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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: Alex on April 07, 2009, 01:22:25 PM

Title: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on April 07, 2009, 01:22:25 PM
Read this on the Yahoo! Groups today:

http://cms.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/AASHTO-FHWA%20DC%20I-295%20and%20I-695.pdf (http://cms.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/AASHTO-FHWA%20DC%20I-295%20and%20\)


The request addresses the truncation of Interstate 295 from Capital Boulevard southward to the Anacostia Freeway and extends Interstate 695 southeast in its place. It also covers the elimination of unbuilt Interstate 295 mileage for the canceled freeway leading northeast near RFK Stadium.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mightyace on April 07, 2009, 01:41:47 PM
The link as shown didn't work.  I pieced it together though.

http://cms.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/AASHTO-FHWA%20DC%20I-295%20and%20I-695.pdf (http://cms.transportation.org/sites/route/docs/AASHTO-FHWA%20DC%20I-295%20and%20I-695.pdf)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Chris on April 07, 2009, 02:16:38 PM
Uhm, what about I-695 in Maryland already existing? Wouldn't that confuse people, an I-695 in DC and in Baltimore? I thought they wanted to avoid identical numbers close to eachother...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on April 07, 2009, 05:39:31 PM
I don't think I-695 in DC is signed as an interstate.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on April 07, 2009, 06:37:29 PM
The current one is unsigned as Interstate 695; signs instead indicate the connections to Interstate 295 or 395.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 74/171FAN on April 07, 2009, 06:50:03 PM
BTW I wouldn't know any confusion over I-295 and MD 295(the Baltimore-Washington Pkwy once it leaves the National Park Service section). :nod:
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 07, 2009, 07:33:19 PM
Quick question: I've looked up Baltimore-Washington Parkway? Why is the section between MD 201 and MD 295 maintained by the NPS? Is there a park or something that the freeway runs through, or what?


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 07, 2009, 10:31:36 PM
^^ Oh, okay. Thanks a lot, froggie.

Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 08, 2009, 11:26:45 AM
DC metro area now ranks second to Los Angeles in congestion  http://www.dgshi.cn/content/200907/081084.html (http://www.dgshi.cn/content/200907/081084.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Chris on July 08, 2009, 02:20:36 PM
Not really a surprise, if you think about it. Recession kicks in, people losing jobs and drive less. However, the government (DC) will keep running, so DC metro is probably less impacted by the recession, so traffic congestion doesn't decrease like other places.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 74/171FAN on July 08, 2009, 02:43:33 PM
There's also the BRAC realignment into Ft Belvoir coming soon so that's another factor into rising congestion there
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 08, 2009, 03:49:10 PM
There are several BRAC realignments at play...but those haven't occurred yet so they wouldn't have had an impact on traffic around here.

I'd also like to point out that MWCOG (the regional MPO) did a recent traffic study that runs somewhat counter to the Texas A&M study...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on September 20, 2009, 12:45:19 PM
When did the District of Columbia add exit numbers to Interstate 395?

Unnumbered exit in early 2008: http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/district_of_columbia/i-395_sb_exit_002a_01.jpg (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/district_of_columbia/i-395_sb_exit_002a_01.jpg)

Now Exit 5: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=washington,+dc&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.505328,78.662109&ie=UTF8&ll=38.882515,-77.016413&spn=0.012728,0.02738&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=38.882523,-77.016595&panoid=Qy9xZpunxaqXzheYGEaeLQ&cbp=12,251.65,,0,12.83 (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=washington,+dc&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=52.505328,78.662109&ie=UTF8&ll=38.882515,-77.016413&spn=0.012728,0.02738&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=38.882523,-77.016595&panoid=Qy9xZpunxaqXzheYGEaeLQ&cbp=12,251.65,,0,12.83)

Does anyone have an exit number list posted?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 74/171FAN on September 20, 2009, 01:12:30 PM
Quote
When did the District of Columbia add exit numbers to Interstate 395?
  I'm not sure but I know they were there when I went with my family to see the Nats back in July ;-)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on September 20, 2009, 04:06:19 PM
The numbers have been there for several months. They were there in April when I passed through.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on September 20, 2009, 07:57:20 PM
I never noticed this stub on the southbound D.C. 295 before: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=38.884527~-76.96327&style=h&lvl=17&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=38.884527~-76.96327&style=h&lvl=17&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1)

Any ideas of what was its intended use was?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on September 20, 2009, 09:47:08 PM
http://www.roadstothefuture.com/DC_Interstate_Fwy.html (http://www.roadstothefuture.com/DC_Interstate_Fwy.html) remarkably does NOT have this one in there.  I noticed it before and I'm, pardon the semi-pun, stumped.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on September 21, 2009, 09:11:45 AM
The exit numbers on I-395 were installed middle of last year.  There was a discussion on Tim Reichard's Clinched Highway Mapping forum (http://clinched.s2.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=15&mforum=clinched) on the subject.

The stub on DC 295 was intended for the mid-90s planned but never built Barney Circle Connector, which would've been a 4-lane freeway extension from Barney Circle across the river...the DC 295 bridge over the railroad was rehabbed back in the mid-90s, when the connector was also being planned.  Instead, the "missing movements" between the Southeast Freeway and DC 295 will be added as part of the 11th Street Bridge project.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mefailenglish on September 23, 2009, 08:25:25 AM
11th Street Bridge construction moves forward:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/11th_street_bridge_plans_get_i.html?hpid=topnews (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/09/11th_street_bridge_plans_get_i.html?hpid=topnews)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 05, 2012, 04:51:13 PM
Washington Post: D.C. raises record amount of revenue from parking tickets (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/dc-raises-record-amount-of-revenue-from-parking-tickets/2012/03/05/gIQAEeGXsR_blog.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 12, 2012, 05:23:13 PM
GreaterGreaterWashington: 6-year study suggests tweaks around 14th Street bridges (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/14020/6-year-study-suggests-tweaks-to-14th-street-bridges/)

Quote
Near the Jefferson Memorial, 5 bridges cross the Potomac carrying motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, the Metro, and freight and passenger trains. How can they be improved?

Quote
The Federal Highway Administration, DDOT, VDOT, and the National Park Service have been working on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the 14th Street Bridge corridor since 2006. They looked at the roads and paths on the bridges themselves and for some distance on and around I-395 and Route 1 (14th Street and Jefferson Davis Highway).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 04, 2012, 08:02:55 AM
D.C. Examiner: D.C. looks to let demand set parking rates (http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc-news/2012/05/dc-looks-let-demand-set-parking-rates/569231)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on May 04, 2012, 03:32:07 PM
On a different note, for those who like old-school pedestrian signals, they still exist at 13th and Pennsylvania NW.  There's a few others I noticed today in Capitol Hill East that, while more modern, don't have the countdown signals that most DC signals have.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 15, 2012, 11:15:14 AM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC is adding some new speed camera locations. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/dc-speed-camera-locations-expanding-by-25/2012/05/15/gIQAda7ARU_blog.html)

The most notable ones are on both sides of I-395 near Exit 4 (eastbound, that's the exit marked "Maine Avenue/SW Waterfront/Nationals Park"; westbound, it's where the road splits with Maine Avenue and 12th Street traffic exiting to the right). The speed limit there is 40 mph and if you try to drive that slowly you put yourself in serious danger. It's unclear whether that's going to be a fixed or mobile camera location. Dr. Gridlock linked DC's listing of camera sites, and that list indicates mobile, but I noted a number of other instances of outdated information and flat-out mistakes on DC's list.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on May 15, 2012, 11:29:36 AM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC is adding some new speed camera locations. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/dc-speed-camera-locations-expanding-by-25/2012/05/15/gIQAda7ARU_blog.html)

The most notable ones are on both sides of I-395 near Exit 4 (eastbound, that's the exit marked "Maine Avenue/SW Waterfront/Nationals Park"; westbound, it's where the road splits with Maine Avenue and 12th Street traffic exiting to the right). The speed limit there is 40 mph and if you try to drive that slowly you put yourself in serious danger. It's unclear whether that's going to be a fixed or mobile camera location.

That location is on the commuting route to the U.S. Capitol of many congresscritters and their staffers who live in Virginia.  It'll be interesting to see what kind of blowback comes from them, once they start getting tickets in the mail.

Eastbound, that location for a time had a temporary work zone speed limit of 45mph, higher than the regular limit of 40mph.  I take that as yet more evidence that the 40mph limit is underposted, as D.C. is wont to do.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 15, 2012, 05:57:59 PM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC is adding some new speed camera locations. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/dc-speed-camera-locations-expanding-by-25/2012/05/15/gIQAda7ARU_blog.html)

The most notable ones are on both sides of I-395 near Exit 4 (eastbound, that's the exit marked "Maine Avenue/SW Waterfront/Nationals Park"; westbound, it's where the road splits with Maine Avenue and 12th Street traffic exiting to the right). The speed limit there is 40 mph and if you try to drive that slowly you put yourself in serious danger. It's unclear whether that's going to be a fixed or mobile camera location.

That location is on the commuting route to the U.S. Capitol of many congresscritters and their staffers who live in Virginia.  It'll be interesting to see what kind of blowback comes from them, once they start getting tickets in the mail.

Eastbound, that location for a time had a temporary work zone speed limit of 45mph, higher than the regular limit of 40mph.  I take that as yet more evidence that the 40mph limit is underposted, as D.C. is wont to do.

I wonder if the congressmen might claim immunity from ticketing under Article I, Section 6, clause 1:

Quote
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

I seem to recall a news report some years back about Frank Wolf being issued a speeding ticket in Fairfax County that the police department then revoked because of this provision since Wolf was on his way to Capitol Hill for a regular session of Congress, but Wolf then insisted they issue the ticket because he said that's not the sort of thing for which this provision was intended. I might be mistaken about the facts; it may have been a car crash where he was at fault. Either way, if the story is true I think his point is valid. A constitutional provision of this sort should not be interpreted as giving the congressmen the right to break every law they choose without fear of penalty. We already run into that problem enough with the embassies and their people with Diplomat plates.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 15, 2012, 06:37:34 PM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC is adding some new speed camera locations. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/post/dc-speed-camera-locations-expanding-by-25/2012/05/15/gIQAda7ARU_blog.html)

The most notable ones are on both sides of I-395 near Exit 4 (eastbound, that's the exit marked "Maine Avenue/SW Waterfront/Nationals Park"; westbound, it's where the road splits with Maine Avenue and 12th Street traffic exiting to the right). The speed limit there is 40 mph and if you try to drive that slowly you put yourself in serious danger. It's unclear whether that's going to be a fixed or mobile camera location.

That location is on the commuting route to the U.S. Capitol of many congresscritters and their staffers who live in Virginia.  It'll be interesting to see what kind of blowback comes from them, once they start getting tickets in the mail.

Eastbound, that location for a time had a temporary work zone speed limit of 45mph, higher than the regular limit of 40mph.  I take that as yet more evidence that the 40mph limit is underposted, as D.C. is wont to do.

I wonder if the congressmen might claim immunity from ticketing under Article I, Section 6, clause 1:

Excellent  question.  And it is my understanding that relatively few Members live in the  Maryland suburbs of D.C. (perhaps because there are no freeway connections from D.C. to most of Maryland, just possibly?), so they will generally not encounter the photo radar enforcement along U.S. 50 (N.Y. Ave., N.E.) between Bladensburg Road and South Dakota Avenue, nor along I-295 at Blue Plains (Laboratory Road, S.W.), nor along D.C. 295 just south of Eastern Avenue, N.E.

Quote
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

Quote
I seem to recall a news report some years back about Frank Wolf being issued a speeding ticket in Fairfax County that the police department then revoked because of this provision since Wolf was on his way to Capitol Hill for a regular session of Congress, but Wolf then insisted they issue the ticket because he said that's not the sort of thing for which this provision was intended. I might be mistaken about the facts; it may have been a car crash where he was at fault. Either way, if the story is true I think his point is valid. A constitutional provision of this sort should not be interpreted as giving the congressmen the right to break every law they choose without fear of penalty. We already run into that problem enough with the embassies and their people with Diplomat plates.

I recall a crash involving the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) on U.S. 50 (Lee-Jackson Highway) some years ago, in, I believe, Fairfax County, Va.  If I recall correctly, he was headed west on U.S. 50 in the direction of his home state, but it was on a day when the Senate was not in session (I believe it may have been on Friday, 07-May-1999, according to this link (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-588955.html) (Highbeam.com pay site).  The site says Byrd was issued a summons for "following too closely," which was later voided. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2012, 09:53:39 PM
WTOP Radio: Bus catches fire in 3rd Street Tunnel in D.C. (Video) (http://www.wtop.com/109/2872682/Bus-fire-in-3rd-Street-Tunnel-forces-evacuation)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 08, 2012, 10:07:31 AM
Washington Post: D.C. red-light, speed cameras rake in a record $55 million (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/district-rakes-in-a-record-55-million-from-red-light-speed-cameras/2012/06/07/gJQAoS7sKV_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2012, 12:05:59 PM
Police pull over and stop Google driverless car in Washington, D.C. (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/07/police-stop-google-driverless-car-in-washington-d-c.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 16, 2012, 02:12:52 PM
I think "privileged from arrest" means they cannot be arrested right then and there.  they can be arrested, and given the usual due process of law, just starting at another time.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2012, 03:57:14 PM
Police pull over and stop Google driverless car in Washington, D.C. (http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2012/07/police-stop-google-driverless-car-in-washington-d-c.html)

Some details on this: What Happens When the Cops Pull Over a Self-Driving Car? (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/13/google_self_driving_car_what_happens_when_police_pull_over_autonomous_cars_.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2012, 07:05:07 PM
The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis (http://www.washingtonpost.com/mike-debonis/2011/02/24/ABbxUYN_page.html) on what happens when a D.C.-licensed driver gets convicted of reckless driving in Virginia: D.C. drivers hurt by tough interpretation of Va. offenses (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-drivers-hurt-by-tough-interpretation-of-va-offenses/2012/07/30/gJQAzPbBLX_story.html)

Interestingly, one of the "victims" in this story was convicted of reckless driving in the notorious (to some) speed trap on I-295 in Hopewell, Virginia.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 31, 2012, 07:15:42 PM
Quote
“Driving 81 miles per hour is dangerous, not only to the well-being of the driver, but also to those around him or her in that the ability to maintain control is reduced the higher the speed of travel,” she wrote.

this coming from the director of the DC department of motor vehicles.

yes, in Washington DC, doing 81mph is quite likely reckless... but still, what a stunning lack of perspective.  has she ever driven rurally?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 01, 2012, 09:31:44 PM
I think the Virginia law is a bit of a "gotcha" law, but it's hardly a secret either. It's WELL-known among many residents of both DC and Maryland that above 80 mph is grounds for a reckless in Virginia. But even if someone doesn't know the law, I have no sympathy at all for someone who doesn't read the summons. In Virginia reckless has to be charged for you to be convicted of it—the cop can't charge you with simple speeding 85 in a 70 zone and then the judge turns around and says "reckless." So you're on notice you face a reckless charge and it's your own fault if you fail to take it seriously. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 09, 2012, 07:07:43 PM
Washington Post: D.C. officer pleads guilty to radar speed-gun fraud; city to refund tickets (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-officer-pleads-guilty-to-radar-speed-gun-fraud-city-to-refund-tickets/2012/08/09/d489207a-e23c-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 29, 2012, 08:43:25 AM
WTOP Radio: New type of traffic camera slated for D.C. (http://www.wtop.com/109/3012346/New-type-of-traffic-camera-for-DC)

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 29, 2012, 12:47:55 PM
WTOP Radio: New type of traffic camera slated for D.C. (http://www.wtop.com/109/3012346/New-type-of-traffic-camera-for-DC)

The idea of using cameras to enforce yielding to pedestrians gives me serious concern because I don't know how they intend to deal with the problems of pedestrians refusing to obey the lights and crossing wherever and whenever they wish. At some intersections it puts the driver in a serious bind—the one that immediately comes to mind is 18th & L NW, two one-way streets where drivers from 18th may turn right only on a green arrow (per a sign). But it can be difficult to make that turn because of all the asshole pedestrians who think they're allowed to walk during that green arrow signal (despite the obvious "Don't Walk" signal). I don't hesitate to force my way through and use my horn. It pisses them off, but that's their problem—it's not their turn to go, and if I don't force the issue I'll never get around the corner.

I'd like to know how they intend to use the cameras in that type of situation. The driver is damned if he goes, damned if he yields (as then he could get a camera ticket for turning after the green arrow ends).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on August 30, 2012, 02:30:44 PM
And then there's the definition of "yielding to pedestrians".  Most of us would probably think that if you can finish the turn before they get to you or go just after they pass the area you'll go through that you're fine - which it is in practice.  But I think the government defines it as not making any action to move as long as there is a pedestrian anywhere near the intersection, given how driver's ed instructed and road test people operate.  It's similar for cars; my cousin failed her road test the first time because she failed to yield to a car that was three blocks away from where she was turning!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on August 30, 2012, 02:34:08 PM
But I think the government defines it as not making any action to move as long as there is a pedestrian anywhere near the intersection
Strawman. If they're in or within one lane of your half of the crosswalk.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2012, 08:23:01 PM
WTOP Radio: New type of traffic camera slated for D.C. (http://www.wtop.com/109/3012346/New-type-of-traffic-camera-for-DC)

The idea of using cameras to enforce yielding to pedestrians gives me serious concern because I don't know how they intend to deal with the problems of pedestrians refusing to obey the lights and crossing wherever and whenever they wish. At some intersections it puts the driver in a serious bind—the one that immediately comes to mind is 18th & L NW, two one-way streets where drivers from 18th may turn right only on a green arrow (per a sign). But it can be difficult to make that turn because of all the asshole pedestrians who think they're allowed to walk during that green arrow signal (despite the obvious "Don't Walk" signal). I don't hesitate to force my way through and use my horn. It pisses them off, but that's their problem—it's not their turn to go, and if I don't force the issue I'll never get around the corner.

I'd like to know how they intend to use the cameras in that type of situation. The driver is damned if he goes, damned if he yields (as then he could get a camera ticket for turning after the green arrow ends).

Most District of Columbia municipal police officers are not interested in writing traffic tickets to anyone, anytime, anywhere.  I suspect that per-officer, the U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Capitol Police probably issue more D.C. traffic tickets than the Metropolitan Police do.  Even though  a large percentage of the Capitol Police are not in police cars where they can initiate traffic stops.

Having said that, I think the elected officials of the city see automated enforcement as a revenue gold mine, and just possibly as a surrogate for the commuter tax that they are forbidden by the D.C. charter (enacted by Congress) from levying on Md. and Va. residents who work in the city. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on August 31, 2012, 01:20:53 PM
But I think the government defines it as not making any action to move as long as there is a pedestrian anywhere near the intersection
Strawman. If they're in or within one lane of your half of the crosswalk.
You and I might think that, but NYS DMV licence examiners are stricter, and I would think the government would adopt a position more similar to the licence examiner than to us because it would yield more revenue.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 05, 2012, 03:11:15 PM
WTOP Radio: App finds D.C. one of the worst for speed traps (VIDEO) (http://www.wtop.com/109/3020840/App-DC-among-worst-for-speed-traps)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 12, 2012, 07:44:56 PM
Washington Post op-ed by Courtland Milloy: Speed cameras: Traffic enforcement or highway robbery? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/speed-cameras-traffic-enforcement-or-highway-robbery/2012/09/11/dae4d874-fc54-11e1-8adc-499661afe377_story.html)

Quote
Not reckless driving, just cruising at speeds more appropriate for road conditions than the posted speed limit sometimes permits. Pop the top on the old Solara, fire up the CD player and hit the open road. A new Mercedes ad calls it “feeling alive,” although the sensation can be just as good in any well-kept automobile.

Quote
Lately, though, some jurisdictions have ramped up efforts to kill that feeling — to actually steal the joy of driving altogether — by “getting people out of their cars,” as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) likes to say. And through the use of hyper-vigilant parking enforcement along with an explosion of red light and speed cameras, he’s drawn a hard line in the sand.

Quote
John Townsend, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, is girded for battle.

Quote
“When you look at plans for the future of transportation in the District, much of the focus is on making cars optional in the city,” he said. “To make more room for pedestrians and cyclists, they want to make less room for cars. But most people in the city still get to work by car, and I don’t see them having any options in the foreseeable future.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 17, 2012, 05:26:41 PM
WTOP Radio: Councilmembers' bill would slash D.C. speed camera fines (http://www.wtop.com/109/3079961/Bill-would-slash-DC-speed-camera-fines)

Quote
A proposal by three members of the D.C. Council would reduce speed camera fines in the District from the highest in the nation to a maximum of $50.

Quote
D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6, will introduce the Safety-Based Traffic Enforcement Act of 2012 Tuesday. As part of the bill, fines for photo-enforced infractions such as speeding, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failure to stop at a stop sign or blocking the box in an intersection would result in a graduated fine with a maximum of $50.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on October 20, 2012, 01:52:25 PM
WTOP Radio: Councilmembers' bill would slash D.C. speed camera fines (http://www.wtop.com/109/3079961/Bill-would-slash-DC-speed-camera-fines)

Quote
A proposal by three members of the D.C. Council would reduce speed camera fines in the District from the highest in the nation to a maximum of $50.

Quote
D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6, will introduce the Safety-Based Traffic Enforcement Act of 2012 Tuesday. As part of the bill, fines for photo-enforced infractions such as speeding, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failure to stop at a stop sign or blocking the box in an intersection would result in a graduated fine with a maximum of $50.

I'm sure we have the technology to detect pedestrians in the crosswalk, but I've never heard of that being photo enforced. Also, failure to stop at a stop sign? Does that mean the camera is running video instead of still images, so that the fine is issued if the camera doesn't detect a stop? Again, I've never heard of this.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 24, 2012, 09:01:52 AM
Washington Post: Single District speed camera: 116,734 tickets worth $11.6 million (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/single-district-speed-camera-116734-tickets-worth-116-million/2012/10/23/2b754b24-1c86-11e2-ba31-3083ca97c314_story.html)

Some of the material in this article is factually deficient:

Quote
The District’s biggest moneymaking speed camera in a 23-month period ending in August is the one on New York Avenue between Florida Avenue and the new Ninth Street overpass, which produced $11.6 million it tickets. The camera spewed out 60,241 tickets, worth $6.2 million, in the previous fiscal year.

But its jackpot potential was eventually eclipsed by a pair of cameras installed on D.C. 295, which runs just east of the Anacostia River.

The cameras — one catching southbound traffic and the other north — are on 295 just north of where it intersects with the Capital Beltway and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Between Oct. 1 of last year and Aug. 31 of this year, the two cameras produced 161,399 tickets, with a face value of almost $15.9 million.

“Most drivers mistakenly assume D.C. 295 is an interstate highway or a U.S. highway, and they cruise along at what traffic engineers call the 85th percentile speed, which is the speed that 85 percent of the drivers on that freeway consider as the maximum safe speed for that location,” said AAA’s Townsend. “In fact, it is the only numbered route in the District that isn’t an interstate or U.S. highway. And drivers who aren’t aware of that are paying the price for that.”

The productive D.C. 295 cameras helped make fiscal 2012 a year of frustration for drivers who don’t like getting tickets and a lucrative year for the city tax coffers. The city has 47 red-light cameras and 46 speed cameras. Of the speed cameras, 10 are at fixed locations, 15 are portable and 21 are installed on police vehicles.

Those cameras are in fact on Interstate 295 near the Blue Plains sewage treatment facility, one for each carriageway (I pass them frequently on my way home from Nationals Park, and when traffic is even moderately heavy you CAN'T speed past the camera because all the local drivers know it's there and slow down to 40 to 45 mph in the 50-mph zone). The 50-mph speed limit there is absurd. I have no quibble with a low limit further north near South Capitol Street and especially in the 11th Street Bridge work zone, but posting 50 mph on the southern end of that road can only be intended as a "gotcha" measure to screw the suburban drivers.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: deathtopumpkins on October 24, 2012, 09:22:00 AM
Also, I hate how people (like the author of this article) assume that an interstate highway must be a better quality road, and that if it's not an interstate then it is not a high-speed road. No.  :-/
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 24, 2012, 09:49:26 AM
Also, I hate how people (like the author of this article) assume that an interstate highway must be a better quality road, and that if it's not an interstate then it is not a high-speed road. No.  :-/

Indeed, and DC's Interstates in particular are not particularly good roads, although I-295 could use a higher speed limit for the southern portion (as mentioned above).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on October 24, 2012, 11:24:37 AM
Washington Post: Single District speed camera: 116,734 tickets worth $11.6 million (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/single-district-speed-camera-116734-tickets-worth-116-million/2012/10/23/2b754b24-1c86-11e2-ba31-3083ca97c314_story.html)

Some of the material in this article is factually deficient:

For another questionable item in the article (not about D.C., but still reflecting the article's accuracy):

"Speed cameras are employed in Virginia if authorized by local ordinance."

That's news to me.  There are plenty of red-light cameras in some Virginia communities, but even in notorious speed trap Falls Church city I've never seen a speed camera.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 24, 2012, 11:43:50 AM
Washington Post: Single District speed camera: 116,734 tickets worth $11.6 million (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/single-district-speed-camera-116734-tickets-worth-116-million/2012/10/23/2b754b24-1c86-11e2-ba31-3083ca97c314_story.html)

Some of the material in this article is factually deficient:

For another questionable item in the article (not about D.C., but still reflecting the article's accuracy):

"Speed cameras are employed in Virginia if authorized by local ordinance."

That's news to me.  There are plenty of red-light cameras in some Virginia communities, but even in notorious speed trap Falls Church city I've never seen a speed camera.

Good point. Indeed speed cameras are NOT in use in Virginia and are NOT allowed under state law.

I just tweeted Dr. Gridlock about the errors since he's usually responsive on such things. He also knows who I am from my comments on his blog and traffic-reporting tweets I've sent him in the past. Be interesting to see if anything gets corrected.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 24, 2012, 09:44:49 PM
Those cameras are in fact on Interstate 295 near the Blue Plains sewage treatment facility, one for each carriageway (I pass them frequently on my way home from Nationals Park, and when traffic is even moderately heavy you CAN'T speed past the camera because all the local drivers know it's there and slow down to 40 to 45 mph in the 50-mph zone). The 50-mph speed limit there is absurd. I have no quibble with a low limit further north near South Capitol Street and especially in the 11th Street Bridge work zone, but posting 50 mph on the southern end of that road can only be intended as a "gotcha" measure to screw the suburban drivers.

There are also a set of similar devices (speed cameras mounted in what appear to be steel traffic signal cabinets) on D.C. 295 (Kenilworth Avenue, N.E., an expressway-class road with full access control and no signalized intersections, but mostly lacking shoulders) between Benning Road, N.E. and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. on both sides.  Posted limit there is 45 MPH.   
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 24, 2012, 10:45:29 PM
Those cameras are in fact on Interstate 295 near the Blue Plains sewage treatment facility, one for each carriageway (I pass them frequently on my way home from Nationals Park, and when traffic is even moderately heavy you CAN'T speed past the camera because all the local drivers know it's there and slow down to 40 to 45 mph in the 50-mph zone). The 50-mph speed limit there is absurd. I have no quibble with a low limit further north near South Capitol Street and especially in the 11th Street Bridge work zone, but posting 50 mph on the southern end of that road can only be intended as a "gotcha" measure to screw the suburban drivers.

There are also a set of similar devices (speed cameras mounted in what appear to be steel traffic signal cabinets) on D.C. 295 (Kenilworth Avenue, N.E., an expressway-class road with full access control and no signalized intersections, but mostly lacking shoulders) between Benning Road, N.E. and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. on both sides.  Posted limit there is 45 MPH.   

You're right, but if you read the article I linked, it's very clear he's taking about the ones on the Interstate portion because he specifically refers to the southern part near the Beltway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2012, 06:19:02 AM
Those cameras are in fact on Interstate 295 near the Blue Plains sewage treatment facility, one for each carriageway (I pass them frequently on my way home from Nationals Park, and when traffic is even moderately heavy you CAN'T speed past the camera because all the local drivers know it's there and slow down to 40 to 45 mph in the 50-mph zone). The 50-mph speed limit there is absurd. I have no quibble with a low limit further north near South Capitol Street and especially in the 11th Street Bridge work zone, but posting 50 mph on the southern end of that road can only be intended as a "gotcha" measure to screw the suburban drivers.

There are also a set of similar devices (speed cameras mounted in what appear to be steel traffic signal cabinets) on D.C. 295 (Kenilworth Avenue, N.E., an expressway-class road with full access control and no signalized intersections, but mostly lacking shoulders) between Benning Road, N.E. and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. on both sides.  Posted limit there is 45 MPH.   

You're right, but if you read the article I linked, it's very clear he's taking about the ones on the Interstate portion because he specifically refers to the southern part near the Beltway.

Yeah, I think you are correct.  It's amazing to me that people cannot distinguish between I-295 and D.C. 295 (and the part of the corridor that is now D.C. 295 was long referred to as "295" before the D.C. 295 signs went up).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 25, 2012, 07:48:25 AM
The plot thickens....on Channel 4 news at 11 last night Jim Vance talked about this story and he showed a picture of DC-295. Makes me wonder whether the Post's Halsey was being sloppy in describing the camera location or in describing the route number. Clearly he messed up (and, as Oscar notes, he was utterly wrong on Virginia law).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 25, 2012, 11:35:38 AM
The plot thickens....on Channel 4 news at 11 last night Jim Vance talked about this story and he showed a picture of DC-295. Makes me wonder whether the Post's Halsey was being sloppy in describing the camera location or in describing the route number. Clearly he messed up (and, as Oscar notes, he was utterly wrong on Virginia law).

Not making excuses for Halsey, but some years ago, the Virginia General Assembly did permit local governments at least some automated traffic enforcement.  I think just about every signalized intersection on Va. 243 (Nutley Street) and Va. 123 (Maple Avenue) in the Town of Vienna (Fairfax County) had automated red light violation detectors and cameras installed.

I have no problem with automated enforcement for safety reasons.  Maryland SHA's automated speed enforcement in work zones (where motorists are warned - several times - approaching work zones) is a good thing (it was especially appropriate in the long-term work zone (two bridge redeckings, recently completed) on I-270 between Md. 109 (Hyattstown) and Md. 80 (Urbana).

And I don't have a problem with D.C. having automated enforcement along its neighborhood streets, where motorists need to obey the speed limits to protect pedestrians and bike riders.

But there are not supposed to be any pedestrians or bicycles on D.C. 295 or I-295.

And annoyingly, I don't think I have seen any automated speed enforcement at the one spot along the I-295/D.C. 295 corridor where it would be highly appropriate and useful to have - at the 11th Street Bridge construction project.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 10:36:32 AM
Washington Post: D.C. implementing parking rules to limit visitor spots, discourage driving (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-implementing-parking-rules-to-limit-visitor-spots-discourage-driving/2012/11/24/ed055ba2-3410-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_story.html)

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District officials are reserving thousands of on-street parking spaces for residents on weekdays in the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, part of an aggressive effort to limit spots for visitors.

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The restrictions are a slice of a city strategy to promote bicycling and mass transit while increasing the odds that residents can find parking. The changes, which could affect as many as 10,000 spaces, come as the city eliminates some on-street parking to make room for bicycle lanes and prepares to set aside hundreds of meters for the disabled.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 10:49:09 AM
Washington Post: Bike commuters power though the winter cold (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bike-commuters-power-though-the-winter-cold/2012/11/23/f3f1153e-2e82-11e2-beb2-4b4cf5087636_story.html)

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The sounds of the city recede to a low hum, less present than the bite of winter’s chill as the pale yellow sunlight knifes between the trees and the whir of bicycle wheels breaks the stillness of the suburban bike path.

Quote
“When the early evening comes in the fall and it gets cold, it’s actually very solitary and beautiful to just cruise that trail through the woods, even in the dark,” said George Branyan, 49, who plans to pedal 15 miles each way between his Greenbelt home and downtown office in all but the worst conditions this winter.

Quote
Along the Northeast Branch Trail, near College Park, riders are scarce during the winter, he says. “Just all the animals — foxes, rabbit and the deer. You don’t want to surprise the deer because, unlike hitting a deer with a car, it’s a little different with a bike.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mtantillo on November 25, 2012, 08:20:31 PM
Washington Post: D.C. implementing parking rules to limit visitor spots, discourage driving (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-implementing-parking-rules-to-limit-visitor-spots-discourage-driving/2012/11/24/ed055ba2-3410-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_story.html)

Quote
District officials are reserving thousands of on-street parking spaces for residents on weekdays in the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, part of an aggressive effort to limit spots for visitors.

Quote
The restrictions are a slice of a city strategy to promote bicycling and mass transit while increasing the odds that residents can find parking. The changes, which could affect as many as 10,000 spaces, come as the city eliminates some on-street parking to make room for bicycle lanes and prepares to set aside hundreds of meters for the disabled.

If they really wanted to help residents, they would leave the current system alone during the day, and implement one side residents only at night. 

During the day, residential zones in DC are currently 2 hour parking for the entire zone (which correspond to the 8 wards of DC, roughly), with an exemption for those with a residential permit for that zone.  During the day, I personally don't have a problem with residential parking areas being used as overflow parking for business districts, because many residents leave the neighborhoods with their cars to commute to work,so in many areas, there are available spaces.  And DC's residential parking is far more friendly than most other area jurisdictions, which ban all non-resident parking during the day.  Plus for people actually visiting residents (as opposed to just visiting the neighborhood), each resident gets one guest pass plus they can get as many temporary ones as they want from the nearest police station.  I say leave those spots alone for people patronizing neighborhood businesses, deliveries, and short term visitors, but still discouraging all day commuter parking on residential streets with time limits for non-residents. 

But at night when all the residents come home from work, this is when parking is a problem in many neighborhoods, and also when DC has no parking restrictions on most residential streets!  It is tolerable Monday to Thursday nights, not that good on Sunday nights (I suppose a lot of residents have overnight visitors that don't leave until the next morning), and awful on Friday and Saturday nights when you have people coming in from the suburbs for the nightlife.  This is when it would be really nice to have one side reserved for residents (and their guests with a proper permit). 

Our neighborhood is bad all weekend, not just in the evenings, because people come in to visit a tourist attraction in the neighborhood that has pay parking...but they don't want to pay for it, so they just use up all the residential spots.  I did the street parking game for 4 years, now I pay big bucks for a garage spot in my building so I can come and go as I please. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 25, 2012, 09:05:03 PM
Washington Post: D.C. implementing parking rules to limit visitor spots, discourage driving (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-implementing-parking-rules-to-limit-visitor-spots-discourage-driving/2012/11/24/ed055ba2-3410-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_story.html)

Quote
District officials are reserving thousands of on-street parking spaces for residents on weekdays in the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, part of an aggressive effort to limit spots for visitors.

Quote
The restrictions are a slice of a city strategy to promote bicycling and mass transit while increasing the odds that residents can find parking. The changes, which could affect as many as 10,000 spaces, come as the city eliminates some on-street parking to make room for bicycle lanes and prepares to set aside hundreds of meters for the disabled.

If they really wanted to help residents, they would leave the current system alone during the day, and implement one side residents only at night. 

During the day, residential zones in DC are currently 2 hour parking for the entire zone (which correspond to the 8 wards of DC, roughly), with an exemption for those with a residential permit for that zone.  During the day, I personally don't have a problem with residential parking areas being used as overflow parking for business districts, because many residents leave the neighborhoods with their cars to commute to work,so in many areas, there are available spaces.  And DC's residential parking is far more friendly than most other area jurisdictions, which ban all non-resident parking during the day.  Plus for people actually visiting residents (as opposed to just visiting the neighborhood), each resident gets one guest pass plus they can get as many temporary ones as they want from the nearest police station.  I say leave those spots alone for people patronizing neighborhood businesses, deliveries, and short term visitors, but still discouraging all day commuter parking on residential streets with time limits for non-residents.

A few thoughts.

(1) This is an example of "be careful what you ask for, because you just might  get it."  Transit in the District of Columbia  (including the money paid by the D.C. Government to WMATA for rail and bus service) is profoundly dependent on taxes and fees collected from D.C. highway users (including fuel taxes, parking meter revenue, parking fines and taxes on private off-street parking lots).  If the modal shares that the D.C. Mayor has called for were to happen, then I think WMATA would have to shut-down or drastically curtail its operations for lack of money.

(2) I need my private vehicle.  I use it every day (frequently to do work in D.C.), and would not consider living in a place where parking of vehicles is so actively discouraged. 

(3) I also think that blatant discrimination against non-residents (in the form of discriminatory parking policies aimed at nonresidents) is probably a violation of the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), though I believe the courts have ruled otherwise.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mtantillo on November 26, 2012, 01:08:53 PM
Washington Post: D.C. implementing parking rules to limit visitor spots, discourage driving (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-implementing-parking-rules-to-limit-visitor-spots-discourage-driving/2012/11/24/ed055ba2-3410-11e2-bfd5-e202b6d7b501_story.html)

Quote
District officials are reserving thousands of on-street parking spaces for residents on weekdays in the city’s most crowded neighborhoods, part of an aggressive effort to limit spots for visitors.

Quote
The restrictions are a slice of a city strategy to promote bicycling and mass transit while increasing the odds that residents can find parking. The changes, which could affect as many as 10,000 spaces, come as the city eliminates some on-street parking to make room for bicycle lanes and prepares to set aside hundreds of meters for the disabled.

If they really wanted to help residents, they would leave the current system alone during the day, and implement one side residents only at night. 

During the day, residential zones in DC are currently 2 hour parking for the entire zone (which correspond to the 8 wards of DC, roughly), with an exemption for those with a residential permit for that zone.  During the day, I personally don't have a problem with residential parking areas being used as overflow parking for business districts, because many residents leave the neighborhoods with their cars to commute to work,so in many areas, there are available spaces.  And DC's residential parking is far more friendly than most other area jurisdictions, which ban all non-resident parking during the day.  Plus for people actually visiting residents (as opposed to just visiting the neighborhood), each resident gets one guest pass plus they can get as many temporary ones as they want from the nearest police station.  I say leave those spots alone for people patronizing neighborhood businesses, deliveries, and short term visitors, but still discouraging all day commuter parking on residential streets with time limits for non-residents.

A few thoughts.

(1) This is an example of "be careful what you ask for, because you just might  get it."  Transit in the District of Columbia  (including the money paid by the D.C. Government to WMATA for rail and bus service) is profoundly dependent on taxes and fees collected from D.C. highway users (including fuel taxes, parking meter revenue, parking fines and taxes on private off-street parking lots).  If the modal shares that the D.C. Mayor has called for were to happen, then I think WMATA would have to shut-down or drastically curtail its operations for lack of money.

(2) I need my private vehicle.  I use it every day (frequently to do work in D.C.), and would not consider living in a place where parking of vehicles is so actively discouraged. 

(3) I also think that blatant discrimination against non-residents (in the form of discriminatory parking policies aimed at nonresidents) is probably a violation of the Equal Protection Clause (14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), though I believe the courts have ruled otherwise.

1) Well, it is clear that DC's proposed policies have nothing to do with making life easier for residents and everything to do with making things hard for those who wish to drive into the city during the day.  So personally I hope it doesn't come to fruition. 

2) Ditto.  I chose my neighborhood specifically because it had easier street parking than other DC neighborhoods.  But ever since I've grown out of my "city living is awesome" phase, I wish I had a place with free off-street parking. 

3)  I would tend to agree except in places where residential street parking is oversaturated, in which case I think the government is rightfully giving those that need the spots first dibs on them, and yes, the courts have agreed.  I only support residential permit schemes in residential areas though, not in commercial districts...that parking should be available to all who are willing to pay or hunt for a spot. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 28, 2012, 10:12:33 PM
D.C. Examiner: Traffic woes likely to persist for decades, officials say (http://washingtonexaminer.com/traffic-woes-likely-to-persist-for-decades-officials-say/article/2514621)

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Even if the Washington region completes all its planned transportation projects, such as the Silver Line and the Purple Line, traffic in 2040 will be just as bad as it is now -- and in many places worse.

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That's according to a new analysis from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, released Wednesday, that shows the region's economic and population growth will outpace all current plans for transportation improvement, even if regional leaders push through projects struggling to get funding like the light rail Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Maryland.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on November 28, 2012, 10:26:19 PM
D.C. Examiner: Traffic woes likely to persist for decades, officials say (http://washingtonexaminer.com/traffic-woes-likely-to-persist-for-decades-officials-say/article/2514621)

Quote
Even if the Washington region completes all its planned transportation projects, such as the Silver Line and the Purple Line, traffic in 2040 will be just as bad as it is now -- and in many places worse.

Quote
That's according to a new analysis from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, released Wednesday, that shows the region's economic and population growth will outpace all current plans for transportation improvement, even if regional leaders push through projects struggling to get funding like the light rail Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Maryland.
*cough cough I-95 completion cough*
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on November 29, 2012, 01:04:27 AM
Quote
That's according to a new analysis from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, released Wednesday, that shows the region's economic and population growth will outpace all current plans for transportation improvement, even if regional leaders push through projects struggling to get funding like the light rail Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Maryland.
This report brought to you by the dumb growth industry.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 30, 2012, 11:45:04 AM
This one is a bit of a shocker:

WTOP reports DC is expected to announce speed limit increases on at least two roads (http://www.wtop.com/109/3138182/Drivers-to-speed-up-on-some-DC-roads), although the article doesn't say which ones.


Edited later the same day: In a very sloppy and error-riddled article (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=109&sid=3138739), WTOP reports that, quote, "The speed limit for Benning Road NE from Oklahoma Avenue to I-295 will increase to 35 mph. I-295 within the District from Eastern Avenue to Blue Plains will increase to 50 mph." Of course pretty much all of the REAL I-295 is already posted at 50 and the part from Eastern Avenue to the 11th Street Bridge is not part of I-295 at all.

Later in the article, the reporter says, "Gray will implement the new speed limits through emergency rule. Because the city is not raising them above 55 mph, the move will not require federal approval." I see this "federal approval" nonsense fairly frequently in articles about speed limits and it really bugs me because it's been seventeen years since the National Maximum Speed Law was repealed.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 30, 2012, 09:20:09 PM
The infamous Watergate Exxon appears to be no more (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2012/11/30/the-infamous-watergate-exxon-appears-to-be-no-more/)

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The World’s Most Famous Gas Station — a.k.a. the Watergate Exxon, where a gallon of gas reliably cost at least a dollar more than the average price elsewhere in Washington — appears to be no more.

Quote
Update: The Washington City Paper is reporting that the closure is temporary (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2012/11/30/watergate-exxon-only-closed-temporarily/).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2012, 09:15:07 AM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC raised the speed limits on four more streets effective at 12:01 this morning (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2012/12/17/speed-limits-going-up-on-four-more-d-c-streets/).

I do kind of wonder whether the cameras will be reset, or whether the tolerance had been higher than the new limits such that now there will be a reduced tolerance.

I also agree with froggie's comment there about DC being stubborn on not considering the two roads that are most in need of a review. I was talking to one of our neighbors on Sunday and she was complaining that she and her husband have gotten multiple speed camera tickets on I-295. I'm not totally sympathetic because I feel like any further speed camera tickets you incur after you get one in the mail are your own fault—I mean, the ticket put you on notice that there is (or may be) a camera somewhere along there, so why are you still flying along? But there's no question the 50-mph speed limit past the cameras outside Blue Plains is ludicrously low.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 18, 2012, 12:00:55 PM
how does the general public know about the tolerance of a speed camera?  when there were speed cameras in Phoenix, I swear I was the only driver doing 63mph in a 65, figuring that my odometer may not be 100% accurate.

turns out the tolerance is 80, but how was I supposed to know that??
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2012, 12:55:48 PM
how does the general public know about the tolerance of a speed camera?  when there were speed cameras in Phoenix, I swear I was the only driver doing 63mph in a 65, figuring that my odometer may not be 100% accurate.

turns out the tolerance is 80, but how was I supposed to know that??

Maryland publicizes it and says the tolerance is 12 mph over the limit. DC does not, presumably under the theory that if they publicize the tolerance it means drivers will just drive as fast as they can within that tolerance (a dumb thing to do, IMO, because of the risk of speedometer error).

I do not support speed cameras, but I also don't think the public has any right to know what, if any, tolerance the devices allow. If the speed limit is 50 mph, people don't really have a "right" to "expect" to be able to get away with going anything faster than that, even if the 50-mph limit is unreasonable.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 18, 2012, 12:59:18 PM
I'd be opposed in theory to having any tolerance at all... but I'd want a corresponding increase in signed speed limits, but good luck with that.

Texas seems to be the most honest in this regard - they tend to give you less than 5mph tolerance, but they have the highest speed limits in the nation. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2012, 01:17:53 PM
I'd be opposed in theory to having any tolerance at all... but I'd want a corresponding increase in signed speed limits, but good luck with that.

Texas seems to be the most honest in this regard - they tend to give you less than 5mph tolerance, but they have the highest speed limits in the nation. 

I agree with both comments as a general matter except that I think a small tolerance should be permitted to allow for speedometer error. I know some people would say it's the driver's responsibility to get the speedometer fixed, but frankly it's just not really worth the cost most of the time. If the speed limit is 75 mph and your speedometer says you're going 75 when you're really going 78, it's just not enough of a discrepancy to warrant the expense of getting it fixed and it's a bit overbearing for the State to force you into doing so. Of course at some point you do reach a point where error is too significant. I don't profess to have a sense for where that line is.

The other thing that always strikes me is the point I made in my comment to the blog entry I linked. The governments always bleat their stupid argument that speed limits are set for "safety" and that it's very important that you obey them. So if I-66 from Haymarket to I-81 is posted at 65 mph, they're saying it's "unsafe" for me to go 70. But then in 2010 after a change in the law they posted that same stretch at 70 mph (which is what the current limit is, and I generally obey it). That sort of thing takes away from the "safety" argument's credibility.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: jeffandnicole on December 18, 2012, 02:23:34 PM
I agree with both comments as a general matter except that I think a small tolerance should be permitted to allow for speedometer error.

It's also to allow for radar/speed equipment error. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 18, 2012, 06:57:31 PM
Texas seems to be the most honest in this regard - they tend to give you less than 5mph tolerance
I got a warning for 73 in a 70.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 18, 2012, 07:59:53 PM
Texas seems to be the most honest in this regard - they tend to give you less than 5mph tolerance
I got a warning for 73 in a 70.

I got one for 82 in a 70.  The deputy seemed to be most interested in what the heck a vehicle with Virginia plates was doing in Motley County, Texas.

Hawaii claimed to have a zero-tolerance policy in the mercifully brief period when its speed cameras were operating.  That was one of the many mistakes with the rollout of the speed cameras, which contributed to the program's deep unpopularity and swift demise.   (When uniformed police officers are caught on tape giving the finger to your speed cameras, that's a sign that you might've really screwed up.) 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2012, 06:17:17 PM
Reportedly the new ramp from outbound I-695 to northbound DC-295 opened this afternoon. Here's a picture from the DC DOT's Twitter post. I was unable to go check it out. Maybe tomorrow (though unlikely).

DC-295 doesn't serve just US-50; it also connects to MD-295. Adding control cities of "Annapolis" and "Baltimore" on the right-hand sign would not have been a disservice to people. DC isn't necessarily averse to out-of-territory control cities. Various signs around the city list "Richmond," "Baltimore," or just "Virginia."

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A-f_5LwCAAAoXus.jpg:large)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on December 19, 2012, 06:25:25 PM

I do not support speed cameras, but I also don't think the public has any right to know what, if any, tolerance the devices allow. If the speed limit is 50 mph, people don't really have a "right" to "expect" to be able to get away with going anything faster than that, even if the 50-mph limit is unreasonable.
You know the big kicker is the fact that the Freeway portion of NY Avenue is only 40 mph. and signs warn of cameras.  That should be 50 mph or even 60 would be safe.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 19, 2012, 06:27:04 PM

I do not support speed cameras, but I also don't think the public has any right to know what, if any, tolerance the devices allow. If the speed limit is 50 mph, people don't really have a "right" to "expect" to be able to get away with going anything faster than that, even if the 50-mph limit is unreasonable.
You know the big kicker is the fact that the Freeway portion of NY Avenue is only 40 mph. and signs warn of cameras.  That should be 50 mph or even 60 would be safe.

You're quoting me there, not "agentsteel53." That section of New York Avenue is now posted at 45 mph.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 19, 2012, 06:47:31 PM
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A-f_5LwCAAAoXus.jpg:large)
Can I just say how unsuitable the DC shield is for an overhead sign? At least at this pitiful size.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 20, 2012, 06:22:07 AM
Quote
You know the big kicker is the fact that the Freeway portion of NY Avenue is only 40 mph. and signs warn of cameras.  That should be 50 mph or even 60 would be safe.

Outbound, perhaps, but not inbound.  And as 1995hoo mentioned, outbound has recently been increased to 45 MPH.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on December 20, 2012, 01:52:39 PM
Can I just say how unsuitable the DC shield is for an overhead sign? At least at this pitiful size.
Agreed.  It uses space very inefficiently, especially for a rectangular shield.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 20, 2012, 02:23:54 PM
It also appears, based solely on that admittedly grainy picture, that the "DC" that normally appears on the DC shield is missing. Not a big deal, just strikes me as odd.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 20, 2012, 02:25:00 PM
yeah, I was thinking to myself "while I agree with the general sentiment; I don't remember using that exact sequence of words".
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on December 20, 2012, 02:26:50 PM

I do not support speed cameras, but I also don't think the public has any right to know what, if any, tolerance the devices allow. If the speed limit is 50 mph, people don't really have a "right" to "expect" to be able to get away with going anything faster than that, even if the 50-mph limit is unreasonable.
You know the big kicker is the fact that the Freeway portion of NY Avenue is only 40 mph. and signs warn of cameras.  That should be 50 mph or even 60 would be safe.

You're quoting me there, not "agentsteel53." That section of New York Avenue is now posted at 45 mph.
I will not attempt to break the quote here, but SORRY!  I guess I need some work on this.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on December 20, 2012, 02:29:00 PM
yeah, I was thinking to myself "while I agree with the general sentiment; I don't remember using that exact sequence of words".
I do not know how I did this exactly, but I am sorry for it looking like you said something you did not.  I need to learn how to not mix two quotes together properly and how to get a quote from another topic to be commented on another too.  Hopefully I figure this one out.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 20, 2012, 03:16:06 PM
yeah, I was thinking to myself "while I agree with the general sentiment; I don't remember using that exact sequence of words".
I do not know how I did this exactly, but I am sorry for it looking like you said something you did not.  I need to learn how to not mix two quotes together properly and how to get a quote from another topic to be commented on another too.  Hopefully I figure this one out.

Check the sticky information found at the following address for some tips on the quoting: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=4000.0

My #1 tip is, don't try to edit the quotes if you're posting from a mobile phone. An iPad or similar device with a larger screen might be feasible, but when I've posted on my iPhone I've found that it's REALLY EASY to lose track of the "quote" and "end quote" tags!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 20, 2012, 04:44:20 PM
WTOP reports that now the DC Council wants to LOWER the new speed limits back to what they were before and to deny the mayor any authority over such issues (http://www.wtop.com/109/3161781/Tussle-over-higher-speed-limits-in-DC).

What a screwed-up government those people have over there. I guess they get the government they deserve.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on December 20, 2012, 06:18:25 PM
WTOP reports that now the DC Council wants to LOWER the new speed limits back to what they were before and to deny the mayor any authority over such issues (http://www.wtop.com/109/3161781/Tussle-over-higher-speed-limits-in-DC).

What a screwed-up government those people have over there. I guess they get the government they deserve.
I did not try to find the quotes here.

Anyway, to add to this you have to remember Marion Barry was once mayor.  For those who were too young to remember he was a crackhead.  If a person like that can be elected, it proves your point about getting what you deserve.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 20, 2012, 06:30:31 PM
WTOP reports that now the DC Council wants to LOWER the new speed limits back to what they were before and to deny the mayor any authority over such issues (http://www.wtop.com/109/3161781/Tussle-over-higher-speed-limits-in-DC).

What a screwed-up government those people have over there. I guess they get the government they deserve.
I did not try to find the quotes here.

Anyway, to add to this you have to remember Marion Barry was once mayor.  For those who were too young to remember he was a crackhead.  If a person like that can be elected, it proves your point about getting what you deserve.

More to the point in this forum, Barry was an enthusiastic participant in efforts to cancel planned but not built freeways in the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland, and "replace" them with Metrorail.  Even though Barry did not use and does not use transit, except at Metro ribboncutting events (there were quite a few of those during the years that he was Mayor-for-Life).  Even though he has a free lifetime Metro transit pass because he served on its Board of Directors.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 02, 2013, 10:08:50 PM
Washington Post: District police officer says a department speed camera is wrong (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/district-police-officer-says-a-department-speed-camera-is-wrong/2013/01/02/48fbe386-5531-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html)

Quote
A District police officer who is challenging the accuracy of his own department’s speed camera program said a discrepancy on a speeding ticket from the Third Street Tunnel helped him beat the charge, and could lead to many other dismissals that would force the city to give back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Quote
Sgt. Mark E. Robinson, who cast himself as a whistleblower, argued that the citation issued by a speed camera in the Third Street Tunnel was invalid because the camera should have been set to enforce a posted 40-mph construction-zone speed limit. Instead, the camera was set to enforce the 45-mph limit that is regularly in force there.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on January 02, 2013, 10:17:10 PM
That's just silly. If it's enforcing 45 mph, it's certainly only catching people going faster than 40 mph.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2013, 07:03:20 PM
Washington Post Dr. Gridlock blog: Key Bridge closed in both directions (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/01/08/key-bridge-closed-in-both-directions/)

Quote
The Key Bridge is blocked in both directions due to a person possibly threatening to jump from the bridge, according to D.C. police.

Quote
Police report that a call came in at 4:42 p.m. from someone who spotted a man on the outside of the bridge rail. Police also reported that as of 5:30 p.m., the Whitehurst Freeway as well as 27th and K streets NW were also being shut down. Commuters are being diverted from eastbound M Street to Pennsylvania Avenue and from westbound M Street to Canal Road, which is creating massive headaches on M Street.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2013, 08:10:45 PM
Washington Post: D.C. Council to Secret Service: Give us easier parking for Obama’s inauguration (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-wire/post/dc-council-to-secret-service-give-us-easier-parking-for-obamas-inauguration/2013/01/08/6d3e967a-59b5-11e2-88d0-c4cf65c3ad15_blog.html)

Quote
It was billed as a “security briefing,” where the District’s homeland security and public safety directors would update all 13 council members on the city’s preparations for President Obama’s inauguration later this month.


Quote
Homeland Security Director Christopher T. Geldart and Public Safety Director Paul Quander told members, for example, that the U.S. Secret Service is in charge but the city will have a backup command center at the ready should and emergency develop.

Quote
Council members, like the public, should also prepare for much of downtown to be locked down as early as Sunday afternoon prior to the Jan. 21 swearing-in ceremony on the Mall, officials said.

Quote
But when it came time for council member questions, the meeting turned into a debate about the adequacy of the perks for council members wanting easy access to the inauguration.

And the biggest point of disagreement was over – you guessed it – parking.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 10, 2013, 10:09:09 PM
WTOP Radio: Gray: All options on table to fix D.C. congestion (http://www.wtop.com/41/3222338/Gray-Congestion-tax-isnt-ruled-out)

Quote
D.C. Mayor Vince Gray says new transportation strategies will need to be explored to accommodate the area's growing population.

Quote
Gray says one of the long term goals of his Sustainable D.C. plan is to have 75 percent of trips be car-free by 2032.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 11, 2013, 09:59:55 AM
Washington Post: David Alpert: His vision for Greater Greater Washington and the District (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/david-alpert-his-vision-for-greater-greater-washington-and-the-district/2013/02/08/e7966612-5c41-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html)

Quote
Part news site, part advocacy group, part community newsletter, Greater Greater Washington is like an unending handbook to being an engaged D.C. area resident. It draws more than 100,000 unique visitors a month.

Quote
While the blog has attracted an array of contributors, it’s the vision of Alpert — a former software engineer with no formal planning experience — that has shaped the views of citizens and politicians on what a better city means and how to achieve it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 19, 2013, 10:24:36 AM
Found this great photo of Arlington Memorial Bridge and thought it belonged in this thread rather than starting a new thread just for one picture. Don't know when it was taken.

(http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/thc/5a37000/5a37500/5a37532r.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 19, 2013, 11:50:14 AM
Found this great photo of Arlington Memorial Bridge and thought it belonged in this thread rather than starting a new thread just for one picture. Don't know when it was taken.

(http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/thc/5a37000/5a37500/5a37532r.jpg)

I have never, ever seen the Memorial Bridge in an open position.  Interesting how the old and new Wilson Bridges look something like this when they were/are open.

I know it has an operators compartment somewhere built-in to the span, because in one of the bios of President Truman, it describes him being out for a walk (while he lived in the White House or the Blair House) and stopping to talk to the guy who opened and closed the bridge. I think access to that compartment was from a hatch in one of the sidewalks.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on February 19, 2013, 11:52:53 AM
Found this great photo of Arlington Memorial Bridge and thought it belonged in this thread rather than starting a new thread just for one picture. Don't know when it was taken.

(http://memory.loc.gov/service/pnp/thc/5a37000/5a37500/5a37532r.jpg)

Sources I've read say it was opened for the last time on February 28, 1961.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 19, 2013, 12:23:10 PM
I believe it's been welded shut. The expansion of the 14th Street Bridge complex made the Memorial Bridge draw span useless because the 14th Street Bridge's outbound and HOV spans are not drawbridges; in addition, the construction of the Roosevelt Bridge (also without a draw span) meant that even if Memorial Bridge were to open, there's not really anywhere for a large vessel to go.

