People also cannot seem to separate the idea of tolls from their mental images of massive backups in Newark, Delaware, over the years on the Delaware Turnpike. Even people who are aware of E-ZPass automatically envision toll plazas. I suppose that's not unreasonable in this case—what are the chances that the feds would allow Virginia to pursue an all-ORT system on I-95 when the toll will apply to every lane, rather than just to managed lanes?

I certainly understand people's reluctance to pay tolls for a road that used to be toll-free. Nobody likes to pay. But the people in Richmond who understand the way the proposal works could do a far better job of explaining why raising the gas tax would not produce the same funding as toll would. The gas tax is apportioned all around the Commonwealth in a variety of ways and unless they amend those regulations, they can't simply raise the gas tax and dedicate all the money to one particular road. But the General Assembly members from more rural areas where they don't use I-95 are unlikely ever to allow amendments to dedicate the money to a road that doesn't pass anywhere near their districts. (Anyone who lives in Northern Virginia will have witnessed the rest of the Commonwealth's refusal to adjust transportation funding formulas to send more money up here even though we pay more in taxes than the rest of the state. There's no reason to think anything different would happen with an increased gas tax.) The politicians also haven't explained that once I-95 is tolled, Virginia forfeits any federal funding for that road. In a sense, there would be a level of "paying twice" insofar as the Virginia portion of the gas tax would still be sending funding to I-95. But that tax portion would be minute IF people could view it through the prism of considering the portion of the tax that gets devoted to I-95.

I think I'd rather have seen them pursue this on I-81 than on I-95 simply because I-81 is so much more unpleasant to drive due to having only two lanes on a side for most of its length in Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on November 07, 2011, 12:33:05 PM
I got rid of all the political banter(I think).  Please avoid political arguments in this forum.  They just bring unnecessary debate and argument for a site that is not meant to deal with politics.

-Mark
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on November 07, 2011, 12:40:02 PM
I got rid of all the political banter(I think).  Please avoid political arguments in this forum.  They just bring unnecessary debate and argument for a site that is not meant to deal with politics.
-Mark

You did, and I am pleased!

These political comments are fine, and I agree with them --

<<< The Virginia politicians haven't done a good job at all of explaining the differences between the various toll projects, and the media sloppiness doesn't help. >>>

--
Beltway
"Never saw a beltway that I didn't like"
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on November 07, 2011, 08:48:07 PM
I got rid of all the political banter(I think).  Please avoid political arguments in this forum.  They just bring unnecessary debate and argument for a site that is not meant to deal with politics.

-Mark

I restored the last post minus the one overtly political comment. I think there are some constructive points worth considering.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 09, 2011, 07:49:36 AM
WTOP Radio: Keeping the cheaters out of the new HOT lanes (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2625048)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 09, 2011, 09:11:00 AM
WTOP Radio: Keeping the cheaters out of the new HOT lanes (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2625048)

For some reason I can't keep myself from looking at the reader comments on those articles. A lot of those people make ethanman62187 look like a towering intellectual.

The WTOP article also illustrates a point someone made in one of the now-deleted posts in this thread (one made in response to my comments above about the politicians doing a poor job of explaining the rationale for seeking to toll I-95) where somebody said that the media ignorance just makes it worse. The WTOP article notes that Fluor and Transurban are working out "a deal" with the Virginia State Police to have a dedicated HOT enforcement unit. I might be wrong, but "working out a deal" strongly implies that Fluor and Transurban will pay at least a substantial portion of the cost of these extra troopers, at least in terms of their salaries. But it's unclear. I assume part of the reason the story is vague about it is that the participants won't comment on a deal that's still under negotiation, which is standard procedure in the business world. It doesn't help to silence the whiners, though, when the story is devoid of detail. Adam Tuss certainly knows the details of the project, including the switchable E-ZPass, and it's a shame that WTOP's sound-bite radio format won't allow him to write a longer story for posting on their website.

The level of public ignorance about this project is really quite pathetic. Most of the time when I've talked to people about it and explained what I know of the details, people find it interesting and comment that the usual media outlets could explain these things a lot better. But I think a lot of the people you encounter commenting on these things online are people who don't think much beyond a second-grade level and who like to whine. "The HOT lanes suck, and if you like them, you suck too." Very enlightened commentary there.



BTW, semi-related: Last night I was on my way home from Fairview Park shortly after 10:00 PM and I took the Outer Loop. I noted that they've started laying steel for the HOT exit/entrance at Braddock Road. Those of you who use that part of the Beltway frequently may wish to keep your ears peeled, since at some point there will have to be night closures as they lay steel across the travel lanes (the ramp will fly over the Outer Loop and enter/exit the HOT lanes from the center of the roadway, i.e., a left exit for southbound traffic and a left entrance northbound).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on November 09, 2011, 09:45:47 AM
WTOP Radio: Keeping the cheaters out of the new HOT lanes (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2625048)

For some reason I can't keep myself from looking at the reader comments on those articles. A lot of those people make ethanman62187 look like a towering intellectual.

The WTOP article also illustrates a point someone made in one of the now-deleted posts in this thread (one made in response to my comments above about the politicians doing a poor job of explaining the rationale for seeking to toll I-95) where somebody said that the media ignorance just makes it worse. The WTOP article notes that Fluor and Transurban are working out "a deal" with the Virginia State Police to have a dedicated HOT enforcement unit. I might be wrong, but "working out a deal" strongly implies that Fluor and Transurban will pay at least a substantial portion of the cost of these extra troopers, at least in terms of their salaries. But it's unclear. I assume part of the reason the story is vague about it is that the participants won't comment on a deal that's still under negotiation, which is standard procedure in the business world. It doesn't help to silence the whiners, though, when the story is devoid of detail. Adam Tuss certainly knows the details of the project, including the switchable E-ZPass, and it's a shame that WTOP's sound-bite radio format won't allow him to write a longer story for posting on their website.

The level of public ignorance about this project is really quite pathetic. Most of the time when I've talked to people about it and explained what I know of the details, people find it interesting and comment that the usual media outlets could explain these things a lot better. But I think a lot of the people you encounter commenting on these things online are people who don't think much beyond a second-grade level and who like to whine. "The HOT lanes suck, and if you like them, you suck too." Very enlightened commentary there.

Or use sloganeering like "Lexus Lanes" ... :-)

The newspapers don't even do well with the issue of increasing the motor fuels tax.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch supports such increases, but conducts and posts "polls" that have questions that seem designed to arrive at a majority negative opinion about increases.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 09, 2011, 10:05:28 AM
BTW, in case it wasn't clear, in my post from Monday morning when I said "Most people here are aware of the HOT lane project on the Beltway," by "here" I meant "in Northern Virginia," not "on the AARoads forum." As I re-read it now I realize it probably wasn't clear how I meant that sentence. People on this forum are by our very nature a lot more aware of the plans for these sorts of projects than your average random local motorist.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on November 12, 2011, 11:23:25 PM
I-95 south of Richmond is in the process of being repaved. The most travelled portion for me is northbound from exits 50 to 54, usually at night when they're working on it (tonight, for example, they were working on and around Exit 52). It's caused some rough travels home for me, but the finished product has been worth it. The exit 61 (VA 10) area has also been undergoing repaving southbound recently.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2011, 09:37:43 AM
BTW, in case it wasn't clear, in my post from Monday morning when I said "Most people here are aware of the HOT lane project on the Beltway," by "here" I meant "in Northern Virginia," not "on the AARoads forum." As I re-read it now I realize it probably wasn't clear how I meant that sentence. People on this forum are by our very nature a lot more aware of the plans for these sorts of projects than your average random local motorist.

Beltway, even after Maryland's ICC opened, it was absolutely amazing to me how many people (working or living right next to the ICC) don't know where it goes or that toll collection will be all-electronic.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2011, 09:41:32 AM
Washington Post editorial: Help for Virginia’s crumbling roads (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/help-for-virginias-crumbling-roads/2011/11/14/gIQAPqSlzN_story.html)

Quote
As Bob Chase, a transportation analyst, wrote recently for the University of Virginia's Cooper Center for Public Service, since 1986 Virginia has added 1.5 million licensed drivers, 2 million people and 2.9 million registered vehicles — but not a dime in new, long-term transportation funding. If utilities were similarly ignored, Virginians would lack heat, electricity and water. "The basic problem," says Mr. Chase, "is the people of Virginia are not being asked to pay for the transportation they are using."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2011, 09:50:11 AM
Article by Bob Chase on Virginia’s Transportation Funding Crisis in the Virginia News Letter (published by the Cooper Center for Public Service (http://www.coopercenter.org/)) can be read online and optionally downloaded here (http://www.coopercenter.org/publications/VANsltr1111).

In the interest of full disclosure, readers should know that I am a dues-paying member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, of which Bob Chase is the president.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on November 30, 2011, 02:47:31 PM
VA 109 is, at least temporarily, not accessible or posted from US 460 Business westbound. There's some utility work going on at the intersection and the movement from 460 Business to 109 has been torn up. There are two no-right-turn signs posted and the trailblazer has been removed. Eastbound 460 Business can still turn onto VA 109, and its trailblazer is still there (although it looks like it's about to fall over). If you're in this area I would have already recommended bypassing this segment entirely as 460 Business has serious pavement issues anyway, but it's even worse around the VA 109 intersection.

Edit: I made a blog post about it. (http://highcontrastshair.blogspot.com/2011/12/va-109-work.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2011, 09:55:03 PM
WTOP Radio report:  Tolls may soar on road to Dulles (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=159&sid=2660757)
Quote
Whether or not drivers on the Dulles Toll Road want the Dulles Rail project or not, they are helping to pay for it -- and they may get hit with an even larger bill in the near future.

Quote
About 75 percent of the financing for the second phase of the project -- the section that will run from Reston to Dulles International Airport and continue into Loudoun County -- is coming from toll road revenue.

Quote
While toll road rates will jump by 25 cents in January, there is no further toll increase schedule yet in place. But indications are that higher-than-expected cost estimates related to the project's second phase could push tolls way up -- as much as about $7 for a one-way trip by 2020, according to some estimates.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 07, 2011, 10:16:23 PM
Isn't it already $5.75 during peak times by the airport? (Side story relating to this: this summer a friend I was with was driving on 267 for the first time, so he didn't know about the tolls, let alone the non-peak $4.25. Made for some interesting inside jokes, particularly for another person who didn't read the toll costs correctly.)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2011, 07:24:45 AM
Isn't it already $5.75 during peak times by the airport? (Side story relating to this: this summer a friend I was with was driving on 267 for the first time, so he didn't know about the tolls, let alone the non-peak $4.25. Made for some interesting inside jokes, particularly for another person who didn't read the toll costs correctly.)

I think you are speaking of the tolls on the (privately-owned) Dulles Greenway (http://dullesgreenway.com/), which is Va. 267 west of Va. 28 (Sully Road) and the airport. 

The tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (formerly owned by VDOT, now MWAA) are currently only $2 (one way) from I-495 to Va. 28 (but will be going up again soon to pay for the Dulles Rail project).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 08, 2011, 07:42:28 AM
Isn't it already $5.75 during peak times by the airport? (Side story relating to this: this summer a friend I was with was driving on 267 for the first time, so he didn't know about the tolls, let alone the non-peak $4.25. Made for some interesting inside jokes, particularly for another person who didn't read the toll costs correctly.)

I think you are speaking of the tolls on the (privately-owned) Dulles Greenway (http://dullesgreenway.com/), which is Va. 267 west of Va. 28 (Sully Road) and the airport. 

The tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (formerly owned by VDOT, now MWAA) are currently only $2 (one way) from I-495 to Va. 28 (but will be going up again soon to pay for the Dulles Rail project).

The toll at the main plaza goes up 25¢ next month. I don't know whether any of the ramp tolls are changing. In the WTOP article cited above, someone involved with the road's operations said to expect annual increases.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2011, 10:37:06 AM
Washington Post editorial: Half-measures on Virginia’s transportation crisis (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/half-measures-on-virginias-transportation-crisis/2011/12/08/gIQA2v8XgO_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2011, 03:54:30 PM
The Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock reports that, weather permitting, the new flyover ramp from eastbound I-66 to the Inner Loop of the Beltway is to open this coming weekend. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/big-change-coming-at-beltwayi-66-merge/2011/12/12/gIQA9TKAqO_blog.html)

This is a long-overdue improvement because it will eliminate the annoying left-lane merge for most traffic heading towards Tysons. The left-hand HOV exit will continue to funnel some traffic into the left lane for now, though eventually that exit will connect to the HOT lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 12, 2011, 05:37:39 PM
As I recall, the left-lane merge isn't a merge per-se but begins a new left lane, at least with how the present construction setup is.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2011, 06:24:18 PM
As I recall, the left-lane merge isn't a merge per-se but begins a new left lane, at least with how the present construction setup is.

It always used to be a merge, but with the construction the configuration changes so often that I wouldn't be surprised if it's presently different. The last time I had to go to Tysons I took Gallows Road due to a wreck on the Beltway, and on all my recent trips that way on the Beltway I've exited at I-66. So I haven't had reason to notice the current setup, but either way, it seems to me that having the traffic enter the Beltway on the right is a big improvement regardless of whether the current configuration is a merge or the beginning of a new lane, especially given how many people going from I-66 to the Beltway there intend to exit at Tysons and so have to try to work their way across all four lanes before the next exit.

At some point in the spring there will be a similar reconfiguration of westbound Exit 64 so that traffic enters the Outer Loop from the right. The existing ramp will serve the HOT lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 13, 2011, 01:56:36 PM
The Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock reports that, weather permitting, the new flyover ramp from eastbound I-66 to the Inner Loop of the Beltway is to open this coming weekend. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/big-change-coming-at-beltwayi-66-merge/2011/12/12/gIQA9TKAqO_blog.html)

This is a long-overdue improvement because it will eliminate the annoying left-lane merge for most traffic heading towards Tysons. The left-hand HOV exit will continue to funnel some traffic into the left lane for now, though eventually that exit will connect to the HOT lanes.

I strongly agree.  This is one the worst bottlenecks on a very congested section of highway. 

It has been like that ever since the HOV lanes outside the Capital Beltway were built in the early 1990's. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 16, 2011, 10:52:13 PM
The Progress-Index (Petersburg) reports that the I-295 Meadowville interchange is now open: http://www.progress-index.com/news/new-i-295-interchange-expected-to-spur-growth-1.1245753 (posting this from my phone, apologies if it doesn't load correctly). I'll go out into the field tomorrow and get some pictures.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2011, 11:21:06 PM
While you're out, exit number would be helpful.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 16, 2011, 11:43:34 PM
While you're out, exit number would be helpful.


Exit 16
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 17, 2011, 12:20:11 AM
An interchange less then a mile north of an existing interchange spurs dramatic economic growth? Was access to this office park that cumbersome from VA-10?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on December 17, 2011, 08:55:38 AM
An interchange less then a mile north of an existing interchange spurs dramatic economic growth? Was access to this office park that cumbersome from VA-10?
  I'll be heading that way in a couple hours when I go to work and yes the interchange was built for an office park.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 17, 2011, 09:22:14 AM
An interchange less then a mile north of an existing interchange spurs dramatic economic growth? Was access to this office park that cumbersome from VA-10?

I have had that question at times, but the new interchange is a lot more direct to access the office/industrial park and to facilitate its future growth.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 17, 2011, 10:59:44 AM
An interchange less then a mile north of an existing interchange spurs dramatic economic growth? Was access to this office park that cumbersome from VA-10?

Maryland SHA and the MdTA are doing something similar on I-95 as part of the Md. 200 (ICC) Contract D/E project - completing new C-D roadways along I-95 and a new interchange to link the I-95 C-D roadways to Contee Road, the intent being to ease access for traffic to and from the new development of Konterra to I-95 and Md. 200.  It's less than a mile south of the Md. 198 (Exit 33) interchange and less than a mile north of the Md. 200 (Exit 31) interchange. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 17, 2011, 11:00:06 AM
In the field now. The signage is so weird I had to say something now.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum/Themes/Button_Copy/images/buttons/mutcd_merge.png)Post Merge: November 19, 2016, 03:23:19 PM
Back home from the field. I haven't processed the photos yet but I do have some notes:
-The exit number is indeed 16. It and exit 15 (VA 10) are close enough that there's no break in the merge lanes between them.
All the 618 trailblazers (4 on each ramp) and both reassurance markers (one in each direction past the interchange) are ovals. Shields on the BGS's are standard circles, but for some reason the shields on the BGS just at the exit are all the way on the left of the BGS.
-The road names are present on the BGS's. Since it's currently a diamond, the BGS has both: Meadowville Technology Pkwy (eastbound) and River's Bend Blvd (westbound)
-The spacing in the 295 shields looks like they were considering adding Virginia to them, but ultimately did not.
-The work zone extends across the James River Bridge. The left lane was closed in both directions across it.

Edit: The blog update is here. (http://highcontrastshair.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-295s-new-interchange.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 17, 2011, 09:03:05 PM
Back home from the field. I haven't processed the photos yet but I do have some notes:
-The exit number is indeed 16. It and exit 15 (VA 10) are close enough that there's no break in the merge lanes between them.

1.3 miles along the I-295 centerline between VA-10 and VA-618.

0.8 mile continuous 4th auxiliary lanes between the two interchanges.

Quote
All the 618 trailblazers (4 on each ramp) and both reassurance markers (one in each direction past the interchange) are ovals. Shields on the BGS's are standard circles, but for some reason the shields on the BGS just at the exit are all the way on the left of the BGS.
-The road names are present on the BGS's. Since it's currently a diamond, the BGS has both: Meadowville Technology Pkwy (eastbound) and River's Bend Blvd (westbound)

The ultimate design accomodates 4 loop ramps.  Also, the parkway narrows to the pre-existing 2-lane bridge over I-295, and the ultimate design will provide a parallel 2-lane bridge.

There are 2 signalized intersections, to handle the left-turn movements to and from the parkway.

Quote
-The spacing in the 295 shields looks like they were considering adding Virginia to them, but ultimately did not.
-The work zone extends across the James River Bridge. The left lane was closed in both directions across it.

They are replacing the Varina-Enon Bridge bridge approach slabs and joints ... a separate project.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on December 18, 2011, 09:54:28 PM
Back home from the field. I haven't processed the photos yet but I do have some notes:
-The exit number is indeed 16. It and exit 15 (VA 10) are close enough that there's no break in the merge lanes between them.
All the 618 trailblazers (4 on each ramp) and both reassurance markers (one in each direction past the interchange) are ovals. Shields on the BGS's are standard circles, but for some reason the shields on the BGS just at the exit are all the way on the left of the BGS.
-The road names are present on the BGS's. Since it's currently a diamond, the BGS has both: Meadowville Technology Pkwy (eastbound) and River's Bend Blvd (westbound)
-The spacing in the 295 shields looks like they were considering adding Virginia to them, but ultimately did not.
-The work zone extends across the James River Bridge. The left lane was closed in both directions across it.

Edit: The blog update is here. (http://highcontrastshair.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-295s-new-interchange.html)

I noticed the waypoint signs have punctuation that VDOT does not typically use - namely "Washington, D.C." and "Rocky Mount, N.C." instead of "Washington" and "Rocky Mount NC". That combined with the left-justified signs at the exit on both directions of I-295, and all the ovals, makes me wonder what happened here...that must have been one weird contractor they awarded this project to.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 18, 2011, 10:13:25 PM
Yeah, something told me there was going to be bad signage here. I will give them credit for the 295 shields, though...I absolutely loved those.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 18, 2011, 10:24:47 PM
I noticed the waypoint signs have punctuation that VDOT does not typically use - namely "Washington, D.C." and "Rocky Mount, N.C." instead of "Washington" and "Rocky Mount NC". That combined with the left-justified signs at the exit on both directions of I-295, and all the ovals, makes me wonder what happened here...that must have been one weird contractor they awarded this project to.

It may have been Chesterfield County that posted the signs, given that they shared in the funding of the project.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: MASTERNC on December 19, 2011, 02:09:31 PM
Looks like Chesterfield County is also using red turn arrows now.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on December 19, 2011, 09:10:47 PM
Looks like Chesterfield County is also using red turn arrows now.

This isn't surprising; I've seen these in Henrico County as well...although Henrico County maintains its own secondary roads, so it's interesting to see them popping up in places where all the roads are under VDOT jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2011, 09:17:39 PM
I'm seeing more and more red arrows (most often for left turns) in Fairfax County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 19, 2011, 09:56:21 PM
I wrote about the topic a couple months ago (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=294.msg120790;topicseen#msg120790).  Because they're required in the 2009 MUTCD, they're now the VDOT standard.  Several locations where one can see them now.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on December 19, 2011, 11:47:15 PM
Because they're required in the 2009 MUTCD, they're now the VDOT standard.
Instead of red balls with 'left turn signal', I assume?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 20, 2011, 01:53:54 AM
The left turn only signals around here with the red ball usually have a sign with a sweeping left arrow above the word "only". Somehow that's something I've never paid attention to when I visit other parts of the state.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 20, 2011, 06:46:42 AM
Quote
Instead of red balls with 'left turn signal', I assume?

Just red balls, period.  VDOT standard had long been one signal head per lane, including turn lanes.  So they felt there was no need for the "left turn signal" sign.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 22, 2011, 09:55:59 PM
County hopes I-295 interchange will bring tenants to Meadowville park
http://www.chesterfieldobserver.com/news/2011-12-21/News/County_hopes_I295_interchange_will_bring_tenants_t.html

Looks like there are some immediate business improvements.

Amazon to open two local distribution centers, creating 1,350 jobs
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2011/dec/22/tdmain01-amazon-to-open-two-local-distribution-cen-ar-1560928/

Quotes:

Amazon, based in Seattle, plans to invest $85 million to open a 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Meadowville Technology Park in eastern Chesterfield. That site would employ about 1,000 people.

In Dinwiddie, the company plans to invest $50 million to open a center in the Dinwiddie Commerce Park that would employ about 350 people.

........

The I-95 Walthall interchange, Exit 58, was greatly expanded in the late 1990s, for assisting in light industrial development in that part of Chesterfield County.  Today there are at least 30 major businesses just to the east of that interchange, built since then.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 30, 2011, 01:42:55 PM
Had to head over to Annandale this morning and spotted the first of the advance signs for the Beltway HOT lanes propped up on the left side of the road as I was heading west out of the Springfield Interchange. I assume the reason the left sign is higher relative to the gantry is that it looks like it will be posted with that particular sign over the yet-to-open ramp coming from the Shirley Highway express lanes.

Interesting to see no mention of the "HO" aspect of "HOT" on these signs, so presumably there will be another sign explaining that part.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/543e60c7.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 30, 2011, 03:08:40 PM
Just red balls, period.  VDOT standard had long been one signal head per lane, including turn lanes.  So they felt there was no need for the "left turn signal" sign.

Carl D. Silver Parkway at VA-3 had red arrow turn signals as far back as 2007 (might have been there forever, that was my first time driving in VA), so they were installing them at some intersections before the 2009 MUTCD changes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 31, 2011, 06:46:35 AM
IIRC, that location is (barely) within the Fredericksburg city limits, so it would have been a city installation, not a VDOT installation.  The independent cities are not fully beholden to VDOT when it comes to traffic control devices.  For example, both Norfolk and Virginia Beach have been using red left arrows for over 10 years.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on December 31, 2011, 08:24:02 AM
The new signal on VA 10 at Old Stage Rd(SR 732) just near I-95 as a result of the widening project in the area has the red ball instead of a red arrow.  It was installed as of November but maybe it has to do with leftover stock???
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on December 31, 2011, 08:40:44 AM
Yeah, I noticed that too. To me, the most interesting part of Old Stage is that it briefly has something similar to a suicide lane, with two lanes in one direction and a broken yellow line.

(edited to add pic)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lvHUjEKWz6o/Tv8zdaawZqI/AAAAAAAAAj0/hN_iQBRV4FY/s640/2011-07-08%25252014.16.59.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 31, 2011, 04:35:53 PM
IIRC, that location is (barely) within the Fredericksburg city limits, so it would have been a city installation, not a VDOT installation.  The independent cities are not fully beholden to VDOT when it comes to traffic control devices.  For example, both Norfolk and Virginia Beach have been using red left arrows for over 10 years.

Adam, that's correct on all counts.  In Northern Virginia, I have long observed that the incorporated cities and towns, which usually maintain everything within their limits save for some freeways and expressways, don't always comply with VDOT's way of doing things.  Falls Church, Alexandria, (the City of) Fairfax, Vienna, Herndon and Leesburg all design their signals in ways that don't look like VDOT installations.  Especially Alexandria

Even Arlington County, which maintains its secondary system (while VDOT maintains the numbered primary highways), seems to do some things in ways that do not always have the VDOT "look and feel."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 05, 2012, 01:51:07 PM
Adam Tuss of WTOP reports that the Beltway HOT lanes are getting a name change. (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2694374) As foreshadowed by the photo I posted last week (see above), it seems they're going to be the "495 Express Lanes," similar to the "95 Express Lanes" down in Miami.

They're blaming the MUTCD.


Edited to add: The original version of that story contained MUTCD renderings of managed-lane signs. Transurban then saw the story and sent in some Beltway-specific renderings and the story has been updated.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 09, 2012, 10:00:49 AM
Following up on my last comment:

The new website for the Beltway project is now operative. (http://www.495expresslanes.com/) Parts of this duplicate what was on the old site, including some of the videos; parts of it are new, especially the parts showing renderings of the signage.

I found myself thinking the other day that the new lanes could almost be regarded, from a practical standpoint, as being akin to a new separate road within the Beltway footprint. That is, it's not going to be like I-270 where you can move back and forth between "local" and "express": Once you enter what are now being called the "Express Lanes," you won't be able to move back into the local lanes unless you go all the way to the other end, and you will not have access to all the same exits you would in the local lanes. (For example, if I were driving from Van Dorn Street and I entered the Express Lanes, my first opportunity to exit would be at the new US-29 exit near Merrifield.) The new website notes that there will be a $1000 fine for anyone caught cutting through the plastic bollards that will separate the Express and local lanes, but I have no doubt—given the overwhelming public ignorance about how this project will work and the unwillingness of many drivers to learn about it—that there will be plenty of squawking from people who don't understand it. Too bad. As I've said before, it looks to me as though Fluor and Transurban are going out of their way to make the signs amply clear.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2012, 02:00:51 PM
[Emphasis added in quote below]

Following up on my last comment:

The new website for the Beltway project is now operative. (http://www.495expresslanes.com/) Parts of this duplicate what was on the old site, including some of the videos; parts of it are new, especially the parts showing renderings of the signage.

The new website notes that there will be a $1000 fine for anyone caught cutting through the plastic bollards that will separate the Express and local lanes, but I have no doubt—given the overwhelming public ignorance about how this project will work and the unwillingness of many drivers to learn about it—that there will be plenty of squawking from people who don't understand it. Too bad. As I've said before, it looks to me as though Fluor and Transurban are going out of their way to make the signs amply clear.

Heck, many drivers move between the local and express (HOV) lanes in the I-95/I-395 corridor, and I see them regularly using the crossovers (which are clearly signed as being for emergency and official use only).

On the other hand, I have driven the Ca. 91 (Riverside Freeway) express lanes (http://www.91expresslanes.com/) in Orange County, which serve as the model (at least in part) for the I-495 Express Lanes. 

I am not aware that they have had much issue there with drivers (illegally) cutting in and out of those express lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 09, 2012, 06:30:53 PM
Tom Jackman in the Washington Post: Herndon traffic roundabout causes an uproar (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/herndon-traffic-roundabout-causes-an-uproar/2012/01/08/gIQAkMbjkP_blog.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 10, 2012, 08:22:37 AM
More from Adam Tuss of WTOP Radio: A look inside: Beltway express lanes will change your commute (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2699940)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on January 14, 2012, 05:06:51 PM
Disappointing news...the white border unisign on Arlington Road in Hopewell is no more. There's no replacement; the pole is gone and everything. The last VA 36 cutout (in front of the bowling alley downtown) and the ancient I-95 shield are still there, though.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 20, 2012, 05:28:14 PM
Another toll bridge on U.S. 17 in Virginia (and this seems like a good improvement).

TOLLROADSnews: Chesapeake City VA launches toll financed bridge replacement/US17-Dominion Avenue (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5709)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on January 20, 2012, 05:39:07 PM
Another toll bridge on U.S. 17 in Virginia (and this seems like a good improvement).

TOLLROADSnews: Chesapeake City VA launches toll financed bridge replacement/US17-Dominion Avenue (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5709)

Over $400 million to build?  What will the toll be? 

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on January 20, 2012, 06:07:49 PM
The VDOT presentation on this project from their most recent meeting:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/jan/Pre/Agenda_Item_9_Dominion_Blvd_Presentation_to_CTB_1-12-12.pdf (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/jan/Pre/Agenda_Item_9_Dominion_Blvd_Presentation_to_CTB_1-12-12.pdf)

It breaks down the costs to build this 3.6 mile project but does not suggest what toll would be set...


Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on January 20, 2012, 10:18:02 PM
The VDOT presentation on this project from their most recent meeting:

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/jan/Pre/Agenda_Item_9_Dominion_Blvd_Presentation_to_CTB_1-12-12.pdf (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/jan/Pre/Agenda_Item_9_Dominion_Blvd_Presentation_to_CTB_1-12-12.pdf)

It breaks down the costs to build this 3.6 mile project but does not suggest what toll would be set...
Mapmikey
I saw that yesterday, and did not see any projected toll.  Given over $200 million in toll revenue bonds, it sure would seem important to announce a projected toll schedule.  It may be rather high.

Also, is there about 1.5 mile on the south end of the old VA-104, that will not be part of this project?  IOW, will remain 2 lanes until a separate project is developed?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2012, 12:45:01 PM
A dump truck whose bed was in the up position nailed a sign gantry in the Springfield Interchange this morning, shutting the Inner Loop of the Beltway. The road has now reopened. Picture below. Seems pretty pathetic to me, as I've noted that the Beltway work zones have a bunch of orange warning signs specifically directed at the dump truck drivers saying "CAUTION! Make sure your dump bed is DOWN!"

From the picture below this appears to be the sign bridge located just before the exit for I-395 (as the one after that has an "Exit Only" indicator for the ramp to Springfield).

(http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/654*368/beltway+busted+sign.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on January 25, 2012, 01:49:19 PM
The greened-out arrow on the far right of the photo is the give-away.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on January 28, 2012, 01:01:43 AM
http://www.progress-index.com/news/center-for-disabled-to-close-900-jobs-to-be-lost-1.1263482

VA 357 serves this facility. I'd imagine it would be decommissioned when the place closes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on January 28, 2012, 02:01:37 PM
http://www.progress-index.com/news/center-for-disabled-to-close-900-jobs-to-be-lost-1.1263482

VA 357 serves this facility. I'd imagine it would be decommissioned when the place closes.

The Lynchburg (VA 334) and Hillsville (VA 392) facilities are also on the closure list.  Target dates for these facilities to close are 2014-2020


Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on January 30, 2012, 06:31:50 AM
Mecklenburg Prison is scheduled to close in May 2012.    I'm guessing VA 386 is on the chopping block...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 30, 2012, 07:55:11 AM
Mecklenburg Prison is scheduled to close in May 2012.    I'm guessing VA 386 is on the chopping block...

Not directly road-related, but here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/town-struggles-to-survive-close-of-prison/2012/01/20/gIQAsq6bYQ_story.html) is a Washington Post article about the planned closure of the prison in Boydton.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on January 30, 2012, 09:37:44 AM
Hmm, I'll have to go see it before it gets axed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 30, 2012, 12:43:29 PM
Somebody submitted the following link to Dr. Gridlock's online chat today. It's a picture of Tysons looking north from the car park outside where Woodies used to be at the mall. You can see the elevated Metrorail line in the back and the new Westpark Bridge Beltway express lane exit in the foreground.

Certainly a very different view than you get passing through on the surface. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitcase/6783691217/)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on January 30, 2012, 05:01:37 PM
Nice photo.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: roadman65 on February 04, 2012, 04:49:04 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/6819058447/in/photostream/

Is this particular sign a bit overkill?  Why not have a simpler tab on top that reads Exits 50A to 50D? 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on February 04, 2012, 06:24:50 PM
I've always thought the exit tab was fine, but the BGS portion is outdated, as mainline US 460 eastbound is on I-95 south here. That's now US 460 Business. Petersburg has a good amount of wacky signage in it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 05, 2012, 09:09:46 AM
Washington Post: Consulting commuters on I-66 needs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/consulting-commuters-on-i-66-needs/2012/02/02/gIQADSFIqQ_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: roadman65 on February 05, 2012, 09:41:14 AM
I've always thought the exit tab was fine, but the BGS portion is outdated, as mainline US 460 eastbound is on I-95 south here. That's now US 460 Business. Petersburg has a good amount of wacky signage in it.

I would like to know how Washington and Whythe Streets got to be Exit 50 D when the actual streets are north of Exit 51.  True the ramps bypass that of I-85, but before the tolls were lifted on the old Richmond- Petersburg Turnpike the exit was actually north of the 85 merge.  You had to pay the toll then before reaching the exit.  Now, of course, with more traffic causing weaving it was good to have a long c/d roadway, but nonetheless it is still an exit north of Exit 51 and south of Exit 52.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on February 05, 2012, 11:05:26 AM
I think they based it off the exit from the "main" C/D road. From what I can tell, they decided all the exits from it would be part of Exit 50.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on February 05, 2012, 11:14:19 AM
Washington Post: Consulting commuters on I-66 needs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/consulting-commuters-on-i-66-needs/2012/02/02/gIQADSFIqQ_story.html)

That article noted the status of "spot improvements" to I-66 inside the Beltway.  Those included the new auxiliary lane on westbound I-66 in Arlington between the Glebe Rd. and Sycamore St. exits, that very, very quietly opened in December without (AFAIK) any mention in the Post.  There are two similar spot improvements in the pipeline, but those are on hold pending an I-66 "multi-modal" corridor study scheduled to be done in June.  I would not bet the ranch on either one going forward.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on February 05, 2012, 06:38:28 PM
Oh looky here. Police pulling people over on the interstate in Virginia is making others angry. Who saw that coming?

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/feb/05/tdmain01-legislative-scrutiny-increases-on-traffic-ar-1665059/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 05, 2012, 10:52:26 PM
Oh looky here. Police pulling people over on the interstate in Virginia is making others angry. Who saw that coming?

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/feb/05/tdmain01-legislative-scrutiny-increases-on-traffic-ar-1665059/

"Anderson said about 99 percent of the speeding citations issued are for driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit. More than 500 motorists were cited for driving 90 to 99 mph, and 19 for driving 100 mph or more."

Those miscreants deserved to be ticketed.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 08:33:12 AM
Oh looky here. Police pulling people over on the interstate in Virginia is making others angry. Who saw that coming?

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/feb/05/tdmain01-legislative-scrutiny-increases-on-traffic-ar-1665059/

I've no problem with local law enforcement officers doing their job (enforcing the law), even on an Interstate highway, given that the Virginia State Police force is frequently stretched pretty thin.  But consider also that the segment of I-295 in question probably has a design speed of about 150 MPH ;-) . 

Still, the posted limit is not quite that high (70 sounds correct - I drive I-295 pretty frequently - a bypass highway in the best sense of the phrase - a much easier drive than I-95 through Richmond and Petersburg).  And motorists driving over 80 MPH, especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia, do so at their own risk.

But I have a huge problem with the revenue-raising aspect of this - especially revenue raising for Hopewell's municipal government - that sounds like a speed trap.  Fine revenue from traffic summonses issued by the Virginia State Police (for the most part) goes to the Commonwealth's Literacy Fund, not to the State Police (exception for "liquidated damages" tickets issued to overweight commercial vehicles - I think VDOT gets those revenues).  No financial incentive for troopers in Virginia to write tickets knowing that the dollars come back to them. 

So in a perfect world, fines paid as a result of summonses issued by local law enforcement officers would also go to the Literacy Fund, and not to the county or municipal government employing them. 

In my home state of Maryland, local governments may not pass laws or ordinances concerning traffic (except parking), which means that all "moving violations" are infractions of the state's Transportation Article, and fine revenue goes to the state treasury, not a county or municipal government.

Two other places in Virginia where local law enforcement officers engage in aggressive traffic enforcement include:

(1) I-95 through Emporia (just north of the North Carolina border); and
(2) U.S. 29 through Greene County (between Charlottesville and Culpeper).

Traditionally, the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church have had reputations for being tough on traffic infractions, but maybe not as much now as they once were.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 08:36:59 AM
Washington Post: Consulting commuters on I-66 needs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/consulting-commuters-on-i-66-needs/2012/02/02/gIQADSFIqQ_story.html)

That article noted the status of "spot improvements" to I-66 inside the Beltway.  Those included the new auxiliary lane on westbound I-66 in Arlington between the Glebe Rd. and Sycamore St. exits, that very, very quietly opened in December without (AFAIK) any mention in the Post.  There are two similar spot improvements in the pipeline, but those are on hold pending an I-66 "multi-modal" corridor study scheduled to be done in June.  I would not bet the ranch on either one going forward.

Let's see what the results of the study says. 

Heck, I-66 might just be the most multi-modal corridor in Virginia - today
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 08:42:26 AM
Oh looky here. Police pulling people over on the interstate in Virginia is making others angry. Who saw that coming?

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/feb/05/tdmain01-legislative-scrutiny-increases-on-traffic-ar-1665059/

"Anderson said about 99 percent of the speeding citations issued are for driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit. More than 500 motorists were cited for driving 90 to 99 mph, and 19 for driving 100 mph or more."

Those miscreants deserved to be ticketed.

No problem with ticketing them - and I mean ticketing all of them (if the Hopewell sheriff can muster enough officers to do that). 

Big problem with the Hopewell sheriff doing this to raise revenue for his agency and maybe for the City of Hopewell.

Quoting from the Times-Dispatch (emphasis added):

Quote
"It's not about the money to me," Anderson said forcefully and repeatedly during a recent interview. The purpose, the sheriff said, is to slow people down and save lives.

Sorry - I don't believe him.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on February 06, 2012, 09:10:35 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 06, 2012, 09:21:09 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.

And many going far in excess of 80.  While I have questions about local law enforcement on Interstate highways, I will point out that Hopewell does have part of the responsibilites to provide emergency services to that segment of I-295, such as police, fire, EMS and hospital.  So it is not fair for anyone to suggest that they have no stake in law enforcement on I-295.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 06, 2012, 09:48:41 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.


On the other hand, though, anything in excess of 80 mph is statutorily grounds for a reckless driving ticket. While I've had the good fortune never to suffer one of those, I assume the average fine is substantially higher given that reckless driving is a criminal offense in Virginia rather than an "infraction" like most traffic tickets are. So there may be a definite incentive for the cops to focus on the "80-plus" crowd.

A ticket for 71 in a 70 zone is something you'll rarely see anywhere because police officers almost universally allow some amount of tolerance in case of speedometer error, which apparently is quite common. To me the most odious law in that respect is in Victoria, where the speed cameras will ticket for 3 km/h over the speed limit even though Australian federal law specifically allows a driver 10% tolerance on his speedometer for error (so, if the speed limit is 120, you'd be allowed 12 km/h error, or about 7 mph).

Getting back to Virginia, while I think the speed limit on most of that portion of I-295 is too low (except through the work zones), I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who get nailed for going over 80 mph and who get tagged with a reckless ticket as a result. As cpzilliacus notes, if you choose to go over 80 mph in Virginia, you do it at your own risk given the well-known reckless driving laws (although a lot of people mistakenly think that the reckless law is solely a "20 over" law; they forget the "in excess of 80 mph" part as well as the various other statutes setting forth other grounds for this offense). I certainly drive slower than I did when I was younger (and dumber), and my desire to keep my lower insurance premiums surely factors into that, but I'm also not regularly going up and down mind-numbing I-85 several times a year anymore.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 10:38:55 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.

Froggie, I suggest that the Sheriff of Hopewell knows darned well that if his deputies were to issue summonses to all speeders on I-295, he would almost certainly incur the wrath of a substantial majority of the honorable members of the Virginia General Assembly, which would presumably result in nullification of municipal and county traffic laws in Virginia (as an aside, knowing that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, I find it very curious that the Commonwealth allows its counties and cities and towns to enact local traffic laws at all).

Sheriff Anderson's deputies would almost certainly cause an increase in traffic crashes if he were to engage in "saturation" speed limit enforcement - on what is generally a pretty safe and modern highway.

Again, I have no sympathy for motorists that get stopped for exceeding the posted speed limit, especially those that exceed it by substantial margins (even though, in my opinion, most of Virginia's I-295 could safely have a posted limit of 80 MPH).

But I dislike intensely the use of traffic law enforcement as a way for any unit of government to raise revenue.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 06, 2012, 10:46:46 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.

Froggie, I suggest that the Sheriff of Hopewell knows darned well that if his deputies were to issue summonses to all speeders on I-295, he would almost certainly incur the wrath of a substantial majority of the honorable members of the Virginia General Assembly, which would presumably result in nullification of municipal and county traffic laws in Virginia (as an aside, knowing that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, I find it very curious that the Commonwealth allows its counties and cities and towns to enact local traffic laws at all).

That's a strawman argument.  They don't have the resources to issue tickets to ALL speeders.  They don't have the resources to issue tickets to even a substantial minority.  They DO have enough resources to provide a visible disincentive to the worst speeders (80 to 100+)

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 11:14:22 AM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.

And many going far in excess of 80.  While I have questions about local law enforcement on Interstate highways, I will point out that Hopewell does have part of the responsibilites to provide emergency services to that segment of I-295, such as police, fire, EMS and hospital.  So it is not fair for anyone to suggest that they have no stake in law enforcement on I-295.

Though as the article stated, investigation of crashes and other incidents on I-295 are handled by the Virginia State Police, not local law enforcement - an arrangement that holds in most places in Virginia.

And I know that the border between Hopewell and territory to its west, Prince George County is rather "jagged," and the border crosses I-295 several times between the Va. 36 (Oaklawn Boulevard) interchange and the Appomattox River. So yes, presumably Hopewell's fire and EMS agencies do respond to crashes on I-295, and there are probably times when the VSP requests backup response from Hopewell law enforcement.  

But on the flipside, the city derives tax revenue from the freeway-oriented businesses along Va. 36 near the 295 interchange.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 06, 2012, 12:22:59 PM
And many going far in excess of 80.  While I have questions about local law enforcement on Interstate highways, I will point out that Hopewell does have part of the responsibilites to provide emergency services to that segment of I-295, such as police, fire, EMS and hospital.  So it is not fair for anyone to suggest that they have no stake in law enforcement on I-295.

Though as the article stated, investigation of crashes and other incidents on I-295 are handled by the Virginia State Police, not local law enforcement - an arrangement that holds in most places in Virginia.

And I know that the border between Hopewell and territory to its west, Prince George County is rather "jagged," and the border crosses I-295 several times between the Va. 36 (Oaklawn Boulevard) interchange and the Appomattox River. So yes, presumably Hopewell's fire and EMS agencies do respond to crashes on I-295, and there are probably times when the VSP requests backup response from Hopewell law enforcement. 

Plus hospital.  The John Randolph Medical Center would be the default choice for about a 10-mile section of I-295.
Quote

But on the flipside, the city derives tax revenue from the freeway-oriented businesses along Va. 36 near the 295 interchange.

Not much, on the balance.  A considerable number of businesses and homes were removed in order to build the I-295/VA-36 interchange, and much of what is there now was there before I-295.  Doubt that there has been any net increase in businesses there.  Hopewell is well aware of this, of course.



Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 07:33:47 PM
But on the flipside, the city derives tax revenue from the freeway-oriented businesses along Va. 36 near the 295 interchange.

Quote
Not much, on the balance.  A considerable number of businesses and homes were removed in order to build the I-295/VA-36 interchange, and much of what is there now was there before I-295.  Doubt that there has been any net increase in businesses there.  Hopewell is well aware of this, of course.

I will have to defer to your better knowledge regarding Hopewell and Va. 36 in the pre-I-295 days.  Though it looks like Hopewell might have annexed some land around that interchange (along Va. 36) at some point.

Before 295 was completed, the only thing I know about Hopewell was the Kepone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepone) pollution scandal in the 1970's - like nearly all other N-S driving motorists on I-95, I paid my RPT tolls and stayed on I-95 (or I-85 if headed in the direction of Durham).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2012, 07:46:57 PM
You may not believe him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.  If it were about the money, you'd think they'd be nabbing everybody they could who was going 71.  But they point out virtually all the tickets were for those going 80+.

Froggie, I suggest that the Sheriff of Hopewell knows darned well that if his deputies were to issue summonses to all speeders on I-295, he would almost certainly incur the wrath of a substantial majority of the honorable members of the Virginia General Assembly, which would presumably result in nullification of municipal and county traffic laws in Virginia (as an aside, knowing that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, I find it very curious that the Commonwealth allows its counties and cities and towns to enact local traffic laws at all).

That's a strawman argument.  They don't have the resources to issue tickets to ALL speeders.  They don't have the resources to issue tickets to even a substantial minority.  They DO have enough resources to provide a visible disincentive to the worst speeders (80 to 100+)

From what the Times-Dispatch article said, Hopewell did not have the resources to do any traffic enforcement on I-295 until recently (and as in most Virginia cities and counties with a police department, traffic enforcement is not usually a primary part of the sheriff's office). 

It would be interesting if the T-D were to ask similar questions about speed limit enforcement on I-95 in the vicinity of Emporia.  Like Hopewell, I have frequently noticed local law enforcement issuing speeding tickets on the Interstate in and near that municipality.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on February 06, 2012, 09:14:21 PM
And many going far in excess of 80.  While I have questions about local law enforcement on Interstate highways, I will point out that Hopewell does have part of the responsibilites to provide emergency services to that segment of I-295, such as police, fire, EMS and hospital.  So it is not fair for anyone to suggest that they have no stake in law enforcement on I-295.

Though as the article stated, investigation of crashes and other incidents on I-295 are handled by the Virginia State Police, not local law enforcement - an arrangement that holds in most places in Virginia.

And I know that the border between Hopewell and territory to its west, Prince George County is rather "jagged," and the border crosses I-295 several times between the Va. 36 (Oaklawn Boulevard) interchange and the Appomattox River. So yes, presumably Hopewell's fire and EMS agencies do respond to crashes on I-295, and there are probably times when the VSP requests backup response from Hopewell law enforcement. 

Plus hospital.  The John Randolph Medical Center would be the default choice for about a 10-mile section of I-295.

That hospital has been owned by the for-profit HCA hospital system since the mid-1990s.  I don't know the details of the hospital's current relationship with the city government, but local taxpayers probably don't provide any significant financial support, especially for auto accident cases, which tend to be the least financially burdensome of trauma and emergency cases for hospitals (victims are more likely to be insured than, say, inner-city "knife and gun club" members).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 06, 2012, 10:01:48 PM
Plus hospital.  The John Randolph Medical Center would be the default choice for about a 10-mile section of I-295.

That hospital has been owned by the for-profit HCA hospital system since the mid-1990s.  I don't know the details of the hospital's current relationship with the city government, but local taxpayers probably don't provide any significant financial support, especially for auto accident cases, which tend to be the least financially burdensome of trauma and emergency cases for hospitals (victims are more likely to be insured than, say, inner-city "knife and gun club" members).

Irrelevant.  The point being that it is part of the medical resource base of the Hopewell area.

A wreck that put 5 or 10 people in the hospital would draw considerable regional resources of ambulances and hospital beds.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 06, 2012, 10:03:35 PM
Quote
Not much, on the balance.  A considerable number of businesses and homes were removed in order to build the I-295/VA-36 interchange, and much of what is there now was there before I-295.  Doubt that there has been any net increase in businesses there.  Hopewell is well aware of this, of course.

I will have to defer to your better knowledge regarding Hopewell and Va. 36 in the pre-I-295 days.  Though it looks like Hopewell might have annexed some land around that interchange (along Va. 36) at some point.

No annexations.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on February 06, 2012, 11:07:42 PM
T
Plus hospital.  The John Randolph Medical Center would be the default choice for about a 10-mile section of I-295.

That hospital has been owned by the for-profit HCA hospital system since the mid-1990s.  I don't know the details of the hospital's current relationship with the city government, but local taxpayers probably don't provide any significant financial support, especially for auto accident cases, which tend to be the least financially burdensome of trauma and emergency cases for hospitals (victims are more likely to be insured than, say, inner-city "knife and gun club" members).

Irrelevant.  The point being that it is part of the medical resource base of the Hopewell area.

A wreck that put 5 or 10 people in the hospital would draw considerable regional resources of ambulances and hospital beds.

Huh?  The argument being made above is that local law enforcement has a financial reason to care about what goes on I-295 passing through the Hopewell area, to the extent that travelers end up in the hospital, and so local police have a special need to supplement the Virginia State Police.  Even if a privately-owned HCA hospital is in some sense part of the "medical resource base" of the area, it's a part that HCA handles, and not part of what the local governments (including the one the Hopewell police work for) are responsible for or have a financial stake in.  EMS/ambulance, perhaps, but not the hospital, so the latter is essentially irrelevant to the argument, and you would do better to stick to the former.

