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Regional Boards => Mid-Atlantic => Topic started by: 1995hoo on January 08, 2019, 12:41:19 PM

Title: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 08, 2019, 12:41:19 PM
Just got a WTOP breaking news e-mail that links to the following story. I haven’t had a chance to read it closely yet.

https://wtop.com/virginia/2019/01/va-to-toll-i-81/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking%20News%20-%20Wordpress&utm_term=2017_WTOP%20Breaking%20News

The headline is “Va. Gov. Ralph Northam, GOP lawmakers agree on plan to toll I-81”
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 08, 2019, 12:44:09 PM
From the story:

Quote
Electronic toll gantries are expected to be set every 40 to 60 miles or so along I-81, with regular rates set at up to 11 cents a mile for cars and 17 cents a mile for trucks. That would equate to about $55 for trucks to travel the length of I-81 during daylight hours. Tolls would be discounted overnight to encourage truck drivers and others to travel at less-busy times, but the tolls would be a fixed price, unlike the variable cost of lanes on interstates 66, 95 and 495.

Interestingly, they don't mention the price for cars.  Based on the above, it'll cost about $35 for cars to travel the entire length.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: davewiecking on January 08, 2019, 12:45:17 PM
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Mapmikey on January 08, 2019, 01:06:37 PM
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 08, 2019, 01:07:15 PM
Just got a WTOP breaking news e-mail that links to the following story. I haven’t had a chance to read it closely yet.

https://wtop.com/virginia/2019/01/va-to-toll-i-81/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking%20News%20-%20Wordpress&utm_term=2017_WTOP%20Breaking%20News

The headline is “Va. Gov. Ralph Northam, GOP lawmakers agree on plan to toll I-81”
Just posted this in the Virginia thread:

Tolls are the solution to the problems on I-81 in Virginia, per a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam. Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson; Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta; and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt (interesting that all are Republicans), will be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly.

Per the news release,
Quote
"The initial draft legislation would establish an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund supported by tolls along I-81. The proposal would establish limits on toll rates and give automobiles and small trucks the ability to purchase an annual pass allowing unlimited use of I-81 for a fixed yearly fee. Revenues collected would only be used for improvements included in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan that was adopted by the [Commonwealth Transportation] Board at its December meeting."
(see https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/january/headline-837634-en.html).

Per the Roanoke Times,
Quote
"State officials previously estimated the fee would be about $30, while tractor-trailers and other large trucks and passenger vehicles without the yearly pass would pay the toll.

"Toll rates were not specified in Northam’s news release, but state highway officials have previously suggested 5 cents to 15 cents a mile depending on vehicle type and hour of day or night. Lower nighttime rates from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. were part of a proposal from the Virginia Department of Transportation. VDOT studied I-81 during much of 2018 before recommending a long list of new lanes, interchange projects and other fixes while leaving the choice of funding method — tolls or tax increases or some combination of both — to lawmakers."
(see https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/governor-western-virginia-lawmakers-back-tolls-to-fix-i/article_d924cc82-f88a-52f8-bc40-2cd790d8e709.html)


The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be found at www.va81corridor.org.

-----
Bruce in Blacksburg

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 08, 2019, 01:13:12 PM
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?

Yep. Which is why these proposals tend to be a bit different than reality (if it ever actually happens).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 08, 2019, 01:13:59 PM
11 cents per mile for cars is steep. Penn turnpike is about 10.
 
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?
Nope, this is plainly about charging non-locals, who don't vote there. As american as it gets these days.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 08, 2019, 01:14:36 PM
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?

One way to avoid pushback from those who live along I-81 and use it extensively in regular travel, such as people who commute between Roanoke and the New River Valley, commute within the NRV, move around Harrisonsburg, Winchester, et al, etc.

A compromise that probably won't fly would be to make that annual pass "regional," i.e., if you mainly travel in the area between exit 150 and exit 109 you get a pass that covers your travel, but if you go outside that range, then you would pay a toll. For those who range further on a regular basis, there would be a higher-priced pass that would allow travel without tolls.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 08, 2019, 01:20:51 PM
Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?

One way to avoid pushback from those who live along I-81 and use it extensively in regular travel, such as people who commute between Roanoke and the New River Valley, commute within the NRV, move around Harrisonsburg, Winchester, et al, etc.

A compromise that probably won't fly would be to make that annual pass "regional," i.e., if you mainly travel in the area between exit 150 and exit 109 you get a pass that covers your travel, but if you go outside that range, then you would pay a toll. For those who range further on a regular basis, there would be a higher-priced pass that would allow travel without tolls.

Bruce in Blacksburg
NYS Thruway has (had?) annual plans which covered first few miles (20 or 50) of each trip. Regional as aimed at commuters, but easier to implement.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 01:24:46 PM
Just posted this in the Virginia thread:
Tolls are the solution to the problems on I-81 in Virginia, per a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam. Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson; Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta; and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt (interesting that all are Republicans), will be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly.