I've never seen it open either since I was not born the last time it opened, which is one reason I was happy to find that picture. Most people I know have no idea there's a draw span on that bridge and are surprised to learn of it, but when I point out how that arch is a different color they then usually see it immediately the next time they see that bridge.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 20, 2013, 08:26:46 AM
D.C. Examiner: D.C. logs nearly $26 million in traffic camera revenues in January (http://washingtonexaminer.com/d.c.-logs-nearly-26-million-in-traffic-camera-revenues-in-january/article/2521978)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 20, 2013, 11:02:30 PM
Washington Post: Changes in I-395, East Capitol Street lanes among possible projects in transportation planning document (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/road-makeovers-on-long-range-transportation-plan/2013/02/20/35539848-7ba0-11e2-9a75-dab0201670da_story.html)

Quote
A stretch of Interstate 395 could be expanded to four lanes in the coming years while several D.C. roadways could lose lanes, regional planning officials said Wednesday.

Quote
The changes to the area’s long-range transportation plan took a step forward on Wednesday at a meeting of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 28, 2013, 04:13:32 PM
D.C. Examiner: D.C. waging war against drivers (http://washingtonexaminer.com/d.c.-waging-war-against-drivers/article/2522783)

Quote
Driving in the District is a high-price hassle: burning gasoline while stuck in traffic, feeding hungry parking meters and now tracking the ever-watchful traffic cameras waiting to make you pay up if you slip up.

Quote
If it seems like city leaders want to get cars off the road in the nation's capital, that's because they do -- and it starts at the top. Mayor Vincent Gray's environmental initiative, Sustainable DC, has a stated goal of cutting in half by 2032 the number of D.C. commuters who drive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 28, 2013, 08:30:44 PM
Doesn't surprise me that the Examiner would ram out something like that.  Some of the comments are quite entertaining as well.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 28, 2013, 08:46:00 PM
Doesn't surprise me that the Examiner would ram out something like that.  Some of the comments are quite entertaining as well.

Adam, the Examiner is not exactly a friend of D.C. elected officials and the municipal government of the District of Columbia, though I regard it as a legitimate source of news, unlike its right-wing competitor, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times.

The Examiner is a direct descendent of the now-defunct suburban Journal newspapers, all of which were purchased by the (very wealthy) Philip Anschutz and then morphed into the D.C. Examiner.

I just read your comment - the bigger issue (unfortunately not discussed by the reporter for the  Examiner) is how to fund all of that District of Columbia transit service.

Under the current system, a huge part of that D.C. subsidy comes from parking space taxes, parking meter revenue, fines and motor fuel taxes paid by non-D.C. residents.  So if D.C. Mayor Vince Gray's goal of forcing about half of those that drive to D.C. to take transit (or, perhaps more likely, work somewhere else), then the D.C. Government is going to have to come up with millions of additional dollars to fund WMATA operating and capital subsidies.

In other words, file this under "be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it."
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 01, 2013, 04:37:55 AM
Given how critical Metro is for DC's economy, I don't think they'll have an issue with funding it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 01, 2013, 09:02:40 AM
Given how critical Metro is for DC's economy, I don't think they'll have an issue with funding it.

I also think that plans like these, set far in the future (and probably after the elected officials that approve them are gone from office) are not likely to happen (reminds me of Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening's promise in 2000 to "double statewide transit ridership by 2020," followed by the head of planning at MTA admitting before a group of elected officials that even if transit patronage did double, it would do nothing to ease Maryland's severe highway traffic congestion).

Though I do give Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) credit for not allowing residents of those new apartment and condominium buildings near the Nationals ballpark to get on-street residential parking permits.  I personally don't agree with Mr. Wells (and I don't live in D.C.), but I do respect his integrity on this issue.

But a lot of D.C. is made up of single-family detached housing or single-family duplex or rowhouses, not very different from nearby Montgomery, Prince George's, Arlington and Fairfax Counties (especiallly the parts inside the Capital Beltway), and even though D.C. is the core jurisdiction of the region, those areas (at least in my opinion) qualify as "suburban sprawl"). 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on March 01, 2013, 11:32:34 AM
If DC wants to decrease car usage, perhaps they should make other methods of transport more attractive.  Trying to decrease car usage by making driving harder does NOT work.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 01, 2013, 04:54:56 PM
If DC wants to decrease car usage, perhaps they should make other methods of transport more attractive.  Trying to decrease car usage by making driving harder does NOT work.

And the District of Columbia is going to be hard-pressed to build more Metrorail (even though WMATA has proposed what would be billions of dollars in additional Metrorail tunnels between D.C. and Virginia).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 01, 2013, 10:00:11 PM
...which is why DC is also focusing on bike infrastructure, their DC Circulator buses, and the proposed streetcar system.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 02, 2013, 10:44:50 AM
...which is why DC is also focusing on bike infrastructure, their DC Circulator buses, and the proposed streetcar system.

I will be able to tell what the modal share of bike traffic to downtown D.C. during the A.M. peak commute is later this year. No streetcar traffic, at least not yet.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 03, 2013, 10:06:12 AM
Is that something that'll be announced in general?  I'm sure WABADC and the DC BAC would be interested.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 03:24:01 PM
Is that something that'll be announced in general?  I'm sure WABADC and the DC BAC would be interested.

It takes a long time before it is available for public consumption, but when it is, I will alert you.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2013, 03:47:54 PM
Washington Post: D.C. region’s leaders pursuing many different paths to make travel easier (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-regions-leaders-pursuing-many-different-paths-to-make-travel-easier/2013/03/01/3ad81ea6-7ad8-11e2-a044-676856536b40_story.html)

Quote
The authors of the national study telling us we have the nation’s worst traffic problems say there’s no “rigid prescription for the ‘best way’ ” to cure them. They recommend we find our own paths out of the mess.

Quote
The governments in the D.C. region are following various routes, sometimes emphasizing investment in infrastructure and sometimes better management of the assets we already have. These five recent developments illustrate the divergent paths.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2013, 04:19:22 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: More changes ahead for 11th Street Bridge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/more-changes-ahead-for-11th-street-bridge/2013/03/09/b1280ea4-8744-11e2-999e-5f8e0410cb9d_story.html)

Quote
When the District began rebuilding one of the main routes across the Anacostia River, project managers set about making a lot of changes within a relatively small section of riverfront. During the past year, some of those changes had a great impact on long-distance commuters and the nearby neighborhoods. More are coming in 2013.

Quote
New ramps

Quote
The 11th Street bridge now consists of three spans, two that primarily serve long-distance travelers and a third designed mainly to handle local traffic. Around the end of the month, two new ramps are scheduled to open, creating new connections with the local bridge.

Quote
One ramp will lead drivers from southbound D.C. 295 along a curvy ramp up to a traffic signal on the local span, the southernmost of the three. From the traffic signal, drivers will be able to turn right and cross the river toward Capitol Hill, or turn left toward the Anacostia neighborhood.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 18, 2013, 11:01:36 AM
WTOP Sprawl and Crawl: The ultimate D.C. question: To drive or to Metro? (http://www.wtop.com/654/3254387/The-ultimate-DC-question-To-drive-or-to-Metro)

Quote
Some people drive into work. Others take Metro, walk or bike. The decision on how to commute often depends on where you live and work.

Quote
"I work in Fairfax and live in Falls Church," says Ann Gutkin. "There is no Metro station near my office, so a car is my only option."

Quote
However, her husband, Robert, takes Metro from West Falls Church to Washington, D.C.

Quote
"He likes not having to drive. But he doesn't like the fact that Metro breaks down a lot and is often very crowded and uncomfortable. He's often quite agitated when I pick him up in the evening," Gutkin says.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 29, 2013, 03:11:10 PM
WTOP Radio: At 11th Street Bridge, crashes are common (http://www.wtop.com/654/3267345/Crashes-common-at-commuting-route)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 29, 2013, 03:26:00 PM
WTOP Radio: At 11th Street Bridge, crashes are common (http://www.wtop.com/654/3267345/Crashes-common-at-commuting-route)

I think it's mostly due to driver error and that there are probably three main causes:

(1) People simply go too fast on the ramps.
(2) People are either on autopilot or putting blind faith in a sat-nav, then suddenly realize they're in the wrong lane and swerve wildly to change course without bothering to look first.
(3) People refuse to cooperate on the bridge when the southbound traffic needs to move left.

#2 is a big one on northbound I-295 because the exit for the bridge is now on the left side instead of the right like it was for over 50 years. Every time I go through there I see people swerving to the right at the last minute to stay on DC-295 instead of going over the bridge. In addition, aside from the revised traffic patterns, you have the new ramps leading to the local bridge that do not appear on any sat-nav yet. I'm sure there are an awful lot of people who used to use the Sousa Bridge who are still confused by the loss of their old route, too. (Betcha the traffic is quite bad at the 11th Street Bridge this coming Monday. It's Opening Day and a lot of people who drive to the ballpark haven't encountered the new road patterns.)

#3 is hopefully temporary. The local bridge's usefulness for inbound traffic is currently a bit hamstrung by ongoing construction at the northern end. I tried using the local bridge when I went down to Buzzards Point on Tuesday (didn't take the Douglass Bridge because you can't turn left onto Potomac Avenue). I might as well have just taken the freeway bridge—when you reach the northern end of the local bridge, you have to make a right turn and then a left turn such that you wind up at the same place you'd be if you took the freeway bridge. But the freeway bridge is currently in a temporary configuration due to ongoing ramp work on the northern end. Hopefully when it's all done the local bridge will provide more direct access and people won't feel the same desire to use the freeway bridge to get to the Navy Yard. As it is right now, people coming up I-295 heading for the Navy Yard have to shove right on the bridge just as people coming down DC-295 heading for downtown have to shove left. It's a miniature version of what the southbound Springfield Interchange used to be.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 04, 2013, 12:29:50 PM
WTOP Radio: New D.C. traffic signals give pedestrians control (http://www.wtop.com/109/3273380/Traffic-signals-give-pedestrians-control)

Quote
You don't have to be good-looking to stop traffic.

Quote
New pedestrian signals are going up at some busy crossings in the District. With the push of a button, people trying to cross can bring traffic to a stop.

Quote
"It allows pedestrians to cross the street safely, and actually it is to the advantage of drivers," says George Branyan, pedestrian program coordinator with the D.C. Department of Transportation.

Quote
"The [signals are] actually designed to let vehicles move again if it's safe to move on that flashing red, so the delay imposed on drivers is a lot less than a standard signal," he says.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on April 04, 2013, 03:23:49 PM
In other words, HAWK signals.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 05, 2013, 08:51:29 AM
WTOP Radio: At 11th Street Bridge, crashes are common (http://www.wtop.com/654/3267345/Crashes-common-at-commuting-route)

I think it's mostly due to driver error and that there are probably three main causes:

(1) People simply go too fast on the ramps.
(2) People are either on autopilot or putting blind faith in a sat-nav, then suddenly realize they're in the wrong lane and swerve wildly to change course without bothering to look first.
(3) People refuse to cooperate on the bridge when the southbound traffic needs to move left.

All are valid points.  And things seem to get worse when the pavement is wet, even though the bridge deck is portland cement concrete.

#2 is a big one on northbound I-295 because the exit for the bridge is now on the left side instead of the right like it was for over 50 years. Every time I go through there I see people swerving to the right at the last minute to stay on DC-295 instead of going over the bridge. In addition, aside from the revised traffic patterns, you have the new ramps leading to the local bridge that do not appear on any sat-nav yet. I'm sure there are an awful lot of people who used to use the Sousa Bridge who are still confused by the loss of their old route, too. (Betcha the traffic is quite bad at the 11th Street Bridge this coming Monday. It's Opening Day and a lot of people who drive to the ballpark haven't encountered the new road patterns.)

Yes, I believe there are some that  are still confused by this change, though the signage is reasonably clear.

#3 is hopefully temporary. The local bridge's usefulness for inbound traffic is currently a bit hamstrung by ongoing construction at the northern end. I tried using the local bridge when I went down to Buzzards Point on Tuesday (didn't take the Douglass Bridge because you can't turn left onto Potomac Avenue). I might as well have just taken the freeway bridge—when you reach the northern end of the local bridge, you have to make a right turn and then a left turn such that you wind up at the same place you'd be if you took the freeway bridge. But the freeway bridge is currently in a temporary configuration due to ongoing ramp work on the northern end. Hopefully when it's all done the local bridge will provide more direct access and people won't feel the same desire to use the freeway bridge to get to the Navy Yard. As it is right now, people coming up I-295 heading for the Navy Yard have to shove right on the bridge just as people coming down DC-295 heading for downtown have to shove left. It's a miniature version of what the southbound Springfield Interchange used to be.

I have observed this.  The other problem is drivers wanting to head north on D.C. 295 making "last minute" decisions to move to the right (and its counter-intuitive here that the southbound movement is left and the northbound movement is to the right.  But drivers will get used to it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 09, 2013, 11:17:00 AM
WTOP Radio: D.C. parking ticket saga continues for federal employee (http://www.wtop.com/654/3278996/How-the-saga-of-1-DC-ticket-drags-on)

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WASHINGTON - Since WTOP first reported the story about a federal employee fighting a parking ticket from 2011, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles has rejected another plea to toss the ticket.

Quote
John R. Stanton, who has worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 22 years, received the ticket for an infraction that reportedly occurred in the 700 block of Maryland Avenue NE on July 11, 2011. But Stanton claims he was on official government business in Arizona and his Mercedes was parked at Dulles International Airport on that day.

Quote
He provided WTOP with government orders, along with receipts from the hotel, airline and parking garage to demonstrate he left on July 7 and returned on July 14.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 14, 2013, 10:29:26 AM
Washington Post: After 81 years, landmark Memorial Bridge is in dire need of renovation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/after-81-years-landmark-memorial-bridge-is-in-dire-need-of-renovation/2013/04/13/73eb8858-a3a6-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html)

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The main lever in the Memorial Bridge control room hasn’t opened the draw span in more than 50 years. The old bridge itself hasn’t had a serious repair job in almost 40 years. And it has never undergone a major overhaul.

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The bridge shudders now under the pounding delivered by the 55,000 vehicles that cross on a typical weekday. Last week, the National Park Service took the first steps in a proposed multiyear repair project that could cost as much as $250 million and, under some scenarios, close the 81-year-old span for three months.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 25, 2013, 09:35:51 AM
Channel 4's Adam Tuss reports DC is installing more HAWK signals. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/traffic/transit/New-NW-Pedestrian-Crosswalk-Gets-Mixed-Signals_Washington-DC.html) The thing I noted on this one is the sign telling drivers what the flashing red means.

I'm not sure why pedestrians find it confusing. Push the button and wait for the "Walk" signal. I suppose they never do that anywhere else in DC, though.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 29, 2013, 04:55:42 PM
WRC-4 (NBC): D.C.'s New Taxi Design: Red With a Gray Stripe - Color scheme will be similar to that of D.C.'s Circulator buses (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/New-DC-Taxi-Design-Revealed-Cabs-to-Be-Red-With-a-Gray-Stripe-205256261.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 29, 2013, 04:58:16 PM
Channel 4's Adam Tuss reports DC is installing more HAWK signals. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/traffic/transit/New-NW-Pedestrian-Crosswalk-Gets-Mixed-Signals_Washington-DC.html) The thing I noted on this one is the sign telling drivers what the flashing red means.

I'm not sure why pedestrians find it confusing. Push the button and wait for the "Walk" signal. I suppose they never do that anywhere else in DC, though.

I am not a big fan of HAWK signals.  In my perfect world, motorized traffic would face "regular" signal heads, with green replaced by a familiar yellow flashing light.  When pedestrians and bike riders request to cross, the signal changes to a solid yellow and then red, and then the pedestrians and bike riders get a WALK signal and everyone crosses.

I also like the yellow flashing globes used in  London, England (but over there, drivers know to yield (or "give way") to peds in crosswalks).  Live example (with sound!) on the Abbey Road Studios crosswalk Webcam here (http://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on April 30, 2013, 11:50:26 AM
But what if the walk signal is longer than the time needed for everyone to cross?  What if someone pushes the button and then jaywalks or changes their mind?  Why should cars be stopped longer than needed?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 30, 2013, 01:57:12 PM
But what if the walk signal is longer than the time needed for everyone to cross?  What if someone pushes the button and then jaywalks or changes their mind?  Why should cars be stopped longer than needed?

Fair questions.  I suppose that's a problem with any kind of "user-controlled" signal.  As for the time taken to cross the street on foot, I believe there are metrics that engineers use when they time a signal (I have never timed a signal in my  life, as that is not what we do where I work).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on April 30, 2013, 02:45:45 PM
I suppose that's a problem with any kind of "user-controlled" signal.
Which is why the HAWK has the flashing red phase.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 01, 2013, 01:22:33 PM
I see DC's new HAWK signal on Connecticut Avenue has a sign I have not seen on the (admittedly few) other HAWKs I've encountered. This picture is from the Washington Post. Notice the sign about the flashing red phase. Yes, people should understand that a flashing red means it's the functional equivalent of a stop sign. But in practice, the flashing red phase seems to be the one that confuses people. Some people see the pedestrians are out of the way and immediately go, even on a steady red (that's wrong); others wait for the flashing red and then go without stopping (also wrong, you're supposed to go one at a time just like a stop sign); others wait for the light to go out entirely (wrong, you can go on flashing red).

The thing that might be unclear here is the interplay between the two "Stop on Red" signs. I wonder if the one on the left might be better-worded as "Stop on Steady [red circle icon]" in order to clarify the distinction between the "Stop on Flashing Red" sign to the right.

I hope the local media will do some follow-up reporting on how it works out. Come to think of it, I'll go suggest that to Dr. Gridlock right now.

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/files/2013/04/Drivers-view.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 01, 2013, 03:33:13 PM
The thing that might be unclear here is the interplay between the two "Stop on Red" signs. I wonder if the one on the left might be better-worded as "Stop on Steady [red circle icon]" in order to clarify the distinction between the "Stop on Flashing Red" sign to the right.

Hoo, I appreciate what the HAWK is trying to accomplish.

But I intensely dislike the configuration, for I believe it is confusing to motorists, in spite of the signs.

Much better (IMO) to just take a conventional-looking three-aspect signal head and put a flashing yellow where the green would otherwise go (as is done at some fire/EMS/rescue squad stations in Virginia and Maryland).

GSV Examples:

(1) Woodland Beach VFD (Company 2) in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County, Md. on Londontown Road (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=edgewater+md&ll=38.934785,-76.548421&spn=0.001166,0.002411&safe=off&hnear=Mayo,+Anne+Arundel,+Maryland&gl=us&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=38.934745,-76.548533&panoid=Zs7PrpiTbmyMUjHPjSGtDA&cbp=12,57.56,,0,9.01).

(2) Wheaton VRS (Company 742) in Wheaton, Montgomery County, Md. on Grandview Avenue (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=wheaton+md&hl=en&ll=39.042539,-77.05315&spn=0.002329,0.004823&sll=38.934746,-76.548534&sspn=0.001175,0.002411&t=h&gl=us&hnear=Wheaton,+Wheaton-Glenmont,+Montgomery,+Maryland&z=18&layer=c&cbll=39.042539,-77.05315&panoid=bmZ_B-wWAWcOOw8cKyeyKw&cbp=12,21.78,,0,5.21) (though this company is moving about a mile north in the fairly near future).

(3) Dunn Loring VFD (Company 413) south of Tysons Corner in Fairfax County, Va. on Va. 650 (Gallows Road) (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=tysons+corner+va&hl=en&ll=38.902602,-77.22323&spn=0.001175,0.002411&sll=38.892227,-77.431673&sspn=0.004701,0.009645&t=h&gl=us&hnear=Tysons+Corner,+Fairfax,+Virginia&z=19&layer=c&cbll=38.902602,-77.22323&panoid=dQzC-63SlPETUnEp-RTf5A&cbp=12,194.17,,0,15.72).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 01, 2013, 04:09:58 PM
Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 02, 2013, 08:23:56 AM
Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.

Or...you just have people walk up to and cross at the next intersection, which is visible in the photo.

Since the majority of people won't walk the extra minute, we have to come up with solutions like this.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 02, 2013, 10:13:53 AM
Alternatively, you could just put up a standard three-signal head that always stays green unless and until a pedestrian calls for the walk sign. My impression is that one reason for using the HAWK instead is that it allows for the flashing red cycle, which permits cars to go if the pedestrian is out of the way. A standard three-signal head doesn't allow for that as far as I know.

I'm familiar with the Dunn Loring light you mention. Been travelling Gallows Road since 1974. When I was a kid we lived near Fairfax Hospital and thus used Gallows to go to and from Tysons all the time. Many years later I commuted on that road from Fairfax to McLean.

Or...you just have people walk up to and cross at the next intersection, which is visible in the photo.

Since the majority of people won't walk the extra minute, we have to come up with solutions like this.

That does not bother me, at least not in an area where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic (and this part of D.C. probably qualifies by that metric). 

Much rather have controls of some sort if it reduces pedestrian vs. vehicle crashes (which are usually worse for the pedestrian than for the vehicle).

WJLA (Channel 7, ABC) Report: HAWK signals come to D.C. (http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/04/hawk-signals-come-to-d-c--88196.html)

EDIT: Added link to Channel 7 report.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 06, 2013, 06:04:07 PM
Anyone else see the season-ending episode of the "Amazing Race" on CBS?  It ended up running through the monumental core of Washington, D.C., and then finally at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Fairfax County.

Baltimore Sun: 'The Amazing Race' finale recap, Bates and Anthony win it all (http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bthesite/tv-lust/bal-the-amazing-race-finale-recap-bates-and-anthony-win-it-all-20130506,0,5586198,full.story)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 27, 2013, 12:44:35 PM
Washington Post: Streetcars, bike lanes and crosswalks: What’s Mayor Gray’s plan for D.C.? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/streetcars-bike-lanes-and-crosswalks-whats-mayor-grays-plan-for-dc/2013/05/24/4cc8b190-c21b-11e2-9fe2-6ee52d0eb7c1_story.html)

Quote
On a rainy morning this spring, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray led a group across Connecticut Avenue NW to demonstrate an unusual traffic signal designed to protect pedestrians when they want to cross but allow traffic to flow at all other times.

Quote
Gray (D) said this was an example of what he wants: a city that accommodates drivers while encouraging other forms of travel, whether on bikes, buses, streetcars or feet.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 28, 2013, 09:36:27 AM
Washington Post: Speed cameras keep clicking away in the District (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-puts-a-price-on-speeding-295-million/2013/05/27/56a6cb52-b357-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story.html)

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The $8 million box sits unmolested but detested beside a pillar in a tunnel that carries four lanes of traffic near the very heart of town.

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It clicks, it flashes, it clicks, it flashes.

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That box and the cameras inside it have generated 61,061 speeding tickets in the past seven months, transferring $8.1 million from the wallets of K Street drivers into the District’s treasury. The cameras, which sit where four lanes of K Street dip under Washington Circle, is on pace to set a District record for cash earned by a speed camera.

Quote
There are orange warning signs — “Photo Enforced” — hanging beneath the 25 mph signs on either end of the tunnel, but they are missed or ignored by an average of 305 drivers a day who receive speeding tickets in the mail.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 12, 2013, 11:25:40 PM
Washington Post: D.C. Council chairman says planned tax on commuter buses ‘is disappearing’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-council-chairman-says-planned-tax-on-commuter-buses-is-disappearing/2013/06/12/3acf7008-d2cb-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html)

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A $5 fee on every non-Metro commuter bus entering the city, every day it enters, has been placed into the District’s new budget. The fee, calculated to raise $273,000 for the city, was approved unanimously by the D.C. Council’s transportation and environment committee on May 9, and then by the entire council on May 22.

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When word of the fee spread to the suburbs, many local officials were outraged. They declared it a “commuter tax” and in recent days, the governors of Maryland and Virginia sent letters of protest to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and the D.C. Council, asking them to reconsider the fee before their final budget vote Tuesday.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on June 13, 2013, 09:44:26 AM
Washington Post: D.C. Council chairman says planned tax on commuter buses ‘is disappearing’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-council-chairman-says-planned-tax-on-commuter-buses-is-disappearing/2013/06/12/3acf7008-d2cb-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html)
Way to encourage people to take transit and businesses to stay in D.C.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 13, 2013, 09:49:37 AM
Washington Post: D.C. Council chairman says planned tax on commuter buses ‘is disappearing’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-council-chairman-says-planned-tax-on-commuter-buses-is-disappearing/2013/06/12/3acf7008-d2cb-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html)
Way to encourage people to take transit and businesses to stay in D.C.

Yeah, that does not make so much sense, does it?  Especially to anyone that listens to D.C. elected officials advocating in favor of transit.

IMO, this has more than a few similarities to the D.C. speed cameras especially - it was a way to raise revenue for the D.C. Government from people that do not live or vote in the city.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 13, 2013, 02:01:57 PM
Washington Post: ‘Violence for violence’s sake is troubling,’ says cyclist attacked by youths on D.C. trail (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bicyclist-attacked-on-dc-trail-by-up-to-15-youths-police-say/2013/06/12/2e9a9d80-d366-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html)

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The bicyclist doesn’t remember seeing the youths run at him as he pedaled home late Tuesday afternoon on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, but he certainly recalls one knocking him off his bike and at least a dozen others piling on, punching and kicking him in the head.

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What the 37-year-old can’t understand is why they did it.

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They didn’t take his $500 bicycle. They ignored his cellphone. They didn’t want the $20 in his wallet. In fact, the victim said, “I didn’t hear a word.”

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And the lack of apparent motive is haunting the married father of two, who uses the trail regularly to bike between his office in the NoMa section of the District and his house in Silver Spring.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 14, 2013, 04:08:03 AM
A friend of mine apparently got similarly attacked on bike at 11th and Pennsylvania SE yesterday evening, but was able to escape.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 14, 2013, 01:03:59 PM
the hazing rituals that new elected officials have to perform in order to be accepted as a member of "the club" are getting more bizarre every year.  whatever happened to a good old-fashioned game of egg-the-lobbyist?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: kj3400 on June 17, 2013, 05:39:02 PM
the hazing rituals that new elected officials have to perform in order to be accepted as a member of "the club" are getting more bizarre every year.  whatever happened to a good old-fashioned game of egg-the-lobbyist?

Shame, isn't it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 19, 2013, 05:50:08 PM
WTOP Radio: 6 hurt, pedestrian pinned in D.C. crash (http://www.wtop.com/109/3363152/6-hurt-pedestrian-pinned-in-DC-crash)

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Six people were hurt after a crash involving two vehicles near Union Station in D.C. Wednesday morning, officials say.

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Police say the crash happened just before 8 a.m. at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street NW. The driver of an SUV -- who a witness tells WTOP was trying to beat a light -- struck a pole and three pedestrians.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 27, 2013, 06:22:29 PM
WTOP Radio: Congress may consider banning DC traffic cameras (http://www.wtop.com/41/3372912/Congress-may-consider-banning-DC-traffic-cameras)

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A Republican congressman from Michigan may propose a ban on speed and red-light enforcement cameras in the District of Columbia.

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Rep. Kerry Bentivolio has circulated a bill that would strip the city government of its authority to use the cameras. A spokesman for Bentivolio says the bill has not yet been finalized but that the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away."
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2013, 11:48:32 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. region’s commuters share frustration, but little else (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dr-gridlock-dc-regions-commuters-share-frustration-but-little-else/2013/07/23/d492fe04-ecc9-11e2-a1f9-ea873b7e0424_story.html)

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Could there be light at the end of the chronically congested tunnel? There has been a lot of talk lately about traffic easing up, road improvements taking effect and people telecommuting more.

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Yes, there are serious indicators that the mental health of commuters is improving. In a Washington Post poll conducted last month, commuters in the Washington region who drive reported on average that their trips take 31 minutes, down six minutes from the average in a 2005 poll. And they’re adopting more sensible habits. For example, 20 percent of commuters said they telework at least once a week, compared with 11 percent in a 2010 poll.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 26, 2013, 05:02:46 AM
Quote
the final version will "protect the people's rights, not take them away."

That's a funny thing to say, since the District's residents are overwhelmingly in favor of the cameras, and District residents also "don't have any rights" in Congress.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 26, 2013, 08:49:37 AM
That's a funny thing to say, since the District's residents are overwhelmingly in favor of the cameras, and District residents also "don't have any rights" in Congress.

Though I know several D.C. residents who have been banged with such tickets, and are not especially enthused about it.

Still, I strongly agree with your point.  The colonial status of the District of Columbia needs to end - preferably through retrocession to Maryland (while retaining a federal enclave around the monumental core), since I don't think D.C. statehood is ever going to happen.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has (again) introduced a bill in Congress (http://www.dcvote.org/media/media.cfm?mediaID=4761) to do just that.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 28, 2013, 02:36:54 AM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. not making friends with freeway work (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/07/26/d-c-not-making-friends-with-freeway-work/)

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The phase launched last Saturday is scheduled to continue till Aug. 10, closing the left-most lanes on both sides of Interstate 695 near South Capitol Street.

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Starting Saturday and continuing till Aug. 11, another phase will close the right lane on the westbound side of the Interstate approaching the Third Street Tunnel.

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The third phase, from Aug. 11 to Aug. 31, will close the right eastbound lane from the South Capitol Street exit to Sixth Street SE.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2013, 10:26:49 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. presents traffic plan for South Capitol Street (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/07/31/d-c-presents-traffic-plan-for-south-capitol-street/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 23, 2013, 02:17:13 PM
WAMU Radio: D.C. Transportation Engineers Face Tough Choices, Testy Commuters (http://wamu.org/news/13/08/22/dc_transportation_engineers_face_tough_choices_testy_commuters)

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Roads and bridges need to be fixed, sometimes entirely replaced. Traffic has to be managed. And commuters have to be kept satisfied. In a city whose population has eclipsed 600,000 and is growing—as transportation demand places ever more pressure on aging infrastructure—engineers at the District Department of Transportation face tough choices that often leave some commuters pleased while angering others.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 28, 2013, 02:37:33 PM
Washington Post: All your suspicions confirmed: Washington has nation’s worst drivers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/08/28/all-your-suspicions-confirmed-washington-has-nations-worst-drivers/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 28, 2013, 04:31:47 PM
Washington Post: All your suspicions confirmed: Washington has nation’s worst drivers by one very specific criterion (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/08/28/all-your-suspicions-confirmed-washington-has-nations-worst-drivers/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 29, 2013, 08:04:01 AM
DC adding cameras to enforce stop signs, box-blocking, and yielding to pedestrians. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Police-Adding-Cameras-to-Enforce-Stop-Signs-Blocking-the-Box-Yielding-to-Pedestrians-221531301.html)

I wonder if they'll ticket you even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. Last night I was in Alexandria and a woman with a small child waited until I had a green light and then waddled out into the crosswalk right as I started to drive (and managed to pause for her mobile phone conversation long enough to scream "fuck you" at me). If the pedestrian is ignoring a "don't walk" sign, the driver going straight through a green light should not be ticketed, but I wouldn't put it past DC to start issuing such tickets using cameras.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on August 29, 2013, 10:27:48 PM
Given how anti-car DC is, they would probably expressly engineer the cameras to give a ticket even if the pedestrian darted into the freeway at the last possible second just 2 feet in front of a car.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on August 30, 2013, 10:24:38 AM
DC adding cameras to enforce stop signs, box-blocking, and yielding to pedestrians. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Police-Adding-Cameras-to-Enforce-Stop-Signs-Blocking-the-Box-Yielding-to-Pedestrians-221531301.html)

I wonder if they'll ticket you even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. Last night I was in Alexandria and a woman with a small child waited until I had a green light and then waddled out into the crosswalk right as I started to drive (and managed to pause for her mobile phone conversation long enough to scream "fuck you" at me). If the pedestrian is ignoring a "don't walk" sign, the driver going straight through a green light should not be ticketed, but I wouldn't put it past DC to start issuing such tickets using cameras.

Unfortunately cameras are absolute and will make no exceptions, even if an idiot on a mobile phone jaywalks. Ugh, too much reliance on devices to do a job that requires an actual person...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 10:38:36 AM
DC adding cameras to enforce stop signs, box-blocking, and yielding to pedestrians. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Police-Adding-Cameras-to-Enforce-Stop-Signs-Blocking-the-Box-Yielding-to-Pedestrians-221531301.html)

I wonder if they'll ticket you even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. Last night I was in Alexandria and a woman with a small child waited until I had a green light and then waddled out into the crosswalk right as I started to drive (and managed to pause for her mobile phone conversation long enough to scream "fuck you" at me). If the pedestrian is ignoring a "don't walk" sign, the driver going straight through a green light should not be ticketed, but I wouldn't put it past DC to start issuing such tickets using cameras.

Unfortunately cameras are absolute and will make no exceptions, even if an idiot on a mobile phone jaywalks. Ugh, too much reliance on devices to do a job that requires an actual person...

Well, you know, I wonder about it and here's why: Surely a camera can be tied into the light cycle, right? If you have a green light, for example, the red-light camera isn't supposed to ticket you for going through (I know I've never received any such ticket). Surely the pedestrian camera can likewise be tied to the light cycle so that if a driver proceeds straight through the light (I emphasize straight through), the camera will not fire, even if a pedestrian illegally crosses against a "DON'T WALK" sign. However, I have zero confidence in DC that this will happen. As "vdeane" says, DC's anti-car mentality is consistently getting worse, but taking the Metro to Capitals or Nationals games is not something I consider a serious option except in special circumstances (e.g., on the day of the Christmas tree lighting on the Ellipse, I'll take the Metro to Verizon Center because of all the street closures). It's faster, cheaper, more pleasant, and more reliable to drive. I suppose if it comes down to it I might just have to reconsider whether to continue going to games, which is a shame.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 10:48:35 AM
DC adding cameras to enforce stop signs, box-blocking, and yielding to pedestrians. (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Police-Adding-Cameras-to-Enforce-Stop-Signs-Blocking-the-Box-Yielding-to-Pedestrians-221531301.html)

I wonder if they'll ticket you even if the pedestrian is in the wrong. Last night I was in Alexandria and a woman with a small child waited until I had a green light and then waddled out into the crosswalk right as I started to drive (and managed to pause for her mobile phone conversation long enough to scream "fuck you" at me). If the pedestrian is ignoring a "don't walk" sign, the driver going straight through a green light should not be ticketed, but I wouldn't put it past DC to start issuing such tickets using cameras.

Unfortunately cameras are absolute and will make no exceptions, even if an idiot on a mobile phone jaywalks. Ugh, too much reliance on devices to do a job that requires an actual person...

District of Columbia municipal police officers, with rare exceptions, are not interested in writing traffic tickets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 10:51:17 AM
Given how anti-car DC is, they would probably expressly engineer the cameras to give a ticket even if the pedestrian darted into the freeway at the last possible second just 2 feet in front of a car.

I agree.  However, D.C. is curiously not anti-car when it comes to collecting taxes and fees and fines from drivers to subsidize mass transit (including the excellent Circulator bus system).

The automated enforcement is about collecting more fines from drivers that do not live in the District of Columbia.  Since the  District is prohibited by its charter from levying a so-called commuter tax (the holy grail of more than a few D.C. politicians), this is the alternative.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 11:25:04 AM
District of Columbia municipal police officers, with rare exceptions, are not interested in writing traffic tickets.

indeed.  I once ran a red fair and square, and got off with a warning.

(it was one of those L'Enfant anachronisms where an intersection is followed within ~20 feet by another one that is completely independent of it.  one turned green and I zoomed through both.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 11:59:46 AM
Washington Post:   Dirt bike dreams face reality of D.C. police enforcement (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dirt-bike-dreams-face-reality-of-dc-police-enforcement/2013/08/26/69f77148-0ba9-11e3-b87c-476db8ac34cd_story.html)

Barry tweets concerns about D.C. dirt bike enforcement (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/barry-tweets-concerns-about-dc-dirt-bike-enforcement/2013/08/29/c4ff8cbc-110b-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html)

The above are especially amusing, given that former D.C. Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. used to preach that transit was the solution for all transportation problems as a founding member of the anti-highway/anti-auto Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (but, of course, never for himself - and apparently not for his current Ward 8 constituents either).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 12:01:24 PM
District of Columbia municipal police officers, with rare exceptions, are not interested in writing traffic tickets.

indeed.  I once ran a red fair and square, and got off with a warning.

I am surprised that you were even stopped!

(it was one of those L'Enfant anachronisms where an intersection is followed within ~20 feet by another one that is completely independent of it.  one turned green and I zoomed through both.)

Those are pretty common in some parts of D.C.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 12:04:50 PM
I am surprised that you were even stopped!

she was right behind me, in a marked police vehicle!  I think at that point she figured "gosh, I guess I have to".

it was also a Saturday at ~2am so I was probably given a quick once-over to verify my sobriety.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 12:13:14 PM
I am surprised that you were even stopped!

she was right behind me, in a marked police vehicle!  I think at that point she figured "gosh, I guess I have to".

it was also a Saturday at ~2am so I was probably given a quick once-over to verify my sobriety.

That makes sense. 

Most D.C. cops could care less about traffic infractions - even those involving alcohol.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 01:38:49 PM
WTOP has a story about the stop sign cameras (http://wtop.com/654/3436848/On-tape-Who-makes-a-complete-stop) in which they set up a video camera near a stop sign to see how many people came to a complete stop. They say in five minutes, six out of 21 vehicles stopped fully. But the part of the video that made me ponder the idea of cameras is watching how few people stop behind the stop bar (hardly unique to this intersection, of course). If DC really wanted to make a killing, they'd set the cameras to ticket anyone who fails to come to a complete stop completely behind the line. I wouldn't put it past them, either.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Brandon on August 30, 2013, 02:12:45 PM
DC drivers, as far as I am concerned, have earned their place as some of the worst in the nation.  It is, to date, the only place where we had a vehicle behind us make a Pittsburgh Left as we were waiting for opposing traffic to clear.  We were in the intersection waiting to make our left turn when a cab behind us suddenly did so cutting off opposing traffic.  I've never had that happen in Chicago, and Chicago drivers are not known for patience nor etiquette on the road.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 02:15:57 PM
DC drivers, as far as I am concerned, have earned their place as some of the worst in the nation.  It is, to date, the only place where we had a vehicle behind us make a Pittsburgh Left as we were waiting for opposing traffic to clear.  We were in the intersection waiting to make our left turn when a cab behind us suddenly did so cutting off opposing traffic.  I've never had that happen in Chicago, and Chicago drivers are not known for patience nor etiquette on the road.

I'd expect that to happen in Miami.  I'd expect the offending vehicle to come out of the right lane.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 02:31:00 PM
DC drivers, as far as I am concerned, have earned their place as some of the worst in the nation.  It is, to date, the only place where we had a vehicle behind us make a Pittsburgh Left as we were waiting for opposing traffic to clear.  We were in the intersection waiting to make our left turn when a cab behind us suddenly did so cutting off opposing traffic.  I've never had that happen in Chicago, and Chicago drivers are not known for patience nor etiquette on the road.

Pittsburgh lefts are very common in the District of Columbia.  Maybe we should call them D.C. lefts? Many D.C. drivers will also drive in the opposing traffic lane to make a left at the next intersection if the "coast is clear."  Another favorite is driving on the shoulder (of the relatively few roads with  shoulders in D.C.) in congested conditions.

Then there's (what I call) the D.C. queue jump.  Many streets in D.C. (even busy ones) are two lane, but just open one lane in each direction, with parked cars in the right lane (sometimes there is no parking during peak demand periods, but not always).  But those busy two-lane streets often have bus stops (no parking anytime at the bus stop), usually located just before a signalized intersection.  So if there is not a bus servicing  the stop, aggressive D.C. drivers will use the (vacant) right lane where the bus stop is to jump around other traffic waiting at a signal, cutting in front of other drivers (and sometimes putting pedestrians at great risk). 

I am usually  aware of this, and if I am first at a signalized light in the left lane when a prospective queue jumper pulls up next to me (usually  very easy to predict them), I will (if no pedestrians are jaywalking or vehicles present in the intersection on the cross street) make a point of taking off immediately when the light changes to green (hard acceleration is not required), which is usually enough to strand them behind parked cars on the other side of the intersection, since the platoon of vehicles behind me will usually not let them in.

D.C. has a lot of drivers (like those above) that would be much happier if they had an adequate system of urban freeways and expressways to drive on, but the politicians that they vote for don't want that.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 02:41:54 PM
WTOP has a story about the stop sign cameras (http://wtop.com/654/3436848/On-tape-Who-makes-a-complete-stop) in which they set up a video camera near a stop sign to see how many people came to a complete stop. They say in five minutes, six out of 21 vehicles stopped fully. But the part of the video that made me ponder the idea of cameras is watching how few people stop behind the stop bar (hardly unique to this intersection, of course). If DC really wanted to make a killing, they'd set the cameras to ticket anyone who fails to come to a complete stop completely behind the line. I wouldn't put it past them, either.

I always stop at STOP signs (even in D.C., where there are thousands of STOP signs that have been installed even if they were not warranted, most as a form of "traffic calming" (even though that practice is frowned upon in the MUTCD ["YIELD or STOP signs should not be used for speed control"] and according to a research paper I found on the ITE Web site does not reduce speeds (here (http://www.ite.org/traffic/documents/aha99b49.pdf), Adobe Acrobat .pdf)).  Usually I engage first gear to reduce clutch wear, which can only be done at a complete stop. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 02:49:12 PM
I am usually  aware of this, and if I am first at a signalized light in the left lane when a prospective queue jumper pulls up next to me (usually  very easy to predict them), I will (if no pedestrians are jaywalking or vehicles present in the intersection on the cross street) make a point of taking off immediately when the light changes to green (hard acceleration is not required), which is usually enough to strand them behind parked cars on the other side of the intersection, since the platoon of vehicles behind me will usually not let them in.

I'd get in just behind you, then, and still very likely ahead of those who are moseying off the green.

I don't think this "queue jumping" is all that dangerous a habit... at least, not out here, as the roads on which I do this tend to have a lot fewer pedestrians.  so I may just not be imagining it correctly; but wouldn't the pedestrians at the light be going parallel to the flow of vehicular traffic once the light turns green? 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 02:54:01 PM
I am usually  aware of this, and if I am first at a signalized light in the left lane when a prospective queue jumper pulls up next to me (usually  very easy to predict them), I will (if no pedestrians are jaywalking or vehicles present in the intersection on the cross street) make a point of taking off immediately when the light changes to green (hard acceleration is not required), which is usually enough to strand them behind parked cars on the other side of the intersection, since the platoon of vehicles behind me will usually not let them in.

I'd get in just behind you, then, and still very likely ahead of those who are moseying off the green.

I don't think this "queue jumping" is all that dangerous a habit... at least, not out here, as the roads on which I do this tend to have a lot fewer pedestrians.  so I may just not be imagining it correctly; but wouldn't the pedestrians at the light be going parallel to the flow of vehicular traffic once the light turns green?

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

In the District of Columbia, the prevailing attitude among many pedestrians seems to be, "If I want to walk, I get to walk whenever and wherever I want." It's often very hard to gun it off the line in the District because there are so many jaywalkers who continue to walk after the light changes. A lot of them don't hop to it, either. I'd say more, but I think I'd offend some people if I engaged in various stereotyping.

Heck, on Wednesday night my wife and I were heading to dinner in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia (just across the river from DC). A pedestrian waited on the curb and then, as soon as I got a green light, walked into the street in front of me against the light. Worse, she had a small child holding her hand. I'm positive she deliberately waited just to be obnoxious.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 30, 2013, 02:56:25 PM
I am usually  aware of this, and if I am first at a signalized light in the left lane when a prospective queue jumper pulls up next to me (usually  very easy to predict them), I will (if no pedestrians are jaywalking or vehicles present in the intersection on the cross street) make a point of taking off immediately when the light changes to green (hard acceleration is not required), which is usually enough to strand them behind parked cars on the other side of the intersection, since the platoon of vehicles behind me will usually not let them in.

I'd get in just behind you, then, and still very likely ahead of those who are moseying off the green.

That sometimes happens, but since I don't speed (obeying the nearly citywide 25 MPH limit), that still angers the failed queue jumper who probably wants to be zipping along at between 40MPH and 50 MPH (until arriving at the next red light - D.C. signals are often very  poorly timed).

I don't think this "queue jumping" is all that dangerous a habit... at least, not out here, as the roads on which I do this tend to have a lot fewer pedestrians.  so I may just not be imagining it correctly; but wouldn't the pedestrians at the light be going parallel to the flow of vehicular traffic once the light turns green?

In theory, yes, pedestrians would be walking parallel to the flow of traffic with the green signal. 

But jaywalking in the District of Columbia is common (and pervasive) at many intersections - often drunks or young people (or young drunks).  I don't want to mow-down a D.C. jaywalker, even for jaywalking. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 02:57:10 PM
....

But jaywalking in the District of Columbia is common (and pervasive) at many intersections - often drunks or young people (or young drunks).  I don't want to mow-down a D.C. jaywalker, even for jaywalking. 

I often want to mow them down, but I refrain from doing so because I don't want to go to jail.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: DeaconG on August 30, 2013, 03:03:47 PM
....

But jaywalking in the District of Columbia is common (and pervasive) at many intersections - often drunks or young people (or young drunks).  I don't want to mow-down a D.C. jaywalker, even for jaywalking. 

I often want to mow them down, but I refrain from doing so because I don't want to go to jail.

Death Race 2000 flashbacks?
"Mow down six pedestrians-same player shoots again!"
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 30, 2013, 03:18:15 PM
But jaywalking in the District of Columbia is common (and pervasive) at many intersections - often drunks or young people (or young drunks).  I don't want to mow-down a D.C. jaywalker, even for jaywalking.

got it.  I'm used to Boston and New York jaywalkers, who seem to have their brains about them.  they time it as to not impede someone with a green light.

in California, nearly no one jaywalks... if they do, they time it like someone from the aforementioned categories.  the only pedestrian conflicts we have out here are with right or left turning traffic.

for some reason, I don't remember driving in DC to be particularly stressful.  I remember it being comparable to various other cities in the northeast.  not quite as good as New York, but hardly anywhere is.  Boston comes close.  but DC, Baltimore, Philly, etc all seem similar to me.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on August 30, 2013, 09:40:24 PM
But jaywalking in the District of Columbia is common (and pervasive) at many intersections - often drunks or young people (or young drunks).  I don't want to mow-down a D.C. jaywalker, even for jaywalking.

got it.  I'm used to Boston and New York jaywalkers, who seem to have their brains about them.  they time it as to not impede someone with a green light.

....

To me, this is the key. I wouldn't give a rat's arse about jaywalking if people did it intelligently so as not to hold up traffic. NE2's standard rant notwithstanding, I'm not about to run over anyone, even if I'd like to do so.....but it shouldn't be a question either way!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 10, 2013, 09:10:51 PM
Washington Post: Drivers, beware: D.C. to aim more cameras at traffic scofflaws (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/drivers-beware-dc-to-aim-more-cameras-at-traffic-scofflaws/2013/09/10/c6733ef0-1655-11e3-a2ec-b47e45e6f8ef_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on September 14, 2013, 12:23:22 AM
Off topic post removed about carjackings. While they happen on roads, they are unrelated to roads. Please post those in OT, or better yet, don't post them at all.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 15, 2013, 04:43:51 PM
Washington Post: Work to close ramp from Roosevelt Bridge to G.W. Parkway (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2013/09/15/work-to-close-ramp-from-roosevelt-bridge-to-g-w-parkway/)

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The District Department of Transportation will close a ramp leading from the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge for several hours each day over the next month, which could create headaches for travelers.

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Maintenance work will close the ramp from westbound Interstate 66 to the George Washington Parkway between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. These closures are scheduled to begin on Monday and will last until Oct. 14, if the weather cooperates.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 29, 2013, 07:26:11 PM
Washington Post:  Breathing easier: Washington, D.C.’s remarkable improvement in air quality (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/26/breathing-easier-washington-d-c-s-remarkable-improvement-in-air-quality/)

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For the first time since 2009, and only the second time in the last 16 years, Washington, D.C. had zero code red days for unhealthy air quality in the summer of 2013. This reprieve from suffocating air represents another data point fitting into a a recent trend towards cleaner air.

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The District had just four days – the lowest since 2009 – that exceeded the “standard” for ozone (a concentration of 75 parts per billion, ppb). Above the standard, air quality begins to become unhealthy for sensitive groups (older adults, children, and people with respiratory problems), reaching the code orange level.

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Ozone forms when air pollutants react on hot, sunny summer days. At high concentrations, ozone can cause respiratory issues, fatigue, headaches, nausea, chest pain, and eye and throat irritation.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on September 30, 2013, 02:01:51 AM
Summertime weather being a departure from recent years likely played the main factor in that.  Yes, pollution factors in, but weather conditions are the primary culprit.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2013, 09:19:53 AM
Summertime weather being a departure from recent years likely played the main factor in that.  Yes, pollution factors in, but weather conditions are the primary culprit.

As do massive coal-fired electric generating stations far to the west of D.C. such as Conemaugh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conemaugh_Generating_Station),  Kammer, Keystone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Generating_Station), Mitchell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Power_Plant), Mount Storm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Storm_Power_Station), and several others. During the 2003 Northeast Blackout (which did not directly impact D.C., Maryland  and Virginia), air quality markedly and suddenly improved because many of those coal-fired plants, unable to sell power to the Northeast, were shut-down.

But I think the real credit for improved air quality comes down to improved vehicle emission control systems (the fleet gets cleaner every year as it turns over) and to ultra-low-sulfur Diesel fuel, which instantly reduced emissions of all on-highway Diesel engines.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2013, 03:08:00 PM
Washington Post: New York, D.C.-area workers face longest commutes (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/30/new-york-d-c-area-workers-face-longest-commutes/)

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Residents of the nation’s financial and governmental centers spend longer getting to and from work than other Americans, according to Census Bureau statistics released earlier this month, in part because they rely more on public transportation than their compatriots in other cities.

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The data show residents of four of New York City’s five boroughs spend more than 40 minutes a day traveling to and from work. Bronx residents take 42.8 minutes every day to get to their places of employment, tops in the nation. And residents of several suburban and exurban counties around Washington, D.C., including Stafford, Fauquier and Prince William counties in Virginia and Charles, Calvert and Prince George’s counties, Maryland, also spend nearly 40 minutes a day getting to and from work.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2013, 08:58:56 PM
Washington Post: Federal shutdown brings new commuting woes for Washington area residents (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/federal-shutdown-brings-new-commuting-woes-for-washington-area-residents/2013/10/02/c95b7e72-2b6b-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html)

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What Washington area commuters hoped would be a silver lining of a federal government shutdown — a less-frenzied rush hour — didn’t materialize for many Wednesday, leaving some to ask: If hundreds of thousands of federal workers stayed home, why was my commute still so bad?

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“It was the volume that shocked me,” said Jean Stoner, who had expected a breeze of a drive between her Arlington County home and her office at the Health Information Services division of 3M, in Bethesda. Eastbound Route 50 and roads through Rosslyn were “incredibly slow and congested,” she said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on October 08, 2013, 01:42:08 PM
In my local neck of the woods here in Silver Spring, I notice no traffic improvement.  I don't usually commute on the expressways.  My usual trouble spots are at the several public and private schools that I pass.  Since school is in session, traffic is bad.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 08, 2013, 09:54:06 PM
In my local neck of the woods here in Silver Spring, I notice no traffic improvement.  I don't usually commute on the expressways.  My usual trouble spots are at the several public and private schools that I pass.  Since school is in session, traffic is bad.

At some point, this may get some formal research - probably when the (partial) shut-down of the federal government is over.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2013, 11:56:15 AM
Washington Post: In the shadow of the 11th Street Bridge, locals build a new future for themselves (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-the-shadow-of-the-11th-street-bridge-locals-build-a-new-future-for-themselves/2013/11/10/14fdec60-3d8d-11e3-a94f-b58017bfee6c_story.html)

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Malachi Yisrael stands and speaks before a couple dozen people in the back of a construction trailer just east of the 11th Street Bridge to Anacostia. The room is decorated with white and red balloons. Construction plans and photographs of people in orange work vests cover the walls.

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It’s a graduation ceremony, of sorts, and Yisrael, 39, is one of the commencement speakers.

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He sports a bright blue plaid button-down shirt, big dreads and a bigger smile, plus a criminal record that starts at age 13. He’s just happy to be there. So are the seven graduating students who are part of an innovative training program that puts some of the city’s most disadvantaged adults on the engineering side of a construction job site.

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The program is part of the D.C. Department of Transportation’s 11th Street Bridge Project, the most expensive job the department has ever undertaken. On-the-job training programs are mandatory for projects that receive federal funding. They give local residents a chance to learn a skill. Usually, they’re for the lowest-paid positions — the hard labor.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on November 12, 2013, 01:44:14 PM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on November 12, 2013, 01:47:08 PM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html
That's horrible! :(
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 12, 2013, 07:24:41 PM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

Thanks, Adam.  I posted the words below on Facebook:

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Adam ("Froggie") posted this in the DCROADS.NET Facebook group, but I am posting this article here since the loss of Ron Kirby impacts me directly - he was the longtime senior manager of everyone where I have worked for many years. In addition to understanding long-range transportation planning (and short-range planning, too), he understood the politics of the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia, transportation policy at the federal level, and he also knew how to listen to people while being "aggressively neutral" when dealing with a very diverse cast of people (including many elected officials) and their points of view. Beyond all of that, he was a good manager, respected by his staff, from older set-in-their ways types (like me) to the youngest interns. Everyone on his staff was proud to be able to say that they worked for Ron. As to the circumstances of his death, I know nothing beyond what is being reported by the Washington Post in the article below.

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The Washington, D.C. area (and the transportation planning profession at the national level) have suffered a terrible loss.

WTOP Radio's story:  Council of Governments official found shot to death in Alexandria home (http://www.wtop.com/134/3502925/Local-official-killed-in-his-Alexandria-home)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 14, 2013, 08:52:31 PM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

Washington Post: Alexandria police asking for help in Ronald Kirby death (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-asking-for-help-in-kirby-case/2013/11/14/275f107a-4d58-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html)

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Alexandria police on Thursday asked for help in solving the slaying of 69-year-old Ronald Kirby this week, saying they do not have a person of interest in the death of the prominent regional transportation planner.

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“We’d like to have anyone who has any information, who might have been in contact with him in a social way or any other way that they think may bear some information to this investigation — we’d like them to come forward,” Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook said at a news conference at police headquarters.

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Kirby, the director of transportation planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, died Monday after being shot multiple times in the torso, according to authorities, who are investigating the case as a homicide.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 15, 2013, 09:55:52 AM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

Washington Post op-ed tribute:  RIP Ron Kirby: Region’s top transportation expert leaves legacy of a model public servant (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/rip-ron-kirby-regions-top-transportation-expert-leaves-legacy-of-a-model-public-servant/2013/11/13/ed7a73e0-4c9e-11e3-ac54-aa84301ced81_story.html)

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When I decided Monday to attend the next day’s Montgomery County Council debate about an ambitious new plan for express buses, I immediately reached out to the best person I knew to give me a thorough, fair-minded preview of the project’s pluses and minuses.

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But Ron Kirby never got my e-mail requesting a chat.

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The Washington region’s top expert on its top problem — traffic congestion — had been fatally shot that day in his Alexandria home. No one has been charged in his homicide.

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Today I am one of many journalists, officials, politicians and activists mourning the loss of a man who came as close as anyone I know to being a model public servant.

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Kirby, who was 69, was the well-informed, honest broker who won esteem from all sides in the high-stakes battles over roads, transit and land use. He did so by combining a powerful intellect (which earned him a PhD in applied mathematics) with hard work and a cordial, diplomatic manner.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 18, 2013, 12:54:56 AM
Washington Post: Transportation planner Ron Kirby’s inquiring mind, sense of fairness remembered (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/transportation-planner-ron-kirbys-inquiring-mind-sense-of-fairness-remembered/2013/11/17/b093cd74-4f9a-11e3-9e2c-e1d01116fd98_story.html)

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Ronald F. Kirby was remembered Sunday as a man who found beauty in the arcane details of how Washington gets around.

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“Ron Kirby was an artist. Ron’s canvas was the region,” said Chuck Bean, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, where Kirby was the senior transportation planner. Bean spoke to hundreds of mourners gathered at a memorial service at an Alexandria funeral home and an overflow area nearby.

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Neil Kirby recalled his brother’s love of cars, including the Alfa Romeo and soft-top Mustang he once drove. Ron, as they’d say in their native Australia, was “a good bloke.”

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“I couldn’t have asked for a better brother,” he said.

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Kirby, 69, was found slain in his Alexandria home Nov. 11, shot multiple times in the torso. A suspect has not been apprehended.

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A photograph of Kirby bear-hugging a koala flashed on a screen to the right of his open casket. To the left was a picture his daughter, Marilyn, painted when she was 12. She had wanted to toss it in the trash, but Kirby insisted on saving it, then proudly had it framed.

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Friends rose from the crowded benches to add their voices.

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One neighbor recalled a terrifying night when a giant rat appeared in her house while her toddler slept. She called Kirby, who appeared, tennis racket in hand, to handle it. Max Williamson, another neighbor and Kirby’s Sunday tennis partner, noted, to laughs, that he “didn’t realize how he did his training.”

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Since Kirby’s death, tributes have been coming in from far beyond Washington, including flowers from the Southern California Association of Governments. Many sent in their condolences.

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“He was the most exciting, dynamic, cheerful, witty, fair-minded, and thoughtful human being I have ever had the privilege to know in life,” wrote James Hogan, a longtime Washington colleague. Hogan recalled how Kirby described his approach to the dense, highly technical and highly charged job of transportation planning among representatives from more than 20 jurisdictions. It took Kirby just two words: “aggressive neutrality.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 11, 2013, 01:08:44 PM
It's a rare day when new streets open in downtown DC. On the way to last night's Caps game, we found two new segments of 10th Street and I Street (both NW) open next to the "City Center" project where the old convention center used to be. They opened sometime within the past week, as they were not open when we went to a game on December 3.