BTW, the hospitals in the Richmond region, not just in Hopewell, are generally owned/operated by private companies (mainly HCA and a large Catholic system), or a state university (VCU/Medical College of Virginia), rather than local governments.  That's not always true in other regions.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on February 07, 2012, 06:29:49 AM
T
Plus hospital.  The John Randolph Medical Center would be the default choice for about a 10-mile section of I-295.

That hospital has been owned by the for-profit HCA hospital system since the mid-1990s.  I don't know the details of the hospital's current relationship with the city government, but local taxpayers probably don't provide any significant financial support, especially for auto accident cases, which tend to be the least financially burdensome of trauma and emergency cases for hospitals (victims are more likely to be insured than, say, inner-city "knife and gun club" members).

Irrelevant.  The point being that it is part of the medical resource base of the Hopewell area.

A wreck that put 5 or 10 people in the hospital would draw considerable regional resources of ambulances and hospital beds.

Huh?  The argument being made above is that local law enforcement has a financial reason to care about what goes on I-295 passing through the Hopewell area, to the extent that travelers end up in the hospital, and so local police have a special need to supplement the Virginia State Police.  Even if a privately-owned HCA hospital is in some sense part of the "medical resource base" of the area, it's a part that HCA handles, and not part of what the local governments (including the one the Hopewell police work for) are responsible for or have a financial stake in.  EMS/ambulance, perhaps, but not the hospital, so the latter is essentially irrelevant to the argument, and you would do better to stick to the former.

The local government has a stake in what impacts the community.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 09, 2012, 04:29:34 PM
WTOP Radio on construction impacts at I-66 and I-495 interchange: Construction at Beltway Interchange spurs traffic complaints (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2740958)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on February 11, 2012, 03:55:44 PM
Colonial Heights has replaced some signage at major intersections with its own custom-made directory signs. One of the removed signs included the US 144 error.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on February 11, 2012, 06:44:59 PM
Colonial Heights has replaced some signage at major intersections with its own custom-made directory signs. One of the removed signs included the US 144 error.

Do the new signs have correct shields on them? (Or any shields at all, for that matter?)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on February 11, 2012, 06:57:33 PM
No shields, just directional arrows to city sites and landmarks.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2012, 11:13:08 AM
WTOP Radio: VDOT investigates why sign fell on I-66 (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2745060)

Quote
Investigators from the Virginia Department of Transportation are trying to determine why a 30-foot sign collapsed onto Interstate 66 Saturday.

Quote
The sign fell into the eastbound lanes of I-66 near Monument Drive around 2:45 p.m. The sign struck a pickup truck, but nobody was injured.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2012, 07:49:03 AM
Also WTOP Radio: Financing approval anticipated for I-95/395 express lanes (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2748079)

Quote
WASHINGTON - The express lanes being built on the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia promise a speedy commute in exchange for paying a toll.

Quote
And, there are plans to put a similar network of lanes in place along 29 miles of Interstate 95/395. That project, which would run from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to about Edsall Road in Fairfax County, is expected to clear another hurdle Wednesday.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 20, 2012, 04:54:35 PM
D.C. Examiner: Despite warnings, Virginia rarely enforces speeding from above (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/virginia/2012/02/despite-warnings-virginia-rarely-enforces-speeding-above/284461)

Quote
The state rarely uses Aerial Speed Enforcement operations because of budget constraints. It costs $150 an hour to fuel and maintain the aircraft needed for the surveillance, according to the Virginia State Police, plus overtime expenses for the additional troopers needed to assist in the effort. Missions tend to last four to six hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 22, 2012, 08:24:32 AM
WTOP Radio regarding the I-495 (Va.) Express Lanes project: More changes coming along the Express Lanes project (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=654&sid=2756581)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 01, 2012, 11:52:17 AM
Speed Limit increasing to 60 over next few days over the entirety of I-664 and two small segments of I-64 in the Hampton Roads Area...

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2012/speed_limit_to_increase56714.asp (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2012/speed_limit_to_increase56714.asp)

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 01, 2012, 01:05:59 PM
 :banghead:  Dr. Gridlock's column today includes a letter from a reader who complains that the 495 Express Lanes (formerly the "HOT Lanes") represent double-charging (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/hot-lanes-take-heat-from-taxpayer/2012/02/14/gIQAYx6biR_story.html) due to tolls being imposed "on roads we've already paid for with tax dollars."

I think I will write a letter to Dr. Gridlock later today or tomorrow responding. I find arguments like this one to be laughable because they represent such a fundamental misunderstanding of the project. I mean, look, it seems to me that if you have four general-purpose lanes in each direction that anyone can use at any time subject only to HAZMAT and "no commercial vehicles in left lane" restrictions, and then you rebuild the road so it STILL has four general-purpose lanes in each direction PLUS two ENTIRELY NEW barrier-separated express lanes in each direction, how are you being "charged a toll to drive on a road paid for with tax dollars"? The new lanes wouldn't have existed at all but for the new project, and all the pre-existing capacity is maintained.

To me, letters like the one Dr. Gridlock published underscore the real difficulty with the 495 Express Lanes project: How to educate a driving public that is simply unwilling to listen or to allow itself to be educated or ruled by anything other than pure uninformed emotional rants. It also underscores to me that in some ways I'd be wasting my time writing the letter to Dr. Gridlock because the people who need to read that sort of thing aren't ever likely to see it. But I may do it anyway just on principle.  :-D
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 01, 2012, 01:50:14 PM
Speed Limit increasing to 60 over next few days over the entirety of I-664 and two small segments of I-64 in the Hampton Roads Area...

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2012/speed_limit_to_increase56714.asp (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/hampton_roads/2012/speed_limit_to_increase56714.asp)

I don't get it. 

Most of the Interstate (and non-Interstate but functional classification freeway, such as the Va. 168 toll road in Chesapeake) network in Hampton Roads (except perhaps for the segments of I-64 and I-664 approaching and crossing the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Monitor-Merrimack Bridge Tunnel, respectively and I-264 approaching and crossing the Downtown Tunnel and Berkley Bridge) ought to have posted speed limits of 65. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on March 01, 2012, 11:56:48 PM
Honestly, at the very least the segment of I-664 between the MMMBT and I-264 could easily do with a 65 MPH speed limit. 55 MPH always seemed painfully slow and I'm glad they're raising it at least a little bit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 02, 2012, 10:10:04 AM
Honestly, at the very least the segment of I-664 between the MMMBT and I-264 could easily do with a 65 MPH speed limit. 55 MPH always seemed painfully slow and I'm glad they're raising it at least a little bit.

I base this statement on my (pretty extensive) driving experiences in Southern California, where very nearly all freeways have a posted limit of 65 MPH. 

Only one with a lower limit (that I can name immediately) is Ca. 110 (the Arroyo Seco Parkway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arroyo_Seco_Parkway), f/k/a Pasadena Freeway) between downtown L.A. and Pasadena.

But if the San Diego Freeway can have a posted limit of 65 MPH, then I think it reasonable to assert that very nearly every freeway in Hampton Roads (and, for that matter, across most of Virginia) could (and probably should) have a posted limit of 65.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 03, 2012, 08:02:46 AM
Quote
Honestly, at the very least the segment of I-664 between the MMMBT and I-264 could easily do with a 65 MPH speed limit. 55 MPH always seemed painfully slow and I'm glad they're raising it at least a little bit.

This segment was already 60 MPH (and has been for at least 10 years, back when I was in Norfolk the last time), except at the southernmost end near US 58.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on March 03, 2012, 01:22:15 PM
Quote
Honestly, at the very least the segment of I-664 between the MMMBT and I-264 could easily do with a 65 MPH speed limit. 55 MPH always seemed painfully slow and I'm glad they're raising it at least a little bit.

This segment was already 60 MPH (and has been for at least 10 years, back when I was in Norfolk the last time), except at the southernmost end near US 58.

Correct.

So the MMMBT tunnel will be 60 mph ... are there any other major tunnels in the U.S. with a speed limit as high as that?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on March 10, 2012, 02:06:20 PM
Due to road work on both sides of VA 10 at its intersection with VA 145, the erroneous North-South VA 145 shields are gone, at least for the time being.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 15, 2012, 09:29:53 PM
Virginian-Pilot: Va. officials moving forward with tunnel, tolls project (http://hamptonroads.com/2012/03/va-officials-moving-forward-tunnel-tolls-project)

Quote
State highway officials are progressing on schedule with the Midtown Tunnel expansion despite a threatened lawsuit over tolls and an unresolved state budget that could inject more money in the deal.

Quote
State leaders are so confident the project will move forward that on Wednesday they looked to expedite plans to create a network of retail outlets to sell E-ZPass transponders before the tolling starts, which could be as early as July.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on March 15, 2012, 10:06:09 PM
Virginian-Pilot: Va. officials moving forward with tunnel, tolls project (http://hamptonroads.com/2012/03/va-officials-moving-forward-tunnel-tolls-project)

Quote
State highway officials are progressing on schedule with the Midtown Tunnel expansion despite a threatened lawsuit over tolls and an unresolved state budget that could inject more money in the deal.

Quote
State leaders are so confident the project will move forward that on Wednesday they looked to expedite plans to create a network of retail outlets to sell E-ZPass transponders before the tolling starts, which could be as early as July.

I can't understand why there is no federal funding for this project, especially considering the massive military presence in the region.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 15, 2012, 10:19:21 PM
I can't understand why there is no federal funding for this project, especially considering the massive military presence in the region.

The facilities in  question are, of course, intrastate.  But I agree regarding the military bases in and near Hampton Roads.

In addition, Hampton Roads is also home to major seaports, or, in geek-speak, intermodal facilities.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 15, 2012, 10:21:10 PM
WTOP Radio: Va. to make it easier, cheaper to buy E-ZPass (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776)

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Virginia is planning to make it easier and cheaper to buy an E-ZPass.

Quote
The plan comes as the state gets ready to open miles of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes along both Interstate 495 and Interstate 95 in the next few years. The only way to pay the new tolls in those new lanes in Virginia will be with an E-ZPass transponder.

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The Virginia Department of Transportation is considering a plan that would make the transponder available at retail locations across the state for $35 with $15 dollars of that available to use right away for tolls. The other $20 could be used for tolls after the transponder is registered.

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Unlike some other states including Maryland, there would be no monthly fee for E-ZPass and no charge for the actual transponder.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on March 15, 2012, 10:23:33 PM
Hmm. I may actually buy one if that happens.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on March 16, 2012, 08:15:28 AM
I can't understand why there is no federal funding for this project, especially considering the massive military presence in the region.

The facilities in  question are, of course, intrastate.  But I agree regarding the military bases in and near Hampton Roads.

In addition, Hampton Roads is also home to major seaports, or, in geek-speak, intermodal facilities.

Major non-Interstate highway projects often qualify for 70% or even 80% federal funding.  Even 50% for this project would provide major reduction in tolls.  Instead it is 0%...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 18, 2012, 06:46:57 PM
D.C. Examiner: Name a Virginia road for $5,000 to $200,000 (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/03/name-virginia-road-5000-200000/378941)

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Cough up $200,000, promise not to use potty humor, and you could get to name your favorite stretch of interstate in Virginia.

Quote
Desperate for cash to build and fix roads, Virginia recently approved legislation that would allow corporations or individuals to pay to put their names on the state's roads and bridges. Following a successful program that allowed corporations to brand state highway rest stops, the naming-rights measure is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for roads, according to transportation officials who are now identifying which pieces of the state's infrastructure are ripe for naming and what to charge.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: bsmart on March 18, 2012, 09:07:25 PM
D.C. Examiner: Name a Virginia road for $5,000 to $200,000 (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/transportation/2012/03/name-virginia-road-5000-200000/378941)

Quote
Cough up $200,000, promise not to use potty humor, and you could get to name your favorite stretch of interstate in Virginia.

Quote
Desperate for cash to build and fix roads, Virginia recently approved legislation that would allow corporations or individuals to pay to put their names on the state's roads and bridges. Following a successful program that allowed corporations to brand state highway rest stops, the naming-rights measure is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for roads, according to transportation officials who are now identifying which pieces of the state's infrastructure are ripe for naming and what to charge.



And I can remember when Virginia named highways (for Free) as an honor.  Mosby, Jackson, Lee immediately come to mind.  I think  US 29 is named after the 29th Infantry Division (The Blue and Gray Division, the MD & VA National Guard) 

How times have changed
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on March 18, 2012, 09:20:39 PM
There's a difference between naming roads in someone's honor and because someone paid you money to though. Roads are still named in honor of politicians, but there are plenty of other stretches of road that are not.

As for the idea itself, I don't really care. No one is going to suddenly start calling a highway by a corporate-sponsored name no matter how much they pay.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 20, 2012, 10:21:15 AM
WTOP Radio: Memo reveals Arlington ticket quota (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=139&sid=2793398)

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A memo sent to Arlington County police officers earlier this month appears to outline a quota system for traffic tickets, arrests and parking citations, according to a report from television station WUSA 9.

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Though the memo says “there is not, nor has there ever been a quota for traffic enforcement,” it goes on to list “monthly proactivity expectations,” complete with a set number of traffic summons and a maximum percentage of warnings.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 20, 2012, 12:11:16 PM
....

I noticed the new BGSs for the HOV ramps have been put into place for traffic heading from the Inner Loop to Shirley Highway (i.e., going west into Springfield and exiting to the left of the I-95 flyover). Can't seem to get a good picture due to their location behind the flyover unless I were to hold the camera in my hand, which I don't like to do. They have the white "Restricted Lanes" banner at the top, then the shield and destination, then an empty opening where it looks like a VMS will be inserted. Whether that's going to contain toll rate info or instead HOV info, who knows. They haven't hoisted any toll gantries on that end of the project—the first one you see on the Inner Loop is just west of the main part of the Springfield Interchange going up the hill towards the overpass above Backlick Road.

I posted the above this past October 18. froggie replied as follows:

The open space is where a small VMS will go showing the toll rate.


A few weeks later I posted this photo of one of the then-new signs with the open space, along with the speculation quoted below:

....

You know, the other possibility that occurs to me about the small VMS units that will go on these signs is that they may very well not include toll rates at all (there are still no signs of toll gantries anywhere on that side of the Springfield Interchange) and that instead they may well say "OPEN" or "CLOSED." Obviously, if the ramp from the Beltway to the inbound express lanes on I-395 is open, the ramp to the outbound express lanes on I-95 will be closed—both ramps will never be open at the same time. (My interest in the setup stems from the fact that I can see myself using those ramps very frequently, especially coming home from Caps games.)

....

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/c9fa6718.jpg)


A few minutes ago I received an e-mail from the 495 Express Lanes project in response to my query about whether the ramps will be tolled and it said as follows:

Quote
[My real name],

Thank you for your interest in the 495 Express Lanes.

All of the HOV ramps  will follow the existing HOV rules in effect today when the 495 Express Lanes open later this year. They are not a part of the tolled system. Hopefully this answers your question.

Please let us know if we can help you with anything else.

Safe travels.
495 Express Lanes Team

www.495ExpressLanes.com

Of course it bears remembering that if/when the Shirley Highway HO/T proposal is implemented, these ramps would then require payment of a toll by non-HOV drivers because, even if the ramps themselves are not tolled, the reversible center carriageway on Shirley Highway would be.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 22, 2012, 04:57:28 PM
WTOP: Express Lanes signs about to debut on Beltway (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2797514)

Adam Tuss reports that in the next few weeks we'll start seeing the "495 Express Lanes" signage. I can report, based on a trip to Falls Church today, that at least one is already up and is not covered with plastic—on the Inner Loop stretch between US-50 and I-66 there's a new sign with the white "E-ZPass Express" banner. It looks like it's got a VMS section underneath it, though I didn't get a great look because I was in slow traffic surrounded by trucks (including tractor-trailers driving on the shoulder). I also noted that they've started a bit of lane-striping near Braddock on the Inner Loop (very minimal, to be sure). The pace of construction has really accelerated big-time in the past couple of months, no doubt helped by the great weather recently. It looks like they definitely ought to have it all finished this year—though I hope for all of our sakes one of the final steps in the project would be a full re-pave of most of the existing road surface to get rid of all the annoying ruts and seams left over from the years of construction.

(Incidentally, I noted that the first advance overhead for I-66, which is located just before the Gallows Road overpass, has the exit tab on the LEFT for a right-side exit. I sent an e-mail to Steve Titunik of VDOT, but I rather doubt the sign will be replaced or altered because the exit "tab" appears to be part of the same large piece of metal, making a change uneconomical and impractical. I suppose, given the new standard that exit tabs for left exits include the "LEFT" banner, and given that the new signs on the Beltway follow that standard, the misplacement of this exit tab maybe isn't such a big deal—since it doesn't say "LEFT EXIT 49 B–A," it necessarily means it's a right-side exit.)

The part of Adam Tuss's article that I find most interesting, following a re-read, is his comment that they're going to start testing the tolling equipment in the next few weeks. I have to assume this is going to be on the portion between I-66 and US-29. That section is already paved within the last few weeks.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2012, 01:15:11 PM
WAVY Channel 10: Businesses react to possible toll delay (http://www.wavy.com/dpp/traffic/tolls/businesses-react-to-possible-toll-delay)

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A budget amendment to delay tolls until January 2014 has left some Portsmouth business owners with mixed reactions.

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Crockin told WAVY.com he's been keeping a close eye on Louise Lucas' bill and doesn't think a two year delay will help.

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"What I want to see, and what other people in Portsmouth want to see, is no tolls," Crockin added. "Find another way to pay for the tunnels."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 23, 2012, 01:32:58 PM
Following on my other comment from yesterday about the new signs on the Beltway, the 495 Express Lanes project put this picture on their Twitter feed. The overpass in the background is US-29 (Lee Highway) and the ramp under construction to the left is the new northbound exit/southbound entrance from/to the Express Lanes. This is the same sign I mentioned in my previous comment, but when I went through there I was in the right lane because I wanted to exit onto I-66.

The white banner shown here is to be the standard at the top of all signs for the new lanes (width will vary, of course).

(https://p.twimg.com/Aom-GRqCIAAd2s0.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 03, 2012, 06:00:03 PM
Drove to Falls Church on the Beltway today and was glad to see some serious progress. The warm winter and spring have surely helped with that.

Substitute pylons for the orange barrels and the picture below (Inner Loop) gives a pretty good sense for how the Express Lanes separation will look. The gantries just north of the US-29 overpass have the tolling equipment in place, but I didn't get a good picture there since I was in the far right lane trying to exit to I-66 in some heavy traffic and the camera was clipped to the passenger-side sun visor (I don't like using a handheld device when I'm in traffic since our cars are all manual-shift). Also noted a lot of the lane striping leading to the new ramps in Springfield is complete or nearly complete and a crew were out installing the VMS units on the BGSs for the Inner Loop exit to the new ramps.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/ef32d0cf.png)


In a prior post I mentioned the advance sign for I-66 with the exit tab on the wrong side. It's been fixed. Steve Titunik had someone send me an e-mail saying they would go have a look at it, but I didn't expect it to be fixed so soon.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/ea7dfced.png)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: OracleUsr on April 03, 2012, 10:42:30 PM
I was in DC Saturday after a drive on Skyline Drive.  Is the "LEFT" banner on the Dulles Toll Road exit sign a first for VA?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 04, 2012, 07:38:28 AM
No, but close.  We've had one on southbound I-95 at US 1 just north of Woodbridge (Exit 161) for about a year now.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 04, 2012, 07:51:01 AM
There have also been a couple at the Pentagon Mixing Bowl interchange since at least sometime last year. I'm not precisely sure when they went up, but they're on southbound VA-27 next to I-395 and they're part of those sign assemblies that use the very ugly large initial caps.

The still-covered signs for the new HOV ramps in Springfield bear "Left Exit" tabs without exit numbers. The tabs on the Inner Loop are visible; they have all-yellow backgrounds instead of using yellow just for the word "Left" like the other signs we've described.


Edited to add: Here's a photo of the ones near the Pentagon. Took this picture last June, but the signs had been there for awhile before then. As I look at this now I'm noticing for the first time the conflict between the "Left Exit" and "Exit Only" designations on this sign (denoting that I-395 and Ridge Road represent "exiting" from VA-27, Washington Boulevard) and the smaller exit sign at the gore that shows the VA-27 thru lanes as the "exit" (look between the white bus and the SUV).

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/4e098bcb.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on April 04, 2012, 11:48:34 AM
the very ugly large initial caps.

Whatever. You'll get used to them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 04, 2012, 12:09:13 PM
the very ugly large initial caps.

Whatever. You'll get used to them.

So? Does that mean that it's not valid to say they're ugly? I mean, by the end of the Springsteen concert Sunday night I was "used to" the fact that the guy to my right had really bad BO, but it didn't mean I thought it was a good thing.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on April 04, 2012, 12:11:38 PM
Oh, never mind. I thought you were talking about the initial caps on the directions, not the other text.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 04, 2012, 12:34:46 PM
Oh, never mind. I thought you were talking about the initial caps on the directions, not the other text.

No, the ones on the directions don't bug me at all, and indeed that style has always made sense to me because people often abbreviate directions as "N," "S," etc. VDOT used the large initial caps for the directions prior to using any Clearview and I was used to that (although it lends itself to some odd results when they have a full line of text in all-caps and then suddenly that one letter is larger). My objection to the signs in the photo above relates primarily to the initial caps on the street names and destinations. I don't think the sign on the right is all that well laid-out either, but it's the initial caps that I find jarring (and there's a series of other signs along VA-27 there that use a similar design). It places undue emphasis on the first letter of each word—for example, on that I-395 sign my eyes note the "S A R R" part more than anything else.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: OracleUsr on April 04, 2012, 12:45:02 PM
No, but close.  We've had one on southbound I-95 at US 1 just north of Woodbridge (Exit 161) for about a year now.

I didn't remember seeing that when I drove south on I-95 Sat. night...I figured I would see a "LEFT EXIT 161" there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 04, 2012, 12:58:48 PM
GreaterGreater Washington: "My way or the highway" bill awaits VA governor's decision (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14285/my-way-or-the-highway-bill-awaits-va-governors-decision/)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on April 05, 2012, 06:25:04 AM
In a prior post I mentioned the advance sign for I-66 with the exit tab on the wrong side. It's been fixed. Steve Titunik had someone send me an e-mail saying they would go have a look at it, but I didn't expect it to be fixed so soon.


There is still one on the outer loop just before I-66 that has the exit tab incorrect for the US 50 exit

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 05, 2012, 07:57:33 AM
In a prior post I mentioned the advance sign for I-66 with the exit tab on the wrong side. It's been fixed. Steve Titunik had someone send me an e-mail saying they would go have a look at it, but I didn't expect it to be fixed so soon.


There is still one on the outer loop just before I-66 that has the exit tab incorrect for the US 50 exit

Mapmikey

Haven't seen that one because I haven't been through there in several months. Sounds like someone at VDOT or Fluor–Transurban made up his own idea of how to use exit tabs.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 19, 2012, 10:07:06 AM
WTOP: Plans moving ahead for I-95 tolls (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2832989)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2012, 10:17:26 AM
Also from WTOP Radio: Dulles Toll Road fee increase on the horizon (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2832750)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2012, 12:13:06 PM
Last month, VDOT wanted to make it easier and cheaper (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776) to get an EZpass.

And now, they want to charge a monthly fee (http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/19/4/vdot-proposes-1-monthly-fee-e-zpass-transponders-ar-1854205/) for it. (H/T Allen Seth Dunn for the link)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 19, 2012, 12:49:57 PM
Thanks for the info. We have two E-ZPasses and that sort of fee would prompt me to explore whether to cancel the account and get one from another jurisdiction.

Edited to add: I see Maine has no monthly fee but charges $10 one-time for a transponder. Massachusetts has no fee but their site redirects you to your home state when you try to sign up (like Virginia's does).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2012, 02:01:55 PM
Last month, VDOT wanted to make it easier and cheaper (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776) to get an EZpass.

And now, they want to charge a monthly fee (http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/19/4/vdot-proposes-1-monthly-fee-e-zpass-transponders-ar-1854205/) for it. (H/T Allen Seth Dunn for the link)


I have to wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is up to.

Given that electronic toll collection is substantially less expensive than cash, it would seem to me that encouraging use of E-ZPass, even among (infrequent) toll road/toll crossing patrons, would make sense.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 19, 2012, 02:08:51 PM
Last month, VDOT wanted to make it easier and cheaper (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776) to get an EZpass.

And now, they want to charge a monthly fee (http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/19/4/vdot-proposes-1-monthly-fee-e-zpass-transponders-ar-1854205/) for it. (H/T Allen Seth Dunn for the link)


I have to wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is up to.

Given that electronic toll collection is substantially less expensive than cash, it would seem to me that encouraging use of E-ZPass, even among (infrequent) toll road/toll crossing patrons, would make sense.

Agreed. It seems to me that if they want to defray the cost of E-ZPass, maybe they ought to raise the tolls on cash customers since the cost to process cash payments is higher than the electronic payments (in fairness, I suppose electronic payments carry some cost due to the interchange fees imposed by the credit card companies, but that has to be less than the cost of salary plus benefits for toll collectors). You know there are always going to be some people who pay cash as long as the option is offered, either because they don't trust electronic systems to work properly, they're just comfortable with paying cash, they don't drive on toll roads often enough to bother, they live in a state with an incompatible transponder, or they're conspiracy theorists who view electronic tolling as Big Brother in action.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2012, 02:15:15 PM
Last month, VDOT wanted to make it easier and cheaper (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776) to get an EZpass.

And now, they want to charge a monthly fee (http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/19/4/vdot-proposes-1-monthly-fee-e-zpass-transponders-ar-1854205/) for it. (H/T Allen Seth Dunn for the link)


I have to wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is up to.

Given that electronic toll collection is substantially less expensive than cash, it would seem to me that encouraging use of E-ZPass, even among (infrequent) toll road/toll crossing patrons, would make sense.

Agreed. It seems to me that if they want to defray the cost of E-ZPass, maybe they ought to raise the tolls on cash customers since the cost to process cash payments is higher than the electronic payments (in fairness, I suppose electronic payments carry some cost due to the interchange fees imposed by the credit card companies, but that has to be less than the cost of salary plus benefits for toll collectors). You know there are always going to be some people who pay cash as long as the option is offered, either because they don't trust electronic systems to work properly, they're just comfortable with paying cash, they don't drive on toll roads often enough to bother, they live in a state with an incompatible transponder, or they're conspiracy theorists who view electronic tolling as Big Brother in action.

Even though  over 50% of the Dulles Toll Road patrons pay with  E-ZPass these days, I am still astounded at the queues (for those paying cash) that form at the main toll barrier near Tysons Corner and at some of the plazas to the west.

West of the Toll Road on the private Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County, all of the ramp tolls (for eastbound traffic exiting and westbound traffic entering) are E-ZPass or credit card only, and even the mainline barrier on the Greenway is now unstaffed during the overnight hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on April 19, 2012, 10:15:23 PM
Last month, VDOT wanted to make it easier and cheaper (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=120&sid=2787776) to get an EZpass.

And now, they want to charge a monthly fee (http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/apr/19/4/vdot-proposes-1-monthly-fee-e-zpass-transponders-ar-1854205/) for it. (H/T Allen Seth Dunn for the link)


Sounds like I'll need to remind VDOT (when the public comment period opens) that I started off with Maryland E-ZPass, then switched to Virginia's after Maryland started imposing a monthly fee.  If Virginia follows suit, maybe it'll be time for me to switch again (need to check the deals out there from other jurisdictions -- last I checked Illinois had a good one, but has that changed lately?).

$1 a month isn't that big a dent in my budget, but I try hard to reduce or avoid even small recurring charges to minimize their combined slow drip from my bank account.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on April 21, 2012, 12:19:43 AM
WTOP: Plans moving ahead for I-95 tolls (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2832989)

72% needs to be repaved? Bull, they did all the horrible concrete sections south of Richmond with what I presume was ARRA funds a few years back. That was by far the worst section of roadway. The rest is actually in decent shape.... much smoother then what most Northeast states have for Interstate pavement. Plus these tolls won't be used for roadway expansion? Whats the point then? I-95 desperately needs extra lanes between Quantico (where the current HOV lanes end) and I-295 along with the section from I-295 (south end) to the state line. The current HOT lane proposal only goes to Fredricksburg and clearly needs expansion south of there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 21, 2012, 12:32:23 AM
WTOP: Plans moving ahead for I-95 tolls (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2832989)

72% needs to be repaved? Bull, they did all the horrible concrete sections south of Richmond with what I presume was ARRA funds a few years back. That was by far the worst section of roadway. The rest is actually in decent shape.... much smoother then what most Northeast states have for Interstate pavement.

Have you driven I-95 in the City of Richmond recently? They're just now repaving it. But yeah, the tolls are redundant and useless given that they won't be going back to VDOT for the most part (doesn't that technically violate interstate standards?).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on April 21, 2012, 09:07:27 AM
Some of 95 in Chester, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg was paved in November and December, but the end result was atrocious, especially in the latter two. My dad, a construction inspector who often works on interstates, said it was the worst repaving end result he's ever seen. Point is, even that section needs repaving and it's less than six months old!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: PurdueBill on April 21, 2012, 01:32:14 PM
Massachusetts has no fee but their site redirects you to your home state when you try to sign up (like Virginia's does).

Makes me feel fortunate that the MassPike FastLane account I opened over a decade ago still lives, and that they even replaced my transponder free last year (in person while I was visiting Mass.)...at the time I opened the account and started using it I was a Mass resident but now being in Ohio I'm glad I don't have to pay the monthly fees here.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 21, 2012, 04:13:39 PM
By experimenting I found you can indeed get a Massachusetts E-ZPass if you're from elsewhere. When it asks what state you're from, tell it Massachusetts, then when you fill in your info you can give it your true address.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 22, 2012, 09:19:44 AM
Quote
I-95 desperately needs extra lanes between Quantico (where the current HOV lanes end) and I-295 along with the section from I-295 (south end) to the state line.

Quantico to Richmond, yes.  Petersburg to the state line, much less so.

Quote
But yeah, the tolls are redundant and useless given that they won't be going back to VDOT for the most part (doesn't that technically violate interstate standards?).

What do you mean here?  The tolls would be going back to I-95 improvements.  And no, that wouldn't violate Federal law because that's exactly what the law was written for.  Why do you think tolling I-80 in PA was rejected by FHWA?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 22, 2012, 12:36:09 PM
I was under the impression that, as froggie says, the point of the tolling on I-95 is that Virginia would give up any future federal funding for that road and that the toll revenue would be required to be used solely for I-95 maintenance or improvements. I suppose you could accurately say the funding wouldn't go into VDOT's general budget per se, but insofar as VDOT maintains I-95 (outside of the future HO/T project), VDOT would be getting the toll money.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on April 22, 2012, 03:58:23 PM
I was under the impression that, as froggie says, the point of the tolling on I-95 is that Virginia would give up any future federal funding for that road and that the toll revenue would be required to be used solely for I-95 maintenance or improvements. I suppose you could accurately say the funding wouldn't go into VDOT's general budget per se, but insofar as VDOT maintains I-95 (outside of the future HO/T project), VDOT would be getting the toll money.

The I-95 toll revenue would be restricted in use to only on I-95 improvements and debt retirement, but federal funds would be a separate issue; as a "Corridor of the Future", an Interstate highway could possibly use a mix of toll revenue bond financing, state tax funds, and federal road use taxes, with the final funding package and toll rates subject to FHWA approval.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 23, 2012, 12:36:02 PM
I was under the impression that, as froggie says, the point of the tolling on I-95 is that Virginia would give up any future federal funding for that road and that the toll revenue would be required to be used solely for I-95 maintenance or improvements. I suppose you could accurately say the funding wouldn't go into VDOT's general budget per se, but insofar as VDOT maintains I-95 (outside of the future HO/T project), VDOT would be getting the toll money.

The I-95 toll revenue would be restricted in use to only on I-95 improvements and debt retirement, but federal funds would be a separate issue; as a "Corridor of the Future", an Interstate highway could possibly use a mix of toll revenue bond financing, state tax funds, and federal road use taxes, with the final funding package and toll rates subject to FHWA approval.

True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on April 23, 2012, 01:58:59 PM
True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.

I would like to see a cite and link of such an article
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 23, 2012, 03:08:28 PM
True, but I believe I read either in a news report or in a VDOT document that the terms of this particular proposal (tolling I-95 in Virginia) would require Virginia to forfeit further federal funding for that particular road. I suppose it's all subject to change anyway unless/until it actually happens.

I would like to see a cite and link of such an article

The Washington Post isn't always reliable, but their transportation staff usually do an OK job. See this article. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-can-move-ahead-with-i-95-tolling-plan-feds-say/2011/09/19/gIQAaRELgK_story.html)

Partial excerpt (boldface mine):

Quote
To win final federal approval of the I-95 tolling plan, the state must conduct an environmental review, outline improvements that will increase capacity, determine where tolls will be collected and defend that determination, and certify that toll revenue will replace all other federal funding that otherwise would have been used for maintenance or improvement of the tolled portions.


The Fairfax Times reported that the forfeiture of federal maintenance funds for that road is a condition of the tolling pilot program, which implies that it could be changed down the road: (http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20110920/NEWS/709209933/1117/1117/tolls-on-i-95-get-a-green-light&template=fairfaxTimes)

Quote
To complete its approval of tolls on I-95, VDOT will need to specify short-term improvements the state will implement using toll money; explain how tolls will help add to road capacity; explain how maintenance issues will be addressed on the tolled portion of I-95 and detail where tolls will be collected and why these locations were chosen. Under the pilot program, Virginia cannot use interstate maintenance funds on the tolled portion of I-95 during the pilot.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 24, 2012, 08:05:10 AM
TOLLROADSnews interviews Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton: "No more large projects are possible without tolls" (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5900)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 24, 2012, 09:37:12 AM
TOLLROADSnews interviews Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, Sean Connaughton: "No more large projects are possible without tolls" (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5900)

I'd like to see more data on the following paragraph because I wonder whether the second sentence is indeed accurate. I wouldn't be surprised if Virginia has indeed seen a more-rapid-than-typical decline in gas tax revenue over the past ten to fifteen years due to the explosion of hybrids in Northern Virginia (and maybe in the Tidewater area, but I haven't been down that way in a long time) due to the HOV exemptions. While it's true that hybrids have increased in popularity everywhere, many reports have strongly suggested that Northern Virginia in particular has seen an unusually high concentration of them due to the HOV exemption. I suppose, though, that statistically the hybrids probably still represent a drop in the bucket as to the overall gas tax.

Quote
Undermining the gasoline tax is a "dramatic increase in efficiency" of cars. Virginia he thinks is not unusual in seeing a quite rapid decline in the fuel tax yield. This year they had forecast a slight increase in gas tax revenue but they are seeing a decline of 1.5%.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 25, 2012, 11:14:33 AM
WTOP Radio: Express Lanes: A quick way to go broke? (http://www.wtop.com/41/2840091/Express-Lanes-Quick-way-to-go-broke)

Quote
Drivers are expected to have access to the Beltway Express Lanes between Springfield and Dulles Toll Road by the end of the year.

Quote
When the project opens, drivers will have to decide whether time saved is worth the cost.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 25, 2012, 12:38:54 PM
Two members of this forum have left comments on that WTOP article. I don't know why I bother. The level of public ignorance about the 495 Express Lanes project is really pathetic, although what's more pathetic is that so much of it is what in tort law is called "willful blindness"—people refuse to listen to anything rational that would educate them about the project.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 25, 2012, 04:25:34 PM
Two members of this forum have left comments on that WTOP article. I don't know why I bother. The level of public ignorance about the 495 Express Lanes project is really pathetic, although what's more pathetic is that so much of it is what in tort law is called "willful blindness"—people refuse to listen to anything rational that would educate them about the project.

Hoo, I strongly agree.  

There are an awful lot of people around this area (and not just in Virginia) that on the one hand agree with politicians that motor fuel taxes must not ever, ever be raised, and on the other hand will moan and groan and complain that tolls are "too high."  Those very same people also seem to think that they have an absolute entitlement to a congestion-free trip where ever and when ever they need to go.

A case in point includes the elected officials that slam the (private) owners of the Dulles Greenway for charging tolls that are "too high," and make repeated demands for an "audit" of the books.  Never mind that the Greenways's tolls are regulated by the State Corporation Commission.

Another case in point, on the other side of the Potomac River, are the craven claims by certain Maryland politicians that the Maryland Transportation Authority is setting the tolls on some of its crossings (in particular the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the one toll point on the John F. Kennedy Highway) "too high," without any data to support same.

There's "no such thing as a free lunch."  And there's no such thing as a free highway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 26, 2012, 04:09:36 PM
In a prior post I mentioned the advance sign for I-66 with the exit tab on the wrong side. It's been fixed. Steve Titunik had someone send me an e-mail saying they would go have a look at it, but I didn't expect it to be fixed so soon.


There is still one on the outer loop just before I-66 that has the exit tab incorrect for the US 50 exit

Mapmikey

I finally wound up going to Tysons today and I got a picture of the sign you mention. Sent it to Steve Titunik at VDOT. They fixed the other one fairly promptly, so hopefully they'll fix this one too.

On my way out to Tysons I had to go to Falls Church off Shreve Road and from there I took Idylwood Road to Gallows to stop at the Dunn Loring post office. I noticed from the overpass that it appears that the Inner Loop Express Lanes through that area are starting to take their final configuration with the pylons and the like. I wasn't able to stop to get a picture due to traffic and I didn't have time to park the car and walk back, but I hope to do so within the next week or two. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final configuration.


Edited to add: While I was at the mall I went up to the top of the parking garage out back of where Woodies used to be and took some pictures. Here's the future Westpark Connector exit from the new Express Lanes. The long concrete overpass beyond that is the Metrorail line; you can see in the distance to the right where it swoops around to join the Dulles Access Road Extension in the median.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/6dfb0def.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 29, 2012, 06:47:13 PM
On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

I haven't driven the route west/northbound yet to see what the mileposts look like between the toll plaza and the I-195/VA 146 split, but there are several of them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on April 29, 2012, 09:41:50 PM
On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

Wait until the signing project is complete before judging it ... the project is underway and about half complete.

Also, I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 29, 2012, 10:15:51 PM
On an unrelated note, I-195 in Richmond now has mileposts (the variety containing a small route shield) that use the combined mileage of I-195 and VA 195. However, they're not implemented properly and cause even more confusion as to where I-195 ends and VA 195 begins; south/eastbound, there is an I-195 milepost after the Rosewood Ave exit, but a VA 195 milepost right after VA 146 merges in from the right. This milepost is actually before the BEGIN VA 195 shield located near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza. This is also the last milepost on the route, as state maintenance ends at that BEGIN sign (VA 195 is maintained by the Richmond Metropolitan Authority beyond that point).

Wait until the signing project is complete before judging it ... the project is underway and about half complete.

Also, I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.



Explains the appearance of BEGIN and END shields on I-195, then. The VDOT page on the project only mentioned the pavement rehabilitation project, it didn't mention signage.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on April 29, 2012, 11:03:22 PM
I-195 ends just west of the east wye of the delta freeway interchange.  An 0.9-mile section of the Downtown Expressway was funded and built by VDOT as Project 0088, to reduce the need for RMA to use toll revenue bonds, and that runs from the end of I-195 eastward.  Project 0088 is administered by VDOT and is VA-195, not I-195.  Project 0088 is very identifiable now as the concrete pavement that is being replaced on VA-195 and VA-146, and it will be overlaid with asphalt ... and that is a VDOT project.  RMA rehabbed and overlaid its concrete pavements about 10 years ago.

Explains the appearance of BEGIN and END shields on I-195, then. The VDOT page on the project only mentioned the pavement rehabilitation project, it didn't mention signage.

Most likely those signs were posted to clearly delineate the boundaries between VDOT and RMA administration, for agency uses.  Shows who is responsible for mowing, plowing, etc.

The title notwithstanding, this project includes portions of both I-195 and VA-195.  The north leg of the delta interchange up to the eastermost local ramps is I-195.

I-195 Concrete Repairs
http://virginiadot.org/projects/richmond/i-195_concrete_repairs.asp

I suppose it would be easier to make the whole thing I-195, or perhaps I-695.  Since the City of Richmond has no state secondary roads, 695 in the city would not interfere with any pre-existing routes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on April 29, 2012, 11:24:53 PM
Well, there are already signs that delineate where RMA jurisdiction begins; RMA always posts "Begin/End RMA Expressway" signs in the appropriate locations. There are such signs near the Downtown Expressway toll plaza, at the northern end of VA 76 at I-195, on VA 76 at the Chesterfield County/City of Richmond line, and on VA 146. There is also a "Begin RMA Expressway" sign at the onramp from VA 150 to northbound VA 76.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 01, 2012, 02:08:24 PM
Had to go to Falls Church earlier today and I stopped to take some pictures from the Idylwood Road overpass above the Beltway. (That hill leading up to it is a lot steeper than it seems in a car!) There is also a new sign for the Express Lanes exit to I-66 on the Inner Loop between US-50 and US-29, and it isn't covered up yet, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that due to traffic. I assume it will be covered next time I go through there.

I understand that each of those white Botts dot–type mounds will eventually be topped with a pylon of the sort visible in this picture, which is looking north towards Tysons (sorry about the black obstruction on the sides; that's from the chain-link fence on the bridge):

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/53e3f744.jpg)


Closer view of the same area:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/c08140be.jpg)


Looking south towards I-66 now. It looks to me like it's being set up so the cops have space to park just past the toll collection gantries:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/f7407539.jpg)


Close-up of the toll gantry with equipment installed. It's a bit jaggy because I didn't expect to have time to stop to take pictures and so didn't bring my real camera:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/4c809e5f.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 03, 2012, 08:42:21 AM
WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 03, 2012, 10:43:05 AM
WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

Thanks for that info, I may set the DVR to record it. I normally watch their 11:00 news, but I have a feeling I may not make it that late tonight since it was after 1:00 by the time we got home from last night's Caps game and then I couldn't fall asleep. I'm feeling it this morning....
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 03, 2012, 11:43:04 PM
WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

More to come tomorrow night (Friday, 4-May-2012). 

Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on May 04, 2012, 12:35:21 AM
Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.

Looked a lot like promoting McDonnell as a possible running mate to Mitt Romney.  Only a snippet about transportation issues.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 04, 2012, 07:56:15 AM
WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

....

Less interesting than it sounded, then. I recorded it and will watch it later today....I was nodding off on the couch by 10:00 last night and turned in for good by 10:15 (tell you what, getting over nine hours of sleep feels great!), so thanks for letting us all know it would be airing.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on May 04, 2012, 09:57:16 AM
Curiously, there was a campaign-style ad by the Virginia Republican Party featuring incumbent Gov. Bob McDonnell.  I say curiously since Virginia governors may not succeed themselves, and I have to wonder if the ad was designed to counteract the impact of this news story.

Looked a lot like promoting McDonnell as a possible running mate to Mitt Romney.  Only a snippet about transportation issues.

He's near the bottom of the list if at all ...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 04, 2012, 06:43:44 PM
WRC-TV (Channel 4, NBC in Washington, D.C.) is promoting a sweeps month special about VDOT's failure to maintain its overhead signs to air on its Thursday (3-May-2012) late night news broadcast at 11:00 P.M.

The report concentrated on structural problems with overhead signs and high-mast lighting.

More to come tomorrow night (Friday, 4-May-2012). 

I suppose this might explain why VDOT seems to be moving away from bridge-mounted overhead signs and replacing them with overhead gantries or simple signs on the side of the road...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: MASTERNC on May 04, 2012, 10:10:39 PM
FYI you can now send comments about VDOT's proposed E-ZPass fee

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/e-zpass_info.asp
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on May 12, 2012, 04:48:53 PM
Had to go to Falls Church earlier today and I stopped to take some pictures from the Idylwood Road overpass above the Beltway. (That hill leading up to it is a lot steeper than it seems in a car!) There is also a new sign for the Express Lanes exit to I-66 on the Inner Loop between US-50 and US-29, and it isn't covered up yet, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that due to traffic. I assume it will be covered next time I go through there.

Here are pictures I took today of two signs for the I-495 express lanes, on westbound I-66 approaching I-495.  The first was taken from roadside, at exit 66 (VA 7/Leesburg Pike).  The second was taken just east of the first sign, from the shoulder of the bus-only ramp from the Dulles Access Road to the north side of the West Falls Church Metro station.  There are other signs for the I-495 express lanes, on I-66 both west and east of I-495 (one of those signs is in the background of the first photo below), but those are partially or fully covered.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/I-495-express-lanes-sign-at-I-66-w'bound-at-exit-66_DSC8907.jpg)

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/I-495-express-lanes-sign-at-I-66-w'bound-after-exit-67_DSC8949.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on May 12, 2012, 05:45:40 PM
That '2 axle vehicles buses only' doesn't jibe with the phrase structure of the other panels. On first reading it sounds like they're saying that the only 2 axle vehicles allowed are buses.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 23, 2012, 04:13:10 PM
Went to Tysons for a deposition today and was surprised to see the I-66 exit sign isn't covered up yet. This gives a good sense of how the new exit signs will look essentially just like the regular ones except with the white "E-ZPass Express Exit [or Exits]" banner on top and the "Left Exit" tab without an exit number. Sorry the picture is so far away. I was going to try to snap a second one closer to the sign, but that white Cadillac started drifting over the solid line and the people ahead of me hit the brakes and I needed to shift.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/d0876ddb.jpg)


They are really moving very quickly on the Beltway lately. Lots of progress, lots of new signs. Best part, however, is that they are gradually repaving the existing roadway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 25, 2012, 12:27:14 AM
Just wanted to mention that VDOT/RMA has completed installing mile markers on VA 195/I-195. They are odd in that, due to the shared mileage of both routes, VA 195's mile markers appear to be backwards - they increase from east to west, instead of the other way around. I'm pretty sure this is due to VDOT treating the entire route as a north-south route internally, but traffic logs don't seem to indicate that.

VA 76 also has the new mile markers (with shields and all), though not all of them are yet installed. Its mileposts ARE backwards - mile 0.0 is at VA 76's northern terminus (attached to the twin END VA 76/BEGIN I-195 signs), and the mile markers increase from north to south and not the other way around.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on May 25, 2012, 09:19:41 AM
Interesting, thanks for the update. I would also point out that VDOT treats I-295 as an east-west route internally; traffic logs for the counties it traverses say "East I-295 is signed as South I-295", so its mileage is technically backwards as well.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 25, 2012, 11:42:28 PM
Interesting, thanks for the update. I would also point out that VDOT treats I-295 as an east-west route internally; traffic logs for the counties it traverses say "East I-295 is signed as South I-295", so its mileage is technically backwards as well.

I noticed that once and found that really strange. The east-west segment in Henrico and Hanover Counties was the first part of I-295 that was completed, and I wonder if it was signed as an east-west route at that point.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on May 26, 2012, 09:47:40 AM
Interesting, thanks for the update. I would also point out that VDOT treats I-295 as an east-west route internally; traffic logs for the counties it traverses say "East I-295 is signed as South I-295", so its mileage is technically backwards as well.

I noticed that once and found that really strange. The east-west segment in Henrico and Hanover Counties was the first part of I-295 that was completed, and I wonder if it was signed as an east-west route at that point.

I don't recall that, but I do have the years that they were completed -- 1981 for the I-64 bypass section, and 1992 for the I-95 bypass section.

So the east-west I-64 bypass section was completed well before the north-south section.  And that ran between I-64 at Short Pump and US-60 at Seven Pines.

Environmental issues with regard to avoiding ACW battlefields in eastern Henrico was the reason for the delay in extending south from US-60.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on May 30, 2012, 10:07:14 AM
http://www2.tricities.com/news/2012/may/24/transportation-board-approves-location-i-77-i-91-o-ar-1940504/

Transportation Board approves location for I-77/I-81 overlap in SWVa.
Published: May 24, 2012

WYTHEVILLE, Va. -- The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) recently selected the location for the I-77/I-81 overlap in Wythe County choosing Candidate Build Alternative B, which adds one travel lane in each direction at the current location of the overlap.

“The board took a significant action to improve mobility in a heavily congested region by approving a location for the I-77/I-81 Overlap in Wythe County,” said VDOT Bristol District Administrator Michael Russell, P.E. “This area is not only an important transportation link for Virginia but to North Carolina and West Virginia as well.”

VDOT presented three alternatives during a public hearing in September 2011; Candidate Build A, separation of the two interstates; Candidate Build B, the addition of one travel lane in each direction and a no-build option.

The next steps in the process are to revise the environmental assessment based on the board’s decision and public comment received during the September 2011 public hearing, then request a final decision on the environmental assessment from the Federal Highway Administration.