One oddity that might cause some trouble for inattentive drivers: The new segment of 10th Street, which runs between H Street and New York Avenue, is a two-way street, while the portions of 10th north of New York Avenue and south of H Street are both one-way southbound (the segment between Pennsylvania and Constitution is also two-way). It's rather strange to have that short two-block northbound lane on a street that is otherwise southbound-only, but I presume it's to give City Center residents an easy way to exit to New York Avenue—without it, because 9th Street is also one-way southbound they'd have to go around the block in what can be a rather congested area, and going around the block is further complicated by the intersection of 7th & H having a "No Turns" restriction (it's the Barnes Dance intersection).

It might be interesting to see how this changes the traffic flow in that area. We regularly use eastbound New York Avenue in that area en route to Caps games and it's always a nuisance during rush hour (except last night with the government closed) because the lights are horribly timed and can't handle the volume of traffic. You have to stop at every red light on New York and when your light goes green, the next light ahead goes red. Inevitably someone blocks the box. So having a new means of getting around to I Street might, in theory, take some traffic off New York in terms of people heading for Massachusetts Avenue (you can now take 10th, go left on I, and follow that to Massachusetts just east of 5th Street), and it might also relieve New York by eliminating the need for 10th Street traffic to go left on New York in order to access 9th Street to Virginia.

On this map, the new segment of 10th is in green and the new segment of I is in black. Both are two-way streets. I Street does not connect through to 11th Street. Instead, the area shown in red is a pedestrian-only area blocked off with metal bollards at either end (underscored with "Do Not Enter" signs). I would have liked it if they'd finished the street all the way through, as I'd find it to be a very useful route to the parking garage we use for games, but I'm not all that surprised they didn't.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/NewDCstreets_zps8fcbfa26.png)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 12, 2013, 11:05:50 AM
Following up, two dashcam videos of the new streets noted above. In the first video, we're going eastbound on New York Avenue and we make a right onto the new portion of 10th Street, then a left onto the new portion of I, crossing onto the older portion of I. (On the map this means making a right onto the green stripe, then a left onto the black.) In the second video, we're going the opposite way on I after leaving the parking garage and we go across to 10th and then make a left (across the black stripe and then a left onto the green).

Click thumbnails to play. Neither is all that fascinating, but I thought someone might be interested in the new streets.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Dashcam%20videos/th_NewstreetsdowntownDC_zpsce2d6ff3.jpg) (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Dashcam%20videos/NewstreetsdowntownDC_zpsce2d6ff3.mp4)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Dashcam%20videos/th_NewstreetsdowntownDC2_zpsae635f69.jpg) (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Dashcam%20videos/NewstreetsdowntownDC2_zpsae635f69.mp4)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on December 12, 2013, 11:26:07 PM
On the topic of new streets. A short section of 1st Street NW opened recently between H Street and I Street NW. It had been disconnected by a parking lot (and Google Maps still shows this), and it now runs along the site of one of two new Wal-Mart stores in DC, along with residential units above.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Washington,+DC&hl=en&ll=38.900201,-77.011317&spn=0.00243,0.005284&sll=39.761626,-84.051212&sspn=0.001697,0.003664&oq=was&t=h&hnear=Washington,+District+of+Columbia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.900203,-77.012213&panoid=o-oj7DRvfVaPiRrycyL_kQ&cbp=12,19.38,,0,0.66

I'm unsure if the city will ever remove the Jersey barriers where 1st Street NW intersects New Jersey Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue NW now that the new section has opened. My engine company from the New Jersey Avenue and E Street NW firehouse frequently uses 1st Street NW as an alternate running route to avoid N. Capitol Street congestion during rush hours, and a fully opened 1st Street from the intersection northward would work great for us.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Washington,+DC&hl=en&ll=38.898928,-77.011344&spn=0.00243,0.005284&sll=39.761626,-84.051212&sspn=0.001697,0.003664&oq=was&t=h&hnear=Washington,+District+of+Columbia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.898887,-77.012351&panoid=wcpir2AT0QE-KwncItFnYg&cbp=12,14.84,,0,5.8
Title: MOVED: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 13, 2013, 07:22:26 AM
Unrelated post has been moved to Off-Topic (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?board=9.0).

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=11120.0
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 17, 2013, 11:55:49 PM
Didn't know if CP would post this given that he works for MWCOG, but a high-ranking official within MWCOG, Transportation Research Board director of transportation planning Ron Kirby, was found fatally shot at his home in Alexandria.  My thoughts and condolences to the Kirby's and those at MWCOG.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/dc-council-of-governments-official-slain-in-home/2013/11/12/c08d1590-4bb8-11e3-be6b-d3d28122e6d4_story.html

The Alexandria Police are still investigating. 

WTOP Radio:  Fund started as as police ask public for help in Kirby murder case (http://www.wtop.com/134/3526839/Police-Who-spoke-to-Kirby-last-5-weeks)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 19, 2013, 11:55:20 AM
WAMU Radio: Transportation Forecasts Suggests Reducing Car Dependency A Must (http://wamu.org/news/13/12/18/traffic_planners_dc_metro_traffic_may_get_much_worse)

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As the Washington region’s population and employment grow, traffic congestion will worsen and the percentage of all daily trips taken using transit will remain at seven percent through 2040, according to a forecast by transportation planners at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG).

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But the “financially constrained” forecast is based on the possibility Congress will not continue to fund Metro’s rehabilitation, maintenance, and expansion beyond 2020, leading transit advocates to label it a technical analysis rather than a vision of what policy makers want for the region.

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The long range transportation forecast combines travel data from three regions: the regional core of D.C., Alexandria, and Arlington; the inner suburbs of Fairfax, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties; and the outer suburbs of Charles, Frederick, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties.

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Without substantial investments in mass transit, including Metro’s move to using only eight-car trains during rush hours, the number of roadway lane miles that will be congested during the morning commute will increase by 71 percent, the forecast said. The increase in demand on the region’s roadways is expected to outpace the supply of new lanes.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 25, 2013, 11:59:07 PM
Washington Post: In NW Washington, Broad Branch Road is neither broad nor sturdy for its load (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-nw-washington-broad-branch-road-is-neither-broad-nor-sturdy-for-its-load/2013/12/25/c540c384-6738-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html)

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Running for a mile and a half alongside Rock Creek Park, Broad Branch Road is, in many ways, a classic country road in the middle of the city. Narrow and winding, it is tucked among the wooded hills of the park and mid-century homes, a few scattered embassies and the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post.

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Picturesque as it is, Broad Branch has become a commuter route, carrying thousands of people who use it to bypass Connecticut Avenue and 16th Street in upper Northwest Washington. The signs of age and heavy use are evident. Chunks of the retaining wall that runs along the serpentine creek bed at the park’s edge are falling off. The road — marked with potholes and worn edges — frequently floods. And pedes­trians and bicyclists complain that there’s no room for them on the stretch of shoulderless road, as it runs from Linnean Avenue to Beach Drive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 28, 2013, 11:11:54 AM
WTOP Radio: Nearly 100 D.C. traffic cameras to start ticketing (http://www.wtop.com/41/3532045/Nearly-100-DC-traffic-cameras-to-start-ticketing)

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WASHINGTON - For the last month, drivers were getting warnings, but starting on Monday the nearly 100 newly installed traffic cameras around the District will start issuing tickets.

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Seven types of new traffic cameras installed across the city will automatically ticket drivers for violations if they run a red light; speed; run a stop sign; don't give a pedestrian the right of way; block a traffic intersection or speed through one; or if they have an over-sized vehicle on a restricted street.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1 on December 28, 2013, 11:22:15 AM
don't give a pedestrian the right of way

What if it looks like the pedestrian wants to cross (at least to the camera), but he says no (perhaps waiting for something else)?

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block a traffic intersection

Gridlock?



And 4 posts in a row?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on December 28, 2013, 11:38:49 AM
don't give a pedestrian the right of way

What if it looks like the pedestrian wants to cross (at least to the camera), but he says no (perhaps waiting for something else)?
Foot in crosswalk = has right-of-way. Standing on the sidewalk = no.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NJRoadfan on December 28, 2013, 12:20:37 PM
Foot in crosswalk = has right-of-way. Standing on the sidewalk = no.

This of course is dependent on district/state law. My home state of NJ requires one stops for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Is this the case in MD or VA?

http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/pedestrian.html
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 29, 2013, 02:37:03 PM
Foot in crosswalk = has right-of-way. Standing on the sidewalk = no.

This of course is dependent on district/state law. My home state of NJ requires one stops for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Is this the case in MD or VA?

http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/pedestrian.html

Code of Virginia § 46.2-924 (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-924) says, in part [with emphasis added]:

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A. The driver of any vehicle on a highway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian crossing such highway:

1. At any clearly marked crosswalk, whether at mid-block or at the end of any block;

2. At any regular pedestrian crossing included in the prolongation of the lateral boundary lines of the adjacent sidewalk at the end of a block;

3. At any intersection when the driver is approaching on a highway or street where the legal maximum speed does not exceed 35 miles per hour.

Annotated Code of Maryland says stop in Transportation Article §21–502 (http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmStatutesText.aspx?article=gtr&section=21-502&ext=html&session=2014RS&tab=subject5) [also with emphasis added]:

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§21–502. 

(a)   
  (1)   This subsection does not apply where:
    (i)   A pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, as described in § 21-503(b) of this subtitle; or
    (ii)   A traffic control signal is in operation.

  (2)   The driver of a vehicle shall come to a stop when a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a crosswalk is:
    (i)   On the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling; or
    (ii)   Approaching from an adjacent lane on the other half of the roadway.

(b)   A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.

(c)   If, at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a vehicle is stopped to let a pedestrian cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 29, 2013, 02:41:42 PM
Washington Post: A month later, no clues in Ronald Kirby’s murder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/a-month-later-no-clues-in-ronald-kirbys-slaying/2013/12/28/57753286-668e-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html)

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Anne Haynes has been thinking about going solo on the trip she and her husband planned to take to Antarctica in January. The books she’s been reading on grief say it’s good to get away.

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She’s been reading poetry, too, a reminder of the love poems she and Ronald Kirby read to each other early in their romance. She wants to hold on to everything about him — she even hopes police eventually will be able to return the clothes, glasses and shoes he wore the day he was killed.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 19, 2014, 10:00:12 AM
Washington Post:  D.C. area planners adopt transportation priorities that focus on fixing what’s broken (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-area-planners-adopt-transportation-priorities-that-focus-on-fixing-whats-broken/2014/01/17/6eff0018-7d4e-11e3-93c1-0e888170b723_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 29, 2014, 11:40:01 PM
Washington Post:  D.C. area’s longer-than-average commutes could be taking a greater toll on women (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/research-shows-women-have-longer-commutes-more-stress-than-men/2014/01/29/f4d198be-76f9-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html)

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Adeyinka Ogunlegan remembers sitting at a red light on Georgia Avenue when the text-message alert came through. Her main route home to Laurel was blocked because of emergency utility repairs.

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In an instant, her run-of-the-mill commute, a drive she does daily, generally without incident, turned into a logistical nightmare.

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Her 4-year-old son was waiting to be picked up at preschool and her daughter, now 3, from the babysitter’s. The clock was ticking, traffic was crawling, and she still had at least 20 miles to go. She knew instinctively that a trip that normally takes her about an hour would take far more time unless she came up with a plan.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on January 29, 2014, 11:56:17 PM
Men don't have kids.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 07, 2014, 06:22:17 PM
The Washington Post explores why the Nationals' curly "W" logo was greened-out on BGSs in DC:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2014/02/07/what-happened-to-the-curly-w-on-d-c-freeway-signs/

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.... So what happened was, DDOT conducted a survey of attendees at Nationals Park about the strength of the Curly W as a traffic helper. The DDOT survey “did not provide a conclusive result on the effectiveness of the use of the logos on traffic signs,” according to the FHWA.

So the federal agency did a follow-up “human factors evaluation,” which concluded that “the addition of a graphic logo to the word legend on a sign took observers longer to process, requiring longer glance times to the signs containing the graphic logos.

“These longer glances did not necessarily allow for an unfamiliar user to comprehend the meaning of the graphic logo,” the agency went on, in its message to DDOT. “Further, for familiar drivers, the addition of the logo did not enhance comprehension of the accompanying word legend. In fact, the logos evaluated generally had relatively low comprehension levels. The result was only a longer glance at the sign, but without the intended benefit of enhanced recognition of comprehension.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 07, 2014, 11:05:01 PM
WTOP Radio: Flyover bridge unveiled in Southeast D.C. (http://www.wtop.com/109/3558741/Flyover-bridge-unveiled-in-Southeast-DC)

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WASHINGTON - A new flyover bridge on Interstate 695 was quietly unveiled by the District Department of Transportation on Friday in Southeast D.C.

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The new bridge provides a smooth connection between the eastbound Southeast Freeway and the outbound span of the 11th Street Bridge.

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The 11th Street Bridge Project, the District's largest road improvement project to date, is more than halfway complete. The new configuration sets the outbound side of the road in its final alignment on its approach toward the Anacostia River.

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Additionally, a new on-ramp from 8th Street SE, pictured right, will allow traffic from the Barracks Row to merge onto the new bridge in the coming weeks.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 08, 2014, 02:33:33 PM
Funny, we saw them striping that on Thursday night on our way home from the Caps game but I had no idea it was to open so soon. I guess I won't be driving on it for a while with the NHL entering the Olympic Break.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2014, 05:59:04 PM
Funny, we saw them striping that on Thursday night on our way home from the Caps game but I had no idea it was to open so soon. I guess I won't be driving on it for a while with the NHL entering the Olympic Break.

Drove it last night (Friday).  Might be the smoothest section of elevated road I have ever driven in the District of Columbia.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 08, 2014, 11:10:27 PM
Funny, we saw them striping that on Thursday night on our way home from the Caps game but I had no idea it was to open so soon. I guess I won't be driving on it for a while with the NHL entering the Olympic Break.

Drove it last night (Friday).  Might be the smoothest section of elevated road I have ever driven in the District of Columbia.

Heh. We'll see if that's still true when the NHL schedule resumes!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 13, 2014, 08:17:00 AM
Good to have a new ramp.  Bad that the signage, pictured at the link, doesn't use control cities.

I-295 South/ Alexandria* / Richmond

DC 295 North to US 50 / Baltimore / Annapolis


* I would remove the reference to 95/495 since you can reach 95/495 by taking DC 295 (Greenbelt) or by taking US 50 (New Carrolton).  Of course, if you want Virginia the best way of getting there at this point is by southbound I-295.  If DDOT can replace the rest of the signs along I-295, I would prefer National Harbor as a control city over Alexandria, since I-295 goes directly there and National Harbor has become a destination in recent years.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 14, 2014, 04:39:06 PM
Quote
* I would remove the reference to 95/495 since you can reach 95/495 by taking DC 295 (Greenbelt) or by taking US 50 (New Carrolton).

I'd hazard a bet the 95/495 signage is intended for trucks….the preference being for trucks to take I-295 South to the Beltway instead of DC 295 (poor geometry) to B-W Pkwy (trucks illegal) or US 50 (nasty ramps at 50/Kenilworth).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 14, 2014, 06:24:08 PM
Quote
* I would remove the reference to 95/495 since you can reach 95/495 by taking DC 295 (Greenbelt) or by taking US 50 (New Carrolton).

I'd hazard a bet the 95/495 signage is intended for trucks….the preference being for trucks to take I-295 South to the Beltway instead of DC 295 (poor geometry) to B-W Pkwy (trucks illegal) or US 50 (nasty ramps at 50/Kenilworth).

I second. 

South of the interchange, I-295 is functionally classified as a freeway.  D.C. 295 is for a short distance to the north as well.  But north of East Capitol Street, the design is pretty clearly that of an expressway - and while the ramps between Md. 201 and U.S. 50 are legal for truck traffic, they are unchanged since their design by Maryland SRC in the 1950's, and it shows.  The movement from westbound 50 to southbound 201 is a sharp cloverleaf and the movement from northbound 201 to eastbound 50 is narrow with a difficult merge at the end of the ramp.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 21, 2014, 12:38:41 PM
Quote
* I would remove the reference to 95/495 since you can reach 95/495 by taking DC 295 (Greenbelt) or by taking US 50 (New Carrolton).

I'd hazard a bet the 95/495 signage is intended for trucks….the preference being for trucks to take I-295 South to the Beltway instead of DC 295 (poor geometry) to B-W Pkwy (trucks illegal) or US 50 (nasty ramps at 50/Kenilworth).

I second. 

South of the interchange, I-295 is functionally classified as a freeway.  D.C. 295 is for a short distance to the north as well.  But north of East Capitol Street, the design is pretty clearly that of an expressway - and while the ramps between Md. 201 and U.S. 50 are legal for truck traffic, they are unchanged since their design by Maryland SRC in the 1950's, and it shows.  The movement from westbound 50 to southbound 201 is a sharp cloverleaf and the movement from northbound 201 to eastbound 50 is narrow with a difficult merge at the end of the ramp.

So trucks heading to Annapolis or Baltimore from this point will go south on 295 and then reach the Beltway?

I believe that most would use the shortest legal routing:

I-695 to DC 295 north to US 50 for Annapolis

I-695 to DC 295 north to US 50 to I-95 for Baltimore, but some may opt for Kenilworth Avenue instead.

Of course, for those who don't know their way around, they may just follow the signs to I-95 and go the long way by way of National Harbor.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 22, 2014, 11:08:06 PM
Washington Post: Potholes infest D.C. region as relentless winter chews up the roadways (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/potholes-infest-dc-region-area-as-relentless-winter-chews-up-the-roadways/2014/02/22/0627257a-9a36-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 24, 2014, 12:25:21 PM
Last night we drove over the new I-695 ramp CP mentions further up this page on our way home from the AHL hockey game at Verizon Center. I agree with him, easily the smoothest section of elevated road I've driven in DC, but it's funny how they didn't smooth out the bumps between that new segment and the bridge itself. Perhaps they will do that when the remaining ramps open—I didn't get to look around much because I was focused on the other cars on the road, but Ms1995hoo said there appeared to be an entrance on the right that was still blocked off.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 24, 2014, 05:14:05 PM
Quote
but Ms1995hoo said there appeared to be an entrance on the right that was still blocked off.

Likely the entrance from 8th St SE, which I believe was planned to open up some weeks after the mainline.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 24, 2014, 05:25:45 PM
Quote
but Ms1995hoo said there appeared to be an entrance on the right that was still blocked off.

Likely the entrance from 8th St SE, which I believe was planned to open up some weeks after the mainline.

That sounds right. The project calls that "Ramp E-2." It's supposed to open sometime in "early spring," according to a graphic on JDLand.com.

Do you happen to know whether the tunnel under Barney Circle that leads to the RFK Stadium Access Road will remain open once all the construction is done and the new at-grade boulevard segment is opened? There's a road connecting Barney Circle to the RFK Access Road, but it's never open, even when there's an event at the stadium (some people use it anyway). I suppose the theory is that the new connection from the 11th Street Bridge to northbound DC-295 would make it easier for people to use Benning Road to the stadium (which is what the signs tell traffic on 295 to do), and I'm sure DC would LOVE to route the stadium traffic past the speed camera on Benning Road near the Langston driving range, but I doubt most people who currently park in Lot 8 will have any interest in doing that and would instead find ways to approach the stadium from the southwest via some combination of Potomac Avenue and Independence Avenue.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 24, 2014, 06:28:24 PM
I didn't get to look around much because I was focused on the other cars on the road, but Ms1995hoo said there appeared to be an entrance on the right that was still blocked off.

She's correct.  That ramp comes up from the intersection of 8th Street and Virginia Avenue, S.E., and existed before this part of I-695 was reconstructed.  Have not looked at it from 8th Street, S.E. recently to see if anything is going on there.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 24, 2014, 06:34:31 PM
So trucks heading to Annapolis or Baltimore from this point will go south on 295 and then reach the Beltway?

I believe that most would use the shortest legal routing:

I-695 to DC 295 north to US 50 for Annapolis

I-695 to DC 295 north to US 50 to I-95 for Baltimore, but some may opt for Kenilworth Avenue instead.

All correct.  I think the signage was directed at drivers from out-of-town, which are probably better off running up the extra miles to use I-295 to reach the Capital Beltway.  Drivers from the area know the routes you enumerated above, and they are legal for all commercial vehicles to use.

Of course, for those who don't know their way around, they may just follow the signs to I-95 and go the long way by way of National Harbor.

I still see (what I believe to be) a fair number of drivers with out-dated GPS units on eastbound I-695 who probably intended to follow the I-95 routing northbound around the south and east parts of the Capital Beltway but ended up on I-395 in Springfield instead of I-95. Those people are definitely better-off heading south on I-295, even though it adds more miles to their journey. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 24, 2014, 07:40:50 PM
Quote
Do you happen to know whether the tunnel under Barney Circle that leads to the RFK Stadium Access Road will remain open once all the construction is done and the new at-grade boulevard segment is opened?

Given that DDOT plans to rebuild Barney Circle as an at-grade circle as part of the completion of Southeastern Blvd (http://www.anacostiawaterfront.org/awi-transportation-projects/barney-circle-southeast-boulevard/), I'd say "no".

The design concepts for Barney Circle include access to that road from the circle.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 25, 2014, 10:21:09 AM
Quote
Do you happen to know whether the tunnel under Barney Circle that leads to the RFK Stadium Access Road will remain open once all the construction is done and the new at-grade boulevard segment is opened?

Given that DDOT plans to rebuild Barney Circle as an at-grade circle as part of the completion of Southeastern Blvd (http://www.anacostiawaterfront.org/awi-transportation-projects/barney-circle-southeast-boulevard/), I'd say "no".

The design concepts for Barney Circle include access to that road from the circle.


Thanks. For some reason, most reports I've seen have been silent about that issue, perhaps reflecting what I'd consider unwarranted optimism about the proposal to build a new soccer stadium in Buzzard Point near Nationals Park.

I'm avoiding Google Maps these days because I've found it to be unbearably slow recently, but the Bing Maps overhead view of Barney Circle gives a pretty good image of how it wouldn't be difficult at all to connect the RFK road to Pennsylvania Avenue via something better than the narrow street currently there, provided they reconfigured that triangular sidewalk/pedestrian path on the right side of the image: http://binged.it/1hOLJlm
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 25, 2014, 10:34:03 AM
....

Of course, for those who don't know their way around, they may just follow the signs to I-95 and go the long way by way of National Harbor.

I still see (what I believe to be) a fair number of drivers with out-dated GPS units on eastbound I-695 who probably intended to follow the I-95 routing northbound around the south and east parts of the Capital Beltway but ended up on I-395 in Springfield instead of I-95. Those people are definitely better-off heading south on I-295, even though it adds more miles to their journey. 

I think part of what we see is a combination of drivers with outdated sat-navs and drivers who don't pay attention to road signs. As you know I live not far from the Springfield Interchange, and pretty much every time I'm waiting at the light to turn left from northbound Van Dorn onto the Beltway there will be multiple drivers coming off the Beltway and making U-turns to get back on. I presume, although I do not know for sure, that most of these are people who messed up and took the wrong lane somewhere in Springfield and wound up going in a direction other than they intended. I remember back in 1999 shortly before the reconstruction began, a Washington Post article talked about how the rebuilt interchange would be "unforgiving" in that it offers no real opportunity to correct your mistake if you find yourself going the wrong way—you have to continue on past it to the next interchange and then work your way back for another shot. It's an apt description. So many people ignore highway signs that tell you which lane to use that it's no surprise, when you consider both the volume of traffic and DC-area drivers' general reluctance to let anyone over at the last minute, that people wind up going the wrong way. But I do not understand why, faced with multiple BGSs telling you to keep left for Interstate 95, some people persist in ignoring the signs because a sat-nav is saying to keep right.

Of course, why you'd end up going all the way into DC instead of turning around sooner is unclear to me!

I remember when I was a kid my parents used to get AAA Triptiks for some of our family vacations. The map of the Beltway had an arrow pointing at the Springfield Interchange with an admonition in all capital letters that read, "Heed signing for proper lanes to make change of direction at this interchange." I'd suggest that admonition is all the more compelling now than it was back then.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 25, 2014, 02:11:46 PM
....

Of course, for those who don't know their way around, they may just follow the signs to I-95 and go the long way by way of National Harbor.

I still see (what I believe to be) a fair number of drivers with out-dated GPS units on eastbound I-695 who probably intended to follow the I-95 routing northbound around the south and east parts of the Capital Beltway but ended up on I-395 in Springfield instead of I-95. Those people are definitely better-off heading south on I-295, even though it adds more miles to their journey. 

I think part of what we see is a combination of drivers with outdated sat-navs and drivers who don't pay attention to road signs. As you know I live not far from the Springfield Interchange, and pretty much every time I'm waiting at the light to turn left from northbound Van Dorn onto the Beltway there will be multiple drivers coming off the Beltway and making U-turns to get back on. I presume, although I do not know for sure, that most of these are people who messed up and took the wrong lane somewhere in Springfield and wound up going in a direction other than they intended.

I have seen it there, and at the Eisenhower Avenue Connector as well. Not that the confusion is always related to the Springfield Interchange, either.  We were once putting out road tubes (a nasty and sometimes dangerous job) on the Eisenhower Avenue Connector itself when some ladies in a car with Pennsylvania or New Jersey tags stopped and wanted to know how much further they had to go to get to the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus (I don't recall if it was the "main" Hopkins hospital complex on North Wolfe Street or Hopkins Bayview next to I-895). 

I politely explained that they had passed the Hopkins hospitals in Baltimore City by about 45 miles and that they were in Virginia (they were somewhat taken aback to be in Virginia).  I patiently explained how to get them back to Baltimore, even telling them how to get to the Hopkins complex (must have been the main one, since it's more difficult to reach that one from I-95 than Bayview).

I remember back in 1999 shortly before the reconstruction began, a Washington Post article talked about how the rebuilt interchange would be "unforgiving" in that it offers no real opportunity to correct your mistake if you find yourself going the wrong way—you have to continue on past it to the next interchange and then work your way back for another shot. It's an apt description. So many people ignore highway signs that tell you which lane to use that it's no surprise, when you consider both the volume of traffic and DC-area drivers' general reluctance to let anyone over at the last minute, that people wind up going the wrong way. But I do not understand why, faced with multiple BGSs telling you to keep left for Interstate 95, some people persist in ignoring the signs because a sat-nav is saying to keep right.

I think the signs for I-95 are much improved in and through Springfield from what they were before the reconstruction.  And in both directions, the "natural" path on I-95 is now "straight" (or actually left), as it should be - not a TOTSO. 

[rant]

Even though GPS is getting more common, I think the driving tests need to prove to the satisfaction of the examiner that a prospective driver knows how to read highway signs - and the on-road test should include a drive on a real freeway, with the new driver being required to correctly read the signs and navigate somewhere. 

[/rant]


Of course, why you'd end up going all the way into DC instead of turning around sooner is unclear to me!

I remember when I was a kid my parents used to get AAA Triptiks for some of our family vacations. The map of the Beltway had an arrow pointing at the Springfield Interchange with an admonition in all capital letters that read, "Heed signing for proper lanes to make change of direction at this interchange." I'd suggest that admonition is all the more compelling now than it was back then.

Northbound drivers (mistakenly) on I-395 observe that they are still on a nice big freeway, and assume that the freeway will take them where they need to go.  They find out differently when they get to the north end of I-395, at 3rd Street and New York Avenue, N.W. (I've seen more than a few very confused drivers there as well).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 04, 2014, 09:59:10 AM
Washington Post: Washington region’s fabled traffic jams eased a little last year (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/washington-regions-fabled-traffic-jams-eased-last-year/2014/03/03/9c6af368-a0b7-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html)

Quote
Washington, a city that has found no glory in its sports teams of late and has been tarnished by lawmakers seen as incapable of making laws, now faces another ignominy. No longer can it claim to be the most traffic-congested place in the nation.

Quote
Not even close. And you can blame it on Congress.

Quote
With the nation’s economy on the rise, traffic congestion picked up last year in all but one of the 10 most congested metropolitan regions: Washington.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 05, 2014, 09:23:48 AM
Washington Post: D.C.mayor says Secret Service street closures paralyzing downtown traffic (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/district-mayor-says-secret-service-street-closures-paralyzing-downtown-traffic/2014/03/04/ac058582-a3c2-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html)

Quote
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray is demanding that the Secret Service change protocols for visiting dignitaries to alleviate what he says led to “significant portions of downtown Washington being paralyzed by traffic” in the past five days.

Quote
From the mayor of a city accustomed to sharing living space with the president and maneuvering around frequent motorcades, the letter on Tuesday was stern in tone, calling prolonged road closures near the White House and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center a show of disrespect to D.C. residents. Police said motorists were stuck in traffic jams of up to two hours as they tried to traverse downtown streets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2014, 04:03:21 PM
Washington Post: A month later, no clues in Ronald Kirby’s murder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/a-month-later-no-clues-in-ronald-kirbys-slaying/2013/12/28/57753286-668e-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html)

Quote
Anne Haynes has been thinking about going solo on the trip she and her husband planned to take to Antarctica in January. The books she’s been reading on grief say it’s good to get away.

Quote
She’s been reading poetry, too, a reminder of the love poems she and Ronald Kirby read to each other early in their romance. She wants to hold on to everything about him — she even hopes police eventually will be able to return the clothes, glasses and shoes he wore the day he was killed.

Could the City of Alexandria police be on to something regarding the murder of Ron Kirby?

Washington Post: Same gun may have been used in three Alexandria slayings, police say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-schedule-news-conference-to-discuss-killing-of-alexandria-music-teacher/2014/03/06/a1a9f0a2-a53c-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 06, 2014, 11:40:17 PM
WTOP Radio: New flyover ramp connects 11th Street Bridge and SE-SW Freeway (http://www.wtop.com/654/3575401/Starting-Friday-A-major-improvement-for-Md-commuters)

Quote
After enduring years of painful morning delays along D.C. 295 and Interstate 295, a new connection for inbound drivers is expected to open at the 11th Street Bridge.

Quote
The District Department of Transportation says that construction crews will open a high-capacity flyover ramp that will connect the 11th Street Bridge to the westbound Southeast-Southwest Freeway early Friday.

Quote
On Thursday night, all access to the inbound main span of the 11th Street Bridge will be blocked to tie the new ramp into the westbound Southeast-Southwest Freeway. All lanes are expected to be open in their final configuration in time for the Friday morning rush hours.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 07, 2014, 07:54:06 AM
I assume what they're doing is re-routing inbound traffic onto the ramp that outbound traffic had used for a year or so until a month ago. Big improvement, if so. I may take a detour to check it out today depending on the weather.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 07, 2014, 08:17:48 AM
I assume what they're doing is re-routing inbound traffic onto the ramp that outbound traffic had used for a year or so until a month ago. Big improvement, if so. I may take a detour to check it out today depending on the weather.

Yes, I am about 99% certain that they are moving traffic off of that old and beaten-up flyover ramp.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 07, 2014, 12:30:51 PM
I assume what they're doing is re-routing inbound traffic onto the ramp that outbound traffic had used for a year or so until a month ago. Big improvement, if so. I may take a detour to check it out today depending on the weather.

Drove it earlier today.  Three lanes instead of two. The deck of the flyover is a big improvement over the old one (and I have driven it many times in the opposite direction).

But between the end of the "main" 11th Street Bridge and the beginning of the flyover, there are one or two "humps" that seemed to take some drivers by surprise.  And the signage on the bridge approaching the flyover needs to be updated.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 07, 2014, 01:24:58 PM
I assume what they're doing is re-routing inbound traffic onto the ramp that outbound traffic had used for a year or so until a month ago. Big improvement, if so. I may take a detour to check it out today depending on the weather.

Drove it earlier today.  Three lanes instead of two. The deck of the flyover is a big improvement over the old one (and I have driven it many times in the opposite direction).

But between the end of the "main" 11th Street Bridge and the beginning of the flyover, there are one or two "humps" that seemed to take some drivers by surprise.  And the signage on the bridge approaching the flyover needs to be updated.

Thanks. I'm not going to make it over there today after all due to other things that came up. I was going to go there on the way to Alexandria this morning but didn't have time. I assume the "humps" you describe may be similar to a couple of annoying dips and bumps in the pavement that we kept encountering when the stretch in question was being used as the outbound lanes. It was rather annoying to go from the nice new ramp to a ratty old segment back to a nice new bridge.

Have you used the "local bridge" recently? I have not, and what I'm curious about is whether the street pattern on the north end of that bridge has been finished yet. The last time I used it going north (towards downtown), at the end of the bridge you had to make a right turn and then two left turns, which put you onto M Street, before making a right to go on up 11th. It made more sense simply to use the right-side ramp from the "highway bridge" because you encountered fewer lights. I'm interested in seeing whether, once 11th Street is finished, it would be easier and faster to exit I- or DC-295 onto the "local bridge" and go straight through on there. If so, and if people can be convinced to go that way, it would eliminate some of the weaving that goes on over the inbound "highway bridge," although of course I recognize some people will be loath to break their long-entrenched habits (similar to how some people STILL aren't using the ramps from southbound Telegraph Road to Kings Highway and Huntington Avenue just south of Alexandria, even though they've been open for several years now—these people go up to the light at the Bestway Latin American supermarket and hang a U-turn to reach Kings or Huntington).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2014, 12:34:45 AM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: Metro and D.C. transportation officials need to show they’ve made the most of 16th Street (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/metro-and-dc-transportation-officials-need-to-show-theyve-made-the-most-of-16th-street/2014/03/07/659ca306-a542-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 10, 2014, 09:17:48 PM
I assume what they're doing is re-routing inbound traffic onto the ramp that outbound traffic had used for a year or so until a month ago. Big improvement, if so. I may take a detour to check it out today depending on the weather.

Drove it earlier today.  Three lanes instead of two. The deck of the flyover is a big improvement over the old one (and I have driven it many times in the opposite direction).

But between the end of the "main" 11th Street Bridge and the beginning of the flyover, there are one or two "humps" that seemed to take some drivers by surprise.  And the signage on the bridge approaching the flyover needs to be updated.

The humps. Quite the ride when done in the back of a fire engine.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 11, 2014, 11:18:54 AM
The humps. Quite the ride when done in the back of a fire engine.

Never had the pleasure - but I presume that DCFD engines ride pretty hard?

At least it is not like the "good old days" (IMO not so good) when firefighters rode on the back step of engines. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 11, 2014, 11:35:33 AM
The humps. Quite the ride when done in the back of a fire engine.

Never had the pleasure - but I presume that DCFD engines ride pretty hard?

At least it is not like the "good old days" (IMO not so good) when firefighters rode on the back step of engines. 

Most engines do ride hard, some more so than others.
There's a dip in the pavement on Constitution Ave. NW between 6th and 7th St. NW, that when we respond westbound we have to slow up as we drive over it. All companies in the vicinity know about it, and many firefighters have been thrown upwards or even hit their heads on the cab roof when the apparatus driver forgets to slow up and hits the dip at fire response speed.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 13, 2014, 10:48:03 AM
The humps. Quite the ride when done in the back of a fire engine.

Never had the pleasure - but I presume that DCFD engines ride pretty hard?

At least it is not like the "good old days" (IMO not so good) when firefighters rode on the back step of engines. 

Most engines do ride hard, some more so than others.
There's a dip in the pavement on Constitution Ave. NW between 6th and 7th St. NW, that when we respond westbound we have to slow up as we drive over it. All companies in the vicinity know about it, and many firefighters have been thrown upwards or even hit their heads on the cab roof when the apparatus driver forgets to slow up and hits the dip at fire response speed.

I know exactly where you are talking about.  Always take it rather slow past there.  But I could see that being a problem for the Fire Department if the firefighter behind the wheel happens to be on temporary duty at your fire house and not familiar with some of the humps and dips in the surrounding streets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 18, 2014, 11:55:59 AM
Putting a Price on D.C.'s Worst Commute:  See the Atlantic Cities article that I posted to the Virginia forum (http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=294.msg286352#msg286352).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 08, 2014, 05:50:07 PM
Ramp E-2 at the 11th Street Bridge project was to open this afternoon (I didn't have time to go check it out). This is the ramp leading from 8th Street SE onto outbound I-695 over the "highway bridge."
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 09, 2014, 09:11:15 PM
Ramp E-2 at the 11th Street Bridge project was to open this afternoon (I didn't have time to go check it out). This is the ramp leading from 8th Street SE onto outbound I-695 over the "highway bridge."

Will be driving by there in a little while tonight.  Report back later.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on April 10, 2014, 04:32:51 PM
I take it that the current SE Freeway will definitely be a thing of the past, now that I-695 has been rerouted over the 11th Street Bridge?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 10, 2014, 05:02:00 PM
I take it that the current SE Freeway will definitely be a thing of the past, now that I-695 has been rerouted over the 11th Street Bridge?

East of the 11th Street Bridge, yes. Between there and Barney Circle (Pennsylvania Avenue on the northwest side of the river) it's to be converted into "Southeast Boulevard" (I wish they'd come up with a better name, but whatever). Don't know the timetable for that to open. It involves filling the area and raising the road at least partially out of the trench-like cut it used before.

West of the bridge, it remains essentially as it was other than some changes related to the new ramps associated with the bridge project.

The big thing is that before, the ramps to the bridge straddled the highway because of how the road plunged down towards Barney Circle and the tunnel to RFK. Going to or from the bridge was like using an exit or entrance ramp. Now the ramps to and from the bridge are the thru movement in the middle and the ramps that will connect to Southeast Boulevard (at 11th Street SE) will be off to either side ("will" because they aren't open yet).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 11, 2014, 09:25:28 AM
I take it that the current SE Freeway will definitely be a thing of the past, now that I-695 has been rerouted over the 11th Street Bridge?

East of the 11th Street Bridge, yes. Between there and Barney Circle (Pennsylvania Avenue on the northwest side of the river) it's to be converted into "Southeast Boulevard" (I wish they'd come up with a better name, but whatever). Don't know the timetable for that to open. It involves filling the area and raising the road at least partially out of the trench-like cut it used before.

Problem is that none of that will really lead to much change - and in particular access to the Anacostia River riverfront - because of the presence of a CSX Transportation freight line, which carries plenty of railroad traffic 24/7.

West of the bridge, it remains essentially as it was other than some changes related to the new ramps associated with the bridge project.

The big thing is that before, the ramps to the bridge straddled the highway because of how the road plunged down towards Barney Circle and the tunnel to RFK. Going to or from the bridge was like using an exit or entrance ramp. Now the ramps to and from the bridge are the thru movement in the middle and the ramps that will connect to Southeast Boulevard (at 11th Street SE) will be off to either side ("will" because they aren't open yet).

Still not really clear what is going to happen there.  They are not getting rid of the railroad line (and indeed, it is likely to see even more train traffic when the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is rebuilt in the coming years from a single-track bottleneck to a wider and taller crossing, able to handle double-stack container trains).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on April 16, 2014, 07:41:16 AM
D.C. considers adding carpool, toll lanes to part of the 14th Street bridge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-considers-adding-carpool-toll-lanes-to-part-of-the-14th-street-bridge/2014/04/15/8c0d468a-c4cd-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 17, 2014, 01:20:52 PM
D.C. considers adding carpool, toll lanes to part of the 14th Street bridge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-considers-adding-carpool-toll-lanes-to-part-of-the-14th-street-bridge/2014/04/15/8c0d468a-c4cd-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html)

Good news? 

Maybe - if the I-395 HOV/Toll lanes ran all the way up to the Virginia shoreline of the 14th Street Bridge. But for now, they do not.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on April 17, 2014, 05:58:52 PM
D.C. considers adding carpool, toll lanes to part of the 14th Street bridge (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-considers-adding-carpool-toll-lanes-to-part-of-the-14th-street-bridge/2014/04/15/8c0d468a-c4cd-11e3-bcec-b71ee10e9bc3_story.html)

Good news? 

Maybe - if the I-395 HOV/Toll lanes ran all the way up to the Virginia shoreline of the 14th Street Bridge. But for now, they do not.

Well, the HOV lanes do, or would if VDOT would restore the HOV restrictions on the slip ramp near the Pentagon from the I-395 main lanes to the northbound HOV restriction.  Making that ramp available to all traffic helps mask the inadequacies of the northbound main lanes on the 14th Street, but those issues could be fixed, especially if D.C. would use toll revenue to help pay for the upgrades (ha ha).

If D.C. wants to put the squeeze on Arlington County to drop its opposition to a continuous HOT facility in the I-395 median, fine with me.

Even if not, Transurban might be a logical candidate to manage D.C.'s facility, using some of its infrastructure for and experience with the 495 express lanes.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2014, 11:06:39 AM
Well, the HOV lanes do, or would if VDOT would restore the HOV restrictions on the slip ramp near the Pentagon from the I-395 main lanes to the northbound HOV restriction.  Making that ramp available to all traffic helps mask the inadequacies of the northbound main lanes on the 14th Street, but those issues could be fixed, especially if D.C. would use toll revenue to help pay for the upgrades (ha ha).

Agreed.  And returning it to a restricted lane (HOV-3 or pay a toll) would probably increase vehicle throughput!

If D.C. wants to put the squeeze on Arlington County to drop its opposition to a continuous HOT facility in the I-395 median, fine with me.

The opposition in Arlington was mostly ginned-up by one member of the Arlington County Board, who has now resigned from that body.

If D.C. were to formally and on-the-record say to Arlington's elected officials that D.C. wants the HOV/toll facility to extend through Alexandria and Arlington County up to the Potomac River, then I think Arlington would have to give it some very serious consideration.

Even if not, Transurban might be a logical candidate to manage D.C.'s facility, using some of its infrastructure for and experience with the 495 express lanes.

I can think of two entities that could do it - Transurban being (probably) the most-logical, or if D.C. wanted to look the other way (and if it were legal - not sure if it is), MdTA.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on April 18, 2014, 12:21:22 PM
Wasn't Arlington's opposition mostly because they didn't want the merge from the HOT lanes back to the general lanes in their area?  That wouldn't be a factor if they extended into DC.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2014, 01:35:02 PM
Wasn't Arlington's opposition mostly because they didn't want the merge from the HOT lanes back to the general lanes in their area?  That wouldn't be a factor if they extended into DC.

It was anti-auto/anti-highway/anti-mobility ideology above all.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on April 18, 2014, 01:35:18 PM
Well, the HOV lanes do, or would if VDOT would restore the HOV restrictions on the slip ramp near the Pentagon from the I-395 main lanes to the northbound HOV restriction.  Making that ramp available to all traffic helps mask the inadequacies of the northbound main lanes on the 14th Street, but those issues could be fixed, especially if D.C. would use toll revenue to help pay for the upgrades (ha ha).

Agreed.  And returning it to a restricted lane (HOV-3 or pay a toll) would probably increase vehicle throughput!

If D.C. wants to put the squeeze on Arlington County to drop its opposition to a continuous HOT facility in the I-395 median, fine with me.

The opposition in Arlington was mostly ginned-up by one member of the Arlington County Board, who has now resigned from that body.

If D.C. were to formally and on-the-record say to Arlington's elected officials that D.C. wants the HOV/toll facility to extend through Alexandria and Arlington County up to the Potomac River, then I think Arlington would have to give it some very serious consideration.

Even if not, Transurban might be a logical candidate to manage D.C.'s facility, using some of its infrastructure for and experience with the 495 express lanes.

I can think of two entities that could do it - Transurban being (probably) the most-logical, or if D.C. wanted to look the other way (and if it were legal - not sure if it is), MdTA.

This is nice.  If I understand what you are saying, if DC wanted a HOT lane on the 14th Street approach, Arlington would be all-but-forced into relenting on their opposition to HOT lanes and there would be a HOT facility from Prince William to DC that would be free for carpoolers and toll for others in the dominant direction.

If DC can get a cut of Transurban's money for allowing the toll facility, I'm sure they would be game.  Look at how eagerly they hog up speed camera revenue.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 18, 2014, 02:13:42 PM
This is nice.  If I understand what you are saying, if DC wanted a HOT lane on the 14th Street approach, Arlington would be all-but-forced into relenting on their opposition to HOT lanes and there would be a HOT facility from Prince William to DC that would be free for carpoolers and toll for others in the dominant direction.

If DC can get a cut of Transurban's money for allowing the toll facility, I'm sure they would be game.  Look at how eagerly they hog up speed camera revenue.

I don't think Arlington County (or, for that matter, the City of Alexandria) can be forced into agreement with D.C. on the need to flip the I-395 HOV lanes to HOV/toll lanes.

And it is not ultimately up to either of those jurisdictions anyway, since I-395 belongs to VDOT, and was built with state and federal funding.  But both local governments have the right to raise objections, to VDOT, to the Federal Highway Administration and to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.

Having said all of that, if the District of Columbia makes it loud and very clear that they want HOV/Toll lanes on the 14th Street Bridge (which is entirely D.C. jurisdiction), then one of the central arguments raised by Arlington County and its elected officials, "we are a central jurisdiction  and this is unfair to us" suddenly becomes much less credible. 

Now D.C. is doing this in its capacity as a state (even though it is in no way a state, for the purposes of this discussion, it is a state), and it would collect revenues from an HOV/Toll operation. But the local governments in Virginia would likely get no money from an extension of the HOV/Toll lanes to the Virginia shoreline of the 14th Street.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on April 18, 2014, 11:05:24 PM
Quote
And it is not ultimately up to either of those jurisdictions anyway, since I-395 belongs to VDOT, and was built with state and federal funding.  But both local governments have the right to raise objections, to VDOT, to the Federal Highway Administration and to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.

But as you likely know, any significant changes to I-395 on the Virginia side would also have to go through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, on which both Alexandria and Arlington have voting members.

In conjunction with your other comments, it's quite plausible that we'll have a future scenario under which we have two segments of HO/T lane on I-395 (14th St Bridge and from Turkeycock south), but are HOV only (peak hours) in between.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 19, 2014, 05:49:37 PM
Quote
And it is not ultimately up to either of those jurisdictions anyway, since I-395 belongs to VDOT, and was built with state and federal funding.  But both local governments have the right to raise objections, to VDOT, to the Federal Highway Administration and to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.

But as you likely know, any significant changes to I-395 on the Virginia side would also have to go through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, on which both Alexandria and Arlington have voting members.

I do not believe NVTA has any authority over a "flip" of the I-395 HOV lanes to HOV/Toll lanes, unless the NVTA is spending its own money on the project.

The local entity with power here is the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB), because such a change has to go into the regional Financially Constrained Long Range Plan (CLRP) and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and be analyzed as part of the next Air Quality Conformity Determination.

Both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County (and, for that matter, D.C.) have voting seats on the TPB, where this would have to be discussed before changing or adding to those documents.

In conjunction with your other comments, it's quite plausible that we'll have a future scenario under which we have two segments of HO/T lane on I-395 (14th St Bridge and from Turkeycock south), but are HOV only (peak hours) in between.

Would VDOT go along with that sort of arrangement?  VDOT (and presumably the Commonwealth Transportation Board) would have to agree to a D.C. HOV/Toll treatment at the 14th Street Bridge because of the approaches on the Virginia side.

Maybe more to the point, would any private operator like Transurban be interested in such a short segment of HOV/Toll lanes?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on April 20, 2014, 01:59:13 PM
Quote
I do not believe NVTA has any authority over a "flip" of the I-395 HOV lanes to HOV/Toll lanes, unless the NVTA is spending its own money on the project.

If any state or federal money is involved, then yes, the NVTA is involved, per state law.  TPB and MWCOG are the MPO planning agencies for the region, true.  But at the Federal level.  NVTA has state-level authority to not just create a regional transportation plan for Northern Virginia, but also to implement projects.

Quote
Would VDOT go along with that sort of arrangement?  VDOT (and presumably the Commonwealth Transportation Board) would have to agree to a D.C. HOV/Toll treatment at the 14th Street Bridge because of the approaches on the Virginia side.

VDOT may not have much of a choice in the matter, given the past litigation by Arlington County for the 95/395 project.

Quote
Maybe more to the point, would any private operator like Transurban be interested in such a short segment of HOV/Toll lanes?

Who says it has to be a private operator?  There's nothing requiring DDOT to use a private entity to operate any such HO/T lanes.  They could just as easily do it themselves.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 20, 2014, 07:15:14 PM
Washington Post: Plans for HOT lanes on 14th Street Bridge and D.C. freeways still just warming up (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/plans-for-hot-lanes-on-14th-street-bridge-and-dc-freeways-still-just-warming-up/2014/04/19/d221f304-c4d3-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_story.html)

Quote
The District’s transportation planners envision sets of high-occupancy toll lanes stretching from Interstate 295 by the Maryland border to the 14th Street Bridge and the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

Quote
But to see what they see, you’ll need powerful binoculars.

Quote
It’s not that managed toll lanes are a bad idea for the extremely busy D.C. bridges and freeways. The concept is worth studying, as many other jurisdictions decided over the past several decades.

Quote
Just don’t go underestimating the twists and turns between today’s studies and the opening of HOT lanes.

Quote
The District Department of Transportation is looking first at establishing high occupancy vehicle lanes on the Rochambeau Bridge, the middle span of the 14th Street Bridge complex; on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, which is Interstate 395 and Interstate 695; and on the Anacostia Freeway, Interstate 295. The HOV lanes could eventually be converted to HOT lanes, in which carpoolers get a free ride but others have to pay tolls.

Quote
The least difficult part of this program is the 14th Street Bridge segment. What the planners have in mind is designating the four lanes on the Rochambeau span as HOV3, open to vehicles with at least three people aboard. The HOV hours would match those on the Virginia side of I-395. These lanes would later be converted to HOT lanes.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: BrianP on April 25, 2014, 06:26:38 PM
I stumbled onto this DDOT historical photostream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddotphotos/4815694136/?rb=1
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddotphotos/4815694322/in/photostream/?rb=1

There are some really good ones in there. :drool:
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: machpost on May 11, 2014, 01:00:34 PM
I don't know if anyone else has noticed it yet, but on northbound DC 295, the overhead sign indicating the exit for RFK Stadium has an Atlanta 1996 Olympics logo next to it. This was covered by a DC United logo for years, but it looks like it has fallen off or been removed. An interesting relic from the time RFK hosted Olympic soccer matches.

Here's a "before" picture of the sign, from this site:

(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/district_of_columbia/dc-295_sb_exit_007b_01.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 16, 2014, 03:39:51 PM
Washington Post: U.S. Capitol’s former top cop Terry Gainer says complex should expand, bar vehicles (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/us-capitols-former-top-cop-terry-gainer-says-complex-should-expand-bar-vehicles/2014/06/14/70ba8338-f34f-11e3-bf76-447a5df6411f_story.html)

Quote
Nobody knows better than Terry Gainer how to make the U.S. Capitol secure. He’s the only person to have served as both chief of the Capitol Police and sergeant at arms of the Senate.

Quote
So it’s worth heeding Gainer’s views, now that he’s free to speak out after retiring last month from the Senate job at the end of 47 distinguished years in law enforcement.

Quote
Gainer says he thinks that the threat of terrorist vehicle bombs obliges Congress and the District to substantially expand the Capitol complex by gradually buying up surrounding blocks and banning traffic there.

Quote
Basically, he wants to create a spacious, pedestrian-only campus at the east end of the Mall. It would ban vehicles from more than a dozen square blocks where they’re now allowed and extend from the Capitol north to Union Station and east to Second Street.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 17, 2014, 02:16:32 AM
Stupid idea on a number of levels.  For starters, Constitution is a busy commuter route and Independence is both commuter and a commercial street...one of the few that completely traverses east-west through the DC core and across the Anacostia).  Second, instead of a vibrant urban area, all this will do is create an even bigger dead zone surrounding the Capitol.  Third, they fail to heed Benjamin Franklin's words.

I'm sure there are a number of DC residents that have thought of other reasons…
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 10, 2014, 01:16:44 AM
Washington Post: The lousy state of D.C.’s streets explained in 14 slides and two charts (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/wp/2014/07/09/the-lousy-state-of-d-c-s-streets-explained-in-14-slides-and-two-charts/)

Quote
On Tuesday, D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) invited city transportation officials to fill her in on the state of the city’s streets. After a long, cold winter, complaints about the pocked condition of city roadways have risen even higher than usual, Cheh said, and the officials needed to provide answers.

Quote
Here are a few, courtesy of a District Department of Transportation slide show.

Quote
The District has more than 4,000 lane-miles of roadway. (A lane-mile is a mile of pavement one lane wide; i.e., a mile-long stretch of four-lane street equals four lane-miles.) About half are eligible to be maintained with federal funds; the other half are not.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 10, 2014, 01:21:29 AM
[Emphasis added]

Stupid idea on a number of levels.  For starters, Constitution is a busy commuter route and Independence is both commuter and a commercial street...one of the few that completely traverses east-west through the DC core and across the Anacostia).  Second, instead of a vibrant urban area, all this will do is create an even bigger dead zone surrounding the Capitol.  Third, they fail to heed Benjamin Franklin's words.

I'm sure there are a number of DC residents that have thought of other reasons…

Meant to answer you before and forgot.

Your second point (which I bolded) is the really damning one. 

In addition to forcing motorists to take a different route (in and of itself, that's not a terrible deal), it would presumably force an assortment of bus routes (WMATA, D.C. Circulator, MTA Flyer and PRTC) to take longer and more-circuitous routes (that is a problem).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on July 13, 2014, 06:51:22 PM
[Emphasis added]

Stupid idea on a number of levels.  For starters, Constitution is a busy commuter route and Independence is both commuter and a commercial street...one of the few that completely traverses east-west through the DC core and across the Anacostia).  Second, instead of a vibrant urban area, all this will do is create an even bigger dead zone surrounding the Capitol.  Third, they fail to heed Benjamin Franklin's words.

I'm sure there are a number of DC residents that have thought of other reasons…

Meant to answer you before and forgot.

Your second point (which I bolded) is the really damning one. 

In addition to forcing motorists to take a different route (in and of itself, that's not a terrible deal), it would presumably force an assortment of bus routes (WMATA, D.C. Circulator, MTA Flyer and PRTC) to take longer and more-circuitous routes (that is a problem).

I agree a closure of this magnitude would be terrible for traffic.  Although as roadgeeks, it would be fun to imagine how it would be implemented.

And for a road closure to "work" at some level, you have to do more than close off the streets right at the security boundary.  Look at the problems at the White House.

OK, so they have to close E Street and Penn Ave between 15th and 17th, but what do they do to make it overall better? Not enough.  IMO the clusterf**ks at Penn/I/21st and NY/13th/H could be eliminated if they did the following:

- All westbound NY Ave traffic is shunted onto I street.  NY Ave is one-way eastbound between H and I.

- All of H Street eastbound traffic (from the White House area) is shunted onto NY Ave at 13th, and all of the two-way H Street traffic from central Downtown is shunted onto NY Ave.  This is done in a manner similar to the way 17th and Connecticut don't cross around Farragut Square.  In other words, H and NY don't cross.  But the majority traffic (eastbound H from west of the White House) will connect with the more major route (NY Ave headed to Mt Vernon Square).

- Penn Ave is one-way eastbound between 21st and 19th.  This eliminates the conflict between westbound Penn and I street traffic.  (I.e. I Street traffic would get the entire green time that is not allocated to 21st, since there would be no merge with Penn Ave traffic.)  Then, all of Penn Ave eastbound traffic is shunted onto H Street.  Penn Ave is closed between 18th and 19th.  This allows for a much larger Edward R. Murrow Park.  The low traffic block of Penn between 18th and 17th would connect directly with H Street that is west of 18th.

So, ironically, it would improve traffic to close or narrow even more streets, so long as conflicts can be eliminated and through traffic should be shunted onto the one-way streets meant to carry the traffic and not be forced to make sharp turns at the closures right on 15th and 17th streets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: MillTheRoadgeek on July 14, 2014, 01:11:03 PM
Just wondering, what is the farthest from D.C. that a street name (from there) goes?  :hmmm: My guess would be Central Avenue or Georgia Ave...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: TheOneKEA on July 14, 2014, 06:08:37 PM
Just wondering, what is the farthest from D.C. that a street name (from there) goes?  :hmmm: My guess would be Central Avenue or Georgia Ave...

New Hampshire Avenue also goes a long way out into Montgomery County, and the name ends at MD 97.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on July 14, 2014, 07:53:33 PM
Just wondering, what is the farthest from D.C. that a street name (from there) goes?  My guess would be Central Avenue or Georgia Ave...
Google shows Pennsylvania going out to the Patuxent, not that I necessarily believe that. Central almost seems like the opposite - a street from outside DC getting its name carried in a little way.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 14, 2014, 08:02:38 PM
Quote
Google shows Pennsylvania going out to the Patuxent, not that I necessarily believe that.

I do.  MD 4 and Pennsylvania Ave are synonymous in Prince George's County.  Much like MD 97 and Georgia Ave in Montgomery County (aside from a few blocks in Silver Spring).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 14, 2014, 11:31:06 PM
According to Google Maps, Central Avenue (Md. 214) changes names to Mayo Road where 214 intersects Shesley Road.  That's well beyond 29 miles from the Capitol Dome (using East Capitol Street & 1st Street as a substitute, since that is the closest road pavement that the public can drive on).

If we follow the 2012 Highway Location Reference, Md. 4 is only known as Pennsylvania Avenue as far out from D.C. as Md. 223, Woodyard Road.  That's just 11.7 miles.  Beyond that, the state calls it Stephanie Roper Highway as far as the Patuxent River Bridge, which is also the border between Prince George's County and Anne Arundel County.  If we assume that Pennsylvania Avenue goes all the way to the Patuxent River (as Google does), then the distance is 18.7 miles.  More about Stephanie Roper here (http://www.mdcrimevictims.org/).

Georgia Avenue out to its furthest distance from the Capitol is about 26.4 miles on Md. 97 north of (unincorporated) Sunshine, again, at the Patuxent River, this time the boundary between Montgomery County and Howard County. 

New Hampshire Avenue (Md. 650) also ends at Md. 97 ... in Sunshine.  It is also 26.4 miles from the Capitol, though following Md. 650 is less-direct than Md. 97, even though the end of Georgia Avenue is north of Sunshine.  Md. 650 continues to the north and west as Damascus Road, finally coming to an end at Md. 108 in Etchison.

So Central Avenue does appear to be the champ.   It helps that Central Avenue begins in D.C., crosses all of Prince George's County and nearly all of Anne Arundel County, finally giving up its name pretty close to the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 15, 2014, 08:50:54 AM
I've never heard of MD 4 being referred to as the "Stephanie Roper Highway".  Sounds like a memorial name.  Common parlance is either Pennsylvania Ave (west of Upper Marlboro), or Route 4.  WTOP's Bob Marbourg has used both…often interchangeably in the same traffic report (even east of Woodyard Rd).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 15, 2014, 10:31:51 AM
I've never heard of MD 4 being referred to as the "Stephanie Roper Highway".  Sounds like a memorial name.  Common parlance is either Pennsylvania Ave (west of Upper Marlboro), or Route 4.  WTOP's Bob Marbourg has used both…often interchangeably in the same traffic report (even east of Woodyard Rd).


I'd never heard it either, but the Roper name does show up on maps, including both Google and Bing (indeed I saw it on Google Maps prior to CP's post when I was pondering some of the prior comments in this thread). It's hardly unusual for a road to bear a formal name that isn't in general use by most of the public. Sixth Avenue in New York (purportedly "Avenue of the Americas," but not to 99% of New Yorkers) is a fine example of that sort of thing.

I know US-301 through Waldorf (and probably to either side of that area) is supposedly "Crain Highway," though I've never heard anyone use that name to refer to it either.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2014, 02:25:16 PM
I've never heard of MD 4 being referred to as the "Stephanie Roper Highway".  Sounds like a memorial name.  Common parlance is either Pennsylvania Ave (west of Upper Marlboro), or Route 4.  WTOP's Bob Marbourg has used both…often interchangeably in the same traffic report (even east of Woodyard Rd).

It is now signed by SHA, and in the 2012 Highway Location Reference for Prince George's County.

And yes, it is a memorial designation.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 15, 2014, 02:29:19 PM
I've never heard of MD 4 being referred to as the "Stephanie Roper Highway".  Sounds like a memorial name.  Common parlance is either Pennsylvania Ave (west of Upper Marlboro), or Route 4.  WTOP's Bob Marbourg has used both…often interchangeably in the same traffic report (even east of Woodyard Rd).


I'd never heard it either, but the Roper name does show up on maps, including both Google and Bing (indeed I saw it on Google Maps prior to CP's post when I was pondering some of the prior comments in this thread). It's hardly unusual for a road to bear a formal name that isn't in general use by most of the public. Sixth Avenue in New York (purportedly "Avenue of the Americas," but not to 99% of New Yorkers) is a fine example of that sort of thing.

I know US-301 through Waldorf (and probably to either side of that area) is supposedly "Crain Highway," though I've never heard anyone use that name to refer to it either.

Crain Highway extends from the Gov. Harry Nice Memorial Bridge north along U.S. 301 to Bowie.

It continues along Md. 3 north into Anne Arundel County, and "disappears" at I-97 in Millersville/Gambrills, only to reappear as Md. 3 Business runs off of I-97 south of Glen Burnie.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 15, 2014, 03:19:20 PM
Crain Highway extends from the Gov. Harry Nice Memorial Bridge north along U.S. 301 to Bowie.

It continues along Md. 3 north into Anne Arundel County, and "disappears" at I-97 in Millersville/Gambrills, only to reappear as Md. 3 Business runs off of I-97 south of Glen Burnie.

The tipoff is a lot of Old Crain Highway street signs of bypassed segments of the old highway.

In the "close but no cigar" category, re:  the OP's inquiry, both the (Robert E.) Lee and Jefferson Davis highways in Virginia are really long roads, which come thisclose to the D.C. line in Arlington, but never were part of or extensions of the D.C. street network (except perhaps, under pre-Confederate names, before Arlington was retroceded from the District in 1846). 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 15, 2014, 03:25:24 PM
Right, my point was simply that I've never heard of anyone refer to it as "Crain Highway." In other words, you have some roads where people use the name and/or the number. Route 50 in the Virginia suburbs is a good example—some people say "Route 50" and others say "Arlington Boulevard." I've never heard anyone use "Crain Highway"; every time I've heard anyone refer to any segment of that road, it's been by whatever route number applies to the specific stretch.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 15, 2014, 09:53:09 PM
Quote
Right, my point was simply that I've never heard of anyone refer to it as "Crain Highway."

I have on occasion, though I also worked in PGC.  Bob Marbourg has also used it on the air…
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2014, 09:17:03 AM
Right, my point was simply that I've never heard of anyone refer to it as "Crain Highway." In other words, you have some roads where people use the name and/or the number. Route 50 in the Virginia suburbs is a good example—some people say "Route 50" and others say "Arlington Boulevard." I've never heard anyone use "Crain Highway"; every time I've heard anyone refer to any segment of that road, it's been by whatever route number applies to the specific stretch.

I have heard the name Crain Highway used, albeit infrequently, and probably more to refer to the Md. 3 and Business Md. 3 segments in Anne Arundel County.   Crain Highway is so named to honor Robert S. Crain, who advocated for the construction of a highway between Southern Maryland and Baltimore.  There is a Crain Highway Monument (http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagsere/se1/se5/019000/019100/019127/pdf/msa_se5_19127.pdf) (Adobe Acrobat .pdf) in the median of Old Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 16, 2014, 12:56:07 PM
I mentioned in a post last month (which I've deleted, in favor of this one) several new signs reflecting the recent I-695 designation for parts of the 11th Street Bridge and the Southeast Freeway.  Since then, I went back to take some pictures, as well as nail down information on exit numbering.

All photos were taken July 5, 2014.  I'm not expecting additional signage changes, except on a still-being-rebuilt segment of I-695, and hopefully to fix some "what the food were they thinking?!" exit numbers on I-395.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/NatsPark-exits-sign-EB-I395_DSC2457.jpg)

The first of the new signs on I-395 eastbound, at the Potomac Park exit (exit 2), shows three exits you can use to reach Nationals Park, and that two of them are from I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/NatsPark-exits-sign-SB-DC295_DSC2442.jpg)

The corresponding sign on DC 295 shows two exits for National Park, from different freeways (one you go straight onto I-295, the other you take I-695). 

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/Upconing-exits-sign-EB-I395_DSC2425.jpg)

Back to eastbound I-395, this sign at the 12th Street NW exit (exit 3) shows the next three upcoming exits, and that one of them is a left exit onto I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/Capitol-Hill-exit-signs-EB-I395-on-7thSt-overpass_DSC2481.jpg)

The sign on the left, on the 7th Street NW overpass, has been changed to eliminate one confusion but add another.  The sign used to incorrectly direct traffic heading to the south (House of Representatives) side of Capitol Hill to stay in the #2 lane, rather than the #4 lane as the next set of signs correctly shows.  Now the sign tells House-bound traffic to just use I-395.  I wish they'd move the sign to the right over the #3 lane, next to the sign over the #4 lane for the exit to continue on I-395 through the Third Street Tunnel, but at least the new sign steers all Capitol Hill-bound traffic into the right lanes. 

However, the new sign says the House exit is 2B, which is not only inconsistent with the next sign assembly that says that is exit 6, but also is out of sequence with I-395's other exit numbers.  This is just the beginning of some daffy new exit numbers.  EDIT:  But the corresponding House exit on in the other direction on I-395, coming out of the Third Street Tunnel, is now numbered 2B as well.  (I didn't notice any other exit number changes, yet, in either direction of I-395 from the tunnel to New York Ave., though I might've missed one due to sun glare.)

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/exit-signs-EB-I395-from-6thSt-WB-exit_DSC2499.jpg)

This next sign assembly, photographed from the westbound I-395 exit to 6th Street NW, shows I-695 straight ahead, and that I-695 will take you to both I-295 and DC 295.  But the exit is identified as exit 2A.  This is out of sequence with I-395's other exit numbers, which eastbound are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 (plus others in the Third Street Tunnel).  The logical number for the I-695 left exit is 7, and I don't understand why DDOT didn't go with that.

The exit sign for South Capitol Street shows that as exit 1A, which makes sense since it is the westernmost exit on I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/exit-signs-WB-I395-leaving-3rdSt-Tunnel_DSC2517.jpg)

Similarly, this set of exit signs on westbound I-395, just after leaving the Third Street Tunnel, shows the left exit to I-695 as exit 2A.  IIRC, the old sign for the left exit used the more sensible exit 7 numbering.

====

There are also new posted exit numbers for I-695.  These all look reasonable.

Eastbound:

1A -- South Capitol Street

1B -- 6th Street SE

1C -- 11th Street SE (new exit, which apparently will be the tie-in to the bypassed old segment of the Southeast Freeway once it's rebuilt as a boulevard)

2A -- I-295 southbound

2B -- DC 295 northbound

Westbound:

EDIT: 1C -- left exit for Martin Luther King Ave. SE, just after the I-295/I-695 split

2 -- M Street SE

unnumbered -- I-395 north and south (this might be fixed later, after ongoing reconstruction on WB I-695 is done).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2014, 01:34:47 PM
I mentioned in a post last month (which I've deleted, in favor of this one) several new signs reflecting the recent I-695 designation for parts of the 11th Street Bridge and the Southeast Freeway.  Since then, I went back to take some pictures, as well as nail down information on exit numbering.

DDOT just installed a sign on westbound I-695 (Southeast Freeway) for the exit to I-395 northbound - the control city is Baltimore

Are there plans to revive I-95 through D.C. that I missed?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 16, 2014, 01:44:23 PM
I mentioned in a post last month (which I've deleted, in favor of this one) several new signs reflecting the recent I-695 designation for parts of the 11th Street Bridge and the Southeast Freeway.  Since then, I went back to take some pictures, as well as nail down information on exit numbering.

DDOT just installed a sign on westbound I-695 (Southeast Freeway) for the exit to I-395 northbound - the control city is Baltimore

Are there plans to revive I-95 through D.C. that I missed?

Hmm.  I thought D.C. was trying to remove all the old signs using Baltimore (or New York) as control cities for the SW/SE Freeway, replacing them with local destinations like Capitol Hill, as part of an effort to discourage through traffic cutting through the city.

Do you recall seeing an exit number on that new sign?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2014, 10:58:05 PM
I mentioned in a post last month (which I've deleted, in favor of this one) several new signs reflecting the recent I-695 designation for parts of the 11th Street Bridge and the Southeast Freeway.  Since then, I went back to take some pictures, as well as nail down information on exit numbering.

DDOT just installed a sign on westbound I-695 (Southeast Freeway) for the exit to I-395 northbound - the control city is Baltimore

Are there plans to revive I-95 through D.C. that I missed?

Hmm.  I thought D.C. was trying to remove all the old signs using Baltimore (or New York) as control cities for the SW/SE Freeway, replacing them with local destinations like Capitol Hill, as part of an effort to discourage through traffic cutting through the city.

Do you recall seeing an exit number on that new sign?

No, but I will look the next time I am by there (which is pretty frequently).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on July 17, 2014, 10:05:46 PM
I mentioned in a post last month (which I've deleted, in favor of this one) several new signs reflecting the recent I-695 designation for parts of the 11th Street Bridge and the Southeast Freeway.  Since then, I went back to take some pictures, as well as nail down information on exit numbering.

All photos were taken July 5, 2014.  I'm not expecting additional signage changes, except on a still-being-rebuilt segment of I-695, and hopefully to fix some "what the food were they thinking?!" exit numbers on I-395.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/NatsPark-exits-sign-EB-I395_DSC2457.jpg)

The first of the new signs on I-395 eastbound, at the Potomac Park exit (exit 2), shows three exits you can use to reach Nationals Park, and that two of them are from I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/NatsPark-exits-sign-SB-DC295_DSC2442.jpg)

The corresponding sign on DC 295 shows two exits for National Park, from different freeways (one you go straight onto I-295, the other you take I-695). 

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/Upconing-exits-sign-EB-I395_DSC2425.jpg)

Back to eastbound I-395, this sign at the 12th Street NW exit (exit 3) shows the next three upcoming exits, and that one of them is a left exit onto I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/Capitol-Hill-exit-signs-EB-I395-on-7thSt-overpass_DSC2481.jpg)

The sign on the left, on the 7th Street NW overpass, has been changed to eliminate one confusion but add another.  The sign used to incorrectly direct traffic heading to the south (House of Representatives) side of Capitol Hill to stay in the #2 lane, rather than the #4 lane as the next set of signs correctly shows.  Now the sign tells House-bound traffic to just use I-395.  I wish they'd move the sign to the right over the #3 lane, next to the sign over the #4 lane for the exit to continue on I-395 through the Third Street Tunnel, but at least the new sign steers all Capitol Hill-bound traffic into the right lanes. 

However, the new sign says the House exit is 2B, which is not only inconsistent with the next sign assembly that says that is exit 6, but also is out of sequence with I-395's other exit numbers.  This is just the beginning of some daffy new exit numbers. 

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/exit-signs-EB-I395-from-6thSt-WB-exit_DSC2499.jpg)

This next sign assembly, photographed from the westbound I-395 exit to 6th Street NW, shows I-695 straight ahead, and that I-695 will take you to both I-295 and DC 295.  But the exit is identified as exit 2A.  This is out of sequence with I-395's other exit numbers, which eastbound are 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 (plus others in the Third Street Tunnel).  The logical number for the I-695 left exit is 7, and I don't understand why DDOT didn't go with that.

The exit sign for South Capitol Street shows that as exit 1A, which makes sense since it is the westernmost exit on I-695.

(http://www.alaskaroads.com/exit-signs-WB-I395-leaving-3rdSt-Tunnel_DSC2517.jpg)

Similarly, this set of exit signs on westbound I-395, just after leaving the Third Street Tunnel, shows the left exit to I-695 as exit 2A.  IIRC, the old sign for the left exit used the more sensible exit 7 numbering.

====

There are also new posted exit numbers for I-695.  These all look reasonable.

Eastbound:

1A -- South Capitol Street

1B -- 6th Street SE

1C -- 11th Street SE (new exit, which apparently will be the tie-in to the bypassed old segment of the Southeast Freeway once it's rebuilt as a boulevard)

2A -- I-295 southbound

2B -- DC 295 northbound

Westbound:

unnumbered -- left exit for Martin Luther King Ave. SE, just after the I-295/I-695 split

2 -- M Street SE

unnumbered -- I-395 north and south (this might be fixed later, after ongoing reconstruction on WB I-695 is done).
Perhaps they're in the process of converting to mile-based numbers?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on July 17, 2014, 10:47:37 PM
Looks like I have to rephotograph DC again...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2014, 01:47:20 PM
Washington Post: The most dangerous intersections in Washington (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/07/23/the-most-dangerous-intersections-in-washington/)

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The District Department of Transportation just released a big report on traffic accidents in D.C. from 2010 through 2012. We mapped the intersections where the most crashes were reported during those three years.

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The blue pins mark the 20 intersections where the highest number of crashes took place. These intersections are in each quadrant of the city except Southwest, with six east of the Anacostia, just one west of Rock Creek, and the other 14 in between.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 24, 2014, 06:20:15 PM
WUSA-TV (Channel 9): DDOT accused of creating dangerous road conditions (http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/local/dc/2014/07/23/dangerous-road-conditions-dc/13080673/).

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AAA is accusing the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Department of Transportation of creating dangerous conditions for drivers, all in an effort to generate more revenue from speed cameras.

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This all came to light after a traffic engineer decided to go public after witnessing something he says he's never seen in his nearly 60 years on the job.

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"I believe this is my duty as a citizen to come forward. I've been doing this all my life," said traffic engineer Martin Wallen.

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A few weeks ago, Wallen says he spotted a concrete barrier blocking the shoulder on I-295 and he showed WUSA9 pictures to prove it. He believes the barrier was erected to protect a speed camera, not drivers.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: SSOWorld on July 24, 2014, 10:27:12 PM
Quite odd that AAA speaks against this since they're venture into the insurance industry has taken them 180 to support low speed limits...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 24, 2014, 10:40:54 PM
Quite odd that AAA speaks against this since they're venture into the insurance industry has taken them 180 to support low speed limits...

But if the increased speed enforcement is mainly by speed cameras, with tickets issued to vehicle owners rather than drivers, that means few or no additional points on its members' driving records, and so little/no excuse for AAA to jack up their premiums. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on July 27, 2014, 08:23:40 AM
There is a Crain Highway Monument (http://) in the median of Old Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County.

The link does not work for me.  I'm getting "The address is not valid".

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 30, 2014, 09:44:10 AM
There is a Crain Highway Monument (http://) in the median of Old Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County.

The link does not work for me.  I'm getting "The address is not valid".

Fixed it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on August 05, 2014, 02:02:23 PM
DC is apparently renumbering the exits on I-295.  Last weekend, I took I-295 to Suitland Parkway, and some (not all) of the signs for exits 3A and 3B had been changed to 4A and 4B.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on August 05, 2014, 02:28:12 PM
DC is apparently renumbering the exits on I-295.  Last weekend, I took I-295 to Suitland Parkway, and some (not all) of the signs for exits 3A and 3B had been changed to 4A and 4B.

Thanks for the report.  I'm in a brief break between trips, won't have time to check out anytime soon the newest exit renumberings on I-295 and elsewhere in D.C., but it sounds like this is a moving target and DDOT won't be finished for awhile.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 27, 2014, 06:57:50 AM
WTOP Radio: Woman gets tickets for license plates that don't exist (http://www.wtop.com/?nid=1319&sid=3689588&pid=0&page=1)

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Since 2010, a Maryland driver has been getting parking tickets in the mail from D.C. for different cars with a vanity plate, none of which belong to her.

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Amy Mohney, of Burtonsville, is an accountant for the Food and Drug Administration. She owns Maryland license plate CPA-0061. However, the license plate on each of the tickets she's gotten were for a car with Maryland tags 0061 - - no letters, just four numbers.

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Over the last four years, she'd occasionally get tickets in the mail for that license plate. Each listed a different type of car, but each listed 0061 as the license plate. The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which is responsible for adjudicating all tickets issued in the District of Columbia, made each her responsibility.

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"There must be thousands of combinations of three letters and 0061 -- why me? I don't understand why every ticket written to 0061 would get assigned to me. It's just not right," says Mohney.

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Maryland officials were equally baffled. The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) told WTOP Ticketbuster that not only did those plates not belong to Mohney -- they didn't belong to anyone. Records indicate the plates haven't been active for at least 15 years.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on September 08, 2014, 12:47:21 AM
DDOT just installed a sign on westbound I-695 (Southeast Freeway) for the exit to I-395 northbound - the control city is Baltimore.

Answering my own question about this post above -- limping home earlier this evening from a trip out of town, I noticed the new sign has an "exit 1C" tab.

Exit 1C is also posted on the left exit to Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, from the ramp from DC 295 SB to I-695 WB.  Maybe 1C for the MLK exit is intended as an exit from DC 295, rather than I-695?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 09, 2014, 05:53:48 AM
Washington Post: A month later, no clues in Ronald Kirby’s murder (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/a-month-later-no-clues-in-ronald-kirbys-slaying/2013/12/28/57753286-668e-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html)

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Anne Haynes has been thinking about going solo on the trip she and her husband planned to take to Antarctica in January. The books she’s been reading on grief say it’s good to get away.

Quote
She’s been reading poetry, too, a reminder of the love poems she and Ronald Kirby read to each other early in their romance. She wants to hold on to everything about him — she even hopes police eventually will be able to return the clothes, glasses and shoes he wore the day he was killed.

Could the City of Alexandria police be on to something regarding the murder of Ron Kirby?

Washington Post: Same gun may have been used in three Alexandria slayings, police say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/police-schedule-news-conference-to-discuss-killing-of-alexandria-music-teacher/2014/03/06/a1a9f0a2-a53c-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html)

News regarding the murder of Ron Kirby and two other persons in Alexandria. I am not using the phrase "good news" because there is no such thing when it comes to murder of human beings.  If the police have their man, then he will not be killing anyone else at least.

Charles Severance indicted on murder charges (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/charles-severance-indicted-on-murder-charges/2014/09/08/1124c952-377d-11e4-8601-97ba88884ffd_story.html)

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A man who for months has been the focus of police investigations into three high-profile slayings in Alexandria has been indicted on murder charges, prosecutors said.

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Charles Severance, 53, is in jail in Loudoun County awaiting trial on a gun possession charge. The Alexandria indictment contains ten charges, including two charges of capital murder and one charge of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ruthanne Lodato, Ronald Kirby and Nancy Dunning.

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“This has been a complex and time-consuming investigation that has spanned almost 11 years,” the Alexandria police said in a statement.

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Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter does not intend to seek the death penalty, his office said in a statement. The maximum sentence Severance could face, should he be convicted on any of the murder charges, is life in prison.

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The last of the three murders occurred in February, when music teacher Ruthanne Lodato was slain in her home. A caregiver who survived that attack helped police create a sketch of the killer.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 09, 2014, 10:22:23 AM
Washington Post: Withering inspector general report criticizes D.C. parking and traffic ticketing (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/withering-inspector-general-report-criticizes-dc-parking-and-traffic-ticketing/2014/09/08/da6ae324-3781-11e4-8601-97ba88884ffd_story.html)

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In Washington, D.C., where issuing traffic citations is a $179 million-a-year business, drivers get speeding tickets for violations they don’t commit and for vehicles they’ve never owned.

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Those are among the findings in a 115-page audit of the three city agencies that issued nearly 2.5 million parking and traffic tickets in fiscal 2013, according to a withering report issued Monday by the D.C. inspector general.

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The report portrays the District as the Wild West of traffic enforcement when compared with neighboring jurisdictions and the states, with a shortage of regulations, a legion of ticket writers often confused about the rules, “arbitrary” decision-making about who gets some speed-camera tickets and parking-meter monitors who get called on the carpet if they don’t write enough tickets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: agentsteel53 on September 09, 2014, 10:51:27 AM
heh, the one time I got pulled over in DC, I was clearly in the wrong (I ran the first of two closely spaced lights; it was red and the next one, maybe 50 feet away, had just turned green) - and I was let off with a verbal warning.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 09, 2014, 06:34:38 PM
WTOP Radio: MPD changes ticket policy after OIG report (http://www.wtop.com/1319/3698466/MPD-changes-ticket-policy-after-report)

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WASHINGTON -- The Metropolitan Police Department amended part of its ticketing policy after a report released Monday criticized a practice that "led to erroneous ticketing."

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The issue is known as a make-model mismatch, which is when the type of car in a speed or red-light camera ticket does not match the car in the DMV record.

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In D.C., MPD policy was to issue the ticket to whoever owns the license plate, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General.

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An example in the MPD's training guide shows a ticket for a Lexus, then a Virginia DMV profile that shows the same license plates belonging to a Ford.

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"If the vehicle tags do not match as seen here, PLEASE APPROVE," the manual instructs reviewers, including the capital letters. "The owner may have swapped tags. These are okay to issue." it reads.

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However, the inspector general's report points out while some reviews at MPD follow this advice, others disregard it and void the ticket automatically.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 09, 2014, 06:36:10 PM
heh, the one time I got pulled over in DC, I was clearly in the wrong (I ran the first of two closely spaced lights; it was red and the next one, maybe 50 feet away, had just turned green) - and I was let off with a verbal warning.

Most Metropolitan Police Department-D.C. (MPDDC) officers do not like to spend the time it take to issue a written ticket.

IMO, that is one of the reasons the automated program has grown so much (and gotten out of control, as described by the D.C. Inspector General).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 11, 2014, 11:51:57 AM
Dr. Gridlock has a rather scathing analysis of DC's speed camera placements: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/09/11/location-always-important-in-placing-d-c-speed-cameras/

An excerpt (boldface added) follows. Citing a school that's been closed as a reason for a speed camera makes their motivations all the more transparent.

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Since the District began the speed camera program in 2001, it always has been about specific locations. That includes the request from the D.C. Council in 2013 that the District Department of Transportation coordinate a study to determine the relationship between traffic safety and the location of the cameras, either installed or proposed—a grand total of 295 locations at the time of the study.

The purpose, as the study noted, was “to instill public trust that speed cameras are installed by the D.C. government to improve safety and not just increase local revenues.”

After an evaluation of the 295 sites, the District gave itself a perfect score, according to the findings, released in January. The agencies involved were able to justify every single, existing, planned or proposed location for traffic cameras. That’s remarkable. Even Mary Poppins was only “practically perfect.”

Turns out perfection isn’t that hard to achieve. Let’s look at one of the proposed sites, the 100-200 block of Kentucky Avenue SE. The avenue links East Capitol Street in the north with Pennsylvania Avenue in the south. The posted speed limit is 25 mph, with one travel lane in each direction.

The thing is, there’s no evidence that speeding is a chronic problem at this location. “The mean speed is less than the posted speed in both directions at this location,” the researchers said. Data showed a low number of crashes.

Don’t despair. We’ll find a reason yet.

....

“There are four schools in the area: Hine Junior High School, Watkins Elementary School, International Graduate University and Payne Elementary School.” Hine is half a mile away, but why quibble? It closed a few years ago. Payne, at least, is still open and about a five-minute walk away on the south side of C Street SE.

Conclusion: “Although the speed data analysis showed low travel speeds and the crash data analysis showed a low number of crashes in this area, there are other factors that reflect a safety concern. Due to the specific site characteristics of a residential area, the proximity of school zones, and the pedestrian generators, there is a nexus between traffic safety and speed camera at this location.”

Nexus, shmexus. It’s a stretch.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 12, 2014, 07:59:40 AM
Went through the Ninth Street Tunnel late last night on the way home from the 9:30 Club. The old button-copy signs through there are no more—new signs have been posted as part of the effort to sign I-695. Signs for the left exit now list I-395 to I-695. The sign for the straight-through movement no longer mentions the Maine Avenue waterfront because it's been demolished for redevelopment, and the sign for the right exit now lists Richmond instead of simply saying "Virginia." (There's also only one sign for that exit, right at the exit itself; I don't know whether that's a temporary change.)

Button-copy aficionados can still find some on the ramp from the tunnel to southbound I-395/westbound Maine Avenue (one button-copy assembly left there) and on westbound Maine Avenue just east of the exit for the 12th Street Tunnel.

The aggressive sign replacement in DC makes me wonder how long the ancient sign bridge on I-66 near the Kennedy Center has left (hopefully the project in the tunnel is simply because of the desire to post I-695). I'm driving my wife to work near there this morning because she needs to make a stop en route in an area with little parking, so I'll take a slight detour and check on it when I'm leaving the District.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 14, 2014, 12:14:49 PM
The aggressive sign replacement in DC makes me wonder how long the ancient sign bridge on I-66 near the Kennedy Center has left (hopefully the project in the tunnel is simply because of the desire to post I-695). I'm driving my wife to work near there this morning because she needs to make a stop en route in an area with little parking, so I'll take a slight detour and check on it when I'm leaving the District.

If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 14, 2014, 12:17:50 PM
Dr. Gridlock in the Washington Post: D.C. government practices abuse public trust in traffic enforcement programs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-government-practices-abuse-public-trust-in-traffic-enforcement-programs/2014/09/13/90ceced6-39e5-11e4-bdfb-de4104544a37_story.html)

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Governments raise money from a variety of human failings. Could be smoking, could be breaking traffic laws.

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Taxes and fines can discourage the behavior. But sometimes the government becomes an addict, relying so heavily on the revenue that it loses focus on the behavior it was trying to moderate.

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That’s what was so disheartening about the new D.C. inspector general’s report highlighting the various ways in which the city government abuses public trust in its traffic enforcement programs.

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The inspector general knows what you’re thinking. “Skeptical members of the public might believe that the District’s failure to inform them on this subject is intentional: Without clear criteria of the District’s ticketing policy, a ticketed motorist is unable to prove that DDOT enforcement officers failed to follow proper procedure.”

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All the administrative vagaries unify around one concept: They make it easy to raise revenue, and they make it difficult to challenge a ticket.

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And it’s not just the city bureaucracy. “There are essentially no statutory restrictions on the District’s burgeoning network of speed, red light, and pedestrian safety enforcement cameras,” the inspector general’s report said. “Other jurisdictions have imposed specific limits on the numbers and uses of cameras, and even the hours of the day during which they may be in operation.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: storm2k on September 16, 2014, 01:32:19 PM
Quote
If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.

I believe that's in reference to this (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc001/i-066_wb_exit_000_04.jpg) gantry which has survived since pretty much the dawn of Interstate time.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 16, 2014, 02:15:06 PM
Quote
If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.

I believe that's in reference to this (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc001/i-066_wb_exit_000_04.jpg) gantry which has survived since pretty much the dawn of Interstate time.

You are correct. It was still in place as of Friday morning.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 27, 2014, 10:43:43 PM
The previous page of this thread has a bunch of photos of I-395 and various new signs. I went through there eastbound last night on the way home from a Caps preseason game (Ninth Street Tunnel--->I-395--->I-695--->I-295) and I noted further new signs. Also got a look at some new overhead APL signs today from the upper level at Nationals Park. I'll try to upload video captures Sunday or, more likely, Monday. Some of the screwy exit numbers have been changed, though there's still some oddness. I-695 is far more clearly posted than it ever was before.

I have to say DC has put some real effort into upgrading their signage.

At some point I need to drop down under the L'Enfant Promenade to see if the I-95 BGS is still there.....
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on September 28, 2014, 12:34:38 PM
Last night, when coming back from the Folger, I took westbound 695 to southbound 395.  There is now a prominent "END 695" sign.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on September 28, 2014, 06:40:46 PM
Drove through DC on Tuseday night while flaroads shot video and noticed several of the new signs posted since last August. Would love to acquire some new photos to update the main DC area pages.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 29, 2014, 11:49:23 AM
I'm not sure I can generate any good video captures from Friday night's drive because I was getting some camera vibration (I ordered a new suction-cup mount this morning) and because the image is kind of grainy. But here's the video of the trip through the Ninth Street Tunnel and across I-695 so you can see the new signs. The signs look to be a work still in progress—I note from reviewing the video the exit numbers are still somewhat illogical because I-695 is numbered as Exit 2 from I-395, yet the next exit had we continued on I-395 into the Third Street Tunnel is still Exit 6. I didn't use I-395 en route to Nationals Park for Saturday's ballgame due to traffic, so I have not yet confirmed whether they've revised the exit numbers for 12th Street and the Maine Avenue exit. As of last Tuesday, when I attended the Winter Classic press conference at the ballpark, those two exits were still Exits 3 and 4, respectively.

The empty space and greenout on the signs for the new exit for 11th Street SE is most likely there for the new at-grade boulevard now under construction where the eastern stub of I-295 used to be (segment between the bridge and Barney Circle). It's generally been referred to as "Southeast Boulevard," though I don't know whether the DC DOT has formally adopted that name.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2014, 10:44:48 AM
Washington Post: Declining traffic-camera revenue threatens to unbalance D.C.’s budget (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/declining-traffic-camera-revenue-threatens-to-unbalance-dcs-budget/2014/09/29/245ce9aa-4821-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on September 30, 2014, 01:07:10 PM
We've all always known that lawbreaking was integral to the functioning of our nation's capital, but I guess I never fully appreciated the extent.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on September 30, 2014, 01:36:49 PM
Ticket revenues should not be a part of the budget!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Brandon on September 30, 2014, 01:58:03 PM
Washington Post: Declining traffic-camera revenue threatens to unbalance D.C.’s budget (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/declining-traffic-camera-revenue-threatens-to-unbalance-dcs-budget/2014/09/29/245ce9aa-4821-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html)

Chicago should take note.  Rahm's betting on traffic violation revenue to balance his budget.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2014, 02:38:15 PM
Washington Post: Declining traffic-camera revenue threatens to unbalance D.C.’s budget (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/declining-traffic-camera-revenue-threatens-to-unbalance-dcs-budget/2014/09/29/245ce9aa-4821-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html)

Chicago should take note.  Rahm's betting on traffic violation revenue to balance his budget.

IMO, that's a bad bet.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 01, 2014, 08:54:16 AM
Quote
If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.

I believe that's in reference to this (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc001/i-066_wb_exit_000_04.jpg) gantry which has survived since pretty much the dawn of Interstate time.

Anyone know what's under the wood at left and right?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 01, 2014, 08:56:55 AM
Nobody really knows.  There's been speculation of such at a couple of DC meets, but that's about it.

My theory is some sort of I-695 shield, as I-695 was slated for the West Leg.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2014, 09:02:01 AM
Quote
If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.

I believe that's in reference to this (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc001/i-066_wb_exit_000_04.jpg) gantry which has survived since pretty much the dawn of Interstate time.

Anyone know what's under the wood at left and right?

Been mentioned in several threads and nobody knows. I'd love to get a look under there, but I fear the assembly will be replaced without us ever getting to see. I suspect the one on the left is probably an I-695 sign. That route was originally planned to connect from the Roosevelt Bridge to what is now I-395, with I-66 feeding into it from both directions, and DC probably went ahead and put up the sign and never removed it.

As for the far right, I have no idea.

I'm afraid to ask a local reporter like Dr. Gridlock or Adam Tuss because I'm sure if they asked District authorities, it'd lead to the assembly being replaced.


Edited to add: This map shows where I-695 would have run. The assembly discussed above is off the map at the top left. It's just as well this road was never built. The impact on the Mall, West Potomac Park, and Tidal Basin areas would have been considerable, and for the most part the existing Independence Avenue does well enough at handling the traffic. Of course it sometimes gets overburdened, especially in March/April around cherry blossom time, but it's not enough of a problem to warrant an Interstate highway there. It probably would have been a substandard highway by today's standards, too.

(http://greatergreater.com/images/201112/plana.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 01, 2014, 11:12:07 AM
The video was great, but that merge from the 9th street tunnel to 395 EB looks dangerous.  Plus, wow the freeway lighting seems subpar.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2014, 11:34:40 AM
The video was great, but that merge from the 9th street tunnel to 395 EB looks dangerous.  Plus, wow the freeway lighting seems subpar.

Thanks. I've never found the lighting all that terrible, but then, I've lived here a long time so I know the road, and no doubt my HID headlights help!

The merge can be extremely dangerous. It's actually easier at night than it is during the day because, in theory at least, you have the headlights helping you to see the cars coming up in the left lane (although on average I see at least one vehicle with no headlights at some point during any trip home from Verizon Center). The ramp itself makes it very hard to see approaching cars during the day. Speed limit there is 40 mph, but it's quite unusual to see anyone obeying that, to the point where DC is installing a new speed camera on the right side of the road just prior to that merge point. The camera isn't active yet because people pointed out the first 40-mph sign doesn't appear until after you pass the camera and DC agreed that wasn't fair. Other thing is, there's a lot of lane-changing going on in that area. The old signs just prior to the merge point used to tell traffic bound for C Street NW, the US Capitol, and the House to be in the LEFT lane when they actually needed to be in the RIGHT lane to head for the Third Street Tunnel. People unfamiliar with the area would panic due to the need to change lanes so quickly. The new sign is not perfect, but it's better. Of course, you still have plenty of aggressive drivers who will try to use the left lane to bomb past people and then cut over at the last second, too.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on October 01, 2014, 01:26:52 PM
Quote
If you are speaking of the sign bridge that has the variable I-66 HOV information on it, DDOT would need to coordinate that with VDOT, since VDOT controls the variable messages on the sign.

I believe that's in reference to this (http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc001/i-066_wb_exit_000_04.jpg) gantry which has survived since pretty much the dawn of Interstate time.

Anyone know what's under the wood at left and right?

Been mentioned in several threads and nobody knows. I'd love to get a look under there, but I fear the assembly will be replaced without us ever getting to see. I suspect the one on the left is probably an I-695 sign. That route was originally planned to connect from the Roosevelt Bridge to what is now I-395, with I-66 feeding into it from both directions, and DC probably went ahead and put up the sign and never removed it.

As for the far right, I have no idea.

I'm afraid to ask a local reporter like Dr. Gridlock or Adam Tuss because I'm sure if they asked District authorities, it'd lead to the assembly being replaced.


Edited to add: This map shows where I-695 would have run. The assembly discussed above is off the map at the top left. It's just as well this road was never built. The impact on the Mall, West Potomac Park, and Tidal Basin areas would have been considerable, and for the most part the existing Independence Avenue does well enough at handling the traffic. Of course it sometimes gets overburdened, especially in March/April around cherry blossom time, but it's not enough of a problem to warrant an Interstate highway there. It probably would have been a substandard highway by today's standards, too.

(http://greatergreater.com/images/201112/plana.jpg)
A freeway right on top of the FDR memorial?  No thanks.  But there's no denying that Dad would have been a lot less aggravated with DC traffic if he could have avoided surface streets when trying to make our way back to the hotel from the FDR and Jefferson memorials (the one time we drove in DC, because of coming from Mount Vernon).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2014, 02:23:41 PM
A freeway right on top of the FDR memorial?  No thanks.  But there's no denying that Dad would have been a lot less aggravated with DC traffic if he could have avoided surface streets when trying to make our way back to the hotel from the FDR and Jefferson memorials (the one time we drove in DC, because of coming from Mount Vernon).

That map makes it look like a very short tunnel in that area, but yeah, that would be a bad location for a highway (the Martin Luther King memorial is now just east of where that tunnel is depicted, too).

I can't help but wonder how a tunnel and associated vibrations might have affected the Lincoln Memorial. I'm sure the engineers would have worked it all out, but I have no idea how far into the design and engineering phase the plans for that road proceeded. When I was a kid there were tours offered underneath the Lincoln Memorial from time to time and I remember going on the tour once. It's a strange, creepy place—reminds me a bit of some of the larger rooms in Moria in the Peter Jackson adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring (though of course on a smaller scale than what Moria was supposed to be). Lots of massive pillars, to be sure, but the whole area is "reclaimed" land and there's definite water seepage in places because one area had a lot of stalactites. I don't doubt a highway tunnel would have had some kind of effect on the memorial or, alternatively, would have been extremely expensive to construct due to the need to protect the memorial and its foundation. That tunnel would have passed pretty close to the foundation's western side.

I will concede the highway there would have made a difference for my wife's commute on days when she drives. She works at the Watergate complex and it's a hassle to get from there to southbound I-395 in Virginia in the afternoons due to Rock Creek Parkway and Ohio Drive being one-way outbound from the light south of the Lincoln Memorial. (It's not much easier in the mornings if I drop her off, either, but the difficulty is for different reasons.)

I don't have the time to look for the image online just now, but somewhere there's an image of an old propaganda poster used by the anti-highway people that depicted the highway tunnel emerging in front of the Lincoln Memorial where the Reflecting Pool is. That wasn't at all what was planned, but it was still a pretty effective image. An Interstate highway through that park-like area would have radically changed things.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Laura on October 01, 2014, 04:43:13 PM
Washington Post: Declining traffic-camera revenue threatens to unbalance D.C.’s budget (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/declining-traffic-camera-revenue-threatens-to-unbalance-dcs-budget/2014/09/29/245ce9aa-4821-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html)

Chicago should take note.  Rahm's betting on traffic violation revenue to balance his budget.

IMO, that's a bad bet.

Oh, but the cameras were about safety, not money...lol
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2014, 11:19:43 PM
Edited to add: This map shows where I-695 would have run. The assembly discussed above is off the map at the top left. It's just as well this road was never built. The impact on the Mall, West Potomac Park, and Tidal Basin areas would have been considerable, and for the most part the existing Independence Avenue does well enough at handling the traffic. Of course it sometimes gets overburdened, especially in March/April around cherry blossom time, but it's not enough of a problem to warrant an Interstate highway there. It probably would have been a substandard highway by today's standards, too.
(http://greatergreater.com/images/201112/plana.jpg)

As a road that had anything at-grade or above-grade, it would have been totally unacceptable because of the impacts on the cherry trees, the Tidal Basin and the historic Kutz Bridge.

As a bored tunnel (which may not have been workable when this was planned), it would have eliminated most or all of those impacts - but might also have been a problem with a giant force sewer main that runs from a pumping station under the D.C. end of the T. Roosevelt Bridge parallel to the D.C. Potomac River waterfront to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 01, 2014, 11:49:54 PM
It would also be pretty damn redundant, with SR 110 across the river providing the same movements with only a slightly longer distance.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2014, 09:01:49 AM
It would also be pretty damn redundant, with SR 110 across the river providing the same movements with only a slightly longer distance.

Route 110 actually doesn't really do a good job of providing the same movements if you're already in the District. It's not obvious from a map because maps don't show the reversible roads and blocked-off lanes that pose an issue at rush hour. For example, as I noted earlier, during the afternoon rush hour there's no particularly good way from the Watergate/GWU area to Route 110 and I-395 because Rock Creek Parkway is one-way outbound and I-66 in DC provides no easy connection to Memorial Bridge. So you either use 23 Street (a slow process, lots of lights and jaywalkers), the Whitehurst and Key Bridge (slow through the light on M Street), or the Roosevelt Bridge and then exit and turn around somewhere (also can be very slow due to people who must exit I-66 due to the HOV rules). You'd have to do any of that just to get to Route 110 in the first place.

You cannot go from the Watergate/GWU area to Southwest (Tidal Basin, Maine Avenue, Nationals Park area) during the afternoon rush hour without either going through the streets at least to 17 Street or entering Virginia.

As I said before, none of this justified building a highway through that area of DC. The damage it would have caused would have been unforgivable. But Route 110 isn't really a substitute for it. It'd be nice if there were some way to modify the traffic pattern a little so that southbound (westbound?) traffic on DC's stub of I-66 in the afternoon weren't forced either to use outbound Rock Creek Parkway or make a U-turn. But it's a complicated little area, compounded by National Park Service jurisdiction and the nearby historic sites (Lincoln Memorial, Memorial Bridge, etc.).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 02, 2014, 09:12:17 AM
What that spot (Potomac Fwy spur at Rock Creek Pkwy) really needs is an overpass.  But between NPS jurisdiction and the tight confines, plus the narrowness on Ohio Dr under the parkway connection to Lincoln Circle, I don't see it happening.

As for SPUI's mention of 110, that's a better connection from Rosslyn to the SW/SE Fwy, and that might be what he was referring to.  Agree with Hoo that 110 wouldn't work for Foggy Bottom/GWU to Southwest trips.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 02, 2014, 09:15:02 AM
It would also be pretty damn redundant, with SR 110 across the river providing the same movements with only a slightly longer distance.

Route 110 actually doesn't really do a good job of providing the same movements if you're already in the District.
If you're in the District, you're already on surface streets, sucker. Ideally Interstates are for distances more than a mile or two.

PS: why is the access from I-66 to Independence closed in afternoon rush hour (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.891943,-77.052859&spn=0.002985,0.006196&t=k&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.892012,-77.052646&panoid=al_kT3uWYqQBJLldIs-5SQ&cbp=12,179.86,,1,5.98)? Ohio Drive has four lanes - is it that they're unwilling to put a light there? But then why are right turns banned from the Lincoln Memorial Circle access (http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.892016,-77.054728&spn=0.003002,0.006196&t=k&z=18&layer=c&cbll=38.892016,-77.054728&panoid=WsLP3bJjbOL7NzMugiiRvA&cbp=12,20.38,,0,8.91)?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2014, 09:17:59 AM
Something else that probably bears remembering is that we're discussing that segment of I-695 in isolation with respect to today's roads. It's important to remember it was one segment of a larger planned highway network. In this particular context, the notable aspect is that I-66 would have continued across DC to I-95 and I-266 would have brought in traffic from the northwest. Presumably those highways would have carried a fair amount of traffic, and it would have been highly impractical, and nonsensical, to funnel all that traffic over the bridges to Virginia, through the streets to turn around to get to Route 110, and then back over another bridge into the District.

In that context, the highway would have served a valid role, although it doesn't change my opinion that Independence Avenue would have been sufficient with some reconfiguring at the area mentioned in my prior comment.



I-66 to Independence is closed in the afternoon because Ohio Drive is one-way outbound at that time of day. The one-way pattern begins at the light south of the Lincoln Memorial at that teardrop-shaped faux-roundabout. Going past the Kennedy Center, the two lanes on the left side of the median are for thru traffic and the two lanes on the right side are for local traffic (Kennedy Center and Watergate—I use that route to pick up my wife after work en route to hockey games). There are always a lot of near-accidents caused by people who don't know where they're going who simply slam on the brakes in confusion.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 02, 2014, 09:19:34 AM
What that spot (Potomac Fwy spur at Rock Creek Pkwy) really needs is an overpass.  But between NPS jurisdiction and the tight confines, plus the narrowness on Ohio Dr under the parkway connection to Lincoln Circle, I don't see it happening.
How about closing the access from Ohio Drive north to Rock Creek Parkway north entirely? Local traffic going to Watergate can take the loop onto Lincoln Memorial Circle and immediately fork right, and through traffic can go straight onto I-66, staying in either of the left two lanes to rejoin Rock Creek Parkway at Virginia Avenue.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 02, 2014, 09:22:03 AM
Something else that probably bears remembering is that we're discussing that segment of I-695 in isolation with respect to today's roads. It's important to remember it was one segment of a larger planned highway network. In this particular context, the notable aspect is that I-66 would have continued across DC to I-95 and I-266 would have brought in traffic from the northwest.
But how much traffic would be heading west on I-66, only to turn back east on I-695? The Center Leg under the Capitol would be the better route.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2014, 09:25:07 AM
Something else that probably bears remembering is that we're discussing that segment of I-695 in isolation with respect to today's roads. It's important to remember it was one segment of a larger planned highway network. In this particular context, the notable aspect is that I-66 would have continued across DC to I-95 and I-266 would have brought in traffic from the northwest.
But how much traffic would be heading west on I-66, only to turn back east on I-695? The Center Leg under the Capitol would be the better route.

Frankly, who knows? It's all speculation since most of it was never built. I don't pine for the "unbuilt DC highway network." That ship sailed long ago. I do think there are improvements that can help things out a great deal, as we've already seen with the rebuilt Eleventh Street Bridge. It may be the single biggest improvement within the District of Columbia during my lifetime so far.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 02, 2014, 09:33:36 AM
I bet that part of I-695 was included in the system because I-70S was originally planned to end up on the Whitehurst Freeway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on October 04, 2014, 11:51:01 PM
What that spot (Potomac Fwy spur at Rock Creek Pkwy) really needs is an overpass.  But between NPS jurisdiction and the tight confines, plus the narrowness on Ohio Dr under the parkway connection to Lincoln Circle, I don't see it happening.
How about closing the access from Ohio Drive north to Rock Creek Parkway north entirely? Local traffic going to Watergate can take the loop onto Lincoln Memorial Circle and immediately fork right, and through traffic can go straight onto I-66, staying in either of the left two lanes to rejoin Rock Creek Parkway at Virginia Avenue.

I agree.  To me, Independence is one of the quickest ways to get from Capitol Hill to the river.  It would be nice if there were easier access from I-66 to Independence at all times, which could be achieved if the connection from Ohio Drive to Rock Creek Parkway were closed.  Traffic from Ohio could also reach the Rock Creek Parkway, by taking the exit (from Ohio Drive) for the Memorial Bridge and taking the ramp to the Rock Creek Parkway there.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on October 05, 2014, 12:04:54 AM
Local traffic going to Watergate can take the loop onto Lincoln Memorial Circle and immediately fork right,
Traffic from Ohio could also reach the Rock Creek Parkway, by taking the exit (from Ohio Drive) for the Memorial Bridge and taking the ramp to the Rock Creek Parkway there.
That's what I was talking about above. The left turn across southbound RCP is not really suitable for large volumes of traffic.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on October 05, 2014, 06:37:10 AM
Local traffic going to Watergate can take the loop onto Lincoln Memorial Circle and immediately fork right,
Traffic from Ohio could also reach the Rock Creek Parkway, by taking the exit (from Ohio Drive) for the Memorial Bridge and taking the ramp to the Rock Creek Parkway there.
That's what I was talking about above. The left turn across southbound RCP is not really suitable for large volumes of traffic.

Yes, now I see.

This whole area is quite confusing.  There are a lot of different commuter routes that interchange here (on both sides of the river) and there is very poor signage as to how to get between each.  Especially along NPS roads.

On the Virginia side, you have GWP, I-66, and US 50 approaching Rosslyn from the northwest and west.  Some (but not all) of these roads lead to the Memorial Bridge, TR bridge, or VA-110.  VA-110 is the way to continue south toward Alexandria (and I-395).  All of these roads should link in a straightforward way.

On the DC side, you have E Street Expressway, Constitution, Independence, (and K, but K is a bit north of this area) as the main corridors out of Downtown towards the river.  All three should interchange easily with Memorial Bridge, TR Bridge, Rock Creek Parkway, and the Whitehurst Freeway.  The Whitehurst will then connect with either the Key Bridge or the Canal Rd/Macarthur Blvd corridor (which eventually leads to the quickest way to I-270 for cars).

But navigating here is a complete mess.

I have particular ire for the RC Parkway/Beach Drive combination.  It should be the quickest way from my area to Downtown.  But it is very hard to navigate because of poor signing.  I would like to drive on it as far north as possible, maybe linking with 16th by the old Walter Reed, but signage tells you to leave at several earlier points to get to 16th Street.  It is so windy and twisty and there aren't good signs on how to stay on Beach Drive.  And then at the northern end, you have a choice between Beach Drive heading northwest or West Beach Drive heading northeast.


Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 05, 2014, 04:23:50 PM
Quote
It is so windy and twisty

Which might be why they don't want traffic to use it and instead want them to access 16th sooner.

Of course, I've heard and read it mentioned/referenced that the NPS did *NOT* want the parkways under their jurisdiction to be used as commuter routes.  But that's effectively what they've become.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on October 05, 2014, 06:53:11 PM
Quote
It is so windy and twisty

Which might be why they don't want traffic to use it and instead want them to access 16th sooner.

Of course, I've heard and read it mentioned/referenced that the NPS did *NOT* want the parkways under their jurisdiction to be used as commuter routes.  But that's effectively what they've become.

With regard to B-W parkway and G.W. parkway these are absolutely commuter roads.  There aren't too many twists and these need to be treated as formal commuter roads with proper signage.  Ideally control cities, overhead signs, and maybe even a unique shield (if it can't get highway numbers).

With regard to Beach Drive, I agree that is shouldn't be a commuter route.  But there is no good way to go north of the city.  Many highway projects like I-95 and I-270 within the Beltway were cancelled.  The surface streets that remained were not upgraded to serve as proper commuter routes.  You can't drive down Georgia or 16th without hitting many red lights, often at crossings where there is little cross-traffic.  At least upgrade to actuated lights and some form of signal progression.

Since they don't, we're left with Beach Drive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 05, 2014, 07:42:08 PM
I should have prefaced that by noting that a couple of the parkways...B-W Parkway and Suitland Parkway...were built specifically as military access roads which now happen to fall under NPS jurisdiction.

But G.W. Parkway was not built as a commuter road and commuting was never the intention for it...especially the older stretches south of Memorial Bridge.  Those of us who were on the Virginia side heard this repeatedly by transportation committees and NPS themselves.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 05, 2014, 09:08:46 PM
The crosswalks all over the DC segment of the GW Parkway simply underscore froggie's point.

On the other hand, it's all well and good to say "we didn't intend these as commuter roads," but at some point reality needs to be considered (such as how to make said crosswalks safer).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mtantillo on October 05, 2014, 09:52:07 PM
I commute on the reversible section of Rock Creek Parkway everyday. That road is a godsend, since it bypasses the congested "Old City" part of downtown. Yes, it is very confusing, but the vast majority of users are daily commuters who know where to go and what to do without signs. Outside of rush hours, GPS works pretty reliably well to avoid having to rely on the crappy signs.

Sure, the Parkways were not meant to be commuter roads, but they are. Rock Creek Parkway has been since the 1930's with its one-way traffic. Clearly, it has a positive impact on traffic, since one only needs to see what happens to traffic in all of NW when the Parkway floods after a rainstorm...basically all of NW is in solid gridlock. Outside of rush hours, it is a pretty pleasant drive, and there are lots of recreational users using the amenities, including some bicyclists that use the parkway itself.  As for me, I consider myself using the road for its intended purpose...a pretty "motor road" through a pretty park...just so happens that I typically enjoy the road and the park on my way to work.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 27, 2014, 08:26:22 PM
WTOP has a photo gallery of "Ghost roads: The forgotten and haunted roads of DC":
http://wtop.com/864/3729364/The-forgotten-and-haunted-roads-of-DC

Much to my dismay, the ever-popular sign assembly over outbound I-66 near the Kennedy Center is prominently featured and described in the context of "incongruous" signage with various "deficiencies." Hopefully this won't prompt DC to replace that assembly, but if you've wanted to visit or photograph it, it might be a good idea to do so sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Doctor Whom on November 30, 2014, 09:51:17 PM
Yesterday, I took I-295 northbound all the way.  Exits 1-3 had the same numbers, but Exit 4 had been renumbered as 5A (695 to 395), 5B (DC 295), and 5C (11th St SE and MLK Jr Ave).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 01, 2014, 02:40:24 AM
Yesterday, I took I-295 northbound all the way.  Exits 1-3 had the same numbers, but Exit 4 had been renumbered as 5A (695 to 395), 5B (DC 295), and 5C (11th St SE and MLK Jr Ave).

Did you enter it from Md. 210 (Indian Head Highway)?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 04, 2014, 10:33:26 PM
Washington Post: Developer wants portion of I-395 in D.C. shut down to expedite construction project (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/developer-wants-portion-of-i-395-in-dc-shut-down-to-expedite-construction-project/2014/12/04/305c1294-7a49-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html)

Quote
Federal authorities are considering a request to shut down two-thirds of a mile of Interstate 395 in the District — one of the busiest stretches of highway in the city — for more than a year so that a mammoth development project can be completed more quickly.

Quote
New York-based Property Group Partners says that if the highway is closed between New York Avenue and D Street NW for 15 to 18 months, it could cut in half the construction time of a $200 million deck over the freeway’s entrance that will support its 2.2 million-square-foot development there, Capitol Crossing.

Quote
Without full access to that portion of the freeway, the platform project could take at least three years to complete, require loud work at night and potentially endanger workers, the developer says.

Quote
But the proposal has raised concerns that it would cripple one of the Washington area’s busiest commuter thoroughfares — which carries as many as 90,000 vehicles a day — and worsen the region’s gridlock.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mtantillo on December 04, 2014, 11:04:18 PM
Okay, I'm confused...why is FHWA evaluating this request and not DDOT? I thought DDOT maintains the road? FHWA usually only gets involved if the "state" DOT asks for permission.

That concerns me, because DDOT is accountable to voters in the city, while FHWA is not.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 04, 2014, 11:13:29 PM
Washington Post: Developer wants portion of I-395 in D.C. shut down to expedite construction project (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/developer-wants-portion-of-i-395-in-dc-shut-down-to-expedite-construction-project/2014/12/04/305c1294-7a49-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html)

Quote
Federal authorities are considering a request to shut down two-thirds of a mile of Interstate 395 in the District — one of the busiest stretches of highway in the city — for more than a year so that a mammoth development project can be completed more quickly.

Quote
New York-based Property Group Partners says that if the highway is closed between New York Avenue and D Street NW for 15 to 18 months, it could cut in half the construction time of a $200 million deck over the freeway’s entrance that will support its 2.2 million-square-foot development there, Capitol Crossing.

The two-lane ramps to and from D Street are totally inadequate to serve as a temporary terminus for eight-lane I-395, both not enough capacity and also feeding into already-congested roads like 2nd St. NW.  And those ramps are in tunnels under the Labor Department building, so widening them is not a practical option.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 04, 2014, 11:57:13 PM
Okay, I'm confused...why is FHWA evaluating this request and not DDOT? I thought DDOT maintains the road? FHWA usually only gets involved if the "state" DOT asks for permission.

That concerns me, because DDOT is accountable to voters in the city, while FHWA is not.

One possible reason is that the proposal would affect access to the Senate side of Capitol Hill, so there's a Federal interest separate from the local concerns of most importance to DDOT.  FHWA might for that reason may be quicker to say "no" than DDOT, though I hope both of them will quickly tell the developer to get lost, so any premature involvement by FHWA may end up a non-issue.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 06, 2014, 01:52:50 AM
Okay, I'm confused...why is FHWA evaluating this request and not DDOT? I thought DDOT maintains the road? FHWA usually only gets involved if the "state" DOT asks for permission.

That concerns me, because DDOT is accountable to voters in the city, while FHWA is not.

One possible reason is that the proposal would affect access to the Senate side of Capitol Hill, so there's a Federal interest separate from the local concerns of most importance to DDOT.  FHWA might for that reason may be quicker to say "no" than DDOT, though I hope both of them will quickly tell the developer to get lost, so any premature involvement by FHWA may end up a non-issue.
Does the connection of I-695 to DC 295 affect this at all? I mean, 295 can't handle the traffic it already has, but the developer might argue that there remains a full-freeway route from downtown to points north. Hopefully FHWA realizes that this ought to be a non-starter.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 06, 2014, 05:29:46 AM
Does the connection of I-695 to DC 295 affect this at all? I mean, 295 can't handle the traffic it already has, but the developer might argue that there remains a full-freeway route from downtown to points north. Hopefully FHWA realizes that this ought to be a non-starter.