The cost estimate for Candidate Build Alternative B is $457 million and includes preliminary engineering, right of way and construction.  Currently, funding has not been identified for these phases.

..............

Beltway comment:  This project would include full semi-directional interchanges at each I-81/I-77 interchange.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 01, 2012, 11:35:31 AM
http://www2.tricities.com/news/2012/may/24/transportation-board-approves-location-i-77-i-91-o-ar-1940504/

Transportation Board approves location for I-77/I-81 overlap in SWVa.
Published: May 24, 2012

Ages ago, wasn't this the very last "gap" of I-81 in Virginia? 

I seem to recall that there was a (short) section of divided arterial highway here (or near here). 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on June 01, 2012, 11:58:37 AM
Yes. The overlap of I-81 and I-77 was finished much later than the rest of the highway in the area. I remember on family trips being forced off I-81 onto US 11 and US 52 northeast of Wytheville and the interstate didn't resume until past where I-77 and US 52 split to the south.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 01, 2012, 12:20:42 PM
The overlap of I-81 and I-77 was completed in 1987, the same year that the 4-lane upgrade of the West Virginia Turnpike was completed.

The single routed sections of I-77 were all completed in Virginia by 1979.

The overlap of I-81 and I-77 is 8.0 miles long, and part was completed in the late 1960s as I-81, but the middle 4.7 mile long section was completed in 1987.  The gap was served by a 4-lane divided highway US-11/US-52 with no traffic signals and seamless connections to adjacent I-81.

Why is it going to cost $450 million to add one lane each way to 8 miles of highway and upgrade 3 interchanges?  That seems exhorbitant.

BTW, separating the two Interstates was an interesting idea, but IMO it seems simpler and more logical to upgrade the existing overlap.  Why have two separate highways and rights-of-way when the existing right-of-way can suffice, with moderate added R/W acquisition?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on June 01, 2012, 07:17:49 PM
The overlap of I-81 and I-77 was completed in 1987, the same year that the 4-lane upgrade of the West Virginia Turnpike was completed.

The single routed sections of I-77 were all completed in Virginia by 1979.

The overlap of I-81 and I-77 is 8.0 miles long, and part was completed in the late 1960s as I-81, but the middle 4.7 mile long section was completed in 1987.  The gap was served by a 4-lane divided highway US-11/US-52 with no traffic signals and seamless connections to adjacent I-81.

Why is it going to cost $450 million to add one lane each way to 8 miles of highway and upgrade 3 interchanges?  That seems exhorbitant.

BTW, separating the two Interstates was an interesting idea, but IMO it seems simpler and more logical to upgrade the existing overlap.  Why have two separate highways and rights-of-way when the existing right-of-way can suffice, with moderate added R/W acquisition?

Wait, does that mean that these signs were up as part of the gap??? Or am I misreading, and the gap started east of Wytheville?
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/va/us_11/nto77.jpg)
large: www.alpsroads.net/roads/va/us_11/nto77c.jpg
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on June 01, 2012, 09:56:40 PM

Quote from: Steve
Wait, does that mean that these signs were up as part of the gap??? Or am I misreading, and the gap started east of Wytheville?
(http://www.alpsroads.net/roads/va/us_11/nto77.jpg)
large: www.alpsroads.net/roads/va/us_11/nto77c.jpg


This sign assembly (now sadly gone as I discovered last weekend) was on US 11 well within the town of Wytheville.  Originally there was an interchange at I-77/81 at US 11 east of Wytheville which shortly thereafter the gap began, although it was configured differently (narrower footprint) than it is today.

1968 Topo: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5302118&quad=Wytheville&state=VA&grid=7.5X7.5&series=Map GeoPDF (http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5302118&quad=Wytheville&state=VA&grid=7.5X7.5&series=Map GeoPDF)
2011 Topo: http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5258817&quad=Wytheville&state=VA&grid=7.5X7.5&series=TNM GeoPDF (http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5258817&quad=Wytheville&state=VA&grid=7.5X7.5&series=TNM GeoPDF)


Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on June 02, 2012, 09:07:27 PM
I drove by the Meadowville interchange again earlier tonight. Work is in progress on the Meadowville Parkway. The partially-finished north/west end, with Meadowville Road, will have a roundabout. Some pavement was there, but I couldn't see how far it extended. The south/east end, which was just a cleared right of way, looks like it'll be a Y intersection, with the south part of the Y right at the intersection of Bermuda Hundred Road (secondary route 697) and Enon Church Road (secondary 746).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 02, 2012, 09:57:38 PM
I drove by the Meadowville interchange again earlier tonight. Work is in progress on the Meadowville Parkway. The partially-finished north/west end, with Meadowville Road, will have a roundabout. Some pavement was there, but I couldn't see how far it extended. The south/east end, which was just a cleared right of way, looks like it'll be a Y intersection, with the south part of the Y right at the intersection of Bermuda Hundred Road (secondary route 697) and Enon Church Road (secondary 746).

They are definitely expanding the industrial park, now that the new I-295 interchange provides direct access.

The I-295/VA-10 interchange provided indirect access, but particularly where the county wants the park developed to in the next 10 to 20 years, the new Meadowville interchange will provide much better access to the bulk of the park.  It also has provisions for an ultimate design of a full cloverleaf with a 4-lane Meadowville Road crossing over I-295.

Meadowville Technology Park
http://www.meadowville.com/site_boundaries.asp
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 04, 2012, 11:07:31 PM

This sign assembly (now sadly gone as I discovered last weekend) was on US 11 well within the town of Wytheville.  Originally there was an interchange at I-77/81 at US 11 east of Wytheville which shortly thereafter the gap began, although it was configured differently (narrower footprint) than it is today.

Mapmikey (or others), I seem to recall that there was a large truck stop/gas station along the right side of the northbound lanes (in I-81 terms) of the "gap" near Wytheville, at least back in the 1970's. 

Anyone else recall that?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on June 07, 2012, 12:00:30 PM
Progress-Index: VDOT considers I-95 Toll Options http://www.progress-index.com/news/vdot-considers-i-95-toll-options-1.1325805
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2012, 12:36:39 PM
I have it on pretty good authority that Southern Virginia is against the toll plan.  My source was unable to give me further details.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 07, 2012, 02:46:43 PM
I have it on pretty good authority that pretty much everywhere and anywhere is against toll plans.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 07, 2012, 04:30:53 PM
I had to go to Old Town this afternoon and on my way back I took the Beltway so as to check out the new Inner Loop extension of the THRU lanes. Didn't get any pictures, too much traffic for that, but I wanted to recommend to any of you who might be using the Beltway in that area between now and around July 4 that you make an effort to avoid the Inner Loop's LOCAL carriageway if at all possible. The THRU lanes are in more or less their final configuration of two lanes continuing from the Wilson Bridge to just before the Eisenhower Connector exit. They were moving pretty well at 65 mph today.

The LOCAL lanes are the problem for now. That carriageway has been in a three-lane configuration from Telegraph Road west to the Eisenhower Connector because it was serving as the sole westbound carriageway there. The final configuration is to be a two-lane roadway (not counting exit and acceleration lanes, of course). In order to accomplish that, they've narrowed the LOCAL carriageway to a single lane from roughly the WMATA Yellow Line overpass to just before the Eisenhower Connector exit. It was at a noticeable standstill when I went through there this afternoon at about 15:00, meaning it's bound to be worse at peak hours.

You can reach Alexandria from the Inner Loop THRU lanes via the exit marked "Eisenhower Avenue" (the ramp splits off roughly in the middle of the US-1 interchange). The ramp puts you on Mill Road and intersects Eisenhower at the traffic light just east of the Hoffman Center area near the federal courthouse. You can reach the Inner Loop THRU lanes from Alexandria via the US-1 interchange—or you could go west on Eisenhower to the Eisenhower Connector and enter the Beltway west of the work zone.

The same process is scheduled to repeat itself in July on the Outer Loop.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 11, 2012, 05:26:35 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: Drivers protest VDOT plan to impose E-ZPass fees (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/drivers-protest-vdot-plan-to-impose-e-zpass-fees/2012/06/11/gJQAF41sUV_blog.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 11, 2012, 05:37:55 PM
I have it on pretty good authority that pretty much everywhere and anywhere is against toll plans.

I have it on pretty good authority that Southern Virginia is against the toll plan.  My source was unable to give me further details.

I believe that everyone wants:

(1) All roads with a functional class of freeway to always be free-flow;
(2) All roads to be free of all safety hazards (including immediate removal of truck tire treads and dead deer and other wildlife that have been struck in traffic);
(3) All roads and bridges and tunnels to have pavements that are smooth and free of potholes;
(4) All highway lighting and all highway signs to have lighting that works;
(5) All winter precipitation must be removed or treated immediately on all public roads;
(6) State and federal motor fuel taxes are to be not more than $0.05 per gallon; and
(7) Positively no tolls on any part of the highway system where they have to drive (though it's O.K. to toll other highway segments and it's O.K. to tax the guy over there behind that tree).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on June 12, 2012, 07:30:02 AM
^ I must not be part of "everyone" then.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 14, 2012, 08:11:34 PM
Next week at their workshop, the CTB will receive an update on tolling I-95 (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/june/pre/Presentation_Agenda_Item_12_I-95_CTB_June_-_final.pdf).  Within the brief are some more details on one of the tolling options being considered, and a general list of all the options:

Option A-1:  a single gantry tolling both directions
Option A-2:  2 gantries, one tolling northbound, the other tolling southbound
Option A-3:  2 gantries, each tolling both directions
Option B:  6 gantries, each tolling both directions at roughly 20 mile intervals
Option C:  a closed system tolling the ramps at every interchange
Option D:  a hybrid system consisting of a combination of mainline and ramp tolling (similar to the existing Richmond tollways)
Option E:  a closed system tolling in between each interchange instead of at the ramps.

The brief goes into more details on Option A-1.  It'd be a single gantry located between Exit 20 (Jarratt) and Exit 24 (SR 645).  This location was chosen because of the low level of local commuters/local trucks, and a high level of long-distance traffic...about half of the traffic on that strech continues on through (or is coming from) milemarker 100 (near Doswell/Kings Dominion).

To help discourage diversion, ramps to/from the south would also be tolled at Exits 17 and 20, and ramps to/from the north tolled at Exits 24 and 31.  The mainline car toll would be $4, with the ramp tolls being $2.  Truck tolls would be triple the car toll.  For vehicles to completely avoid the tolls, they'd have to divert off of I-95 for about 20 miles (between Exits 13 and 33).  It should be noted that about 12 of the 20 miles along parallel US 301 are only 2-lanes vice 4, and IIRC there are some bridge weight restrictions on US 301 as well.

Revenue projection under A-1 is $35-40 million/year.  This would be used for various improvement projects along the corridor.

Personal note:  if VDOT REALLY wanted to be nasty, they'd include tolling the ramps at Exit 12/13.  I bet the cops in Emporia would love taking a close look at the trucks exiting at US 58 to head over to US 301.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 14, 2012, 09:36:04 PM
Noticed today while driving around Chesterfield County that some right-of-way is being cleared along section of Old Hundred Road (SR 652/the tail end of VA 76) between Charter Colony Parkway and just past Brandermill Parkway. I hadn't previously heard about any project to widen the road, or that any progress had been made regarding any potential extension of Powhite Parkway (it's not likely to happen what with the development in Brandermill and Woodlake now).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2012, 10:39:19 PM
Noticed today while driving around Chesterfield County that some right-of-way is being cleared along section of Old Hundred Road (SR 652/the tail end of VA 76) between Charter Colony Parkway and just past Brandermill Parkway. I hadn't previously heard about any project to widen the road, or that any progress had been made regarding any potential extension of Powhite Parkway (it's not likely to happen what with the development in Brandermill and Woodlake now).

That has been reported in the newspapers.  An $8 million project to widen one mile of Powhite to 4 lanes divided, extending from the western end of the 4-lane divided cross section.  Will extend west to Watermill Parkway.

"The county Transportation Department said construction started in April on widening the Powhite Parkway extension from Route 288 to Watermill Parkway to four lanes. The $8 million project, financed with revenue-sharing funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation, is expected to be finished in December."

http://www.chesterfieldobserver.com/news/2012-06-13/Front_Page/Roadwork_gears_up_in_anticipation_of_growth.html

Also of interest, the un-6-laned section of US-360 east of VA-288 --

"Meanwhile, engineering studies are under way for widening two stretches of Route 360. The section from Genito Road to Warbro Road, currently four lanes, would be expanded to six lanes at a cost of about $3.5 million. Scheduled to start construction next year, the project would be financed with funds from the Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP), a combined state and federal program."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 14, 2012, 10:42:29 PM
Next week at their workshop, the CTB will receive an update on tolling I-95 (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/june/pre/Presentation_Agenda_Item_12_I-95_CTB_June_-_final.pdf).  Within the brief are some more details on one of the tolling options being considered, and a general list of all the options:

Option A-1:  a single gantry tolling both directions
Option A-2:  2 gantries, one tolling northbound, the other tolling southbound
Option A-3:  2 gantries, each tolling both directions
Option B:  6 gantries, each tolling both directions at roughly 20 mile intervals
Option C:  a closed system tolling the ramps at every interchange
Option D:  a hybrid system consisting of a combination of mainline and ramp tolling (similar to the existing Richmond tollways)
Option E:  a closed system tolling in between each interchange instead of at the ramps.

The brief goes into more details on Option A-1.  It'd be a single gantry located between Exit 20 (Jarratt) and Exit 24 (SR 645).  This location was chosen because of the low level of local commuters/local trucks, and a high level of long-distance traffic...about half of the traffic on that strech continues on through (or is coming from) milemarker 100 (near Doswell/Kings Dominion).

To help discourage diversion, ramps to/from the south would also be tolled at Exits 17 and 20, and ramps to/from the north tolled at Exits 24 and 31.  The mainline car toll would be $4, with the ramp tolls being $2.  Truck tolls would be triple the car toll.  For vehicles to completely avoid the tolls, they'd have to divert off of I-95 for about 20 miles (between Exits 13 and 33).  It should be noted that about 12 of the 20 miles along parallel US 301 are only 2-lanes vice 4, and IIRC there are some bridge weight restrictions on US 301 as well.

That is an easy bypass, but could only handle a very small fraction of the almost 30,000 AADT that I-95 carries.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 14, 2012, 11:11:23 PM
Noticed today while driving around Chesterfield County that some right-of-way is being cleared along section of Old Hundred Road (SR 652/the tail end of VA 76) between Charter Colony Parkway and just past Brandermill Parkway. I hadn't previously heard about any project to widen the road, or that any progress had been made regarding any potential extension of Powhite Parkway (it's not likely to happen what with the development in Brandermill and Woodlake now).

That has been reported in the newspapers.  An $8 million project to widen one mile of Powhite to 4 lanes divided, extending from the western end of the 4-lane divided cross section.  Will extend west to Watermill Parkway.

"The county Transportation Department said construction started in April on widening the Powhite Parkway extension from Route 288 to Watermill Parkway to four lanes. The $8 million project, financed with revenue-sharing funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation, is expected to be finished in December."

http://www.chesterfieldobserver.com/news/2012-06-13/Front_Page/Roadwork_gears_up_in_anticipation_of_growth.html

Also of interest, the un-6-laned section of US-360 east of VA-288 --

"Meanwhile, engineering studies are under way for widening two stretches of Route 360. The section from Genito Road to Warbro Road, currently four lanes, would be expanded to six lanes at a cost of about $3.5 million. Scheduled to start construction next year, the project would be financed with funds from the Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP), a combined state and federal program."

Somehow I missed that story, thanks for the link. As for US 360, that 6-laning is definitely needed. During the day, US 360 in central Chesterfield County is an utter nightmare thanks to suburban sprawl and gigantic planned neighborhoods near Swift Creek Reservoir. There are times when even 6 lanes don't seem like enough. The stretch near Brandermill and Woodlake is actually 8 lanes for about two miles or so and it's still badly congested at times.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 15, 2012, 12:16:48 PM
Washington Post: Loudoun-Prince William Highway is not the ‘Outer Beltway,’ but it’s a big, controversial road (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/loudoun-prince-william-highway-is-not-the-outer-beltway-but-its-a-big-controversial-road/2012/06/15/gJQA7kHLeV_blog.html)

Quote
Our elected representatives keep saying it’s true, so we’ll believe them: This is not an Outer Beltway. But the momentum is clearly ramping up to build a major north-south thoroughfare from Route 7 in Loudoun County down to I-95 in Prince William County, which officials say will better connect Dulles International Airport with I-66 and I-95 to increase its role as a cargo hub.

Quote
Smart growth groups say spending billions on a north-south road is a bad idea when the vast majority of traffic goes east-west. A north-south Loudoun-Prince William Highway would simply enrich the developers who’ve been waiting for that corridor to unfold, some longtime observers say, adding more sprawl and more cars which would mostly be heading to D.C. or Fairfax County, not to Manassas or Ashburn.

Quote
And Loudoun County’s not wasting any time. Nine days after approving the route for the highway, the county filed eminent domain proceedings against two properties in its path.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on June 15, 2012, 06:55:20 PM
I'm all in favor of a new parkway, which I guess ties into VA 28. Extend that sucker to Solomon's Island and you'll get some REAL economic development.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 16, 2012, 11:47:06 AM
I'm all in favor of a new parkway, which I guess ties into VA 28. Extend that sucker to Solomon's Island and you'll get some REAL economic development.

Not sure I get the idea behind extending this to Solomon's Island.  Were you being sarcastic?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on June 17, 2012, 01:05:07 AM
I'm all in favor of a new parkway, which I guess ties into VA 28. Extend that sucker to Solomon's Island and you'll get some REAL economic development.

Not sure I get the idea behind extending this to Solomon's Island.  Were you being sarcastic?

On the one hand, (: On the other hand, connecting it to the 2/4 corridor may actually do something.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 17, 2012, 08:29:32 AM
I'm all in favor of a new parkway, which I guess ties into VA 28. Extend that sucker to Solomon's Island and you'll get some REAL economic development.

Not sure I get the idea behind extending this to Solomon's Island.  Were you being sarcastic?

On the one hand, (: On the other hand, connecting it to the 2/4 corridor may actually do something.

The original Outer Beltway plans did not enter or cross Calvert County, Maryland at all. 

Scott Kozel's Roads to the Future has (what I consider to be) an image of a reasonably accurate Outer Beltway map on his Roads to the Future site here (http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Outer_Beltway_L.jpg).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on June 18, 2012, 04:02:42 PM
VDOT and Governor McDonnell announced recently new travel time signage going up around Hampton Roads showing travel times via differing routes to both the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and the Outer Banks.

http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=1264

I wish they had these when I lived there. A local radio station posted a picture of one on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150927062693929&set=a.128305593928.100672.79816938928&type=1), and in the comments it appears they're all up. Anybody on here seen them?

Also, the majority of those comments make me lose what little faith I had left in humanity.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 18, 2012, 05:36:47 PM
VDOT and Governor McDonnell announced recently new travel time signage going up around Hampton Roads showing travel times via differing routes to both the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and the Outer Banks.

http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=1264

I wish they had these when I lived there. A local radio station posted a picture of one on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150927062693929&set=a.128305593928.100672.79816938928&type=1), and in the comments it appears they're all up. Anybody on here seen them?

Yes, in the D.C. area as well as in the Hampton Roads area. 

They are very helpful, but of course rely on the analysis of Smart Traffic Center personnel.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 18, 2012, 09:24:29 PM
I talked to the VDOT Megaprojects office, and the word is that the I-495 Express Lanes will open in entirely on December 10, 2012.  That will include the HOV-to-HOV interchange between the Beltway and Shirley Highway (whose ramps will be untolled).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 21, 2012, 09:40:24 PM
http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2012/06/western_bypass.html
 
June 20, 2012
Western Bypass contract awarded
By Sean Tubbs 
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
 
RICHMOND — The Commonwealth Transportation Board has officially awarded a $135 million contract to the team of Skanska/Branch Highways to design and build the 6.2-mile [Charlottesville] Western Bypass of U.S. 29 in Albemarle County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on June 21, 2012, 11:30:25 PM
Where is this going to tie in on the north and south ends?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 22, 2012, 09:10:08 AM
I talked to the VDOT Megaprojects office, and the word is that the I-495 Express Lanes will open in entirely on December 10, 2012.  That will include the HOV-to-HOV interchange between the Beltway and Shirley Highway (whose ramps will be untolled).

Much of the work is done - some sections look to be ready for traffic right now.  But  there's still plenty of work to be done in the interchanges at I-66, U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) [brand-new ramps from the northbound toll lanes and to the southbound toll lanes], Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road), Va. 620 (Braddock Road) and Va. 650 (Gallows Road). 

Order is my guess as to how much work is left, most to least.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 22, 2012, 09:36:25 AM
When I was through there last week I thought Gallows's new ramp appeared to need a lot more work than 29's. The one at Gallows didn't yet reach road level on the overpass, while the one at 29 did.

The point about the Shirley Highway HOV connections being untolled matches up with what they told me, but I wonder why tolling equipment has been installed on the gantries at the western end of said ramps if there is no toll there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 22, 2012, 10:22:17 AM
<<< The point about the Shirley Highway HOV connections being untolled matches up with what they told me, but I wonder why tolling equipment has been installed on the gantries at the western end of said ramps if there is no toll there.  >>>

That is what prompted my inquiry to the project manager, and he told me that it was for monitoring of passes, and to be in place for the future I-95 HOT Lanes project between I-495 and Garrisonville.  He did say no toll until then.


Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on June 22, 2012, 05:58:52 PM
Where is this going to tie in on the north and south ends?

This was in a link in the article. It's probably an approximation, but the article shows a drawing of the proposed south end of the new bypass pretty much where this picture shows it. It's northeast-southwest.
(http://www.cvillepedia.org/mediawiki/images/20020219-SELC-bypass-map.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 23, 2012, 08:09:44 AM
The southern end of that bypass is to tie into the current bypass at the existing partial interchange for Leonard Sandridge Boulevard (formerly the North Grounds Connector Road).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 23, 2012, 02:25:51 PM
The southern end of that bypass is to tie into the current bypass at the existing partial interchange for Leonard Sandridge Boulevard (formerly the North Grounds Connector Road).

Are they still going to build the direct ramps for US-29 through traffic between the existing and extended bypass?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 23, 2012, 05:30:10 PM
Where is this going to tie in on the north and south ends?

This was in a link in the article. It's probably an approximation, but the article shows a drawing of the proposed south end of the new bypass pretty much where this picture shows it. It's northeast-southwest.

This was the project that the Piedmont Environmental Council sued the Federal Highway Administration and VDOT to stop some years ago, right?  And if memory serves, didn't the PEC get blown out of the water?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on June 23, 2012, 06:27:18 PM
Where is this going to tie in on the north and south ends?

This was in a link in the article. It's probably an approximation, but the article shows a drawing of the proposed south end of the new bypass pretty much where this picture shows it. It's northeast-southwest.

This was the project that the Piedmont Environmental Council sued the Federal Highway Administration and VDOT to stop some years ago, right?  And if memory serves, didn't the PEC get blown out of the water?

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).

And they did lose on their lawsuit, about 10 years ago.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on July 03, 2012, 01:27:19 PM
Huguenot Memorial Bridge Ribbon Cutting 06-29-2012
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadot/sets/72157630404604274/


Huguenot Bridge
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadot/collections/72157625993768163/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 05, 2012, 12:33:35 PM
I have not driven on the Outer Loop of the Beltway between Van Dorn Street (Exit 173) and the Wilson Bridge since the THRU/LOCAL split was moved west a week or two ago (I was out of town at the time). Yesterday I used the Inner Loop THRU lanes on the way back from Nationals Park (how did I get into the THRU lanes? Stopped at the bank in Old Town and then re-entered the highway via the ramps from US-1) and when I was looking in my mirrors just west of the Eisenhower Connector I noted that there's a new sign on the Outer Loop in advance of the split, a fairly small arrow-per-lane pull-through sign for the Outer Loop THRU lanes. It omits the word "THRU," but it does have what strikes me as a very useful addition—a black-on-yellow banner on the top of the sign reading "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA." I obviously couldn't get a picture while driving the other way at 65 mph, but maybe I can try this weekend. The sign looks nonstandard in a number of ways, but it also looks like a temporary sign setup until all the work is finished (most notably, the LOCAL carriageway is currently a single lane while they reconfigure it following the THRU carriageway extension).

I've always been somewhat amused by the use of "LAST EXIT IN [STATE]" signs of the sort sometimes seen in New York and New Jersey, as they've often struck me as a bit pretentious. But "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA" used in conjunction with what are essentially express lanes (using that term in a generic sense, not a technical sense) seems to me to be an excellent idea in this particular circumstance as a way of underscoring to people that they need to use the other lanes if they're headed for Alexandria. I don't know whether they've added anything new to emphasize that I-295 traffic should also use the LOCAL lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 05, 2012, 02:19:47 PM
I have not driven on the Outer Loop of the Beltway between Van Dorn Street (Exit 173) and the Wilson Bridge since the THRU/LOCAL split was moved west a week or two ago (I was out of town at the time). Yesterday I used the Inner Loop THRU lanes on the way back from Nationals Park (how did I get into the THRU lanes? Stopped at the bank in Old Town and then re-entered the highway via the ramps from US-1) and when I was looking in my mirrors just west of the Eisenhower Connector I noted that there's a new sign on the Outer Loop in advance of the split, a fairly small arrow-per-lane pull-through sign for the Outer Loop THRU lanes. It omits the word "THRU," but it does have what strikes me as a very useful addition—a black-on-yellow banner on the top of the sign reading "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA." I obviously couldn't get a picture while driving the other way at 65 mph, but maybe I can try this weekend. The sign looks nonstandard in a number of ways, but it also looks like a temporary sign setup until all the work is finished (most notably, the LOCAL carriageway is currently a single lane while they reconfigure it following the THRU carriageway extension).

The first signs read "95/495 keep left" and "All Exits Keep Right."  This may not be exact, but I think I am conveying the content correctly.  I don't like the way that these (apparently temporary) signs are worded.

I've always been somewhat amused by the use of "LAST EXIT IN [STATE]" signs of the sort sometimes seen in New York and New Jersey, as they've often struck me as a bit pretentious. But "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA" used in conjunction with what are essentially express lanes (using that term in a generic sense, not a technical sense) seems to me to be an excellent idea in this particular circumstance as a way of underscoring to people that they need to use the other lanes if they're headed for Alexandria. I don't know whether they've added anything new to emphasize that I-295 traffic should also use the LOCAL lanes.

The "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA" sign for the THRU lanes is entirely appropriate, in my opinion.

There are (I believe) two supplemental panels informing motorists wanting to exit at Va. 241, U.S. 1 and I-295 to use the LOCAL roadway. 

The only exit from the Outer Loop THRU roadway is to "secret" I-295 south (Md. 210 (Indian Head Highway) south, with one exit to Md. 414 before I-295 ends at Md. 210).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 05, 2012, 02:46:40 PM
The "NO EXIT IN VIRGINIA" sign for the THRU lanes is entirely appropriate, in my opinion.

....

I agree, and I was quite surprised to see it because Virginia traditionally does not use any banners of that sort. I didn't expect they'd put up this sort of sign there even though it seems like common-sense. Among other reasons why I thought they wouldn't do it is that the original sign renderings in the Wilson Bridge project information didn't include anything of this sort. I think this is an example where a banner of this sort is more important on the Virginia side than the Maryland side, simply because the Virginia portion of the highway has a much more important destination served (Alexandria) than the Maryland portion (I-295 and maybe National Harbor).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 08, 2012, 02:05:47 PM
I had the pleasure of taking the outer loop "local lane" this morning. A bit tight, although my journey wasn't as smooth as it should have been because some idiot decided to cut across the closed portion of the roadway from the express lanes to exit at Telegraph Rd.

Regarding the "LAST EXIT IN [state]" signs, in NJ a border crossing typically involves a toll bridge and an easy U-Turn likely isn't possible after passing that exit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on July 09, 2012, 11:05:03 PM
Henrico's North Gayton Road extension is coming along well.

 http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jul/08/tdmain01-north-gayton-extension-to-transform-short-ar-2041061/

The article says there's no defined opening date, but it looks like it should be open for the Richmond meet in October.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 10, 2012, 09:42:21 PM
Henrico's North Gayton Road extension is coming along well.

 http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jul/08/tdmain01-north-gayton-extension-to-transform-short-ar-2041061/

The article says there's no defined opening date, but it looks like it should be open for the Richmond meet in October.

The segment between Bacova Drive and VA 271 seems to be mostly complete; it's fully paved but not yet painted. Both ends of this segment have traffic signals with signs attached; Bacova Drive and North Gayton Road has regular Henrico County intersection signs (with block numbers). North Gayton Road and VA 271 features hideous VDOT-installed Clearview signs. The first letter of each word on each sign is too large compared to the rest of the letters. I'll likely get pictures tomorrow.

Shady Grove Road is in the process of being upgraded from a 2-lane road to a 4-lane divided arterial (interestingly, the existing roadway is actually where the median will be). It will still turn onto itself at Twin Hickory Road, though I'm wondering if Henrico will rename this segment as part of North Gayton Road. It would make sense and eliminate this movement at Twin Hickory Road.

Henrico ultimately wants an interchange between the new connector and I-64. I have no earthly idea how this will happen (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=north+gayton+road,+glen+allen,+va&hl=en&ll=37.66276,-77.628794&spn=0.005045,0.011362&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.224889,93.076172&t=h&hnear=N+Gayton+Rd,+Short+Pump,+Henrico,+Virginia+23059&z=17) without destroying the relatively new apartment complex on the south side of I-64. It's also too close to the I-295 interchange and would be a weaving nightmare.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on July 10, 2012, 09:55:03 PM

Henrico ultimately wants an interchange between the new connector and I-64. I have no earthly idea how this will happen (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=north+gayton+road,+glen+allen,+va&hl=en&ll=37.66276,-77.628794&spn=0.005045,0.011362&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.224889,93.076172&t=h&hnear=N+Gayton+Rd,+Short+Pump,+Henrico,+Virginia+23059&z=17) without destroying the relatively new apartment complex on the south side of I-64. It's also too close to the I-295 interchange and would be a weaving nightmare.

There is space for an urban ramp on that quadrant.  Else, a loop ramp could be built on the southwest quadrant, with a left turn from North Gayton Road.

It is close to a mile to the I-295 interchange, and there is ample room for weaving movements.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 10, 2012, 10:43:18 PM
I should also note that the VA 195 express toll lane project is approaching its final phases. The E-ZPass reader equipment has been installed over the new roadway, which is currently being constructed (the entrance and exit are still being built). The old toll plaza signage has been removed in both directions and replaced with new signs. It should be noted that traffic using the Meadow Street exit is now routed through the cash toll lanes.

Also, four years after I sent them an email about it, the City of Richmond finally has signs at all westbound entrances to VA 195. There have been signs at the eastbound entrances for some time (many original VA 195 signs remain standing), as well as at the westbound entrance from Canal Street near 8th Street. They all appear to be perfectly normal signs (i.e., not City of Richmond unisigns) with yellow TOLL tabs, which makes me think that the signs were actually sourced from a VDOT contractor.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on July 10, 2012, 11:27:55 PM
I don't think I've ever seen a Richmond unisign with a VA 195 shield on it, just I-195. Every VA 195 posting I've ever seen has been a normal shield. My guess is the RMA contracts all the signing for it. (On another note, I need to find some of those old shields. I don't have any photos of them.)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 11, 2012, 01:31:14 AM
I don't think I've ever seen a Richmond unisign with a VA 195 shield on it, just I-195. Every VA 195 posting I've ever seen has been a normal shield. My guess is the RMA contracts all the signing for it. (On another note, I need to find some of those old shields. I don't have any photos of them.)

Probably. The only one I know of that exists is on 8th Street, just south of Main Street. Most of the VA 195 postings in Richmond are older shields with state-name I-95 and I-64 shields.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 20, 2012, 12:49:33 AM
Do you agree with this from the Examiner?  Roads make Virginia less business-friendly (http://washingtonexaminer.com/roads-make-virginia-less-business-friendly/article/2502506)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on July 20, 2012, 06:22:13 AM
Do you agree with this from the Examiner?  Roads make Virginia less business-friendly (http://washingtonexaminer.com/roads-make-virginia-less-business-friendly/article/2502506)

The annual business ranking of one news source changing from 1st to 3rd out of 50 states?  I wouldn't necessarily make any specific conclusion from that.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 22, 2012, 06:09:51 PM
This continues the trend of county governments in some parts of Northern Virginia paying for improvements to the highway network (which is supposed to be the responsibility of the Commonwealth). 

WTOP Radio: Prince William Co. to widen part of Route 1 (http://www.wtop.com/164/2955529/Prince-William-Co-to-widen-part-of-Route-1)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 24, 2012, 10:08:57 PM
Some notes from my visit to the VA 195 open-road tolling project today:

- As previously stated, all westbound entrances to VA 195 are now signed. The Canal Street and Cumberland Street entrances previously weren't.

- The old Smart Tag-era overhead signs are now gone. There is a traffic split past the onramp from Canal Street, with E-ZPass traffic exiting to the left toward the open road tolling lanes, which are not yet open. For now these lanes lead to the eastbound toll plaza's reversible center tollgates.

- New Clearview signage has appeared directing traffic bound for Meadow Street to use the cash toll lanes. Unfortunately there is an erroneous one near Canal Street that has promoted Meadow Street to part of VA 161. The sign doesn't refer to the actual VA 161 exit, which can easily be reached without using the toll plaza. All other Meadow Street signs correctly have it unnumbered.

- The VA 161 exit has been reconfigured; as traffic from the toll plaza rejoins the mainline, the right lane is now an exit only lane.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2012, 11:34:14 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Trucking group looks to block I-95 toll booths (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jul/24/tdbiz01-trucking-group-looks-to-block-i-95-toll-bo-ar-2078337/)

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A grass-roots campaign organized by the trucking industry is looking to derail a state proposal to put a toll plaza on Interstate 95 in rural Sussex County.

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The campaign, coordinated by the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the American Trucking Association and the Virginia Trucking Association, includes a website and a Facebook page urging residents to voice their displeasure to Gov. Bob McDonnell. The group has created an online petition as well.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 25, 2012, 05:48:58 PM
WTOP Radio: Faster Beltway commute will come with varying tolls (http://www.wtop.com/654/2961211/Faster-Beltway-commute-will-come-with-varying-tolls)

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By the end of 2012, two new Express Lanes will be open on the Beltway between Springfield and just north of the Dulles Toll Road.

Quote
Carpools with three or more people can use the lanes, which promise a minimum speed around 45 miles per hour, for free.

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Cars with fewer than three people can use the lanes, but those vehicles will have to pay a variable toll that will rise and fall depending on how much traffic is in the lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 25, 2012, 06:18:32 PM
The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 25, 2012, 07:33:37 PM
The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.

Smart of them to call it an administrative charge instead of a summons (and as a private entity, the owners of the toll lanes concession may not be legally able to issue a summons the way that police in Virginia do anyway - and since it will be issued to the owner of the vehicle in violation after-the-fact, they may not be legally able to call it a summons regardless).   But if the matter ends up in court, it should be easier to prove that the owner of a vehicle owes an administrative charge instead of a fine, since the burden of proof is presumably lower.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 26, 2012, 09:21:53 AM
The item in the WTOP article I found interesting is the statement that drivers who use the lanes illegally (i.e., without an E-ZPass) will be assessed a $10 administrative charge on top of the toll.

Smart of them to call it an administrative charge instead of a summons (and as a private entity, the owners of the toll lanes concession may not be legally able to issue a summons the way that police in Virginia do anyway - and since it will be issued to the owner of the vehicle in violation after-the-fact, they may not be legally able to call it a summons regardless).   But if the matter ends up in court, it should be easier to prove that the owner of a vehicle owes an administrative charge instead of a fine, since the burden of proof is presumably lower.

That's exactly why they do it. An "administrative charge" is usually a civil penalty and so is not subject to the various criminal-procedure requirements in place to protect the rights of the accused. A lot of states treat a lot of traffic offenses as "infractions" rather than as actual "crimes" for the same reason. In addition, I believe if it were to be a "summons" (and as you probably know, Virginia has that "Virginia Uniform Summons" form) it would be subject to service-of-process requirements.

With a red-light ticket in Virginia you can get out of the ticket by filing an affidavit (or un-notarized declaration under penalty of perjury) saying you were not driving the car at the time; you need not rat out the person who was driving. I have no idea whether the same is true as to tolls and "administrative fees" because I haven't bothered to look it up.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 26, 2012, 11:06:42 AM
That's exactly why they do it. An "administrative charge" is usually a civil penalty and so is not subject to the various criminal-procedure requirements in place to protect the rights of the accused. A lot of states treat a lot of traffic offenses as "infractions" rather than as actual "crimes" for the same reason. In addition, I believe if it were to be a "summons" (and as you probably know, Virginia has that "Virginia Uniform Summons" form) it would be subject to service-of-process requirements.

All I know about Virginia Uniform Summonses is what police officers in Virginia have told me (as part of my job).  Fortunately, never been on the receiving end of one of them!

Maryland calls them "Uniform Traffic Citation," but is considering changing those citations to summonses for legal reasons that I no longer remember (and that change requires approval in the General Assembly).

I do know that when a Virginia state trooper or commercial vehicle enforcement officer issues an overweight ticket to a truck driver, the amount due is not a fine, but instead is an assessment of liquidated damages for driving overweight on the highways of the Commonwealth (also has a lower burden of proof in court).

With a red-light ticket in Virginia you can get out of the ticket by filing an affidavit (or un-notarized declaration under penalty of perjury) saying you were not driving the car at the time; you need not rat out the person who was driving. I have no idea whether the same is true as to tolls and "administrative fees" because I haven't bothered to look it up.

I don't think red light and  speed camera tickets in Maryland can be gotten out of that way - I think you have to appear in District Court and challenge it before a judge.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 26, 2012, 11:24:15 AM
Virginia doesn't use the term "traffic citation" on the summons because they use the same form for things other than traffic violations.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 29, 2012, 02:28:57 PM
"Dr. Gridlock"  (Robert Thomson) of the Washington Post: Va.’s new I-66 HOV lane markings baffle some drivers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/new-hov-lane-markings-baffle-some-drivers-in-virginia/2012/07/27/gJQAoUBCGX_story.html)

Quote
I’ve gotten similar inquiries recently as drivers noticed new markings along I-66 near the Capital Beltway where the Virginia Department of Transportation has been repaving. The drivers welcomed the new asphalt but found the lane markings confusing.
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The new double white stripe is meant to improve the flow of traffic in the high-occupancy vehicle lane. A Transportation Department study a couple of years ago found that one reason for slow travel times is the weaving drivers do between the HOV lane and the regular lanes.
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The study, in which state police participated, recommended limiting the locations where drivers can move in and out of the HOV lanes in the hope that compliance would lead to better travel times. Drivers are seeing the results of that recommendation in these double lines, marking the areas where there should be no lane changes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 31, 2012, 02:15:45 PM
Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) (http://www.wtop.com/120/2970822/New-express-lanes-coming-to-Virginia) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2012, 02:43:09 PM
Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) (http://www.wtop.com/120/2970822/New-express-lanes-coming-to-Virginia) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).

Just wish those lanes would be extended south much further, say, to someplace near Massaponax (Exit 126). When I-395 up to the Potomac River was included, I believe the plans were to extend to Va. 630 (Courthouse Road) at Exit 140 (Stafford), but Arlington County's opposition to HOV/Toll lanes in their jurisdiction killed that.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 31, 2012, 05:57:47 PM
I guess I can kiss my free HOV lane usage goodbye after that project is over. Another tax paid for road going toll. I also don't see the point in only going to Exit 140. I recall seeing the actual plans going to Fredricksburg. Usually volume drops a bit on I-95 around Exit 126, this new project will just move the current bottleneck further south.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on July 31, 2012, 08:25:43 PM
I guess I can kiss my free HOV lane usage goodbye after that project is over. Another tax paid for road going toll. I also don't see the point in only going to Exit 140. I recall seeing the actual plans going to Fredricksburg. Usually volume drops a bit on I-95 around Exit 126, this new project will just move the current bottleneck further south.
No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on July 31, 2012, 08:35:01 PM
No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

Right now the lanes are free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends. I take advantage of them when I'm driving through the area because they are quite a bit less congested than the standard lanes and the speed limit is 65mph their entire length.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on July 31, 2012, 09:22:35 PM
OK, misread. You do lose that privilege without paying, but if traffic's really not moving, enough people will pay anyway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on July 31, 2012, 09:51:38 PM
Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) (http://www.wtop.com/120/2970822/New-express-lanes-coming-to-Virginia) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).

Just wish those lanes would be extended south much further, say, to someplace near Massaponax (Exit 126). When I-395 up to the Potomac River was included, I believe the plans were to extend to Va. 630 (Courthouse Road) at Exit 140 (Stafford), but Arlington County's opposition to HOV/Toll lanes in their jurisdiction killed that.

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on July 31, 2012, 10:05:10 PM
No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

Right now the lanes are free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends. I take advantage of them when I'm driving through the area because they are quite a bit less congested than the standard lanes and the speed limit is 65mph their entire length.

After they are converted to HOT, will they still be free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends?

Myself, for occasional usage, I will gladly spend a few dollars to bypass congestion in the general purpose lanes.


Post Merge: July 31, 2012, 11:01:28 PM

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.

There is enough right-of-way, but there is a several mile section where the median is too narrow to put the reversible roadway in the median without relocating one of the existing roadways.

There is an overpass built recently, about a mile south of the Massaponax interchange, than has a center span opening that was designed to accomodate the reversible roadway.  Planning to date has the reversible roadway ending about a mile south of there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2012, 09:18:12 AM
No, HOT lanes allow HOV users for free. They allow SOVs to pay a toll and enjoy the same privileges. The toll varies to keep the lane busy but moving at speed.

Right now the lanes are free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends. I take advantage of them when I'm driving through the area because they are quite a bit less congested than the standard lanes and the speed limit is 65mph their entire length.

After they are converted to HOT, will they still be free for SOVs to use during off peak hours and weekends?

Myself, for occasional usage, I will gladly spend a few dollars to bypass congestion in the general purpose lanes.

....

No. The new project will operate as HO/T on a 24-7 basis. The project's northern end is to be the "Turkeycock" ramp on I-395 between Edsall Road and Duke Street; north of there, the center carriageway will operate the same way it does today under the same two-lane configuration. A new northbound exit ramp is to be constructed at Turkeycock to allow toll-paying traffic that doesn't satisfy the HOV-3 restriction to exit into the general-purpose lanes to the right. I saw a diagram of this plan and it led me to expect some level of congestion because traffic using that ramp will have to weave and criss-cross with traffic exiting from I-395 to Duke Street towards Landmark Mall.

In general I'm not sure what I think of this project and the reason is similar to what "NJRoadfan" says. I have no problem with the 495 Express Lanes that are soon to be completed on the Beltway because that project is creating four entirely new lanes while maintaining all the existing lanes (and improving the design of the I-66 interchange). It's fine to restrict brand-new lanes if what already existed is still available. The I-95 project doesn't do that. The I-95 HOV facility is currently open to all traffic except during rush hours and the period while the lanes are reversed, although trucks are prohibited at the southern end due to the requirement that they use the weigh station down there. Converting the existing facility to HO/T means it will be HO/T on a 24-7 basis (again, except for the time when the lanes are being reversed). I don't see the Beltway project increasing congestion at all, but I could definitely see the I-95 project increasing congestion in the mainline as drivers who now use the HOV facility to avoid the traffic in the mainline instead use the mainline to avoid the toll. For example, last Saturday I was driving back from Woodbridge and I saw from Route 123 that the mainline was slow, so I took the HOV lanes to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway exit, which is about a nine-mile drive. If I had to pay a toll, I doubt I'd do that unless the toll rate happened to be set on the low end, maybe something like 25¢ per mile. A dollar a mile, no thanks. I know enough other bypass routes to get me home in a reasonable amount of time, although I think traffic on the parallel roads like US-1 that are currently bail-out routes might increase as well.
 
I know they plan to restripe the center carriageway from Dumfries to Edsall Road to make it three lanes, but that's a relatively minor "improvement," if indeed it's an improvement at all. It means narrowing the shoulders and that's never a great thing. It seems to me that what's happening here is that roughly 20 miles of existing HOV carriageway that's open to everyone on a regular basis will now be taken away and turned into a privately-operated restricted roadway. I'm not sure I think that's appropriate.
 
(BTW, I should mention that I have no problem with the idea of the southern extension of the reversible lanes being operated on an HO/T basis. Like the Beltway lanes, that portion would represent new capacity that doesn't currently exist and I have no problem with restrictions being imposed on brand-new lanes. I certainly understand why Fluor and Transurban wouldn't want to operate an HO/T facility running just from Aquia to Dumfries, too. Not profitable enough since drivers could just stick it out in the local lanes as they do now and then enter the "free" HOV north of there. But I'm not sure that's a sufficient rationale to give them the existing HOV lanes.)

Regarding NJRoadfan's other point—the 65-mph speed limit in the center carriageway is an incentive to use those lanes in my view because it means you're not likely to get pulled over for doing 70 and if you do it's a minor offense with a lower fine compared to going 70 mph in a 55 zone.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on August 02, 2012, 03:55:30 PM
While driving to Chester today, I saw some newly-posted white rectangles on secondary routes. Hopefully Chesterfield County will start widespread use of them again, or even shields.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on August 02, 2012, 09:25:27 PM
While driving to Chester today, I saw some newly-posted white rectangles on secondary routes. Hopefully Chesterfield County will start widespread use of them again, or even shields.

That would be nice. There's errors everywhere (Robious Rd posted as VA 147 and not SR 711, Courthouse Rd south of Qualla Rd posted as SR 653 instead of SR 604 even near the courthouse).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 05, 2012, 10:40:04 AM
WTOP Radio: VDOT making changes to I-66 lanes (http://www.wtop.com/41/2978871/VDOT-making-changes-to-I-66-lanes)

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Work crews have been have been putting double white stripes on the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-66 at the Route 123 and Nutley Street interchanges.

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Those double white lines mean motorists will have limited access into those lanes. The Virginia Department of Transportation says a recent study indicates weaving back and forth between the HOV lanes slows down traffic. Now drivers will only be able to move into the HOV lanes where there's a break in the white lines -- even when HOV restrictions are not applicable.

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There's also work being done on the shoulders of the highway between the Beltway and Route 50. A new high-friction surface coating is being laid down on the shoulders so they can be used as a traffic lane during rush hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 05, 2012, 07:25:11 PM
Governor McDonnell was on WTOP this morning and said that construction on the I-95 HO/T lane project is to begin next month (August 2012) (http://www.wtop.com/120/2970822/New-express-lanes-coming-to-Virginia) with the lanes opening in 2014. The reason for the shorter timetable compared to the Beltway project is that they don't have to rebuild every interchange along the way since the existing center carriageway is to be converted to become the new HO/T lanes. Construction at the southern end will add about 8 miles of reversible center carriageway from the current end of the HOV system down to Garrisonville Road (Exit 143—Route 610, the Aquia Harbour exit).

Just wish those lanes would be extended south much further, say, to someplace near Massaponax (Exit 126). When I-395 up to the Potomac River was included, I believe the plans were to extend to Va. 630 (Courthouse Road) at Exit 140 (Stafford), but Arlington County's opposition to HOV/Toll lanes in their jurisdiction killed that.

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.

Yeah, it is pretty narrow down there, isn't it?

Still, I think VDOT and its partners will be in for a tremendous bashing when the "express lane merge" (as the WTOP Radio traffic reporters say) backups are just moved south from Dumfries to Garrisonville.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on August 05, 2012, 09:08:57 PM

I was going to post the same thing. Unfortunately, insufficient right of way exists to extend them that far south; just south of VA 3 (exit 130) would probably have been better.

Not true, there is plenty of right-of-way all the way, just a narrow median section where one of the general purpose roadways would have to be relocated.  Preliminary designs have already been completed for the extension to south of Massaponax.

Quote
Yeah, it is pretty narrow down there, isn't it?

Still, I think VDOT and its partners will be in for a tremendous bashing when the "express lane merge" (as the WTOP Radio traffic reporters say) backups are just moved south from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

I would say otherwise, that 8 more miles of reversible roadway will be a major benefit, bypassing 3 more interchanges (VA-619, Quantico, and Garrisonville).  Plus, northbound that southbound merge is not an issue.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 05, 2012, 09:27:29 PM
Quote
Still, I think VDOT and its partners will be in for a tremendous bashing when the "express lane merge" (as the WTOP Radio traffic reporters say) backups are just moved south from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

What's odd about that term? Those lanes have been called the express lanes since the 1970s and a number of signs retain that term. I know a lot of people newer to the area call them "the HOV lanes," but that's a newer term for it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 12:17:45 PM
Washington Post: I-95 Express Lanes construction begins this week (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/i-95-express-lanes-construction-begins-this-week/2012/08/07/340edf58-e085-11e1-a421-8bf0f0e5aa11_blog.html)

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A groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning marked the beginning of the end for the I-95 HOV lanes, long a mainstay of the D.C. region’s commuting system.