Nope.  Very little inter-regional traffic uses the part of I-395 that would be closed.  But there's still lots of traffic (commuters and otherwise) from the Virginia suburbs to the increasingly developed Union Station area where I once worked, and local traffic crossing D.C. to and from the New York Ave. corridor.  Traffic to the north side of Capitol Hill (Senate offices) would also be affected by added congestion at the D Street N.W. entrance/exit ramps it uses, even though those ramps would remain open.

The I-695/DC 295 connection is helpful, but the traffic using it had previously used mainly surface-street connections like S. Capitol St. and Pennsylvania Ave. SE, rather than I-395 to the slow and congested New York Ave. corridor.   
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on December 06, 2014, 06:03:20 PM
My "favorite" part of this "close part of I-395" story is this from wtop.com: Jeffrey Sussman, of Property Group Partners, tells the The Washington Post that drivers would adjust. "People find their way who drive because they like to drive. They like to figure out how to do it," he said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 06, 2014, 06:38:24 PM
My "favorite" part of this "close part of I-395" story is this from wtop.com: Jeffrey Sussman, of Property Group Partners, tells the The Washington Post that drivers would adjust. "People find their way who drive because they like to drive. They like to figure out how to do it," he said.

That inspired thoughts about how Mr. Sussman should be tortured.  "Boiling oil" and "hot asphalt" came first to mind, but I'm sure there are more roadgeek-appropriate punishments available, such as "sentenced to drive back and forth on the north side of I-495 between MD 190 and MD 650, non-stop, all of the last day of a holiday weekend". 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 07, 2014, 01:27:02 PM
Okay, I'm confused...why is FHWA evaluating this request and not DDOT? I thought DDOT maintains the road? FHWA usually only gets involved if the "state" DOT asks for permission.

That concerns me, because DDOT is accountable to voters in the city, while FHWA is not.

The Washington Post's "Dr. Gridlock" has a column in today's WP, criticizing DDOT for punting the issue up to FHWA, and also for hiding behind FOIA on releasing information about the proposal and any referral to FHWA (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/district-department-of-transportation-takes-back-seat-on-proposed-i-395-shutdown/2014/12/06/931134d2-7b20-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html?tid=hpModule_99d5f542-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394).

On the latter issue, it might be necessary to insist on the FOIA process for some of the information sought, to protect any business plans or other arguably confidential information furnished by the developer.  But that probably wouldn't preclude the rapid release of DDOT's referral (if any) to DDOT, if DDOT wanted to release it.

How typical is it for DDOT to insist on going through the FOIA process?  (Or does it have a well-stocked public reading room, for people to peruse non-confidential information?)  At the Federal agency I used to work for, we often got requests including information we were required by law to withhold, so those had to go through FOIA.  But otherwise, informal information requests often got the requester the desired information we could disclose, with greater speed and less hassle than going through FOIA.  We also had a public reading room, as I think is typical for Federal agencies, for people to get clearly non-confidential information without even having to make a request. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 07, 2014, 03:07:05 PM
My "favorite" part of this "close part of I-395" story is this from wtop.com: Jeffrey Sussman, of Property Group Partners, tells the The Washington Post that drivers would adjust. "People find their way who drive because they like to drive. They like to figure out how to do it," he said.

That inspired thoughts about how Mr. Sussman should be tortured.  "Boiling oil" and "hot asphalt" came first to mind, but I'm sure there are more roadgeek-appropriate punishments available, such as "sentenced to drive back and forth on the north side of I-495 between MD 190 and MD 650, non-stop, all of the last day of a holiday weekend". 
Better idea: figure out how many trips you could fit in an eight hour period of driving non stop along that route with no traffic and then make him drive that number of trips on the last day of a holiday weekend.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on December 07, 2014, 05:10:29 PM
Actually, my posting on WTOP.com was along the lines of "close the neighborhoods streets where the developer lives, because I assume he'll enjoy finding his way home without them."
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 08, 2014, 10:34:35 PM
Okay, I'm confused...why is FHWA evaluating this request and not DDOT? I thought DDOT maintains the road? FHWA usually only gets involved if the "state" DOT asks for permission.

That concerns me, because DDOT is accountable to voters in the city, while FHWA is not.

The Washington Post's "Dr. Gridlock" has a column in today's WP, criticizing DDOT for punting the issue up to FHWA, and also for hiding behind FOIA on releasing information about the proposal and any referral to FHWA (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/district-department-of-transportation-takes-back-seat-on-proposed-i-395-shutdown/2014/12/06/931134d2-7b20-11e4-9a27-6fdbc612bff8_story.html?tid=hpModule_99d5f542-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394).

On the latter issue, it might be necessary to insist on the FOIA process for some of the information sought, to protect any business plans or other arguably confidential information furnished by the developer.  But that probably wouldn't preclude the rapid release of DDOT's referral (if any) to DDOT, if DDOT wanted to release it.

How typical is it for DDOT to insist on going through the FOIA process?  (Or does it have a well-stocked public reading room, for people to peruse non-confidential information?)  At the Federal agency I used to work for, we often got requests including information we were required by law to withhold, so those had to go through FOIA.  But otherwise, informal information requests often got the requester the desired information we could disclose, with greater speed and less hassle than going through FOIA.  We also had a public reading room, as I think is typical for Federal agencies, for people to get clearly non-confidential information without even having to make a request.

More fun via the Washington Post: Study needed to decide on request to close part of I-395 in D.C., federal officials say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/study-needed-to-decide-on-request-to-close-part-of-i-395-in-dc-federal-officials-say/2014/12/08/30a633ae-7f00-11e4-8882-03cf08410beb_story.html)

Quote
Federal officials said Monday that they can’t make a decision on a developer’s request to shut down nearly a mile of Interstate 395 for more than a year until the D.C. Department of Transportation completes a comprehensive study of the potential traffic impact.

Quote
Meanwhile, many of the region’s elected officials said the request should never have been sent without the city and the DDOT first briefing them on the plan.

Quote
“This involves a major road in the District of Columbia, and, as it turns out, it will inconvenience in a mammoth way not only our residents, but residents throughout the region,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who learned about the request from news reports.

Quote
DDOT, jointly with developer Property Group Partners, sent a petition last month to the Federal Highway Administration, saying the closure of I-395 between New York Avenue and D Street NW “would do a great deal to improve traffic, safety and timing implications for the Capitol Crossing project.”

Quote
It could halve the construction time of a $200 million deck over the freeway’s entrance that will support the company’s 2.2 million-square-foot project, the developer said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 09, 2014, 01:24:02 AM
More fun via the Washington Post: Study needed to decide on request to close part of I-395 in D.C., federal officials say (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/study-needed-to-decide-on-request-to-close-part-of-i-395-in-dc-federal-officials-say/2014/12/08/30a633ae-7f00-11e4-8882-03cf08410beb_story.html)

Quote
Federal officials said Monday that they can’t make a decision on a developer’s request to shut down nearly a mile of Interstate 395 for more than a year until the D.C. Department of Transportation completes a comprehensive study of the potential traffic impact.

Per the article, FHWA noted that depending on the results of the initial environmental review, which would take up to a year, DDOT may have to conduct additional studies taking up to three years, including to work out how to manage the traffic diverted from I-395 if the segment north of D St. NW had a prolonged closure during construction of the deck over the freeway.

It sounds like getting approval for such a closure could easily take more time than the closure would save for building the deck over I-395.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 09, 2014, 01:19:24 PM
Yeesh.  Looks like the FHWA wants to actually consider this request seriously rather than a quick "you've got to be kidding me, how do you expect anyone to go along with this?".
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on December 09, 2014, 01:34:45 PM
If this were done, what sort of traffic modifications would you put in place?

I would do the following:

VMS messaging about the closure at the approaches to the following interchanges: 95/495 College Park, 95/BW Pkwy, 95/50, 95/495 Springfield.

Detour signs at the 50/BW pkwy interchange adn the 395/695 interchange to recommend that people who are at that point should stay on 695 for the connection and not use New York Ave.

I would close the northbound on-ramp to I395 from D St SW.  The remaining three lanes will have to come together into two lanes of traffic before entering the tunnel.  All two lanes will exit at D St NW.

The ramp to C St NW will still be there.  Traffic to Union Station should go this way.  C St should be one-way eastbound all the way to NJ Ave.

Second Street from D St NW should be three lanes of traffic at all times.  Impose parking restrictions and spot widenings as necessary.

Similar treatment for 4th St southbound between NY and Mass Ave and 3rd St southbound from Mass to D.





Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 09, 2014, 01:40:32 PM
Yeesh.  Looks like the FHWA wants to actually consider this request seriously rather than a quick "you've got to be kidding me, how do you expect anyone to go along with this?".

Actually, looks more to me like FHWA telling the developer it could take so long to get approval for a highway closure, the developer and the city would probably save a lot of time by going ahead with building the deck without a closure.  That's a nice way of telling the developer to get lost, but with less risk of drawing a lawsuit from the developer.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 09, 2014, 01:42:04 PM
Today the Post is reporting the mayor's office is not willing to close the highway. The mayor-elect concurs.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 09, 2014, 04:15:35 PM
Today the Post is reporting the mayor's office is not willing to close the highway. The mayor-elect concurs.

I wonder if the proponents of this were not counting on the "tear down the freeway" crowd to come to their defense for some reason?

Not so long ago, there were people touting a proposal to permanently close the entire length of the so-called Center Leg Freeway (in other words, I-395 from the S.E./S.W. Freeway all the way to U.S. 50 (New York Avenue, N.W.) - including the Third Street Tunnel).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 09, 2014, 07:29:15 PM
Yeesh.  Looks like the FHWA wants to actually consider this request seriously rather than a quick "you've got to be kidding me, how do you expect anyone to go along with this?".

Actually, looks more to me like FHWA telling the developer it could take so long to get approval for a highway closure, the developer and the city would probably save a lot of time by going ahead with building the deck without a closure.  That's a nice way of telling the developer to get lost, but with less risk of drawing a lawsuit from the developer.
Actually, shutting down an Interstate should always be backed up by a comprehensive traffic study. Sounds like they came to FHWA way too soon.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2014, 12:23:29 AM
Actually, shutting down an Interstate should always be backed up by a comprehensive traffic study. Sounds like they came to FHWA way too soon.

Agreed.

Looks like it was much about nothing.  The sitting Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Mayor-Elect have both said it is not going to happen.

D.C. dropping request to shut part of I-395 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/dc-dropping-to-closure-portion-of-i-395/2014/12/09/133d5be8-7fd3-11e4-8882-03cf08410beb_story.html)

Quote
Amid growing pressure, D.C. transportation officials said Tuesday that they are dropping a request to shut a busy stretch of Interstate 395 to expedite a major construction project.

Quote
“The mayor has made a statement,” said Matthew Brown, the city’s transportation director, citing Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s directive Tuesday that the agency pull the plan to close nearly a mile of freeway for the Capitol Crossing project.

Quote
DDOT continues to support closing one of the highway’s ramps to facilitate the safe and timely construction of the $1.5 billion project at the entrance to I-395, Brown said.

Quote
Last week’s news that DDOT asked the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for guidance on how to proceed with shutting down a major commuter thoroughfare that carries 90,000 vehicles a day drew strong criticism from commuters and elected officials, including members of the region’s congressional delegations.

Quote
The city had remained quiet on the proposal, saying that DDOT’s only role was to forward the request to federal officials, but Brown broke the silence Tuesday at a news event, where he said the agency’s communications with FHWA were only an effort to determine “what would the process be” for closing the interstate.

Quote
“It’s obviously a huge ask,” Brown said. “I didn’t see anything wrong with at least exploring options.”

Quote
In a Dec. 5 notice to DDOT, federal officials said they could not consider the request until DDOT conducted various studies on the impact of the closure — studies that could take months if not years.

Quote
But on Tuesday morning, Gray (D) declared that the shutdown would not happen.

Quote
“Closing 395 is a non-starter for Mayor Gray,” said Doxie McCoy, a spokeswoman for the mayor. “Upon reviewing the matter, he has made his views very clear — we will not be closing 395, and the administration will inform the feds of that.”

Quote
And, during a news conference Tuesday by Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser (D), where she introduced her new city administrator, Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young, she also spoke against the idea.

Washington Post opinion: Closing I-395 for a developer would have upended travel for tens of thousands (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/closing-i-395-for-a-developer-would-unnecessarily-upend-travel-for-tens-of-thousands/2014/12/09/49b4c79a-7fc1-11e4-8882-03cf08410beb_story.html)

Quote
ANYONE WHO has lived through a remodeling project knows that a certain amount of inconvenience comes with the territory. But a developer’s proposal to shut down part of a vital highway in the District to expedite construction of a giant commercial project would have upended — not just inconvenienced — daily travel for tens of thousands of drivers. We can’t imagine how city officials could have even entertained the idea, and we are happy to hear that they have now closed the door on it.

Quote
D.C. transportation officials broached with the Federal Highway Administration the possibility of closing Interstate 395 between New York Avenue and D Street NW for 15 to 18 months. The proposal, disclosed by The Post’s Luz Lazo and Jonathan O’Connell, came at the behest of the New York-based company behind a $1.5 billion mixed-use development that will be built over the highway. Closing the interstate, the developer argued, would have sliced time and cost off the project and produced safer construction conditions for ­workers.

Quote
There is no questioning the importance of this project to the city. It is estimated to eventually generate $30 million annually in property taxes, and by connecting F Street and G streets NW, the project would go a long way toward rectifying the damage done by federal highway planners when they cut a gash through the central city. But closing this main north-south thoroughfare would have displaced more than 90,000 cars a day. Contrary to the developer’s glib assurance that people like to drive and figure out alternative roads, the proposed closure would have created a rippling effect of significant problems for the region’s transportation network. “Calamitous impacts” was the apt characterization by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 10, 2014, 03:45:30 PM
I still think they could do weekend closures.  MnDOT does those often, and it doesn't need the hard-core studying from FHWA that a longer-term closure requires.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mtantillo on December 10, 2014, 04:52:54 PM
I still think they could do weekend closures.  MnDOT does those often, and it doesn't need the hard-core studying from FHWA that a longer-term closure requires.


I'm sure there will be plenty of those. On weekends, the route is a lot less necessary than on weekday commuter periods.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2014, 10:32:48 PM
Charles Severance indicted on murder charges (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/charles-severance-indicted-on-murder-charges/2014/09/08/1124c952-377d-11e4-8601-97ba88884ffd_story.html)

Quote
A man who for months has been the focus of police investigations into three high-profile slayings in Alexandria has been indicted on murder charges, prosecutors said.

Quote
Charles Severance, 53, is in jail in Loudoun County awaiting trial on a gun possession charge. The Alexandria indictment contains ten charges, including two charges of capital murder and one charge of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ruthanne Lodato, Ronald Kirby and Nancy Dunning.

Charles Severance, accused of three Alexandria killings, to appear in court (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/charles-severance-accused-of-three-alexandria-killings-to-appear-in-court/2014/12/10/971a1c52-80a1-11e4-9f38-95a187e4c1f7_story.html)

Quote
The man accused of fatally shooting three prominent Alexandria residents over the past decade — killings that prosecutors say were motivated by his hatred of the city’s “enforcement class” — is scheduled to appear in court Thursday as attorneys discuss his competency to stand trial.

Quote
It is unclear what might happen at the hearing in Alexandria Circuit Court for 54-year-old Charles Severance, though defense attorneys have requested a discussion about evaluating him for competency. They asked to withdraw, at least temporarily, their other legal salvos in the case — which included an effort to have the case dismissed entirely and a bid to have a separate trial for one of the murders of which Severance is accused.

Quote
Severance is charged in the February slaying of music teacher Ruthanne Lodato, the November 2013 fatal shooting of regional transportation planner Ronald Kirby and the 2003 killing of real estate agent Nancy Dunning. Authorities have said all three were gunned down in daylight in their homes, within two miles of one another, by a killer who left no sign of forced entry.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 10, 2014, 10:34:50 PM
I still think they could do weekend closures.  MnDOT does those often, and it doesn't need the hard-core studying from FHWA that a longer-term closure requires.

Much of the work for Transurban 95 Express Lanes was done over weekends. 

Wonder if the staging required to be set-up and taken-down for weekend closures might be too much (in terms of labor required for same)?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 11, 2014, 09:06:26 AM
Far less than for ongoing daytime lane closures, and they get a longer window to get stuff done.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2014, 09:32:11 AM
Dr. Gridlock reports DC is changing the way you pay for on-street parking in the area around Verizon Center (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/12/17/d-c-plans-experiment-for-downtown-parking/). Instead of the existing "pay-and-display" meters, they're going to the system where you punch in a space number at the meter. As I said in my comment there, I don't care for that style because it limits the number of spaces per block, similar to how the old single-space meters restricted things. I like the idea with the pay-and-display system that if your vehicle fits, you can park.

What will be more interesting is to see how people respond to the new parking signs. The one on the left looks similar to the ones a blogger was suggesting in New York:

(http://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/files/2014/12/Parking-rules-sign-DDOT.jpg)  (http://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/files/2014/12/Pay-by-space-image-ddot.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 18, 2014, 11:12:27 AM
Instead of the existing "pay-and-display" meters, they're going to the system where you punch in a space number at the meter. As I said in my comment there, I don't care for that style because it limits the number of spaces per block, similar to how the old single-space meters restricted things. I like the idea with the pay-and-display system that if your vehicle fits, you can park.

I basically agree.  There are enough tiny cars in our area, like the Smart cars, that can take advantage of small "make your own" spaces and should be encouraged to do so.

Maybe parts of the reasoning are that:

-- the city doesn't have to maintain printers for pay-and-display stubs

-- people don't have to go back to their cars to place the stubs on their dashboards (of course, some people will have to make that trek anyway, if they need to use the pay box rather than a smartphone, and have forgotten or are unsure about their space number).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2014, 11:22:15 AM
Those two reasons crossed my mind, as did the additional one that with no printed receipts, there's less temptation for someone to break into your car to steal the receipt (I have not heard of this actually happening, but I would not be surprised to hear it has occurred somewhere, as idiotic as it is). One downside is if you save the receipts for tax purposes if you parked for business reasons (I saved an Arlington County pay-and-display slip last week for precisely that reason).

The cynic in me says that with no printed receipt, and no meter next to your car, it becomes harder for you to prove you paid when you're issued a wrongful ticket. I don't park at the meters all that often except when I go to Nationals games, but when I do park at a meter I use the Parkmobile app. Yes, it costs an extra 45¢ (flat fee regardless of length of time parked), but I get receipts via e-mail and text message and there's another one I can print out from their website. I've never had a problem when I've used Parkmobile, but I've heard of people who paid that way who were given tickets anyway because the single-space meter was flashing "expired" and the meter maid issued a ticket. That's not supposed to happen—they say that when the meter maid runs your plate number on the ticket-printing device, it'll say you paid—and I have no idea whether the tickets were due to user error or fraud by the meter maids. Neither scenario would surprise me in DC.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 14, 2015, 01:20:36 PM
Forgot to mention this yesterday: Coming back from Monday night's Caps game, I noted the BGSs on eastbound I-695 approaching the 11th Street Bridge now mention Southeast Boulevard. I was a bit surprised because I hadn't heard anything about it opening, but it turns out it did indeed open on December 22 (http://www.jdland.com/dc/pastnews.cfm?nearsecat=seblvd). For those unfamiliar, this is the new street that replaces the orphaned former segment of I-295 between the 11th Street Bridge and Barney Circle. Seems the tunnel to the RFK Stadium Access Road will still be available but isn't open yet.

If/when I get the chance to check it out, I'll upload some video. Won't be on the way home from tonight's game since puck drop is an hour later than usual (8:00 PM).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on January 14, 2015, 02:14:27 PM
Forgot to mention this yesterday: Coming back from Monday night's Caps game, I noted the BGSs on eastbound I-695 approaching the 11th Street Bridge now mention Southeast Boulevard. I was a bit surprised because I hadn't heard anything about it opening, but it turns out it did indeed open on December 22 (http://www.jdland.com/dc/pastnews.cfm?nearsecat=seblvd). For those unfamiliar, this is the new street that replaces the orphaned former segment of I-295 between the 11th Street Bridge and Barney Circle. Seems the tunnel to the RFK Stadium Access Road will still be available but isn't open yet.

If/when I get the chance to check it out, I'll upload some video. Won't be on the way home from tonight's game since puck drop is an hour later than usual (8:00 PM).

I drove Southeast Blvd. eastbound on Christmas day.  So unremarkable I forgot to mention it here.  It seemed to mostly use old Southeast Freeway pavement, and so far is not otherwise much different from the old freeway, except for the new at-grade intersection at 11th St. SE (under the bridge approaches).  Still a lot of work underway to do something in the wide median left over after removal of the former connector between the old 11th St. Bridge and the old eastern Southeast Freeway segment.

The access to RFK Stadium may be intact, but I'm not sure.  The old ramp to EB Pennsylvania Ave. is still there, and I used it to connect back (via DC 295) to I-695, I-395, and the express lanes down to Garrisonville VA. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 14, 2015, 02:45:49 PM
My comment about the RFK access is based on what is stated in the JDLand blog post I linked (click the words "but it turns out it did indeed open on December 22").

I assume there's no particular rush to open the RFK access because DC United's first home game isn't until March 4 and it's a CONCACAF Champions League game, meaning it's likely to draw a smaller crowd than the MLS opener a few days later.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 23, 2015, 04:48:10 PM
I drove down Southeast Boulevard earlier this afternoon and I certainly have to agree with Oscar....easily the least interesting "new road" I've ever driven. Basically no real difference from the old road other than a lower speed limit and an at-grade intersection at the west end.

It definitely appears the RFK access will be preserved. There's a lane striped as an exit lane for the tunnel, complete with solid line and short skips, and it was blocked off with barrels because the tunnel is jammed full of construction equipment (presumably to get it all out of the forecast bad weather this weekend). Looking at that mess, I kind of doubt it'll be open by the time United start their season, but then fans ought to be used to finding other routes after the past year or two.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 07, 2015, 07:55:48 PM
WTOP Radio: Confusion persists for Southeast-Southwest Freeway drivers (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/02/confusion-persists-southeast-southwest-freeway-drivers/)

(http://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/roads_freewayexits1.jpg)

Quote
The ever-vexing route through Washington known as the Southeast-Southwest Freeway has become even more confusing for downtown drivers. Along with the resurrection of Interstate 695, a previously hidden designation for the eastern half of the freeway, new signs for eastbound exits now appear to contradict one another.

Quote
The guide signs above the freeway now show the exit for C Street SW/U.S. Capitol as both Exit 2B and Exit 6. This portion of the freeway is officially Interstate 395 North. However, the exit for Potomac Park beyond the 14th Street Bridge is also signed as Exit 2. The new signs were installed about two months ago.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on February 07, 2015, 07:57:41 PM
Meh, New York's had conflicting exit numbers on the Cross-Bronx for years.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 07, 2015, 10:51:24 PM
It's funny, Dave Dildine (author of that article) interviewed me over the phone yesterday about the ramp from the Ninth Street Tunnel to northbound (really east at that point) I-395. He's doing a story on the worst merges in the DC area. Guess it fits right in with this story.

I notice he doesn't mention how for so many years, the sign for the C Street exit had you get in the far left lane when you needed to be in the second lane from the right.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2015, 10:06:06 AM
It's funny, Dave Dildine (author of that article) interviewed me over the phone yesterday about the ramp from the Ninth Street Tunnel to northbound (really east at that point) I-395. He's doing a story on the worst merges in the DC area. Guess it fits right in with this story.

I notice he doesn't mention how for so many years, the sign for the C Street exit had you get in the far left lane when you needed to be in the second lane from the right.

The worst merges (IMO) in the region used to be from U.S. 50 (John Hanson Highway) eastbound to Md. 201 (Kenilworth Avenue) southbound; from Outer Loop I-495 to westbound Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road) and the miserable lane drop on southbound I-95 approaching and passing Va. 286 (Fairfax County Parkway, f/k/a 7100).  All have been fixed for several years now by adding capacity on a relatively small scale.

My candidates for worst merges (no particular order) these days are:

- Northbound I-395 approaching and passing the merge with U.S. 1 and Va. 110 (Jefferson Davis Highway);
- I-495 at the American Legion Bridge, where there are lane drops in both directions at both ends of the span;
- Eastbound I-66 passing the merge with the Dulles Connector Road, and passing the lane drop at U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) at Exit 69 and continuing until past the entrance ramp from North Sycamore Street;
- Inner Loop I-495 passing the south end of I-270 at Md. 355 (Rockville Pike), where Inner Loop traffic has to deal with a lane drop;
- Southbound I-395 in the Va. 236 (Duke Street) interchange;
- Outer Loop I-495 passing I-95, and continuing past Md. 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) and continued bonus misery of Outer Loop I-495 passing U.S. 29 (Colesville Road);
- Southbound D.C. 295 approaching and passing East Capitol Street (yes, there is a lane drop);
- Northbound D.C. 295 approaching and passing Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. (also a lane drop);
- Northbound I-395 entering the Third Street Tunnel, where the (lightly-used) exit ramp to C Street, S.W./Washington Avenue, S.W./Independence Avenue, S.W. and The House is effective a lane drop (and rewards aggressive drivers that use the left lane leading to this ramp to the last minute, then jam into the lane that heads for the tunnel portal);
- Eastbound U.S. 50 passing the entrance ramp from northbound Md. 201;
- Westbound U.S. 50 exiting to Outer Loop I-95/I-495 (this ramp is only one lane - it starts as two, but the right lane drops to provide access to the New Carrollton rail station); and
- Northbound I-270 approaching and passing Md. 121 (Clarksburg Road), where there is ... a lane drop.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 08, 2015, 04:15:54 PM
It's funny, Dave Dildine (author of that article) interviewed me over the phone yesterday about the ramp from the Ninth Street Tunnel to northbound (really east at that point) I-395. He's doing a story on the worst merges in the DC area. Guess it fits right in with this story.

I notice he doesn't mention how for so many years, the sign for the C Street exit had you get in the far left lane when you needed to be in the second lane from the right.

The worst merges (IMO) in the region used to be from U.S. 50 (John Hanson Highway) eastbound to Md. 201 (Kenilworth Avenue) southbound; from Outer Loop I-495 to westbound Va. 267 (Dulles Toll Road) and the miserable lane drop on southbound I-95 approaching and passing Va. 286 (Fairfax County Parkway, f/k/a 7100).  All have been fixed for several years now by adding capacity on a relatively small scale.

My candidates for worst merges (no particular order) these days are:

- Northbound I-395 approaching and passing the merge with U.S. 1 and Va. 110 (Jefferson Davis Highway);
- I-495 at the American Legion Bridge, where there are lane drops in both directions at both ends of the span;
- Eastbound I-66 passing the merge with the Dulles Connector Road, and passing the lane drop at U.S. 29 (Lee Highway) at Exit 69 and continuing until past the entrance ramp from North Sycamore Street;
- Inner Loop I-495 passing the south end of I-270 at Md. 355 (Rockville Pike), where Inner Loop traffic has to deal with a lane drop;
- Southbound I-395 in the Va. 236 (Duke Street) interchange;
- Outer Loop I-495 passing I-95, and continuing past Md. 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) and continued bonus misery of Outer Loop I-495 passing U.S. 29 (Colesville Road);
- Southbound D.C. 295 approaching and passing East Capitol Street (yes, there is a lane drop);
- Northbound D.C. 295 approaching and passing Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. (also a lane drop);
- Northbound I-395 entering the Third Street Tunnel, where the (lightly-used) exit ramp to C Street, S.W./Washington Avenue, S.W./Independence Avenue, S.W. and The House is effective a lane drop (and rewards aggressive drivers that use the left lane leading to this ramp to the last minute, then jam into the lane that heads for the tunnel portal);
- Eastbound U.S. 50 passing the entrance ramp from northbound Md. 201;
- Westbound U.S. 50 exiting to Outer Loop I-95/I-495 (this ramp is only one lane - it starts as two, but the right lane drops to provide access to the New Carrollton rail station); and
- Northbound I-270 approaching and passing Md. 121 (Clarksburg Road), where there is ... a lane drop.

It seems to me that what 1995hoo and what CPZ are referring to are two separate definitions of worst merges.  CPZ's list are definitely the most traffic laden merges, the merges that cause slowdowns in otherwise free-flowing highways even at times when the road isn't terribly busy.

But the merge from the 9th street tunnel to the I-395 north (heading to 695) is downright dangerous.  A merge in from the left with very little room.  I've had the misfortune of merging in from there, and it was not pleasant.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2015, 07:09:08 PM
It seems to me that what 1995hoo and what CPZ are referring to are two separate definitions of worst merges.  CPZ's list are definitely the most traffic laden merges, the merges that cause slowdowns in otherwise free-flowing highways even at times when the road isn't terribly busy.

But the merge from the 9th street tunnel to the I-395 north (heading to 695) is downright dangerous.  A merge in from the left with very little room.  I've had the misfortune of merging in from there, and it was not pleasant.

Agreed.  The one from 9th Street, S.W. to 395 is terrible.  Left-side merge with no merge/transition lane at all. I go out of my way to avoid it. 

But if you don't like that one, there's one I like even less, also a left-side merge with no place to merge or accelerate - from Benning Road, N.E. to northbound D.C. 295 (GSV here (http://goo.gl/maps/AmGhW)).

This one is more-dangerous (IMO) because speeds of northbound traffic tend to be higher here.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on February 09, 2015, 06:56:05 AM
But the merge from the 9th street tunnel to the I-395 north (heading to 695) is downright dangerous.  A merge in from the left with very little room.  I've had the misfortune of merging in from there, and it was not pleasant.

What's worse is that it's an unwarned inside merge, where the innermost lane on the on-ramp merges immediately into the left lane of the mainline.  Usually, lane drops for entering traffic are for the outermost lane, so while on-ramp traffic has to watch for on-ramp lanes to merge into one, nothing entering from the on-ramps has to immediately merge into the mainline.

Inside merges are not uncommon in other regions --  I've seen them in Chicago, among other places. But they're dangerous in areas like ours where they are rare, and surprise drivers who aren't expecting them. 

There could be at least warning signs, but the more straightforward fix would be to restripe the two on-ramp lanes so they merge before they join the mainline,
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 09, 2015, 10:02:48 AM
It seems to me that what 1995hoo and what CPZ are referring to are two separate definitions of worst merges.  CPZ's list are definitely the most traffic laden merges, the merges that cause slowdowns in otherwise free-flowing highways even at times when the road isn't terribly busy.

But the merge from the 9th street tunnel to the I-395 north (heading to 695) is downright dangerous.  A merge in from the left with very little room.  I've had the misfortune of merging in from there, and it was not pleasant.

Agreed.  The one from 9th Street, S.W. to 395 is terrible.  Left-side merge with no merge/transition lane at all. I go out of my way to avoid it. 

But if you don't like that one, there's one I like even less, also a left-side merge with no place to merge or accelerate - from Benning Road, N.E. to northbound D.C. 295 (GSV here (http://goo.gl/maps/AmGhW).

This one is more-dangerous (IMO) because speeds of northbound traffic tend to be higher here.

I work a few blocks from the north end of the 9th street tunnel, but rarely drive there as I take Metro to work.  12th and 9th tunnels are like mini-freeways and help traffic heading to the part of Downtown along Constitution and north avoid Independence Ave and other cross-streets.  Arguably, they are the main gateways to this central part of Downtown.  It seems odd to me that given the traffic loads on the tunnels, that they have such a poorly designed freeway entrance to 395 north.  (The other ramps 9th to 395 south and the ramps to the 12th st tunnel are much better and easier.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 09, 2015, 10:22:00 AM
It seems to me that what 1995hoo and what CPZ are referring to are two separate definitions of worst merges.  CPZ's list are definitely the most traffic laden merges, the merges that cause slowdowns in otherwise free-flowing highways even at times when the road isn't terribly busy.

But the merge from the 9th street tunnel to the I-395 north (heading to 695) is downright dangerous.  A merge in from the left with very little room.  I've had the misfortune of merging in from there, and it was not pleasant.

Agreed.  The one from 9th Street, S.W. to 395 is terrible.  Left-side merge with no merge/transition lane at all. I go out of my way to avoid it. 

But if you don't like that one, there's one I like even less, also a left-side merge with no place to merge or accelerate - from Benning Road, N.E. to northbound D.C. 295 (GSV here (http://goo.gl/maps/AmGhW).

This one is more-dangerous (IMO) because speeds of northbound traffic tend to be higher here.

I work a few blocks from the north end of the 9th street tunnel, but rarely drive there as I take Metro to work.  12th and 9th tunnels are like mini-freeways and help traffic heading to the part of Downtown along Constitution and north avoid Independence Ave and other cross-streets.  Arguably, they are the main gateways to this central part of Downtown.  It seems odd to me that given the traffic loads on the tunnels, that they have such a poorly designed freeway entrance to 395 north.  (The other ramps 9th to 395 south and the ramps to the 12th st tunnel are much better and easier.)

It's a relic of the 1950s/1960s. Old, outdated highway design that would be difficult (at best) to improve given space constraints coupled with the disruption caused by construction, further coupled with the difficulty posed by those townhouses they built on the south side of the highway right there. BTW, after Friday's nights Caps–Ducks game it was worse than usual—they had a bunch of construction cones/barrels narrowing the ramp to allow for some kind of work on the right side. Made the merge that much worse.

Look at other highways built in the same time period, or earlier, and you'll see what we now recognize as design deficiencies there as well. Some of New York City's highways are great examples.


For those unfamiliar, here's the DC merge we are discussing (sped up to 250% of actual speed). In this particular clip I had an easy time of it, but you can see why this is not an easy spot. Traffic is usually quite heavy and quite fast and people around here generally do not seem to believe in moving over to make it easier for people to enter the highway.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 09, 2015, 06:35:19 PM
Sounds like the mid-span entrances of the Pulaski Skyway here in NJ. Getting on the highway there will put some hair on your chest.

https://goo.gl/maps/wUvtG

Once upon a time this was even a blind merge, they finally took down the barrier to improve sight lines.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2015, 03:29:22 PM
Some recent images of D.C. 295 and I-695 in D.C. on Facebook (no account required) here (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204813782456510.1073741860.1596953667&type=1&l=af12029523).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 13, 2015, 03:30:37 PM
Sounds like the mid-span entrances of the Pulaski Skyway here in NJ. Getting on the highway there will put some hair on your chest.

https://goo.gl/maps/wUvtG

Once upon a time this was even a blind merge, they finally took down the barrier to improve sight lines.

Yeah, those are nasty.  Definitely similar to the left-side merges onto D.C. 295 and I-395.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 13, 2015, 03:41:57 PM
Sounds like the mid-span entrances of the Pulaski Skyway here in NJ. Getting on the highway there will put some hair on your chest.

https://goo.gl/maps/wUvtG

Once upon a time this was even a blind merge, they finally took down the barrier to improve sight lines.

Yeah, those are nasty.  Definitely similar to the left-side merges onto D.C. 295 and I-395.

I'm lucky that I'm usually on the Pulaski only at off-peak times when I visit family in the area.  Southbound, I make note to be in the left lane to avoid traffic coming from the extremely heavy merge from Tonnelle Ave and then shift to the right to avoid even the possibility of dealing with somebody entering from the two left ramps.

As a follow-up question (to anyone reading this thread) do you think that if there is no feasible way to improve the safety of these types of on-ramps that they should be closed and traffic should just find a different way onto the expressway?

I believe that they should close the dangerous on-ramps because safety comes first.  Yes, drivers may have to go quite a bit out of their way, but it's important.

For Downtown DC, if the ramp were closed, then drivers would just have to head onto 7th Street towards the freeway.

For Benning Rd, if that ramp were closed, then just head over to East Capitol Street.

For our friends in NJ, use Truck 1-9 to the nearest entrance.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NJRoadfan on February 14, 2015, 12:27:54 AM
Or narrow the thru highway down a lane to eliminate the left merge as was done on US-1 in NJ: https://goo.gl/maps/YgjBU
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on February 15, 2015, 08:06:46 AM
Or narrow the thru highway down a lane to eliminate the left merge as was done on US-1 in NJ: https://goo.gl/maps/YgjBU

To the extent that traffic can take it, that sounds like a good option, but I don't know how possible that is in the examples listed above.

I've felt that it should be done along I-395 from 9th Street.  If I-395 were narrowed on the Downtown approach, after the 12th Street exit, from 3 to 2 lanes (most likely by forcing the 3rd lane off at Maine Ave), then the entrances from Maine Ave and 9th Street that come in from the left will each have their own lane.  Again, not sure what such a lane drop will do with regard to traffic, but keep in mind that if one views the I-395 as being primarily to serve Downtown, a lot of people will be getting off at these exits anyway.

Another bad set of left on-ramps can be found in Chicago in the West Loop along I-90/94.  They've recently removed some of the on=ramps and made them somewhat longer, but their still terrible.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 02, 2015, 09:26:26 AM
Can you guys think of any way for a tractor-trailer legally to access I-66 past the Kennedy Center? I was just on there earlier this morning going from Memorial Bridge to the Watergate (can't use Rock Creek Parkway due to rush hour traffic pattern) and there was an enormous tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder between Ohio Drive and the merge coming from the inbound Roosevelt Bridge.

Of course he could have been there illegally too. I'm trying to figure out what route he must have used, assuming he wasn't on the Roosevelt Bridge since large trucks of his size aren't allowed on any of the roads leading to it from Virginia.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: NE2 on March 02, 2015, 01:02:04 PM
Can you guys think of any way for a tractor-trailer legally to access I-66 past the Kennedy Center?
Get into the left lane of I-66 west at its beginning, miss the faded ALL TRUCKS pointing onto the E Street Expressway, then notice the ALL TRUCKS pointing onto the U-turn before it becomes Ohio Drive. The latter sign might not be necessary if the former restriction were posted better.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Mergingtraffic on March 02, 2015, 05:46:06 PM
Sounds like the mid-span entrances of the Pulaski Skyway here in NJ. Getting on the highway there will put some hair on your chest.

https://goo.gl/maps/wUvtG

Once upon a time this was even a blind merge, they finally took down the barrier to improve sight lines.

Yeah, those are nasty.  Definitely similar to the left-side merges onto D.C. 295 and I-395.

I'm lucky that I'm usually on the Pulaski only at off-peak times when I visit family in the area.  Southbound, I make note to be in the left lane to avoid traffic coming from the extremely heavy merge from Tonnelle Ave and then shift to the right to avoid even the possibility of dealing with somebody entering from the two left ramps.

As a follow-up question (to anyone reading this thread) do you think that if there is no feasible way to improve the safety of these types of on-ramps that they should be closed and traffic should just find a different way onto the expressway?

I believe that they should close the dangerous on-ramps because safety comes first.  Yes, drivers may have to go quite a bit out of their way, but it's important.

For Downtown DC, if the ramp were closed, then drivers would just have to head onto 7th Street towards the freeway.

For Benning Rd, if that ramp were closed, then just head over to East Capitol Street.

For our friends in NJ, use Truck 1-9 to the nearest entrance.

Ha! Left on-ramps you ask?  Try the FDR NB near 155th st. 
PS. I thought CT's Merritt Parkway was bad, but that's a marvel compared to some of NYC parkways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 22, 2015, 09:34:10 PM
WTOP Radio: Police announce new speed camera locations rolling out in D.C. (http://wtop.com/dc/2015/03/police-announce-new-speed-camera-locations-rolling-out-in-d-c/)

Quote
The new photo enforcement locations are as follows:

  • 6100 block of Eastern Ave NE southeastbound, Speed: 25 mph
  • 3200 block of Fort Lincoln Dr NE southbound, Speed: 25 mph
  • 1900 block of Branch Ave SE southbound, Speed: 25 mph
  • 1400 block of South Capitol St SE northbound, Speed: 25 mph
  • 1400 block of South Capitol St SW southbound, Speed: 25 mph
  • 600 blk of Kenilworth Ave NE southbound, Speed: 25 mph
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 22, 2015, 09:35:34 PM
Quote
  • 600 blk of Kenilworth Ave NE southbound, Speed: 25 mph

I presume this is on the frontage road on southbound D.C. 295, not the mainline.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 22, 2015, 09:38:48 PM
1400 block of South Capitol Street? Unless I'm mistaken, that's right outside the ballpark. High pedestrian traffic area. Also an area with fairly high vehicle speeds.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 23, 2015, 11:15:20 AM
Correct...that's the block between O and P.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 23, 2015, 12:25:58 PM
I'll keep my eyes peeled for it when I go down there this week or next week for my annual "scout out the parking to see if where I park for games is still legal" trip. The place where I park was still OK for the Winter Classic, but I always like to verify in advance of the season so I don't get a nasty surprise on Opening Day!

This particular camera location should rake in a lot of money until people get used to it being there. It's not unusual to see people going through there at 45–50 mph. If indeed the new DC United stadium gets built in Buzzard Point, there will be that much more pedestrian traffic crossing South Capitol Street there because the Navy Yard Metro is up at Half and M SE. I'm usually not thrilled by the concept of speed cameras, especially when they're used to enforce ludicrously low speed limits (the ones on I-295 near Blue Plains being a prime example of that, though I've never gotten ticketed because I know where they are), but the high traffic speeds often seen past the ballpark are not really compatible with safe traffic management after ballpark events.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 23, 2015, 01:49:28 PM
I'll keep my eyes peeled for it when I go down there this week or next week for my annual "scout out the parking to see if where I park for games is still legal" trip. The place where I park was still OK for the Winter Classic, but I always like to verify in advance of the season so I don't get a nasty surprise on Opening Day!

Good approach.  When I was studying parking space turnover there, a TON of free, unrestricted spaces were available on an abandoned section of Canal Street, S.E. (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=38.879541,-77.004367&ll=38.879483,-77.004182&spn=0.003366,0.005815&num=1&t=h&z=18) behind the site of the old D.C. DPW trash transfer station off of I Street, S.E. west of 2nd Street, S.E.  But those are all gone now.

This particular camera location should rake in a lot of money until people get used to it being there. It's not unusual to see people going through there at 45–50 mph. If indeed the new DC United stadium gets built in Buzzard Point, there will be that much more pedestrian traffic crossing South Capitol Street there because the Navy Yard Metro is up at Half and M SE. I'm usually not thrilled by the concept of speed cameras, especially when they're used to enforce ludicrously low speed limits (the ones on I-295 near Blue Plains being a prime example of that, though I've never gotten ticketed because I know where they are), but the high traffic speeds often seen past the ballpark are not really compatible with safe traffic management after ballpark events.

If conditions are congested on I-695, I could see that as a bail-out route to go north on D.C. 295 or south on I-295, but it is no longer a good one.  When conditions are free-flow, I-695 is a vastly faster way, though it is a little longer.

When there is an event at the Nationals ballpark, the DDOT traffic control people usually have traffic running very slowly on South Capitol Street in that area. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 25, 2015, 01:56:52 PM
I was just down past the ballpark. As froggie notes, the new cameras are on the block between O and P. Both are on the median; the outbound (southbound) camera is closer to O and the northbound (inbound) camera is closer to P. The road already has the horizontal lines painted across it some distance past the camera. I was the only person going anywhere remotely as slow as 25 mph, so as I speculated before, the city is going to make a fortune from those cameras until people realize they're there.

Incidentally, Maine Avenue past the Southwest Waterfront is a massive mess. It was bad in January en route to the Winter Classic, but it's far worse now, to the point where it is a road to be avoided for the foreseeable future due to all the construction work, massively bumpy pavement, protruding manhole covers, etc. There is also a new traffic light near the seafood market where 12th Street comes out of that short tunnel and Maine Avenue comes in as a single lane coming from the Tidal Basin. There was always a yield sign there but it was never 100% clear at whom it was directed. Well, now there's a light that alternates between both streets. While I usually dislike traffic lights, with all the construction going on this one is probably a good idea for now for purposes of protecting the workers by reducing the risk of failure-to-yield crashes.


BTW, regarding cpzilliacus's comment about I-695 versus South Capitol Street, I-695 is definitely the faster route now that most of the construction on there is done. That's how we usually go home from Caps games because we're usually just a smidgen too late to access the I-395 HOV lanes. Since there's still a lot of construction in the Seminary Road area, we opt for I-695 to I-295 to the Beltway instead. Surprisingly, given I-295's usual state of anarchy, that route is less stressful to drive than I-395 is!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2015, 03:26:50 PM
Washington Post: D.C. to retime hundreds of traffic signals (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/04/23/d-c-to-retime-hundreds-of-traffic-signals/)

Quote
The District Department of Transportation plans to begin a month-long program aimed at one of drivers’ top complaints: the timing of traffic signals.

Quote
The effort, set to begin Friday night, will focus on 650 intersections in the District’s core, DDOT said in an announcement. The new campaign will continue through May.

Quote
It’s part of a citywide program of “signal optimization” that began in 2012 and is scheduled to continue into 2016. DDOT’s goals include improving traffic flow, making intersections safer for pedestrian crossings and improving travel times for buses.

Quote
The zone for this particular phase of the program is 23rd Street NW on the west, North Capitol Street on the east, U Street and Florida Avenue NW to the north and Interstate 395 to the south, but DDOT said the effort will include some intersections in Georgetown along M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2015, 04:36:08 PM
WRC-TV: D.C. Investigates Congestion Pricing to Improve Traffic (http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Investigates-Congestion-Pricing-to-Improve-Traffic-301011441.html)

Quote
D.C. is investigating congestion pricing to improve traffic in the city.

Quote
The idea of charging a toll to enter the city during rush hour could encourage more people to take mass transit or carpool, said John Townsend of AAA, but it could also backfire, causing people to leave the area altogether.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on April 23, 2015, 06:16:46 PM
If they (drivers) don't want to pay for the roads or the congestion they cause, they are more than welcome to "leave the area altogether".
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on April 23, 2015, 07:46:54 PM
Washington Post: D.C. to retime hundreds of traffic signals (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/04/23/d-c-to-retime-hundreds-of-traffic-signals/)

Quote
The District Department of Transportation plans to begin a month-long program aimed at one of drivers’ top complaints: the timing of traffic signals.

Quote
The effort, set to begin Friday night, will focus on 650 intersections in the District’s core, DDOT said in an announcement. The new campaign will continue through May.

Quote
It’s part of a citywide program of “signal optimization” that began in 2012 and is scheduled to continue into 2016. DDOT’s goals include improving traffic flow, making intersections safer for pedestrian crossings and improving travel times for buses.

Quote
The zone for this particular phase of the program is 23rd Street NW on the west, North Capitol Street on the east, U Street and Florida Avenue NW to the north and Interstate 395 to the south, but DDOT said the effort will include some intersections in Georgetown along M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW.
Sweet. It's about time they realize that traffic signals aren't for traffic calming. Get a nice 25-30 mph progression going and the flow will take care of itself. Pedestrians can cross just as easily on a synchronized red as on an asynchronized one.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2015, 10:32:02 PM
If they (drivers) don't want to pay for the roads or the congestion they cause, they are more than welcome to "leave the area altogether".

Perhaps more difficult in the national capital than elsewhere.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on April 23, 2015, 10:34:35 PM
Sweet. It's about time they realize that traffic signals aren't for traffic calming. Get a nice 25-30 mph progression going and the flow will take care of itself. Pedestrians can cross just as easily on a synchronized red as on an asynchronized one.

I hope you are correct.

But far too many District of Columbia elected officials and the almost infinitely large number of D.C. citizen activists seem to regard traffic control devices, especially signals and STOP signs, as having a primary purpose of traffic calming.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on April 24, 2015, 08:47:40 PM
Sweet. It's about time they realize that traffic signals aren't for traffic calming. Get a nice 25-30 mph progression going and the flow will take care of itself. Pedestrians can cross just as easily on a synchronized red as on an asynchronized one.

I hope you are correct.

But far too many District of Columbia elected officials and the almost infinitely large number of D.C. citizen activists seem to regard traffic control devices, especially signals and STOP signs, as having a primary purpose of traffic calming.

Heh. I have a YouTube video showing a trip on which it took us half an hour to go from 15th and New York NW to 10th and New York NW due to poorly-timed traffic lights. Ugh.

We were headed to Verizon Center. I have to admit, it is much easier from my new workplace because I walk to Farragut North and take the Red Line two stops to the arena.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 04, 2015, 11:32:31 PM
WTOP Radio: Where to look out for new speed enforcement cameras (http://wtop.com/dc/2015/05/where-to-look-out-for-new-speed-enforcement-cameras/)

Quote
New speed enforcement cameras in the District go online Monday.

Quote
The Metropolitan Police Department has installed five new speed cameras across the city, in areas where speed has been a problem.

Quote
During  a 30-day educational period, violators will receive warning citations. After a month, speeders will get moving citations.

Quote
Here’s where the new speed cameras are located:

    700 block of Maryland Ave NW, southbound  25 mph
    2600 block of Wisconsin Ave NW, northbound  25 mph
    4400 block of Reservoir Rd NW, eastbound  25 mph
    2400 block of 18th St NE, southbound  25 mph
    3000 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE, northwestbound  30 mph
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on May 05, 2015, 01:57:58 AM
If they (drivers) don't want to pay for the roads or the congestion they cause, they are more than welcome to "leave the area altogether".

Perhaps more difficult in the national capital than elsewhere.

This is true.

Washington DC has the unfortunate position of not being in a state. Like any city, the majority of its workers commute in but unlike most cities, ALL of those people come from out of state. The problem with a toll though is that it's far easier to toll Virginia traffic because there are only so many ways to cross into DC from south of the city. Try tolling the Maryland traffic. There are ton of roads that run into Maryland, you'll never be able to toll everyone from that side.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 05, 2015, 02:34:34 PM
If they (drivers) don't want to pay for the roads or the congestion they cause, they are more than welcome to "leave the area altogether".

Perhaps more difficult in the national capital than elsewhere.

This is true.

Washington DC has the unfortunate position of not being in a state. Like any city, the majority of its workers commute in but unlike most cities, ALL of those people come from out of state.

Though it is important to emphasize that there are plenty of D.C. residents that drive in their cars to work - even if they happen to have a job at a location inside D.C.

Quote
The problem with a toll though is that it's far easier to toll Virginia traffic because there are only so many ways to cross into DC from south of the city. Try tolling the Maryland traffic. There are ton of roads that run into Maryland, you'll never be able to toll everyone from that side.

Technically, it is not a problem at all.  Consider the London (England) Congestion Charge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_congestion_charge) zone (map here (https://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/congestion-charge-zone-map.pdf) (.pdf)), which is entered by way of streets of varied sizes and widths.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on May 05, 2015, 02:37:48 PM
I have no idea why any DC resident would drive to work at another DC location, what a waste of time and money. I have to imagine that the Metro would be far cheaper and less of a headache.

And the London Congestion Zone tolling is an interesting idea, I don't know enough about how it works to have an opinion either way. But DC does need to find a way to capture revenue from Maryland and Virginia people who come in and everyday.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 05, 2015, 02:43:54 PM
Washington Post: Just trying to get home (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/just-trying-to-get-home/2015/05/01/cfc4fc4e-da4b-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html)

Quote
It’s 4:30. I’m driving south on 16th Street NW on a beautiful early April afternoon in Washington. I know rush hour will be difficult as I try to get home to Virginia, so I pick the route that I hope will be the most easily managed. Hope is the operative word.

Quote
Traffic is already bad as I get close to Adams Morgan, so I get on 14th Street, which, even with all the traffic lights, eventually will get me to the bridge to Virginia. But traffic is backed up, so I turn left again toward Ninth Street, which has a tunnel that will connect me to Virginia.

Quote
At Mount Vernon Square, nobody is moving even after the light turns green. After what seems like five seconds, the light turns red again. It takes about 15 minutes to get on Ninth Street, where every block or so there’s another traffic light. But at least traffic is crawling along — until it comes to a stop near Constitution Avenue.

Quote
Nobody is moving. Cross-traffic on red lights is blocking the way. It’s gridlock.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on May 05, 2015, 02:46:13 PM
How much better would traffic be if they had actually built I-95 through the city? From what I've seen, DC would benefit GREATLY from an expressway through the city. You could even do another Big Dig and bury it under the city if you have to.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 05, 2015, 02:47:44 PM
I have no idea why any DC resident would drive to work at another DC location, what a waste of time and money. I have to imagine that the Metro would be far cheaper and less of a headache.

Simple - because there are areas with employment that are not well-served by Metro.  A large example being Joint Base Anacostia Bolling in Southwest D.C. 

Most employees of the legislative branch of the government get free parking on and around Capitol Hill.

And the London Congestion Zone tolling is an interesting idea, I don't know enough about how it works to have an opinion either way. But DC does need to find a way to capture revenue from Maryland and Virginia people who come in and everyday.

Though consider the phrase be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

Maryland and Virginia could easily make the same statement about D.C. residents that drive into their jurisdictions to reach employment, and toll them as they leave D.C.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on May 05, 2015, 09:52:42 PM
Quote
How much better would traffic be if they had actually built I-95 through the city? From what I've seen, DC would benefit GREATLY from an expressway through the city.

Given the level of development in the region and pent up travel demand, one could make a strong argument that traffic would actually be worse had they built I-95 through the city.  At best, it would've reduced the scope (but likely not eliminated the need) of the Wilson Bridge and Springfield Interchange projects.

Nevermind that, if you had that many more drivers coming into the DC core, where would they park?  Parking lots take up a lot of valuable real estate, and garages are expensive.  Would definitely be a losing proposition for DC proper.

Quote
You could even do another Big Dig and bury it under the city if you have to.

Doug Willinger has been spouting that for years, but the time to attempt it is long past.  I would argue that, at this point, trying to build 95 through DC (even underground) would do more harm than good, nevermind being UNGODLY expensive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on May 20, 2015, 09:43:01 PM
What happened to all the US Route shields in DC?  I was noticing that on GSV and from various road geek photos that all of the US route shields for both US 1 and US 50 are all gone.

DC is the home of FHWA, you would think they would have better signage than the 48 states that have them, but it is now terrible.   I thought it was bad over 12 years ago, the last time I rode US 1 through there, but now its the worst.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on May 20, 2015, 10:06:13 PM
Quote
What happened to all the US Route shields in DC?  I was noticing that on GSV and from various road geek photos that all of the US route shields for both US 1 and US 50 are all gone.

They (https://goo.gl/maps/s7ZYD) are (https://goo.gl/maps/qseZP)?

Quote
DC is the home of FHWA,

Which really means nothing in the grand scheme of street/road maintenance.

It's true that route signage takes a low priority in DC (something it shares with several Tennessee cities and at least one Virginia city, BTW).  But it's not like most through traffic is actually using said routes through DC.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 20, 2015, 10:11:29 PM
There are also a couple of "DC-US" shields for Route 50 on the outbound Roosevelt Bridge, which I find mildly amusing because at that point there is no further way to remain in the District without first entering Virginia unless you jump off the side of the bridge.

I know there are some others in various places.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 21, 2015, 10:16:36 AM
What happened to all the US Route shields in DC?  I was noticing that on GSV and from various road geek photos that all of the US route shields for both US 1 and US 50 are all gone.

It is certainly a challenge to follow either of those routes across the District of Columbia.  But IMO U.S. 29 is much worse.

The only U.S. route where all (or very nearly all) of the shields have disappeared is U.S. 1 Alternate. Well-signed in Maryland, not signed (or incorrectly signed in a few places).

DC is the home of FHWA, you would think they would have better signage than the 48 states that have them, but it is now terrible.   I thought it was bad over 12 years ago, the last time I rode US 1 through there, but now its the worst.

Not sure that there are very many roadgeek types at FHWA headquarters that would take notice of such things.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on May 22, 2015, 11:25:10 AM
Oh I forgot about US 1 Alternate.  Yes it disappears completely once across the border into DC.

US 29, has gotten worse, I imagine, now its alignment is changed.  It is around the same time is it not, that the shields disappeared? 

Being that someone was ordered to remove those little signs, whoever placed the request should have known that those were there for a reason and either kept them or updated them.  Even those erroneous interstate shields on NB NW 14th Street at Constitution Avenue for US 1 and US 50 are now gone, no doubt purposely removed.  Then the ones SB on NW 9th Street at Constitution Avenue for US 1, US 50, and I-395 is also removed also on order.  Why would someone even think of taking down these shields anyway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 22, 2015, 01:36:19 PM
Oh I forgot about US 1 Alternate.  Yes it disappears completely once across the border into DC.
IMO this is unfortunate, because it still shows in several GPS navigation programs.

US 29, has gotten worse, I imagine, now its alignment is changed.  It is around the same time is it not, that the shields disappeared?
There are some U.S. 29 shields along Georgia Avenue, N.W., but it is nearly impossible to follow it from 7th and Florida Avenue, N.W. to the Key Bridge to cross into Arlington County, Va. 

Being that someone was ordered to remove those little signs, whoever placed the request should have known that those were there for a reason and either kept them or updated them.  Even those erroneous interstate shields on NB NW 14th Street at Constitution Avenue for US 1 and US 50 are now gone, no doubt purposely removed.  Then the ones SB on NW 9th Street at Constitution Avenue for US 1, US 50, and I-395 is also removed also on order.  Why would someone even think of taking down these shields anyway.
I don't know why they have been removed, but it's not unique to D.C. Many municipalities do not bother with posting U.S. and state route numbers that happen to run on their municipal streets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 22, 2015, 04:58:19 PM
Any plans to sort out the confusing exit numbers on Interstate 395?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on May 23, 2015, 10:08:57 PM
They'll probably sort out as signs are replaced.  DC appears to be undergoing a quiet conversion to mile-based exit numbers.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 30, 2015, 10:15:45 PM
Washington Post: Memorial Bridge, symbol of U.S. strength, is corroded, partly shut down (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/memorial-bridge-symbol-of-us-strength-is-corroded-partly-shut-down/2015/05/28/bbe0e9b0-0582-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html)

Quote
The iconic 1930s-era Memorial Bridge that leads from the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial is so badly corroded that two lanes must be partially shut down for six to nine months starting with Friday’s morning rush hour, federal officials said Thursday.