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But scores of local government and state officials, including Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) who attended the ceremony at the Dale City rest area off the southbound lanes cheered the upcoming conversion to high-occupancy toll lanes as the way of the future for commuters.

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The 29 miles of HOT lanes on I-95 will connect to the 14 miles of HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway, scheduled to open late this year, creating a major new element in the regional highway system.

WTOP Radio: I-95 Express Lanes Project may have environmental impact (http://www.wtop.com/654/2984728/I-95-Express-Lanes-Project-may-have-environmental-impact)

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Better transportation projects meant to keep areas moving may not be worth it if they come with a high environmental price tag. Some see flaws with the planning.

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As work on the newly announced Interstate 95 Express Lanes Project begins, crews are removing about 100 acres of trees and shrubs to make room.

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Most of the trees and shrubs will be torn away from the median of I-95 at the southern edge of the project, between Dumfries Road in Prince William County and Garrisonville Road in Stafford County. It's an area that runs about 9 miles long.

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"We found that the studies really didn't look at community and environmental impacts very much, or alternatives for the corridor," says Stewart Schwartz, head of the region's Coalition for Smarter Growth.

TOLLROADSnews: VA/I-95 Express Lanes toll concession signed + financial close = start next week (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6092)

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2012-08-01: Virginia DOT and 95 Express Lanes LLC (90% Transurban, 10% Fluor) signed a 'comprehensive agreement' and went to financial close July 31 on a $925m project to widen and lengthen central reversible lanes and manage traffic with dynamic tolling. There's a groundbreaking in a few days - August 7.

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The project in which the investors carry most of the traffic and revenue risk will upgrade the capacity and management of the major southwestern radial out of the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area.

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It was originally planned to start at the Potomac River bridges from DC near the Pentagon on the Shirley Highway (I-395) in Arlington County 10 miles southwest to the Springfield Interchange with the Capital Beltway (I-495). And then it would continue on I-95 29 miles to Stafford.

Quote
After several years of litigation against the project by Arlington County VDOT in 2007 cancelled it - a serious blow to mobility inside the Beltway. The project was restarted with only the I-95 portion outside the Beltway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 12:20:30 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Pocahontas official write-off makes news downunner - Transurban shakeup PERSONNEL (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6110)

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2012-08-08: Transurban's A$138m, $130m write-down of the feeble Pochahontas Parkway project made the national news in Australia with the government-owned Australian Broadcasting Commission television managing to show I-95 traffic as being on the Transurban pike - which is located on the other side of the James River east of Richmond

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If only!!!!

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Traffic at hardly 15,000 a day on the Pocahontas Parkway is a tiny fraction of I-95 traffic. More to the point it is some 65% below forecast traffic as projected by Wilbur Smith.

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The project was a folly of the boom mentality of ten years ago and planned development projects on the east bank and around Richmond's small airport that failed to happen. The Parkway serves mainly cornfields and grass supporting the odd grazing horse.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 12:23:25 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Opposition to I-95 toll plan continues to rise (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/aug/07/tdmet02-opposition-to-i-95-toll-plan-continues-to--ar-2112896/)

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The Ashland Town Council and the Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning Organization have joined the growing chorus of opposition to tolls on Interstate 95.

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The Virginia Department of Transportation has proposed putting a toll plaza just north of Emporia, a little more than 20 miles from the North Carolina line. Passenger vehicles would pay $4 and large trucks $12 in each direction at the proposed plaza.

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The planning organization includes Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Charles City, New Kent and Powhatan counties, and Ashland and Richmond. It sent a letter, dated July 17, to Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 01:05:40 PM
Quote
Still, I think VDOT and its partners will be in for a tremendous bashing when the "express lane merge" (as the WTOP Radio traffic reporters say) backups are just moved south from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

What's odd about that term? Those lanes have been called the express lanes since the 1970s and a number of signs retain that term. I know a lot of people newer to the area call them "the HOV lanes," but that's a newer term for it.

It was once the "I-95 Busway" (between the 14th  Street Bridge and Springfield), when I-395 was still signed as I-95. 

I recall signs put up by the Virginia Department of Highways (VDH - VDOT today) that made reference to "Pool Cars" instead of HOV-4 (later HOV-3).

Many of the signs today read "Restricted Lanes," and have for many years.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2012, 02:03:43 PM
Quote
Still, I think VDOT and its partners will be in for a tremendous bashing when the "express lane merge" (as the WTOP Radio traffic reporters say) backups are just moved south from Dumfries to Garrisonville.

What's odd about that term? Those lanes have been called the express lanes since the 1970s and a number of signs retain that term. I know a lot of people newer to the area call them "the HOV lanes," but that's a newer term for it.

It was once the "I-95 Busway" (between the 14th  Street Bridge and Springfield), when I-395 was still signed as I-95. 

I recall signs put up by the Virginia Department of Highways (VDH - VDOT today) that made reference to "Pool Cars" instead of HOV-4 (later HOV-3).

Many of the signs today read "Restricted Lanes," and have for many years.

Yeah, I remember those old "Pool Cars" signs. Here's a picture of one. Note the spiffy separator line too. Everyone I've ever known has called it either the "express lanes" or the "HOV lanes." Don't know anyone who says "Restricted Lanes" regardless of the signs. The southbound ramp at Turkeycock was once marked "Express Lanes South" prior to the installation of the "Restricted Lanes" VMS units. There are still a number of signs that say "Express Lanes"—several of the southbound BGSs between Shirlington and Turkeycock have auxiliary signs reading "Express Lanes Only" and two small signs just after Turkeycock that tell Route 644 traffic to keep left and I-95 traffic to keep right have an "Express Lanes" banner on top.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/f7c13517.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 09, 2012, 02:11:29 PM
Turkeycock

(https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD2e9yQA4YZ6K4mdRvc_6tGhDCHtpI4omMVxHHFzi5cUY1TcNE)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2012, 02:31:59 PM
Turkeycock

(https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD2e9yQA4YZ6K4mdRvc_6tGhDCHtpI4omMVxHHFzi5cUY1TcNE)

Pretty much. The ramps have that name because Turkeycock Run passes under I-395 there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 02:37:46 PM
Yeah, I remember those old "Pool Cars" signs. Here's a picture of one. Note the spiffy separator line too.

That was sometimes used in other signs (having nothing to do with HOV/Carpooling/transit lanes) in various places across Virginia.  A classy design touch.  Great image.

It includes a shot of one of bus 1006, one of the "Shirley Express" GMC "New Look" buses after they were re-painted in WMATA's 1970's Metrobus colors.  Unlike most of the other GMC buses in the WMATA fleet, these vehicles had some sort of Diesel engine emission controls (and a tailpipe on the left side of the bus next to the rear window).  Here's an image of one of those buses when it was brand-new in the original Shirley Express/AB&W livery:

(http://www.thinkoutsidethecar.org/nvtc/photos/10.jpg)

Everyone I've ever known has called it either the "express lanes" or the "HOV lanes." Don't know anyone who says "Restricted Lanes" regardless of the signs. The southbound ramp at Turkeycock was once marked "Express Lanes South" prior to the installation of the "Restricted Lanes" VMS units.

I remember that.

For those scoring at home, Turkeycock Run is a small stream that runs under I-395 (Shirley Highway) between Va. 648 (Edsall Road) and Va. 236 (Duke Street) at the point where VDH built ramps from the northbound conventional lanes (non-HOV) to the reversible HOV roadway (when operating  northbound) and ramps in both directions between the reversible HOV lanes (when operating southbound) to and from the conventional lanes.  To insider types and roadgeek types, this place is called "Turkeycock," even though there are no signs anywhere with that name.

There are still a number of signs that say "Express Lanes"—several of the southbound BGSs between Shirlington and Turkeycock have auxiliary signs reading "Express Lanes Only" and two small signs just after Turkeycock that tell Route 644 traffic to keep left and I-95 traffic to keep right have an "Express Lanes" banner on top.

Yes, though in recent times, VDOT seems to prefer "RESTRICTED LANES," at least along the I-95/I-395 corridor.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2012, 02:47:35 PM
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that back when they ran those "Shirley Express" buses, they used buses that had more powerful engines than most of their fleet, thus making them better-equipped to deal with the hills between Duke Street and Seminary Road and the much-less-steep southbound grade between Shirlington and Seminary Road. I don't recall the actual buses because at the time we lived near Fairfax Hospital and when we took the bus it was the line that went to the Ballston Metro stop (at that time the end of the Orange Line). But I rather like the idea of using more powerful buses on I-395. It is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck behind a bus driver who's doing 45 mph in the left lane of a road posted at 65 mph because his bus can't go any faster up the hill.


Quote
Yes, though in recent times, VDOT seems to prefer "RESTRICTED LANES," at least along the I-95/I-395 corridor.

Of course. Can't disagree with that. But it doesn't mean that "Restricted Lanes" either is, or has to be, the "official" or "popular" name used by the public. Kind of reminds me of the time when one of my college roommates in Charlottesville was looking at the TV listings in the Washington Post and asked, "Do we get WRC here?" The rest of us were from the DC area, but it didn't occur to us that he meant the DC-area NBC affiliate because we all knew it as "Channel 4" (still do, for that matter).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on August 09, 2012, 03:15:14 PM
For those scoring at home
(https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD2e9yQA4YZ6K4mdRvc_6tGhDCHtpI4omMVxHHFzi5cUY1TcNE)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2012, 03:26:31 PM
For those scoring at home
(https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD2e9yQA4YZ6K4mdRvc_6tGhDCHtpI4omMVxHHFzi5cUY1TcNE)

He said "for those scoring at home." Those guys will never score. Unless you meant with their right hands, of course, although Beavis's looks occupied with that soda.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on August 09, 2012, 05:50:28 PM
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that back when they ran those "Shirley Express" buses, they used buses that had more powerful engines than most of their fleet, thus making them better-equipped to deal with the hills between Duke Street and Seminary Road and the much-less-steep southbound grade between Shirlington and Seminary Road. I don't recall the actual buses because at the time we lived near Fairfax Hospital and when we took the bus it was the line that went to the Ballston Metro stop (at that time the end of the Orange Line). But I rather like the idea of using more powerful buses on I-395. It is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck behind a bus driver who's doing 45 mph in the left lane of a road posted at 65 mph because his bus can't go any faster up the hill.

Transit buses in those days (manufactured before 1980) were built for city traffic, generally not for use on high-speed highways; and were underpowered for high-speed traffic.  Much less power than that of an intercity bus of the era, such as those utilized by Greyhound and Trailways.

As express bus service proliferated in many places, the buses were powered to higher standards for decent highway performance.  I ride an express transit bus to and from work, and it performs fine on the freeway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 09, 2012, 05:56:53 PM
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that back when they ran those "Shirley Express" buses, they used buses that had more powerful engines than most of their fleet, thus making them better-equipped to deal with the hills between Duke Street and Seminary Road and the much-less-steep southbound grade between Shirlington and Seminary Road. I don't recall the actual buses because at the time we lived near Fairfax Hospital and when we took the bus it was the line that went to the Ballston Metro stop (at that time the end of the Orange Line). But I rather like the idea of using more powerful buses on I-395. It is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck behind a bus driver who's doing 45 mph in the left lane of a road posted at 65 mph because his bus can't go any faster up the hill.

Transit buses in those days (manufactured before 1980) were built for city traffic, generally not for use on high-speed highways; and were underpowered for high-speed traffic.

As express bus service proliferated in many places, the buses were powered to higher standards for decent highway performance.  I ride an express transit bus to and from work, and it performs fine on the freeway.

Well, that's kind of my point—it sure seems as though the Metrobuses that run on I-395 are not well-powered for highway performance. They crawl. Might just be the drivers, of course. The commuter buses that come from Prince William County don't seem to have the same problem going up the hills. That's why I phrased my prior comment about "it is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck" in the present tense!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 07:30:01 PM
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that back when they ran those "Shirley Express" buses, they used buses that had more powerful engines than most of their fleet, thus making them better-equipped to deal with the hills between Duke Street and Seminary Road and the much-less-steep southbound grade between Shirlington and Seminary Road. I don't recall the actual buses because at the time we lived near Fairfax Hospital and when we took the bus it was the line that went to the Ballston Metro stop (at that time the end of the Orange Line). But I rather like the idea of using more powerful buses on I-395. It is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck behind a bus driver who's doing 45 mph in the left lane of a road posted at 65 mph because his bus can't go any faster up the hill.

All of the Shirley Express buses were geared for freeway operation, and were generally capable of 70 MPH.  The "1000" series buses (like the one in your image above) had the same six cylinder engine that "regular" transit buses had, but were usually capable of keeping up with traffic because of the gearing (most transit buses had two-speed automatics, the Shirley Express buses had three or four forward speeds). The "1100" series buses were slightly newer, and had V8 Detroit Diesel engines, and were able to gobble up hills with great ease.  Probably the best buses ever to operate on the streets of metropolitan Washington.

After WMATA took over the four private D.C.-area transit bus companies in 1972 (including AB&W, which ran Shirley Express), they realized that the 1100's were great buses, and when they decided to make a huge bus procurement in 1973 or 1974, they wrote the specs to be essentially identical to the 1100-series buses (including the V8 engines in the 40-foot buses).  Unfortunately, that procurement was an unmitigated disaster, because the winning bidder was AM General, a subsidiary of American Motors Corporation (same people that built the Pacer and the Gremlin), and had never built a transit bus before winning the WMATA contract.  The interiors of the AMC buses were outfitted like the 1100's (and even had Detroit Diesel/GM engines and transmissions), but the buses had a tendency to catch fire, bodies leaked rainwater (might have been useful for extinguishing fires), the frames were weak (at least one bent in half after loading a "crush" load of passengers at the Pentagon bus station), the air conditioning usually was inoperable and the steering and front end were poorly designed, so the wheel did not "snap" back after a turn when the bus was rolling forward.

Quote
Yes, though in recent times, VDOT seems to prefer "RESTRICTED LANES," at least along the I-95/I-395 corridor.

Of course. Can't disagree with that. But it doesn't mean that "Restricted Lanes" either is, or has to be, the "official" or "popular" name used by the public. Kind of reminds me of the time when one of my college roommates in Charlottesville was looking at the TV listings in the Washington Post and asked, "Do we get WRC here?" The rest of us were from the DC area, but it didn't occur to us that he meant the DC-area NBC affiliate because we all knew it as "Channel 4" (still do, for that matter).

Agreed.  Going to the University of Maryland at College Park (but never living on-campus), that was never an issue for me.

Getting back to "Restricted Lanes," I believe that is how VDOT signs the barrier-separated (and maybe concurrent-flow) HOV lanes along I-64 in Hampton Roads.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 07:37:10 PM
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that back when they ran those "Shirley Express" buses, they used buses that had more powerful engines than most of their fleet, thus making them better-equipped to deal with the hills between Duke Street and Seminary Road and the much-less-steep southbound grade between Shirlington and Seminary Road. I don't recall the actual buses because at the time we lived near Fairfax Hospital and when we took the bus it was the line that went to the Ballston Metro stop (at that time the end of the Orange Line). But I rather like the idea of using more powerful buses on I-395. It is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck behind a bus driver who's doing 45 mph in the left lane of a road posted at 65 mph because his bus can't go any faster up the hill.

Transit buses in those days (manufactured before 1980) were built for city traffic, generally not for use on high-speed highways; and were underpowered for high-speed traffic.  Much less power than that of an intercity bus of the era, such as those utilized by Greyhound and Trailways.

Your description does not apply to the Shirley Express buses (built in the late 1960's or early 1970's), especially the 1100-series buses.  Even some of the poor-quality AMC buses purchased by WMATA in the 1973-1975 timeframe were capable of 65 or 70 MPH (if they didn't shake apart first).

As express bus service proliferated in many places, the buses were powered to higher standards for decent highway performance.  I ride an express transit bus to and from work, and it performs fine on the freeway.

Most of WMATA's bus fleet seems to be able to maintain 65 MPH today on freeway HOV lanes along I-95/I-395, Va. 267, I-270 and U.S. 50.

The over-the-road coaches used by PRTC (Prince William County, Va.) and the Maryland Transit Administration for express service are capable of 80 MPH (supposedly), but I understand that they have governors installed to prevent such speed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 07:40:51 PM
Well, that's kind of my point—it sure seems as though the Metrobuses that run on I-395 are not well-powered for highway performance. They crawl. Might just be the drivers, of course. The commuter buses that come from Prince William County don't seem to have the same problem going up the hills. That's why I phrased my prior comment about "it is DAMN ANNOYING when you get stuck" in the present tense!

I have driven those lanes a fair amount, and I have not observed (speaking in general terms) that the buses had trouble maintaining the posted 65 MPH.  At least not the buses in WMATA's fleet now.

Some of the pre-WMATA GMC New Looks (especially the ones inherited from the old D.C. Transit System, Inc.), which were in revenue service until after 2000, when some were over 40 years old, could not maintain more than about 45 or 50 MPH. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on August 09, 2012, 09:26:47 PM

Transit buses in those days (manufactured before 1980) were built for city traffic, generally not for use on high-speed highways; and were underpowered for high-speed traffic.  Much less power than that of an intercity bus of the era, such as those utilized by Greyhound and Trailways.

Your description does not apply to the Shirley Express buses (built in the late 1960's or early 1970's), especially the 1100-series buses.  Even some of the poor-quality AMC buses purchased by WMATA in the 1973-1975 timeframe were capable of 65 or 70 MPH (if they didn't shake apart first).

I wasn't disputing that there were higher-powered buses utilized on Shirley Highway after the busway opened in 1969.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on August 09, 2012, 09:41:54 PM
Tree clearing has begun in a couple spots north of Exit 150 for the HOV/Express Lane extension.

WTOP reported yesterday it amounted to 100 acres of clearing necessary.  They did not say if all trees in the entire median are coming down (in some spots it wouldn't be absolutely neccessary IMO). Additionally, most of the terrain is not anywhere near the same plane as either carraigeway of 95.

Depending on how they leave it at SR 610 when finished (looks like flyover to the right side of 95 SB), the bottleneck may be moving south 9 miles (which some days is less than a mile backup), but it will be better because more cars will have exited the mainline before then.

Additionally, the backups at Exit 150 and 148 may subside substantially because all the HOV traffic won't have just joined the mainline.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 10, 2012, 09:26:45 AM
....

Getting back to "Restricted Lanes," I believe that is how VDOT signs the barrier-separated (and maybe concurrent-flow) HOV lanes along I-64 in Hampton Roads.

I believe that is correct based on pictures I've seen. I haven't been on that portion of I-64 in at least 20 years. Every time I've passed through that area in recent memory I've used I-664 or I've approached the area from the southwest coming up from North Carolina.

One benefit of the HO/T project might be that the signage might become a bit more standardized. I've long thought Virginia's HOV signage tends to be a bit of a mishmash of stuff thrown up at different times over the years without a great deal of consistency. I've noticed how the new signs for the I-66 interchange on the Beltway are a lot clearer than the old ones were, for example (although they omit the "No Trucks" banner for I-66 inside the Beltway). I assume to the extent signs are to be replaced as part of the I-95 HO/T project it will be the contractor hoisting the new ones (after VDOT approves the signs, of course), and since it's the same contractor that suggests there might be some moves towards consistency.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 11, 2012, 03:12:52 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Tri-Cities area transportation officials oppose I-95 tolls (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/aug/11/tdmet02-tri-cities-area-transportation-officials-o-ar-2123652/)

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The state's proposal for tolls on Interstate 95 is "fatally flawed," Tri-Cities area transportation officials said, going on record opposing the highway toll plan.

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Putting tolls on I-95 traffic in Sussex County "would create significant inequality and disproportional cost … for the low-income, minority population" living in the vicinity of the proposed toll facility, the Tri-Cities Area Metropolitan Planning Organization told the Virginia Department of Transportation on Thursday. Rural Sussex's 10,000-person population is 53 percent African-American. The county is one of the state's poorest localities. According to the 2010 census, Sussex's per-capita income was $16,735, or about half of the state's per-capita income of $32,145.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 12, 2012, 09:25:58 AM
Even though someone was killed in their car on Va. 193 (Georgetown Pike) by a massive tree that came crashing down (not in the middle of a storm, either), I am confident  that some of the tree huggers will be howling about this.

WTOP Radio: VDOT to remove hazardous trees in Great Falls (http://www.wtop.com/120/2982905/VDOT-to-start-removing-hazardous-trees-tomorrow)

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Nearly 60 trees in the Great Falls area of Fairfax County will be removed because they pose a safety risk to motorists.

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The trees are located in the Virginia Department of Transportation right-of-way and were flagged for being dead or in decline with multiple defects.

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After a driver died on July 17 when a 40-ton decayed oak tree fell on his car on Georgetown Pike, residents spoke up. They alerted the county and VDOT to other trees that might have been unsafe.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 12, 2012, 09:29:04 AM
Washington Post: At Fairfax County stables, consequences of BRAC hit home (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/at-fairfax-county-stables-consequences-of-brac-hit-home/2012/08/11/78cbe540-e2f7-11e1-98e7-89d659f9c106_story.html)

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Cindy Mitchell tried not to panic when she heard that a highway might be built on top of Woodlawn Stables, a business she has poured herself into for 20 years.

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She had heard the talk for years. Traffic-clogged Route 1 near Fort Belvoir needed to be widened because the Defense Department had added thousands of jobs to the military base in Fairfax County. This is just more talk, she thought. It won’t happen.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 12, 2012, 09:32:09 AM
For Virginia commuters, new era begins with HOT lanes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/for-virginia-commuters-new-era-begins-with-hot-lanes/2012/08/10/8e4fac5c-e23f-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html)

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Drivers on Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia will notice a change in the landscape this month. At first, they’ll see trees taken down, but the trees aren’t all that’s about to disappear. Over the next 30 months, a man-made part of the commuting landscape also will vanish.

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I-95’s High Occupancy Vehicle lanes will be replaced by a system unfamiliar to the D.C. region. Virginia drivers will see these new high-occupancy toll lanes first on the Capital Beltway. Those will open by the end of this year. By the end of 2014, the 14 miles of HOT lanes on the Beltway will link with 29 miles of HOT lanes on I-95.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 12, 2012, 04:31:58 PM
Washington Post op-ed:  Steven Pearlstein: And now, in local news . . . (http://www.washingtonpost.com/steven-pearlstein-and-now-in-local-news-/2012/08/10/10a940e4-e279-11e1-98e7-89d659f9c106_story.html)

The part that's relevant to the AAROADS audience is near the end of the piece, unfortunately.

Quote
As a recent regular (reverse) commuter on Interstate-66, I have developed a newfound appreciation for the inconvenience and economic damage that the transportation nazis in Arlington have imposed on the rest of the region.

Quote
For two decades these zealots have successfully blocked any highway construction in the county that might result in even one additional single-occupancy vehicle on the road. Even the investment of billions of dollars in the extension of Metro along the Dulles corridor has not shaken their self-righteous determination to impose their values and force every last one of us to move closer to where we work or abandon our single-occupancy vehicles in favor of buses, carpools and bicycles.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Stephane Dumas on August 13, 2012, 10:41:33 AM
I wondered what kind of improvements then VADOT do at Leesburg between VA-9 and Business VA-7?
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=39.1297924518585&lon=-77.5866079330444&zoom=14
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 13, 2012, 03:37:04 PM
Washington Post: Beltway HOT lanes tests of E-ZPass system, signs, sensors set for this week (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/e-zpass-system-signs-sensors-to-be-tested-in-beltway-hot-lanes/2012/08/10/fc262d56-e013-11e1-a421-8bf0f0e5aa11_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 13, 2012, 03:41:02 PM
WTOP Radio: The cost of a speedy Beltway commute means tolls or carpooling (http://www.wtop.com/654/2991529/Speedy-commute-Tolls-or-carpooling)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 13, 2012, 04:29:02 PM
Washington Post: Beltway HOT lanes tests of E-ZPass system, signs, sensors set for this week (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/e-zpass-system-signs-sensors-to-be-tested-in-beltway-hot-lanes/2012/08/10/fc262d56-e013-11e1-a421-8bf0f0e5aa11_story.html)

I stumbled onto a sign test this afternoon on my way back from Falls Church. The pictures I took on I-66 weren't any good, but in this one at least you can make out the wording on the VMS. The toll rates would go where the gibberish characters are. Also, the toll rate for "I-395-95" doesn't refer to a toll for using the Beltway-to-HOV ramps themselves—it refers to using the 495 Express Lanes beyond Braddock, where drivers can move to the right into the regular lanes or continue to the HOV ramps (and, indeed, they may well have to move right if they're not eligible to use HOV on I-95).

If you click on the image it should enlarge a bit, but in case it's unclear, it says "GALLOWS [gibberish]/BRADDOCK [gibberish]/I-395-95 [gibberish]." I couldn't get a closer picture because the sign was switching between this stuff and a "495 EXPRESS LANES TESTING" message.

The renderings I'd seen had suggested they'd use slightly thicker text in caps and lowercase.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/18341fad.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on August 13, 2012, 07:56:47 PM
The Beltway itself was also running VMS testing this afternoon.

In typical Northern Virginia fashion, traffic was backed up reading the VMS...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 13, 2012, 10:03:56 PM
Didn't see any of them turned on on the Beltway, but then on the Outer Loop from I-66 to Van Dorn there aren't any that would have been tested anyway. They weren't on when I went the other way earlier.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on August 16, 2012, 01:27:43 PM
Opposition to the proposed toll plaza on I-95 is getting more and more vocal.

http://www.progress-index.com/news/localities-oppose-interstate-95-toll-proposal-1.1359533
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 16, 2012, 08:22:29 PM
Opposition to the proposed toll plaza on I-95 is getting more and more vocal.

http://www.progress-index.com/news/localities-oppose-interstate-95-toll-proposal-1.1359533

I wonder how many of those local governments stating opposition to the tolling of  I-95 are asking their Virginia state senators and delegates to support an increase in the  Commonwealth's per-gallon motor fuel tax rates?

And  it's amusing to me that the municipality of Dumfries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumfries,_Virginia) (Prince William County) is on record as opposing I-95 tolling. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on August 16, 2012, 09:44:58 PM
Opposition to the proposed toll plaza on I-95 is getting more and more vocal.

http://www.progress-index.com/news/localities-oppose-interstate-95-toll-proposal-1.1359533

I wonder how many of those local governments stating opposition to the tolling of  I-95 are asking their Virginia state senators and delegates to support an increase in the  Commonwealth's per-gallon motor fuel tax rates?

And  it's amusing to me that the municipality of Dumfries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumfries,_Virginia) (Prince William County) is on record as opposing I-95 tolling. 

Toll proposals require the ministry of an exorcist ..
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 22, 2012, 09:44:41 AM
Channel 4 has video of the 495 Express Lane test-drives in progress. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/video/#!/traffic/Beltway-Express-Lanes-Test-Drive/166969426) Doesn't tell us anything we don't already know, of course, but it's interesting to see the lanes finally in use. (As an aside, in my mind it kind of confirms the silliness of trying to line up to be the first person to use a new bridge or a new road or whatever, given that plenty of vehicles will have already driven there. I guess you could say "first member of the general public," but to me that's just not the same.)

I put the link in this thread rather than the HO/T thread because that one strikes me as more focused on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of the I-95 HO/T project and not on construction progress.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 22, 2012, 10:23:24 AM
I put the link in this thread rather than the HO/T thread because that one strikes me as more focused on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of the I-95 HO/T project and not on construction progress.

Given that the Virginia General Assembly sees no reason to raise the Commonwealth's motor fuel tax rate at all, the natural result is that Northern Virginia and Hampton  Roads are going to see more and more highway projects that are supported by tolls.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: dfnva on August 25, 2012, 03:53:58 PM
Battlefield Bypass around Manassas Battlefield...

http://www2.insidenova.com/news/2012/aug/25/battlefield-bypass-nearing-consensus-ar-2152501/

"Clark said the current plan is for the bypass to begin where Va. 234 ends at Interstate 66 and continue across U.S. 29 and on to Pageland Lane at the park’s western border. The road would then continue to Catharpin, where it would cross four acres at the park’s northwest border. The road would then run into Fairfax County to meet with the Tri-County Parkway....

“The goal of the Battlefield Bypass is to close 234 and 29 as soon as the road is completed.”
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mdcastle on August 25, 2012, 05:37:14 PM
Couple of questions for my upcoming trip:
In the Midwest the Super 8 / Days Inn type of motels seem to be a mix, and you can usually pick out the bad ones based on TripAdvisor and avoid them. But except for one in northern Richmond, *All* of these motels in Virginia, Maryland, east-central North Carolina seem to get really negative reviews. Do you need to bump up to a Holiday Inn class to get a decent room in the Mid-Atlantic?

It seems they offer a shuttle service for the  Bay Bridge? Is it really that bad? I've only been on one bridge that really scared me (The Fort Madison toll bridge) so I'm not overly sensative, But I still wonder what I'm getting into.

5 hours a realistic driving time from Richmond to Pocomoke City on a Sunday morning over the Bay Bridge? 7 hours from SwanQuarter NC to Richmond by way of Raleigh?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: dfilpus on August 25, 2012, 06:22:43 PM
It seems they offer a shuttle service for the  Bay Bridge? Is it really that bad? I've only been on one bridge that really scared me (The Fort Madison toll bridge) so I'm not overly sensative, But I still wonder what I'm getting into.

5 hours a realistic driving time from Richmond to Pocomoke City on a Sunday morning over the Bay Bridge? 7 hours from SwanQuarter NC to Richmond by way of Raleigh?
The Bay Bridge is the US 50/301 bridge across the bay from Annapolis to Chester. I assume you mean the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.

The CBBT does provide an escort service which provides a driver to drive the customer's vehicle. This service is provided at very limited times and needs to be reserved in advance.

5 Hours is not a bad time for Richmond to Pocomoke City any day outside of rush hour. Sunday morning should be faster.

7 Hours from Swan Quarter to Raleigh to Richmond is about right. It depends on where you're going to in Raleigh and whether you hit rush hour in Raleigh.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on August 26, 2012, 12:00:09 AM
Couple of questions for my upcoming trip:
In the Midwest the Super 8 / Days Inn type of motels seem to be a mix, and you can usually pick out the bad ones based on TripAdvisor and avoid them. But except for one in northern Richmond, *All* of these motels in Virginia, Maryland, east-central North Carolina seem to get really negative reviews. Do you need to bump up to a Holiday Inn class to get a decent room in the Mid-Atlantic?
Pretty much. There are a lot of seedy places down that way along the coast (or even to some degree inland from there). Now, western Maryland is just fine, and I imagine the NoVa area is similarly OK. But that's about it. I've found some fairly cheap rates at decent hotels in good areas in the South, but there's no pattern. Sometimes you go to the exit with all the hotels, and sometimes the only good one is the next exit beyond that. Sometimes it's downtown off the Interstate completely.
Quote
It seems they offer a shuttle service for the  Bay Bridge? Is it really that bad? I've only been on one bridge that really scared me (The Fort Madison toll bridge) so I'm not overly sensative, But I still wonder what I'm getting into.
The Bay Bridge is indeed long and tall, but unless you have an extreme fear of bridges it's not scary to drive.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: OracleUsr on August 26, 2012, 09:52:11 AM
The MD Bay bridge, I've been across a dozen times.  I'm acrophobic, but the view of the bay from the high span is really gorgeous.  I remember one night riding back from Annapolis to St. Michaels and noting how beautiful the moonlight looked over the Bay.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 26, 2012, 11:09:09 PM
WTOP Radio: Battlefield bypass conversation resurfaces in Va. (http://www.wtop.com/164/3008708/Battlefield-bypass-conversation-resurfaces-in-Va)

Quote
After years of discussion, there may be an agreement soon about the Manassas battlefield bypass.

Quote
InsideNoVa is reporting the National Park Service and the Virginia Department of Transportation are close to a deal that would build the highway by 2035.

Quote
The bypass, which would cost around $305 million, would be built across a western corner of Manassas National Battlefield Park, extending the four-lane Route 234 bypass for nine miles past where it now ends, at I-66 in Prince William County.

Quote
The new part of the roadway would extend into Fairfax County and meet with the proposed Tri-County Parkway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mdcastle on August 28, 2012, 09:53:01 AM
I appreciate the advice. I wish I could drive the bridge eastbound but that's not in the cards, instead I'll be going westbound, from Pocomoke City to northern Richmond. Running the trip clockwise would have meant hitting the bridge in the weekday PM peak hours, and having to get from Ocracoke to Richmond in a single day.

Raleigh's of interest purely from a roadgeeking perspective. I've covered routes from Raleigh west to almost Knoxville, so I plan to just drive to the airport to "link up" with roads I've previously clinched, and then get out of town.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 28, 2012, 03:52:23 PM
I do my share of criticizing VDOT, but I have to say the people at the Virginia Megaprojects division are extremely responsive when you send them comments. I was driving on the Beltway this afternoon when I noticed an erroneous sign on the Outer Loop Exit 54A ramp (westbound Braddock Road). It listed Queensberry Avenue as "Queensberry Rd" and I noted it instantly because I remember riding on that road regularly as long ago as 1982 when I was eight years old and my pee-wee soccer team practiced at a school accessed via that street. Couldn't get a picture because of heavy traffic, but I sent in an e-mail comment to the Megaprojects people and one of them just responded to me, less than an hour after I sent the message.

Got to give credit where it's due.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 07:40:22 AM
WTOP Radio: Fatal tractor-trailer crash snarls Va. traffic (http://www.wtop.com/120/3012545/Deadly-I-95-truck-accident-causes-gasoline-fire-snarls-traffic)

Quote
A tractor-trailer carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline overturned near the ramp of the Fairfax County Parkway and Interstate 95 early Wednesday, killing the driver and sparking a fire that crossed the pavement and lit up the adjacent woods.

Quote
The accident led to major traffic delays on northbound I-95. Deputy Chief Chuck Ryan, of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, says responders were called to the Newington area about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday and found the truck lying on its side, fully engulfed in flames.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 07:42:44 AM
I do my share of criticizing VDOT, but I have to say the people at the Virginia Megaprojects division are extremely responsive when you send them comments. I was driving on the Beltway this afternoon when I noticed an erroneous sign on the Outer Loop Exit 54A ramp (westbound Braddock Road). It listed Queensberry Avenue as "Queensberry Rd" and I noted it instantly because I remember riding on that road regularly as long ago as 1982 when I was eight years old and my pee-wee soccer team practiced at a school accessed via that street. Couldn't get a picture because of heavy traffic, but I sent in an e-mail comment to the Megaprojects people and one of them just responded to me, less than an hour after I sent the message.

Got to give credit where it's due.

Hoo, I agree that the Virginia Megaprojects folks are pretty helpful.  I've dealt with a member of their staff professionally as part of my job, and I have found them to be prompt and responsive, and at least the guy I deal with has a pretty good sense of humor.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on August 29, 2012, 12:21:28 PM
There was also a crash on I-95 in this area. It happened this morning, so it didn't make today's paper.
 http://ww.progress-index.com/news/dump-truck-driver-charged-in-morning-i-95-wreck-1.1365568

In the print version of today's issue was this article, discussing local projects that would be paid for by the I-95 tolls.
http://www.progress-index.com/news/va-proposes-new-projects-with-toll-money-1.1365336
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 04:42:32 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: I-95 toll bid details proposed improvement projects (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2012/aug/28/tdmet01-i-95-toll-application-details-proposed-hig-ar-2153768/)

Quote
Rebuilding the interchange of Interstate 95, Interstate 85 and U.S. 460 in Petersburg would be one of the state's top priorities if Virginia gets federal approval to put tolls on I-95.

Quote
Other top priority projects for use of the first six years of toll money would be repaving 76 lane-miles of I-95 mostly south of Richmond, rebuilding four deficient bridges south of Richmond, and making safety improvements at I-95 and Interstate 64 in Richmond.

Quote
The state detailed its plans for the initial use of I-95 toll revenue in its application, released Monday, to the Federal Highway Administration. The toll program requires federal approval.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 04:44:31 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial: The Bell Tolls: Transportation (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/rtd-opinion/2012/aug/29/tdopin01-transportation-ar-2154253/)

Quote
Virginia's political climate discourages common-sense approaches to transportation. The gasoline tax has not been raised since the 1980s; in constant dollars the levy does not buy as much as it once did. Conservatives believe in paying the state's bills — or at least they should. Hostility to big government ought not to translate into opposition to all government. Transportation defines a core service. It stakes a legitimate claim to public resources. The gasoline tax is a user's fee. Raise it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 03, 2012, 05:00:58 PM
Washington Post: Texting while driving law and Virginia legislature criticized by Fairfax judge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/texting-while-driving-law-and-virginia-legislature-criticized-by-fairfax-judge/2012/09/01/b80088e4-f1ff-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html)

Quote
One night in May 2011, Jason Gage, an Alexandria man driving on a road in the Dranesville community of Fairfax County, struck and killed a college student named Kyle Rowley.

Quote
Authorities later determined that Gage had probably opened a text message about the time of the crash. They charged him with reckless driving.

Quote
But when the case went to trial in a Fairfax County court last month, Judge Thomas E. Gallahue ordered the charge against Gage dropped, his texting notwithstanding.

Quote
The reason: A 2009 Virginia law makes texting while driving a minor traffic infraction punishable by a maximum fine of $20, so texting alone could not be proof of reckless driving.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on September 03, 2012, 10:04:56 PM
Instead of charging him with reckless driving, why didn't they charge him with reckless homicide?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2012, 12:23:29 AM
Instead of charging him with reckless driving, why didn't they charge him with reckless homicide?

That's a good question.

I suppose you would need to ask the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County.

I think the judge (who ought to know the Code of Virginia well) was probably correct in pointing an accusing finger at the Virginia General Assembly. 

Texting and driving ought to be considered "reckless" driving, and not a secondary violation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2012, 12:29:24 AM
Dr. Gridlock of the Washington Post on Virginia E-ZPass, enforcement of E-ZPass Flex and more: Drivers question Virginia E-ZPass rules (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/drivers-question-virginia-e-zpass-rules/2012/08/31/e45c7db0-e158-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 04, 2012, 09:39:37 AM
Washington Post: Public hearings to be held on proposed Dulles Toll Road fare increases (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/public-hearings-on-proposed-dulles-toll-road-fare-increases/2012/09/03/16c61622-f3a5-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_story.html)

Quote
The Dulles Toll Road is key to the financing for Metro’s planned Silver Line, and that means rate increases on the toll road are going to be closely watched in coming years.

Quote
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the road and is building the line, is considering a proposal that would double the base rate to $4.50 by 2015.

Quote
Officials have long warned motorists that toll increases were coming for the eight-lane, 14-mile roadway, which runs between the Capital Beltway and Dulles International Airport.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 05, 2012, 09:11:19 AM
WTOP Radio: Song calls Dulles Greenway tolls 'highway robbery' (VIDEO) (http://www.wtop.com/41/3021414/Song-calls-Dulles-Greenway-tolls-highway-robbery-VIDEO)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 05, 2012, 11:22:31 PM
[Profiles in political courage - NOT!]

TOLLROADSnews: VA asks Feds for OK to toll only one point on I-95, tolls only to top up tax-$s (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6172)

Quote
The McDonnell administration in Virginia has drastically scaled back its plans for tolling I-95. In its recently filed application to the Feds, two toll points have been reduced to one. And the lone mainline toll point is located in the most lightly trafficked segment of I-95 in the state in a rural setting 22 miles north of the North Carolina border.

Quote
COMMENT: You have to think the Feds will be wondering whether this plan from Virginia is a serious proposal, tolls play such a small role.

Since this is the last 'slot' in the Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program they'll have to be asking if this isn't a waste of a scarce slot.

Little Rhode Island's plans for tolling their segment of I-95 are way more serious than this proposal from Virginia. Connecticut and South Carolina too would make better use of the opportunity to toll I-95. And it bears no comparison with North Carolina's plans.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 06, 2012, 12:24:14 PM
WTOP Radio: Petition drive fights Dulles Toll Road hike (http://www.wtop.com/654/3024141/Petition-drive-fights-Dulles-Toll-Road-hike)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 06, 2012, 05:36:19 PM
Robert Thomson ("Dr. Gridlock") of the Washington Post: New ramps to Beltway should ease congestion for Route 267 drivers in Virginia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/new-ramps-to-beltway-should-ease-congestion-for-route-267-drivers-in-virginia/2012/09/06/dbed274a-f857-11e1-8253-3f495ae70650_blog.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 07, 2012, 10:03:42 PM
Robert Thomson ("Dr. Gridlock") of the Washington Post: New ramps to Beltway should ease congestion for Route 267 drivers in Virginia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/new-ramps-to-beltway-should-ease-congestion-for-route-267-drivers-in-virginia/2012/09/06/dbed274a-f857-11e1-8253-3f495ae70650_blog.html)

Actually, I think it will make the wait to get onto I-495 a little worse for Route 267 drivers.  Instead of everyone merging into 1 lane at the same place, Route 267 drivers will merge into one lane earlier to allow airport traffic to come in and merge.  Since you are letting airport traffic into the front of the line, you are very seriously decreasing their delay, but that means you're probably increasing the delay for Toll Road users.  That said, the weave from the airport to I-495 was very dangerous, and it will be good to eliminate that. 

They are still keeping the slip ramp from the airport lanes to the toll road.  This to allow airport users access to the 495 express lanes (the direct ramps from the airport lanes will only go to the I-495 main lanes, any airport user wanting the Express lanes will need to cross over to the Toll Road proper).  Also, I suppose, to allow more direct access to Route 123, though that access could be accomplished without the slip ramp via I-495 south one exit. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 08, 2012, 12:39:27 PM
Driving out I-66 to Fair Oaks earlier today I got a good look at the new orange-red color they're using for the shoulder lane to help indicate that it's not a standard lane. I'd seen a small stretch of it last Friday on our way to Charlottesville, but due to heavy Friday afternoon traffic and our being in the left HOV lane, as well as the color only having been applied to a small segment between VA-123 and US-50, I didn't get a good look. By this weekend they've extended the orange color to the Beltway. It reverts to normal black in the areas that are allotted for traffic to enter and exit the highway.

For the most part people seemed to be obeying the shoulder lane restriction a bit better than usual, although you can see in the picture below there were still some violators. The vehicle in front of the silver vehicle seen in the picture below moved left out of the shoulder lane. The silver vehicle did not and the driver is probably kicking himself because barely a minute after I took this photo a cop came roaring down the shoulder lane and pulled the guy over. (On my way back about 45 minutes later the traffic on eastbound I-66 was considerably heavier and there were a lot more violators, including one guy who would race down the shoulder lane when traffic was slow, move over to the legal lanes when traffic was moving better, then move right back into the shoulder lane when it slowed again.)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/fe0d4099.jpg)


VDOT has also striped the HOV lane with double-white lines in the areas around the interchanges, or at least around Nutley Street and VA-123. They haven't put up any signs saying "Do Not Cross Double White Line." Compliance with the lines was extremely poor today. Last week during rush hour I didn't see anyone cross them, but the traffic was so heavy that there was no reason to try anyway. The picture below is on the westbound trip. On my way back eastbound I saw at least a dozen people switching back and forth across these lines, some multiple times.

The idea of having these seems logical enough because if you're an HOV, there's no reason to change lanes as you pass through the interchanges (especially Nutley with the very long barrier-separated C/D roadways). But I can also understand why some people might feel that when the HOV lane is functioning as a regular travel lane, there shouldn't be restrictions on where you can change in or out of that lane.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/2a379d69.jpg)


I thought about going over to the Dulles interchange to try to check out the new ramp but decided not to bother when I realized that getting a good look at it via legal means would require going all the way out to the airport, buying something somewhere, then driving all the way back (all so as to use the Access Road legally). I'm not THAT interested in it! Maybe I'll ask my brother to try to take a picture next week when he comes back from a business trip to Asia and the cab home takes him that way, if the cabbie knows about the new ramp that is.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 08, 2012, 12:54:53 PM
Agree with 1995hoo about the double white lines being silly when the left HOV lane functions as a normal travel lane. 

Officials have been trying to persuade people to not jump into the HOV lane outside of HOV hours, as that lane is a passing lane during those times (there was a big push in Seattle a couple of years ago I think to actually ticket HOVs who travel long distances in the HOV lane outside of HOV hours, since it is not an HOV lane then, it is a normal passing lane).  Having the double white line dilutes the argument that the left lane should be used for passing only, as once you get in, you can't legally get out for a mile or two later, not to mention if you come up behind someone slow in an interchange, you can't get into the passing lane legally.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 08, 2012, 01:36:48 PM
Agree with 1995hoo about the double white lines being silly when the left HOV lane functions as a normal travel lane. 

Officials have been trying to persuade people to not jump into the HOV lane outside of HOV hours, as that lane is a passing lane during those times (there was a big push in Seattle a couple of years ago I think to actually ticket HOVs who travel long distances in the HOV lane outside of HOV hours, since it is not an HOV lane then, it is a normal passing lane).  Having the double white line dilutes the argument that the left lane should be used for passing only, as once you get in, you can't legally get out for a mile or two later, not to mention if you come up behind someone slow in an interchange, you can't get into the passing lane legally.

Most other concurrent-flow HOV lanes I have seen with solid stripes between the HOV lane and the non-HOV lanes are 24/7 HOV restricted (as they are in Los Angeles County, California and along U.S. 50 (John Hanson Highway) in Prince George's County, Maryland (GSV here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=bowie,+md&hl=en&ll=38.945025,-76.775379&spn=0.018658,0.038581&sll=39.04192,-77.147836&sspn=0.002346,0.004823&t=h&gl=us&hnear=Bowie,+Prince+George%27s,+Maryland&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.944986,-76.775659&panoid=5rpKHaZnYj5b7emFU6kL5g&cbp=12,271.3,,0,15.22))). 

Only part-time HOV lane I have seen that has a solid stripe like this is southbound I-270 between Exit 4 (Montrose Road) and the point where I-270Y (I-270 Spur) splits off from I-270 (GSV here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=rockville,+md&hl=en&ll=39.042107,-77.147933&spn=0.002329,0.004823&hnear=Rockville,+Montgomery,+Maryland&gl=us&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=39.041921,-77.147838&panoid=fKg7BzjPvibekZzbhRrFAQ&cbp=12,179.62,,0,7.01)).

But - violators jumping in and out of the HOV lanes along I-66 (especially approaching I-495) kill the performance of the HOV lane to the point that there is little or no reason (as in savings of travel time) for car-poolers and bus patrons to use them, and I hope that the solid line might improve their performance.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 08, 2012, 01:46:54 PM
[Profiles in political courage - NOT!]

TOLLROADSnews: VA asks Feds for OK to toll only one point on I-95, tolls only to top up tax-$s (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6172)

This should be interesting:

Allen opposes McDonnell's I-95 tolling proposal (http://www.wtop.com/41/3026821/Allen-opposes-McDonnells-I-95-tolling-proposal)

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 08, 2012, 04:15:28 PM
I live and work in the general area of where the toll booth is planned to go and it's almost universally opposed from all sides of the political spectrum here. If there were toll booths every X miles, like one proposal showed, it would be one thing, but as is it's just stupid. It's on the least traveled section of I-95 in the state, and US 301 is literally right next to the interstate, so long-distance travelers can depart I-95 even before the ramp tolls begin and rejoin past them (on the north side, exit 33, which many trucks use anyway because of a notable truck stop located there, would be the first/last untolled exit, and on the south side it would be one of the exits near Emporia). The trade-off would be a somewhat slower commute, with US 301's speed limit of 55 for most of that section (35 through Stony Creek) compared to I-95's 70. There are also three stopping points on 301 there: a signal at VA 139/secondary route 631 in Jarratt, and stop signs at VA 40 near Stony Creek and secondary route 602 two miles north of there. The respective I-95 exits for those roads are 20, 31, and 33. Even as it is now, I prefer 301 that way anyway because of how little traffic currently uses it, but I would expect it to greatly increase should this toll proposal actually come to fruition just because the relative ease of shunpiking I-95 there. In addition, the tolls wouldn't actually make money for a few years because of the cost of implementing the setup. I'd just rather see a marginal increase in the gas tax than this because, as the second article states, it would affect everyone who buys gasoline in the state of Virginia as opposed to a select group.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on September 08, 2012, 06:51:52 PM
I live and work in the general area of where the toll booth is planned to go and it's almost universally opposed from all sides of the political spectrum here. If there were toll booths every X miles, like one proposal showed, it would be one thing, but as is it's just stupid. It's on the least traveled section of I-95 in the state, and US 301 is literally right next to the interstate, so long-distance travelers can depart I-95 even before the ramp tolls begin and rejoin past them (on the north side, exit 33, which many trucks use anyway because of a notable truck stop located there, would be the first/last untolled exit, and on the south side it would be one of the exits near Emporia). The trade-off would be a somewhat slower commute, with US 301's speed limit of 55 for most of that section (35 through Stony Creek) compared to I-95's 70. There are also three stopping points on 301 there: a signal at VA 139/secondary route 631 in Jarratt, and stop signs at VA 40 near Stony Creek and secondary route 602 two miles north of there. The respective I-95 exits for those roads are 20, 31, and 33. Even as it is now, I prefer 301 that way anyway because of how little traffic currently uses it, but I would expect it to greatly increase should this toll proposal actually come to fruition just because the relative ease of shunpiking I-95 there. In addition, the tolls wouldn't actually make money for a few years because of the cost of implementing the setup. I'd just rather see a marginal increase in the gas tax than this because, as the second article states, it would affect everyone who buys gasoline in the state of Virginia as opposed to a select group.

If it were me driving, I'd probably go for a "half shunpike".  In otherwords, get off at the last exit before the mainline tolls, and pay a signifcantly lower ramp toll, and then get back on beyond the ramp tolls.  $4 is a bit much for that short stretch of road (they can quote all the per-mile crap they want using $4 and the entire length of I-95 in Virginia, but in real life, most people will consider the tolled segment to be the small section where tolls are actually collected), but $2 with only half the shunpiking would be more reasonable. 

I wonder how they plan to handle people who get off at an exit with ramp tolls but then get right back onto I-95...such as people stopping for gas/food?  Will they waive the ramp tolls if you go through the mainline toll, say, within an hour or something?  If not, I could see the businesses along the tolled interchanges being very upset, because drivers won't want to exit for fear of paying extra in tolls. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on September 08, 2012, 09:02:17 PM
I-95 in Sussex County VA carries over 32,000 AADT, and that will continue to grow in the future.  Only a very small fraction of that number could "shunpike" off onto 2-lane US-301, due to the capacity of US-301.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 08, 2012, 11:09:32 PM
TOLLROADSnews: VDOT selling E-ZPass through AAA, Wegmans, Giant (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6176)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 12, 2012, 11:12:55 AM
Congressman J. Randy Forbes, in whose district the proposed I-95 toll booth would be located, asks the FHWA to reject the proposal.

 http://www.progress-index.com/news/forbes-urges-feds-to-reject-i-95-toll-proposal-1.1371127
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 12, 2012, 11:15:41 AM
Congressman J. Randy Forbes, in whose district the proposed I-95 toll booth would be located, asks the FHWA to reject the proposal.

 http://www.progress-index.com/news/forbes-urges-feds-to-reject-i-95-toll-proposal-1.1371127

Is Rep. Forbes going to ask the Virginia General Assembly to increase the Commonwealth's per-gallon motor fuel tax rates?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 12, 2012, 12:50:26 PM
Admittedly, I don't know. His letter didn't mention an alternative, but, living in his district, I may contact his office to see if he indeed has one. A search of his challenger, Ella Ward, turned up no statements on the issue at all. The same goes for George Allen's opponent, Tim Kaine. The article said the FHWA is expected (by VDOT) to reply by the 21st of this month, so if the proposal is rejected I would imagine alternative funding ideas to surface after that point.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 12, 2012, 02:05:40 PM
Admittedly, I don't know. His letter didn't mention an alternative, but, living in his district, I may contact his office to see if he indeed has one. A search of his challenger, Ella Ward, turned up no statements on the issue at all. The same goes for George Allen's opponent, Tim Kaine. The article said the FHWA is expected (by VDOT) to reply by the 21st of this month, so if the proposal is rejected I would imagine alternative funding ideas to surface after that point.

Too many politicians (in both parties) seem to regard motor fuel tax rates as a "Third Rail" of politics, and I don't like it.  Note that I don't care for politicians that want to increase the rate and divert the resulting increased revenue to toy train projects, which is what more than a few elected officials in Maryland want to do (and some in Virginia,too).

But even worse is the politician who states he is opposed to any increase in the motor fuel tax rate, and then asserts that the shortfall can be made up with tolls, but then opposes tolls, or comes up with watered-down tolling proposals like this one.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 16, 2012, 10:39:25 PM
VDOT wants to lower the speed limit on part of US 460 in Prince George County from 55 to 50.
http://www.progress-index.com/news/vdot-recommends-dropping-speed-limit-on-u-s-460-in-pg-county-1.1373711

The article doesn't mentioned when this would be implemented.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on September 17, 2012, 12:35:49 AM
Actually the article states at the end that it would probably be implemented by the end of October. 

My thought on the situation is this:  How is US 460 in Prince George County any less deadly than the same undivided road in Isle of Wight County?  Last I checked US 460 was basically 100% undivided from New Bohemia to Downtown Suffolk.  From looking at VDOT traffic estimates traffic along the corridor until Suffolk is fairly the same.  I just don't understand why only my county is making a huge deal about this just because the most deadly wrecks have been in my county when the whole corridor has the same safety issues.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 17, 2012, 07:48:48 AM
Actually the article states at the end that it would probably be implemented by the end of October.
I see that now. Yesterday was a long day :ded:

Quote
My thought on the situation is this:  How is US 460 in Prince George County any less deadly than the same undivided road in Isle of Wight County?  Last I checked US 460 was basically 100% undivided from New Bohemia to Downtown Suffolk.  From looking at VDOT traffic estimates traffic along the corridor until Suffolk is fairly the same.  I just don't understand why only my county is making a huge deal about this just because the most deadly wrecks have been in my county when the whole corridor has the same safety issues.

I agree with that sentiment. VDOT should either be recommending to implement this on the entire stretch or just leave it alone. Once the bypass is finally built there would (theoretically) be less traffic on that stretch anyway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on September 18, 2012, 08:47:19 AM
Here is a Progress-Index article from April 2011 on the subject:

http://progress-index.com/news/report-cutting-u-s-460-speed-limit-wouldn-t-boost-safety-1.1132056 (http://progress-index.com/news/report-cutting-u-s-460-speed-limit-wouldn-t-boost-safety-1.1132056)

Here VDOT states that it would be better to add signs and police presence than lowering the speed limit(along with flashing yellow lights at the Enterprise Drive(SR 657) intersection(the entrance to the Food Lion Distribution Center).  From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on September 18, 2012, 09:13:08 AM
From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Or perhaps a revenue enhancement feature?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 18, 2012, 09:20:47 AM
From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Or perhaps a revenue enhancement feature?

To its great credit, dollars paid in by persons found guilty of breaking most (state) traffic laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia go to the literacy fund, which buys school textbooks and library books, and obviously does not benefit law enforcement for issuing the summons.

Strangely, this does not apply if a driver is charged with breaking a local traffic law (being a "Dillon Rule" state, I cannot for the life of my understand how Virginia allows its political subdivisions to enact local traffic laws).  Maryland, which usually allows its local governments much more authority to enact laws than Virginia does, expressly forbids local governments from enacting local traffic ordinances (every ticket issued for a "moving" violation is for violating state law).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 20, 2012, 04:46:36 PM
Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock: New GW Parkway project to slow traffic through fall (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/new-gw-parkway-project-to-slow-traffic-through-fall/2012/09/18/a0ad0cba-0115-11e2-9367-4e1bafb958db_blog.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on September 20, 2012, 05:43:08 PM
From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Or perhaps a revenue enhancement feature?

How does lowering a speed limit necessarily cause a net increase in fines?  Or a net increase in tickets handed out, given that the infinitessimal percentage of tickets given out could just as easily decrease?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on September 20, 2012, 07:10:17 PM
From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Or perhaps a revenue enhancement feature?

How does lowering a speed limit necessarily cause a net increase in fines?  Or a net increase in tickets handed out, given that the infinitessimal percentage of tickets given out could just as easily decrease?

People will still want to drive at the old limit. Or faster than the new even-lower artificially-set limit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on September 20, 2012, 09:06:08 PM
From what I see lowering the speed limit is more just a "reaction" move than a move for safety.

Or perhaps a revenue enhancement feature?

How does lowering a speed limit necessarily cause a net increase in fines?  Or a net increase in tickets handed out, given that the infinitessimal percentage of tickets given out could just as easily decrease?

People will still want to drive at the old limit. Or faster than the new even-lower artificially-set limit.

??? What "old limit" and "new even-lower artificially-set limit" are you referring to?


Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on September 20, 2012, 09:32:07 PM
The one mentioned here. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=294.msg174155#msg174155)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on September 20, 2012, 10:20:00 PM
The one mentioned here. (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=294.msg174155#msg174155)

OK ... lowering a speed limit from 55 to 50 won't necessarily lead the police to issue more tickets than before, given that the infinitessimal percentage of tickets given out could just as easily decrease.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 21, 2012, 01:19:06 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Dulles Greenway traffic has stopped falling - and that's the first time since 2005 (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6193)

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 25, 2012, 08:00:07 AM
[This might also fit in the new Transit forum, but for now I am posting it here, because it is about Virginia]

WTOP Radio: Long-term plan envisions light rail, bus rapid transit (http://www.wtop.com/654/3053153/Long-term-plan-Rail-bus-rapid-transit)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 28, 2012, 01:41:53 PM
WVIR-TV (NBC) Channel 29 - Charlottesville: VDOT Holds Meeting on Western Bypass Environmental Effects (http://www.nbc29.com/story/19661685/vdot-holds-meeting-on-western-bypass-environmental-effects)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: D-Dey65 on September 30, 2012, 09:19:11 AM
Hey, somewhere south of Petersburg along I-95, I saw a clearing along a railroad track that crossed underneath I-95. Is this part of some proposed local commuter railroad/rapid transit initiative, or is there some freight spur being planned there or what?

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2012, 11:01:44 AM
Hey, somewhere south of Petersburg along I-95, I saw a clearing along a railroad track that crossed underneath I-95. Is this part of some proposed local commuter railroad/rapid transit initiative, or is there some freight spur being planned there or what?

I saw nothing on the Web site of the Petersburg-Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (http://www.craterpdc.org/transportation/mpo.htm) which would lead me to believe that there is any commuter rail planned for that part of the world (as far as I know, there is no commuter rail service running (or planned) in the Commonwealth of Virginia south of Fredericksburg).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on September 30, 2012, 04:36:01 PM
Hey, somewhere south of Petersburg along I-95, I saw a clearing along a railroad track that crossed underneath I-95. Is this part of some proposed local commuter railroad/rapid transit initiative, or is there some freight spur being planned there or what?

I saw nothing on the Web site of the Petersburg-Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (http://www.craterpdc.org/transportation/mpo.htm) which would lead me to believe that there is any commuter rail planned for that part of the world (as far as I know, there is no commuter rail service running (or planned) in the Commonwealth of Virginia south of Fredericksburg).

I'm not sure where that crossing is, but as someone who lives in central Virginia, I can assure that no commuter rail systems are proposed in the Richmond-Petersburg area.  Light rail has been talked about for Richmond, but no formal studies have been conducted.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: amroad17 on October 02, 2012, 02:09:33 AM
Hey, somewhere south of Petersburg along I-95, I saw a clearing along a railroad track that crossed underneath I-95. Is this part of some proposed local commuter railroad/rapid transit initiative, or is there some freight spur being planned there or what?
If the clearing is along one side of the tracks, it could be for high voltage power lines in that area.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2012, 07:48:23 AM
Hey, somewhere south of Petersburg along I-95, I saw a clearing along a railroad track that crossed underneath I-95. Is this part of some proposed local commuter railroad/rapid transit initiative, or is there some freight spur being planned there or what?
If the clearing is along one side of the tracks, it could be for high voltage power lines in that area.

Though the demand for new high-voltage transmission capacity in the eastern part of the PJM Interconnection (http://www.pjm.com/) grid (which covers nearly all of Virginia) runs much more east-west, from coal-fired generation in West Virginia and the Ohio River valley to load centers roughly along I-95.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 03, 2012, 12:08:02 AM
WTOP Radio: Federal court reviews use of toll money for Dulles rail (http://www.wtop.com/120/3062820/Court-could-decide-Dulles-toll-use)

Quote
A federal court could ultimately decide how much drivers pay to use the Dulles Toll Road.

Quote
A group called "No Toll Increase" - which has been circulating petitions opposing the use of toll road money to partially finance the Metro expansion to Dulles International Airport - has taken the issue to a federal appellate court.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: D-Dey65 on October 03, 2012, 12:33:57 PM
Well, just so some of you get the idea, these tracks are north of Wagner Road and south of US 460.

The clearing is on both sides of the tracks, but wider on the north side.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 03, 2012, 03:28:15 PM
There's a depot there on the east side of I-95. My best guess is that the clearing may be for extra track space if ever needed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 03, 2012, 04:26:53 PM
Well, just so some of you get the idea, these tracks are north of Wagner Road and south of US 460.

The clearing is on both sides of the tracks, but wider on the north side.

I am wondering if this could be part of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation's (DRPT) efforts to extend Amtrak service to Norfolk, Va.?  For as long as I can remember, the only Amtrak service to Hampton Roads has been to the Peninsula, in particular to Newport News.   There's been no train service on the south (east) side of the James River and the Hampton Roads.  See this page (http://drpt.virginia.gov/activities/norfolk.aspx) on the DRPT site for details.

My understanding is that trains headed south from Richmond (and then east) to Norfolk have to "make a left" at Petersburg (from CSX tracks onto NS tracks) to then (roughly) run parallel to U.S. 460 to ultimately reach downtown Norfolk.



Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on October 03, 2012, 04:55:27 PM
Wagner Road is US 460...

This is almost certainly for Amtrak to Norfolk. The "Petersburg Collier Connection" is where the CSX A Line crosses the NS bypass around Petersburg, south of I-85 exit 65 (http://www.drpt.virginia.gov/studies/files/SHREngineering-Task1.pdf p. 15/42).
http://www.itoworld.com/map/15#fullscreen&lat=37.207&lon=-77.425&zoom=13
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 03, 2012, 05:21:55 PM
Wagner Road is US 460...
To his credit, Petersburg did a terrible job with signage when 460 moved to Wagner and I-95, especially eastbound. Even some of the BGS's installed in the past year say mainline 460 is on County Drive.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 04, 2012, 11:35:36 AM
Three recent Washington Post opinion pieces regarding highway and transit funding in Virginia:

A Letter to the Editor signed by the chairs of the Boards of Supervisors of three Northern Virginia counties: Where’s the plan for Virginia’s roads? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/wheres-the-plan-for-virginias-roads/2012/09/28/c12ef3a8-03ff-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html)

Editorial: Transportation bottleneck in the Old Dominion (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/transportation-bottleneck-in-the-old-dominion/2012/09/30/c7588632-09ad-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_story.html)

And three Letters to the Editor responding to the above: Getting Virginia moving on transportation funds (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/getting-virginia-moving-on-transportation-funds/2012/10/03/a90c1c80-0c9f-11e2-97a7-45c05ef136b2_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 07, 2012, 06:22:26 PM
Very sad.  Motor vehicles can be lethal.

Trooper killed directing fair traffic (http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/news/2012/oct/07/5/tdmain01-trooper-killed-directing-fair-traffic-ar-2263641/)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 10, 2012, 08:25:06 AM
WTOP Radio: Survey asks Fairfax Co. residents how to fund roads (http://www.wtop.com/149/3071758/How-do-you-fund-road-maintenance)

I don't live in the County of Fairfax, but there are some participants here that do, and might want to answer this.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 12, 2012, 01:00:42 AM
WTOP Radio: Plea date set for NC man charged in Va. bus crash (http://www.wtop.com/120/2442202/Plea-date-set-for-NC-man-charged-in-Va-bus-crash)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 12, 2012, 01:32:17 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Clash between Metro Washington authority and US Sectrans LaHood over tolls versus US $s for Dulles Rail (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6227)

Quote
A major clash has erupted between the Dulles Toll Road operator Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Writing on letterhead of the full board of directors of MWAA, one director Robert Clarke Brown accuses of LaHood of intervening illegally in the affairs of MWAA, vilifying it unfairly and distracting attention from the problems of financing $2.5 billion of the Dulles Rail construction with Toll Road debt.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 12, 2012, 10:46:55 AM
WTOP Radio: Survey asks Fairfax Co. residents how to fund roads (http://www.wtop.com/149/3071758/How-do-you-fund-road-maintenance)

I don't live in the County of Fairfax, but there are some participants here that do, and might want to answer this.

Thanks for that link. It will not surprise you to hear that I provided them with some very lengthy answers.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 12, 2012, 03:54:01 PM
WTOP Radio: Survey asks Fairfax Co. residents how to fund roads (http://www.wtop.com/149/3071758/How-do-you-fund-road-maintenance)

I don't live in the County of Fairfax, but there are some participants here that do, and might want to answer this.

Thanks for that link. It will not surprise you to hear that I provided them with some very lengthy answers.

Great!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 16, 2012, 07:41:29 AM
WTOP Radio: VDOT says more tolls may be coming (http://www.wtop.com/654/3079483/VDOT-Less-funding-means-more-tolls)

Quote
Virginia's 17.5-cents-a-gallon gas tax is a crucial source of transportation funding. But there's a problem with that says Virginia Department of Transportation's Greg Whirley, the commissioner of highways.

Quote
"People are traveling more, but the revenue is trailing down. That's because cars are more fuel efficient," he says.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on October 16, 2012, 01:27:05 PM
Simple solution: Raise the gas tax!





Oh, wait, politics.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on October 17, 2012, 03:51:13 PM
It appears the CTB wants to change the criteria for turning a secondary road into a primary road.

I wonder if this is to make it easier because they -want- to make more primary routes...

The only mandatory criteria would be a primary route has to connect to an existing one...

This was on today's CTB workshop agenda
http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/oct/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_6_SecToPrimaryCTBCriteria.pdf (http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2012/oct/pres/Presentation_Agenda_Item_6_SecToPrimaryCTBCriteria.pdf)

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 17, 2012, 05:34:55 PM
Old VA 44 immediately comes to mind with those criteria.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 17, 2012, 05:48:18 PM
Old VA 44 immediately comes to mind with those criteria.

Norfolk-Virginia Beach Expressway?  Or an older Va. 44?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 17, 2012, 05:56:45 PM
The one that preceded it. It's now secondary route 711 in Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties, but it was decommissioned long before northern Chesterfield's population boom.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 17, 2012, 07:04:08 PM
There's a number of former primary routes and heavily traveled secondary routes that come to mind. SR 711 in Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties (old VA 44), SR 610 in Stafford County (old VA 213), SR 620 in Fairfax County, SR 653 and SR 604 in Chesterfield County, etc.

It should be noted that under the proposed standards, while the only truly mandatory standard is that a route must connect to another primary route, it must also meet a majority of the other standards, which have been modified from the previous ones.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 17, 2012, 09:56:24 PM
SR 653 and SR 604 in Chesterfield County
Agreed on 653, which would make a good extension of VA 147 down to US 360. The 604 section of Courthouse has somewhat less traffic, but trucks were recently banned from the section east of VA 288, so I see that unlikely to become primary.

Quote
It should be noted that under the proposed standards, while the only truly mandatory standard is that a route must connect to another primary route, it must also meet a majority of the other standards, which have been modified from the previous ones.
I wonder if they plan on changing any extant routes that don't meet the mandatory criterion. VA 321 and 322 could easily connect to other primaries, but a route like VA 345 would be in trouble if so.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 17, 2012, 11:09:53 PM
There's a number of former primary routes and heavily traveled secondary routes that come to mind. SR 711 in Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties (old VA 44), SR 610 in Stafford County (old VA 213), SR 620 in Fairfax County, SR 653 and SR 604 in Chesterfield County, etc.

It should be noted that under the proposed standards, while the only truly mandatory standard is that a route must connect to another primary route, it must also meet a majority of the other standards, which have been modified from the previous ones.

610 in Stafford County and (most of) 620 in Fairfax County (but maybe not the western segment in Loudoun County) would clearly meet the "intersect primary system" requirement hands-down. 

Other candidates might  be 606 in western Fairfax and eastern Loudoun Counties; and 659 in Loudoun County (the extreme southern tip of 659 runs into Va. 234 in Prince William County).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 17, 2012, 11:11:43 PM
The one that preceded it. It's now secondary route 711 in Chesterfield and Powhatan Counties, but it was decommissioned long before northern Chesterfield's population boom.

Thanks.  I know Mapmikey has this documented on his excellent site (and I should have looked there before asking).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 74/171FAN on October 18, 2012, 07:56:43 AM
SR 653 and SR 604 in Chesterfield County
Agreed on 653, which would make a good extension of VA 147 down to US 360. The 604 section of Courthouse has somewhat less traffic, but trucks were recently banned from the section east of VA 288, so I see that unlikely to become primary.

According to VDOT's (http://virginiadot.org/info/resources/Traffic_2011/AADT_020_Chesterfield_2011.pdf) website, that part of SR 604 still has 18,000 AADT so VA 147 would still make sense down to VA 288.  SR 2099 could always be extended west of VA 10 if VA 147 ended at VA 288.

The one that has been on my mind is  SR 644 (http://virginiadot.org/info/resources/Traffic_2011/AADT_029_Fairfax_2011.pdf) in Fairfax County since the western end now connects to VA 286.  The very western end is the only part below 10,000 AADT though and the eastern end also has less traffic near SR 611.  However, SR 611 does have enough traffic between SR 644 and VA 241 to possibly allow for the extension to VA 241.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 18, 2012, 08:18:12 AM
The one that has been on my mind is  SR 644 (http://virginiadot.org/info/resources/Traffic_2011/AADT_029_Fairfax_2011.pdf) in Fairfax County since the western end now connects to VA 286.  The very western end is the only part below 10,000 AADT though and the eastern end also has less traffic near SR 611.  However, SR 611 does have enough traffic between SR 644 and VA 241 to possibly allow for the extension to VA 241.

Va. 644 (Old Keene Mill Road) in Fairfax County would be a good choice to "promote" to the primary system, as would that segment of 611 (which is probably seeing some increased traffic between 286 and 644 because of Fort Belvoir North Area, f/k/a Engineer Proving Grounds now having a huge contingent of workers there).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 20, 2012, 08:56:24 PM
I drove down to Jarratt and back today (breaking in new tires) and heading down I saw an oddly-placed interstate shield with what appeared to be two banners, on the ramp from Exit 24 onto the northbound mainline. Upon turning around, I took US 301 to Sussex SR 645 (which is Exit 24), and got onto I-95 there. Indeed, on the onramp there was an I-95 shield with two banner that said "End" and "Alternate" in a shade of yellow like the MUTCD-required Toll banner. It's a standard I-95 shield, but this didn't seem like a regular installation, and I've never seen a posted alternate route for an interstate, so I think it's related to the toll booth proposal.

Edit: I saw two more state-name shields on 645, but one removed from the mainline (last one left there is southbound past exit 31) brings the 1980s state-name shield total to 5.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on October 21, 2012, 08:20:54 PM
This may be leftover from when I-95 was being repaved?  I can't recall how far south the paving project went

The ALT interstate posting is not prevalent in Virginia.  I think I've only seen it one other time, with I-81 in Christiansburg to Roanoke area.

North Carolina, however, uses this much more frequently and for several years as I-95 was rehabbed from Rocky Mount to Virginia there were all kinds of 95 ALT postings.


Washington DC has had normal looking (i.e. blue color) I-395 ALT shields although I don't know if they are still up.  Pretty sure these are NOT related to any construction.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on October 21, 2012, 08:36:44 PM
Washington DC has had normal looking (i.e. blue color) I-395 ALT shields although I don't know if they are still up.  Pretty sure these are NOT related to any construction.
That's for hazmats around the tunnel.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 21, 2012, 09:49:46 PM
Washington Post: Is Washington becoming a Tysons suburb? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/tysons-to-dc-hows-life-as-our-suburb/2012/10/19/9c7d7ec6-1976-11e2-aa6f-3b636fecb829_story.html)

Quote
Is the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States and the free world, becoming a suburb of the economic powerhouse a few miles west?

Quote
With the growth of Tysons Corner ... err ... Tysons, Fairfax County leaders seem to think so.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on October 21, 2012, 10:10:34 PM
The ALT interstate posting is not prevalent in Virginia.  I think I've only seen it one other time, with I-81 in Christiansburg to Roanoke area.
It was, notably, the full word Alternate, which is itself rarely used in Virginia anymore. The picture I got of it was a bit blurry, even though I probably had all day to take it since exit 24 is home to absolutely nothing. I'll post it once I upload it.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 22, 2012, 02:16:40 PM
From NVTA:  October 23rd Fairfax County Parkway Town Hall Meeting (http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Fairfax-County-Parkway-Town-Hall-Meeting---Tomorrow-Night.html?soid=1102207044440&aid=aVH1it--d0g)

Quote
The Fairfax County Parkway is an original Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance priority and one of Northern Virginia's great transportation success stories.

Quote
In fact it has been so successful that it is becoming increasingly choked by congestion, in large part because there are too many signalized intersections and too few grade-separated interchanges.

Quote
Fairfax County Parkway Town Hall Meeting
7 p.m., October 23rd (Tuesday)
James W. Robinson Secondary School
5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 23, 2012, 03:31:00 PM
From the NVTA: Save the Planet. Expand the Highway Network (http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Save-the-Planet---Expand-the-Highway-Network.html?soid=1102207044440&aid=RQfVMwha2zI)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on October 23, 2012, 10:12:18 PM
This is relatively unimportant, but VA 161's northern end is now signed from US 1, five years after I emailed VDOT about it. :P
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 12:35:52 PM
Washington Post: FBI investigating Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, according to sources (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/fbi-investigating-metropolitan-washington-airports-authority/2012/10/25/1ef3570e-1ed1-11e2-9cd5-b55c38388962_story.html)

TOLLROADSnews: Metro Washington authority subject of FBI probe as well as USDOT inquiry (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6249)

WTOP Radio: FBI issues subpoenas to airports board (http://www.wtop.com/654/3094667/FBI-issues-subpoenas-to-airports-board)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 26, 2012, 12:47:41 PM
Washington DC has had normal looking (i.e. blue color) I-395 ALT shields although I don't know if they are still up.  Pretty sure these are NOT related to any construction.

Those can be found at (seemingly) random places around D.C. near I-395.  As best as I can tell, there is no rhyme or reason as to why they were installed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on October 26, 2012, 01:01:06 PM
Washington DC has had normal looking (i.e. blue color) I-395 ALT shields although I don't know if they are still up.  Pretty sure these are NOT related to any construction.

Those can be found at (seemingly) random places around D.C. near I-395.  As best as I can tell, there is no rhyme or reason as to why they were installed.

Mark them on a map and you may find a pattern.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on November 11, 2012, 06:22:48 PM
More debate on road funding.
 http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/state-news/2012/nov/11/tdmet01-area-planning-district-commission-urges-la-ar-2352517/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2012, 02:40:11 PM
D.C. Examiner: Drivers with Northern Virginia car club receive summonses (http://washingtonexaminer.com/drivers-with-northern-virginia-car-club-receive-summonses/article/2513236)

Quote
Authorities issued summonses to drivers with a Northern Virginia car club on Sunday after they were seen driving recklessly, The (Staunton, Va.) News Leader reported.

Quote
About 10:40 a.m. Sunday, a group of 15 to 20 sports cars were spotted in Augusta County. The group reportedly was speeding, cutting other drivers off and passing over double yellow lines while on a drive.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2012, 02:48:27 PM
More debate on road funding.
 http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/state-news/2012/nov/11/tdmet01-area-planning-district-commission-urges-la-ar-2352517/

They seem to have changed the URL for that article as part of a revamping of the T-D Web site:

 Area planning district commission urges lawmakers to index gas tax (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/government-politics/area-planning-district-commission-urges-lawmakers-to-index-gas-tax/article_17b375cc-ab91-55c2-ba71-c13d6a64d94d.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2012, 02:56:56 PM
Richmond Times Dispatch:  Va. State Police reduces aerial speed enforcement (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/ap/va-state-police-reduces-aerial-speed-enforcement/article_4034f04b-ddf6-5973-9fe6-ef3b30578bb5.html)

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The Virginia State Police has scaled back an aerial speed limit enforcement program due to the program's costs and other factors.

Quote
Since 2008, 87 tickets have resulted from troopers patrolling interstates in Cessna 182 airplanes. Troopers issued 5,117 tickets between 2000, when the General Assembly approved the program, and 2008.

Quote
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the state police had to reduce expenses because of decreased federal funding, state budget cuts and a manpower shortage. Bad weather forced the cancellation of some missions.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 15, 2012, 09:00:49 PM
Richmond Times Dispatch: Watkins transportation plan: Higher gas tax, lower income tax rates (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/richmond/watkins-transportation-plan-higher-gas-tax-lower-income-tax-rates/article_c45667aa-f788-502d-a6c3-4d8a7134b30e.html)

Quote
A Richmond-area legislator is proposing a combination of higher gasoline taxes, lower income tax rates for working Virginians and elimination of almost a dozen tax exemptions to help finance a state transportation program that’s running out of money to operate.

Quote
Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, briefed members of the Senate Finance Committee today about a transportation financing plan that he intends to roll out publicly tomorrow at a meeting of the Mayors and Chairs of Virginia’s Urban Crescent in Henrico County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 21, 2012, 03:31:51 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Chesapeake VA closes on $303m borrowing for Dominion Boulevard toll upgrade (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6285)

Quote
The City of Chesapeake closed this week on nearly $303m of borrowings to finance a major bridge replacement over the South Branch of the Elizabeth River designated as the Intra Coastal Waterway plus upgrade of nearly 4 miles of approach road on Dominion Boulevard US17. The City which has operated the tolled Chesapeake Expressway since 2001 is within a week or so of selecting of a construction firm for the Dominion Boulevard project from eleven bids received in response to a RFP in September.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 07:42:26 PM
PilotOnline.Com: VDOT to hold public meetings on I-95 toll plan (http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2012/11/vdot-hold-public-meetings-i95-toll-plan)

Quote
Virginia transportation officials will hold three public meetings next month on the state's proposal to use toll revenue to improve Interstate 95.

Quote
The Virginia Department of Transportation has scheduled meetings for Dec. 10 in Sussex, Dec. 12 in Chester and Dec. 17 in Fredericksburg to give the public an update on the proposal.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2012, 10:30:17 PM
Peter Galuszka in the Washington Post: The dark side of Va.’s public-private road deals (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/the-dark-side-of-vas-public-private-road-deals/2012/11/28/9589db66-397c-11e2-b01f-5f55b193f58f_blog.html)

Quote
Seventeen years ago, Virginia passed what was said to be one of most progressive pieces of legislation in the country. The Public-Private Transportation Act would help build road in the tax-averse state by shifting some of the cost and management to the private sector.

Quote
The result has been 14 miles of adjusted-toll HOT lanes on Interstate 495 in Northern Virginia, proposed extensions to tunnels in Hampton Roads, superhighway connectors in the Richmond area and a planned $1.4 billion road linking Suffolk to Petersburg.

Quote
But just how much oversight is there in such public-private partnerships? Hardly any, argues James J. Regimbal Jr., a transportation analyst in a new report published by the nonprofit Southern Environmental Law Center.

Quote
Regimbal paints a disturbing, if not scary, picture of how the Old Dominion operates something like a dictatorship when it comes to deciding to move forward on road projects involving public-private partnerships.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on November 29, 2012, 06:25:06 AM
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a radical environmentalist, anti-roads obstructionist group.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2012, 08:32:22 AM
In other words they're the good guys.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 29, 2012, 11:05:46 AM
The Southern Environmental Law Center is a radical environmentalist, anti-roads obstructionist group.

And Bacon's Rebellion, even though I like some of the things it runs, has taken money from the Piedmont Environmental Council, at least in the past.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2012, 08:59:45 AM
Hey man, look at all the cop cars. Was that a garage door? What is this, some kinda police station? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/hey-man-look-at-all-the-police-cars-whoa-was-that-a-garage-door-what-is-this-some-kinda-police-station/2012/11/29/9cb2b0b8-3a6a-11e2-b01f-5f55b193f58f_blog.html)

Quote
Someone drove a car through a garage door in the rear of the Fairfax City police headquarters early Thursday, chugged through the sallyport and then plowed right through the other garage door, basically destroying them both. This put the car inside the gated police parking lot behind headquarters, Sgt. Joe Johnson said. But the driver was able to pull up to the gate, which automatically grants egress, and drive away.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2012, 11:53:21 AM
TOLLROADSnews: Floodgate at Midtown Tunnel Norfolk VA kept Sandy closure to less than half a day (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6297)

Quote
The Midtown Tunnel In Norfolk VA has had a flood gate at its eastern portal since it opened in 1962. A tide 7 foot above average sea level - just 2 or 3 feet above a normal high tide - is enough to cause the approach roads to be inundated, so flooding is a regular concern. Bruce Wilkerson chief operating officer of Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) says the Tunnel relies heavily on its floodgate which has been an indispensable component since the Tunnel opened.

Quote
Wilkerson says the Midtown Tunnel has taken in water at its Norfolk portal requiring floodgate closures on many occasions in its 50 year life. Now there's more emphasis on getting the tunnel cleared of water and back in operation in several hours. In its early years closures were measured in days.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on December 01, 2012, 08:17:33 PM
Design unveiled for new I-95 Exit 140 for SR 630 Stafford C.H.
http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/ (http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/)

The article includes before and after visual rendition.

The updated interchange includes a new SR 630 routing that connects directly with the Stafford Hospital entrance at US 1 (this road already connects with SR 630 east of US 1).

The interchange will have a significantly larger footprint as EB and WB 630 are spread way out.  The commuter lot will be moved to the opposite side of 630 from where it is now and all the gas stations plus the McDonalds will be torn down.

Construction is anticipated for early 2016.

Mapmikey

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 01, 2012, 09:39:41 PM
Design unveiled for new I-95 Exit 140 for SR 630 Stafford C.H.
http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/ (http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/)

The article includes before and after visual rendition.

The updated interchange includes a new SR 630 routing that connects directly with the Stafford Hospital entrance at US 1 (this road already connects with SR 630 east of US 1).

The interchange will have a significantly larger footprint as EB and WB 630 are spread way out.  The commuter lot will be moved to the opposite side of 630 from where it is now and all the gas stations plus the McDonalds will be torn down.

Construction is anticipated for early 2016.

Huge improvement over what is there today (which I believe dates back to the construction of this section of I-95 in the 1960's). 

The article points out that this is the last remaining diamond interchange in Stafford County.

I realize that the extension of the HOV (Toll) lanes won't get as far as south as Stafford, but  I hope that if they were to be extended in the future, that the design takes that possibility into account.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Beltway on December 01, 2012, 10:44:43 PM
Design unveiled for new I-95 Exit 140 for SR 630 Stafford C.H.
http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/ (http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2012/11/30/new-stafford-courthouse-interchange-plans-unveiled/)

The article includes before and after visual rendition.

The updated interchange includes a new SR 630 routing that connects directly with the Stafford Hospital entrance at US 1 (this road already connects with SR 630 east of US 1).

The interchange will have a significantly larger footprint as EB and WB 630 are spread way out.  The commuter lot will be moved to the opposite side of 630 from where it is now and all the gas stations plus the McDonalds will be torn down.

Construction is anticipated for early 2016.

Mapmikey

$175 million for that???
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 01, 2012, 11:21:05 PM
I realize that the extension of the HOV (Toll) lanes won't get as far as south as Stafford, but  I hope that if they were to be extended in the future, that the design takes that possibility into account.

Looks like it does in the rendering. The plan seems overkill though. I thought NJ had a monopoly on that style of interchange!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on December 01, 2012, 11:48:17 PM
I realize that the extension of the HOV (Toll) lanes won't get as far as south as Stafford, but  I hope that if they were to be extended in the future, that the design takes that possibility into account.

Looks like it does in the rendering. The plan seems overkill though. I thought NJ had a monopoly on that style of interchange!
I don't think NJ has anything that looks like this.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2012, 12:54:42 AM
Washington Post editorial: Running on fumes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/running-on-fumes/2012/12/02/ac8a7326-3b33-11e2-8a97-363b0f9a0ab3_story.html)

Quote
THE LAST TIME Virginia made a real effort to increase annual revenue for transportation, state lawmakers heeded the call of then-Gov. Gerald L. Baliles. “The cost is high, there’s no question,” said Mr. Baliles, a Democrat. “But be assured that the cost of failing to act will be far greater.”

Quote
In response, the General Assembly enacted a modest bump to the gasoline tax. That was 1986. Since then, the state has stood pat, watching passively as inflation and more fuel-efficient vehicles have shrunk the purchasing power of Virginia’s per-gallon gas tax by more than half.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 03, 2012, 04:43:33 PM
I-81 in Virginia seems to have more than its "fair share" of "major" or "serious" wrecks and other incidents involving commercial vehicles. 

VDOT press release (hopefully out-dated by now): SOUTHBOUND LANES ON I-81 REMAIN CLOSED AT MILE MARKER 279 (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/staunton/2012/southbound_lanes_on_i-8162088.asp)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 06, 2012, 12:40:26 PM
WTOP Radio: McDonnell: Virginia $500 million a year short on transportation funds (http://www.wtop.com/120/3145511/McDonnell-Virginia-500M-a-year-short-on-transportation-funds)

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Another year, another worry about the money needed to fix and construct roads in Virginia.

Quote
Gov. Bob McDonnell says the state needs to find a way to raise at least $500 million each year between now and 2019 just to maintain current roads.

Quote
"It's got to be at least sufficient to be able to deal with the maintenance deficit that we expect in 2018," says McDonnell.

Quote
Among the proposals being kicked around the halls of the state capitol in Richmond are an inflation-based increase of the state's 17 cent gas tax, which hasn't been raised since 1986, a possible sales tax hike and more tolls.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 07, 2012, 02:02:36 PM
D.C. Examiner: Fairfax wants $1b from feds for transportation fixes (http://washingtonexaminer.com/fairfax-wants-1b-from-feds-for-transportation-fixes/article/2515290)

Quote
Fairfax County wants more than $1 billion from the federal government to relieve traffic created by the Pentagon when it forced thousands of government employees to relocate to Fort Belvoir and the Mark Center without making necessary transportation improvements.

Quote
The Pentagon shifted an additional 20,000 employees to the area as part of its base-closing effort, exacerbating already heavy congestion on local roads. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors now says at least 18 transportation projects are needed to decrease traffic flow and wants Uncle Sam to foot the bill.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 08, 2012, 06:28:25 PM
Quote
$175 million for that???

That it was the "2nd least expensive" option (per the Free Lance-Star article) is disturbing.

Huge overkill, IMO.

BTW, per the project website (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/fredericksburg/route_630_courthouse_road_and_interstate_95_interchange_reconstruction.asp), you can submit comments on the I-95/SR 630 interchange project through this upcoming Monday.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on December 08, 2012, 10:29:39 PM
While I cringe at nearly every price tag revealed for projects around Virginia, in defense of the Stafford Interchange project they are acquiring quite a bit of land which is not all that cheap anymore in this corridor.  Other aspects include also building a new road over to US 1; destroying and I would assume removing underground tanks, etc for multiple gas stations; the terrain around this interchange is also challenging...

I think the proposed interchange is more complicated than it needs to be.  630 does need to be multilaned and the off-ramp from 95 SB is way too short for the amount of traffic that now uses it.  Of course, the Stafford Airport interchange was way over-designed (though sensibly not fully built out yet) and SR 8900's junction with US 1 seems comically spacious...so maybe this is just how we roll around here...

Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...


Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: abc2VE on December 09, 2012, 06:37:07 PM

...Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...


Mapmikey

I remember that quite well the distance listed below the stop ahead signs was a very specific number, about 630ft
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2012, 08:35:34 PM
While I cringe at nearly every price tag revealed for projects around Virginia, in defense of the Stafford Interchange project they are acquiring quite a bit of land which is not all that cheap anymore in this corridor.  Other aspects include also building a new road over to US 1; destroying and I would assume removing underground tanks, etc for multiple gas stations; the terrain around this interchange is also challenging...

I think the proposed interchange is more complicated than it needs to be.  630 does need to be multilaned and the off-ramp from 95 SB is way too short for the amount of traffic that now uses it.  Of course, the Stafford Airport interchange was way over-designed (though sensibly not fully built out yet) and SR 8900's junction with US 1 seems comically spacious...so maybe this is just how we roll around here...

Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...

I would assume that they are designing the interchange to accommodate future growth in Stafford County. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2012, 09:47:48 AM
D.C. Examiner: Some Va. license plates allow drivers to skip tolls (http://washingtonexaminer.com/some-va.-license-plates-allow-drivers-to-skip-tolls/article/2515379)

Quote
Some Virginia drivers are getting free rides on the state's toll roads, and it's costing the state as much as $100,000 a year.

Quote
The problem, state officials said, is that some Virginia license plates can't be read by cameras at the state's toll booths.

Quote
About 2 percent of the 1.5 million license plates reviewed by the state in a recent study had a design or color combination that made it nearly impossible for toll booth cameras along the Dulles Toll Road and elsewhere to read the tags. That means a driver without an E-ZPass can sail through an automated toll collection lane without paying -- and never get a bill or fine in the mail.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on December 10, 2012, 11:23:20 PM
While I cringe at nearly every price tag revealed for projects around Virginia, in defense of the Stafford Interchange project they are acquiring quite a bit of land which is not all that cheap anymore in this corridor.  Other aspects include also building a new road over to US 1; destroying and I would assume removing underground tanks, etc for multiple gas stations; the terrain around this interchange is also challenging...

I think the proposed interchange is more complicated than it needs to be.  630 does need to be multilaned and the off-ramp from 95 SB is way too short for the amount of traffic that now uses it.  Of course, the Stafford Airport interchange was way over-designed (though sensibly not fully built out yet) and SR 8900's junction with US 1 seems comically spacious...so maybe this is just how we roll around here...

Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...

I would assume that they are designing the interchange to accommodate future growth in Stafford County. 

Which is likely, given the current pace of growth in the county. The current interchange is a major bottleneck and is quite dangerous, and even after the signals were installed there's major backups. I've seen traffic backed up the onramp onto I-95. This design is probably still overkill, though, but SR 610 (the next exit north on I-95) has an even higher AADT than SR 630, and it's served by a simple cloverleaf without any significant backup issues.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 12, 2012, 07:21:24 AM
Washington Post editorial: Gov. McDonnell faces a challenge on gas taxes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/gov-mcdonnell-faces-a-challenge-on-gas-taxes/2012/12/11/2cef6dce-43e4-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 12, 2012, 09:52:49 AM
Quote
D.C. Examiner: Some Va. license plates allow drivers to skip tolls (http://washingtonexaminer.com/some-va.-license-plates-allow-drivers-to-skip-tolls/article/2515379)

More on this from WTOP Radio: Study: Va. loses toll money from unreadable license plates (http://www.wtop.com/120/3152674/Worn-dirty-plates-dodge-Va-toll-cameras)

Quote
Some drivers are enjoying a free ride through automatic tolls in Virginia, but budget-conscious lawmakers in Richmond may be eager to close the gap.

Quote
A 76-page study on license plates, prepared by the Department of Motor Vehicles, was provided to legislators Monday.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 12, 2012, 09:55:18 AM
While I cringe at nearly every price tag revealed for projects around Virginia, in defense of the Stafford Interchange project they are acquiring quite a bit of land which is not all that cheap anymore in this corridor.  Other aspects include also building a new road over to US 1; destroying and I would assume removing underground tanks, etc for multiple gas stations; the terrain around this interchange is also challenging...

I think the proposed interchange is more complicated than it needs to be.  630 does need to be multilaned and the off-ramp from 95 SB is way too short for the amount of traffic that now uses it.  Of course, the Stafford Airport interchange was way over-designed (though sensibly not fully built out yet) and SR 8900's junction with US 1 seems comically spacious...so maybe this is just how we roll around here...

Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...

I would assume that they are designing the interchange to accommodate future growth in Stafford County. 

Which is likely, given the current pace of growth in the county. The current interchange is a major bottleneck and is quite dangerous, and even after the signals were installed there's major backups. I've seen traffic backed up the onramp onto I-95. This design is probably still overkill, though, but SR 610 (the next exit north on I-95) has an even higher AADT than SR 630, and it's served by a simple cloverleaf without any significant backup issues.

Similar situation can be found on I-66 westbound at Exit 40 (U.S. 15, Haymarket) in the afternoon peak commute period.  Traffic (especially traffic wanting to turn left (south) onto U.S. 15) queues up onto the shoulder of I-66.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2012, 10:13:55 AM
While I cringe at nearly every price tag revealed for projects around Virginia, in defense of the Stafford Interchange project they are acquiring quite a bit of land which is not all that cheap anymore in this corridor.  Other aspects include also building a new road over to US 1; destroying and I would assume removing underground tanks, etc for multiple gas stations; the terrain around this interchange is also challenging...

I think the proposed interchange is more complicated than it needs to be.  630 does need to be multilaned and the off-ramp from 95 SB is way too short for the amount of traffic that now uses it.  Of course, the Stafford Airport interchange was way over-designed (though sensibly not fully built out yet) and SR 8900's junction with US 1 seems comically spacious...so maybe this is just how we roll around here...

Of course less than 10 years ago I believe there weren't even any stoplights at this interchange...

I would assume that they are designing the interchange to accommodate future growth in Stafford County. 

Which is likely, given the current pace of growth in the county. The current interchange is a major bottleneck and is quite dangerous, and even after the signals were installed there's major backups. I've seen traffic backed up the onramp onto I-95. This design is probably still overkill, though, but SR 610 (the next exit north on I-95) has an even higher AADT than SR 630, and it's served by a simple cloverleaf without any significant backup issues.

Similar situation can be found on I-66 westbound at Exit 40 (U.S. 15, Haymarket) in the afternoon peak commute period.  Traffic (especially traffic wanting to turn left (south) onto U.S. 15) queues up onto the shoulder of I-66.

I'll be interested in seeing whether that improves at all when the Gainesville construction is finished in a few years. A lot of people have long used the Haymarket exit to bypass congestion and (more importantly, depending on the time of day) the railroad crossing in Gainesville. When the grade-separation there is finished I wonder if it might lure some people back to US-29 instead of using the Haymarket work-around. Of course, there are also long-term plans to widen I-66 out to Haymarket as well, but that wouldn't help much with the backups on the ramp.

I know there have been times when I've been heading for southbound 29 when I found the Haymarket ramp so backed up I went on to the next exit at Great Meadow, followed the road south to its end at US-17, and turned left to follow that down to Warrenton.

Passed Gainesville on I-66 last Saturday but couldn't tell how the project is progressing. There's certainly a massive mound of dirt in the middle of US-29, which I assume is intended to form the approaches for the overpass above the railroad tracks. The project rendering I saw showed US-29 passing over the tracks and then diving down to go under Linton Hall Road. Edited to add: Found a somewhat grainy rendering. (http://virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/Gainesville_Renderings.pdf) It reminds me quite a bit of the Yorktowne Center intersection of Gallows Road and US-50, which was transformed into an interchange in the early- to mid-1980s. In particular the ramp configuration for southbound US-29 reminds me of that. We lived near Fairfax Hospital when the Gallows/50 construction began, so I remember it quite well.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on December 12, 2012, 10:46:31 AM
Quote
D.C. Examiner: Some Va. license plates allow drivers to skip tolls (http://washingtonexaminer.com/some-va.-license-plates-allow-drivers-to-skip-tolls/article/2515379)

More on this from WTOP Radio: Study: Va. loses toll money from unreadable license plates (http://www.wtop.com/120/3152674/Worn-dirty-plates-dodge-Va-toll-cameras)

Quote
Some drivers are enjoying a free ride through automatic tolls in Virginia, but budget-conscious lawmakers in Richmond may be eager to close the gap.

Quote
A 76-page study on license plates, prepared by the Department of Motor Vehicles, was provided to legislators Monday.

The Examiner article includes a sample of Virginia's fall colors plate as one of the harder-to-read ones.  It was nearly impossible to read when first issued, with the leaves in the background behind the letters and numbers, rather than just on the edges as they are now.

I recall that Virginia DMV in that instance recalled the plates and re-did them in the new design, rather than gradually reduce their numbers through attrition as is now being discussed for some current plate designs.  I'm not sure how hard DMV pushed back against drivers who realized how lucky they were and balked at turning in their unreadable plates.  Virginia at that time was still a long way from photo enforcement or "pay-by-plate" tolling, but other states and provinces had started using one or the other. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 15, 2012, 05:39:04 PM
WTOP Radio: Shoreline erosion is threatening Va scenic roadway (http://www.wtop.com/120/3158570/Shoreline-erosion-is-threatening-Va-scenic-roadway)

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The National Park Service is moving ahead with plans to address shoreline erosion along the York River.

Quote
A report outlining plans for a project to repair and stabilize a 4.2-mile stretch of the river describes the erosion as an imminent threat to the scenic Colonial Parkway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 16, 2012, 12:22:00 PM
I'll be interested in seeing whether that improves at all when the Gainesville construction is finished in a few years. A lot of people have long used the Haymarket exit to bypass congestion and (more importantly, depending on the time of day) the railroad crossing in Gainesville. When the grade-separation there is finished I wonder if it might lure some people back to US-29 instead of using the Haymarket work-around. Of course, there are also long-term plans to widen I-66 out to Haymarket as well, but that wouldn't help much with the backups on the ramp.