Quote
In addition, a 10-ton load limit across the entire length of the bridge essentially eliminates most bus traffic on the granite-faced, arching landmark for even longer, pending a much-needed rehab of the whole bridge, officials said. The prohibition begins Friday, but with an “education period” without ticketing for a couple of weeks to give Metro and tour bus operators time to find detours, according to the National Park Service.

Quote
Although tens of thousands of U.S. bridges have been deemed “structurally deficient,” the functional mess and potent symbolism of a crumbling Memorial Bridge needing emergency repairs had the Washington region’s congressional representatives fuming.

Quote
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) warned of “unbearable congestion” for the more than 60,000 drivers who cross the Potomac between Virginia and the District daily. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) called it “not just embarrassing – it’s outrageous.”

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 30, 2015, 11:36:35 PM
Washington Post: Stones laid by Benjamin Banneker in the 1790s are still standing. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/stones-laid-by-benjamin-banneker-in-the-1790s-are-still-standing/2015/05/30/11c39d04-0007-11e5-833c-a2de05b6b2a4_story.html)

Quote
In the summer of 1790, the U.S. Congress authorized President George Washington to select a 100-square-mile site along the Potomac River as the new nation’s capital. A year later, Continental Army Maj. Andrew Ellicott, joined by Benjamin Banneker, a freed slave and self-taught mathematician, was commissioned to carve out the boundaries of what would soon become Washington, D.C.

Quote
As a way of clearly demarcating the new city from Maryland and Virginia, the two men began planting 40 limestone markers along the new borders in 1791. These boundary stones, as they came to be known, were planted every mile, creating the diamond-shaped swath of land that marked the original District’s borders.

Quote
“These stones are our nation’s oldest national landmarks,” said Sharon K. Thorne-Sulima, regent for the Martha Washington Chapter of the D.C. Daughters of the American Revolution.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 03, 2015, 09:10:30 PM
More bad DC parking signs: http://wtop.com/ticketbuster/2015/06/new-parking-signs-in-northwest-create-confusion/

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/1fd3c3c959041ed6733ffa75653e6f8f_zpsjvil2dng.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on June 04, 2015, 12:15:45 AM
GreaterGreaterWashington:  DC made it more appealing to drive through East of the River neighborhoods to get between Maryland and Virginia. You'll never guess what happened next.  (http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/26964/dc-made-it-more-appealing-to-drive-through-east-of-the-river-neighborhoods-to-get-between-maryland-/)

Quote
When DC rebuilt the 11th Street Bridge with more lanes and more highway ramps, officials insisted it would make traffic better, while many worried it would only worsen the situation by encouraging drivers to cut through DC between Maryland and Virginia. Now, residents east of the Anacostia say that the change has been a disaster for their communities.

The 11th Street Bridge connects the Southeast Freeway, which divides Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard area and is now signed I-695, with the Anacostia neighborhood and 295. North of there, the highway along the east bank of the Anacostia is called DC-295; west, it's I-295.

Before a massive project to rebuild the bridge over the past few years, there was no direct car connection from DC-295 to the bridge. Some drivers got off 295 at Pennsylvania Avenue and crossed the river there before getting back on the highway.

It made a certain sense to add a connection. Surely it's logical to have ramps connecting all of the highways, right? Some drivers in neighborhoods around DC-295 found their commutes quite awkward, and the drivers getting off the highway and back on clogged up some neighborhood roads.

However, some people warned that the cure could be worse than the disease. By building a connection, it would be simpler for people already driving this route, but could also attract more drivers to make the trip, adding to traffic and pollution for people living near the highways.

See link above for the rest of the article.

What I actually enjoyed about this article was the following comment from CParker:

Quote
I commute through this debacle every day from College Park to Anacostia and have done so for the past 10 years. Traffic has always been bad, but when they put in the 695 connector, it has got several orders of magnitude worse.
In the morning, the problem lies on the section from the 295 south exit for East Capitol Street to the Pennsylvania Ave. Interchange. In DC's infinite wisdom, they took a 3 lane road (Kenilworth from the border of DC) and constricted it to 2 lanes for no obvious reason for several miles. This then gets further constricted to basically 1 thru lane at the horrific Pennsylvania Ave. Westbound ramp where all the traffic that has come into DC on PA Ave tries to merge in about 50 feet onto 295 south. Add a 3rd lane for that section and shut off the Pennsylvania ave exit (which is no longer needed now that the boulevard has been completed) and I think you'll see a dramatic improvement in traffic. I don't even think it will require any major construction, just restripe the roads and use the extremely wide bridges that cross the CSX tracks and add a little bit of shoulder space where possible.

Northbound the problem has to do with the huge volume of traffic coming off of 695 in the evening to go north on 295 or get off at PA Ave. Cars coming north on I-295 routinely ride the shoulder and exit ramps up over the PA Ave interchange and dangerously merge with traffic coming onto 295 from PA Ave Eastbound. Once you get past PA Ave, again, you are on a 2 lane road that should be 3 lanes and would be easy to restripe to fix that.

The more major fix here I would propose is more complicated. I would close the 295 Northbound exit to PA Ave westbound and use that exit lane as the 3rd lane over the interchange. This would inconvenience a few drivers, but if they wanted to cross the river from 295 at the 11th street bridge (which in the evening is not overloaded), they could get off at 8th Street to get to PA Ave.

I am losing 20-40 minutes a day in traffic that I didn't have before the construction of the 695 interchange. I want my time back. I'd be happy to go to DDOT and show them the proposal myself.

Indeed.  Don't blame the bridge for the traffic problems here.  They should have included a widening of 295 to at least 3 lanes as part of the bridge project.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on June 11, 2015, 12:41:50 PM
But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695. That area could get very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 11, 2015, 01:43:35 PM
Quote from: Henry
That area still gets very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

FTFY.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on June 11, 2015, 03:23:15 PM
But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695. That area could get very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

Now it is more horrendous!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on June 12, 2015, 01:17:44 PM
But at least, they finally fixed the problem that was lack of a direct connection from DC 295 to I-695 (and vice versa)

Now it is more horrendous!
Yikes! Guess I was wrong.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 12, 2015, 01:33:58 PM
Quote from: Henry
That area still gets very horrendous, especially during the rush hour.

FTFY.


But - it has very clearly removed a lot of heavy-duty truck trips from H Street, N.E. and Benning Road, N.E., and put them on roads designed for that sort of traffic.  That is one of the reasons I was in favor of the project, and am glad that it got built.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 15, 2015, 02:54:37 PM
WTOP Radio: D.C. traffic system vulnerable to hackers (http://wtop.com/dc/2015/06/dc-traffic-system-vulnerable-to-hackers/)

Quote
Traffic lights in the District and other major cities have been hacked by security researchers, in an attempt to point out vulnerabilities in infrastructures that support daily commutes.

Quote
Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentine security researcher at IOActive Labs, realized he could turn red lights green and green lights red, during a trip to Washington last year.

Quote
Cerrudo told The New York Times (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/traffic-hacking-caution-light-is-on/) he could have paralyzed emergency responders, or shut down all roads to the Capitol.

Quote
Instead, Cerrudo contacted the company that designs city traffic sensors, but does not encrypt the data running through them.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 21, 2015, 01:37:59 PM
Washington Post: Memorial Bridge: An icon for inaction (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/memorial-bridge-an-icon-for-inaction/2015/06/19/ff3b6fbe-1455-11e5-9518-f9e0a8959f32_story.html)

Quote
Arlington Memorial Bridge is the most iconic bridge in our nation’s capital. Each day thousands of commuters and tourists cross the Potomac River to travel between Northern Virginia and the District. I always am moved by how the bridge symbolizes U.S. history.

Quote
Underneath, however, the bridge is symbolic of a nationwide problem: the steady decay of U.S. infrastructure, something I am acutely familiar with as president of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

Quote
Last month, federal officials declared the corrosion of the Arlington Memorial Bridge so advanced that two lanes will be closed for up to nine months for emergency repairs. A thorough inspection by the Federal Highway Administration revealed secondary steel support beams were so corroded that they no longer met load-bearing standards. The concrete bridge deck suffered “serious deterioration,” the National Park Service said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 28, 2015, 02:35:19 AM
WTOP Radio: More funds available to fix D.C.’s rough roads (http://wtop.com/dc/2015/06/cheh-more-funds-available-to-fix-d-c-s-rough-roads/)

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Potholes, cracked pavement and crumbling roadways. It’s the nation’s capital, but D.C. has some of the worst paved roads in the United States.

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“Ninety-two percent of the city’s major roads have poor pavement conditions,” says Rocky Moretti, director of policy for TRIP, a transportation research group.

Quote
Conversely, just 28 percent of Maryland’s major urban roads and 19 percent of Virginia’s major urban roads are described as being in poor condition, according to Federal Highway Administration data.

Quote
D.C.’s roads are among the most heavily traveled in the United States. The data show a high number of city roads have been in poor condition the last six or seven years.

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“Everybody in the District knows that the roads need repair,” says D.C. councilwoman Mary Cheh, who chairs the council’s transportation committee.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 29, 2015, 08:31:12 AM
Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 30, 2015, 01:47:51 AM
Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (http://www.iftach.org/) (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on July 05, 2015, 08:37:50 AM
Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (http://www.iftach.org/) (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.

DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 05, 2015, 09:18:09 AM
DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.

Well, the people who live there, who'd have to go several miles out of their way to buy gas in MD, and that plus river crossing hassles to buy gas in VA.

True, people living outside DC rarely have to buy gas there. I commuted into DC for more than three decades, and bought gas there only once or twice when I let my gas tank go too close to empty. There are several gas stations along DC 295, for people who get low-fuel warnings as they cut through the District.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 07, 2015, 05:33:45 AM
Based on my own experience, I think TRIP went high on their estimate.  But on the flip side, this is a major city that has seen a major renaissance which means lots of construction and lots of construction trucks on city streets.  So poor street condition is not a complete surprise.  Just further demonstrates that trucks really DON'T pay their fair share of roadway costs...

In the District of Columbia that is correct because even under the (better) governance of the city since the late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr. left office in 1999, they still have not joined IFTA (http://www.iftach.org/) (International Fuel Tax Agreement), which means (thanks to there being very few truck fleets based in the city), that most trucks and commercial buses do not pay any road use/fuel tax to D.C. at all, as they do in the 48 coterminous states and all Canadian state-equivilant jurisdictions.

DC is geographically very small.  I don't believe that anyone would buy gas there, if they could help it.   It's just as easy to buy gas in MD or VA.

And that is precisely why D.C. should be a member of IFTA.  It collects little or no motor fuel tax revenue from trucks operating in the, including "qualified motor vehucles" that much display IFTA stickere
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 09, 2015, 11:28:20 AM
WTOP Radio: Trapped trucks a recurring issue on the area parkways (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/07/trapped-trucks-a-recurring-issue-on-the-area-parkways/slide/1/)

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For the second time in a week, an over-height truck became lodged under a low-clearance bridge on the Rock Creek Parkway in D.C., requiring a lengthy extrication and causing long traffic delays.

Quote
The moving truck was traveling southbound on the Rock Creek Parkway around 11 a.m. Wednesday when it collided with the K Street/Whitehurst Freeway overpass. The arched overpass, at its lowest point, is 12 feet high.

Quote
Crews with the U.S. Park Police and District Department of Transportation deflated the tires on both vehicles, lowering their height to allow the trucks to be dislodged from the underpass. There was no significant bridge damage evident following the collisions.

Quote
The truck driver in Wednesday’s incident was issued a $25 citation for operating a commercial vehicle on a scenic bypass. The wreck was cleared by early afternoon.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on July 09, 2015, 11:33:52 AM
WTOP Radio: Trapped trucks a recurring issue on the area parkways (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/07/trapped-trucks-a-recurring-issue-on-the-area-parkways/slide/1/)

Quote
For the second time in a week, an over-height truck became lodged under a low-clearance bridge on the Rock Creek Parkway in D.C., requiring a lengthy extrication and causing long traffic delays.

Quote
The moving truck was traveling southbound on the Rock Creek Parkway around 11 a.m. Wednesday when it collided with the K Street/Whitehurst Freeway overpass. The arched overpass, at its lowest point, is 12 feet high.

Quote
Crews with the U.S. Park Police and District Department of Transportation deflated the tires on both vehicles, lowering their height to allow the trucks to be dislodged from the underpass. There was no significant bridge damage evident following the collisions.

Quote
The truck driver in Wednesday’s incident was issued a $25 citation for operating a commercial vehicle on a scenic bypass. The wreck was cleared by early afternoon.
And that, my friends, is why you must not drive a big truck on parkways and other scenic roads.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on July 09, 2015, 11:40:32 AM
$25 seems very low for a citation.  I know the damage done is costly enough, but a more overt fine might make a few people stop and think before somehow thinking they can fit under the bridges.

Then again, bridge hits on NYC/LI parkways are still quite common despite NYSDOT and other agencies' efforts. :/
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: jeffandnicole on July 09, 2015, 12:23:19 PM
$25 seems very low for a citation.  I know the damage done is costly enough, but a more overt fine might make a few people stop and think before somehow thinking they can fit under the bridges.

Then again, bridge hits on NYC/LI parkways are still quite common despite NYSDOT and other agencies' efforts. :/

It's not like most people are going to know the fine in the first place.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 09, 2015, 01:26:58 PM
Depending on the size of the vehicle, some companies will view that sort of fine as a cost of doing business, like how FedEx and UPS budget large amounts for parking tickets. Obviously this line of thought doesn't work with trucks too big to fit under low clearances, but there are plenty of commercial vehicles that would fit whose drivers might feel the $25 is worth it to save time, seeing as how Rock Creek Parkway is sometimes considerably faster than the alternatives.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on July 10, 2015, 03:58:48 PM
I would think that there is a better way to solve the problem of trucks that are too high for parkways. 

The main reason that you are seeing more of these is that people are letting GPS dictate how they are supposed to go.   I'm sure these people did not properly apply a truck restriction so that they don't use the parkways.

On the transition from the Verrazano Bridge to the Belt Parkway, there are some chains that apparently a tall truck would hit if they were above the height limit.   Then, you see this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 10, 2015, 05:08:36 PM
Part of the problem as to Rock Creek Parkway is that in a couple of places (notably Virginia Avenue) it's accessed via a normal city intersection. I don't doubt another issue is the National Park Service probably being reluctant to post more signs than the bare minimum needed in keeping with the "park" aspect of "parkway," even though for practical purposes it's become a major commuter route.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2015, 09:17:27 AM
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.

The driver of a commercial vehicle who is depending on a GPS unit is unlikely to notice signage like that.  New York City and New York State are pretty good at having PASSENGER CARS ONLY signs at entrances to their parkways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on July 13, 2015, 04:25:50 PM
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.61079,-74.032522,3a,75y,242.89h,75.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdVtsEmbHd-lc1V8sUlKrEw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

So there is an escape route for those who "accidentally" ended up on a parkway before they come to hitting a bridge.

Perhaps something similar should be designed at entrances to the DC area parkways from other expressways.

The driver of a commercial vehicle who is depending on a GPS unit is unlikely to notice signage like that.  New York City and New York State are pretty good at having PASSENGER CARS ONLY signs at entrances to their parkways.

I think there is more than just the sign.  I think that there is a maximum clearance banner a little bit up the road with chains dangling at the maximum height.  If your truck is too tall, you will hit the chains.  It won't cause much damage, but it might get your attention before you approach a bridge, and then you can cause great damage.

Despite all the signage, there are occasional incidents of trucks getting stuck in NYC as well.  There is only so much that the signs can do.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on July 13, 2015, 10:37:07 PM
Despite all the signage, there are occasional incidents of trucks getting stuck in NYC as well.  There is only so much that the signs can do.

Bridge hits in NYC and LI (such as on the parkways) are quite and frustratingly common.  I personally think some truckers (usually locals) just can't resist the risk to save a little time.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2015, 07:51:21 PM
Despite all the signage, there are occasional incidents of trucks getting stuck in NYC as well.  There is only so much that the signs can do.

Bridge hits in NYC and LI (such as on the parkways) are quite and frustratingly common.  I personally think some truckers (usually locals) just can't resist the risk to save a little time.

If the cost was a little higher (as in a reckless driving ticket and a CDL suspension), I think the problem would be corrected quickly.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2015, 07:52:12 PM
Washington Post: Is Pennsylvania worthy of such a prominent D.C. avenue? A ranking of 50 state-named roads. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/16/is-pennsylvania-worthy-of-such-a-prominent-d-c-avenue-a-ranking-of-50-state-named-roads/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2015, 07:54:39 PM
WTOP Radio: No trucks allowed: Enforcement stepped up on area parkways (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2015/07/no-trucks-allowed-enforcement-stepped-up-on-area-parkways/)

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No trucks allowed. That’s the message United State Park Police want to get across to truck drivers who use the National Park Service’s parkways in the D.C. area.

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“Our roads were made to be scenic tourist roadways,” says Lt. Roxanne Brown-Ankney — commander for the traffic safety unit for the U.S. Park Police — of the George Washington, Clara Barton, Rock Creek, Suitland and Baltimore-Washington parkways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 16, 2015, 09:19:24 PM
Washington Post: Is Pennsylvania worthy of such a prominent D.C. avenue? A ranking of 50 state-named roads. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/16/is-pennsylvania-worthy-of-such-a-prominent-d-c-avenue-a-ranking-of-50-state-named-roads/)

He could have added the generally-unknown Puerto Rico Avenue. I know it's not a state, of course, and that's precisely why I find its existence odd—there's no Guam Avenue or American Samoa Avenue or whatever.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on July 16, 2015, 09:41:48 PM
The author's musings are interesting, but we're not about to redo the D.C. street network just to give currently big states like California and Texas their due. He acknowledges the importance of whether the state existed when the L'Enfant street plan was prepared, but that really seems to be the overwhelmingly dominant factor -- the first states got first dibs, all the latecomers got leftovers.

He does have a point about the Mid-Atlantic and most of the southern states in the original 13 getting short shrift compared to their northern counterparts -- but then, aside from Virginia, at the founding how prominent were those states among the original 13?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2015, 10:50:14 PM
Washington Post: Is Pennsylvania worthy of such a prominent D.C. avenue? A ranking of 50 state-named roads. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/16/is-pennsylvania-worthy-of-such-a-prominent-d-c-avenue-a-ranking-of-50-state-named-roads/)

He could have added the generally-unknown Puerto Rico Avenue. I know it's not a state, of course, and that's precisely why I find its existence odd—there's no Guam Avenue or American Samoa Avenue or whatever.

But D.C. does have an Ontario Road (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ontario+Rd+NW,+Washington,+DC+20009/@38.922184,-77.0401769,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b7b7dbd646b3d9:0xc29eba10beab4d90) and a Quebec Street (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Quebec+St+NW,+Washington,+DC+20016/@38.93815,-77.070094,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b7c9da56e5e3f7:0xa87584cad3e6c193)!

Typical for D.C. Quebec Street is chopped up into several disconnected segments.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 16, 2015, 10:52:44 PM
Washington Post: Is Pennsylvania worthy of such a prominent D.C. avenue? A ranking of 50 state-named roads. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/16/is-pennsylvania-worthy-of-such-a-prominent-d-c-avenue-a-ranking-of-50-state-named-roads/)

He could have added the generally-unknown Puerto Rico Avenue. I know it's not a state, of course, and that's precisely why I find its existence odd—there's no Guam Avenue or American Samoa Avenue or whatever.

Alaska Avenue, N.W. predates its admission as a state by many years.  The 7th Street/Georgia Avenue (70) streetcars used to terminate at Georgia & Alaska (not Georgia & Eastern).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 16, 2015, 11:01:11 PM
Washington Post: Is Pennsylvania worthy of such a prominent D.C. avenue? A ranking of 50 state-named roads. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/07/16/is-pennsylvania-worthy-of-such-a-prominent-d-c-avenue-a-ranking-of-50-state-named-roads/)

He could have added the generally-unknown Puerto Rico Avenue. I know it's not a state, of course, and that's precisely why I find its existence odd—there's no Guam Avenue or American Samoa Avenue or whatever.

Alaska Avenue, N.W. predates its admission as a state by many years.  The 7th Street/Georgia Avenue (70) streetcars used to terminate at Georgia & Alaska (not Georgia & Eastern).

Didn't know that, as its admission as a state was before I was born. Thanks for the info. I can picture the Morris Miller liquor store at that intersection because my father used to go there to stock up two or three times a year when I was a kid, but I have not been to that store in many years and not since I've been of legal drinking age.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on July 16, 2015, 11:43:54 PM
Apparently not taken into account is that the current Georgia Ave, which extends far into Maryland, is not the original use of that name in DC.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 17, 2015, 06:49:42 AM
Quote
Apparently not taken into account is that the current Georgia Ave, which extends far into Maryland, is not the original use of that name in DC.

No, but it does get mentioned in other related stories (I believe it was referenced on GGW)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on July 17, 2015, 01:14:05 PM
Interesting read there, especially when the avenue where the White House is located has no instances in which it ranks first (but it does rank second on at least two lists).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 17, 2015, 02:01:42 PM
Quote
Apparently not taken into account is that the current Georgia Ave, which extends far into Maryland, is not the original use of that name in DC.

No, but it does get mentioned in other related stories (I believe it was referenced on GGW)

I know that what is now Md. 97 extended at least as far north as Brookeville in Montgomery County by the time of the James Madison Administration.  When British troops burned Washington in 1814, President Madison fled to Virginia and then north into Maryland, and the Town of Brookeville became the "U.S. Capital for a Day." (http://townofbrookevillemd.org/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on July 18, 2015, 08:42:03 AM
My point was that until 1908, the road with the name of Ga. Ave. was a different road entirely-one now named Potomac Ave.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 25, 2015, 10:11:09 PM
Washington Post: Washington-area motorists are losing their ‘gunslinger’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/washington-area-motorists-are-losing-their-gunslinger/2015/07/25/2ab7f14e-31b1-11e5-97ae-30a30cca95d7_story.html)

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For 21 years, Lon Anderson has considered himself a “gunslinger” against traffic jams, a “gladiator” against drunken driving and the “staunch defender” of nearly 4 million beleaguered motorists.

Quote
As director of public and governmental relations for AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anderson has been the Washington region’s most visible and influential motorist advocate, verbally flogging area governments to crack down on unsafe drivers, fix dangerous roads and ease some of the worst gridlock in the nation. His weapon: catchy, go-for-the-throat sound bites that the media — and lawmakers — simply can’t ignore.

Quote
He’s accused “money-grubbing” District officials of turning one particularly profitable speed camera into “an old-fashioned, money-making, motorist rip-off speed trap right out of the ‘Dukes of Hazzard.’ ” Public officials in “Rip Van Maryland,” he says, have snoozed while Virginia has added express toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and built the Silver Line Metrorail extension.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: skluth on July 28, 2015, 12:29:15 AM
Typical for D.C. Quebec Street is chopped up into several disconnected segments.

An appropriate street name for a province that has wanted to do the same to Canada.   :D
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Henry on July 31, 2015, 12:23:15 PM
I've always wondered why there has never been a West Capitol Street to complement the existing East, North and South Capitol Streets. Maybe it was never planned in the first place, due to the National Mall being there?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2015, 12:27:53 PM
I've always wondered why there has never been a West Capitol Street to complement the existing East, North and South Capitol Streets. Maybe it was never planned in the first place, due to the National Mall being there?

The National Mall is where a West Capitol Street would have run.

As far as I know, there was never one planned.  Before the National Mall was the Mall, parts of it were swamps, and I believe there was a railroad yard near the U.S. Capitol.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 31, 2015, 01:07:59 PM
The Mall itself used to have two more streets along its length east of 14th Street than it does today. You know where Madison and Jefferson Drives are, the two streets on the Mall side of the museums (not to be confused with Madison Place, which is where the Federal Circuit's courthouse is near the White House). There used to be Washington and Adams Drives along the central part of the Mall inside the two streets that remain today. Both are now crushed-gravel paths. I don't know when they were converted except I believe the work was done by the time Pope St. John Paul II celebrated Mass on the Mall in 1979.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 31, 2015, 04:55:39 PM
The Mall itself used to have two more streets along its length east of 14th Street than it does today. You know where Madison and Jefferson Drives are, the two streets on the Mall side of the museums (not to be confused with Madison Place, which is where the Federal Circuit's courthouse is near the White House). There used to be Washington and Adams Drives along the central part of the Mall inside the two streets that remain today. Both are now crushed-gravel paths. I don't know when they were converted except I believe the work was done by the time Pope St. John Paul II celebrated Mass on the Mall in 1979.

It was also done because the NPS (correctly) felt that workers in the surrounding office buildings were using those streets for all-day free parking.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 15, 2015, 07:42:04 AM
WTOP has another installment of the "Ghost Roads" series they began last year (a link to the first installment may be found on the final slide):

http://wtop.com/media-galleries/2015/10/ghost-roads-forgotten-roads-d-c-photos/slide/1/
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on October 15, 2015, 08:13:36 AM
There used to be Washington and Adams Drives along the central part of the Mall inside the two streets that remain today. Both are now crushed-gravel paths. I don't know when they were converted except I believe the work was done by the time Pope St. John Paul II celebrated Mass on the Mall in 1979.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?8562-History-of-the-gravel-paths-on-the-National-Mall

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: roadman65 on October 15, 2015, 08:19:45 AM
I also believe that the parking garage beneath the National Air & Space Museum was built to make up for the missing parking spaces that both Washington and Adams Drives' had before they were converted.

If memory serves me correctly, the museum was built circa the time the mall was renovated.  That would make sense.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 15, 2015, 09:14:10 AM
I believe the museum opened in 1976. The parking garage used to be open to the public but was closed in 1986 due to security fears after the Gulf of Sidra incident and related military activity involving Libya. I do not know what the garage has been used for since then.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 15, 2015, 09:55:34 AM
My mother is (was?) a member of the Smithsonian Institute, and she has mentioned to me that there was a time that as a Smithsonian member, she was able to drive and park for free in the garages at least under and around some of museums on the Mall (if not all of them). That would have been the 1980s and early 1990s. My guess is that the privilege went away post WTC (93), Oklahoma City, and the African embassy truck bombings. My understanding is that those events were all big for changes security and design around federal buildings in the DC area, and that 9/11 only accelerated it.

Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 02, 2015, 12:31:43 PM
Washington Post: Severance guilty in three high-profile killings in Alexandria (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/severance-guilty-in-three-high-profile-killings-in-alexandria/2015/11/02/325cafb6-79b4-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html)

3 life sentences for convicted Alexandria killer (http://wtop.com/alexandria/2016/01/convicted-alexandria-killer-sentenced-for-3-murders/)

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FAIRFAX, Va. — Convicted murderer Charles Severance was sentenced to serve three life terms in prison for charges that he shot and killed three prominent Alexandria citizens.

Quote
In November, a Fairfax County jury found Severance guilty of 10 counts including murder charges for the deaths of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato.

Quote
Judge Randy Bellows stuck with the jury’s recommended three life sentences in prison plus 48 years and a $400,000 fine. The three life sentences are to be served consecutively meaning that if some of the murder convictions were reversed on appeal or the prison sentences reduced, he could still serve the remainder of his life behind bars. Virginia does not offer the chance for parole to convicted felons.

Quote
Bellows said he found no mitigating factors that would offset what he called Severance’s “cruel” acts. The judge spoke of the blood-soaked and bullet riddled bodies left for the victim’s family members to find, of grandchildren who won’t know their grandparents and of lives cut short before rendering his decision.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 08, 2015, 02:38:40 PM
Washington Post: You've heard about surge pricing. Get ready for surge-priced parking. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/youve-heard-about-surge-pricing-get-ready-for-surge-priced-parking/2015/11/07/4ff53f80-83ef-11e5-8ba6-cec48b74b2a7_story.html)

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Speed cameras and expensive tickets, motorcade-induced gridlock, parking signs harder to decipher than CIA code — that is, if you can find an open spot.

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Face it, driving in the District can be a nightmare. Now, the city is testing a program under which the price of parking at meters in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods would change based on demand.

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This “surge pricing” means you could be paying $8 an hour to park in Chinatown-Penn Quarter at peak times.

Quote
You read that right. $8. An hour.

Quote
City officials say the idea is to reduce downtown traffic congestion, 25 percent of which, studies show, is caused by vehicles circling the block looking for a parking space. It is simple supply and demand, they say.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 13, 2015, 07:30:07 PM
Washington Post: WAMU drops longtime traffic reporter Jerry Edwards, announces end to morning rush hour reports (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/11/13/wamu-drops-longtime-traffic-reporter-jerry-edwards-announces-end-to-morning-rush-hour-reports/)

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Those who have depended on longtime traffic reporter Jerry Edwards to help them navigate around the Beltway or tell them when to avoid Interstate 66, you’ll have to find another source for your traffic news in the morning.

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WAMU announced Friday that it is dropping Edwards’s morning rush hour traffic reports to focus on news tied to transportation issues and major transportation events. The move comes almost a year after it dropped its evening traffic updates.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 14, 2015, 04:36:15 PM
Washington Post: No streetcar yet, but the parking crackdown is ‘round the clock’ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/no-streetcar-yet-but-the-parking-crackdown-is-round-the-clock/2015/11/14/b5327616-8498-11e5-a7ca-6ab6ec20f839_story.html)

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Parking in the booming and trendy H Street corridor has become an even more grueling ordeal since the city began testing the problem-plagued streetcar more than a year ago.

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The streetcar still isn’t carrying passengers. Yet, while the empty red trolley treks up and down the 2.2-mile stretch from Union Station to the Anacostia River in Northeast, city workers are monitoring the streets and ticketing vehicles and motorists who breach the white line that separates parking and streetcar lanes.

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“They are writing tickets like crazy,” said Rebecca Antone, the manager at PoBoy Jim Bar and Grill, between Seventh and Eighth streets NE. “And on top of that, the streetcar has been testing for a year, but does nothing for our business.”

Quote
The D.C. Department of Public Works stepped up parking enforcement when the streetcar testing phase began in July 2014, and city officials said then that the line would be carrying passengers by the end of 2014.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 14, 2015, 05:44:24 PM
I doubt the streetcar will ever amount to much. The only streetcars I've ever ridden on have been in Boston (Green Line) and Europe. In all of those instances, the streetcar had its own right-of-way for most of the time.

DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 14, 2015, 06:06:22 PM
I doubt the streetcar will ever amount to much. The only streetcars I've ever ridden on have been in Boston (Green Line) and Europe. In all of those instances, the streetcar had its own right-of-way for most of the time.

DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.

D.C. once had a very good streetcar network. 

Some of the lines (ironically including the one on H Street, N.E.) were converted to bus service because the streetcars could not keep up with demand (the H Street/Benning Road line went in 1947, the first postwar abandonment of streetcar service in D.C.). 

Before World War II,  streetcars on Connecticut Avenue, N.W. (and into Chevy Chase, Maryland and beyond to Kensington) were converted to bus, as was a line that ran north from Wisconsin Avenue and Western Avenue - it roughly followed Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike to downtown Rockville; and the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) interurban line was shut-down due to bankruptcy in 1935 (the big WB&A cars ran  into D.C. from Seat Pleasant to downtown over the streetcar system's rails, including Benning Road and H Street, N.E.).

In 1956, after a nasty transit strike, Congress revoked the transit franchise from Louis Wolfson's Capital Transit Company (CTCo) and awarded it to O. Roy Chalk's D.C. Transit System, Inc.  Chalk's company was required, as a condition of taking the transit franchise, to abandon the entire streetcar system by the early 1960's and run a bus-only system.  Chalk wanted to keep the streetcars running (the tracks and cars were in good condition), but did as he was told (remember there was no elected local government in D.C. of any kind back then), and the last of the streetcars rolled on D.C. streets in 1962.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 14, 2015, 06:20:25 PM
The history is interesting but isn't germane. No way there will be a city-wide streetcar network.

DC's interests would be served by separated Blue Line down M Street and bus lanes in 16th Street. They just got the new articulated buses this week for the 16th Street line. Give the buses their own lane to run down. For Christ's sake it's the busiest bus corridor in the region.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on November 19, 2015, 03:57:38 PM
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind. And no streetcars. The time for streetcars is long past. They say roads are an outdated technology. Well, in most places, I believe rail is an even more outdated technology. Stick with improving the bus system.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on November 19, 2015, 08:07:13 PM
DC would have been better suited to institute rush-hour HOV/bus lanes on major corridor (16th street Silver Spring, Penn Ave, etc) and kept to that. Could have folded over nicely into a region-wide BRT network.

As long as "numbnuts" (borrowing a verbal schtick of my mother's) don't habitually, illegally, drive their cars onto dedicated BRT roadways (especially if they're separated from the main lanes by medians), it might work.  I wonder what the typical penalties are for violating BRT's?  More brutal than for a trucker attempting to drive on the metro NYC parkways (or, since this is the DC thread, the BWP, GWMP, Rock Creek, Suitland, I-66 inside the Beltway, etc., etc.)?

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 19, 2015, 08:13:47 PM
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind. And no streetcars. The time for streetcars is long past. They say roads are an outdated technology. Well, in most places, I believe rail is an even more outdated technology. Stick with improving the bus system.

The issue is right-of-way. You can build as new or big a bus you like, but you need dedicated lanes to make it move quickly.

Nobody wants to give up vehicle lanes to make a bus lane (even if passenger throughput improves), so the only other option is to build a separate right-of-way, which means tunneling.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bus-lanes-make-sense-until-somebody-proposes-one-for-a-specific-area/2015/11/17/5e0ddd50-8879-11e5-be8b-1ae2e4f50f76_story.html

Quote
Why not create dedicated bus-only lanes on the arterials into the District?

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This is what we want — in theory — but we’ve done a poor job executing the idea throughout the Washington region. Why? Because there is nothing more attractive to commuters than driving, preferably by themselves.

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Better bus service should be one of the easiest ways to improve transportation in urban areas. The vehicles are cheap compared with rail cars, tracks and new highways. The bus-only lanes are part of the existing infrastructure, which also cuts costs and limits disruption.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on November 19, 2015, 08:15:31 PM
(T)he last of the streetcars rolled on D.C. streets in 1962.

Dramatically illustrating this discontinuance:

Footage of JFK's inaugural parade (that I have seen anyway) shows streetcar tracks conspicuous in PA Avenue (I believe it was a year later [January 1962] that the last car ran).  Hard to march on, perhaps.  :) OTOH footage of his funeral cortege shows said avenue's tracks already paved over less than two years after that last run.

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on November 19, 2015, 09:08:02 PM
Quote
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on November 20, 2015, 05:40:41 PM
Quote
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...

Or maybe we have politicians that set per-gallon motor fuel tax rates and are terrified to raise them, no matter how much they deteriorate?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 21, 2015, 10:15:45 AM
Quote
I think the subway system was built too extensively. Given that it's now falling into immense disrepair, and nowhere near enough money to maintain it, supports that belief in my mind.

By this rationale, there are several urban freeways that were built too extensively, as they're falling into disrepair without enough money to maintain them...

Or maybe we have politicians that set per-gallon motor fuel tax rates and are terrified to raise them, no matter how much they deteriorate?

People don't like taxes. Politicians are just doing what the people want.

I think you have this make-believe fantasy world where politicians have the wisdom and foresight to see the issues facing infrastructure and raise taxes, but they're just "afraid" to raise them.

I got news for you. Taxes aren't going up anytime soon. You can hold your breath till the cows come home, but the federal trough for highways is going to be (relatively) dry for quite some time.

But keep crossing your fingers and waiting for politicians to stop "being afraid".
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on November 21, 2015, 12:25:43 PM
People don't like taxes. Politicians are just doing what the people want.

I think you have this make-believe fantasy world where politicians have the wisdom and foresight to see the issues facing infrastructure and raise taxes, but they're just "afraid" to raise them.

I got news for you. Taxes aren't going up anytime soon. You can hold your breath till the cows come home, but the federal trough for highways is going to be (relatively) dry for quite some time.

But keep crossing your fingers and waiting for politicians to stop "being afraid".

Virginia just recently (under the previous Republican governor) did a tax increase, to support more transportation spending (not by a lot, but better than nothing), despite a legislature dominated by anti-taxers. It took a lot of hand-waving and wailing and gnashing of teeth to get it done, but it got done. Virginia is not alone, among the states, in biting the bullet to raise funds (by gas taxes, tolls, etc.) to fund transportation improvements.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 22, 2015, 08:38:56 AM
Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on November 22, 2015, 08:24:02 PM
Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on November 22, 2015, 11:38:33 PM
Six-month moving average, I presume.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on November 23, 2015, 07:29:36 AM
Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay

I don't know. The way I described it is the way all the news coverage described it. I'd look up the statute except I just don't have time at this particular time of morning.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on November 23, 2015, 08:09:52 PM
Virginia's was a little different from a "pure" tax increase because they didn't simply raise the fixed number of cents per gallon (which had been 17.5¢). Instead they repealed that and replaced it with a percentage-based tax on the six-month average wholesale price of gas. That percentage was originally set at 3.5% pending Congress's decision on whether to require online merchants with no brick-and-mortar locations in a state to collect that state's sales tax; when Congress failed to do so, the new Virginia tax went up to 5.1%. (They also raised the sales tax at the same time.)

The potential risk in Virginia's system is, of course, that if the wholesale price of gas dropped considerably for a long enough period, the percentage-based calculation means lower tax revenue. I saw 87 octane for $1.68 a gallon yesterday at the Sheetz station in Wilderness at the corner of Routes 3 and 20 (93 octane, which my car takes, was $2.28; I wound up paying $2.49 at a Shell near Pantops because the Sheetz was too crowded for anything more than a toilet stop).

A six-month period from when?  How does the calculation work?

ixnay

I don't know. The way I described it is the way all the news coverage described it. I'd look up the statute except I just don't have time at this particular time of morning.

Hope this helps...

http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title58.1/chapter22/section58.1-2217/

From subsection B. ...

B. There is hereby levied a tax at the rate of seventeen and one-half cents per gallon on diesel fuel. Beginning January 1, 2015, the tax rate shall be six percent of the statewide average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel for the applicable base period, excluding federal and state excise taxes, as determined by the Commissioner.

In computing the average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel, the Commissioner shall use the period from December 1 through May 31 as the base period for such determination for the immediately following period beginning July 1 and ending December 31, inclusive. The period from June 1 through November 30 shall be the next base period for the immediately following period beginning January 1 and ending June 30, inclusive. In no case shall the average wholesale price computed for purposes of this section be less than the statewide average wholesale price of a gallon of diesel fuel on February 20, 2013.


ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 16, 2015, 12:58:41 PM
Washington Post: D.C. plans to add 100 more traffic cameras (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2015/12/16/d-c-plans-to-add-100-more-traffic-cameras/)

Quote
Over the next two years, drivers in the District will have to be watchful of 100 more traffic cameras, 24/7 school zones where speeds are limited to 15 mph, and fines of up to $1,000 for speeding violations.

Quote
Those are among several measures Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is unveiling Wednesday as part of her commitment to eliminating traffic fatalities by 2024. Her “Vision Zero” action plan lays out strategies for  enforcement, public education and street engineering, and also is expected to expand the city’s sidewalk and bicycle network.

Quote
The scores of additional cameras are likely to upset drivers who have widely criticized the city’s 15-year-old automated traffic enforcement program as a money-generator and a tool the city uses to penalize drivers as it pushes the use of public transit, biking and walking.

Quote
But D.C. transportation officials say it is justified because data suggests the photo enforcement has proven to be a successful tool for reducing crashes and fatalities.  The “Vision Zero” action plan urges the city to “rapidly deploy additional cameras,” and presents data that suggests declines of more than 16 percent in crashes and a 20 percent reduction in injuries from 2012 to 2014.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mariethefoxy on December 16, 2015, 02:24:22 PM
why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 16, 2015, 03:10:44 PM
why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?

Ideally the 24x7 school zone wouldn't raise a penny since hopefully everyone would be following the speed limit. Anyway, schools have playgrounds and schools are in neigborhoods. What's so bad about going 15 MPH through neigborhood city streets?

A school zone is likely no more than half a mile. Let's say that for the half mile, you're slowed from 25 MPH to 15 MPH. That means your trip is now 120 seconds instead of 72 seconds. I gaurantee you can make up those 48 seconds.

Meanwhile, the force behind a collision at 15 MPH is almost 1/3 that of 25 MPH (.5MV^2).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 16, 2015, 11:12:17 PM
unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 10:29:33 AM
why in the holy hell do you need a 24/7 school zone unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way?

Ideally the 24x7 school zone wouldn't raise a penny since hopefully everyone would be following the speed limit. Anyway, schools have playgrounds and schools are in neigborhoods. What's so bad about going 15 MPH through neigborhood city streets?

Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

A school zone is likely no more than half a mile. Let's say that for the half mile, you're slowed from 25 MPH to 15 MPH. That means your trip is now 120 seconds instead of 72 seconds. I gaurantee you can make up those 48 seconds.

You forgot to add-in  traffic signals delays, pretty common all around D.C.

Meanwhile, the force behind a collision at 15 MPH is almost 1/3 that of 25 MPH (.5MV^2).

Nice if that traffic was not on those streets. But it is, thanks to deliberate policy decisions made many years ago.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 10:32:16 AM
unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 18, 2015, 10:33:59 AM
Quote from: cpzilliacus
Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

I actually doubt this now.  DC has enough density to where we'd still have the problem on neighborhood streets and local arterials.  Nevermind that those highways would've exasperated the parking situation downtown.  That land is far more valuable to all with development than with parking lots.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 10:41:36 AM
Quote from: cpzilliacus
Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

I actually doubt this now.  DC has enough density to where we'd still have the problem on neighborhood streets and local arterials.  Nevermind that those highways would've exasperated the parking situation downtown.  That land is far more valuable to all with development than with parking lots.

Do not knock parking in the District of Columbia (except on Capitol Hill, where most employees have "free" (taxpayer-subsidized) parking).  Without the revenue that D.C. collects from private parking and from on-street meters and parking fines generally, there would be a lot less transit service in D.C.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 18, 2015, 05:41:05 PM
unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.

What's funny is that every time I, as a commuter, have driven by a speed camera, I haven't paid a commuter tax fee. How does that jive with your characterization of speed cameras as a commuter tax collection station?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 18, 2015, 05:57:32 PM
Perhaps if D.C. has built the highways that would have been better-served to those (longer) trips, this would not be a problem.

So you think people are justified to speed through school zones simply because you believe a highway should have been built there several decades ago...  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 18, 2015, 06:17:09 PM
"How does that jive?"

You talkin' jive, bro?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on December 18, 2015, 07:02:40 PM
Stewardess, I speak jive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 18, 2015, 07:25:11 PM
unless you're trying to raise revenue in a backhanded way
Exactly. Ignore the Alexandria troll.

Better way to flight back is with GPS programs that allow the pinpointing the location of D.C. commuter tax collection stations speed cameras, which is an effective method of reducing the revenue that they collect - ideally to less than the cost of installing and servicing the cameras.

What's funny is that every time I, as a commuter, have driven by a speed camera, I haven't paid a commuter tax fee. How does that jive with your characterization of speed cameras as a commuter tax collection station?

My TomTom GPS unit (which I always run when driving in D.C.) knows where most of them are. 

Besides that, I do not generally speed when driving (in D.C. or elsewhere), and besides, speeding in the District of Columbia is generally a waste of fuel and brakes.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 18, 2015, 08:53:08 PM
Quote
Do not knock parking in the District of Columbia (except on Capitol Hill, where most employees have "free" (taxpayer-subsidized) parking).  Without the revenue that D.C. collects from private parking and from on-street meters and parking fines generally, there would be a lot less transit service in D.C.

I will knock parking in this case, because full development would do far more to provide funding for transit than the parking fees/revenue you're referring to.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 18, 2015, 08:53:23 PM
"How does that jive?"

You talkin' jive, bro?

I ain't no jive turkey.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2015, 03:42:23 PM
Washington Post: Top 10 traffic, transit stories of 2015 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/top-10-traffic-transit-stories-of-2015/2015/12/26/7931ae64-9868-11e5-b499-76cbec161973_story.html)

Quote
The state of the Washington region’s transit system was the dominant transportation story of 2015, and rarely in a good way. Metro held center stage, but it wasn’t the only attention-getting performance of 2015, and many of the other efforts were positive.

Quote
Here’s a look back at the year’s most significant developments in local travel.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2015, 03:44:58 PM
I will knock parking in this case, because full development would do far more to provide funding for transit than the parking fees/revenue you're referring to.

I am not at all convinced.  As long as D.C. has been providing subsidies for Metrorail and its predecessor in the city, the private D.C. Transit System, Inc., those subsidy dollars have come from motor fuel taxes and other transportation-related fees paid to the city government.

Not general fund dollars, which is where property tax revenues go.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 27, 2015, 04:57:13 PM
This all goes to show why reserved funds and dedicated funding is a pointless and ultimately self-defeating endeavor. DC should be able to get the money from wherever the want.

To push the analogy to the federal level, the nature of the Highway Trust Fund funding mechanisms hasn't stopped Congress from subsidizing the "self-sustaining Highway Trust Fund" (this illusion needs to be banished from our lexicon, BTW) to the tune of billions each year from the general fund. Congress does it because it sees the highway subsidies as an important national interest. DC should be able to subsidize its transportation priorities accordingly.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 27, 2015, 09:12:23 PM
This all goes to show why reserved funds and dedicated funding is a pointless and ultimately self-defeating endeavor. DC should be able to get the money from wherever the want.

I disagree, though I do believe that D.C. should be able to fund its municipal government in the best way as determined by its elected mayor and council.

To push the analogy to the federal level, the nature of the Highway Trust Fund funding mechanisms hasn't stopped Congress from subsidizing the "self-sustaining Highway Trust Fund" (this illusion needs to be banished from our lexicon, BTW) to the tune of billions each year from the general fund. Congress does it because it sees the highway subsidies as an important national interest. DC should be able to subsidize its transportation priorities accordingly.

That's cowardice on the part of the congressional "leadership" and others. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 27, 2015, 10:15:49 PM
What you call cowardice, politicians might call survival instincts, but that's another issue for another forum. The fact is that our Highway Trust Fund now requires billion-dollar subsidies on an annual basis.

And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mariethefoxy on December 28, 2015, 03:25:45 AM
I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on December 28, 2015, 08:12:24 AM

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 08:29:54 AM

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 28, 2015, 11:46:57 AM

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
That's because speed limit is independent of volume. Set properly, the speed limit is the 85th percentile of free-flow speed - i.e. when traffic is light enough to go the speed that the roadway design warrants.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 12:14:49 PM
I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on December 28, 2015, 12:30:02 PM
I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.

3am traffic is usually free-flowing -- and the threat of speed cameras or other enforcement is about the only thing slowing traffic to within 20 mph over the posted limit.

As noted above, I-395 NB has some sub-optimal (or worse) left-side merges. But no such problem SB, so I'd think that direction of traffic could get a higher posted speed limit, even with its closely-spaced on- and off-ramps.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 28, 2015, 01:12:14 PM
And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 01:43:10 PM
And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).

Hate to break it to you, but every interest group  (education, housing, parks & rec, etc) believes that its pet cause is extremely important and the money can't go anywhere else. Highways/roads/transportation are just one of many going for the same scarce dollars.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 01:44:02 PM
And unless you have some sort of obsession with the HTF being "self-sustaining", it really doesn't matter how it gets its funding. I imagine that some older highway advocates might be really wed to the idea of gas tax "user fees" fully funding the HTF, but ultimately, you could fund it with the monies derived from the sales tax on frozen yogurt and it wouldn't matter...money is money.
It matters if states and municipalities can't do any transportation planning because nobody knows if there will be any federal highway money in a couple years.  Projects take years to develop, and nobody wants to spend money on a project just to have it all go up in smoke should Congress fail to agree on a bill.  The current system of highway funding is very short term and involves squeezing money from other programs in an attempt to get money to plug the holes in the highway trust fund.  And some of that money comes from measures that the Congressional budget wizards ASSUME will create savings but which past data suggests will actually COST money (basically, Congress was busy pushing an agenda).  It's very much like robbing Peter to pay Paul.  And all this when infrastructure is crumbing into sand.  Like it or not, we very much need solid transportation funding, one that can't be raided for other purposes (the latter of which is EXTREMELY important at the state and local level).

The same could be said of any other major government capital expenditure. See my preceding post (directly above this one).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 28, 2015, 06:08:03 PM
Highways, however, RELY on federal funding.  Without federal funding, the projects don't move forward.  At all.  Without federal funding, states can't maintain their roads.  At all.  Many states are already declaring that certain roads and bridges will not be maintained and will just be closed when they are no longer safe.  Homes and businesses accessed through those roads will no longer be accessible.  This is happening NOW, with current funding levels.  And yet you're proposing to let funds dwindle even more and inflation and political whims eat them away.  Advocate for this dystopian future all you want, but don't complain when you can't get to work any more when the few roads still open are incredibly congested.

We've already seen this on a state level.  Many states have high gas taxes but below average transportation funding because the funds are raided.  Pennsylvania, for example, uses transportation dollars for city beautification and then decided to use the PTC to bail out PennDOT and the transit authorities.  Massachusetts is well known for diverting funds and letting things deteriorate to manufacture a crisis to justify keeping tolls on the MassPike.  New York spends the majority of its "transportation" dollars paying off the debt from past governors pet projects.

As of right now, even if a huge windfall happened, nothing could be done with it because there are no projects ready for it.  So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?  How would you keep the infrastructure maintained and accessible to all?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on December 28, 2015, 06:33:21 PM
I can't imagine max free-flow conditions being any safer than 55 MPH, based on the reasons 95hoo provided. 85% of that is 45 so I guess the speed limit is justified on that factor as well. Free-flow in that area, however, is more of a concept than anything else. Not sure I've ever seen it un-congested.
85th percentile means the speed that 85% of traffic is going equal to or slower. So if 85% of traffic is going no more than 53 mph, your speed limit should be 50 mph or 55 mph.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 09:23:24 PM
Highways, however, RELY on federal funding.  Without federal funding, the projects don't move forward

As do defense contractors...as does Medicare/Medicaid...as does [federal function]. Again, everyone's issue is the Most Important One in their own minds. Where the money goes is a political issue, and highways are just one of several lobbies gunning for their piece of the pie.

That, by the way, is the whole point of the political process. The people own that money, and the elected representatives (not unelected transportation bureaucrats) are the stewards of that cash. If the people want gas tax monies to pay for free dessert for everyone, and the legislature signs off, then everyone get their ice cream spoons out.


Without federal funding, states can't maintain their roads...Many states are already declaring that certain roads and bridges will not be maintained and will just be closed when they are no longer safe.  Homes and businesses accessed through those roads will no longer be accessible.  This is happening NOW, with current funding levels. 

Sounds some states built too many roads.

Many states have high gas taxes but below average transportation funding because the funds are raided.
That's my whole point. Money is money. It shouldn't matter how a state government got its hands on it. If you need to spend money on roads, spend it. I don't care if it came from a gas tax, income tax, or bubblegum tax.

How would you keep the infrastructure maintained and accessible to all?

By spending money from the general fund, just as Congress is doing now. And I would spend monies from the general fund on any and all transportation projects that needed funding...highways, mass transits, airports, etc. Because clearly our Highway System is not self-sustaining anymore, and like all other major transportation, it will require subisides.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 28, 2015, 09:26:18 PM
So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?

This seems like a needless non sequitur.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on December 28, 2015, 10:35:25 PM
Quote from: vdeane
So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?

Val, did you stop to consider that perhaps he lives in Alexandria?  Wouldn't be the first time we had a user on here who used their location of residence in their username...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 29, 2015, 12:13:48 PM

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
That's because speed limit is independent of volume. Set properly, the speed limit is the 85th percentile of free-flow speed - i.e. when traffic is light enough to go the speed that the roadway design warrants.

You are, of course, correct about 85th percentile.

But perhaps more than any other freeway in the D.C. area, the speeds on the Southeast/Southwest Freeway (I-695 and I-395 respectively) tend to vary widely (and wildly). 

Because it is so short (3.4 miles from the Virginia side of the 14th Street Bridge to the Anacostia River and 3.5 miles in the other direction), the difference in travel time is so small as to be almost irrelevant, regardless of if the speed limit is 35, 40, 45 or 50 (maximum posted limit in the District of Columbia is 50).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 29, 2015, 01:58:51 PM
Highways, however, RELY on federal funding.  Without federal funding, the projects don't move forward

As do defense contractors...as does Medicare/Medicaid...as does [federal function]. Again, everyone's issue is the Most Important One in their own minds. Where the money goes is a political issue, and highways are just one of several lobbies gunning for their piece of the pie.

That, by the way, is the whole point of the political process. The people own that money, and the elected representatives (not unelected transportation bureaucrats) are the stewards of that cash. If the people want gas tax monies to pay for free dessert for everyone, and the legislature signs off, then everyone get their ice cream spoons out.


Without federal funding, states can't maintain their roads...Many states are already declaring that certain roads and bridges will not be maintained and will just be closed when they are no longer safe.  Homes and businesses accessed through those roads will no longer be accessible.  This is happening NOW, with current funding levels. 

Sounds some states built too many roads.

Many states have high gas taxes but below average transportation funding because the funds are raided.
That's my whole point. Money is money. It shouldn't matter how a state government got its hands on it. If you need to spend money on roads, spend it. I don't care if it came from a gas tax, income tax, or bubblegum tax.

How would you keep the infrastructure maintained and accessible to all?

By spending money from the general fund, just as Congress is doing now. And I would spend monies from the general fund on any and all transportation projects that needed funding...highways, mass transits, airports, etc. Because clearly our Highway System is not self-sustaining anymore, and like all other major transportation, it will require subisides.
When the Highway Trust Fund was set up, the federal government made a promise.  A promise is the same thing as an obligation.  And the federal government has been delinquent on that obligation through its refusal to raise the gas tax.  The fact is, the gas tax has been effectively shrinking due to inflation, construction cost increases, etc. for DECADES now, and still nothing has been done.  Now, most of the public is so financially illiterate it's hard to believe they're still even alive, but it is the job of politicians and the media to educate the public so that they are not.  BOTH have been delinquent in that duty, and I suspect maliciously so.  There's been a push for quite some time now for a mileage tax, and I believe that the gas tax and the highway trust fund are belong deliberately sabotaged in order to pave the way for a mileage tax (as that is the only way to get Americans to consent to GPS tracking of their cars, along with whatever other draconian things that will be pushed through with the tax).

Your argument also hinges on whether representatives represent the people in practice in addition to theory.  That is dangerous assumption to make.  Plus, do you really trust the public to make transportation decisions?  I don't.  A large chunk of them doesn't even know that roads cost money to maintain, not just to build.  And the politicians can't be trusted either, as they'll just let everything rot while their pet project gets done.  I can count the number of ethical politicians on one hand, and that includes federal, state, AND local levels combined, as well as foreign governments.  Plus, most people in budget offices don't have a clue how much transportation stuff REALLY costs and give much less money than needed.  It doesn't help that politicians have a habit of slicing and dicing funds to the point where you can't spend it on what you need because every dollar has a very specific purpose that can't go to anything else (especially an issue in NY right now as Cuomo likes to micromanage).

The states I'm thinking of aren't the ones building/proposing pie in the sky things like I-11 between Vegas and I-80.  They're just maintaining the same system they've always had, except the money supply is shrinking every year.

Alas, "money is money" CAUSES these problems.  And taking from the general fund doesn't work.  For example, one of the ways they are "paying" for highway projects is by forcing the IRS to use private debt collectors to collect unpaid taxes.  They claim this will save money.  That's also what they claimed the last time they tried to do that, and it ended up COSTING money.  That's how it works.  They pay for stuff now through "savings" that are supposed to come "later" but then the savings never come.  There are various reasons for this, but it all comes down of incompetent buffoonery (and corruption) in the end.  The civil service system isn't perfect, but I'd argue politicians are worse.

So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?

This seems like a needless non sequitur.
In response to that which you deleted last night: the policies of Alexandria affect those outside of Alexandria.  Someone should not be forced to move because of that.

Quote from: vdeane
So what would you do about it, AlexandriaVA (btw, I find it interesting how you chose to name yourself after a municipality some on this forum despise because of its NIMBYISM)?

Val, did you stop to consider that perhaps he lives in Alexandria?  Wouldn't be the first time we had a user on here who used their location of residence in their username...

I've figured that for a long time now.  Still, it's interesting, especially given that his posting history suggests that he agrees with the NIMBYs.  It's as if he's saying "Ha!  Look at the guy who's from the place that ruined the I-95/395 HOT lane project who is now on a highway forum!".
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 29, 2015, 02:30:08 PM
I suspect that the careers of many on here are predicated on the expectation of federal highway funding, so it makes sense that they would get defensive if the funding is at risk (or perceived to be at risk), but again, I still don't really see how any of this is fundamentally different than any other political issue with interested parties. You could replace the words pertaining to roads with military/security or health/retirement and you'd basically be talking about defense budget or the non-discretionary non-defense budget (Medicare/Medicaid/SS).

Regarding the "promises", politicians have made and broken promises countless times, many of which have been much more serious than delays in highway appropriations. Talk to some Indians about government promises.

Generally people blame legislators when they should be blaming themselves. This appears to be no different.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 29, 2015, 02:35:05 PM
The fact is, the gas tax has been effectively shrinking due to inflation, construction cost increases, etc. for DECADES now, and still nothing has been done.
Many voters would fail to see any issue with this. Seeing the way people react to changes in gas prices, I think that most politicians have decided that boosting the gas tax is a non-starter for them.