Strangely, I have not been on that section of U.S. 29 (south of I-66) for a long time - I am going to need to take a look-see at that.

I do know it has been ugly for decades.  In the "I'm old enough" department, I can remember when I-66 had its interim western terminus at U.S. 29 south (only - no access to U.S. 29 northbound, which  was effectively a "U" turn anyway), and Gainesville was perhaps even more of a mess (traffic headed west to Front Royal, Strasburg and I-81 had to take Va. 55 most of the rest of the way (there was that long "orphaned" section of I-66 around Marshall (roughly Exits 23 to 28 today)). 

I spent a week in Gainesville as a high school junior (1975) at Camp Glenkirk (now gone) as a camp counselor on the shores of Lake Manassas in Prince William County (Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools rented it for its 6th grade outdoor education program), and remember the school bus getting stuck in traffic when we left on Friday.

I nearly always go out to U.S. 15 at Haymarket to avoid Gainesville, but you do run the risk of getting stuck at the NS grade crossing just south of the Sheetz on 15 if a long freight train comes through (that track from Manassas to Front Royal is remarkably busy for being a winding single-track affair).   

Do you remember that Haymarket was where Disney wanted to build its America theme park, but was thwarted by opposition from the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Sierra Club in 1995 (Disney gave up rather than fight)? I suppose the PEC was afraid too many members of the hoi polloi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoi_polloi) would show up too close to their estates.

I know there have been times when I've been heading for southbound 29 when I found the Haymarket ramp so backed up I went on to the next exit at Great Meadow, followed the road south to its end at US-17, and turned left to follow that down to Warrenton.

I have done that as well.  U.S. 17 moves fast between Warrenton and I-66, though I have seen both the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office and VSP doing speed limit enforcement there (presumably for that reason).

Passed Gainesville on I-66 last Saturday but couldn't tell how the project is progressing. There's certainly a massive mound of dirt in the middle of US-29, which I assume is intended to form the approaches for the overpass above the railroad tracks. The project rendering I saw showed US-29 passing over the tracks and then diving down to go under Linton Hall Road. Edited to add: Found a somewhat grainy rendering. (http://virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/Gainesville_Renderings.pdf) It reminds me quite a bit of the Yorktowne Center intersection of Gallows Road and US-50, which was transformed into an interchange in the early- to mid-1980s. In particular the ramp configuration for southbound US-29 reminds me of that. We lived near Fairfax Hospital when the Gallows/50 construction began, so I remember it quite well.

It is revealing to me that the Gainesville project got funded in spite of VDOT's massive financial problems.  Thank you for sharing those images.  They are consistent with what I recall the reconstructed U.S. 29 looking like. 

If VDOT had unlimited amounts of money, it would upgrade all of U.S. 29, all the way from Danville to Gainesville, to a controlled-access Interstate-standard freeway. 

Of course, the membership of the PEC would collectively have a hemorrhage, even though it would really improve what is a dangerous and substandard segment of highway, especially between Warrenton and Gainesville.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 16, 2012, 12:46:00 PM
I plan to go through Gainesville on Friday, traffic permitting, and if I can get any pictures of the progress I will post them, though not likely on Friday—we are going to try to go from DC to Charlotte via US-29/I-85 Friday afternoon, then on to Florida via I-77/I-26/I-95 on Saturday. I just want to take a route other than I-95 and I haven't been down US-29 beyond Charlottesville since July 1998 on my way home from the bar exam in Roanoke.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 16, 2012, 01:43:04 PM
I plan to go through Gainesville on Friday, traffic permitting, and if I can get any pictures of the progress I will post them, though not likely on Friday—we are going to try to go from DC to Charlotte via US-29/I-85 Friday afternoon, then on to Florida via I-77/I-26/I-95 on Saturday. I just want to take a route other than I-95 and I haven't been down US-29 beyond Charlottesville since July 1998 on my way home from the bar exam in Roanoke.

It has been a while since I was down that way - but - U.S. 29 south of Charlottesville and I-64 is a very different road from what it is between Charlottesville and Gainesville.  Except through Lynchburg, U.S. 29 has VDOT-published AADT (2011) at or under 20,000 all the way  from Danville to I-64.   North of I-64, it is generally above 20,000 (for reasons unclear to me, it dips below 20,000 in parts of Greene and Madison Counties), and north of Opal, above 40,000 AADT (in my opinion, that's a lot for a rural four-lane arterial highway), and approaching Gainesville, 60,000 (!).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 17, 2012, 09:12:20 AM
I plan to go through Gainesville on Friday, traffic permitting, and if I can get any pictures of the progress I will post them, though not likely on Friday—we are going to try to go from DC to Charlotte via US-29/I-85 Friday afternoon, then on to Florida via I-77/I-26/I-95 on Saturday. I just want to take a route other than I-95 and I haven't been down US-29 beyond Charlottesville since July 1998 on my way home from the bar exam in Roanoke.

It has been a while since I was down that way - but - U.S. 29 south of Charlottesville and I-64 is a very different road from what it is between Charlottesville and Gainesville.  Except through Lynchburg, U.S. 29 has VDOT-published AADT (2011) at or under 20,000 all the way  from Danville to I-64.   North of I-64, it is generally above 20,000 (for reasons unclear to me, it dips below 20,000 in parts of Greene and Madison Counties), and north of Opal, above 40,000 AADT (in my opinion, that's a lot for a rural four-lane arterial highway), and approaching Gainesville, 60,000 (!).

Oh yes, I remember the portion between Charlottesville and US-501 near Lynchburg pretty well because in the mid-1990s I drove that way quite often—after I graduated from UVA I headed to law school at Duke and I often took 501 -> 29 on my way up to Charlottesville for visits. One time I went across to hit 29 in North Carolina so that I could clinch (though I had never heard of that term at the time) the entire Virginia portion. Of course, one major change since then is the new bypasses around Danville and (especially) Lynchburg/Madison Heights, the latter with a 70-mph speed limit (the only non-Interstate in Virginia with a 70-mph limit at present).

The light traffic counts are really one major reason for going that way. I-95 through the Carolinas can get frustrating with the left-lane hogs, and while I-85 is an option, I nixed that because (a) the worst stretch of I-95 is the one going down to Richmond and the traffic on the Friday before Christmas might be heavy and (b) I drove I-85 so often over the years I'm bored with that too.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 17, 2012, 11:22:23 AM
AP via WTOP Radio: Southside Va not yielding for gov's I-95 toll idea (http://www.wtop.com/41/2392927/Southside-Va-not-yielding-for-govs-I-95-toll-idea)

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STONY CREEK, Va. - Would you pay $11 for a $3 hamburger?

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Frank Jackson, the mayor of Stony Creek and its nearly 200 people, didn't think so.

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But if Gov. Bob McDonnell succeeds in imposing tolls on Interstate 95 near the North Carolina border and the highway's entry and exit ramps, that could happen, Jackson argues.

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"And it's just going to kill businesses like the Tastee Hut," he said.

Quote
The Tastee Hut is unpretentious, throwback fast food _ a squat, white hut off an I-95 frontage road just north of Exit 31, midway between Richmond and the Carolina line. No dining room; customers either buy carry-out or use the picnic tables off to one side. Park in the gravel lot, walk to the window, order a cheeseburger or pulled-pork barbecue sandwich, add a Dr. Pepper, maybe an order of fries and you're set for another 250 miles.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on December 17, 2012, 01:13:18 PM
AP via WTOP Radio: Southside Va not yielding for gov's I-95 toll idea (http://www.wtop.com/41/2392927/Southside-Va-not-yielding-for-govs-I-95-toll-idea)

Quote
STONY CREEK, Va. - Would you pay $11 for a $3 hamburger?



Both the logic and the facts are incorrect at the Tastee Hut.

First off, according to http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/95/Toll/CIM_-_Presentation_20121210.pdf (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/95/Toll/CIM_-_Presentation_20121210.pdf).  There would only be a ramp toll getting off OR getting on but not both unless it is at different exits, one on each side of the toll booth (which would then eliminate $4 by avoiding the main booth).

So it is "$9" for the burger, not $11.  But of course, the cost of NO burger is $4, so the cost of the burger is actually $5.  Plus they could inform customers they could avoid the ramp toll to get back onto 95 NB by going up the frontage road to Exit 33.

This is not an attempt to advocate for or against the tolling plan.  Just that whatever discussion there is should be fact-based.

Also one would think (though I have no idea if it is in the plan), that the ramp toll could be waived if you have been through the main toll plaza in say the last half hour.  Or the main plaza would charge only $2 if you used a ramp toll within the last half-hour.  None of this would help cash-paying toll users though.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2012, 11:46:50 AM
TOLLROADSnews: North-South Corridor through Manassas a potential new 45 mile tollroad in northern Virginia (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6323)

Quote
Virginia planners have added a new 'North-South Corridor" to their master planning for northern Virginia. An area of strong economic growth and lacking any quality north-south highway within many miles on either side it looks like a natural for toll financing. The route extends some 45 miles, 72km from I-95 near Dumfries to I-66 near Manassas then skirting west of Washington Dulles International Airport it would cross the Dulles Greenway ending just beyond VA7 Leesburg Pike in Ashburn.

Quote
The NS corridor runs about 30 miles, 50km distant from the Mall at the center of Washington DC, and it is about 20 miles, 32km west of the line of the Capital Beltway I-495. It is part of longterm VDOT plan called VTrans 2035.

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US15 runs about 4 miles, 7km to its west at the closest point.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2012, 12:09:09 PM
AP via WTOP Radio: Southside Va not yielding for gov's I-95 toll idea (http://www.wtop.com/41/2392927/Southside-Va-not-yielding-for-govs-I-95-toll-idea)

Quote
STONY CREEK, Va. - Would you pay $11 for a $3 hamburger?



Both the logic and the facts are incorrect at the Tastee Hut.

First off, according to http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/95/Toll/CIM_-_Presentation_20121210.pdf (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/95/Toll/CIM_-_Presentation_20121210.pdf).  There would only be a ramp toll getting off OR getting on but not both unless it is at different exits, one on each side of the toll booth (which would then eliminate $4 by avoiding the main booth).

Thank you for your FAct-based comment!  I read a VDOT presentation several months ago about I-95 tolling, but nothing as recent as what you have posted above.

Have you considered contacting the AP reporter credited by WTOP with writing this?

So it is "$9" for the burger, not $11.  But of course, the cost of NO burger is $4, so the cost of the burger is actually $5.  Plus they could inform customers they could avoid the ramp toll to get back onto 95 NB by going up the frontage road to Exit 33.

This is not an attempt to advocate for or against the tolling plan.  Just that whatever discussion there is should be fact-based.

Absolutely correct.

Also one would think (though I have no idea if it is in the plan), that the ramp toll could be waived if you have been through the main toll plaza in say the last half hour.  Or the main plaza would charge only $2 if you used a ramp toll within the last half-hour.  None of this would help cash-paying toll users though.

I have no problem with tolls per-se, especially on new highway capacity, like the I-495 HOV/Toll lanes or Maryland's ICC and the new I-95 ETLs. 

But I really dislike this plan - and not because I am a relatively frequent user of I-95 in Virginia, but  because there is still going to be shunpiking here.  If we could turn back the clock, I would much rather have had the tolls retained on the  Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, with the toll barriers upgraded to allow for open-road E-ZPass tolling, and, in a perfect world, a toll barrier on I-295, probably on the north side of the Varina-Enon Bridge.

This plan reminds me of the tolling that Maryland has on the JFK Highway. The one-way tolls collected at that one point are supposed to support maintenance and improvements over a very long segment of road.  At least Maryland has the Susquehanna River, and the adjacent (tolled) U.S. 40 Hatem Bridge, which is something of a deterrent to shunpiking by northbound trucks.

I would much rather see toll collection over a much longer section of I-95 (probably including toll collection between Richmond and Fredericksburg).

Consider that the last plan I saw for tolls on I-95 in North Carolina envisioned tolls along its entire length, from Rowlands (near South of the Border) all the way to Gaston.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on December 25, 2012, 07:22:50 PM
Some of you are familiar with how there are a number of "uni-signs" in the Richmond District (a uni-sign being single-sheet reassurance shields or trailblazer shields as opposed to stand-alone shield).  While traveling this weekend, I saw at least two uni-signs in the Staunton District...both on VA 257.  Isolated incident?  Precursor to expanded use?  I didn't see any others in the area, but it's possible there are more.  Both of the signs I saw are new...less than a year old (they didn't exist last time I was on VA 257).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on December 25, 2012, 07:52:16 PM
Definitely not isolated, though not widespread.  District 8 started doing this 3+ years ago (first sets I noticed were in Highland Co for US 220 and US 250 in Jan 2010).  I know I've seen a few more but am drawing a blank on where they were...

Here is one - http://maps.google.com/maps?q=monterey,+va&hl=en&ll=38.326306,-79.437847&spn=0.016766,0.038581&sll=38.003385,-79.420925&sspn=4.310678,9.876709&t=h&hnear=Monterey,+Highland,+Virginia&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.326303,-79.437653&panoid=e21jeUGSE2PkSun7ZI89bg&cbp=12,0,,0,0 (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=monterey,+va&hl=en&ll=38.326306,-79.437847&spn=0.016766,0.038581&sll=38.003385,-79.420925&sspn=4.310678,9.876709&t=h&hnear=Monterey,+Highland,+Virginia&z=15&layer=c&cbll=38.326303,-79.437653&panoid=e21jeUGSE2PkSun7ZI89bg&cbp=12,0,,0,0)

I've also seen at least one of these in District 7 - the old US 29 cutouts on the Madison bypass were replaced with a unisign set.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 25, 2012, 08:20:59 PM
Some of you are familiar with how there are a number of "uni-signs" in the Richmond District (a uni-sign being single-sheet reassurance shields or trailblazer shields as opposed to stand-alone shield).  While traveling this weekend, I saw at least two uni-signs in the Staunton District...both on VA 257.  Isolated incident?  Precursor to expanded use?  I didn't see any others in the area, but it's possible there are more.  Both of the signs I saw are new...less than a year old (they didn't exist last time I was on VA 257).

Never seen them on VDOT-maintained roads in the Northern Virginia District. 

I think I have seen them a few times within the corporate limits of the  City of  Alexandria.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 25, 2012, 11:45:23 PM
WAVY Channel 10: VDOT to hold public hearings on HRBT (http://www.wavy.com/dpp/traffic/vdot-to-hold-public-hearings-on-hrbt)

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The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold two public hearings to talk about alternatives for the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

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According to VDOT, the hearings will take place on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 in Norfolk and Hampton, respectively. VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration is preparing an environmental impact study in conjunction with the four possible alternatives.

VDOT Web site: Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Study (Corridor from I-664 in Hampton to I-564 in Norfolk) (http://www.vdot.virginia.gov/projects/hamptonroads/i-64_hrbt_study.asp)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2012, 12:26:23 PM
VDOT Web site: GOV. MCDONNELL ANNOUNCES VDOT, NAVY AGREE TO BUILD I-564 INTERMODAL CONNECTOR - Project will improve traffic flow to Naval Station Norfolk, Port of Virginia (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2012/gov._mcdonnell_announces_vdot62527.asp)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: dfnva on December 27, 2012, 09:09:28 PM
I've seen the new unisigns as well in several places, all in the Staunton district. One on US-11 approaching one of the SR's that connects to I-81 (it was Tom's Brook or somewhere near there) and one on VA-55 approaching VA-79.

I've not seen them on any new signage in the Northern Virginia district, though an odd practice has developed in Northern VA using one shield (instead of two) approaching a route with both directional banners above and both arrows below, esp. along VA-286 and numerous other places (VA-234). Are both the unisigns and this use of single shields cost cutting measures?

-Dan
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on December 27, 2012, 11:07:04 PM
VDOT Web site: GOV. MCDONNELL ANNOUNCES VDOT, NAVY AGREE TO BUILD I-564 INTERMODAL CONNECTOR - Project will improve traffic flow to Naval Station Norfolk, Port of Virginia (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2012/gov._mcdonnell_announces_vdot62527.asp)

This would be the proposal to realign I-564 to allow the Third Crossing to eventually be built, right?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2012, 11:14:42 PM
I've seen the new unisigns as well in several places, all in the Staunton district. One on US-11 approaching one of the SR's that connects to I-81 (it was Tom's Brook or somewhere near there) and one on VA-55 approaching VA-79.

I've not seen them on any new signage in the Northern Virginia district, though an odd practice has developed in Northern VA using one shield (instead of two) approaching a route with both directional banners above and both arrows below, esp. along VA-286 and numerous other places (VA-234). Are both the unisigns and this use of single shields cost cutting measures?

For as long as I can remember (going back to when (what is now) the Northern Virginia District was part of the Culpeper (!) District prior to about 1984), the "standard" practice has been two shields under each directional banner one shield under each directional banner, even on secondary system routes. 

I would assume that the use of one shield is to cut costs.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2012, 11:27:43 PM
3 dead in crash at Springfield interchange (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/3-dead-in-crash-at-springfield-interchange/2012/12/27/a212c23a-5092-11e2-8b49-64675006147f_story.html)

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Three people died Thursday night at the Springfield interchange when a pickup truck slammed into the back of a 18-wheel tractor-trailer that was stuck in traffic on a flyover ramp, Virginia State Police said.

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The pickup truck was traveling on the westbound ramp from Interstate 495 to enter southbound I-95 when it rear-ended the tractor-trailer at about 7 p.m., said Corinne Geller, a police spokeswoman. All three people in the pickup truck, whom officials did not immediately identify, died at the scene, Geller said.

[The above is the long, long, long and high flyover ramp that carries I-95 south from the Capital Beltway south in the direction of Richmond.]
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 28, 2012, 04:19:39 PM
DelmarvaNow.com: Bridge officials eye $1 billion new tunnel - Say proactive long-term planning is key to maintaining traffic flow (http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20121226/ESN01/312260031)

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KIPTOPEKE — The key to continued success for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is proactive long-term planning, bridge-tunnel officials say.

Quote
That includes planning to construct parallel tunnels at the two channels that allow ships to pass through on their way to Hampton Roads or Baltimore ports. The projected cost for the first tunnel, slated to be built in less than a decade, is nearly $1 billion.

Quote
“We are not subsidized by any entity,” Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District Executive Director Jeff Holland said, likening maintaining the facility to maintaining an oil rig “out in the depths of the oceanic environment.”
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on January 01, 2013, 06:30:29 PM
Quote
This would be the proposal to realign I-564 to allow the Third Crossing to eventually be built, right?

I think it's called that because it connects to I-564, but it's not an actual I-564 realignment.  VDOT internal docs (and even some public docs over the past 10 years) have referenced it as part of VA 510.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 01, 2013, 07:39:48 PM
Virginia officer killed in accident had green light, police say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/virginia-officer-killed-in-accident-had-green-light-police-say/2013/01/01/281f9bae-5459-11e2-a613-ec8d394535c6_blog.html)

Quote
A Prince William County motorcycle officer who was killed in an accident Saturday afternoon was driving through a green light with his lights and siren on when his cycle was hit by a minivan, authorities said in an update released on Tuesday.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on January 02, 2013, 01:23:57 PM
Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-095_va_toll_free.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-095_va_toll_free.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 05, 2013, 10:46:28 AM
Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

I would assume the answer is no, since the Virginia statutory provision that defines reckless driving as speeds greater than or equal to 80 MPH are still in effect, and I presume that the Emporia cops are still glad to issue tickets for that.

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.

The McDonnell Administration's proposal to only toll I-95 south of Petersburg is a joke.  It  does not raise much revenue when compared to the funding needs for Virginia highways.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 05, 2013, 10:48:37 AM
Washington Post: McDonnell seeks elusive fix for Virginia roads (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/mcdonnell-seeks-elusive-fix-for-virginia-roads/2013/01/04/7c6e06cc-55cc-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html)

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Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is heading into his final year in office hoping to cement his legacy as a problem solver by taking on one of the most persistent dilemmas in the state: finding a fix for roads.

Quote
McDonnell (R) is expected to unveil a proposal next week to pump at least $500 million a year into the commonwealth’s transportation coffers by 2018. Without that infusion, a state with one of the nation’s largest and most congested transportation systems will be out of road funds by 2017.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2013, 09:50:36 AM
Washington Post: McDonnell to unveil road funding plan that calls for at least $500 million annual spending (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/mcdonnell-to-unveil-road-funding-plan-that-calls-for-at-least-500m-annual-spending/2013/01/08/00e10430-598e-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html)

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RICHMOND — Gov. Robert F. McDonnell will unveil a plan Tuesday to pump at least $500 million a year into the state’s quickly draining transportation coffers.

Quote
So far, the Republican governor has revealed where about half of that money would come from: the state’s general fund.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: CanesFan27 on January 09, 2013, 10:07:17 AM
Drove through Emporia twice over the holidays. The consistent 70 mph speed limit is a nice change. Also noted no police activity on either pass through. I stayed at 70 just to be safe, but noted that many others were at 75 or so. Is the speed trap in Emporia moot now with the 70 mph speed limits?

Also noted several yellow trailers (and one sign/banner attached to a water tower) touting the opposition to toll I-95 in southern Virginia.

(http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-095_va_toll_free.jpg) (http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/northeast/i-095_va_toll_free.jpg)


You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 09, 2013, 10:12:24 AM
Here is the Governor's press release on the new highway funding proposal that scraps the gas tax. (http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1588)

One of the reports I saw said the increased sales tax would now apply to gas purchases as well, but the press release doesn't mention that. (I assume that means it would work like certain Canadian provinces' taxes where you pay tax on the federal tax as well—that is, the price per gallon of gas includes the federal gas tax and the Virginia sales tax would be calculated on that price per gallon.)

I find the idea interesting and worthy of serious discussion, but naturally most of the public commentary so far is uneducated emotional drivel, similar to the uninformed screeds we saw with the HO/T projects in Northern Virginia.

I was trying to figure out how the pricing might work out under this scenario to see whether Virginia might in fact wind up getting out-of-staters to come over to buy gas. My initial reaction was "probably not, if they charge sales tax on gas." Suppose a gallon of gas currently costs $3.599 per gallon ($53.985 for a 15-gallon fillup.) Subtract the 17.5¢ Virginia gas tax and it's now $3.424 per gallon ($51.36 for a 15-gallon fillup). If sales tax were then charged on the gas purchase, the tax on the 15-gallon fillup would be $2.979, making the cost of the fillup $54.33888, which would almost certainly be rounded to $54.39. Of course, you might get out-of-staters who don't realize the sales tax component is there and who therefore think the gas is a lot cheaper in Virginia.

That's assuming the sales tax is actually charged on gas purchases, and as I say that aspect isn't entirely clear to me. I suppose another possible scenario is that the price of gas might wind up not dropping at all if the gas station owners just leave the price as it is and pocket the 17.5¢ a gallon themselves as profit. Of course, if that happens, it means all those gas station owners wind up paying more in corporate income tax.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 09, 2013, 10:21:44 AM
You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.

I think the biggest change with a 70-mph speed limit is that it most likely makes the cops more likely to focus on the people exceeding 80 mph, given that many out-of-staters don't realize that 81 mph in a 70-mph zone is grounds for a reckless driving ticket in Virginia. That is, it's that much easier to tag someone with the more serious ticket, so in many cases it may be easier to get away with speeds between 70 and 80 mph. No guarantee of that, of course.

The "81 in a 70 equals reckless" is one reason I objected to those so-called "abusive driver fees" that were briefly in place a few years ago. Some people argue, "Well, don't speed and you won't have any problem. If you speed, you can't complain." But does any reasonable person REALLY believe that a lousy 11 mph over the speed limit should be grounds for a $3,000 fine??? I sure don't, absent extenuating circumstances like weather or driving at night without headlights or some such. (The 70-mph speed limit applied only on I-85 during the time when the "abusive driver fees" were in effect.)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: CanesFan27 on January 09, 2013, 10:50:13 AM
Here is the Governor's press release on the new highway funding proposal that scraps the gas tax. (http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=1588)

One of the reports I saw said the increased sales tax would now apply to gas purchases as well, but the press release doesn't mention that. (I assume that means it would work like certain Canadian provinces' taxes where you pay tax on the federal tax as well—that is, the price per gallon of gas includes the federal gas tax and the Virginia sales tax would be calculated on that price per gallon.)

I find the idea interesting and worthy of serious discussion, but naturally most of the public commentary so far is uneducated emotional drivel, similar to the uninformed screeds we saw with the HO/T projects in Northern Virginia.

I was trying to figure out how the pricing might work out under this scenario to see whether Virginia might in fact wind up getting out-of-staters to come over to buy gas. My initial reaction was "probably not, if they charge sales tax on gas." Suppose a gallon of gas currently costs $3.599 per gallon ($53.985 for a 15-gallon fillup.) Subtract the 17.5¢ Virginia gas tax and it's now $3.424 per gallon ($51.36 for a 15-gallon fillup). If sales tax were then charged on the gas purchase, the tax on the 15-gallon fillup would be $2.979, making the cost of the fillup $54.33888, which would almost certainly be rounded to $54.39. Of course, you might get out-of-staters who don't realize the sales tax component is there and who therefore think the gas is a lot cheaper in Virginia.

That's assuming the sales tax is actually charged on gas purchases, and as I say that aspect isn't entirely clear to me. I suppose another possible scenario is that the price of gas might wind up not dropping at all if the gas station owners just leave the price as it is and pocket the 17.5¢ a gallon themselves as profit. Of course, if that happens, it means all those gas station owners wind up paying more in corporate income tax.

Sales Tax would not be added to gasoline purchases.  That is per the governor's spokesman, Tucker Martin.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 09, 2013, 10:58:46 AM
Thanks, I responded to you in the other thread.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on January 10, 2013, 11:09:07 AM
Quote
You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.

They occasionally camp out on 58 as well.  Perhaps that's where they were when Alex drove through.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 11, 2013, 10:08:46 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Richmond VA Tolls appoint Angela L Gray new CEO (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6352)

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The Richmond Metropolitan Authority (RMA) which runs tollroads in the Virginia capital has selected a new chief executive - Angela L Gray. She replaces Mike Berry who retired late last year after 26 years.

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Ms Gray who like Berry will have the title General Manager comes from a job as budget officer at the Washington DC Department of Transportation. Before that she had local government jobs in North Adams MA and Belton TX.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 14, 2013, 01:06:25 AM
Washington Post: Planning officials see buses at center of transit network serving Tysons Corner (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/planning-officials-see-buses-at-center-of-transit-network-serving-tysons-corner/2013/01/12/94749d5c-4ba5-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_story.html)

Quote
With Metro’s arrival in Tysons Corner less than a year away, mass transit is the talk of Northern Virginia planning and transportation experts. The chatter, though, is about more than trains.

Quote
Light rail, high-speed bus lanes and even driverless vehicles are among the ideas being bandied about for the urban center Tysons is seen becoming. They are a testament to the vision for an area long defined by shopping malls and congested boulevards, and some of the futuristic ideas might actually become reality.

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For now, though, Fairfax County planners trying to cultivate a culture of public transportation are pushing a more traditional mode of transit: buses.

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Fairfax plans to revamp bus service in Tysons, adding connections from other parts of the county and a new Circulator bus system, to coincide with this year’s projected Metro Silver Line opening. County officials see better and more bus options, alongside the rail service, as a first step toward acclimating residents to more use of public transit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 17, 2013, 08:24:16 PM
WWBT NBC12: Delegate says I-95 tolls threaten "survival" of Southside Virginia (http://www.nbc12.com/story/20614449/delegate-says-i-95-tolls-threaten-survival-of-southside-virginia)

Quote
Holding a sign reading "no tolls" in bold red letters, Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) introduced a bill to the public Thursday that would stop tolls on interstates without General Assembly approval.

Quote
"My bill will allow the General Assembly to vote on tolls, and broaden the conversation," said Tyler at a news conference Thursday. "We need to have a voice for tolls that could be devastating."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: abc2VE on January 18, 2013, 11:56:02 AM
WWBT NBC12: Delegate says I-95 tolls threaten "survival" of Southside Virginia (http://www.nbc12.com/story/20614449/delegate-says-i-95-tolls-threaten-survival-of-southside-virginia)

Quote
Holding a sign reading "no tolls" in bold red letters, Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) introduced a bill to the public Thursday that would stop tolls on interstates without General Assembly approval.

Quote
"My bill will allow the General Assembly to vote on tolls, and broaden the conversation," said Tyler at a news conference Thursday. "We need to have a voice for tolls that could be devastating."

I saw that same story last night and thought to myself that it was very misleading. They leave out the fact that toll operations on an Interstate is approved only through the FHWA first and then make it seem like the GA does not already have final say for toll operations putting blame more or less on the governor instead of the state transportation committee. Then the story mentions or implies that toll revenue would go toward nova which isn't true execpt for I-95
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 21, 2013, 11:50:55 PM
Washington Post op-ed by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell: A long-term answer to Virginia’s transportation funding needs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-long-term-answer-to-virginias-transportation-funding-needs/2013/01/18/5a36356e-6005-11e2-b05a-605528f6b712_story.html)

Quote
Virginia needs a workable, long-term solution to its transportation challenges. That is why this month I announced the “ Virginia’s Road to the Future ” funding and reform package to invest more than $3.1 billion in the state’s transportation network over the next five years. This plan will restructure Virginia’s archaic transportation funding sources and create a system that will grow with economic activity. It will also address the long-term deficiencies of the gas tax by making Virginia the first state in the nation to eliminate it.

Quote
According to the state Department of Transportation, Virginia needs $500 million a year in new revenue by 2019 to eliminate the unsustainable practice of borrowing money meant for new projects to fund the maintenance of existing highways. This plan will provide it. It will also generate $1.8 billion in new funding for road construction needed to help grow Virginia’s economy. It does all of this without raising taxes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2013, 09:00:25 PM
WWBT NBC12: Delegate says I-95 tolls threaten "survival" of Southside Virginia (http://www.nbc12.com/story/20614449/delegate-says-i-95-tolls-threaten-survival-of-southside-virginia)

Quote
Holding a sign reading "no tolls" in bold red letters, Del. Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) introduced a bill to the public Thursday that would stop tolls on interstates without General Assembly approval.

Quote
"My bill will allow the General Assembly to vote on tolls, and broaden the conversation," said Tyler at a news conference Thursday. "We need to have a voice for tolls that could be devastating."

I saw that same story last night and thought to myself that it was very misleading. They leave out the fact that toll operations on an Interstate is approved only through the FHWA first and then make it seem like the GA does not already have final say for toll operations putting blame more or less on the governor instead of the state transportation committee. Then the story mentions or implies that toll revenue would go toward nova which isn't true execpt for I-95

NoVa is in a sense getting hit with tolls on the new I-495 HOV/Toll lanes, and on soon-to-be-converted I-95 HOV/Toll lanes in Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties.  And then there are the massive toll increases on Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road) to fund most of the Dulles Rail project.

Politically, I think it would be difficult to put tolls on the adjacent "free" lanes of I-95 in NoVa, though it was a big mistake not to impose tolls on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge when it was rebuilt.  The governors of both Maryland and Virginia at the  time (Glendening and Gilmore, respectively) get a large dose of the blame for that.

Having said all of the above, I think it is wrong and unfair to people living between Emporia and Petersburg to have to pay a toll, when there are no tolls around Richmond-Petersburg (yes, I imply that the tolls on the old Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike should be revived, in addition to new tolls on I-295) and new tolls on I-95 between Richmond and Fredericksburg (especially between Carmel Church/Ruther Glen and Richmond).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2013, 09:03:19 PM
Virginia I-95 deadly bus crash driver sentenced to 6 years (http://www2.wsls.com/news/2013/jan/23/virginia-i-95-deadly-bus-crash-driver-sentenced-6-ar-2485057/)

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The driver of a bus that crashed in Virginia, killing four passengers, has been ordered to serve six years in prison
   
Quote
Prosecutor Tony Spencer says Kin Yiu Cheung was sentenced Wednesday in Bowling Green to 40 years with 34 years of his sentence suspended.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 24, 2013, 09:21:55 PM
You just passed Emporia on a good day.  Was on that stretch at least once a month in 2012 and I'd say at least 75% of the time there were at least three patrol cars counted from Emporia to Petersburg.

I think the biggest change with a 70-mph speed limit is that it most likely makes the cops more likely to focus on the people exceeding 80 mph, given that many out-of-staters don't realize that 81 mph in a 70-mph zone is grounds for a reckless driving ticket in Virginia. That is, it's that much easier to tag someone with the more serious ticket, so in many cases it may be easier to get away with speeds between 70 and 80 mph. No guarantee of that, of course.

I think your reasoning is sound.  The daughter of a colleague of mine got banged with a reckless driving ticket on I-85 between South Hill and Petersburg (where I believe the posted limit has been 70 for a while now). She was driving between 80 and 90 MPH.

The "81 in a 70 equals reckless" is one reason I objected to those so-called "abusive driver fees" that were briefly in place a few years ago. Some people argue, "Well, don't speed and you won't have any problem. If you speed, you can't complain." But does any reasonable person REALLY believe that a lousy 11 mph over the speed limit should be grounds for a $3,000 fine??? I sure don't, absent extenuating circumstances like weather or driving at night without headlights or some such. (The 70-mph speed limit applied only on I-85 during the time when the "abusive driver fees" were in effect.)

Is 81 MPH "reckless driving" on a relatively lightly-driven freeway like most of I-85 in Virginia?  I don't think so, at least not if the pavement is dry and visibility is good.  If I recall correctly, there is language in  the Code of Virginia that says that doing above 80 is prima facie evidence of reckless driving.  On many roads that is probably correct.  On a modern Interstate highway? Not always!

On the flipside, I do believe that the reckless driving  provisions in Virginia's laws keep many so-called "crotch rocket" motorcycle riders doing their insane riding (and sometimes dying) on the Maryland side of the river (Maryland has reckless driving provisions in its Transportation Article, but the burden of proof on the State is higher). Note that there is no mention of speed (I believe there was formerly a provision defining exceeding the posted limit by 30 MPH or more as reckless driving).

Quote
TRANSPORTATION 
TITLE 21.  VEHICLE LAWS -- RULES OF THE ROAD 
SUBTITLE 9.  RECKLESS, NEGLIGENT, OR IMPAIRED DRIVING; FLEEING OR ELUDING POLICE

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-901.1  (2012)

§ 21-901.1. Reckless and negligent driving


   (a) Reckless driving. -- A person is guilty of reckless driving if he drives a motor vehicle:

   (1) In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property; or

   (2) In a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.

(b) Negligent driving. -- A person is guilty of negligent driving if he drives a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual.

HISTORY: An. Code 1957, art. 66 1/2, § 11-901; 1977, ch. 14, § 2; 2000, ch. 315.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 24, 2013, 10:52:01 PM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 25, 2013, 09:42:56 AM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.

I believe police officers have discretion in enforcing the law.  sometimes they issue the ticket up to the severity of the infraction, other times they let you go with a lesser ticket, a written warning, or a verbal warning.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2013, 10:27:34 AM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.

I believe police officers have discretion in enforcing the law.  sometimes they issue the ticket up to the severity of the infraction, other times they let you go with a lesser ticket, a written warning, or a verbal warning.

Correct, they do. The instance I observed was one where I was in court for another matter and they called a case involving a guy who got a simple speeding ticket for going 98 in a 55 zone (I-66 west of Fair Oaks Mall....may not mean much to you since you're not from around here....it's a road that was upgraded in the 1990s and is now four lanes per side, wide, smooth, good shoulders, you could land a smaller airplane on it). The judge asked the cop why he didn't write a reckless ticket and the cop replied that it was night, the moon was full and bright, the weather was dry, there was almost nobody on the road, and the defendant was driving a brand-new Corvette with temporary plates, so the cop felt that he was not posing an unreasonable danger to himself or to anyone else and that he gave in to the temptation to see what the new car could do. The judge accepted it, didn't rag on the cop for not writing the "bigger" ticket. I kind of respected that cop for showing some reasonable thought.

But anyway, my point in my reply to cpzilliacus was more that if the statute said speeding over 80 mph were prima facie reckless driving, it would be a situation of what we call a "rebuttable presumption"—the conduct is presumed to be reckless driving and the motorist would have the burden of proving that even if he were exceeding 80 mph, it did not rise to the level of reckless driving because he was not endangering himself or anyone else or anyone's property (the so-called "general rule" for reckless driving under another Virginia statute—it's not quite worded the way I just put it, but that's the general principle). The statute doesn't allow that kind of defense—it says that speed in excess of 80 mph is reckless driving, assuming of course that the officer charges you with a violation of that particular statute. That means that you can't argue that even though your speed was over 80 you shouldn't be convicted of reckless based on not endangering anyone.

As I said before, I think it's a bit of a "gotcha" law now that we have more widespread 70-mph speed limits, simply because most people would not view 11 mph over the limit as inherently reckless. It was more of an issue a few years ago when there was a short-lived law tagging Virginia residents (NOT out-of-staters) with so-called "abusive driver fees" for certain tickets. I know there are people who say "the law is the law" and "if you don't want to pay the penalty, don't speed." Fair enough. But does any rational person (meaning you set aside the most hyper anti-car types) really believe that going 81 mph in a 70-mph zone should be grounds for a $3000 penalty on top of the ticket, again assuming there are no aggravating circumstances like heavy traffic or bad weather?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on January 25, 2013, 10:33:41 AM

Correct, they do. The instance I observed was one where I was in court for another matter and they called a case involving a guy who got a simple speeding ticket for going 98 in a 55 zone (I-66 west of Fair Oaks Mall....may not mean much to you since you're not from around here....it's a road that was upgraded in the 1990s and is now four lanes per side, wide, smooth, good shoulders, you could land a smaller airplane on it). The judge asked the cop why he didn't write a reckless ticket and the cop replied that it was night, the moon was full and bright, the weather was dry, there was almost nobody on the road, and the defendant was driving a brand-new Corvette with temporary plates, so the cop felt that he was not posing an unreasonable danger to himself or to anyone else and that he gave in to the temptation to see what the new car could do. The judge accepted it, didn't rag on the cop for not writing the "bigger" ticket. I kind of respected that cop for showing some reasonable thought.

now I'm wondering why the case ended up in court.  if I got busted for a 98 in a 55 and the cop gave me me a lenient ticket when he could've given me a reckless driving instead... I'd happily mail in the fine and take the insurance hit!!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2013, 11:05:25 AM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.

You  are correct, but I disagree with the law as passed by the Virginia General Assembly.  There are plenty of  times  when 80 MPH is reckless driving, but not always.

I have to wonder how many people that get charged with reckless driving were doing nothing more than driving driving 80 MPH.  I get the impression that some cops know the difference, but that others automatically write the reckless driving charge if the clock a vehicle at or above 80.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2013, 11:21:38 AM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.

I believe police officers have discretion in enforcing the law.  sometimes they issue the ticket up to the severity of the infraction, other times they let you go with a lesser ticket, a written warning, or a verbal warning.

Correct, they do. The instance I observed was one where I was in court for another matter and they called a case involving a guy who got a simple speeding ticket for going 98 in a 55 zone (I-66 west of Fair Oaks Mall....may not mean much to you since you're not from around here....it's a road that was upgraded in the 1990s and is now four lanes per side, wide, smooth, good shoulders, you could land a smaller airplane on it). The judge asked the cop why he didn't write a reckless ticket and the cop replied that it was night, the moon was full and bright, the weather was dry, there was almost nobody on the road, and the defendant was driving a brand-new Corvette with temporary plates, so the cop felt that he was not posing an unreasonable danger to himself or to anyone else and that he gave in to the temptation to see what the new car could do. The judge accepted it, didn't rag on the cop for not writing the "bigger" ticket. I kind of respected that cop for showing some reasonable thought.

That part of I-66 (now from U.S. 29 at Gainesville to U.S. 50 at Fair Oaks) is quite safe at 100 MPH  when traffic is light (as long as they don't try to exit at some of the sharp ramps at the interchanges, which were not especially upgraded when I-66 was reconstructed).  I don't think people should drive that fast, but doing so in the middle of the night when the pavement is dry is not especially dangerous.

The cop (and the judge) showed professionalism and integrity in that case.

But anyway, my point in my reply to cpzilliacus was more that if the statute said speeding over 80 mph were prima facie reckless driving, it would be a situation of what we call a "rebuttable presumption"—the conduct is presumed to be reckless driving and the motorist would have the burden of proving that even if he were exceeding 80 mph, it did not rise to the level of reckless driving because he was not endangering himself or anyone else or anyone's property (the so-called "general rule" for reckless driving under another Virginia statute—it's not quite worded the way I just put it, but that's the general principle). The statute doesn't allow that kind of defense—it says that speed in excess of 80 mph is reckless driving, assuming of course that the officer charges you with a violation of that particular statute. That means that you can't argue that even though your speed was over 80 you shouldn't be convicted of reckless based on not endangering anyone.

As I said before, I think it's a bit of a "gotcha" law now that we have more widespread 70-mph speed limits, simply because most people would not view 11 mph over the limit as inherently reckless. It was more of an issue a few years ago when there was a short-lived law tagging Virginia residents (NOT out-of-staters) with so-called "abusive driver fees" for certain tickets. I know there are people who say "the law is the law" and "if you don't want to pay the penalty, don't speed." Fair enough. But does any rational person (meaning you set aside the most hyper anti-car types) really believe that going 81 mph in a 70-mph zone should be grounds for a $3000 penalty on top of the ticket, again assuming there are no aggravating circumstances like heavy traffic or bad weather?

I agree with all of the above.  And the other thing that annoys me about Virginia reckless driving charges is this - I  know several people who have gotten charged with violating one of those reckless driving provisions in the Code of Virginia (I recall seeing that there are a few more hits beyond 46.2-862), including the mother of a team-mate of my stepson who was (very properly) cited for reckless driving for doing 70+ on an arterial highway in  Fairfax County (might have been 7 or 123), yet every one of them got the reckless driving charged reduced to something much less serious by retaining an attorney to represent them and then doing a plea agreement with the Commonwealth's Attorney.  I am not knocking members of the Virginia Bar for representing their clients well (that's what they are supposed to do), but in the case of the team-mate's mother, she deserved that charge, and deserved to be convicted (she has had several reasonably serious traffic charges in Maryland, so her speeding in Fairfax County was not an isolated event).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 25, 2013, 11:37:24 AM
Va. Code 46.2-862 defines reckless driving based on speed as follows:

Quote
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.

So it's more than merely prima facie. I have seen people who weren't charged with reckless at speeds in excess of 90 mph in Virginia, but that's the exception and not the norm.

You  are correct, but I disagree with the law as passed by the Virginia General Assembly.  There are plenty of  times  when 80 MPH is reckless driving, but not always.

I have to wonder how many people that get charged with reckless driving were doing nothing more than driving driving 80 MPH.  I get the impression that some cops know the difference, but that others automatically write the reckless driving charge if the clock a vehicle at or above 80.

Sure, I don't dispute anything you say here. I had just been responding to your earlier query about whether the statute made speeds greater than 80 mph prima facie reckless. I noted that it does not do that. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the existing law is a separate question from what the law is.




Correct, they do. The instance I observed was one where I was in court for another matter and they called a case involving a guy who got a simple speeding ticket for going 98 in a 55 zone (I-66 west of Fair Oaks Mall....may not mean much to you since you're not from around here....it's a road that was upgraded in the 1990s and is now four lanes per side, wide, smooth, good shoulders, you could land a smaller airplane on it). The judge asked the cop why he didn't write a reckless ticket and the cop replied that it was night, the moon was full and bright, the weather was dry, there was almost nobody on the road, and the defendant was driving a brand-new Corvette with temporary plates, so the cop felt that he was not posing an unreasonable danger to himself or to anyone else and that he gave in to the temptation to see what the new car could do. The judge accepted it, didn't rag on the cop for not writing the "bigger" ticket. I kind of respected that cop for showing some reasonable thought.

now I'm wondering why the case ended up in court.  if I got busted for a 98 in a 55 and the cop gave me me a lenient ticket when he could've given me a reckless driving instead... I'd happily mail in the fine and take the insurance hit!!

I don't know, but the defendant didn't appear, so I'm guessing he was just a dumbass.



.... I am not knocking members of the Virginia Bar for representing their clients well (that's what they are supposed to do) ....

We appreciate the kind thought!  :-D
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on January 25, 2013, 04:09:11 PM
Fair enough. But does any rational person (meaning you set aside the most hyper anti-car types) really believe that going 81 mph in a 70-mph zone should be grounds for a $3000 penalty on top of the ticket, again assuming there are no aggravating circumstances like heavy traffic or bad weather?

The bigger problem in my eyes are the criminal misdemeanor charges. Putting driving 11mph over the limit in the same league as drunk driving (a much more serious offense) and giving people a criminal history for something viewed as minor and routine in other states is flat out ridiculous. In NJ, 11mph over the limit is a 2 point offense and a $95 fine ($160 in 65mph zones or designated safe corridors). Doing 80mph with a max limit of 65mph in NJ is 4 points and a $180 fine. Most states are like this, but not silly Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: oscar on January 25, 2013, 05:01:03 PM
And the other thing that annoys me about Virginia reckless driving charges is this - I  know several people who have gotten charged with violating one of those reckless driving provisions in the Code of Virginia (I recall seeing that there are a few more hits beyond 46.2-862), including the mother of a team-mate of my stepson who was (very properly) cited for reckless driving for doing 70+ on an arterial highway in  Fairfax County (might have been 7 or 123), yet every one of them got the reckless driving charged reduced to something much less serious by retaining an attorney to represent them and then doing a plea agreement with the Commonwealth's Attorney.  I am not knocking members of the Virginia Bar for representing their clients well (that's what they are supposed to do), but in the case of the team-mate's mother, she deserved that charge, and deserved to be convicted (she has had several reasonably serious traffic charges in Maryland, so her speeding in Fairfax County was not an isolated event).

One of the quirks of Virginia law is that you can be convicted of the lesser charge of "improper driving" only if you're charged initially with reckless driving (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-869).  Some of the "reckless" tickets may've been issued in anticipation of the charge being later reduced to "improper", which is what would've been charged at the outset had that been an option. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 25, 2013, 05:26:16 PM
And the other thing that annoys me about Virginia reckless driving charges is this - I  know several people who have gotten charged with violating one of those reckless driving provisions in the Code of Virginia (I recall seeing that there are a few more hits beyond 46.2-862), including the mother of a team-mate of my stepson who was (very properly) cited for reckless driving for doing 70+ on an arterial highway in  Fairfax County (might have been 7 or 123), yet every one of them got the reckless driving charged reduced to something much less serious by retaining an attorney to represent them and then doing a plea agreement with the Commonwealth's Attorney.  I am not knocking members of the Virginia Bar for representing their clients well (that's what they are supposed to do), but in the case of the team-mate's mother, she deserved that charge, and deserved to be convicted (she has had several reasonably serious traffic charges in Maryland, so her speeding in Fairfax County was not an isolated event).

One of the quirks of Virginia law is that you can be convicted of the lesser charge of "improper driving" only if you're charged initially with reckless driving (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-869).  Some of the "reckless" tickets may've been issued in anticipation of the charge being later reduced to "improper", which is what would've been charged at the outset had that been an option.

Apparently members of the Virginia Bar that defend clients charged with reckless driving also sometimes have gotten the charge reduced to "improper equipment" (I am not sure what that that is - defective speedometer maybe?).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on January 25, 2013, 06:17:04 PM
Apparently members of the Virginia Bar that defend clients charged with reckless driving also sometimes have gotten the charge reduced to "improper equipment" (I am not sure what that that is - defective speedometer maybe?).

Equipment violations are a common plea down charge, and don't have any points associated with them since they are non-moving violations. They usually do that in exchange for a big fat fine, because after all, its about making money and not roadway safety.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2013, 10:10:19 AM
The Virginian-Pilot followed a VDOT Safety Service Patrol guy on his rounds on the (snow-covered) Hampton Roads freeway network and put the resulting video (just over 2 minutes long) on YouTube. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8VR2sEHqb0&sns=em (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8VR2sEHqb0&sns=em)

I have to wonder if some of the drivers featured in the video know that they have 4-wheel drive and how to engage same.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2013, 10:12:45 AM
Equipment violations are a common plea down charge, and don't have any points associated with them since they are non-moving violations. They usually do that in exchange for a big fat fine, because after all, its about making money and not roadway safety.

In Maryland, an equipment violation results in a so-called Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO), which does not carry any fine.  The owner of the vehicle is required to get the defective equipment repaired and then take the vehicle to a certified Maryland vehicle inspector (or a state police barrack) and get a sign-off that the repairs have been completed.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: bsmart on January 31, 2013, 08:21:21 PM
Equipment violations are a common plea down charge, and don't have any points associated with them since they are non-moving violations. They usually do that in exchange for a big fat fine, because after all, its about making money and not roadway safety.

In Maryland, an equipment violation results in a so-called Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO), which does not carry any fine.  The owner of the vehicle is required to get the defective equipment repaired and then take the vehicle to a certified Maryland vehicle inspector (or a state police barrack) and get a sign-off that the repairs have been completed.

Actually you don't have to go to a Barracks. I recently got one for a burnt out headlight and after fixing it just caught up with one of our town deputies when he was at a local gas station . He looked at the light, had me flash the high beam and signed it off.  Then I just had to mail it in.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 31, 2013, 08:50:52 PM
Equipment violations are a common plea down charge, and don't have any points associated with them since they are non-moving violations. They usually do that in exchange for a big fat fine, because after all, its about making money and not roadway safety.

In Maryland, an equipment violation results in a so-called Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO), which does not carry any fine.  The owner of the vehicle is required to get the defective equipment repaired and then take the vehicle to a certified Maryland vehicle inspector (or a state police barrack) and get a sign-off that the repairs have been completed.

Actually you don't have to go to a Barracks. I recently got one for a burnt out headlight and after fixing it just caught up with one of our town deputies when he was at a local gas station . He looked at the light, had me flash the high beam and signed it off.  Then I just had to mail it in.

Not all county/municipal cops will sign-off on those SEROs. 

Another good alternative (if there's one in your county) is a truck weigh/inspection station. 

If you ask someone there nicely, they will usually check things out and give you a sign-off.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 04, 2013, 02:38:39 PM
Anyone else noticed the annoying inability of certain online mapping programs (in particular, Mapquest) to distinguish between Virginia's primary  system of highways and the secondary system?  Mapquest labels them all as primary system, as does the Verizon Wireless GPS software.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 04, 2013, 04:11:55 PM
Anyone else noticed the annoying inability of certain online mapping programs (in particular, Mapquest) to distinguish between Virginia's primary  system of highways and the secondary system?  Mapquest labels them all as primary system, as does the Verizon Wireless GPS software.

Google has been struggling with it for awhile. They were labeling NC's SSRs as county routes for a period of time. I have also noticed that they have been labeling some county routes in NJ as state routes as well.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 05, 2013, 12:36:15 PM
The Washington Post reports the House of Delegates PASSED the Governor's transportation funding plan with a modification—they eliminated the $100 "alternative-fuel vehicle" fee (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/virginia-house-passes-governors-transportation-funding-bill/2013/02/05/9add9682-6fb1-11e2-8b8d-e0b59a1b8e2a_story.html).

It still has to pass the Senate. Today is the "crossover" deadline by which each chamber had to finish work on its own bills before sending them to the other chamber or dropping them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 06, 2013, 06:42:02 PM
Channel 12 (WWBT, NBC): VDOT steps up highway sign safety inspections (http://www.nbc12.com/story/20974006/12-investigates-vdot-steps-up-highway-sign-safety-inspections)

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -Last year, two of the giant, green overhead signs you see up and down the interstate collapsed into oncoming traffic - leading NBC12 to ask VDOT: are Virginia's highways safe? (http://www.nbc12.com/story/19037222/12-investigates-vdot-road-sign-inspections)

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A 2,000 pound sign and pole crashed down onto I-95 in Prince George on January 17, 2012. Less than a month later, it happens again - this time on I-66 in northern Virginia. A 30-foot high sign topples onto the road, striking a pick-up truck.

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In both cases, VDOT was lucky no one was hurt. On both days, there was high wind.

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In both signs, the anchor bolts failed.

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The base is probably the most critical part of the sign, and the anchor bolts that go deep into the ground hold the sign in place.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 09, 2013, 09:33:00 PM
PilotOnline.COM (Virginian-Pilot): Quality of pothole-repair work questioned  (http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2013/02/quality-potholerepair-work-questioned)

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NORFOLK

In 2008, the state agreed to pay $32 million to a private company over five years to maintain the interstates in South Hampton Roads, a job that included routine pothole repair.

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The contract said those fixes should work like this: Damage equal to or bigger than a certain size - 6 inches by 6 inches by 1 1/2 inches deep - must be patched immediately upon notice. Everything else must be fixed within two days. A report detailing how everything is done on time is due monthly to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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But something isn't working, say local representatives on the Commonwealth Transportation Board, a body appointed by the governor that allocates highway funding and establishes policy.

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Their evidence: Just look at the roads.

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"It's unacceptable and it's dangerous," board member Shep Miller said. He said he has blown three tires on local interstates since October, including two in January before a stretch of freezing weather made the situation even worse.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 12, 2013, 09:27:47 PM
PilotOnline.COM (Virginian-Pilot): Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to get commuter deal (http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2013/02/chesapeake-bay-bridgetunnel-get-commuter-deal)

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Commuters who use the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel at least 30 times every 30 days will be eligible for $5 trips each way beginning in early 2014.

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The commission that oversees the 18-mile span between the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach approved the discount today by an 7-3 vote, said Jeff Holland, executive director of the bridge-tunnel district. Currently, commuters must pay $12 one-way and can get a $5 trip back if they save their receipt and return within 24 hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2013, 01:23:27 AM
D.C. Examiner:  Fairfax supervisors argue over parkway's future: Widening or mass transit? (http://washingtonexaminer.com/fairfax-supervisors-argue-over-parkways-future-widening-or-mass-transit/article/2521361)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2013, 06:55:48 PM
PilotOnline.COM (Virginian-Pilot): Quality of pothole-repair work questioned  (http://hamptonroads.com.nyud.net/2013/02/quality-potholerepair-work-questioned)

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The contract said those fixes should work like this: Damage equal to or bigger than a certain size - 6 inches by 6 inches by 1 1/2 inches deep - must be patched immediately upon notice. Everything else must be fixed within two days. A report detailing how everything is done on time is due monthly to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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Their evidence: Just look at the roads.

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"It's unacceptable and it's dangerous," board member Shep Miller said. He said he has blown three tires on local interstates since October, including two in January before a stretch of freezing weather made the situation even worse.

More from WVEC (Channel 13, ABC): Drivers wanting refunds for pothole damage may be out of luck (http://www.wvec.com/news/local/Drivers-wanting-refund-for-damage-caused-by-potholes-may-be-out-of-luck-190911261.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2013, 07:01:05 PM
PilotOnline.COM (Virginian-Pilot): Portsmouth council set to give $50,000 to tolls lawsuit (http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/portsmouth-council-set-give-50000-tolls-lawsuit)

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The City Council is moving toward making a $50,000 donation of public money to help fund a lawsuit that seeks to defeat the Midtown and Downtown tunnel toll project.

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Council members directed staff Tuesday night to bring them a resolution by their next meeting authorizing the expenditure. The action would buck the advice of former City Attorney Tim Oksman, who had warned council members last spring and again in the fall against contributing to the lawsuit, saying the city would face retribution from legislators aligned with Gov. Bob McDonnell in the form of reduced state funding.

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Oksman left the city in December, however, after council members requested and accepted his resignation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 15, 2013, 06:47:24 PM
WTOP Radio: Traffic flow on I-66 at failing levels during rush hour (http://www.wtop.com/654/3226540/I-66-traffic-Epic-fail-congestion-to-double)

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Traffic flow on key stretches of Interstate 66 is at failing levels during rush hour.

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A new study finds the amount of time that I-66 is jammed could double to ten hours a day in each direction within 30 years.

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"The existing roadways are over capacity now," says Angel Deem, VDOT environmental project manager. "Through our analysis when we just ran the traffic model to say 'okay, if you were to add traditional highway lanes, how many would be needed?' and it comes out to nine additional lanes in each direction, which of course is not sensible."

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The Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement on multimodal options in the I-66 corridor from the Beltway to Haymarket finds that a "no-build" situation, which would leave things as-is, is simply not a viable option, either as more people move to the outer suburbs and commute or as people travel to places like Tysons Corner and the District.

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Among the problems identified beyond a lack of multimodal options is how hard it is to predict how long a trip will take.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on February 16, 2013, 01:55:13 AM
They're just now discovering that? I could've told them that in 1990 and I was only six years old then.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 16, 2013, 01:44:58 PM
That study reminds me of the one that found that men get horny when we see hot chicks. They needed to pay someone to tell them that?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 19, 2013, 01:55:51 AM
Washington Post:  Transportation conferees take up new plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/transportation-conferees-take-up-new-plan/2013/02/18/6642b530-7a2c-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html)

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RICHMOND — House and Senate negotiators considered an entirely new transportation funding plan Monday, as they met for a second day of haggling over what could be the most important legislation of the General Assembly session.

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The 10-member conference committee is trying to reconcile House and Senate bills aimed at establishing a sustainable funding source for one of the nation’s largest and most congested road systems — one on track to run out of construction funds by 2017.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 20, 2013, 11:01:18 PM
Washington Post editorial: A transportation funding breakthrough in Va. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-transportation-funding-breakthrough-in-va/2013/02/20/3f5d8674-7bae-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html)

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IT MAY STILL BE a work in progress, but the compromise transportation funding plan taking shape in Richmond has the look of a workable deal — and possibly a historic one — precisely because it challenges orthodoxies held dear by each party. To become law, it will still need an all-out push from Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), with help from Senate Democrats.

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Hammered out in negotiations by 10 lawmakers — five Republicans and five Democrats — the proposal would raise some $3.5 billion for statewide roads and rails over five years and $880 million annually thereafter. Northern Virginia, where a sclerotic transportation network threatens to choke the state’s most dynamic regional economy, would get hundreds of millions more, including $300 million to complete Metro’s Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on February 23, 2013, 12:25:35 PM
Error #1:  there were only 2 Democrats on the conference committee, not 5.

Second, it should be noted that the conference agreement (approved by the House, to be voted on by the Senate today) would prohibit tolling of existing I-95 lanes south of Fredericksburg.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 23, 2013, 05:10:33 PM
Error #1:  there were only 2 Democrats on the conference committee, not 5.

Second, it should be noted that the conference agreement (approved by the House, to be voted on by the Senate today) would prohibit tolling of existing I-95 lanes south of Fredericksburg.

The article I saw in the Times-Dispatch said it prohibits VDOT from tolling unless specifically authorized by the General Assembly (in essence, they'll need a future law authorizing the specific tolls in question).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 23, 2013, 11:40:49 PM
Error #1:  there were only 2 Democrats on the conference committee, not 5.

Second, it should be noted that the conference agreement (approved by the House, to be voted on by the Senate today) would prohibit tolling of existing I-95 lanes south of Fredericksburg.

Wonder if there is an exception for PPTA projects to impose tolls?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 24, 2013, 08:45:35 AM
Richmond Times-Dispatch:  Assembly passes landmark transportation package - ‘Historic day’ in Va., governor says as session concludes (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/government-politics/assembly-passes-landmark-transportation-package/article_2c90df49-b6f3-5448-8d87-44272c369da2.html)

Washington Post: Virginia lawmakers approve sweeping transportation plan (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/va-lawmakers-approve-landmark-transportation-plan/2013/02/23/712969d8-7de4-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html)

I believe this is the final, marked-up bill that passed in Richmond:  HOUSE BILL NO. 2313 (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB2313H4)

Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on General Assembly Passage of Historic Transportation Legislation (http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=1693)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2013, 02:51:01 PM
VDOT press release: EXPECT MAJOR DELAYS ON I-95 THIS WEEKEND FOR OVERBROOK ROAD BRIDGE REPLACEMENT - Traffic to one lane in each direction 8 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday (http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/richmond/2013/expect_major_delays_on63823.asp)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on February 25, 2013, 07:06:35 PM
Quote
Wonder if there is an exception for PPTA projects to impose tolls?

Only if it were completely privately funded.  The transportation bill prohibits any state funds from being used.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2013, 09:12:42 PM
Quote
Wonder if there is an exception for PPTA projects to impose tolls?

Only if it were completely privately funded.  The transportation bill prohibits any state funds from being used.


There are a lot of people in Virginia that are not pleased about the private involvement in these PPTA projects. 

Are they angry enough and are there enough of them to make a difference in the Virginia elections later this year? I don't know.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 26, 2013, 04:13:01 PM
Washington Post: Virginia to begin work on new I-66 traffic management system (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/02/26/virginia-to-begin-work-on-new-i-66-traffic-management-system/)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 02, 2013, 10:04:41 PM
Washington Post editorial: Legislators who seem to like being stuck in traffic (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/legislators-who-seem-to-like-being-stuck-in-traffic/2013/03/02/4e90ecd6-81f2-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html)

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VIRGINIA’S LEGISLATURE has enacted the most important transportation funding bill in 27 years, a measure bringing billions to fix Northern Virginia’s crumbling roads and horrible traffic. Amazingly, 12 of 40 Northern Virginia lawmakers — nine Republicans and three Democrats — voted against it, thumbing their noses at the first politically feasible solution to rush-hour misery. Here are their names:

In the Senate: Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun); Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria); J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (D-Fairfax); and Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Fauquier).

In the House of Delegates: Richard L. Anderson (R-Prince William); Mark L. Cole (R-Spotsylvania); Barbara J. Comstock (R-Fairfax); Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax); L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William); Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William); Jackson H. Miller (R-Manassas); David I. Ramadan (R-Loudoun); and Scott A. Surovell (D-Mount Vernon).

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In thrall to anti-tax orthodoxy, many Republicans barely bothered to explain their no votes. Most clung to the fantasy that Virginia could cannibalize money for roads from other services, like education. But as Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican, conceded, the state’s budget is already lean, and Democrats would not go along with robbing schools to pay for roads.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 03, 2013, 10:03:54 AM
They got Surovell's opposition all wrong in that editorial.  He clearly explained his "no" vote at his Town Hall meeting a few weeks ago...it had little to do with the dollar figures and everything to do with what he says is needed VDOT and CTB reform.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 03:22:33 PM
They got Surovell's opposition all wrong in that editorial.  He clearly explained his "no" vote at his Town Hall meeting a few weeks ago...it had little to do with the dollar figures and everything to do with what he says is needed VDOT and CTB reform.

Though as others have said, politics is about the "C" word - compromise.  There are many things I don't like about that compromise (and as you know, I don't live in Virginia), but it results in a modest increase in state transportation funding, and that is a good thing.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 03, 2013, 05:36:12 PM
It looks as though there are going to be some lawsuits filed (by the usual suspects) seeking to have the transportation bill (or law, I guess, as by then it'd be signed) declared unconstitutional under the state constitution. I'm not privy to the details, but I understand some of the objections center around a constitutional provision requiring the General Assembly to enact the same tax rates statewide when imposing taxes. I have not bothered to do the legal research to look up the provision at issue, much less whether I'd think it might apply in this case. I do know that one of the attorneys who is likely to be involved, a guy down in the Richmond area, is a brilliant attorney who knows Virginia constitutional law inside and out.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 07:53:41 PM
It looks as though there are going to be some lawsuits filed (by the usual suspects) seeking to have the transportation bill (or law, I guess, as by then it'd be signed) declared unconstitutional under the state constitution. I'm not privy to the details, but I understand some of the objections center around a constitutional provision requiring the General Assembly to enact the same tax rates statewide when imposing taxes. I have not bothered to do the legal research to look up the provision at issue, much less whether I'd think it might apply in this case. I do know that one of the attorneys who is likely to be involved, a guy down in the Richmond area, is a brilliant attorney who knows Virginia constitutional law inside and out.

I am not a member of the Virginia Bar (or any other Bar), but I don't think that objection is going to work, because the Commonwealth has been doing something similar for many years.  I recall reading someplace that laws enacted by the Virginia General Assembly are given great deference by the Virginia courts (perhaps more than in some other states), and are presumed to be constitutional.

I do know that § 58.1-1720 (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+58.1-1720) of the Code of Virginia allows the collection of an "extra" motor fuel tax in the cities and counties that are in the Northern Virginia Transportation District (all of that revenue goes to fund part of the Virginia share of the WMATA operating deficits). The online Code of Virginia says that this section is repealed effective 1 July 2013, but I presume that's because it has been put in some new section of the laws as part of the new transportation funding bill.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on March 03, 2013, 08:59:35 PM
This year's funding bill didn't affect it.  It was basically a housekeeping bill (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+CHAP0225) enacted last year.  Effective this July, old Sections 58.1-1718.1 thru 58.1-1724.4 of the Virginia Code are replaced by Sections 58.1-2291 thru 58.1-2299.20.  Section 58.1-1720 has basically been replaced by Section 58.1-2295 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+58.1-2295).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 09:29:12 PM
This year's funding bill didn't affect it.  It was basically a housekeeping bill (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+ful+CHAP0225) enacted last year.  Effective this July, old Sections 58.1-1718.1 thru 58.1-1724.4 of the Virginia Code are replaced by Sections 58.1-2291 thru 58.1-2299.20.  Section 58.1-1720 has basically been replaced by Section 58.1-2295 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+58.1-2295).

Wow!  I am impressed!
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 03, 2013, 09:48:07 PM
I am not a member of the Virginia Bar (or any other Bar), but I don't think that objection is going to work, because the Commonwealth has been doing something similar for many years.  I recall reading someplace that laws enacted by the Virginia General Assembly are given great deference by the Virginia courts (perhaps more than in some other states), and are presumed to be constitutional.

....

That presumption does exist but isn't all that big a deal if indeed a law violates the Virginia constitution. A few years back our Supreme Court threw out the law in which the General Assembly purported to allow the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to decide whether to impose certain regional taxes, for example. (The General Assembly can't delegate that power to an unelected body.)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 04, 2013, 12:23:05 AM
That presumption does exist but isn't all that big a deal if indeed a law violates the Virginia constitution. A few years back our Supreme Court threw out the law in which the General Assembly purported to allow the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to decide whether to impose certain regional taxes, for example. (The General Assembly can't delegate that power to an unelected body.)

Yeah, I recall that law and the ruling that nullified it. That was after the attempt to have bad drivers fund Virginia's transportation system with those "abusive driver fees."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 04, 2013, 09:32:49 AM
That presumption does exist but isn't all that big a deal if indeed a law violates the Virginia constitution. A few years back our Supreme Court threw out the law in which the General Assembly purported to allow the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to decide whether to impose certain regional taxes, for example. (The General Assembly can't delegate that power to an unelected body.)

Yeah, I recall that law and the ruling that nullified it. That was after the attempt to have bad drivers fund Virginia's transportation system with those "abusive driver fees."

I think it was around the same time. The Supreme Court ruling on the NVTA came about a week before the General Assembly repealed those "fees."
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 04, 2013, 09:57:27 AM
That presumption does exist but isn't all that big a deal if indeed a law violates the Virginia constitution. A few years back our Supreme Court threw out the law in which the General Assembly purported to allow the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to decide whether to impose certain regional taxes, for example. (The General Assembly can't delegate that power to an unelected body.)

Yeah, I recall that law and the ruling that nullified it. That was after the attempt to have bad drivers fund Virginia's transportation system with those "abusive driver fees."

I think it was around the same time. The Supreme Court ruling on the NVTA came about a week before the General Assembly repealed those "fees."

Sounds about right.

What I don't understand about transportation funding in general and highway funding in particular in the Commonwealth of Virginia is that Northern Virginia (and Hampton Roads, too) have needs that are very expensive as compared to much of the rest of the state (Hampton Roads has lots of water to cross over or under, and NoVa has a very expensive Metrorail system, in addition to a frequently inadequate highway network).  And the Senators and Delegates from OthVa  (the other parts of the state) know full well that NoVa pays a disproportionate share of state income taxes to Richmond, and gets (relatively) little in return - but the idea that (in particular) Northern Virginia might (might) get back more than it sends down I-95 in the  form of highway user revenues is absolutely repellant to many members of the General Assembly from OthVa. 

Then there are the doctrinaire senators and delegates from NoVa that repeatedly vote their opposition to more highway funding, even though the private sector (with three prominent exceptions) has not shown much  interest in building capacity in NoVa.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 05, 2013, 10:02:25 PM
Washington Post: Va. transportation officials draw ire at town hall on Pr. William’s Bi-County Parkway (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/va-transportation-officials-draw-ire-at-town-hall-on-pr-williams-bi-county-parkway/2013/03/05/ec2975f4-85ca-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_blog.html)

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State transportation officials methodically laid out their plans Monday for a proposed four-lane parkway through western Prince William County during a packed and often tense town hall meeting.

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Few of the 300 or so residents who attended, however, were likely to have left the forum at Bull Run Middle School in Gainesville satisfied, as the prospect of a Bi-County Parkway connecting I-66 in Prince William to Route 50 in Loudoun County appears increasingly likely.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 07, 2013, 09:51:15 AM
Washington Post: Deal is near to shift traffic out of Manassas battlefield park (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/manassas-battlefield-deal-is-close-to-shift-traffic-out-of-va-park/2013/03/06/77146392-869b-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html)

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The National Park Service and Virginia authorities are close to signing a major Civil War battlefield preservation deal that eventually would close two congested roads that slice through the twice-hallowed ground at Manassas.

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The agreement, which could be signed by the summer, would provide for routes 234 and 29 to be shut down inside Manassas National Battlefield Park. That would happen once new highways are built along the western and northern edges of the battlefield and serve as bypasses.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on March 07, 2013, 09:42:29 PM
Many original I-195 and VA 195 shields in the City of Richmond are now gone as the city works to improve its horrendous signage. Collateral damage, I suppose...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on March 07, 2013, 10:36:45 PM
The ones that we saw downtown during the meet? What about the overhead?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on March 08, 2013, 12:15:04 AM
The ones that we saw downtown during the meet? What about the overhead?

Most of the ones we saw downtown have been replaced. The overheads (i.e. the VA 195 one we saw and the ones on the southbound Manchester Bridge we didn't) are still there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 12, 2013, 05:34:40 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch:  RMA head to pitch restructuring proposal - Brown wants assembly nod for same number of seats for counties, city (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/rma-head-to-pitch-restructuring-proposal/article_e5cffd10-a170-5db5-9e6b-04f1fc7d04f6.html)

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The chairman of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority will pitch a proposal today to restructure the regional entity to carry out transportation initiatives and other major capital projects in the metropolitan area.

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Carlos M. Brown, a Dominion Resources Inc. lawyer who became chairman of the RMA Board of Directors in June, said he will propose a three-phase process he hopes will result in legislation next year to equalize board representation among Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield and Henrico.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 13, 2013, 06:17:01 AM
Washington Post editorial: Tinkering could kill Virginia’s transportation bill (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tinkering-could-kill-virginias-transportation-funding-bill/2013/03/12/d8378ca4-8a8c-11e2-8d72-dc76641cb8d4_story.html)

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LAST MONTH Virginia lawmakers enacted the most important state transportation-funding bill in 27 years. Since then irate conservatives have been pounding on Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican who generally supports the measure, to water it down by amending it. Opponents have taken particular aim at a provision that would raise as much as $500 million annually for road and rail projects in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, the state’s most congested regions, on top of $880 million in new statewide funding by 2018.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 21, 2013, 05:18:51 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: State roads poised for $4B - Money would become available if governor signs legislation on his desk (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/government-politics/state-roads-poised-for-b/article_5d802920-9417-5568-b523-b5b16445e6d0.html)

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For the first time in four years, Virginia’s six-year plan for road construction will mean something.

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The state would receive an additional $4 billion for its six-year plan — and possibly more, depending on the fate of legislation in Congress to tax Internet sales — under legislation awaiting the signature of Gov. Bob McDonnell that would raise state tax revenues for transportation for the first time in 27 years.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 22, 2013, 10:39:34 AM
WTOP Radio: Express Lanes construction to bring more detours in Va. (http://www.wtop.com/41/3259383/Express-Lanes-construction-to-bring-more-detours-in-Va)

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WASHINGTON - More detours and shutdowns are planned as part of the Interstate 95 Express Lanes project, and drivers should be prepared for their commutes to get worse before they get better.

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Starting March 27, the Telegraph Road bridge over I-95 near Quantico will be closed. It will be removed so a new one can be built to accommodate the new Express lanes over the next nine months, if the weather cooperates.

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There will be detours to Russel Road.

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The demolition at times will shut down some lanes on both northbound and southbound I-95 in the overnight hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 22, 2013, 11:53:37 AM
I went to Old Town this morning and I was happy to note that the construction on the (other) Telegraph Road's bridge over the railroad and Metrorail tracks appears to be finished! The overpass is much nicer now. Didn't get any pictures, though, because right as I was about to snap one the guy in front of me swerved....guess he realized he was in the wrong lane. The completion of that overpass is a milestone, as it was the final step of the Wilson Bridge project.

I suppose that guy swerving is better than what happened a little later, though. I was on US-1 (Henry Street) when suddenly an SUV with New York plates came around the corner from King Street headed straight for me. Why is this a problem? Because Henry Street is a one-way street headed south. (The guy appeared to realize his mistake quickly, as he cut a u-ie almost immediately after passing me.....good thing the traffic behind me was stopped at a red light about a block away!)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 25, 2013, 05:15:02 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch [Op-Ed]: RMA can be the route forward (http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/our-opinion/columnists-blogs/tom-silvestri/rma-can-be-the-route-forward/article_96f9c54d-5ac6-59f1-b230-b3e321e2d6a6.html)

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The latest discord among Richmond's biggest municipalities involves an organization that few people really know anything about.

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If you live in the Richmond Region, quiz your neighbors about the Richmond Metropolitan Authority and what it does.

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Don't feel bad if you get blank stares or requests to phone a friend. Some of the allegedly most-informed Richmonders don't know either.

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But ignorance is dangerous when it contributes to preventing a region from accomplishing big-results projects and improve-tomorrow initiatives that anticipate changing trends, such as population shifts and new quality-of-life needs.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 29, 2013, 01:37:12 PM
IMO, this is proof that even something odious like the City of Hopewell's revenue-raising operation on I-295 sometimes can yield positive benefits to society in spite of itself.

Richmond Times-Dispatch: N.J. man convicted of driving 95 mph with six unrestrained kids while high on heroin (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/central-virginia/n-j-man-convicted-of-driving-mph-with-six-unrestrained/article_640b0652-6ada-51ab-bc05-d39b65e63a16.html)

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When Hopewell sheriff’s Deputy Sean Godwin stopped Isaiah Hall last spring for speeding 95 mph on Interstate 295, he was surprised to see six children and another adult packed inside Hall’s van — none of them wearing safety belts or restrained in child seats.

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The youngsters, as it turned out, were Hall’s grandchildren, ages 4, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 15. The family, which included Hall’s adult daughter, was returning to East Orange, N.J., after attending a funeral in North Carolina.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: roadman65 on March 31, 2013, 12:31:04 PM
Here is an old map of the Richmond- Fredericksburg area before I-95 was built.  What is interesting is that VA 207 was used as a principal through route to US 1 from US 301 for Richmond instead of US 301 itself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/8605817529/in/photostream
Also, US 17 ended in Fredericksburg as north of there to Winchester was VA 17.
I thought that it would be interesting.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NE2 on March 31, 2013, 12:33:50 PM
207 is still the through route...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on March 31, 2013, 03:29:13 PM
Here is an old map of the Richmond- Fredericksburg area before I-95 was built.  What is interesting is that VA 207 was used as a principal through route to US 1 from US 301 for Richmond instead of US 301 itself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54480415@N08/8605817529/in/photostream
Also, US 17 ended in Fredericksburg as north of there to Winchester was VA 17.
I thought that it would be interesting.

Does that map have a Norfolk-Portsmouth inset and if so, does it show a VA 150 running from Portsmouth to Norfolk via the Midtown Tunnel?  This routing was on the books from 2/61-6/62 but I have never seen a map show it.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: roadman65 on March 31, 2013, 03:59:23 PM
207 is still the through route...
Yeah, that is why its amazing that 207 was a through route then .  Now with I-95 its understandable, but US 301 is the most direct route considering it also is the same as US 1.  With I-95 and VA 207 together its is shorter time wise than US 301 via Hanover.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 31, 2013, 06:46:34 PM
Here is an old map of the Richmond- Fredericksburg area before I-95 was built.  What is interesting is that VA 207 was used as a principal through route to US 1 from US 301 for Richmond instead of US 301 itself.

Effectively it still is. 

U.S. 301 between Bowling Green and  I-295 is mostly a two-lane arterial, though I have never found it to be congested.

But it has more of a "close to nature" feel than 207, and it always has.   
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 31, 2013, 07:22:28 PM
Robert Thomson (Dr. Gridlock) in the Washington Post: I-66 study shows difficult road ahead for Northern Virginia commuters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/i-66-study-shows-difficult-road-ahead-for-northern-virginia-commuters/2013/03/30/c5feaec0-933b-11e2-8ea1-956c94b6b5b9_story.html)

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How do commuters have the courage to get out of bed when they face a drive through the Interstate 66 corridor?

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The national study showing that the D.C. region has the worst congestion in the nation merely supplies bragging rights. It doesn’t pinpoint troubles on any particular route. But a new study for a Virginia transportation program provides a pavement-level view of the misery along the 25 miles of highway between Route 15 in Prince William County and the Capital Beltway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 02, 2013, 04:36:59 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: 5 killed in head-on collision on I-85 in Brunswick (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/killed-in-head-on-collision-on-i--in-brunswick/article_04288e98-9b82-11e2-9f5e-0019bb30f31a.html)

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Five people were killed this morning when a wrong-way pickup truck collided head-on with a car on Interstate 85,  destroying both vehicles to such an extent that authorities closed the southbound lanes for an extended period to sort through the wreckage.

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Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya said all five people were declared dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred shortly before dawn in I-85’s southbound lanes at mile marker 26 in Brunswick County, just southwest of Alberta.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 09, 2013, 04:31:53 PM
Just found this. I-95 (now I-395) under reconstruction in the early 1970s. Wow! Love the buses in the middle there.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/395_zps68e9ef33.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 09, 2013, 04:36:53 PM
a dirt construction detour of a paved road.  you see those more and more rarely these days.  my only encounters with such things in the US have been US-14 in Wyoming in 2006 (well done, a pilot car led everyone through a ~6 mile segment, and the dirt was well-graded) and US-18 in South Dakota in 2011 (disastrously bad).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 09, 2013, 06:06:09 PM
a dirt construction detour of a paved road.  you see those more and more rarely these days.  my only encounters with such things in the US have been US-14 in Wyoming in 2006 (well done, a pilot car led everyone through a ~6 mile segment, and the dirt was well-graded) and US-18 in South Dakota in 2011 (disastrously bad).

That's what we now call I-395 (Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway), along with the earliest days of the busway, which  morphed into the  HOV lanes in the mid-1970's, and is still one of the best facilities of its kind in the United States.

I believe it may have been better "paved" than what the image implies.  I seem to recall that the Virginia Department of Highways (VDH), predecessor agency to VDOT, had to provide an "all-weather" surface (stone chips and tar with some patches of asphalt) for the buses to drive on, primitive though it may have been.

This is approaching Va. 120 (South Glebe Road), and I believe the camera is looking northbound.  The creek in the foreground is Four Mile Run, and the overpass in the distance is to South Arlington Ridge Road.

If you look through the crane in to the left of the image, that apartment building still stands there today.

GSV of the same view (but Google does not use as good of a camera) here (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=shirlington+circle,+arlington+county,+va&hl=en&ll=38.841544,-77.083742&spn=0.002352,0.004823&safe=off&hnear=S+Shirlington+Rd,+Arlington,+Virginia&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.841544,-77.083742&panoid=EoHYrOWDjpfbNJwqzvzqbg&cbp=12,46.42,,0,2.7).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 09, 2013, 06:09:56 PM
Just found this. I-95 (now I-395) under reconstruction in the early 1970s. Wow! Love the buses in the middle there.

All three buses belong to AB&W Transit (Alexandria, Barcroft and Washington, known within the company as "anything's better than walking"), far and away the best  public transit operator the Washington area has ever known.

The two closer to the cameras are early 1960's GM New Look buses, the one in the distance is a (roughly) pre-1958 GM Old Look bus.  All were incredibly rugged and reliable (WMATA still owns several New Looks and at least one Old Look in its heritage fleet).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alps on April 09, 2013, 11:24:36 PM
a dirt construction detour of a paved road.  you see those more and more rarely these days.  my only encounters with such things in the US have been US-14 in Wyoming in 2006 (well done, a pilot car led everyone through a ~6 mile segment, and the dirt was well-graded) and US-18 in South Dakota in 2011 (disastrously bad).
Maine has done that from time to time, and I've come across that at least in Vermont. I know there are other instances, but cannot place them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 10, 2013, 03:46:24 PM
Quote
Maine has done that from time to time, and I've come across that at least in Vermont.

US 2 reconstruction through Danville, VT had a dirt surface for a year or two.  Project still is underway, but they finally put a base wearing course down last year.

In my admittedly-limited experience, the western states will often do it as they often lack alternative routes that could be used for detours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 10, 2013, 05:45:03 PM
While I'm in the "old pictures" department, I found this ad online. I remember when these ran in the months prior to the Dulles Toll Road opening. The Reston Association wanted the road called the "Reston Expressway" and they decided just to run ads using the name as though it were already named that. Obviously, it never gained any traction (and Loudoun County objected to the idea because the road crossed the county line). I remember in the months after the road opened they had another ad campaign referring to "Reston, D.C."

Notice the Washington Monument's shadow in the right side.

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vN46g4NVjSQ/SM6WAR16QgI/AAAAAAAAAXY/OTnr5hef3hU/s1600/pca_573_02_11v.jpg)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on April 10, 2013, 10:23:10 PM
Most of the ones we saw downtown have been replaced. The overheads (i.e. the VA 195 one we saw and the ones on the southbound Manchester Bridge we didn't) are still there.
All the ones I have photographed were still there today, as was the assembly on Byrd east of Belvidere. Some newer-looking VDOT standsrd ones were on side streets and the last eastbound exit. Interestingly, I found two separate assemblies of newer shields where the TO banner over the I-195 shield was starting to fall off. Other than the cutout and no less than four US 33 shields on VA 33 eastbound alone, I saw no noteworthy signage.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: maplestar on April 15, 2013, 08:19:47 AM
VA 164 in Portsmouth and Suffolk got some well-needed increased speed limit signs within the last week. All speeds increased 5 mph. Most of it is now at 60mph, the West Norfolk Bridge at 50mph, and slowing to 40mph while headed towards downtown Portsmouth. I feel a little safer driving on it, because before the change, my personal tolerance for speeding ticket risk was lower than traffic often wished to travel. This should make it easier to travel the prevailing speeds without much risk of a fine.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: maplestar on April 15, 2013, 08:22:09 AM
and slowing to 40mph while headed towards downtown Portsmouth.

Oops...this sign did change, but it's after 164 ends. It's on the MLK Fwy (US 58) in Portsmouth.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 15, 2013, 03:13:51 PM
Had to have been recent.  164 was still 55 MPH west of West Norfolk two weeks ago.  Midtown Tunnel still posted 35 MPH?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: maplestar on April 16, 2013, 04:54:02 AM
Had to have been recent.  164 was still 55 MPH west of West Norfolk two weeks ago.  Midtown Tunnel still posted 35 MPH?

Yes, very recent. I think when I drove it on Sunday the 7th, they were still the old limit. Two days later most signs had changed. The 35 changed to 40 on 58 a day or two later. I haven't been through the Midtown in ages, so don't know if there's been any change there or not.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2013, 05:15:35 PM
DelmarvaNow.com: Bridge officials eye $1 billion new tunnel - Say proactive long-term planning is key to maintaining traffic flow (http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20121226/ESN01/312260031)

DelmarvaNow.com: Bridge board hears traffic study - Twinning of two tunnels is still under discussion (http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20130418/ESN/304180049/Bridge-board-hears-traffic-study)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2013, 10:28:12 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Possible congestion tolls on Hampton Roads VA bridge-tunnels as interim measure pending new crossing in 2020s (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6516)

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Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) officials are putting out the idea of congestion tolls on the I-64 Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) and the I-664 Monitor Merrimack Bridge Tunnel (MMBT) to manage traffic. Chairman of the HRTPO Molly Ward and chief executive Dwight Farmer included the idea in a presentation to the state transportation board this week in a powerpoint slide (reproduced nearby.)

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Farmer tells us it's not a formal proposal just a concept at this point for consideration. As they're putting the proposal they'd do a pure congestion toll.

Quote
No congestion would mean no toll was levied. But using dynamic pricing they'd price travel on the facilities as traffic densities began to approach levels threatening a breakdown in traffic flow. And of course as congestion eased the toll would drop away to zero again.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 18, 2013, 11:31:51 PM
I don't think a congestion-based toll on the HRBT would be a good idea, because there's no real alternate route when it is congested. Say you're going to Virginia Beach or to someplace like NS Norfolk or ODU in the northern part of Norfolk, it can add 30 minutes or more on to your trip to take the Monitor-Merrimac and 164 or 264 instead of the HRBT. It's not like there are an abundance of alternate routes, or even any back roads one can take as an alternate, so congestion charging would probably not significantly reduce congestion, it would just add an additional economic burden onto area residents and businesses.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2013, 02:56:27 PM
I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2013, 09:28:36 PM
I don't think a congestion-based toll on the HRBT would be a good idea, because there's no real alternate route when it is congested. Say you're going to Virginia Beach or to someplace like NS Norfolk or ODU in the northern part of Norfolk, it can add 30 minutes or more on to your trip to take the Monitor-Merrimac and 164 or 264 instead of the HRBT. It's not like there are an abundance of alternate routes, or even any back roads one can take as an alternate, so congestion charging would probably not significantly reduce congestion, it would just add an additional economic burden onto area residents and businesses.

Pump, I respectfully  disagree. 

Pricing of (scarce) highway capacity is (in my opinion) a good idea, and where it has been tried, it has worked.

That there are only three crossings of Hampton Roads does not make the idea less valid - especially if the revenue will be used to benefit drivers wanting to cross by building more capacity.

Post Merge: April 20, 2013, 01:32:55 AM
I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.

Adam, you have just justified pricing of the Hampton Roads crossings in a very few words. 

Even if a much larger percentage of the trips were work-related ("home-based work trip" and "non-home-based work trips" in transportation planner-speak), the idea of pricing these crossings still has (in my opinion) great merit. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on April 20, 2013, 11:40:40 AM
I disagree...it would reduce congestion to a degree.  First thing to note:  per Census figures, only 20% of all trips are work-related.  Second, especially in the afternoon/evening, a large number of trips are discretionary trips, meaning they don't HAVE to be made.  What a toll would do is either reduce/drop these discretionary trips (admittedly the potential for the "economic burden on area businesses), or push them to non-peak periods when congestion is less of a factor.

It should also be noted that most of the area's major river crossings were tolled at one point, including HRBT, the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels, the JRB, and also the US 17 bridges in Suffolk.

Just because a trip is not work-related doesn't mean it doesn't have to be made. I know people who commute from Hampton to school at ODU, for one. And it's not uncommon to have to cross the river for shopping (which is necessary if what you need can only be had on one side or the other), sports/other activities (I fenced through middle and high school, and the only fencing club in Hampton Roads was on the southside), transportation (until one Norfolk round-trip was added, all Amtrak trains only served Newport News, while Greyhound has a big depot in Norfolk, and the Norfolk and Newport News airports have different flights), medical (say you need to regularly see a specialist who is on one side of the river), or other reasons like having close family (i.e. parents, significant other) you visit regularly on the other side of the river. I'd hardly consider these discretionary. Even things like entertainment are hardly unnecessary. Do you really expect people on the Peninsula to suddenly decide "oh, I guess we can't ever go see a concert anymore since all the major venues are on the Southside"? No. They're just going to moan and gripe and pay the toll. Just because social trips don't HAVE to be made doesn't mean they won't. The biggest decrease I could see based on people actually being unwilling to pay a toll is maybe 5-10% of trips, which would leave the HRBT still terribly congested, and would certainly reflect in lost economic opportunity. In this struggling economy we should be trying to get people to spend as much money as possible at regional businesses, rather than discourage people from going out.

It should be noted though that I only oppose a congestion-based toll, rather than a toll just imposed to pay off construction. I think reinstating the tolls on the HRBT would be a viable way to pay for expansion of the HRBT, so long as they are modest (i.e. no $12 tolls like on the CBBT), only in place on the HRBT (no tolling the Monitor-Merrimac to pay for the HRBT) and a flat rate no matter how congested the road is. Congestion tolling should only be used on facilities like HOT lanes, or roads with alternate routes (i.e. an urban freeway), where if you refuse to pay no matter how congested the alternate route is, you're free to do so.

That there are only three crossings of Hampton Roads does not make the idea less valid - especially if the revenue will be used to benefit drivers wanting to cross by building more capacity.

Like I said above, tolls are a good way of paying for construction. I would welcome tolls on the HRBT to pay for expansion of it. But it is neither fair nor reasonable to penalize people for wanting to cross the river at a time other than 3 in the morning (which is probably the only time the HRBT is ever not congested - and that's not a given. I've been stuck in some nasty HRBT traffic at 3 am before).

People cannot choose to make their "discretionary" trips at different times in most cases. If you're going from the Peninsula to the Southside to go to the theater, or to go to a sporting event, or to go to school, or for the nightlife, you have to go at the time these are scheduled, not some random time because there's less traffic.
It is not reasonable to expect people to try and reschedule their entire lives around trying to use a tunnel when it is less congested, which is what this proposal and your arguments basically amount to.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 01, 2013, 11:45:44 AM
WTOP Radio: 2 days, 2 motorcycle-tractor-trailer crashes (http://www.wtop.com/654/3306293/Another-motorcycle-tractor-trailer-crash)

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For the second day in a row, northbound Interstate 95 had to be shut down for a crash involving a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer.

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Authorities closed northbound I-95 at mile marker 147, just before the Quantico/Russell Road exit around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday. The highway in Stafford County reopened after a medical helicopter landed at the scene.

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One person sustained life-threatening injuries, according to the Virginia State Police.

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The crash involved a motorcycle, a tractor-trailer and several vehicles. The tractor trailer remained on the scene after the crash, TV footage shows.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 02, 2013, 12:45:57 PM
Quote
Does this put other PPTA toll road projects across Virginia at legal risk? I don't know.  This is not at the statewide appellate court level, so I suppose we will might find out, depending on if the Virginia appeals courts decide to hear this case.

HamptonRoads.Com: Judge: Midtown Tunnel toll deal is unconstitutional (http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/judge-midtown-tunnel-toll-deal-unconstitutional)

TOLLROADSnews: Circuit Court judge in Portsmouth declares P3s in Virginia unconstitutional - nixes tolls at the Portsmouth-Norfolk tunnels (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6533)

Quote
A judge in Portsmouth Circuit Court in Plymouth VA, James Cales, ruling Wednesday against tolls on the Norfolk-Portsmouth tunnels under the Elizabeth River declared that the state's Public Private Transportation Act of 1995 involves an unconstitutional delegation of power to the executive branch. Judge Cales hasn't yet released a text of his ruling which was delivered orally yesterday.

Quote
Patrick McSweeney the winning attorney tells us that it spells trouble for all public private partnerships in the state, and also for the Dulles Toll Road. The transfer of the Dulles Toll Road from the state to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - a four jurisdiction US, DC, VA, MD agency - he says was done without constitutionally required approval by the legislature.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 02, 2013, 01:59:15 PM
I know the fellow who represents the plaintiffs in that case (Pat McSweeney), although I haven't asked him about this case. I don't always agree with his clients' positions, but he's an absolutely brilliant fellow who knows Virginia law, especially constitutional law, inside and out.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 02, 2013, 02:03:22 PM
I know the fellow who represents the plaintiffs in that case (Pat McSweeney), although I haven't asked him about this case. I don't always agree with his clients' positions, but he's an absolutely brilliant fellow who knows Virginia law, especially constitutional law, inside and out.


I have many times disagreed with positions taken by Mr. McSweeny and his clients, but still, you are spot-on - he's a very bright fellow, who seems to win more than he loses, at least in cases that attract attention.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 02, 2013, 02:05:05 PM
First homicide in the City of Fairfax in about five years, and it's apparently the result of a road rage incident.

Washington Post: First homicide in City of Fairfax since 2008 is linked to road rage (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/first-homicide-in-city-of-fairfax-since-2008/2013/05/01/91ebd77a-b26c-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 07, 2013, 12:03:10 PM
Found this picture online earlier today:

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/154767_10151213509324895_1283108197_n_zps8a42217e.jpg)


I don't know which direction the camera was pointing, so rather than link a Street View image today, I'll just link the satellite view for anyone unfamiliar with that area nowadays who might be interested. The intersection in question is at the interchange right in the center of the image where it says "Tysons Corner": http://goo.gl/maps/OQJdP
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 07, 2013, 12:43:47 PM
I don't know which direction the camera was pointing, so rather than link a Street View image today, I'll just link the satellite view for anyone unfamiliar with that area nowadays who might be interested. The intersection in question is at the interchange right in the center of the image where it says "Tysons Corner": http://goo.gl/maps/OQJdP

Pretty sure the camera is looking east along Va. 7 (Leesburg Pike) in the direction of Va. 123 (Chain Bridge Road).

Note that 1964 was just about the time that the Capital Beltway was completed (the entire highway was opened to traffic in August of that year).  Along with the recently completed Dulles Access Road, and Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road, not to be completed until the early 1980's), it was to make Tysons Corner a very freeway-accessible place.

Also, check out the traffic signal actuator and vehicle detector mounted on the utility pole over the eastbound side of  Va. 7.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 07, 2013, 04:18:52 PM
This came from fairfaxunderground.com and I've seen it published in a Nat'l Geographic in the last 20 years.

Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTYjMVJbPNP1TrMgmEEjligrmfnZfJ-Cao19veMjZ7LFFUmBLivvg)

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 07, 2013, 04:19:54 PM
do you have a larger version of that photo?  I can't tell there is a shield in there at all.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 07, 2013, 04:25:05 PM
I'll second that—I can't see a shield anywhere.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 07, 2013, 05:05:48 PM
This came from fairfaxunderground.com and I've seen it published in a Nat'l Geographic in the last 20 years.

Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...

I downloaded it and resized and sharpened it with Photoshop, and it sure looks to me like a Va. 7 shield (just left of the utility pole in front of the store with the Coke sign), though I am not 100% certain (the location of the buildings would be consistent with the images in the 1964 image above). 

Hoo, at the very right edge is a STOP sign (mounted on a white-and-black pole, once ubiquitous across Virginia).

I have seen this image well before it ran in the Geographic - I saw a copy on the wall of the offices of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority back in the 1980's, but I don't recall if that was a Va. 7 shield.

Was not aware that Va. 123 was once Va. 9 (and I never understood why a low number like 9 was assigned to a corner of Loudoun County).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 07, 2013, 05:08:38 PM
First homicide in the City of Fairfax in about five years, and it's apparently the result of a road rage incident.

Washington Post: First homicide in City of Fairfax since 2008 is linked to road rage (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/first-homicide-in-city-of-fairfax-since-2008/2013/05/01/91ebd77a-b26c-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html)

Quote
Cena, 57, director of religious education at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax, was arrested two days after the April 16 incident

gosh, wasn't there something in those commandments on the topic of killing?  looks like someone Peter Principled his way to the directorship.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on May 07, 2013, 10:08:47 PM
Was not aware that Va. 123 was once Va. 9 (and I never understood why a low number like 9 was assigned to a corner of Loudoun County).
The current VA 9 was changed to match the older WV 9 in 1940, as were lots of other routes at Virginia's borders. Before 1940 it was VA 238.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtantillo on May 08, 2013, 12:14:09 AM
Ah, know that location well...my office is right at that intersection of Routes 7 and 123.  Looks quite different now!

I find it interesting that the neighborhood was actually uniquely identified as Tysons Corner in the 1960's, before any of the development that gives Tysons Corner its current identity existed...indeed, the neighborhood looks like nothing more than a gas station and a few houses.  Tysons Corner still suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis, seeing as parts of it are served by 3 different post offices (Falls Church, McLean, Vienna). 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 08, 2013, 06:32:20 AM
Ah, know that location well...my office is right at that intersection of Routes 7 and 123.  Looks quite different now!

Yep.  The really big changes started in the late 1970's, after Tysons Corner was well-established as a retail center.  Then came the jobs.

I find it interesting that the neighborhood was actually uniquely identified as Tysons Corner in the 1960's, before any of the development that gives Tysons Corner its current identity existed...indeed, the neighborhood looks like nothing more than a gas station and a few houses.  Tysons Corner still suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis, seeing as parts of it are served by 3 different post offices (Falls Church, McLean, Vienna).

The case could probably be made that Tysons Corner would be better-served if the entire area were to be incorporated into a town (it would instantly be one of the most employment-rich municipalities in the United States).   I don't think Fairfax County would ever agree to allow Tysons to become a city (given the property tax base that's present there)., but its elected officials might go along with a town (obviously that's all pure speculation on my part).

It will be interesting to see how it evolves with the four new Metrorail stations in operation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 08, 2013, 06:37:42 AM
First homicide in the City of Fairfax in about five years, and it's apparently the result of a road rage incident.