Quote
Now, most of the public is so financially illiterate it's hard to believe they're still even alive

Quote
Your argument also hinges on whether representatives represent the people in practice in addition to theory.  That is dangerous assumption to make

Quote
Plus, do you really trust the public to make transportation decisions?  I don't

Quote
And the politicians can't be trusted either, as they'll just let everything rot while their pet project gets done

Quote
The civil service system isn't perfect, but I'd argue politicians are worse

Contempt for constituents and the people for whom they vote is not typically a winning strategy.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 29, 2015, 02:42:35 PM
I've figured that for a long time now.  Still, it's interesting, especially given that his posting history suggests that he agrees with the NIMBYs.  It's as if he's saying "Ha!  Look at the guy who's from the place that ruined the I-95/395 HOT lane project who is now on a highway forum!".

As you may know, 395/95 is the responsibility of the state (Virginia) government as it is part of the Interstate Highway System. Perhaps Arlington and Alexandria carry more clout in Richmond than counties and independent cities in the commuter belt, but that's not my problem.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on December 29, 2015, 02:48:41 PM
The fact is, the gas tax has been effectively shrinking due to inflation, construction cost increases, etc. for DECADES now, and still nothing has been done.
Many voters would fail to see any issue with this. Seeing the way people react to changes in gas prices, I think that most politicians have decided that boosting the gas tax is a non-starter for them.
That doesn't make it right.  Most people don't seem to realize that inflation is a thing that happens regardless of whether their wages are going up.  Then they blame the government if prices go up regardless of what really caused the price increase.  As I said, the politicians should be EDUCATING people on why this is not so (honestly, I'd support a test that people would be required to pass to vote to nullify this effect).  These are the same people who will invariably complain when many roads are congested and others are outright closed.  Of course, by then it will be too late, which is why education needs to start now.  I can't think of any alternative to the gas tax that isn't somehow worse.

Quote
Quote
Now, most of the public is so financially illiterate it's hard to believe they're still even alive

Quote
Your argument also hinges on whether representatives represent the people in practice in addition to theory.  That is dangerous assumption to make

Quote
Plus, do you really trust the public to make transportation decisions?  I don't

Quote
And the politicians can't be trusted either, as they'll just let everything rot while their pet project gets done

Quote
The civil service system isn't perfect, but I'd argue politicians are worse

Contempt for constituents and the people they vote for is not typically a winning strategy.

It's hard to have any faith in politicians when one reads as many news stories from alternative media as I do.  It doesn't help that I'm essentially a fish out of water on this planet.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 29, 2015, 02:55:20 PM
I'm not saying you're wrong. I just think that one needs to be realistic about the political lay of the land.

Like any other department or recipient of outlays, highway advocates need to fight for every dollar. Previous promises are just words on paper to politicians, whether it's fair or not.

And there's no need to make it personal. I live extremely close to an Interstate, probably closer than most of the people on this forum (lest I be called a NIMBY) and I use it on a near-daily basis. I also like to see it kept maintained properly. I don't particularly care where the money for maintenance comes from...gas tax, income tax, sales tax, soda tax, bear tax, Homer tax, etc etc.

And, I wouldn't vote for a politician who didn't support proper subsidization of the highway system, along with transit and pedestrian improvements as well. Like with highways, I couldn't care less where the funding for those projects come from either.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on December 29, 2015, 02:57:17 PM
Quote
(honestly, I'd support a test that people would be required to pass to vote to nullify this effect)

A (financial) literacy test as a requirement for voting? Perhaps you should re-read your US history...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on December 30, 2015, 08:22:06 AM

I don't get the really low speed limits on I-395, is there any real reason besides they can get a lot more revenue with the camera tickets to put I-395 as 40MPH in the Southeast Freeway segment?

Bad road design with closely-spaced ramps and left-side blind merges on the segment between the 14th Street Bridge and the tunnel. The ramp coming from the 9th Street Tunnel is especially tricky.

Left unsaid, of course, is volume as well.
That's because speed limit is independent of volume. Set properly, the speed limit is the 85th percentile of free-flow speed - i.e. when traffic is light enough to go the speed that the roadway design warrants.

You are, of course, correct about 85th percentile.

But perhaps more than any other freeway in the D.C. area, the speeds on the Southeast/Southwest Freeway (I-695 and I-395 respectively) tend to vary widely (and wildly). 

Because it is so short (3.4 miles from the Virginia side of the 14th Street Bridge to the Anacostia River and 3.5 miles in the other direction), the difference in travel time is so small as to be almost irrelevant, regardless of if the speed limit is 35, 40, 45 or 50 (maximum posted limit in the District of Columbia is 50).

I absolutely consider the 40 MPH zone on an interstate highway with a speed camera to be a revenue trap.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on December 30, 2015, 11:50:16 AM
I suspect that the careers of many on here are predicated on the expectation of federal highway transportation funding, so it makes sense that they would get defensive if the funding is at risk (or perceived to be at risk), but again, I still don't really see how any of this is fundamentally different than any other political issue with interested parties.

FTFY.

Much (not all) of my personal income comes from federal, state and some local transportation funding. 

To expand on what Valerie wrote above, politicians and others made a commitment many decades ago that current politicians (even those that bow to anti-tax (as well as anti-highway and anti-transit) activists) are obligated to meet.  We have a very expensive system (in part because of the size of the nation) that mostly relies on those taxes for upkeep and in many cases reconstruction.  And that specifically includes transit systems like the Washington Metro, Bay Area BART, SEPTA and the huge system in metropolitan New York, some of which were built using dollars other than federal motor fuel taxes, but now are profoundly reliant on those to clear (some of) their maintenance backlogs (there's not much expansion going on, so I am not going to discuss that here).

In general, the only parts of the system that rely entirely on non-federal sources of dollars are low-functional-class roads and streets (depending on the jurisdiction, funding for those may be from private homeowners associations, condo associations, county or municipal property taxes, state motor fuel taxes and sometimes special tax districts of various kinds).  But the higher functional classification parts of the network (arterials and freeways) usually rely on state and federal motor fuel taxes, with the exceptions of toll roads and toll crossings, which tend to be self-funded in terms of maintenance.

You could replace the words pertaining to roads with military/security or health/retirement and you'd basically be talking about defense budget or the non-discretionary non-defense budget (Medicare/Medicaid/SS).

Even the most ardent anti-tax activist is not going to touch Medicare and Social Security (Medicaid, because it mostly serves indigent people, is a different matter).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on January 01, 2016, 11:05:17 AM
I also take issue with the idea of highway funding as a "special interest." Unless you're in a select few metro areas, you need the interstate highway system to get to work, industry needs the interstate highway system to get their goods to market, and you definitely need the interstate highway system for any kind of long distance travel. If we continue to not adequately fund highways, it becomes an economic issue.

Millions of people rely on federally funded highways daily for even the most mundane things. In what world is it a special interest?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on January 01, 2016, 11:42:24 AM

I also take issue with the idea of highway funding as a "special interest." Unless you're in a select few metro areas, you need the interstate highway system to get to work, industry needs the interstate highway system to get their goods to market, and you definitely need the interstate highway system for any kind of long distance travel. If we continue to not adequately fund highways, it becomes an economic issue.

Millions of people rely on federally funded highways daily for even the most mundane things. In what world is it a special interest?

In the world that every interest competes for funding, and every competitor characterizes all the rest as niche players.  That's all it means.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on January 01, 2016, 11:51:35 AM

It's hard to have any faith in politicians when one reads as many news stories from alternative media as I do.  It doesn't help that I'm essentially a fish out of water on this planet.

Alternative media?  I would say if one really needs to go beyond mainstream media to not have faith in politicians, one must be willfully looking the other way.  Of course, this dabbles in crossing into prohibited territory for this forum, but the most idealistic politician necessarily has to compromise his/her values eventually to appease those that are needed to stay in office.  All one needs is a little understanding of human nature to lose faith in politicians.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on January 01, 2016, 01:16:52 PM
Quote
I also take issue with the idea of highway funding as a "special interest." Unless you're in a select few metro areas, you need the interstate highway system to get to work, industry needs the interstate highway system to get their goods to market, and you definitely need the interstate highway system for any kind of long distance travel. If we continue to not adequately fund highways, it becomes an economic issue.

Millions of people rely on federally funded highways daily for even the most mundane things. In what world is it a special interest?

Besides what Pete said.....just the way you worded this, without any consideration of trains or planes or riverboats for "long distance travel", gives the impression of Interstate funding as a special interest.  And that may be what Pete was getting at with his niche comment.
Title: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on January 01, 2016, 04:31:12 PM
I just meant that "special interests" is usually political PR shorthand for "[money-diverting] interests other than those I champion."  It's a marginalizing technique.

It's best to consider it in this context rather than take the face value too seriously.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on January 01, 2016, 08:18:34 PM

It's hard to have any faith in politicians when one reads as many news stories from alternative media as I do.  It doesn't help that I'm essentially a fish out of water on this planet.

Alternative media?  I would say if one really needs to go beyond mainstream media to not have faith in politicians, one must be willfully looking the other way.  Of course, this dabbles in crossing into prohibited territory for this forum, but the most idealistic politician necessarily has to compromise his/her values eventually to appease those that are needed to stay in office.  All one needs is a little understanding of human nature to lose faith in politicians.

Let's just say that alternative media can make it easy to cross from "the system has problems but can be fixed if we vote, call our congressman, sign petitions, etc." to being a cynical conspiracy theorist.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on January 01, 2016, 11:00:35 PM
Quote
I also take issue with the idea of highway funding as a "special interest." Unless you're in a select few metro areas, you need the interstate highway system to get to work, industry needs the interstate highway system to get their goods to market, and you definitely need the interstate highway system for any kind of long distance travel. If we continue to not adequately fund highways, it becomes an economic issue.

Millions of people rely on federally funded highways daily for even the most mundane things. In what world is it a special interest?

Besides what Pete said.....just the way you worded this, without any consideration of trains or planes or riverboats for "long distance travel", gives the impression of Interstate funding as a special interest.  And that may be what Pete was getting at with his niche comment.

The problem is that all of those are often prohibitively expensive for a family. It's far cheaper to put a family of 4 in the mini-van and drive down the interstate than it is to buy tickets on anything for all four. The interstate highway system is still the dominant mode of transportation for anyone doing long distance travel.

The majority of goods in this country are also carried via the interstate, even our mail is often carried from place to place via the interstate (even if its flown, it still has to get from the airport). I cannot think of a single more important asset to our economy than the interstate highway system. It literally is how we move people and things.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on January 20, 2016, 08:59:26 PM
Picked up a 1942 Washington, DC map earlier this week. Just took a look at it this evening and noticed some old alignments of US routes that were new to me in addition to DC 4/5. I posted a few scans and a review at http://www.aaroads.com/blog/2016/01/20/washington-d-c-1942-map/
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 21, 2016, 01:33:59 PM
Picked up a 1942 Washington, DC map earlier this week. Just took a look at it this evening and noticed some old alignments of US routes that were new to me in addition to DC 4/5. I posted a few scans and a review at http://www.aaroads.com/blog/2016/01/20/washington-d-c-1942-map/

Have seen at least one image of a D.C. 4 sign in the downtown area near or on Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., but not D.C. 5.

But there were green signs on eastbound Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. leading up to present-day Branch Avenue, S.E. showing signs that said "TO Route 5" not that long ago (but are all gone now).

I have seen other maps also showing U.S. 240 coming (barely) into Arlington County, Va. at the present-day interchange of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and I-395/U.S. 1.  There was also Alternate U.S. 240, which followed Connecticut Avenue, N.W. out to Maryland (U.S. 240 always followed Wisconsin Avenue north from Georgetown.

I recall seeing a U.S. 211 sign or two in Georgetown, or maybe on the Whitehurst Freeway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 21, 2016, 05:14:13 PM
Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.

The Circulator is a huge improvement.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on January 22, 2016, 09:08:39 AM
Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.


^This.  So, so this.  I never understood why anyone rode the thing.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 22, 2016, 09:28:13 PM
Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.


^This.  So, so this.  I never understood why anyone rode the thing.

Tourists did not know how expensive it was until they boarded.

Beyond that, there was an added "bonus" - it operated on hours that were established in a contract between NPS and Tourmobile - in the 1960's, so it shut-down every afternoon (even in the peak spring and summer tourist) between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., after that, tourists were mostly out of luck.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on January 23, 2016, 08:39:23 AM
Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.


^This.  So, so this.  I never understood why anyone rode the thing.

Tourists did not know how expensive it was until they boarded.

Beyond that, there was an added "bonus" - it operated on hours that were established in a contract between NPS and Tourmobile - in the 1960's, so it shut-down every afternoon (even in the peak spring and summer tourist) between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., after that, tourists were mostly out of luck.

Was the Tourmobile a comfortable ride?  I was never on it.

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on January 23, 2016, 08:48:33 AM
I rode it once because it was an easy way to meet the requirements for some Boy Scout merit badge and I remember it being OK. Much more recently I seem to recall old Tourmobiles being re-purposed as cherry blossom shuttles. I think I found it less comfortable than a charter bus and far more comfortable than a school bus.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2016, 10:50:13 AM
Definitely a symbol of the lazy cozy days of federal control of DC and vendors who took advantage of that fact. NPS concessions are still pathetic (lame over priced food with non-compete clauses)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 23, 2016, 04:52:52 PM
I rode it once because it was an easy way to meet the requirements for some Boy Scout merit badge and I remember it being OK. Much more recently I seem to recall old Tourmobiles being re-purposed as cherry blossom shuttles. I think I found it less comfortable than a charter bus and far more comfortable than a school bus.

Also, those Tourmobile buses were all built in the 1960's, which means the engines have little in the way of emission controls and could legally operate on leaded fuel (if it was available).

Martz purchased them all and is stil providing some sort of Tourmobile service, though it is not called that.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 23, 2016, 04:55:09 PM
Definitely a symbol of the lazy cozy days of federal control of DC and vendors who took advantage of that fact. NPS concessions are still pathetic (lame over priced food with non-compete clauses)

The deal would not be all that different now, IMO.

Though the agreement that D.C. reached with NPS to run the Circulator service on the National Mall was in and of itself revolutionary.

But most of the concession deals involving NPS on the National mall are indeed terrible in terms of service (not) provided to visitors, and high prices.  The concession deals that state toll road agencies have reached with service plaza operators are vastly better.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 23, 2016, 05:11:30 PM
Definitely a symbol of the lazy cozy days of federal control of DC and vendors who took advantage of that fact. NPS concessions are still pathetic (lame over priced food with non-compete clauses)

The deal would not be all that different now, IMO.

Though the agreement that D.C. reached with NPS to run the Circulator service on the National Mall was in and of itself revolutionary.

But most of the concession deals involving NPS on the National mall are indeed terrible in terms of service (not) provided to visitors, and high prices.  The concession deals that state toll road agencies have reached with service plaza operators are vastly better.

At least the state toll road agencies are accountable to some degree to the state-level governments. The NPS is in theory accountable to Congress but that arrangements generally doesn't yield good results to the District.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: abefroman329 on January 25, 2016, 03:36:04 PM
Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.


^This.  So, so this.  I never understood why anyone rode the thing.

Tourists did not know how expensive it was until they boarded.

Beyond that, there was an added "bonus" - it operated on hours that were established in a contract between NPS and Tourmobile - in the 1960's, so it shut-down every afternoon (even in the peak spring and summer tourist) between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., after that, tourists were mostly out of luck.

Also, tourists are always advised not to drive into the city for sightseeing, and the Tourmobile and the Metro were the only ways to get from the National Mall and the Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery.  As a former local, I would've preferred tourists on the Tourmobile to tourists on the Metro.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 27, 2016, 08:12:38 PM
Also, tourists are always advised not to drive into the city for sightseeing, and the Tourmobile and the Metro were the only ways to get from the National Mall and the Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery.  As a former local, I would've preferred tourists on the Tourmobile to tourists on the Metro.

But the Tourmobile could never carry anywhere close to the number of patrons that Metrorail could, and besides, they were mostly intended to serve rather different travel markets (it is possible to reach some of the D.C. Monumental Core attractions (and Arlington Cemetery)  easily by Metrorail, but many of them are a long walk from the nearest station).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 27, 2016, 08:16:30 PM
WTOP Radio: D.C. has issued more than $1.3M worth of snow emergency tickets (http://wtop.com/dc/2016/01/d-c-issued-more-than-1-2m-worth-of-snow-emergency-tickets/)

Quote
D.C. issued more than $1.3 million worth of tickets to more than 5,200 drivers who the D.C. Department of Public Works says parked in the District’s snow emergency routes.

Quote
To accommodate for the snowstorm that dumped feet of snow in the region, D.C. issued a snow emergency that took effect at 9:30 a.m. Friday. In a snow emergency, cars parked along snow emergency routes will be ticketed and towed.

Quote
As of 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, 5,284 vehicles were issued tickets for parking in the snow emergency routes, says DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant. Also, 673 vehicles were towed during the same time period, Grant says.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on January 27, 2016, 10:41:27 PM
Also, tourists are always advised not to drive into the city for sightseeing, and the Tourmobile and the Metro were the only ways to get from the National Mall and the Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery.  As a former local, I would've preferred tourists on the Tourmobile to tourists on the Metro.

But the Tourmobile could never carry anywhere close to the number of patrons that Metrorail could, and besides, they were mostly intended to serve rather different travel markets (it is possible to reach some of the D.C. Monumental Core attractions (and Arlington Cemetery)  easily by Metrorail, but many of them are a long walk from the nearest station).

Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop. Another example MIGHT be Georgetown but do DC tourists really want to see Georgetown?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 27, 2016, 11:42:39 PM
Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop. Another example MIGHT be Georgetown but do DC tourists really want to see Georgetown?

Depends on where a tourist wants to go on the National Mall.  Air and Space is not too far from Federal Center Southwest, and the Smithsonian Castle is not too much of a haul from the Smithsonian stop.

The Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, Bureau of Engraving are not a terrible hike from Smithsonian, but the Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR Memorials are a pretty healthy walk from any Metrorail stop.

Even the U.S. Capitol is not all that close to a rail station.

Regarding Georgetown, because there is no Metrorail station close, the stores are overpriced and parking availability is generally miserable, I discourage people from going there, but if they really want to, and the weather is decent, I encourage them to hike across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn, or take the 38B Metrobus, or the Circulator bus.

I know people that want to see the stairs featured in the Exorcist movie at 36th and Prospect, N.W..
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 27, 2016, 11:43:17 PM
Also, tourists are always advised not to drive into the city for sightseeing, and the Tourmobile and the Metro were the only ways to get from the National Mall and the Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery.  As a former local, I would've preferred tourists on the Tourmobile to tourists on the Metro.

But the Tourmobile could never carry anywhere close to the number of patrons that Metrorail could, and besides, they were mostly intended to serve rather different travel markets (it is possible to reach some of the D.C. Monumental Core attractions (and Arlington Cemetery)  easily by Metrorail, but many of them are a long walk from the nearest station).

Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop. Another example MIGHT be Georgetown but do DC tourists really want to see Georgetown?

The damn cupcake store has been bringing people now in for a while.

My understanding is that in the 1960s, many members of the Kennedy Administration were seen hanging around there, so it grew a reputation for being a hip neighborhood. Now it often pops up in the political lexicon as a metonym for DC insiders ("blah blah Georgetown cocktail parties"). The shopping there is alrite...biggest H&M in the DC area. Plus, of course, the university which bears the neighborhood.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 27, 2016, 11:44:25 PM
Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop. Another example MIGHT be Georgetown but do DC tourists really want to see Georgetown?

Depends on where a tourist wants to go on the National Mall.  Air and Space is not too far from Federal Center Southwest, and the Smithsonian Castle is not too much of a haul from the Smithsonian stop.

The Washington Monument, the Holocaust Museum, Bureau of Engraving are not a terrible hike from Smithsonian, but the Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR Memorials are a pretty healthy walk from any Metrorail stop.

Even the U.S. Capitol is not all that close to a rail station.

Regarding Georgetown, because there is no Metrorail station close, the stores are overpriced and parking availability is generally miserable, I discourage people from going there, but if they really want to, and the weather is decent, I encourage them to hike across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn, or take the 38B Metrobus, or the Circulator bus.

I know people that want to see the stairs featured in the Exorcist movie at 36th and Prospect, N.W..

Union Station and Capitol South...

It's easy to park in the neigborhood north of M Street and east of the university. Most people are just too lazy to walk their fat asses up the hill.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2016, 07:33:09 AM
Union Station and Capitol South...

Familiar with both.  Still a pretty good walk to the Visitor Center.  Especially from Union Station.

It's easy to park in the neigborhood north of M Street and east of the university. Most people are just too lazy to walk their fat asses up the hill.

A lot of that area (at least the "free" spaces) are residential parking only.  But, yes, it is better there than on M Street itself, or along Water Street/K Street.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on January 28, 2016, 12:26:45 PM
Also, tourists are always advised not to drive into the city for sightseeing, and the Tourmobile and the Metro were the only ways to get from the National Mall and the Smithsonian to Arlington Cemetery.  As a former local, I would've preferred tourists on the Tourmobile to tourists on the Metro.

But the Tourmobile could never carry anywhere close to the number of patrons that Metrorail could, and besides, they were mostly intended to serve rather different travel markets (it is possible to reach some of the D.C. Monumental Core attractions (and Arlington Cemetery)  easily by Metrorail, but many of them are a long walk from the nearest station).

Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop. Another example MIGHT be Georgetown but do DC tourists really want to see Georgetown?

The damn cupcake store has been bringing people now in for a while.

My understanding is that in the 1960s, many members of the Kennedy Administration were seen hanging around there, so it grew a reputation for being a hip neighborhood. Now it often pops up in the political lexicon as a metonym for DC insiders ("blah blah Georgetown cocktail parties"). The shopping there is alrite...biggest H&M in the DC area. Plus, of course, the university which bears the neighborhood.

When I lived in DC, I never found Georgetown to be all that special and certainly not worth that three-quarter mile walk from Rosslyn or Foggy Bottom. I also find that most people who have never lived in the DC area or visited there extensively have this really warped view of what DC is actually like. You say "DC" to some people in this country and they think it's the modern day incarnation of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on January 28, 2016, 01:29:32 PM
Quote from: The Nature Boy
Best example of this is the National Mall, which is a decent hike from the nearest Metro stop.

To elaborate on what CP said, the Smithsonian Metro entrance is literally ON the mall (at 12th St).  The Federal Triangle, Archives, and L'Enfant stations all have entrances within 2 blocks of the mall.

Though different agencies have differing definitions of the Mall, NPS officially defines the mall as extending from 1st St to 14th.  By that definition, there is no part of the mall that is more than 5 walking blocks (~2400ft) from a Metro station.

Now locations west of the Mall, specifically the Washington Monument, WW2 Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial, are all a bit further away, but even the Lincoln Memorial is within 3/4 mile of Foggy Bottom Metro.

Union Station and Capitol South...

Familiar with both.  Still a pretty good walk to the Visitor Center.  Especially from Union Station.

Capitol South entrance is basically at 1st and C SE.  It's a 2 block walk to the Visitor Center.  About 1600ft if you include the offset crosswalk at Independence.  That's not much of a walk.  I know because I've done it with my asthmatic wife.

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on January 28, 2016, 01:43:01 PM
Generally I find that out-of-towners complain more about distances than locals. I figure most people aren't used to walking all that much.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: abefroman329 on January 28, 2016, 02:12:37 PM
My understanding is that in the 1960s, many members of the Kennedy Administration were seen hanging around there, so it grew a reputation for being a hip neighborhood

Yes, this is true.  Georgetown was not a desirable neighborhood until then.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2016, 02:25:59 PM
Was the Tourmobile a comfortable ride?  I was never on it.

No.  Hard-riding and cramped.  Added bonus - cold and drafty in winter, hot in summer.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2016, 02:30:43 PM
My understanding is that in the 1960s, many members of the Kennedy Administration were seen hanging around there, so it grew a reputation for being a hip neighborhood

Yes, this is true.  Georgetown was not a desirable neighborhood until then.

Georgetown was an industrial and port area (thanks in large part to being the downstream terminus of the C&O Canal) as well as a seaport at the head of navigation on the Potomac River.

THe C&O Canal ceased commercial operation for the last time in the 1920's after a Potomac River flood damaged it beyond economical repair.  To some extent, industry remained for several decades after the canal ceased to carry goods.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on January 28, 2016, 06:03:34 PM
Georgetown did thrive as a port when the C&O Canal was in operation (I'm not saying "after it was finished", because it never came near Ohio), but its original existence as a port was because it's at the point where the Piedmont started and the Potomac isn't navigable upstream of that by larger vessels. When GW decided where to put DC in the late 1700's, he included the existing bustling ports of Alexandria and Georgetown. (Fun fact: construction of the C&O Canal from DC and the B&O RR from Baltimore started on the same day: July 4, 1828.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on January 28, 2016, 06:35:03 PM
the Lincoln, Jefferson and FDR Memorials are a pretty healthy walk from any Metrorail stop.
Yeah, the memorials are REALLY far from the metro.  When my family was there on vacation, we wound up DRIVING in on the way back from Mount Vernon to see the Jefferson and FDR memorials.  For the Lincoln, we walked, but Mom and I wound up just sitting by the reflecting pool rather than walk around the memorial (thankfully, we had already seen it during my 7th grade school trip).  On the way back, we had to stop frequently because Mom was suffering heat exhaustion.  Thankfully the metro is air conditioned and the Rosslyn stop was near a shop that had really cold drinks.  Doesn't help that it was over a humid 90 degrees out.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2016, 07:46:24 PM
Georgetown did thrive as a port when the C&O Canal was in operation (I'm not saying "after it was finished", because it never came near Ohio), but its original existence as a port was because it's at the point where the Piedmont started and the Potomac isn't navigable upstream of that by larger vessels. When GW decided where to put DC in the late 1700's, he included the existing bustling ports of Alexandria and Georgetown. (Fun fact: construction of the C&O Canal from DC and the B&O RR from Baltimore started on the same day: July 4, 1828.)

I believe the Ohio part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal's name was about the Ohio River watershed in Western Maryland or probably southwestern Pennsylvania, from there the intent being that canal traffic could reach Ohio by way of the river via Pittsburgh. I do not think the backers of the canal ever envisioned that it would reach Ohio.

More about the C&O Canal - it was intended to follow the Potomac River beyond Cumberland as far as present-day Bloomington, Maryland, then ascend toward the Eastern Continental Divide (ECD) via the gorge of the Savage River tributary of the Potomac River, cross the ECD and descend on the Mississippi River/Ohio River side by way of Deep Creek (tributary of the Youghiogheny River) or the Casselman River (formerly the Little Youghiogheny River).  The canal would have had to gain enormously more elevation (about 2,000 feet) between Cumberland and the crest of the ECD than it did between Washington, D.C. and Cumberland (about 600 feet).

And yes, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad did reach the Ohio River at Wheeling, Virginia (West Virginia now) in the 1850's and eventually on to the west into the State of Ohio, leaving the C&O Canal impossibly far behind.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on January 29, 2016, 10:15:43 AM
Tourists to DC want to go to Georgetown for shopping, Embassy Row and feeling like they're amongst DC's elite.  Pretty much all there is to it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 29, 2016, 11:01:48 AM
The damn cupcake store has been bringing people now in for a while.

Indeed.  I was over in Georgetown for some field work early in the morning (starting before 0500), and just the many trucks that bring their supplies to the cupcake place (M Street, N.W. at 33rd Street) was impressive.  And a line forms before it opens!

Nasty comment (not about the cupcake place).  The restaurant across 33rd Street, N.W. facing M Street (has changed ownership and format since I was there) had a lot of very messy and nasty trash out, and the rats that it attracted were shameless and huge enough to probably scare away any feral cats that might have been looking for a rodent meal - I called the D.C. rodent control inspector, who dispatched a couple of people to look it over and cite the restaurant.

My understanding is that in the 1960s, many members of the Kennedy Administration were seen hanging around there, so it grew a reputation for being a hip neighborhood. Now it often pops up in the political lexicon as a metonym for DC insiders ("blah blah Georgetown cocktail parties"). The shopping there is alrite...biggest H&M in the DC area. Plus, of course, the university which bears the neighborhood.

It dates to the 1940's.  Then-Representative John F. Kennedy took up residence on 31st Street, N.W., and lived at several places there while a member of the U.S. House and later U.S. Senate, including on Dent Place, N.W. 

I read someplace that Jack Kennedy (and later, and perhaps especially, Jackie Kennedy with her obvious grace and beauty) "made" Georgetown.  You can read more about his influence on Georgetown on the WETA-TV Web site here (http://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2013/11/11/young-jfk-georgetown).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: abefroman329 on January 29, 2016, 03:41:31 PM
Was the Tourmobile a comfortable ride?  I was never on it.

No.  Hard-riding and cramped.  Added bonus - cold and drafty in winter, hot in summer.

Picture the trams used on movie studio tours or at theme parks and zoos to transport people from their cars to the front gate.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 29, 2016, 04:06:19 PM
Was the Tourmobile a comfortable ride?  I was never on it.

No.  Hard-riding and cramped.  Added bonus - cold and drafty in winter, hot in summer.

Picture the trams used on movie studio tours or at theme parks and zoos to transport people from their cars to the front gate.

I have ridden such vehicles at the Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, California.  The Southern California weather (overall) is better than the Washington, D.C. weather, and what is pleasant in Burbank is unpleasant in Washington
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 29, 2016, 04:55:06 PM
So what do you like about living in Maryland, cpzillacus? Apparently it has nothing to do with the weather.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 29, 2016, 06:21:28 PM
So what do you like about living in Maryland, cpzillacus? Apparently it has nothing to do with the weather.

Weather is acceptable most of the year.  Huge snowstorms are generally unusual - we have them one or two every several years.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2016, 08:54:01 PM
Washington Post: D.C.’s old streetcar system is gone, but miles of rails are still down there (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dcs-old-streetcar-system-is-gone-but-miles-of-rails-are-still-down-there/2016/02/01/46c7f32e-c5d2-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: noelbotevera on February 01, 2016, 09:17:52 PM
Washington Post: D.C.’s old streetcar system is gone, but miles of rails are still down there (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dcs-old-streetcar-system-is-gone-but-miles-of-rails-are-still-down-there/2016/02/01/46c7f32e-c5d2-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html)
Probably because some trams still run down the old rails.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 01, 2016, 09:31:51 PM

Slightly related, DDOT's Circulator bus now has a route effectively circling the Mall, with an origin/ending at Union Station. And at $1 (and free SmartTrip transfers) much cheaper than the old Tourmobile, which had for a long time had a right of first refusal against mass transit on the mall. The old Tourmobile buses can still be seen in the area, operating under the Martz brand.

The Tourmobile provided bad service at high prices to areas along the National Mall.


^This.  So, so this.  I never understood why anyone rode the thing.

Tourists did not know how expensive it was until they boarded.

Beyond that, there was an added "bonus" - it operated on hours that were established in a contract between NPS and Tourmobile - in the 1960's, so it shut-down every afternoon (even in the peak spring and summer tourist) between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., after that, tourists were mostly out of luck.

I thought I rode one after dark in 1985.  This was in April, so it would have been after 7.  Were there other operators?  It's possible that we rode the bus there and left another way, but my memory for these details from thirty years ago is not what it was.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2016, 09:49:50 PM
Washington Post: D.C.’s old streetcar system is gone, but miles of rails are still down there (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dcs-old-streetcar-system-is-gone-but-miles-of-rails-are-still-down-there/2016/02/01/46c7f32e-c5d2-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html)
Probably because some trams still run down the old rails.

Nope.  All D.C. electric street railway operation was terminated by 1962 on order of the U.S. Congress that was approved in 1956.

Only place you will see old, vintage streetcars in the Washington, D.C. area (aside from new (and very different) units on the new H Street, N.E./Benning Road Line, not yet in revenue operation) is at the National Capital Trolley Museum, located on Bonifant Road near the interchange of Md. 200 (ICC) and Md. 182 (Layhill Road) in Montgomery County (Md.).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2016, 09:52:32 PM
So what do you like about living in Maryland, cpzillacus? Apparently it has nothing to do with the weather.

Near-native (lived in D.C. as a baby, but have no memories of same), and it has jobs.

No interest in living in D.C. ever again, and there is a lot I do not like about the politics of Virginia (though the statewide elected officials these days are pretty good).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 01, 2016, 09:54:42 PM
I thought I rode one after dark in 1985.  This was in April, so it would have been after 7.  Were there other operators?  It's possible that we rode the bus there and left another way, but my memory for these details from thirty years ago is not what it was.


Tourmobile had some very limited "after dark" service so people could see the National Mall buildings and monuments when they are lighted-up.   

Tourmobile had a near-monopoly on sightseeing in the National Mall area (so I doubt it was a competing company).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 01, 2016, 11:14:18 PM

I thought I rode one after dark in 1985.  This was in April, so it would have been after 7.  Were there other operators?  It's possible that we rode the bus there and left another way, but my memory for these details from thirty years ago is not what it was.


Tourmobile had some very limited "after dark" service so people could see the National Mall buildings and monuments when they are lighted-up.   

Tourmobile had a near-monopoly on sightseeing in the National Mall area (so I doubt it was a competing company).

Then it was them.  The ride included at least a view of the Jefferson Memorial and let off at the Lincoln Memorial.  I do recall a pretty established pickup spot/kiosk/etc.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: noelbotevera on February 02, 2016, 03:29:36 PM
Washington Post: D.C.’s old streetcar system is gone, but miles of rails are still down there (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dcs-old-streetcar-system-is-gone-but-miles-of-rails-are-still-down-there/2016/02/01/46c7f32e-c5d2-11e5-9693-933a4d31bcc8_story.html)
Probably because some trams still run down the old rails.

Nope.  All D.C. electric street railway operation was terminated by 1962 on order of the U.S. Congress that was approved in 1956.

Only place you will see old, vintage streetcars in the Washington, D.C. area (aside from new (and very different) units on the new H Street, N.E./Benning Road Line, not yet in revenue operation) is at the National Capital Trolley Museum, located on Bonifant Road near the interchange of Md. 200 (ICC) and Md. 182 (Layhill Road) in Montgomery County (Md.).
I mean these (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9001998,-76.9843612,3a,75y,125.37h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0lBly4gI5eR1WsHFIWdKaw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). My last visit to D.C. I saw these in use by some trams run by probably WMATA.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 02, 2016, 04:06:20 PM
I mean these (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9001998,-76.9843612,3a,75y,125.37h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0lBly4gI5eR1WsHFIWdKaw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). My last visit to D.C. I saw these in use by some trams run by probably WMATA.

Those will be run by the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) if they ever go in revenue service (as of today, they have yet to serve even one paying customer).

WMATA has nothing to do with the operation of the D.C. Streetcar.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 02, 2016, 04:09:01 PM

I mean these (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9001998,-76.9843612,3a,75y,125.37h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0lBly4gI5eR1WsHFIWdKaw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). My last visit to D.C. I saw these in use by some trams run by probably WMATA.

Those will be run by the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) if they ever go in revenue service (as of today, they have yet to serve even one paying customer).

WMATA has nothing to do with the operation of the D.C. Streetcar.

Huh.  Why is that?  Does the DOT run other transit services? 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on February 02, 2016, 04:47:33 PM
The nascent DC Streetcar service is the brainchild of the DC Government. The entities that fund WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority), which also includes Maryland, Virginia and Uncle Sam, fortunately have nothing to do with it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 02, 2016, 05:05:48 PM

I mean these (https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9001998,-76.9843612,3a,75y,125.37h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0lBly4gI5eR1WsHFIWdKaw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656). My last visit to D.C. I saw these in use by some trams run by probably WMATA.

Those will be run by the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) if they ever go in revenue service (as of today, they have yet to serve even one paying customer).

WMATA has nothing to do with the operation of the D.C. Streetcar.

Huh.  Why is that?  Does the DOT run other transit services? 

Why?  I am not sure what the reasons for DDOT reaching that decision are. 

Mine is simple - WMATA has a large heavy rail system that still needs a lot of expensive and drawn-out repair work, and putting them in charge of a streetcar line would be a pretty major distraction.

DDOT is also  mostly in charge of operating the Circulator bus lines, which are not WMATA services, though there is some institutional involvement by WMATA.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on February 02, 2016, 05:15:26 PM
And WMATA is also distracted enough running MetroBus.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on February 02, 2016, 05:21:51 PM
Does the Circulator, and will the streetcar, have a workforce not covered by the WMATA labor contract? That pricey union contract is a major reason why many suburban jurisdictions operate their own local bus services, to supplement the core WMATA rail and bus routes. Even if DDOT would not go with non-union workforces like some of the Virginia suburban systems, it might be tempted to save money through a less expensive union labor contract.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 02, 2016, 11:04:56 PM
Does the Circulator, and will the streetcar, have a workforce not covered by the WMATA labor contract?

Yes.  Circulator drivers are unionized, but they do not belong to the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689, which represents most WMATA hourly employees.

That pricey union contract is a major reason why many suburban jurisdictions operate their own local bus services, to supplement the core WMATA rail and bus routes.

Absolutely correct.  Montgomery County was the first of the WMATA compact members to start its own bus service, now known as RideOn back in the mid-1970's. 

All of the WMATA members have varied degrees of locally-operated  bus service.  Nearly all of it is run by private-sector contractors.

Even if DDOT would not go with non-union workforces like some of the Virginia suburban systems, it might be tempted to save money through a less expensive union labor contract.

At least some of the private bus operators that run buses for Northern Virginia county or municipal governments have unionized workforces.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Nature Boy on February 02, 2016, 11:07:19 PM
I'm assuming that the H Street streetcar will eventually open in some capacity, right? This has to be the longest beta testing phase ever.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 03, 2016, 02:13:45 AM
I'm assuming that the H Street streetcar will eventually open in some capacity, right? This has to be the longest beta testing phase ever.

The head of DDOT has said that it will open ... when it is ready. 

They are running "service" every day, but no paying patrons.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2016, 07:16:11 AM
H St streetcar has been a fustercluck since day one.  Good intentions.  Horrible execution.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Pete from Boston on February 03, 2016, 10:15:52 AM
I asked because while there are metro areas with ancient fiefdoms (like New York or San Francisco) that fragment transit jurisdiction, I had the impression that WMATA had fairly uniform control over the District.  Guess not.  I hope at least planning is coordinated (perhaps at the MPO level?) so as to use resources best.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2016, 10:28:22 AM
Quote
I hope at least planning is coordinated (perhaps at the MPO level?) so as to use resources best.

MWCOG (the regional MPO which CP works for) makes the attempt, but it's not easy when you're dealing with the equivalent of three states and multiple local jurisdictions.

Furthermore, when it comes to transit funding, there are three different variations of such, depending on where you are.  DDOT is effectively a city-state.  For the Maryland jurisdictions, the state handles it, but Virginia largely leaves it to the local jurisdictions.  They'll distribute Federal and state transit funding as needed/prescribed (the main reason that the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission exists), but it's ultimately up to the local jurisdictions on the Virginia side.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on February 04, 2016, 06:11:48 PM
If you want a highly successful streetcar line and system, take a time machine and go back to the late 19th century. Streetcars and light rail are expensive and inefficient, and shouldn't have a place in 21st century cities. I'd prefer taking a bus any day.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 04, 2016, 08:08:42 PM
DC's H Street streetcar is always going to suffer from the H Street portion running in the right-hand lane of traffic instead of the left lane (whereas the eastern part on Benning Road is in the left lane along the median) because it leads to the problem of parallel-parked cars being immediately adjacent to the streetcar lane. During the lengthy "testing" phase they've had constant problems with parked cars not being parked properly and sticking out over the white line into the streetcar's path. I find it hard to imagine how they'll ever be able to manage the sort of INSTANT towing that'll be needed to solve this problem if the line ever actually begins passenger service. You have to tow instantly, not just issue tickets, because the streetcar cannot move around obstacles like a bus can.

To be sure, part of the problem is that many drivers can't parallel park. Delivery truck drivers will learn very quickly, if they haven't already, that they can't double-park along there. People who aren't good parallel parkers but who don't realize they aren't good at it will be a much bigger problem. The obvious answer is that if you aren't good enough at it to park your car completely on the curb side of the white line, as indicated on the signs, then you should not park on H Street, but getting car drivers to understand that will be a whole lot harder than getting delivery drivers to understand their part. From what I've seen driving on there, it's a very small tolerance for error in terms of how you have to park, and unfortunately people are so accustomed to the idea that it's OK to stick out over a line (think stop bars at red lights, which almost everyone ignores around here) that I'm certain it's going to be difficult to get people to realize that THIS white line matters a great deal.




Edited to add an unrelated DC note: An interesting sight you can see right now that may vanish at any time is visible on eastbound I-695 and northbound I-395. As I-395 descends to the right to enter what becomes the Third Street Tunnel, there is an older BGS saying "C St S.W./US Capitol/The House" that was not replaced in the recent round of sign replacements in that area. The sign is an older button-copy sign and, at least as of this past Tuesday night at around 10:40 PM, you could see the button-copy stuff (sorry, I don't know what the term for that is) peeling off from the white letters. Can't say that's something I've gotten to see very often, and it was rather interesting to see it. I don't doubt it helped that it was night and the sign itself has its own illumination. Unfortunately, there is no way I'll ever manage a picture of it since I never drive that way during rush hour when the traffic is slow enough to allow me to get a picture. I only drive that way on my way home from Verizon Center, and since I'm back working downtown we're on the subway more often than we drive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alex on February 04, 2016, 10:37:27 PM
This one?

(http://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/dc095/i-695_eb_exit_001a_01.jpg)

It is posted on our I-695 DC guide.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on February 04, 2016, 11:18:11 PM
That's the one. The peeling button copy was rather more obvious than in that photo, though the fact it was night surely made a difference. I can't say I usually pay very close attention to the signs on that road anyway. 99% of the times I use it, I head east to the 11th Street Bridge and then down I-295 to the Beltway and none of the signs matter to me unless there's something new. (Watching the I-695 signs appear was interesting.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 05, 2016, 09:13:29 AM
Quote
Streetcars and light rail are expensive and inefficient, and shouldn't have a place in 21st century cities.

And you're basing this comment on...?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 05, 2016, 09:27:52 AM
Quote
Streetcars and light rail are expensive and inefficient, and shouldn't have a place in 21st century cities.

And you're basing this comment on...?

Trams I've ridden:

Strasbourg: Very good, very popular. Most of the routes through the core of the city are pedestrianized, so there's no vehicle competition for ROW space. Pedestrians are good at not being in the way.

Munich: High degree of separated ROW. Signal controlled. Also very good.

Heidelberg: Don't remember, car was crammed to the gills.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 05, 2016, 01:05:22 PM
Quote
Streetcars and light rail are expensive and inefficient, and shouldn't have a place in 21st century cities.

And you're basing this comment on...?

I did not make the comment above, but I am decidedly cool toward new electric street railway projects for several reasons (even though I love to ride them in any city that has them):

(1) Extremely expensive to construct;
(2) Limited capacity (the streetcar service along the H Street/Benning Road corridor was converted to bus in 1947, not because of any order from the idiots on Capitol Hill, and not because of a supposed General Motors conspiracy, but because the streetcars could not serve the demand, and  buses did and could - the X2, X3 and X9 are some of the busiest bus routes run by WMATA even today);
(3) Inflexible, in that they only run where there is expensive track and expensive overhead wire, and if a car breaks down, the entire line comes to a stop;
(4) No faster than a bus (and in some cases slower), unless the streetcars are on dedicated right-of-way with signals set to give at least some priority to the streetcars.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on February 06, 2016, 01:19:29 PM
I concur with cpzilliacus.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on February 08, 2016, 09:06:38 AM
I concur with cpzilliacus.

Excellent (http://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m54agatCl31qdjrt9o4_250.gif).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2016, 03:49:47 PM
WTOP Radio: Poll finds opposition to Vision Zero’s new fines, offenses (http://wtop.com/dc/2016/02/poll-finds-opposition-to-vision-zeros-new-fines-offenses/)

Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 08, 2016, 04:19:30 PM
WTOP Radio: Poll finds opposition to Vision Zero’s new fines, offenses (http://wtop.com/dc/2016/02/poll-finds-opposition-to-vision-zeros-new-fines-offenses/)

Quote
...a new poll from AAA shows...

AAA poll validates AAA talking points. Who woulda thunk it?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 08, 2016, 04:24:34 PM
Quote
WTOP Radio: Poll finds opposition to Vision Zero’s effectiveness

FTFY.

Regarding the earlier convo, you and I have gone back and forth on this numerous times.  I doubt we'll ever change each other's opinions on it, but I do have to address your comments.

#1:  it's in a city, where infrastructure is expensive to begin with.  We just spent $400 million (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/project_profiles/dc_eleventh_street_bridge_project.aspx) on the 11th St Bridge.  Heck, just replacing the overpass on 16th St NW at Military Rd is running 8 digits (http://ddot.dc.gov/node/463662).

#2 may have been the case back in the '50s, but not so anymore.  It's well documented that modern streetcars and especially LRT trains have a higher passenger capacity than buses.  To get that same level of capacity from buses requires running enough buses that the operating costs actually exceed that of the streetcar.

You see #3 as a flaw.  And in relation to #4, perhaps it is.  But developers and residents tend to see it differently:  as permanence.  Hard to have "rail creep" in planning/executing a rail transit project the way it often happens with "BRT creep".

#4 may or may not be true, depending on how many stops the transit line has.  As a general rule, streetcars tend to be faster than buses (parked cars in the way notwithstanding) because they generally make fewer stops than the bus does.  The only way the bus could counter this would be to cut the number of stops it makes, or having more limited-stop service (like the S9 or X9).  But local residents and even businesses tend to not like having "their stop" cut, even if it makes operational sense to do so.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 08, 2016, 06:24:37 PM
Quote
WTOP Radio: Poll finds opposition to Vision Zero’s effectiveness

FTFY.

Regarding the earlier convo, you and I have gone back and forth on this numerous times.  I doubt we'll ever change each other's opinions on it, but I do have to address your comments.

#1:  it's in a city, where infrastructure is expensive to begin with.  We just spent $400 million (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ipd/project_profiles/dc_eleventh_street_bridge_project.aspx) on the 11th St Bridge.  Heck, just replacing the overpass on 16th St NW at Military Rd is running 8 digits (http://ddot.dc.gov/node/463662).

#2 may have been the case back in the '50s, but not so anymore.  It's well documented that modern streetcars and especially LRT trains have a higher passenger capacity than buses.  To get that same level of capacity from buses requires running enough buses that the operating costs actually exceed that of the streetcar.

The PCC cars that dominated in Washington for the last several decades of streetcar operation were slightly shorter than those of most other cities because of constraints on parking them in the barns.  But the cars that DDOT has purchased for H Street/Benning Road have more capacity because they are longer articulated units, not because of any particular improvement in the technology.

Those rebuilt or improved structures for highway traffic have (and will have) traffic volumes (including transit bus patrons) to justify the costs of same.

You see #3 as a flaw.  And in relation to #4, perhaps it is.  But developers and residents tend to see it differently:  as permanence.  Hard to have "rail creep" in planning/executing a rail transit project the way it often happens with "BRT creep".

I see 3 as a flaw when a car on the line breaks down - or if the line is blocked for other reasons, including a crash involving one or more rubber-tire vehicles. 

I reject the inflexibility of rail as some sort of an asset. 

The apartment buildings along the 16th Street, N.W.; Connecticut Avenue, N.W.; Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.; and Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. corridors have thrived for many, many decades, with the only form of transit being the humble transit bus (16th Street never had streetcar service; the line along Connecticut Avenue was converted to bus in the 1930's (and supplanted to a large extent by Metrorail in the 1980's); streetcars on Wisconsin Avenue were converted to bus in the late 1950's; and Massachusetts Avenue had some streetcar service in the early days of electric street railways in D.C., but it was abandoned as far back as the 1920's or 1930's).

BRT is a rather different mode of transport from (most) electric street railway lines.

#4 may or may not be true, depending on how many stops the transit line has.  As a general rule, streetcars tend to be faster than buses (parked cars in the way notwithstanding) because they generally make fewer stops than the bus does.  The only way the bus could counter this would be to cut the number of stops it makes, or having more limited-stop service (like the S9 or X9).  But local residents and even businesses tend to not like having "their stop" cut, even if it makes operational sense to do so.

Streetcars can usually accelerate away from a stop faster than a vehicle with an internal-combustion engine, but they generally have to follow the same posted speed limits as nearby rubber-tire traffic.

In D.C. most of the electric street railway system was also impacted by recurring (and sometimes severe) traffic congestion (notable exceptions being parts of the 10 and 12  (east of the Anacostia River) to Benning and Seat Pleasant respectively,  the 20 line to Glen Echo, west of Georgetown University; the 82 to from Mount Rainier to Branchville in College Park; and the 30 along Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. from Second Street to Barney Circle and along much of Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.from the U.S. Capitol complex to the White House and beyond to the narrow streets of Georgetown).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 16, 2016, 11:20:18 PM
Washington Post: Meet the District’s ‘most productive’ traffic officer (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/meet-the-districts-most-productive-traffic-officer/2016/02/16/88b15f82-ca91-11e5-ae11-57b6aeab993f_story.html)

Quote
If you drive a taxi in the District, chances are you’ve heard of Officer Thomas Krmenec, king of traffic enforcement in the city’s 5th District in Northeast.

Quote
Nothing escapes Krmenec when it comes to enforcing taxicab regulations — and for that matter, all rules of the road. He is so serious about keeping order on the streets that last year he handed out more than 3,000 tickets, earning him accolades as the “most productive traffic officer in the city.”

Quote
When he’s not inspecting taxicabs, Krmenec, an 11-year D.C. police veteran, is pulling over speeders, arresting drunk drivers and coming to the aid of residents looking for traffic-calming in their neighborhoods. He is a rarity in a city that relies heavily on automated traffic enforcement.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 19, 2016, 10:50:19 PM
WTOP Radio: Proposed transportation projects could ease traffic in the region (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/02/proposed-transportation-projects-could-ease-traffic-in-the-region/)

Quote
Significant traffic changes are being considered by local transportation officials looking to ease gridlock in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

Quote
Those changes include a tolling plan for Interstate 66, converting I-395 HOV lanes to toll lanes, installing a new HOV lane on Route 28 and adding new bus-only lanes.

Quote
On Wednesday, as part of the proposed changes to the region’s long range plan, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ transportation planning board was briefed on nine major projects that Virginia and D.C. have proposed or want to change.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on February 21, 2016, 08:31:15 AM
Ugh.  Whenever someone talks about using tolling to ease congestion, it makes me want to reach for my revolver.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on February 21, 2016, 09:55:53 AM
Why's that?  Congestion pricing has been well demonstrated.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on February 21, 2016, 04:02:15 PM
Ugh.  Whenever someone talks about using tolling to ease congestion, it makes me want to reach for my revolver.

Reach for this instead: Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 Saving Time (http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/ICC/Saving_Time.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on February 22, 2016, 08:10:30 AM
Why's that?  Congestion pricing has been well demonstrated.

It's the real cost of congestion pricing and tolling that irks me.  The relief in congestion that is realized through such measures is due to restricting freedom:  Those that would have traveled on the road when it was not tolled now do not take the trip since they find the increased cost onerous.  So, we're restricting our society's mobility and freedom while claiming a victory in easing congestion ("Yay!  The more affluent can get around easier!").

I'm not totally against tolling, either.  However, my position has always been to either tax me or toll me, but not both (despite the fact we've already tried tolling a lot more than we do now -- see all the very old turnpikes in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic -- which was one of the impetuses for federal funding of roads starting with the National Road).  This hodgepodge system we have where some facilities are tolled and others aren't seems very chaotic and inefficient to me. 

For instance, look at NY, where you have all this redundant manpower split almost arbitrarily between NYSDOT, NYSTA, NYSBA, PANYNJ, MTA, etc., etc.  In reality, the Thruway's just another highway.  Sure, you need some people to handle the tolling aspects of it, but the size of NYSTA in terms of FTEs seems very disproportionate to the actual needs of the facility on its face.  So, tolls are actually supporting an inefficient system of overall management.

I'm rambling and this is the DC thread, so I'll stop here.  My main point is that I accept the cold data that congestion does improve when pricing is implemented, but the cost to the overall mobility and freedom of our society for that benefit concerns me.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on February 22, 2016, 08:17:06 AM
Every good has to be rationed by one way or another.

Generally governments ration by queue, that is, waiting for stuff. This is true with roads, lines at the DMV, etc. Everyone is equal and gets a fair shot at the same good.

Private enterprise rations by price typically...the price of a good or service is raised (or lowered) until it hits a market-cleared equilibrium. Those that are able and willing to buy the good/service do so.

Effectively, congestion pricing is, to steal a phrase from politicians "running the government like a business". Whether or not that's a good thing is up to the voters.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2016, 01:45:43 PM
Washington Post: Crumbling Memorial Bridge could become a ‘footbridge’ in five years without $250 million in repairs (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crumbling-memorial-bridge-could-become-a-footbridge-in-five-years-without-250-million-in-repairs/2016/03/02/70db2926-e092-11e5-846c-10191d1fc4ec_story.html)

Quote
The National Park Service said Wednesday that the historic but crumbling Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River may be closed to traffic in five years if it does not get a complete overhaul by then.

Quote
Without repairs, “it’s a footbridge” by 2021, said the Park Service’s director, Jonathan B. Jarvis.

Quote
The Park Service has been warning for years that the bridge has been failing. Traffic weight restrictions have been instituted, while the road surface has been patched up and the support structure shored up.

Quote
But the rate of deterioration has accelerated, and an inspection report last month by the Federal Highway Administration found conditions even more alarming, Jarvis said.

Quote
During a tour of the underside of the bridge Wednesday, Park Service officials pointed out decayed steel supports, corroded rivets, crumbling concrete and ancient, peeling paint.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 03, 2016, 03:08:31 PM
The bridge should be reconstructed. Is there anyway to include safety and design improvements without interfering with the fact that the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2016, 07:25:17 PM
The bridge should be reconstructed. Is there anyway to include safety and design improvements without interfering with the fact that the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places?

I certainly think so.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 03, 2016, 08:49:18 PM
There's precedent.  The Mendota Bridge in Minnesota is a concrete arch bridge that has long been on the National Register.  MnDOT completely rebuilt it above the arches about 20 years ago.  While doing the same thing here would be a traffic nightmare during the reconstruction, it's certainly an option that has the above-mentioned precedent.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 03, 2016, 09:51:21 PM
There's precedent.  The Mendota Bridge in Minnesota is a concrete arch bridge that has long been on the National Register.  MnDOT completely rebuilt it above the arches about 20 years ago.  While doing the same thing here would be a traffic nightmare during the reconstruction, it's certainly an option that has the above-mentioned precedent.

It has been suggested that a total closure of the Arlington Memorial Bridge would speed-up the project and lower the cost while respecting the historic and iconic nature of this crossing. In my personal opinion, that is a good idea, especially if it gets the pain over with more quickly, and has the added bonus of getting the bridge open to bus traffic again (mostly tourist buses, but also some transit). 

My biggest concern with a possible total closure is the amount of non-motorized traffic crossing this bridge - detours via I-395 or I-66 are long (especially for pedestrian traffic), especially for trips between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. Not clear to me if a total reconstruction can be handled while keeping the bridge open for the bikes and walkers.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on March 05, 2016, 07:57:18 AM
There's precedent.  The Mendota Bridge in Minnesota is a concrete arch bridge that has long been on the National Register.  MnDOT completely rebuilt it above the arches about 20 years ago.  While doing the same thing here would be a traffic nightmare during the reconstruction, it's certainly an option that has the above-mentioned precedent.

It has been suggested that a total closure of the Arlington Memorial Bridge would speed-up the project and lower the cost while respecting the historic and iconic nature of this crossing. In my personal opinion, that is a good idea, especially if it gets the pain over with more quickly, and has the added bonus of getting the bridge open to bus traffic again (mostly tourist buses, but also some transit). 

My biggest concern with a possible total closure is the amount of non-motorized traffic crossing this bridge - detours via I-395 or I-66 are long (especially for pedestrian traffic), especially for trips between the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. Not clear to me if a total reconstruction can be handled while keeping the bridge open for the bikes and walkers.

I had no idea the 14th St. Bridge had a pedestrian/bike path.  (on all three spans?)

Does Columbia Island have *any* pedestrian/bike friendly paths?

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: davewiecking on March 05, 2016, 08:35:10 AM
The Mt. Vernon bike trail starts in Rosslyn (technically at the end of the Custis Trail along I-66), passes over the GWMP and onto Columbia Island, has branches that head across the Memorial Bridge and towards the Pentagon parking lot, leaves Columbia Island for "the mainland" at the Humpback bridge, has another branch that feeds a path that crosses the Potomac on the north side of the southbound I-395 George Mason Memorial Bridge, and parallels the GWMP past National Airport, thru Alexandria, and winds up where one would expect a trail of that name to wind up.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 05, 2016, 09:45:32 AM
The 14th Street Bridge has a pedestrian/bike path on the southbound span. On the DC side you access it near the back of the Jefferson Memorial.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on March 05, 2016, 12:15:53 PM
Maybe the ACE can build a temporary trestle span for bikes an Peds.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: KEVIN_224 on March 05, 2016, 07:17:38 PM
You can also walk over the Key Bridge between Arlington (Rosslyn) and Washington DC (Georgetown). I did the southern side into DC and then the northern side into Virginia back on May 29, 2015. I don't know about riding a bike though.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 05, 2016, 07:39:30 PM
You can also walk over the Key Bridge between Arlington (Rosslyn) and Washington DC (Georgetown). I did the southern side into DC and then the northern side into Virginia back on May 29, 2015. I don't know about riding a bike though.

Plenty of bikes use the Key Bridge (U.S. 29) crossing.  The only one that does not get much use is the T. Roosevelt Bridge (I-66 and U.S. 50).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cl94 on March 05, 2016, 08:51:36 PM
You can also walk over the Key Bridge between Arlington (Rosslyn) and Washington DC (Georgetown). I did the southern side into DC and then the northern side into Virginia back on May 29, 2015. I don't know about riding a bike though.