Washington Post: First homicide in City of Fairfax since 2008 is linked to road rage (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/first-homicide-in-city-of-fairfax-since-2008/2013/05/01/91ebd77a-b26c-11e2-bbf2-a6f9e9d79e19_story.html)

Quote
Cena, 57, director of religious education at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax, was arrested two days after the April 16 incident

gosh, wasn't there something in those commandments on the topic of killing?  looks like someone Peter Principled his way to the directorship.

Sage observation.  Not the first time that someone associated with a large religious institution has been charged with breaking one of the Ten Commandments.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2013, 06:50:27 AM
This came from fairfaxunderground.com and I've seen it published in a Nat'l Geographic in the last 20 years.

Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...

I downloaded it and resized and sharpened it with Photoshop, and it sure looks to me like a Va. 7 shield (just left of the utility pole in front of the store with the Coke sign), though I am not 100% certain (the location of the buildings would be consistent with the images in the 1964 image above). 

Hoo, at the very right edge is a STOP sign (mounted on a white-and-black pole, once ubiquitous across Virginia).

I have seen this image well before it ran in the Geographic - I saw a copy on the wall of the offices of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority back in the 1980's, but I don't recall if that was a Va. 7 shield.

Was not aware that Va. 123 was once Va. 9 (and I never understood why a low number like 9 was assigned to a corner of Loudoun County).

To see a larger version, go to google images and search "tysons corner old photos".  The picture is on the first row and when clicked shows up larger than it did on here.

Both VA 120 and VA 123 were VA 9 from 1933-40, forming a large loop from Woodbridge to what is now Crystal City.

For homework I'm assigning everybody to read and memorize the route history section of www.vahighways.com :)

Incidentally, the earliest CTB mention of "Tyson s Corner" is 1923 and the first State Official to identify Tysons Cor. was 1932.

Mapmikey

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 08, 2013, 07:17:38 AM
This came from fairfaxunderground.com and I've seen it published in a Nat'l Geographic in the last 20 years.

Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...

I downloaded it and resized and sharpened it with Photoshop, and it sure looks to me like a Va. 7 shield (just left of the utility pole in front of the store with the Coke sign), though I am not 100% certain (the location of the buildings would be consistent with the images in the 1964 image above). 

Hoo, at the very right edge is a STOP sign (mounted on a white-and-black pole, once ubiquitous across Virginia).

I have seen this image well before it ran in the Geographic - I saw a copy on the wall of the offices of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority back in the 1980's, but I don't recall if that was a Va. 7 shield.

Was not aware that Va. 123 was once Va. 9 (and I never understood why a low number like 9 was assigned to a corner of Loudoun County).

To see a larger version, go to google images and search "tysons corner old photos".  The picture is on the first row and when clicked shows up larger than it did on here.

Thanks.  The Va. 7 shield is very clear in the image in the thread on Fairfax Underground (http://www.fairfaxunderground.com/forum/read/2/1009677.html) site.

Both VA 120 and VA 123 were VA 9 from 1933-40, forming a large loop from Woodbridge to what is now Crystal City.

For homework I'm assigning everybody to read and memorize the route history section of www.vahighways.com :)

Actually, as a Marylander who has spent a lot of time in the Commonwealth for varied reasons, I very much appreciate the work that you and Adam (Froggie) have on those pages.

You even have an entry (http://www.vahighways.com/placenames/local/d-f.htm) for my absolute favorite place name in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia - Disputanta (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disputanta,_Virginia).

Incidentally, the earliest CTB mention of "Tyson s Corner" is 1923 and the first State Official to identify Tysons Cor. was 1932.

Mapmikey

Cool.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 09:18:49 AM
Based on the destination signs, this is 1940s or earlier.  I *think* that is a VA 7 shield but could be a VA 9 (VA 123's predecessor)...

I found the larger photo, and I still cannot make out the destination signs.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2013, 09:32:35 AM
Here is another pic I'd never seen before from that same fairfax underground site:

(http://www.vpis.org/buildingphotos/images/FallsChurchBank.jpg)

This is US 29-211 heading west at VA 7.  Check out the 29-211 sign with no shield at all.  I have seen a different photo on the state library of virginia site that has a JUNCTION with 29 211 horizontally underneath, also with no shields.

To see larger version, google images search "old falls church bank" and it is the first photo.

In the Tyson's Corner pic, I'd assume the destinations on the four signs you'd be facing are Falls Church (left), Alexandria (left), Vienna (straight), and Leesburg (right).  Not sure when they stopped using this style of destination signs but I believe it was the 1940s.

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 08, 2013, 09:38:19 AM
Be careful if you view Fairfax Underground on a computer belonging to your employer. There's more than a little bit of stuff some people might find highly offensive (mostly racial comments).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 09:55:35 AM
never seen anything like that "29/211" sign.  I've always wondered what Virginia used between the embossed cutouts with the state name, and the cutouts with just the border embossed, and only a number inside.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2013, 10:20:06 AM
I think that style may have been a Falls Church-only thing.  The only other time I saw a sign like that was in the City of Covington which is presumably still there:

(http://www.vahighways.com/oldsigns/old60-220.jpg)

I have seen a 1960 Richmond pic that shows cutout progressions plus white border signs in one assembly with no shieldless shapes in between:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_virginia/3595196081/sizes/o/in/set-72157607704129043/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_virginia/3595196081/sizes/o/in/set-72157607704129043/)

Mapmikey

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 10:34:11 AM
I have seen a 1960 Richmond pic that shows cutout progressions plus white border signs in one assembly with no shieldless shapes in between:


those white border signs look like they may be 24".  tough to tell.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Doctor Whom on May 08, 2013, 11:43:42 AM
I find it interesting that the neighborhood was actually uniquely identified as Tysons Corner in the 1960's, before any of the development that gives Tysons Corner its current identity existed...indeed, the neighborhood looks like nothing more than a gas station and a few houses.  Tysons Corner still suffers from a little bit of an identity crisis, seeing as parts of it are served by 3 different post offices (Falls Church, McLean, Vienna).
The right people complained, and now the USPS recognizes "Tysons Corner VA" as a valid city name in ZIP codes 22102 (McLean) and 22182 (Vienna).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2013, 11:54:13 AM
Another good pic:

search "bye bye navy annex" in google images...it's the first picture

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 08, 2013, 12:13:19 PM
You may want to do a hard refresh (Ctrl-F5) because that picture isn't loading. I made the same mistake with a photo from that site a while back. Importing the URL into Photobucket won't work either. If I want to re-post something from there, I download it and then upload it to my Photobucket account.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 12:39:34 PM
that is the largest YIELD sign I've ever seen - yellow or otherwise
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 08, 2013, 12:48:05 PM
Great picture. Thanks for the update on which one it was. The I-95 NORTH LGS in the distance looks like it might have been button copy, though it could just be graininess in the scan.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 12:55:50 PM
Great picture. Thanks for the update on which one it was. The I-95 NORTH LGS in the distance looks like it might have been button copy, though it could just be graininess in the scan.

I would be quite surprised.  from what I know, Virginia has never used button copy.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 08, 2013, 12:59:02 PM
Great picture. Thanks for the update on which one it was. The I-95 NORTH LGS in the distance looks like it might have been button copy, though it could just be graininess in the scan.

I would be quite surprised.  from what I know, Virginia has never used button copy.

I didn't think so either.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 01:00:27 PM

I didn't think so either.

I've also never seen any mention of button copy in Mississippi and Delaware - and Louisiana only seems to have used it on projects under the control of the city of New Orleans.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 08, 2013, 03:58:47 PM

I would be quite surprised.  from what I know, Virginia has never used button copy.

VA 76 between James River Bridge and VA 146 had some button copy BGSs until relatively recently but being inside the City of Richmond may not have been VDOT-related.

I agree that graininess is what is shown on the I-95 sign, but it might be Virginia's own version of individually mounted letters like they used to do on BGSs.

The white shield sign with no 'TO' is VA 27 and I assume one of the other ones is VA 244.  Is the third US 50?

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 08, 2013, 04:29:30 PM

VA 76 between James River Bridge and VA 146 had some button copy BGSs until relatively recently but being inside the City of Richmond may not have been VDOT-related.

got any photos?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 08, 2013, 09:19:58 PM

VA 76 between James River Bridge and VA 146 had some button copy BGSs until relatively recently but being inside the City of Richmond may not have been VDOT-related.

got any photos?


The signs have been gone since 2005 or 2006. They were there the first time I ever passed through the area in 2004, but as I wasn't yet taking road photos I got no pictures of them.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Mapmikey on May 09, 2013, 06:48:32 AM
I hadn't started taking pictures yet while they were around, either.

Perhaps Froggie has some, as he started taking pictures sooner than me...

I have also struck out on Google Images under several different search terms.  I even tried freewayjim youtube videos but it looks like he never drove the Powhite in that area...

Mapmikey
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 09, 2013, 12:45:42 PM

I would be quite surprised.  from what I know, Virginia has never used button copy.

VA 76 between James River Bridge and VA 146 had some button copy BGSs until relatively recently but being inside the City of Richmond may not have been VDOT-related.

Isn't that part of Va. 76 owned by the RMA (and not VDOT)?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on May 09, 2013, 02:17:06 PM
I might but I'd have to look and probably won't be able to do anything with them until I'm back from deployment.  I might also have missed them as I didn't get my digital camera until 2003, had deployments in 2003 and 2005, and departed Virginia right after the 2005 deployment.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on May 09, 2013, 09:54:01 PM

I would be quite surprised.  from what I know, Virginia has never used button copy.

VA 76 between James River Bridge and VA 146 had some button copy BGSs until relatively recently but being inside the City of Richmond may not have been VDOT-related.

Isn't that part of Va. 76 owned by the RMA (and not VDOT)?

It is. The RMA contracts out signage on VA 76 between VA 150 and on VA 146 (as well as VA 195).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: dfnva on May 13, 2013, 10:33:10 PM
Keeping in the old photos theme, I happened on these old pictures around the Landmark Mall area in Alexandria, VA....

Presumably Early 1960s --- VA-236/Duke St and (pre VA-401) Van Dorn St while the original Landmark Center outdoor mall was under construction (the enclosed mall there today was built in 1990). I dig those 4-way signal clusters.
http://novahistory.ctevans.net/archive/files/d8c585c4d551434a0b3cbd6970acbc4e.jpg

Same intersection some years later. Newer, yet still old-school, 12-8-8 signals at the intersection of VA-236/Duke St and Van Dorn St. When was this interchange grade-separated??
http://novahistory.ctevans.net/archive/files/2ac43a186cebed0553851cb20789cc77.jpg

Construction of ramps at I-395 and VA-236/Duke St (Exit 3). Check out the bridge pillars for the VA-236 East to I-395 North ramp!
http://novahistory.ctevans.net/archive/files/66cd748af932c30235298f2b2f30404f.jpg

Off-topic, but if you ever wondered what pre-mall era Landmark Center looked like, there is a treasure trove of pictures on this site. Now Landmark is a dead mall, ironically, planned to be turned back into an outdoor mall.

-Dan
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 15, 2013, 06:09:06 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: State to spend $1 billion for local transportation projects (http://www.timesdispatch.com/business/transportation/article_0baee1bc-efff-556b-ba2d-25037642ec77.html)

Quote
The Richmond region will receive nearly $1 billion for highway and rail improvements over the next six years under the state's new transportation funding package.

Quote
The district will receive $774 million for highway work and more than $148 for major rail projects.

Quote
The funding includes $62 million for improvements to the heavily-traveled Interstate 64-Interstate 95 overlap area in Richmond, and nearly $80 million to improve railroad movements in the Richmond-Petersburg area and Washington. There’s also money for the Lewistown Road bridge replacement.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2013, 10:41:48 AM
WTOP Radio: I-95 southbound closed for hazmat spill in Va (http://www.wtop.com/120/3325465/S-I-95-closed-in-Stafford-Co)

Quote
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - A crash involving two tractor-trailers -- one hauling hazardous materials -- has closed the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 south of Exit 133/Falmouth in Stafford County.

Quote
Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kelly Hannon tells WTOP the closure may last until around 11 a.m. -- possibly later.

Quote
Virginia State Police say the closure will be until approximately noon.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2013, 10:54:46 AM
National Journal: Why You Won’t Own Your Road - Cash-strapped states such as Virginia are turning to the private sector to help finance large infrastructure projects. But it may just be a way of forcing drivers to pay more in the long run. (http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/why-you-won-t-own-your-road-20130516)

Quote
RICHMOND, Va.—Dusty Holcombe had to look up his new boss on Google when he learned in 2011 that he would be transferred to a small government office with the sole mission of making deals with the private sector. Holcombe, a 13-year veteran of the Virginia Transportation Department, had never heard of Tony Kinn, the man tapped to head the commonwealth’s newly minted Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 17, 2013, 11:25:42 PM
Washington Post editorial: On Virginia’s roads, full speed ahead (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-virginias-roads-full-speed-ahead/2013/05/17/4e2a173e-be6c-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html)

Quote
GOV. ROBERT F. MCDONNELL (R) said it best when he signed his name the other day to Virginia’s landmark transportation bill, a $6 billion leviathan that fixed a funding shortfall a quarter century in the making. “The only bad thing from this bill,” the governor said at a ceremony in Richmond, “is people will be complaining about construction rather than congestion.”

Quote
Mr. McDonnell campaigned four years ago on the premise that he could tackle the state’s drastic transportation funding shortfall without resorting to tax increases. That was a fiction designed to appeal to his Republican base and financially pinched voters reeling from the recession.

Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 18, 2013, 11:38:43 PM
WTOP Radio: State razes homeless man's huge makeshift shelter (http://www.wtop.com/139/3324611/Mans-impressive-shelter-is-razed)

Quote
Virginia transportation officials worked for hours to remove a huge makeshift shelter a homeless man built and lived in for 9 years.

Quote
Bernard Roulston of the Virginia Department of Transportation tells WJLA-TV (http://wj.la/1489rPf) that the structure in Arlington required 10 trucks to haul away on Monday.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2013, 10:42:42 PM
Washington Post: Prince William supervisors delay vote on Tri-County Parkway (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/prince-william-supervisors-delay-vote-on-tri-county-parkway/2013/05/21/747fc21e-c257-11e2-8c3b-0b5e9247e8ca_story.html)

Quote
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors unanimously delayed a vote Tuesday that would have reaffirmed the county’s support for a proposed parkway through Manassas Battlefield land that connects Prince William and Loudoun.

Quote
The delay is another in a string of setbacks for the project known as the “Tri-County Parkway,” a road the administration of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) says is vital to the future of one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 25, 2013, 08:06:53 PM
The NVTA released its wish list for 2014 based on an expected infusion of $190 million from the new transportation-funding law. (.PDF link) (http://www.thenovaauthority.org/PDFs/Meetings/2013/5.23.13/NVTA%20Proposed%20Project%20List%20for%20Consideration%20for%20FY%202014%20Funding_05-24-13.pdf)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 27, 2013, 12:46:49 PM
Washington Post: Traffic management plan could expand use of I-66 shoulders when demand is high (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/traffic-management-plan-could-expand-use-of-i-66-shoulders-when-demand-is-high/2013/05/24/f12dcda2-c3e1-11e2-9fe2-6ee52d0eb7c1_story.html)

Quote
A new system called “active traffic management” is going to change what drivers see — and maybe what they experience — on Interstate 66, one of the most congested highways in the D.C. region.

Quote
On the very worst part of I-66, the part between Route 50 and the Capital Beltway, the X’s and arrows regulate access to the shoulders.

Quote
These were not built to be regular travel lanes, but when highway departments don’t have the space or the money to widen roadways, they look for more ways to use the room they have. The surging demand on I-66 led the Virginia Department of Transportation to open the shoulders to all traffic at peak times.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 27, 2013, 01:21:18 PM
The NVTA released its wish list for 2014 based on an expected infusion of $190 million from the new transportation-funding law. (.PDF link) (http://www.thenovaauthority.org/PDFs/Meetings/2013/5.23.13/NVTA%20Proposed%20Project%20List%20for%20Consideration%20for%20FY%202014%20Funding_05-24-13.pdf)

Good stuff (I think), though still not enough money, given how deep in  the hole that Northern Virginia is. 

Related Washington Post story: Northern Virginia expecting big infusion of road building and transit money (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/northern-virginia-expecting-big-infusion-of-road-building-and-transit-money/2013/05/25/a6bbb3ba-c477-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_singlePage.html)

Quote
Northern Virginia officials are wrestling with an unfamiliar but welcome challenge: deciding how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to help commuters in one of the most congested areas of the country.

Quote
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, set up by the General Assembly in 2002 to build regional projects, has been waiting for the money to carry out its primary mission for more than a decade. Because the authority had no funds, state legislators gave it the power to raise revenue. But Virginia’s high court ruled that the arrangement was unconstitutional, and the authority had to return the money.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on May 28, 2013, 02:53:17 AM
Quote
The surging demand on I-66 led the Virginia Department of Transportation to open the shoulders to all traffic at peak times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this wasn't done strictly because of "surging traffic".  It was done when they converted the inside lane between Fair Oaks and the Beltway to peak-period HOV.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 28, 2013, 07:56:10 AM
Quote
The surging demand on I-66 led the Virginia Department of Transportation to open the shoulders to all traffic at peak times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this wasn't done strictly because of "surging traffic".  It was done when they converted the inside lane between Fair Oaks and the Beltway to peak-period HOV.

That's what I recall as well. In addition, the FHWA authorized the use of shoulder lanes only as a "temporary" measure.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 28, 2013, 09:34:32 AM
Quote
The surging demand on I-66 led the Virginia Department of Transportation to open the shoulders to all traffic at peak times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this wasn't done strictly because of "surging traffic".  It was done when they converted the inside lane between Fair Oaks and the Beltway to peak-period HOV.

It's a little more complicated than  that.

In the early 1990's, I-66 outside the Beltway as far west as U.S. 50 at Fair Oaks was three lanes each way for a total of six lanes.  West of Fair Oaks it was TWO lanes each way.

VDOT wanted to extend the I-66 HOV facility west from inside the Beltway, but the budget was extremely limited, and  they wanted to keep 3 general-purpose lanes.  So an "on the cheap" widening was done by converting the shoulders to full-depth and adding some "emergency pull-off" areas between interchanges, with the "Red X" and "Green Arrow" lane during the times that the left lane was HOV-2.  This clunky setup opened in 1995.  At the same time, I-66 between U.S. 50 at Fair Oaks and Va. 234 Business (Sudley Road) was totally reconstructed with the left lane being for HOV use during peak-flow time.  That meant that during off-hours there is a lane drop eastbound right where an immense amount of traffic enters I-66 at all times from U.S. 50.  Not so good.

The HOV lanes with  the part-time shoulder never worked very well, because of violators jumping in and out of the HOV lane, especially eastbound between Va. 243 (Nutley Street) and I-495. 
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 05, 2013, 06:56:18 PM
WTOP Radio: Worker killed while removing I-81 debris in Va. (http://www.wtop.com/120/3347829/Worker-killed-while-removing-I-81-debris-in-Va)

Quote
Police are investigating the death of a highway maintenance worker who was killed while removing road debris in Montgomery County.

Quote
Virginia State Police Sgt. Rob Carpentieri identified the victim as 40-year-old Steven Anthony Cox of Roanoke.

Quote
Carpentieri tells media outlets that a tractor- trailer hit Cox as he was removing debris from a northbound lane of Interstate 81. Cox was pronounced dead at the scene.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 05, 2013, 10:42:18 PM
Any news on the US 460 toll road?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 06, 2013, 03:07:15 AM
Doesn't begin construction until next year.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 06, 2013, 09:37:54 PM
WTOP Radio: Section of I-66 in Fairfax used in project (http://www.wtop.com/120/3349935/I-66-to-test-new-technology-that-could-change-the-way-you-drive)

Quote
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- A section of Interstate 66 in Fairfax County is being used in a research project on traffic.

Quote
Gov. Bob McDonnell launched the project with the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech on Thursday. The four-square-mile area is I-66 between the Capital Beltway and Nutley Street, and on U.S. 50 and U.S. 29.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 06, 2013, 09:39:20 PM
Doesn't begin construction until next year.

At which point Gov. Bob McDonnell will be out of office, thanks to Virginia's "one and done (but you can come back)" provisions in law.

Wonder if both, one or none of the two that want to succeed him are as enthused with the U.S. 460 project as he seems to be?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 07, 2013, 12:37:06 AM
Doesn't begin construction until next year.

At which point Gov. Bob McDonnell will be out of office, thanks to Virginia's "one and done (but you can come back)" provisions in law.

Wonder if both, one or none of the two that want to succeed him are as enthused with the U.S. 460 project as he seems to be?

Wasn't funding for this project part of the transportation bill that was passed a few months ago? The bill had bipartisan support (though I believe Cuccinelli was opposed).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2013, 02:24:55 AM
I'm not 100%, but contracts may have been signed already by now.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtfallsmikey on June 13, 2013, 08:38:54 AM
What happened to the Leesburg/Rt. 7 bypass project, adding a third lane WB? Last I heard was the comment period, and the Sycolin Rd. project, looks like it is getting going.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 14, 2013, 05:03:03 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Pocahontas Parkway turned over to lenders (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6591)

Quote
The Pocahontas Parkway tollroad in the eastern part of the Richmond VA metro area is being turned over to its lenders by Transurban. The Australia-based toll operator has long written off its equity in the pike.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 14, 2013, 06:50:14 PM
I love how Transurban pretty much blames Richmond for the failure of VA 895.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: OracleUsr on June 14, 2013, 10:34:34 PM
I always preferred taking 10 from 95 to 295.  I could never see what 895 could do that 10 couldn't accomplish that really justified the toll.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Thing 342 on June 14, 2013, 10:41:22 PM
895's only use for me was as a cutover from 295 to 95 in order to get on 85. Not worth paying the toll IMO.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: OracleUsr on June 14, 2013, 10:47:35 PM
Yeah, that's what I thought.  Heck, even though it's a pain in the neck to get to, VA 36 is a decent cutover from 85/95 to 295 (and it has an awesome Korean BBQ restaurant).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 15, 2013, 01:19:32 AM
I've used 895 a couple of times when I was in Chesterfield or somewhere along 150 and wanted to get back to 64 (or 5, the "scenic route" back east), but I'm in Richmond so infrequently that it's only been a handful of times total.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on June 15, 2013, 07:35:27 AM
Sometimes I drive 895 simply for the view from the bridge, maybe once a year. There's so little traffic I could probably pull over and take photos from there (of course, if I did that the cops would be there pretty quickly).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 15, 2013, 12:00:22 PM
Sometimes I drive 895 simply for the view from the bridge, maybe once a year. There's so little traffic I could probably pull over and take photos from there (of course, if I did that the cops would be there pretty quickly).

I drove it once because the bridge is cool, and Va. 895 seemed very empty - I suppose it adds a link to the  Richmond-area freeway network that allows an easy shift from I-95 to I-295 or vice versa in the event of an incident (presumably on RTP part of I-95, which seems much more incident-prone for obvious reasons).

Growth in air traffic at Richmond International (RIC) might help 895 at some point in the future.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: NJRoadfan on June 15, 2013, 07:24:34 PM
Another VA-10 user here. Why bother paying a toll? Next boondoggle for the area, the US-460 "bypass".
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Takumi on June 15, 2013, 09:26:54 PM
I use either VA 144/36 (living in Colonial Heights, this is easiest for me) or VA 10 going to and from I-295. I haven't been on 895 in years, probably before my first Prelude, but my dad has worked on projects on it and thus has taken some incredible pictures from the bridge. I may or may not ever use the new 460, since my typical route to Hampton Roads is "anything but 460". I'm sick of it, especially now that the Prince George section was dropped to 50 MPH. Depending on which part I go to, I prefer either VA 10 (southern parts) or VA 5/321/199/I-64 (north), but there are other ways to get there.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 15, 2013, 10:28:09 PM
I used 895 a couple of times some years ago but generally have little reason to do so. If I'm coming up I-85 and I want to use I-295 (which is all the more likely now that it's posted at 70 mph), I tend just to go the four miles south.

If 895 had been there in the mid-1990s when I was at Duke and my brother was at William & Mary, I might (and I emphasize "might") have used it going up to Williamsburg to visit, but I kind of doubt it because it's too far north. I usually went over the Benjamin Harrison Bridge and then took Route 5. It's more direct and it's a scenic route, whereas I-64 is boring.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: hbelkins on June 16, 2013, 12:28:43 AM
So what exactly happens when a road gets turned over to its creditors? Will they close it? Raise the tolls? Sell it? Tear it down?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 16, 2013, 03:41:34 AM
So what exactly happens when a road gets turned over to its creditors? Will they close it? Raise the tolls? Sell it? Tear it down?

I believe they own the concession to operate and maintain the road, but they do not own the road itself, which is, I believe, owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia (that seems to be the model in Virginia and at least some other states that have or have had privately-owned toll highway concessions, including Indiana and California).

The creditors can do several things (as I understand it):

(1) Operate it themselves (or hire someone to operate it);
(2) Try to sell the concession to someone else (and if they don't get enough to pay-off the debt they are owed, then they have to write the losses off);
(3) Operate it themselves in the hope that traffic (and toll revenue) will increase over time so they can sell the concession to someone else without having to take a write-off; or
(4) Abandon the project entirely (and write-off the debt they were owed), in which case the concession is presumably over and VDOT assumes ownership and operations responsibility (but owes the creditors nothing).

It's not at all directly comparable, but another non-VDOT toll facility in Virginia had bonds that were in default for quite a few years until traffic volumes increased enough to pay the principal and interest.  That facility was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel District.  A friend of mine bought CBBTD bonds when they were in default at a pretty deep discount from their face value, but he ultimately made a lot of money on the deal, since he was eventually paid in full, including interest.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 16, 2013, 07:46:57 AM
Are you sure that was CBBT?  I recall hearing that the Dulles Greenway was in that position.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on June 16, 2013, 09:11:21 AM
Echoing the sentiments of others, when I lived in VA I took 895 precisely once- to clinch it after it opened. Otherwise, never had a reason to. It's always surprised me that it even got built, considering there are so many other road projects in the state that are on hold that actually have a lot more potential to be useful.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 16, 2013, 12:49:35 PM
Are you sure that was CBBT?  I recall hearing that the Dulles Greenway was in that position.

The Greenway has definitely been in financial trouble several times.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 16, 2013, 01:00:02 PM
Are you sure that was CBBT?  I recall hearing that the Dulles Greenway was in that position.

Absolutely sure. 

My friend owned (and sold) the CBBTD bonds years before there had been one spade of dirt turned for the Greenway. 

But yes, the Greenway also had major problems paying its creditors in its early years of operation.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Arcanra on June 16, 2013, 01:19:30 PM
Echoing the sentiments of others, when I lived in VA I took 895 precisely once- to clinch it after it opened. Otherwise, never had a reason to. It's always surprised me that it even got built, considering there are so many other road projects in the state that are on hold that actually have a lot more potential to be useful.

Same here. Living in the area, and having several friends and family members that live near it, no one I knows uses it, due to the high toll. They all say the extra 10-15 minutes travel time per day isn't worth the money they would spend per week to use it. My step-father and mother just moved here from Alaska a few months ago and live near it, they hopped onto it one day not realizing how high the toll was, and my step father was amazed at how no one was on it. When he got to the toll booth, he understood why.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 16, 2013, 01:54:16 PM
Washington Post op-ed: Wasteful Charlottesville highway highlights problem with Bob McDonnell’s road plans (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/wasteful-charlottesville-highway-highlights-problem-with-bob-mcdonnells-road-plans/2013/06/15/bb41b078-d539-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html)

Quote
A proposed six-mile highway outside Charlottesville is so wasteful and ill-conceived that it’s achieved literary status. It prompted best-selling novelist and area resident John Grisham to write a book implicitly denouncing it.

Quote
“The Activist,” published last month and aimed at youths ages 10 to 12, is fictional. But Grisham said it was inspired by the decades-long battle over a $245 million bypass west of the city that’s home to the University of Virginia.

Quote
Grisham, famed for such legal thrillers as “The Firm,” said the new book is about “a boneheaded bypass around a lovely little college town and all the issues that go into such a boondoggle.”

Quote
The rest of the state, and especially Northern Virginia, should be equally appalled. The road is one of the most egregious examples of a pattern in which Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration relentlessly pushes a major highway project despite abundant evidence that the money could be spent more wisely elsewhere.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 17, 2013, 01:43:49 AM
For a bypass to truly work, it'd have to go all the way to Ruckersville, which would cost a pretty penny.  But implementing the Places29 vision that was created a few years ago would do a lot more for US 29 traffic than the bypass would.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 17, 2013, 02:55:43 PM
For a bypass to truly work, it'd have to go all the way to Ruckersville, which would cost a pretty penny.  But implementing the Places29 vision that was created a few years ago would do a lot more for US 29 traffic than the bypass would.

I remember when that process was getting started years ago, but have not followed it at all.

I am gratified that they have an access management component to the document, which is (IMO) badly  needed along many sections of U.S. 29 across Virginia (except perhaps between Centreville and the District of Columbia, where access management is a lost cause).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 17, 2013, 03:57:33 PM
For a bypass to truly work, it'd have to go all the way to Ruckersville, which would cost a pretty penny.  But implementing the Places29 vision that was created a few years ago would do a lot more for US 29 traffic than the bypass would.

Extending a bypass to Ruckersville would create various other problems as well (some of which would themselves raise the cost). There would almost certainly be some environmental hurdles because of the reservoir that's located behind the Rio Hill/Wal-Mart area. That's one reason the northern end of the currently-planned route is shoehorned in the way it is. I suppose it might be possible to take the currently-planned route east across 29 near the hotel (I think it's now the Doubletree; I still think of it as the Sheraton) and up the other side of Proffit Road so as to avoid the reservoir, but as you say, the cost would be prohibitive, and I don't doubt you might encounter some element of the "I-40 in Greensboro" issue where a fair number of people would opt for the current route because it'd be so much more direct. The people in Hollymead and Forest Lakes would understandably fight like hell to prevent the construction, too.

I am not familiar with the "Places29" plan, but I remember how it felt like an interminable mess when they rebuilt Route 29 from Hydraulic Road to the Rivanna River into its current configuration back in the early 1990s. I recall at the time there were plans to build interchanges at Hydraulic, Greenbrier Drive, and Rio Road, but they were deferred due to cost, space concerns, and serious opposition from the business community. Are those still part of the current plans?

They do have a legitimate problem, though, in that if you don't want to use 29 to go north–south (or vice versa) you have to go a good distance out of your way unless it's a strictly local trip. From the west side of town or from the University it's easy enough, if perhaps a bit slow at times, to get to the airport area via Hydraulic and Earlysville Roads; you just hang a right at the roundabout. The other side of town has no equivalent option (using Proffit Road means going across the Free Bridge to Pantops and up Route 20).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 17, 2013, 04:24:51 PM
I am not familiar with the "Places29" plan, but I remember how it felt like an interminable mess when they rebuilt Route 29 from Hydraulic Road to the Rivanna River into its current configuration back in the early 1990s. I recall at the time there were plans to build interchanges at Hydraulic, Greenbrier Drive, and Rio Road, but they were deferred due to cost, space concerns, and serious opposition from the business community. Are those still part of the current plans?

Sorry, should have posted a link to it - it is hosted on the Albemarle County Web site: Places29 Master Plan (http://www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=cdd&relpage=3735)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 17, 2013, 04:26:08 PM
WTOP Radio: Transurban: Express Lanes don't have problems like Richmond toll road (http://wtop.com/120/3360123/Transurban-Express-Lanes-dont-have-problems-like-Richmond-toll-road)

Quote
Creditors are taking over operations of a state-owned toll road outside Richmond that is run by the same company that runs the 495 Express Lanes, though a representative of the company denies that there are any problems regarding the Beltway lanes.

Quote
Transurban, an Australian company, tells WTOP that the Pocahontas Parkway and 495 Express Lanes couldn't be more different, but a look at the numbers shows that the Beltway lanes have far fewer drivers using them at this point than originally projected, and other High Occupancy Toll lanes across the country are similarly coming up short of expectations for either the number of vehicles or the revenue raised.

Quote
Initial projections for the lanes, prior to the economy faltering several years ago, said that more than 66,000 trips would be made each weekday within the first year. The lanes have been open seven months, and traffic is well below those expectations.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 17, 2013, 05:59:18 PM
I am not familiar with the "Places29" plan, but I remember how it felt like an interminable mess when they rebuilt Route 29 from Hydraulic Road to the Rivanna River into its current configuration back in the early 1990s. I recall at the time there were plans to build interchanges at Hydraulic, Greenbrier Drive, and Rio Road, but they were deferred due to cost, space concerns, and serious opposition from the business community. Are those still part of the current plans?

Sorry, should have posted a link to it - it is hosted on the Albemarle County Web site: Places29 Master Plan (http://www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=cdd&relpage=3735)

Thanks. Lots of info there that I'll have to look at some other time. I found it interesting, though, to see that the logo on the page you linked is a green "29" shield in the shape of an Interstate shield.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: Alex on June 17, 2013, 07:19:05 PM
Echoing the sentiments of others, when I lived in VA I took 895 precisely once- to clinch it after it opened. Otherwise, never had a reason to. It's always surprised me that it even got built, considering there are so many other road projects in the state that are on hold that actually have a lot more potential to be useful.

Same here, took it once just to clinch it and photograph it for the website (06-22-05): http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=s0895va

Way back in 1987, I scrounged up enough money to buy an ADC atlas of Richmond just because it showed it proposed as I-895.

Though the photos are old, the IGuide write-up was updated in October 2011 with some research I did with newsbank about the original I-895 proposal. The Interstate designation originated in 1981 and was dropped and resurrected through to at least 1992:

http://www.interstate-guide.com/i-895_va.html
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: akotchi on June 17, 2013, 08:52:51 PM
I oversaw the overhead sign designs for the western half of the roadway (west of Va 5) and a portion of Va 150, and the early designs (1996 or so) still had Interstate shields.  About midway through the design were they changed to state route markers.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtfallsmikey on June 18, 2013, 06:16:39 AM
Speaking of the Dulles Greenway...Frank Wolf is on em' again about it, and Macquarie Bank...

http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-again-expresses-disapointment-with-greenway-tolls-urges-scc-to-address-problem/
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 18, 2013, 05:56:20 PM
Washington Post local op-ed: A Va. judge’s transportation roadblock (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/a-va-judges-transportation-roadblock/2013/06/18/06fe7f58-d834-11e2-9df4-895344c13c30_blog.html)

Quote
For four decades, James A. “Jac” Cales Jr. was a fixture on the judicial halls of Hampton Roads, albeit not one to take himself too seriously.

Quote
As Portsmouth commonwealth’s attorney for a decade in the 1970s, he would lean back in his chair, his hands folded over his stomach and nod vigorously when a defendant in a drug case admitted something incriminating. He later served for three decades as a General District and Circuit Court judge, retiring officially in December.

Quote
So, it may be fitting that on May 1, while filling in temporarily, Cales issued what could be the most important decision of his long legal career. It is a decision that is turning Virginia’s transportation funding on its head.

Quote
Cales decided that a plan to have a private developer toll users for $2.1 billion in tunnel upgrades in crowded Hampton Roads is unconstitutional. Only the state has the power to tax and that’s what tolls really are, Cales ruled.


Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 18, 2013, 06:06:05 PM
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Chesterfield - Tolls ruling poses $3.5 billion threat to Va. (http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/chesterfield/tolls-ruling-poses-billion-threat-to-va/article_ca314774-d78c-11e2-b1b3-0019bb30f31a.html)

Quote
Virginia could face a liability of almost $3.5 billion if a recent court ruling is upheld and invalidates all state contracts for privately operated toll facilities on public highways, Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton warned lawmakers today.

Quote
While the focus was on a Hampton Roads river crossing project that the state is defending in court, the fallout from the legal battle could include an estimated $502 million for Pocahontas 895, the toll parkway between Henrico and Chesterfield counties that was the first project approved under the Public-Private Transportation Act, and $71 million for the U.S. 460 expressway approved last year between Prince George County and Suffolk.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 18, 2013, 06:08:04 PM
Speaking of the Dulles Greenway...Frank Wolf is on em' again about it, and Macquarie Bank...

http://wolf.house.gov/press-releases/wolf-again-expresses-disapointment-with-greenway-tolls-urges-scc-to-address-problem/

If Rep. Wolf does not like private-sector toll roads, then he needs to resign  his seat in Congress and run for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates or Virginia Senate, and work to end all privately-owned toll roads across the Commonwealth.

Admittedly, the ruling by Judge Cales could have that desired effect, though it might not impact the Greenway  or its ownership.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 18, 2013, 06:30:30 PM
Judge Cales:

Quote
At the heart of the legal concern is the ruling by Portsmouth Circuit Court Judge James A. Cales Jr. last month that the public-private partnership law unconstitutionally delegated legislative authority to private entities to raise tolls that he said are, in effect, taxes.

I'm not sure if I understand why tolls are "in effect, taxes".  private companies charge all kinds of fees to render all kinds of services.  how is a toll road different?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 18, 2013, 08:52:54 PM
I was briefly a property manager in Portsmouth in 1995, the very first time I had to sue a tenant for non-payment on behalf of the landlord, the Judge called me to the bench and said "son, I'm going to be easy on you since this is the first time in my courtroom, but landlords never win with me regardless of the facts".  Six months later the Peninsula Pilot paper ran a series on Judges in Hampton Roads who refused to uphold landlord/tenant laws in their courtrooms, the judge I encountered was on their list.  the judge tried to get a sheriff to arrest the reporter for contempt.  I would swear it was this same judge.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtfallsmikey on June 19, 2013, 07:17:53 AM
If Rep. Wolf does not like private-sector toll roads, then he needs to resign  his seat in Congress and run for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates or Virginia Senate, and work to end all privately-owned toll roads across the Commonwealth.

Admittedly, the ruling by Judge Cales could have that desired effect, though it might not impact the Greenway  or its ownership.
[/quote]

Rep. Wolf is trying to do the job that the Gen. Assy. will not do, and I applaud his efforts. I have brought this subject up with our local Gen. Assy.reps. as well, who seem uninterested. I agree that there should be no privately owned toll roads in Va. or elsewhere.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 19, 2013, 04:28:09 PM
Assy.


a great descriptor of the political machine.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 19, 2013, 05:22:52 PM
Rep. Wolf is trying to do the job that the Gen. Assy. will not do, and I applaud his efforts. I have brought this subject up with our local Gen. Assy.reps. as well, who seem uninterested. I agree that there should be no privately owned toll roads in Va. or elsewhere.

It was Wolf's own party, during the time that George Felix Allen was governor, that the Public-Private Transportation Act (http://www.virginiadot.org/business/ppta-default.asp) was enacted into law (though the Dulles Greenway predates the PPTA).

I don't personally have any problem with privately-owned toll roads, but there are some people that seem to think that private means less expensive, and that may not be the case (and probably is not the case), though the Dulles Toll Road remains in the hands of a public-sector operator in the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and tolls there have been increased enormously to pay for the construction of the train line to Dulles Airport.

Virginia does not have a statewide counterpart to agencies like the Maryland Transportation Authority or the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, quite possibly because there is a preference (among members of its General Assembly) for PPTA projects like the I-495 HOV/Toll Lanes and the pending conversion to HOV/Toll operation for the I-95 HOV lanes as part of their extension into Stafford County.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 27, 2013, 01:52:04 PM
Washington Post Dr. Gridlock:  Virginia asking private sector for ideas on I-66 improvements (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/06/27/virginia-asking-private-sector-for-ideas-on-i-66-improvements/)

Quote
The Virginia state government has issued a call to the private sector for ideas on improving Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway. Those ideas may include converting the High Occupancy Lanes into express toll lanes similar to those now in use on the Beltway.

Quote
The ideas under consideration also include widening I-66 by adding regular travel lanes and creating a light rail line in the median. The program also could improve interchanges, ease choke points and better manage traffic with enhanced traveler information.

Quote
Easing congestion on I-66 is one of the greatest challenges that transportation planners face in Northern Virginia. The ideas under review now focus on the 25-mile corridor between the Beltway and Route 15 in Haymarket.

Quote
Virginia transportation officials completed an environmental review that advances all these ideas for further consideration, but there’s a fairly long timeline on major changes.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on June 29, 2013, 06:48:25 AM
Ultimately, I-66 will need a bit of everything.  Far more than what the private sector would be willing to front.  Here we go again with Virginia and their PPP's...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 01, 2013, 08:45:13 AM
Ultimately, I-66 will need a bit of everything.  Far more than what the private sector would be willing to front.  Here we go again with Virginia and their PPP's...

What would you suggest for dealing with the misery of I-66?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: mtfallsmikey on July 01, 2013, 09:42:13 AM
Ultimately, I-66 will need a bit of everything.  Far more than what the private sector would be willing to front.  Here we go again with Virginia and their PPP's...

What would you suggest for dealing with the misery of I-66?

Nothing can be done, IMHO, other than the invention of the transporter, than all commuting will be easy..."Energize"..
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 01, 2013, 09:57:43 AM
Article about traffic controls and related matters in the City of Richmond and Henrico County on Richmond.com that could be of interest here.

Why Richmond, Why?!? Traffic Signal Issues in the Suburbs (http://www.richmond.com/city-life/why-richmond-why/article_b03e7cf2-e000-11e2-9e69-001a4bcf6878.html)
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 08, 2013, 12:38:20 AM
Washington Post: Northern Virginia tries to think big about road, transit improvements (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/northern-virginia-tries-to-think-big-about-road-transit-improvements/2013/07/05/7ed6f3fe-e1b0-11e2-80eb-3145e2994a55_story.html)

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As Northern Virginians debate how they should invest new transportation revenue, the region’s jurisdictions are pressing for local projects on their wish lists. Reviewing those lists, some transportation advocates urge that the money be spent on the biggest possible congestion-busters, and fear it might not be.

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At times, the debate can sound like it’s between people who want to spend money on highway relief for thousands and people who want fancy bus shelters for a handful of transit users.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 08, 2013, 01:09:21 AM
As a general rule, smaller projects offer more "bang for the buck", and can be congestion-busters in their own right.  Nevermind that you can fund more of them with the limited funds available.  MnDOT has slowly discovered this over the past 10 years.  It's time VDOT followed suit.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 08, 2013, 08:06:48 AM
As a general rule, smaller projects offer more "bang for the buck", and can be congestion-busters in their own right.  Nevermind that you can fund more of them with the limited funds available.  MnDOT has slowly discovered this over the past 10 years.  It's time VDOT followed suit.

My thoughts:

(1) There's so much to do in Northern Virginia, and even with this funding boost, there's not nearly enough money to do it all.

(2) I don't think VDOT is setting  the priorities here - the county and municipal elected officials on  the NVTA board are doing that.

(3) I agree with you - "smallball" projects can yield big results - single best example in recent years I can cite was the decision by VDOT to rebuild the exit ramp from the Outer Loop (southbound) of I-495 to westbound Va. 267 (DTR) from one lane to two lanes (and they made the curve a little less sharp in the process).  That small project yielded immediate benefits in the form of less recurring congestion and reduced vehicle emissions.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 13, 2013, 08:58:21 PM
Washington Post: Would the Bi-County Parkway be a boost for Dulles International Airport? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/would-the-bi-county-parkway-be-a-boost-for-dulles-international-airport/2013/07/13/a1269a30-cfaf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html)

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Dulles International Airport has seen a tough few years. Fewer passengers are flying into and out of the airport’s iconic terminal. Less cargo is moving across its tarmacs. And with the global economy still sputtering, there’s no telling when the airport’s fortunes will turn around.

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A solution, some Virginia officials say, is the long-debated Bi-County Parkway, a proposed road between Prince William and Loudoun counties that could serve as a new conduit for people and cargo passing through Dulles. Proponents say it would spur business development by offering a vital north-south link to the airport, giving businesses easy access to an international gateway.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 14, 2013, 03:18:39 AM
A short-term boost, at best.  Long-term prospects don't bode well for air travel, and the cost for this would be a worse situation on 66.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 14, 2013, 11:35:54 AM
A short-term boost, at best.  Long-term prospects don't bode well for air travel, and the cost for this would be a worse situation on 66.

Please elaborate regarding air travel.  I know there have been groups (apparently more in Europe than North America) opposed to air travel (and airport expansion, such as at London Heathrow) and claim that trains will replace airplanes, but I am not convinced of the validity of such assertions, especially for longer trips (say over about 400 or 500 kilometers (250 to 300 miles)).

In the Eastern U.S., the Northeast Corridor (NEC) is a pretty good travel market for trains, especially for trips headed to New York City from any of the cities on the NEC to the north or south of Penn Station, but apparently travel from Washington to Boston on Acela is not all that popular (the longest-possible trip on that service), since the travel time is between 6 and 7 hours.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on July 14, 2013, 08:56:48 PM
I'm not sure as to how many people ride the Acela all the way from D.C. to Boston, but the service is more targeted towards people on intermediate legs anyway. Amtrak only reports statistics for the individual D.C.-NYC and NYC-Boston segments, and many trains only run one of those legs.

I would think a fair number of people do take it all the way though, or (like I did last month) almost all the way from Boston to a city like Philadelphia or Baltimore, considering Amtrak has a >50% market share on both legs.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2013, 01:13:24 AM
I'm not sure as to how many people ride the Acela all the way from D.C. to Boston, but the service is more targeted towards people on intermediate legs anyway. Amtrak only reports statistics for the individual D.C.-NYC and NYC-Boston segments, and many trains only run one of those legs.

I agree that they are not marketing Acela service all the way from end-to-end.  A colleague of mine did the trip northbound some years ago, and really liked it, but he also pointed out that flying (even with the time spent getting through security) would have been a lot faster.

I would think a fair number of people do take it all the way though, or (like I did last month) almost all the way from Boston to a city like Philadelphia or Baltimore, considering Amtrak has a >50% market share on both legs.

Baltimore is almost Washington (well under an hour travel time between Baltimore Penn Station and Washington Union Station), so I would think that the same limitations apply when the other trip end is Boston (or some arbitrary point north of New York, perhaps north of New Haven).
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2013, 10:03:13 PM
TOLLROADSnews: Virginia's framework for toll financing - McDonnell's drafty PPTA pipeline (http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/6639)

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Virginia's increasingly uncertain arrangements for financing roads are nicely captured in the mixed metaphors of the latest from state governor Bob McDonnell. He has released a "Draft Virginia PPTA Pipeline." Now most pipelines are solid constructs. Once you're in a soundly constructed pipeline you don't get out until you reach the other end. Not under the McDonnell Administration in Richmond however. Virginia has a leaky P3 pipeline!

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Less than a year ago tolls on I-95 on the longhaul between the outskirts of the DC metro area and North Carolina used to be a big part of the fuel in the McDonnell PPTA 'pipeline.' I-95, a premium grade product in the VA P3 pipeline seems to have leaked right out on McDonnell's watch. Gone!

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The list has a very leaky look. Explosive even.

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There's the Elizabeth River Crossings. Under a big PPTA toll concession they are due to start tolling February 1 2014 and the concessionaire is heavily invested in construction of an extra tunnel and other improvements. Yet a judge in Portsmouth, James Cales has put a stay on tolls there ruling that Virginia's P3 legislation is unconstitutional. He said the legislature couldn't delegates toll setting powers to the executive branch.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: froggie on July 16, 2013, 08:16:59 AM
Wow, Peter, tell us how you REALLY feel about the Gov and candidates...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 18, 2013, 04:34:45 PM
Washington Post op-ed/blog: Virginia’s road-planning disaster (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/virginias-road-planning-disaster/2013/07/18/2f98546a-ef28-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_blog.html)

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It is curious how the drums are being beaten loudly for more truck traffic related to Dulles International Airport in a part of the metropolitan area that is already overwhelmed with traffic congestion.

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It’s little more than a marketing campaign for the Bi-County Parkway that would link the airport with Interstate 66, which would send ill-considered sprawl in a new direction while adding thousands more trucks, making roads more clogged than they are.

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Well, the airplane has been out of the hangar a little too long for Dulles.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 19, 2013, 10:12:27 AM
Washington Post op-ed/blog: Virginia’s road-planning disaster (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/all-opinions-are-local/post/virginias-road-planning-disaster/2013/07/18/2f98546a-ef28-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_blog.html)

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It’s little more than a marketing campaign for the Bi-County Parkway that would link the airport with Interstate 66, which would send ill-considered sprawl in a new direction while adding thousands more trucks, making roads more clogged than they are.

Unless the land has been spoken for as open space/farming/undeveloper, etc, would the land become developed regardless of this above issue?
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 20, 2013, 12:55:12 PM
Unless the land has been spoken for as open space/farming/undeveloper, etc, would the land become developed regardless of this above issue?

Eventually, I believe the answer is yes.  The secondary roads are already  there, though many of them secondary  and primary roads are at or over capacity now.
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 21, 2013, 10:44:18 PM
Washington Post op-ed: Virginia can’t create demand at Dulles (http://www.washingtonpost.com