Plenty of bikes use the Key Bridge (U.S. 29) crossing.  The only one that does not get much use is the T. Roosevelt Bridge (I-66 and U.S. 50).

With good reason. It's a PITA for bikes and pedestrians to use the bridge, especially because the western end of the path leading to the bridge is at the foot of the Key Bridge and the east side isn't much better.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 06, 2016, 08:54:29 AM
All of the side paths are frustratingly narrow. Memorial bridge has the only decent sidepath.

Key Bridge has the issue of having the "intersection of doom" on the Rosslyn side, where motorists have a tendency to hit bikers and pedestrians (so they can save 30 seconds on their commute by not letting the crosswalk clear out before turning)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 06, 2016, 10:37:18 AM
The path on the Roosevelt Bridge's south side isn't much good because, if I remember correctly, it doesn't connect to anything on the Virginia side—it just dumps you into the grassy area in the middle of the various high-speed ramps. I know I walked across it in June 1991 on the day of the Desert Storm parade (Memorial Bridge was closed for the parade), but I just don't have a clear mental image of precisely where the south side path dropped me.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 06, 2016, 12:35:55 PM
The path on the Roosevelt Bridge's south side isn't much good because, if I remember correctly, it doesn't connect to anything on the Virginia side—it just dumps you into the grassy area in the middle of the various high-speed ramps. I know I walked across it in June 1991 on the day of the Desert Storm parade (Memorial Bridge was closed for the parade), but I just don't have a clear mental image of precisely where the south side path dropped me.

I found that out while walking along the Roosevelt Bridge's south side myself last year. The path just ends on the ramp from Arlington Blvd to I-66 EB, near the grove of trees in the center.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8909114,-77.0657308,173m/data=!3m1!1e3

I know now from Google Maps that the north side bridge path eventually connects with the Mt. Vernon Trail near the footbridge to Roosevelt Island. But it looks like the only access to that path on the DC side is in front of the Kennedy Center.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 07, 2016, 08:37:53 AM
Correct.  There's a way to get there from Juárez Circle, but it's indirect which is why there have for many years been calls for a better connection to the Rock Creek Pkwy path via the south side of the Kennedy Center.  I've seen preliminary designs for such a connection but they just haven't happened yet.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 07, 2016, 02:51:21 PM
They appear to be doing some kind of work on that path as part of the construction at the Kennedy Center, but I don't know what and I haven't gotten a good look as I drive past because (a) it's been too dark and (b) I'm always focused on the merge there. Today my wife drove, so maybe I'll get to take a look if the traffic is slow enough. I can't help but wonder if they're building some sort of ramp or stairs.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on March 09, 2016, 12:45:39 PM
The path on the Roosevelt Bridge's south side isn't much good because, if I remember correctly, it doesn't connect to anything on the Virginia side—it just dumps you into the grassy area in the middle of the various high-speed ramps. I know I walked across it in June 1991 on the day of the Desert Storm parade (Memorial Bridge was closed for the parade), but I just don't have a clear mental image of precisely where the south side path dropped me.

I found that out while walking along the Roosevelt Bridge's south side myself last year. The path just ends on the ramp from Arlington Blvd to I-66 EB, near the grove of trees in the center.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8909114,-77.0657308,173m/data=!3m1!1e3

I know now from Google Maps that the north side bridge path eventually connects with the Mt. Vernon Trail near the footbridge to Roosevelt Island. But it looks like the only access to that path on the DC side is in front of the Kennedy Center.

Heh.  Back in the summer of 2004, I ended up on the wrong sidewalk across the bridge, trying to get to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

I just ran across the GWMP.  Sat atop the rock-wall median for a bit, but made it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 09, 2016, 12:50:56 PM
Heh.  Back in the summer of 2004, I ended up on the wrong sidewalk across the bridge, trying to get to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

I just ran across the GWMP.  Sat atop the rock-wall median for a bit, but made it.

A bad road to cross on foot. 

There's an at-grade bike and pedestrian crossing of the northbound Parkway on Columbia Island in D.C. that has had more than a few crashes.  In spite of the 40 MPH posted limit, most drivers regard that as the minimum speed, not the maximum speed limit.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 09, 2016, 04:17:26 PM
Heh.  Back in the summer of 2004, I ended up on the wrong sidewalk across the bridge, trying to get to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

I just ran across the GWMP.  Sat atop the rock-wall median for a bit, but made it.

A bad road to cross on foot. 

There's an at-grade bike and pedestrian crossing of the northbound Parkway on Columbia Island in D.C. that has had more than a few crashes.  In spite of the 40 MPH posted limit, most drivers regard that as the minimum speed, not the maximum speed limit.

They're all taking in the sights along the Parkway, just as the National Park Service envisioned, right?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2016, 12:05:30 PM
They're all taking in the sights along the Parkway, just as the National Park Service envisioned, right?

Wrong.

The drivers treat the G.W. Memorial Parkway as a freeway (I have been nearly rear-ended several times for stopping at that crossing on Columbia Island).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 10, 2016, 01:08:16 PM
They're all taking in the sights along the Parkway, just as the National Park Service envisioned, right?

Wrong.

The drivers treat the G.W. Memorial Parkway as a freeway (I have been nearly rear-ended several times for stopping at that crossing on Columbia Island).

Yes, I'm well-aware and was being facetious. I have made many crossings of the Parkway on bike, and I take my life into my hands whenever I trust a crosswalk (I won't go until I get visual ID from both lanes).

It's utter madness and stupidity that the NPS continues the farce of the "park" aspect of it (http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/index.htm):

Quote
The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.

I don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: andrewkbrown on March 10, 2016, 10:37:00 PM
NPS must be referring to the GW Parkway south of Alexandria to Mt. Vernon.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2016, 11:04:50 PM
NPS must be referring to the GW Parkway south of Alexandria to Mt. Vernon.

No, the entire Parkway. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 12, 2016, 09:00:42 PM
They appear to be doing some kind of work on that path as part of the construction at the Kennedy Center, but I don't know what and I haven't gotten a good look as I drive past because (a) it's been too dark and (b) I'm always focused on the merge there. Today my wife drove, so maybe I'll get to take a look if the traffic is slow enough. I can't help but wonder if they're building some sort of ramp or stairs.

Following up on this comment: On Friday I finished work early and took the subway to Nationals Park to redeem some rainchecks for bobbleheads. The car was parked at my wife's office, a 3.5-mile walk from there, so I took the subway to Smithsonian and then walked the remaining 2.25 miles down the Mall, past the Lincoln Memorial, and up Rock Creek Parkway to the crossing behind the Watergate. Passing the Kennedy Center construction the most obvious thing is a big mess. But there is some sort of paved path connecting up to the Roosevelt Bridge north side path. It looks inaccessible at the moment. It is unclear whether this is something permanent because it looks too steep to be practical for normal use, and it's also unclear from the signs how far the extended building will stretch.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 14, 2016, 10:36:01 AM
They appear to be doing some kind of work on that path as part of the construction at the Kennedy Center, but I don't know what and I haven't gotten a good look as I drive past because (a) it's been too dark and (b) I'm always focused on the merge there. Today my wife drove, so maybe I'll get to take a look if the traffic is slow enough. I can't help but wonder if they're building some sort of ramp or stairs.

Following up on this comment: On Friday I finished work early and took the subway to Nationals Park to redeem some rainchecks for bobbleheads. The car was parked at my wife's office, a 3.5-mile walk from there, so I took the subway to Smithsonian and then walked the remaining 2.25 miles down the Mall, past the Lincoln Memorial, and up Rock Creek Parkway to the crossing behind the Watergate. Passing the Kennedy Center construction the most obvious thing is a big mess. But there is some sort of paved path connecting up to the Roosevelt Bridge north side path. It looks inaccessible at the moment. It is unclear whether this is something permanent because it looks too steep to be practical for normal use, and it's also unclear from the signs how far the extended building will stretch.

IMO the access to the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge from the D.C. side has always been clumsy (at best).  The Virginia side, where it ties in to the Mount Vernon Trail, is pretty good, but the trail surface is not that good when wet. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 31, 2016, 02:00:13 AM
Washington Post: Nuclear Security Summit means ‘tough’ times for D.C. traffic this week (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/03/28/nuclear-security-summit-means-tough-times-for-d-c-traffic-this-week/)

Quote
D.C. officials warned that the Nuclear Security Summit this week will cause major traffic woes in the city.

Quote
Thursday and Friday “will be tough traffic days,”  the District’s homeland security chief, Chris Geldhart, said at a Monday news conference.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on April 13, 2016, 03:05:32 PM
TPB has written up a short study of traffic conditions (http://www.tpbne.ws/featured/a-day-without-metro-meant-worse-traffic-for-some-but-not-others/) on the day of the Metro shut down last month.  The study compared traffic conditions on that "shutdown" day (3/16) to conditions on the previous Wednesday (3/9), considered a "typical" Wednesday.  Here's a quick synopsis of key points:

- Overall, traffic conditions on shutdown day were slightly worse than normal, although there are notable geographical differences.  Traffic was overall worse in the "regional core" (defined as DC, Alexandria, and Arlington County), but better overall in the suburbs.

- Inside the Beltway, the major inbound freeways all experienced negative impacts during the morning peak (defined as the 7am hour), with the biggest impacts being on northbound I-395 and I-295.  The inbound HOV facilities (I-66 and the I-395 HOV lanes) saw slight degradation, but not nearly to the extent that the mainline freeways and other facilities (i.e. GW Pkwy) saw.

- Outside the Beltway, the only inbound freeway to see a negative impact during the morning peak was I-270, likely a result of losing the Red Line from Shady Grove south.  Other inbound freeways generally held steady, although a few (namely I-95, I-66, and the DTR in Virginia, and US 50 in PGC) saw improvements over normal morning peak traffic.

- The study didn't specifically discuss the Beltway, although looking at the attached traffic maps, there didn't seem to be a significant change overall during the morning peak.  Traffic appeared worse on the Inner Loop through Tysons and on both sides through Largo, but better on the Inner Loop through MoCo.

- The evening peak (defined as the 5pm hour) was a very different story.  As a general rule, evening traffic on shutdown day was far lighter than normal.  The study suggests two possible reasons for this:  A) workers and commuters adjusted their departure times to avoid the peak, thereby spreading traffic out, and/or B) people took fewer discretionary trips in the evening, which had the effect of reducing traffic.  Either way, regionwide traffic was down 4% compared to normal.

- As opposed to the morning peak, the core jurisdictions saw the most improvement over normal during the evening peak, and Fairfax County also saw a significant reduction compared to normal.  As a general rule, the inner jurisdictions saw reduction while the outer jurisdictions saw little or no change compared to normal.

- Most outbound freeways, both inside and outside the Beltway, saw reductions in travel times compared to normal.  Those that didn't see a reduction had little or no change from normal.  The biggest reductions from normal were on I-295 and I-395 inside the Beltway, and on I-66 outside the Beltway.

- Comparing the traffic maps, the Beltway appears to have had overall improvement as well, particularly at the Wilson Bridge approaches (both sides), the Outer Loop through PGC, and the Inner Loop from Tysons to 270.  Other areas of the Beltway appeared to have no change compared to normal during the evening peak.  Notable congestion remained on the Outer Loop from MoCo to Tysons, the Inner Loop through MoCo and from Greenbelt to Largo, and the Outer Loop south of Tysons.  The Inner Loop from Largo to Andrews appears to have been worse than normal.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: BrianP on April 14, 2016, 02:10:30 PM
Looking where things got worse could be useful.  But looking where things got better I think isn't very useful.  Any improvement seen was probably from people staying home since it was a one day event.  Given a week or more shutdown would give better data.  Especially if it wasn't during the summer where you have a larger fraction of people on vacation.  But it's not like you could do that just to get data.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on April 14, 2016, 08:02:02 PM
Looking where things got worse could be useful.  But looking where things got better I think isn't very useful.  Any improvement seen was probably from people staying home since it was a one day event.  Given a week or more shutdown would give better data.  Especially if it wasn't during the summer where you have a larger fraction of people on vacation.  But it's not like you could do that just to get data.

Bingo. There are limits to how much productivity can be achieved via telework, particularly in government, which inherently requires committees and meetings and such. So maybe you can compress a bunch of personal work into a single telework day, but not a business week's worth of work.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 14, 2016, 03:34:28 PM
Never noticed this before. Yesterday afternoon I had some time to kill between the time I got off work and the time my wife got off work and I decided to walk over to Georgetown. But with all the rain lately I had left my sunglasses in the car, which was at her office, so I walked over there to get them and I took a new route that took me along the wall above the stub end of I-66 near the Watergate just north of the tunnel under Virginia Avenue/Juarez Circle. I found the way they put up these lights to be quite interesting. Perfectly sensible design, just very interesting, reminded me of some of the castles and citadels I've visited over the years.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/7a7f51b1e9df131232c1146b54fb5999_zps5kjwaj11.jpg)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/24a66ecd084a74603005e3b1b0c748f1_zpssuymdbeb.jpg)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on May 14, 2016, 04:28:36 PM
Yes, 1995hoo, I've always liked the masonry work on some of DC's post-WW2 overpasses.

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mariethefoxy on May 15, 2016, 04:25:29 PM
do they still have that sign bridge in that area with the random covered up signs?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 15, 2016, 05:17:19 PM
do they still have that sign bridge in that area with the random covered up signs?
Yes, the one with the wooden panels over the signs. In the first picture, it's through the tunnel to the left of where I was standing.

I wonder how long that thing has left before it comes down. The District has replaced a lot of signs in recent years, though on a sporadic basis. They haven't done a lot in that area, other than a few small signs on Virginia Avenue (can't say "LGSs" since one of them is white), but when they do come through, it'll likely be with a vengeance. WTOP mentioned that particular sign bridge in an online photo essay within the past year, which is the main reason I wonder how long it'll survive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: abefroman329 on May 16, 2016, 02:35:04 PM
do they still have that sign bridge in that area with the random covered up signs?
Yes, the one with the wooden panels over the signs. In the first picture, it's through the tunnel to the left of where I was standing.

I wonder how long that thing has left before it comes down. The District has replaced a lot of signs in recent years, though on a sporadic basis. They haven't done a lot in that area, other than a few small signs on Virginia Avenue (can't say "LGSs" since one of them is white), but when they do come through, it'll likely be with a vengeance. WTOP mentioned that particular sign bridge in an online photo essay within the past year, which is the main reason I wonder how long it'll survive.

Personally, I can't wait for it to come down, since we'll finally learn what's underneath (I don't think anyone knows for sure).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 16, 2016, 06:52:44 PM
We might learn, anyway. Might not. I hope we would get to see a picture of the uncovered signs, at least.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on May 17, 2016, 09:03:19 PM
GGW has an item about a possible new loop ramp off K Street towards I-66 as part of a proposed streetcar extension to Georgetown:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/30833/a-streetcar-to-georgetown-could-add-a-loop-ramp-under-k-street-and-a-pedestrian-walkway/
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on May 18, 2016, 07:22:38 AM
Goal being to eliminate the left turn lane and the left turn signal phase from westbound K to southbound 27th.  Makes it easier to route the streetcar through and down into lower Georgetown.  Also makes it easier for those in the West End, or along the K St corridor, to get onto 66.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mrsman on May 22, 2016, 02:55:34 PM
They're all taking in the sights along the Parkway, just as the National Park Service envisioned, right?

Wrong.

The drivers treat the G.W. Memorial Parkway as a freeway (I have been nearly rear-ended several times for stopping at that crossing on Columbia Island).

Yes, I'm well-aware and was being facetious. I have made many crossings of the Parkway on bike, and I take my life into my hands whenever I trust a crosswalk (I won't go until I get visual ID from both lanes).

It's utter madness and stupidity that the NPS continues the farce of the "park" aspect of it (http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/index.htm):

Quote
The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.

I don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face.

For many of the NPS routes, It is a shame that there are restrictions on putting in place traffic signals.  There are many points along Beach Road or the GW Pkwy exit to Memorial Bridge that would be so much safer with traffic signals.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 22, 2016, 11:05:48 PM
For many of the NPS routes, It is a shame that there are restrictions on putting in place traffic signals.  There are many points along Beach Road or the GW Pkwy exit to Memorial Bridge that would be so much safer with traffic signals.

Though there are signals on at several places on the NPS-maintained parkway system in the Washington area.

Including these (list is not all-inclusive):

George Washington Memorial Parkway at Slaters Lane (Alexandria)
Clara Barton Parkway at Chain Bridge/Canal Road, N.W.
Ohio Drive and Independence Avenue, S.W.
17th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W.
15th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W.
Several along Constitution Avenue, N.W. between 23rd Street and 17th Street (some are maintained by DDOT)
Naylor Road and Suitland Parkway
Forestville Road and Suitland Parkway
Beach Drive, N.W. at Park Road
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mattpedersen on May 24, 2016, 08:06:58 PM
Forestville Road and Suitland Parkway
That one is maintained by Prince George's County DPWT
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 24, 2016, 11:46:18 PM
Forestville Road and Suitland Parkway
That one is maintained by Prince George's County DPWT

Agreed.  And the (soon to be gone) signal at Md. 4 and the Suitland Parkway is SHA-maintained. 

Not sure if SHA or NPS maintains the signal at Md. 637 (Naylor Road) and the Suitland Parkway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mattpedersen on June 10, 2016, 04:38:25 PM
Well, the Naylor Road one is maintained by SHA. Its in the signal plan locator and the new fixtures that are being installed are unmistakable SHA spec.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 10, 2016, 05:34:32 PM
Well, the Naylor Road one is maintained by SHA. Its in the signal plan locator and the new fixtures that are being installed are unmistakable SHA spec.

I think that signal may have been NPS-spec or even D.C.-spec in the distant past (say 15 or 20 years ago).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 12, 2016, 03:37:10 PM
do they still have that sign bridge in that area with the random covered up signs?

I walked past there on Friday on my way to meet my wife after work (we park at her office near that sign bridge), so I took a few pictures.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20122_zpsiwhkrpvh.jpg)  (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20121_zpspqznssl2.jpg)


The previous two pictures were taken from the sidewalk on 25 Street across from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Nearby, there is what should be an excellent vantage point on a walkway just off Juarez Circle. Unfortunately, it's become a refuse dump, apparently for homeless people. (At least there were no visible condoms or wrappers. Thursday morning there was an open condom wrapper on the inner sidewalk at Washington Circle. I did not stop to see whether the rubber itself was anywhere to be seen.)

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20113_zpsbjacjvyv.jpg)  (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20118_zps8rhratrz.jpg)


This is the sort of view you get from that walkway. I don't know why people seem to feel the need to drive on the shoulder.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20110_zps9rxwxuob.jpg)  (http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c378/1995hoo/Road%20sign%20pictures/Miscellaneous%20spring%202016%20117_zps5wlvj74i.jpg)


Edited to add: BTW, we've all speculated about the probability of there being an I-695 sign on the far left. What about the far right? There's something else covered over there, and certainly the shoulder is wide enough to support another lane. Does anyone know if there was at one point to have been an exit to the Kennedy Center, perhaps? A US-50 sign wouldn't really be logical at that location even though the Roosevelt Bridge carries it, and it's too far back for a GW Parkway sign. (Plus in either case presumably there'd be no need to cover those signs.) A Kennedy Center exit would make no sense with the roads as they are now, but had I-66 been finished there might have been some use for it. (I do not remember when the ramp to the Roosevelt Bridge from near the security guard's booth opened, but I seem to recall it wasn't there when I was a kid. We use it now on our commute home on days when we drive because it's easy access to I-66 and the HOV-2 restriction.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: HTM Duke on June 12, 2016, 05:42:47 PM
I know there was an exit for the Kennedy Center there at one point, but the only photographic evidence I've been able to find was a fuzzy picture on the DCRoads.net (http://www.dcroads.net/roads/potomac-river/img2.gif) website, along with an aerial view from 2002 from Historic Aerials (though barricaded).  From what I can remember, around 2002 or so, the Kennedy Center underwent renovations, and the ramp was removed as well.  Also, arrow patches were added to signage leading to the Kennedy Center form the Whitehurst Freeway (https://goo.gl/maps/p4tazbJZRow), instructing drivers to use US-29/K St instead of I-66.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on June 12, 2016, 10:52:55 PM
I know there was an exit for the Kennedy Center there at one point, but the only photographic evidence I've been able to find was a fuzzy picture on the DCRoads.net (http://www.dcroads.net/roads/potomac-river/img2.gif) website, along with an aerial view from 2002 from Historic Aerials (though barricaded).  From what I can remember, around 2002 or so, the Kennedy Center underwent renovations, and the ramp was removed as well.  Also, arrow patches were added to signage leading to the Kennedy Center form the Whitehurst Freeway (https://goo.gl/maps/p4tazbJZRow), instructing drivers to use US-29/K St instead of I-66.
I had the same speculation and learned the same thing. Yes, that was absolutely a former ramp.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 13, 2016, 07:42:26 AM
Thanks. Really interesting. I'm a little chagrined that I do not remember that exit, seeing as how I've lived in the area since 1974, but I've almost never used I-66 in that direction (I rarely went to that area at all prior to my wife working there unless I was going to the Kennedy Center, which was rare enough), so I guess it makes sense that I don't remember it.

If it weren't for the rush hour HOV-2 restriction, which benefits us time-wise in the afternoon even though it's out of our way distance-wise, I pretty much wouldn't use I-66 inside the Beltway at all other than the brief DC stub in the other direction during the morning rush hour.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 13, 2016, 12:03:39 PM
The off-ramp to the Kennedy Center (which also went to northbound Rock Creek Pkwy) was still in place and open around 9/11 time.  It was barricaded by March, 2002, likely concurrent with the aforementioned renovations.  The access road in front of the Kennedy Center was completed in the latter half of 2004 (a temporary access road existed through much of 2002 and 2003).  The new ramp from the access road to WB 66 was not completed until mid-2005.

If you have Google Earth, there are several earlier aerial images that show the old ramp and the transition progress to the current configuration.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on June 13, 2016, 01:38:34 PM
Thanks, I'll view that and Historic Aerials some other time. The office blocks that sort of stuff and I don't like viewing it on my phone, too small to be useful.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mattpedersen on June 20, 2016, 05:55:04 PM
Well, the Naylor Road one is maintained by SHA. Its in the signal plan locator and the new fixtures that are being installed are unmistakable SHA spec.

I think that signal may have been NPS-spec or even D.C.-spec in the distant past (say 15 or 20 years ago).

The previous signal was NPS-spec or DC-spec for sure. I have vague memories of it. All the signals were on short poles, none were over head. The Forestville Road signal was generic PG DPW&T spec.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on June 21, 2016, 08:18:35 AM
Whatever it may have been before, by 2008 it was certainly not DDOT-spec.  The iteration from that time through at least 2014 was neither PGC, SHA, or DDOT spec.  Given that it was similar to formats I'd seen on various military bases, I assumed it was a Federal or NPS thing.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: mattpedersen on June 29, 2016, 02:07:04 PM
Whatever it may have been before, by 2008 it was certainly not DDOT-spec.  The iteration from that time through at least 2014 was neither PGC, SHA, or DDOT spec.  Given that it was similar to formats I'd seen on various military bases, I assumed it was a Federal or NPS thing.

That DDOT spec signal was replaced when Suitland Parkway was rebuilt in the late 1980s
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on June 29, 2016, 06:43:12 PM
Whatever it may have been before, by 2008 it was certainly not DDOT-spec.

I am talking the period (roughly) from 1967 to 1985.

I had a somewhat distant cousin from Cleveland, Ohio who was a student at GWU and had some mental health issues (I think it was what was dubbed a "nervous breakdown" and as a result was a patient at St. Elizabeth's Hospital) in the late 1960's.  He would sometimes come along on a day pass when we went to visit my grandparents in southern Anne Arundel County, and we took the Suitland Parkway out to Md. 4 (in those days, all of the Parkway was under NPS maintenance (even in D.C.) and it was an almost-Super-2-type of road beyond the interchange at Md. 458 (Silver Hill Road), where it narrowed from 4 lanes divided to 2 lanes undivided).

Back then, the signal heads at Md. 637 (Naylor Road) were definitely in the "D.C." style (pretty sure they were grey).

The iteration from that time through at least 2014 was neither PGC, SHA, or DDOT spec.  Given that it was similar to formats I'd seen on various military bases, I assumed it was a Federal or NPS thing.

NPS would be my choice.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 06, 2016, 01:05:09 AM
Washington Post: Corroded Memorial Bridge gets $90 million grant for major overhaul (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/corroded-memorial-bridge-gets-90-million-grant-for-major-overall/2016/07/05/e1ffe3a6-42e1-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html)

Quote
The Arlington Memorial Bridge, a symbol both of American ingenuity and the nation’s sagging infrastructure, has received a $90 million grant for a massive reconstruction project, officials said Tuesday.

Quote
The infusion of federal dollars marks a major step toward restoring the deteriorating bridge, but it does not fully fund the project, which the National Park Service has estimated will cost $250 million. It is not clear where the rest of the money will come from, although the Park Service could seek additional federal money.

Quote
Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said the bridge, which carries 68,000 vehicles a day, will need to be shut to traffic in 2021 if the overhaul is not done. He said it would turn into a “footbridge.”
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 06, 2016, 10:24:54 AM
I wonder if they would (could?) rebuild the span as not a drawbridge. Can't remember any time in my lifetime that the drawbridge was raised, and I don't see any future need for it to raise. I presume it would save money as well.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: machpost on July 06, 2016, 10:44:59 AM
I wonder if they would (could?) rebuild the span as not a drawbridge. Can't remember any time in my lifetime that the drawbridge was raised, and I don't see any future need for it to raise. I presume it would save money as well.

That Post article mentions that the drawspan hasn't been opened since 1961. So it would appear that there's no need for the drawbridge mechanism to be maintained.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 06, 2016, 01:47:05 PM
I wonder if they would (could?) rebuild the span as not a drawbridge. Can't remember any time in my lifetime that the drawbridge was raised, and I don't see any future need for it to raise. I presume it would save money as well.

That Post article mentions that the drawspan hasn't been opened since 1961. So it would appear that there's no need for the drawbridge mechanism to be maintained.

It's not necessary to have the drawspan because the two upstream spans at the 14th Street Bridge (HOV and SB spans) are fixed spans, as is the Roosevelt Bridge. So there's pretty much no reason why the Memorial Bridge drawspan would ever open again.

I read something a few months ago that indicated they would permanently disable it, but that to remove it altogether and rebuild it would be insanely expensive.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 06, 2016, 02:47:48 PM
Come to think of it, I think the South Capital Street Bridge (d/b/a Douglass Bridge) will be rebuilt without a drawbridge mechanism, which was the impetus for removing Display Ship Barry from the Washington Navy Yard.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on July 06, 2016, 03:52:24 PM
That was part of it.  The other part was that the Navy and the Navy Yard were becoming increasingly disinterested in maintenance of the old Barry.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 06, 2016, 04:33:04 PM
That was part of it.  The other part was that the Navy and the Navy Yard were becoming increasingly disinterested in maintenance of the old Barry.

Sad...an influx of myopic twits will inhabit the Navy Yard area, without any knowledge of its industrial past.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 06, 2016, 08:54:27 PM
Technically the current bridge is a swing bridge, rather than a drawbridge, but your point remains valid.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: machpost on July 11, 2016, 01:09:17 PM
That was part of it.  The other part was that the Navy and the Navy Yard were becoming increasingly disinterested in maintenance of the old Barry.

If I'm not mistaken, the Barry was towed away to be scrapped a few months ago.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on July 11, 2016, 02:17:15 PM
That was part of it.  The other part was that the Navy and the Navy Yard were becoming increasingly disinterested in maintenance of the old Barry.

If I'm not mistaken, the Barry was towed away to be scrapped a few months ago.

Correct.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 11, 2016, 03:40:02 PM
Dr. Gridlock of the Washington Post had an online discussion (https://live.washingtonpost.com/gridlock0711.html?hpid=hp_local-news_livechat-gridlock-12pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory) today, and several entries were about the (lack of) District of Columbia traffic law enforcement
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 11, 2016, 11:12:36 PM
WTOP Radio: Do you know which freeway you’re on? (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/08/do-you-know-which-freeway-youre-on/)

Quote
It’s the District’s busiest road, yet most drivers don’t even seem to know its name.

Quote
The Southeast-Southwest Freeway is technically two separate interstates, Interstate 395 and Interstate 695, which join together near South Capitol Street. WTOP conducted an unofficial survey at an I-695 off-ramp along 6th Street SE to find out what drivers on the busy freeway call it.

Quote
WTOP questioned 53 people between noon and 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Quote
When asked how they refer to the road that they just exited from, more than half of the drivers, 56 percent, misidentified it as I-395 or didn’t know. About 24 percent correctly identified it as I-695. Roughly one in six drivers referred to it by its colloquial name, the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 14, 2016, 10:06:41 AM
Washington Post: After persistent fraud, District is readying reform of disabled parking (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/after-persistent-fraud-district-is-readying-reform-of-disabled-parking/2016/08/13/7b9c2952-5fe8-11e6-af8e-54aa2e849447_story.html)

Quote
Motorists have been abusing disabled parking permits in the District for more than 15 years, and city officials haven’t been able to stop them.

Quote
Now, after consulting for more than a year with advocates for people with disabilities, business groups and others, city officials are finalizing an overhaul they think can prevent the cheating and save reserved parking spaces for those who truly need them.

Quote
Officials would dramatically scale back the reserved parking system for the disabled, focusing on areas in the city’s center where they think the need is greatest. And, taking a cue from efforts to fight such fraud in other cities, people with disability parking placards would no longer be able to park free downtown.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on August 14, 2016, 01:03:33 PM
The Arlington approach to it is "All may park, all must pay", as in, while they will reserve certain street parking spaces for the disabled, they don't let you park for free due to your disability.

After reading the article, just saw this:

Quote
Arlington County, Va., and Philadelphia are among the jurisdictions that slashed abuse by making all parkers pay. Within months of the change, disability-placard usage dropped from 30 percent of all metered spaces in Philadelphia to about 7 percent, indicating either a health “miracle” or a reduction in fraud, officials there said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on August 15, 2016, 09:44:16 AM
They should've done this the last time parking policy was revised (within the past few years).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on August 15, 2016, 11:40:06 AM
They should've done this the last time parking policy was revised (within the past few years).

A lot of those handicapped hang tags are, I believe, fraudulently used in the District of Columbia. 

Either out-and-out counterfeit, or issued to someone other than the user. 

The D.C. parking ticket writers do not seem to pay much attention, and they probably cannot do much about it anyway.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on August 15, 2016, 08:38:33 PM
If the Arlington experience is any indication, that fraudulent use will diminish significantly when/if they required handicapped users to feed the meters.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: oscar on August 15, 2016, 08:47:43 PM
If the Arlington experience is any indication, that fraudulent use will diminish significantly when/if they required handicapped users to feed the meters.

But some of the handicapped users will complain that because of their disabilities, they can't feed the meters. The most interesting excuse I've heard is from one guy who said his fingers could not grip a credit card to slide it into and out of a reader. (Which might be true, but there are other ways to pay for parking, such as by smartphone, at least in D.C.)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on August 15, 2016, 09:15:13 PM
If the Arlington experience is any indication, that fraudulent use will diminish significantly when/if they required handicapped users to feed the meters.

But some of the handicapped users will complain that because of their disabilities, they can't feed the meters. The most interesting excuse I've heard is from one guy who said his fingers could not grip a credit card to slide it into and out of a reader. (Which might be true, but there are other ways to pay for parking, such as by smartphone, at least in D.C.)

And yet, they're perfectly able to operate the various elements of their automobile!  :sombrero:
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 13, 2016, 02:14:49 PM
Washington Post: Beach Drive closure next week likely to cause abysmal traffic in Northwest D.C. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2016/09/12/beach-drive-closure-next-week-likely-to-cause-abysmal-traffic-in-northwest-d-c/)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 16, 2016, 01:37:42 PM
WTOP Radio: Why is traffic still so terrible? Welcome to the ‘September surge’ (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2016/09/traffic-still-terrible-welcome-september-surge/)

Quote
Forget “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” — the term long used by D.C.-area commuters to describe the crush of traffic on the first day of work after Labor Day.

Quote
The phenomenon of congested D.C. roadways and frustrated drivers has now stretched into a monthlong commuting headache for many. Welcome to the “September surge.”

Quote
The reasons for the troublesome traffic are fairly self-evident: The kids are back to school; Congress is back in session and motorcade season is in full swing, and some tourists unfamiliar with local roadways are still in town.

Quote
“I think what we’ve seen is the evolution of the ‘terrible traffic Tuesday’ into the September surge,” said Jim Battagliese, WTOP’s director of traffic and transit operations.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 26, 2016, 11:53:00 PM
Letter to the Editor in the Washington Post: The D.C. region will pay a steep price for deferring maintenance on its roads and rails (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-dc-region-will-pay-a-steep-price-for-deferring-maintenance-on-its-roads-and-rails/2016/09/26/69a90422-81d0-11e6-9578-558cc125c7ba_story.html)
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on September 29, 2016, 07:58:01 PM
Letter to the Editor in the Washington Post: The D.C. region will pay a steep price for deferring maintenance on its roads and rails (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-dc-region-will-pay-a-steep-price-for-deferring-maintenance-on-its-roads-and-rails/2016/09/26/69a90422-81d0-11e6-9578-558cc125c7ba_story.html)

He probably knows, having as he has been the head of Metro and Amtrak in his career.

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2016, 05:57:03 PM
WTOP Radio: Traffic officers, signal retiming no match for crush of DC traffic (http://wtop.com/dc/2016/09/traffic-officers-signal-retiming-no-match-for-crush-of-dc-traffic/)

Quote
About 75 percent of D.C. traffic lights have been adjusted recently to improve the flow of traffic, but it has not been enough to address some major congestion.

Quote
“The streets of Washington are in gridlock these days,” said Councilmember Jack Evans, who represents Ward 2.

Quote
“It’s a combination of a lot: Beach Drive being closed, Metro not working like it should, special events, who knows, people driving more. Do we have any thoughts both cosmetically and practically?” Evans asked District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo at a D.C. Council roundtable this week.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on September 30, 2016, 06:04:56 PM
That WTOP article mentions the traffic control officers. I've seen plenty of people either ignoring them or arguing with them. Last week I was walking to the Metro and at the intersection of 19th & L one of the traffic control officers told a jaywalker to get back on the sidewalk (the light was about to turn) and the jaywalker started cursing and acting like "who the hell do you think you are." (In case anyone might wonder, the jaywalker was a white woman who appeared to be in her late 20s and the traffic control officer was a black woman who appeared to be 10 to 15 years older.) My reaction was, "Good for the traffic control officer."

The traffic has definitely been worse these past couple of weeks than in past years. I don't know whether it's due to Metrorail's problems, ruder drivers, frustration with the traffic causing more illegal behavior, or (most likely, in my view) all of the above plus other factors. I was driving this week because I was working longer hours, going in early and coming home later, and I've noticed there seems to be a lot more rude behavior just for the sake of being rude. It's like people are so conditioned to have the MFFY attitude that they act that way even when there's no reason for it. The other thing I REALLY don't understand is how people get outraged when you honk at them. If you don't move within a few seconds of the light going green, then I'm going to beep my horn because I assume you're not paying attention; if you then do it again at the next light, I will honk the horn (as opposed to beeping it). Some people become enraged even at the beep of the horn. Yesterday afternoon I could see the guy in front of me playing with his phone, and when he didn't move I beeped the horn; he then proceeded to give me the finger and to try to brake-check me multiple times before we even reached the light. WTF??? Your little text message does not get priority over the rest of us getting through the green light!

The parking enforcement needs to do more to deal with the delivery trucks blocking lanes during rush hours. Plenty of downtown streets have no-parking restrictions during the afternoon rush hour until 6:30, but it's hardly unusual on a three-lane street to find both the right and left lanes blocked by trucks, choking everyone down to a single lane.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on September 30, 2016, 07:04:49 PM
That WTOP article mentions the traffic control officers. I've seen plenty of people either ignoring them or arguing with them. Last week I was walking to the Metro and at the intersection of 19th & L one of the traffic control officers told a jaywalker to get back on the sidewalk (the light was about to turn) and the jaywalker started cursing and acting like "who the hell do you think you are." (In case anyone might wonder, the jaywalker was a white woman who appeared to be in her late 20s and the traffic control officer was a black woman who appeared to be 10 to 15 years older.) My reaction was, "Good for the traffic control officer."

In my fantasy world, the people directing traffic at D.C. intersections would be armed Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers, not the DDOT Traffic Control Officers.

Additionally, the  MPD would re-establish its Traffic Branch (shuttered during one of the terms of late former Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr.) to supply traffic officers to do traffic directing, general traffic enforcement, crash investigation (especially those crashes with serious injury or death), commercial vehicle enforcement; and tactical targeting of crotch rocket motorcycles, dirt bikes, "hoopdie" cars and "summer" cars (the goal being to get such vehicles off the streets and ownership forfeited, and in some cases their operators led away in handcuffs). 

The Traffic Branch  would also be involved in efforts to make D.C. streets safer for bikes and  pedestrians (in  spite of much talk about this, I get the impression that most MPD officers have little interest in the subject).

The traffic has definitely been worse these past couple of weeks than in past years. I don't know whether it's due to Metrorail's problems, ruder drivers, frustration with the traffic causing more illegal behavior, or (most likely, in my view) all of the above plus other factors. I was driving this week because I was working longer hours, going in early and coming home later, and I've noticed there seems to be a lot more rude behavior just for the sake of being rude. It's like people are so conditioned to have the MFFY attitude that they act that way even when there's no reason for it. The other thing I REALLY don't understand is how people get outraged when you honk at them. If you don't move within a few seconds of the light going green, then I'm going to beep my horn because I assume you're not paying attention; if you then do it again at the next light, I will honk the horn (as opposed to beeping it). Some people become enraged even at the beep of the horn. Yesterday afternoon I could see the guy in front of me playing with his phone, and when he didn't move I beeped the horn; he then proceeded to give me the finger and to try to brake-check me multiple times before we even reached the light. WTF??? Your little text message does not get priority over the rest of us getting through the green light!

The above are examples of "D.C. driving with an attitude," which  in some cases comes pretty close to what could result in  a reckless driving  charge if observed by police  in Virginia.

The parking enforcement needs to do more to deal with the delivery trucks blocking lanes during rush hours. Plenty of downtown streets have no-parking restrictions during the afternoon rush hour until 6:30, but it's hardly unusual on a three-lane street to find both the right and left lanes blocked by trucks, choking everyone down to a single lane.

The D.C. Department of Public Works (DCDPW) Parking Enforcement operation was established by the late former Mayor-for-Life in his first term, in 1979 or 1980 for two reasons:

(1) to collect more parking fine revenue from non-D.C. residents; and
(2) to provide more D.C. municipal employment.

Note that traffic congestion relief or traffic control is not on the list above, though sometimes the DCDPW does ticket and even  tow vehicles that are blocking traffic.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on September 30, 2016, 09:53:01 PM
If Trump wins maybe he can undo the executive order against DC freeways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 01, 2016, 11:35:51 AM
Quote from: ARMOURERERIC
If Trump wins maybe he can undo the executive order against DC freeways.

That wasn't just an executive order, but also part legal settlement and part DC's authority under Home Rule.  Nevermind that you'd still have to pay for those freeways...which these days would make construction of the Metrorail look cheap in comparison...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2016, 01:05:20 PM
Quote from: ARMOURERERIC
If Trump wins maybe he can undo the executive order against DC freeways.

That wasn't just an executive order, but also part legal settlement and part DC's authority under Home Rule.  Nevermind that you'd still have to pay for those freeways...which these days would make construction of the Metrorail look cheap in comparison...

Like it or not, anything that the D.C. Government does can be overruled by Congress (not the President alone), though in reality it is relatively rare, except for social issues like abortion.

Agreed that such freeways would have to be paid for. 

But I doubt seriously that freeway-class roads, even in D.C., would be as catastrophically expensive as Metrorail has been so far. 

Though  there's the issue of connecting them to freeways in Maryland, where they have also been removed from all planning maps.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 01, 2016, 01:26:20 PM
Quote from: ARMOURERERIC
If Trump wins maybe he can undo the executive order against DC freeways.

That wasn't just an executive order, but also part legal settlement and part DC's authority under Home Rule.  Nevermind that you'd still have to pay for those freeways...which these days would make construction of the Metrorail look cheap in comparison...

I assumed he was trying to be funny.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 01, 2016, 01:26:45 PM
Quote
But I doubt seriously that freeway-class roads, even in D.C., would be as catastrophically expensive as Metrorail has been so far. 

Do the math.  For starters, any such freeway would require a far wider right-of-way than a Metrorail line.  Or would require wider tunnels.  Then there's the ROW costs for that wider ROW.  Nevermind the ancillary impacts, like the need for more parking downtown.  Where are you going to get the space for that, and at what cost?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 01, 2016, 11:57:01 PM
Quote
But I doubt seriously that freeway-class roads, even in D.C., would be as catastrophically expensive as Metrorail has been so far. 

Do the math.

I did.

Maryland's Md. 200 (ICC), built at about the same time in the same labor market as Dulles Rail, came in at about $2.4 billion (the final bill was a little less than that) for about 17.65 miles of new freeway-class toll road and supporting infrastructure (including interchanges, widening of I-95 and two maintenance centers). That works out to about $136.1 million per centerline mile.

Dulles Rail is about $5.7 billion (as of right now) for about 23 miles of new rail line, or about $247.1 million per mile.  Much of the right-of-way for Dulles Rail was "free."

For starters, any such freeway would require a far wider right-of-way than a Metrorail line.  Or would require wider tunnels.  Then there's the ROW costs for that wider ROW.  Nevermind the ancillary impacts, like the need for more parking downtown.  Where are you going to get the space for that, and at what cost?

Tunnels should not require much on the surface, as long as they are not cut-and-cover (I-395 under Third Street, N.W. was cut-and-cover, as was much of the Metrorail system in downtown D.C.).

This would not be a parking project.  And since the District of Columbia collects a large amount of parking space tax on private parking, and generally does not fund parting space construction, it's really not relevant to this discussion.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on October 02, 2016, 08:22:27 AM
As I recall, much of the right-of-way for the ICC was "free" as well, as it was already set aside.  Even if the land costs were part of the ICC cost, you didn't have the huge demolition and relocation costs that you would have putting another freeway through DC.

And while parking isn't directly related to roadways, it's applicable here as the need for more parking downtown would be a direct result of building additional DC freeways.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2016, 10:28:15 AM
And while parking isn't directly related to roadways, it's applicable here as the need for more parking downtown would be a direct result of building additional DC freeways.

I disagree.  With  the notable exception of Congress, parking in the District of Columbia is  generally  not "free," and is generally market price.  So including the cost of any supposed parking for commuters is not relevant, since the price of those spaces will tend to encourage many people to use mass transit if it is  somewhat reliable.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2016, 11:13:12 AM
.... since the price of those spaces will tend to encourage many people to use mass transit if it is somewhat reliable.

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 02, 2016, 02:03:29 PM
This discussion seems more geared towards the fantasyland board....are there really any freeways in the city that are under any serious consideration?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cl94 on October 02, 2016, 02:10:58 PM
This discussion seems more geared towards the fantasyland board....are there really any freeways in the city that are under any serious consideration?

None. Zip. Nada.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 02, 2016, 04:05:56 PM
Only major project i see is extending HOT across 14th street bridge
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on October 02, 2016, 04:22:02 PM
Only major project i see is extending HOT across 14th street bridge

DC has talked about the idea of HO/T lanes on I-295 and the Southeast–Southwest Freeway, which would dovetail with what you mention, but I certainly wouldn't expect to see them any time soon.

I think the biggest road project currently planned within the District is the Douglass Bridge replacement, possibly to be coupled with what they've called a "DC-style traffic circle" at the north end near the Nationals Park home plate gate.

I don't think anyone suggested any new highways were actually going to be built in DC.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2016, 06:52:04 PM
Washington Post: How a neighborhood at the heart of the Beach Drive closure fought to keep its stop signs — and won (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/how-a-neighborhood-at-the-heart-of-the-beach-drive-closure-fought-to-keep-its-stop-signs--and-won/2016/10/02/2cb13da2-859d-11e6-ac72-a29979381495_story.html)

Quote
Tony Nuland just wanted to walk his dog.

Quote
Cradling Miki, his blind, 13-year-old Pekingese, the D.C. resident scanned crowded Cathedral Avenue NW for an opening. But a procession of cars racing down the hill in front of his home created an impasse.

Quote
The 72-year-old didn’t want to risk scampering across two lanes of heavy traffic, so there he stood, helplessly trying to reach a grassy patch less than 50 feet from his front porch.

Quote
So, asked to calm the traffic 17 years ago, the city obliged.

Quote
But in advance of the Beach Drive closure in September, the District Department of Transportation covered up the stop signs Nuland and his neighbors fought so hard for — without consulting them. And it was only after a weeks-long fight involving letters, vocal complaints and two tense community meetings that the District partially reversed its decision, in an announcement that elicited loud cheers at a community meeting last week attended by dozens.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 02, 2016, 07:09:57 PM
Quote
So, asked to calm the traffic 17 years ago, the city obliged.

Quote
But in advance of the Beach Drive closure in September, the District Department of Transportation covered up the stop signs Nuland and his neighbors fought so hard for — without consulting them. And it was only after a weeks-long fight involving letters, vocal complaints and two tense community meetings that the District partially reversed its decision, in an announcement that elicited loud cheers at a community meeting last week attended by dozens.

What is not mentioned above is this reality - STOP signs should not be about "traffic calming," for that is not why they exist. 

The District of Columbia has hundreds (or maybe thousands) of unwarranted STOP signs on its street system.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on October 02, 2016, 08:11:58 PM
I've heard that modern roundabouts are pretty good at keeping speeds low while moving traffic at a constant flow.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cl94 on October 02, 2016, 08:20:41 PM
I've heard that modern roundabouts are pretty good at keeping speeds low while moving traffic at a constant flow.

Don't tell that to a certain other user of this site...
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: ixnay on October 03, 2016, 07:15:27 AM

The District of Columbia has hundreds (or maybe thousands) of unwarranted STOP signs on its street system.

I started a thread on that topic on the traffic control board.

ixnay
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 03, 2016, 06:19:43 PM
WTOP Radio: Breathing any easier? DC area went whole summer without ‘Code Red’ air quality alert (http://wtop.com/health/2016/10/breathing-easier-dc-area-went-whole-summer-without-code-red-air-quality-alert/)

Quote
Despite some record-breaking stretches of brutal heat this summer, most people were still breathing pretty easy.

Quote
For the fourth straight summer, D.C. air quality stayed below “Code Red” levels, a measure that tracks unhealthy smog levels. That’s according to preliminary data (https://www.mwcog.org/newsroom/2016/10/03/air-quality-metro-dc-records-fourth-straight-summer-with-no-code-red-days/) published Monday by the Metropolitan Council of Governments.

Quote
Smog, officially known as ground-level ozone, is a combination of various pollutants — emitted from cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants and other sources — that react in heat and sunlight to form the smoggy haze that smudges up the air in urban areas during the summer. The smog wreaks havoc on people with lung diseases, such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis as well as children and older people.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on October 03, 2016, 09:15:05 PM
Only major project i see is extending HOT across 14th street bridge

It is discussed in this (http://www.wemovedc.org/resources/Final/Part%202_Plan_Elements/Vehicle.pdf) Move DC document, but I have not heard a peep from anyone associated with DDOT or any D.C. elected officials about making a deal with Virginia and their private concession holder to extend the HOV/Toll treatment across the Potomac River.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 09, 2017, 08:22:04 AM
WTOP Radio: DC issued ‘unparalleled’ number of traffic tickets last year (http://wtop.com/sprawl-crawl/2017/03/dc-issued-unparalleled-number-traffic-tickets-last-year/)

Quote
The number of photo-enforced tickets given to drivers in the District skyrocketed during the last fiscal year to more than 1.1 million, according to new figures released Thursday by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Quote
There were 1,101,769 photo-enforced tickets — including speed, red-light and stop-sign camera tickets — handed out in D.C. during the 2016 fiscal year. That marks a massive year-over-year increase of nearly 70 percent.

Quote
The District’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Quote
“The bulk of those tickets were speed camera tickets,” said AAA spokesman John Townsend. “We estimate that the District issued more than one million speed camera tickets, the highest total on a yearly basis in the District’s history.”

Quote
The spike in photo-enforced citations helped push the number of overall tickets in the nation’s capital to an all-time high.

Quote
“The District issued an unparalleled number of tickets last year,” Townsend said.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 09, 2017, 08:56:33 AM
Nowhere in the article did Townsend make any comment about poor skills or illegal acts on the part of drivers who received tickets.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 09, 2017, 12:07:12 PM
Nowhere in the article did Townsend make any comment about poor skills or illegal acts on the part of drivers who received tickets.

Nor did he mention that there are no speed cameras on the Southwest Freeway, 14th Street Bridge or T. Roosevelt Bridge.  There used to be a few on Southwest Freeway part of I-395, but they  were removed for reasons not clear to me.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 09, 2017, 12:17:53 PM
I don't understand the guy sometimes. He could have used it as an opportunity to pitch safer driving, on the grounds that it is both safer and cheaper than breaking the rules of the road, but he instead drops these statistics as if the citations were handed down on the personal orders of the mayor.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: vdeane on March 09, 2017, 01:39:40 PM
Well, it doesn't help that DC installed the cameras to raise revenue from people who commute in from MD and VA.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 09, 2017, 02:07:29 PM
Well, it doesn't help that DC installed the cameras to raise revenue from people who commute in from MD and VA.

Funny, I never gotten a ticket from a camera driving into the city. What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 09, 2017, 02:37:54 PM
Well, it doesn't help that DC installed the cameras to raise revenue from people who commute in from MD and VA.

Funny, I never gotten a ticket from a camera driving into the city. What am I doing wrong?

Not entering from Maryland, for starters, since there are no speed cameras in D.C. along the corridors leading to or from the D.C./Virginia bridges.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: froggie on March 09, 2017, 05:07:06 PM
I've driven plenty into D.C. from Maryland, and never got a speed camera ticket, either.

It's a double-edged sword.  Yes, an argument could be made that D.C. installed the cameras to raise revenue from drivers.  But on the flip side, speeding is a very large and notable problem in D.C, so camera installation is a way to entice drivers to slow down and go the speed limit given that MPD can't be everywhere at once (nor is there room for them to pull people over on several roads).
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 09, 2017, 10:17:10 PM
I've driven plenty into D.C. from Maryland, and never got a speed camera ticket, either.

It's a double-edged sword.  Yes, an argument could be made that D.C. installed the cameras to raise revenue from drivers.  But on the flip side, speeding is a very large and notable problem in D.C, so camera installation is a way to entice drivers to slow down and go the speed limit given that MPD can't be everywhere at once (nor is there room for them to pull people over on several roads).

Allow me to be cynical for a moment.  There are no speed cameras on the Southwest Freeway (or the 14th Street Bridge or the other DDOT-maintained bridges over the Potomac) because Northern Virginia is where most members of Congress and their staff people live, and most of them do not use Metro to get to and from Capitol Hill.  There were several on the Southwest Freeway in the past (including one each way near Maine Avenue, S.W.), but all have been removed, and I do not believe it was for a lack of speeders. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 09, 2017, 11:02:01 PM
I've driven plenty into D.C. from Maryland, and never got a speed camera ticket, either.

It's a double-edged sword.  Yes, an argument could be made that D.C. installed the cameras to raise revenue from drivers.  But on the flip side, speeding is a very large and notable problem in D.C, so camera installation is a way to entice drivers to slow down and go the speed limit given that MPD can't be everywhere at once (nor is there room for them to pull people over on several roads).

Allow me to be cynical for a moment.  There are no speed cameras on the Southwest Freeway (or the 14th Street Bridge or the other DDOT-maintained bridges over the Potomac) because Northern Virginia is where most members of Congress and their staff people live, and most of them do not use Metro to get to and from Capitol Hill.  There were several on the Southwest Freeway in the past (including one each way near Maine Avenue, S.W.), but all have been removed, and I do not believe it was for a lack of speeders.

You're getting close, but you forgot to include aliens and the Illuminati in your theory.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2017, 08:31:50 AM
You're getting close, but you forgot to include aliens and the Illuminati in your theory.

If you have some other explanation for the lack of automated speed enforcement near the border between the District of Columbia and Virginia, I would be interested in hearing it.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 10, 2017, 10:26:52 AM
So you're asking me to prove a negative. Not going to play that game, but I'll offer:

Quote
Speed camera enforcement zones are selected by the MPD based on recents incidents of speeding-related fatalities and crashes, proximity to school zones and other places where children or other vulnerable populations may be present, and known sites of chronic speeding

https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/speed-camera-locations

More local/neighborhood roads between Maryland and downtown than VA and downtown, hence more opportunities to meet those criteria. But subscribe to your conspiracy theory if it makes you feel better.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Alps on March 10, 2017, 11:24:51 AM
So you're asking me to prove a negative. Not going to play that game, but I'll offer:

Quote
Speed camera enforcement zones are selected by the MPD based on recents incidents of speeding-related fatalities and crashes, proximity to school zones and other places where children or other vulnerable populations may be present, and known sites of chronic speeding

https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/speed-camera-locations

More local/neighborhood roads between Maryland and downtown than VA and downtown, hence more opportunities to meet those criteria. But subscribe to your conspiracy theory if it makes you feel better.
Those bridges ARE known sites of chronic speeding. Even I know this. So you go ahead and wrap yourself in the warmth of a sound political system with honest representation.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: AlexandriaVA on March 10, 2017, 11:42:55 AM
Again, I'm not going to waste time trying to prove a negative. But to make it out as is there's no critera is rubbish.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 10, 2017, 12:38:59 PM
Heh. I tried going the speed limit on I-395 in DC near Maine Avenue back when they did put up a camera. Very bad idea. Very scary experience! I'd guess most people were going at least 15 mph more than I was.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Rothman on March 10, 2017, 12:44:48 PM
Had the same experience going across WB from I-695 to I-395 once.  Signs said there were cameras and I tried to slow down.  Traffic ran over me to the point where I couldn't easily maneuver to where I wanted to go, so I sped up.  Never got a ticket.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 10, 2017, 01:24:24 PM
There used to be a camera located roughly where Maine Avenue splits off the westbound side. I know I blew past it once at at least 10 mph over the limit—I didn't know it was there until it was too late. But I never got a ticket.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2017, 02:42:15 PM
Heh. I tried going the speed limit on I-395 in DC near Maine Avenue back when they did put up a camera. Very bad idea. Very scary experience! I'd guess most people were going at least 15 mph more than I was.

In a previous work position, I had reason to have to drive the southbound direction of I-395 (from D.C. toward Virginia) in the 3 AM and 4 AM hour somewhat frequently.  Going 65 MPH there was hazardous because of the danger of getting rear-ended.  I would estimate the 85th percentile speed there was north of 70 MPH. 
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 10, 2017, 02:43:02 PM
There used to be a camera located roughly where Maine Avenue splits off the westbound side. I know I blew past it once at at least 10 mph over the limit—I didn't know it was there until it was too late. But I never got a ticket.

The reference lines are still painted on the pavement, but the camera was removed long ago.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: Steve D on March 24, 2017, 10:58:29 AM
Heh. I tried going the speed limit on I-395 in DC near Maine Avenue back when they did put up a camera. Very bad idea. Very scary experience! I'd guess most people were going at least 15 mph more than I was.

In a previous work position, I had reason to have to drive the southbound direction of I-395 (from D.C. toward Virginia) in the 3 AM and 4 AM hour somewhat frequently.  Going 65 MPH there was hazardous because of the danger of getting rear-ended.  I would estimate the 85th percentile speed there was north of 70 MPH.

I've been driving over 30 years and the 9th Street ramp that enters from the left side to 395 north may be the only place I'm afraid to drive in the U.S.  There is no merge area, and you have about 3 seconds to decide to floor it with the 70 MPH traffic or come to a complete stop.  I noticed that on the latest Google Maps Street View there is an accident and ambulance in that exact spot!
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: 1995hoo on March 24, 2017, 01:04:49 PM
I use that ramp frequently and I agree with you, although I almost always use it at night so in theory it's easier to see if the lane is clear ("in theory" because a disproportionate number of residents of Southeast DC have taken to driving at night without headlights).

Last year WTOP took a poll about the worst merge in the area. I submitted that one and the reporter contacted me for an audio clip about it, which he then played on the air.
Title: Re: District of Columbia
Post by: cpzilliacus on March 24, 2017, 06:03:59 PM
I've been driving over 30 years and the 9th Street ramp that enters from the left side to 395 north may be the only place I'm afraid to drive in the U.S.  There is no merge area, and you have about 3 seconds to decide to floor it with the 70 MPH traffic or come to a complete stop.  I noticed that on the latest Google Maps Street View there is an accident and ambulance in that exact spot!

Yes, that is an awful entrance ramp.  On the left side, no acceleration lane at all, and lots of lane changing traffic ahead as I-395 northbound exits off itself on the right and into the Third Street Tunnel.

There's another one similar to that on where traffic from eastbound Benning Road, N.E. enters the northbound side of D.C. 295.  It is not a drop ramp like the one from 9th Street, S.W. onto I-395 but otherwise, the geometrics are similar and there are plenty of crashes there (maybe not as many as on I-395 at the 9th Street ramp).

I use that ramp frequently and I agree with you, although I almost always use it at night so in theory it's easier to see if the lane is clear ("in theory" because a disproportionate number of residents of Southeast DC have taken to driving at night without headl