They represent those areas that I-81 serves.  I wonder if it has been determined what mechanism would be used for instituting tolls.  The TEA-21 pilot program for 3 state Interstate corridors nationwide?  That was canceled and recycled, so they would have to reapply.  I don't think there is any other tolling mechanism for tolling all vehicles on a long-distance Interstate corridor.  I would agree for having a nominal cost pass for locals (such as living in the counties that I-81 passes thru) and having point tolls for all other vehicles.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jim on January 08, 2019, 01:25:23 PM
NYS Thruway has (had?) annual plans which covered first few miles (20 or 50) of each trip. Regional as aimed at commuters, but easier to implement.

https://www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/discount.html (https://www.thruway.ny.gov/ezpass/discount.html)

I've had the "Thruway Annual Permit Plan" for many years.  Since my commute typically takes me between exits 24 and 27, it only takes me until early spring for the plan to start saving me money each year.  It also means I'll hop on the Thruway, for example, between exits 26 and 27, while I'd likely take NY 5 instead if I was going to be paying extra to use the Thruway.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 08, 2019, 01:43:15 PM
Just posted this in the Virginia thread:
Tolls are the solution to the problems on I-81 in Virginia, per a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam. Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson; Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta; and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt (interesting that all are Republicans), will be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly.

They represent those areas that I-81 serves.

That was my initial reaction as well, although I don't recall offhand where Augusta County is, and Grayson County isn't directly on I-81.

The car salesman in Lexington from whom my wife and I bought our Saturns is an Obenshain, and he mentioned once that he travels to that area of Virginia. I wonder if the politician is a relative of his?

As for me, I predict a huge uptick for US 11 traffic. My most frequently used stretches of I-81 are between Abingdon and Wytheville (to connect to I-77/I-74, easily bypassed by going to Boone and then south on US 421); the I-64 concurrency (bypassed via US 11, or VA 42 to US 250); and from Strasburg north to the state line (bypassable by US 11, or WV/VA 259 to US 50).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 01:50:04 PM
They represent those areas that I-81 serves.
That was my initial reaction as well, although I don't recall offhand where Augusta County is, and Grayson County isn't directly on I-81.

Rockingham -- Lexington
Augusta -- Staunton
Botetourt -- a few miles from Roanoke
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 08, 2019, 02:45:41 PM
Just posted this in the Virginia thread:
Tolls are the solution to the problems on I-81 in Virginia, per a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam. Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson; Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta; and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt (interesting that all are Republicans), will be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly.

They represent those areas that I-81 serves.

Grayson County is a stretch. John Edwards would have been a logical choice. He is a Democrat whose district covers parts of the Roanoke and New River valleys, which are directly impacted by the problems (and possible solutions) to I-81. But if having Republicans behind the plan means it will get some attention then that is a good thing. We can only hope that the legislation doesn't get shuffled to a subcommittee and quietly "killed" with an unrecorded vote to "study it further."

As to the Obenshain family, it is an old-line Virginia family that has been involved in Republican politics. Mark is the son of Richard Obenshain (who was born here in Blacksburg where his sister Beth still lives on the family farm), who was killed in a plane crash in 1978 near the Chesterfield County Airport. He at the time was a candidate for the U.S. Senate and was replaced by John Warner. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_D._Obenshain)

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadgeekteen on January 08, 2019, 02:49:34 PM
Is there still a rule that Interstates can't be tolled or has that been thrown out the window?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 08, 2019, 03:04:02 PM
I think that is still the case. As for tolls on Interstate 81, that may be the only way to pay for any improvements to the roadway.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2019, 03:31:31 PM
I also have to wonder if the Republicans in the  I-81 corridor, who have generally opposed all plans for tolls on I-81, may see the handwriting on the wall and realize that the needed to agree to a deal with the Democratic administration, or face a solution that might have been much  worse for their constituents if the GOP were to lose its majority status in the Virginia General Assembly after the 2019 elections. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 08, 2019, 03:32:40 PM
Is there still a rule that Interstates can't be tolled or has that been thrown out the window?

They can be tolled, but then they won't receive federal funding.

----

What about tolling trucks only, like I-95 in Rhode Island recently started doing?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 08, 2019, 03:53:03 PM
As surprised as I am that this may finally be happening, I agree that tolling was the best and most logical choice. Very interested to see how the public (especially in tax and toll heavy NOVA) reacts...
Title: Re: Virginia
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 04:53:59 PM
Tolls Pushed for I-81 Improvements

Tolls are the solution to the problems on I-81 in Virginia, per a proposal from Gov. Ralph Northam. Legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham; Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson; Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta; and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt (interesting that all are Republicans), will be introduced in the upcoming General Assembly.

Per the news release,
Quote
"The initial draft legislation would establish an Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund supported by tolls along I-81. The proposal would establish limits on toll rates and give automobiles and small trucks the ability to purchase an annual pass allowing unlimited use of I-81 for a fixed yearly fee. Revenues collected would only be used for improvements included in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan that was adopted by the [Commonwealth Transportation] Board at its December meeting."
(see https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2019/january/headline-837634-en.html).

Per the Roanoke Times,
Quote
"State officials previously estimated the fee would be about $30, while tractor-trailers and other large trucks and passenger vehicles without the yearly pass would pay the toll.

"Toll rates were not specified in Northam’s news release, but state highway officials have previously suggested 5 cents to 15 cents a mile depending on vehicle type and hour of day or night. Lower nighttime rates from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. were part of a proposal from the Virginia Department of Transportation. VDOT studied I-81 during much of 2018 before recommending a long list of new lanes, interchange projects and other fixes while leaving the choice of funding method — tolls or tax increases or some combination of both — to lawmakers."
(see https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/governor-western-virginia-lawmakers-back-tolls-to-fix-i/article_d924cc82-f88a-52f8-bc40-2cd790d8e709.html)


The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be found at www.va81corridor.org.

-----
Bruce in Blacksburg
I find this ironic because I literally just suggested they bring back this idea a couple days ago. I didn't realize it's been in the talks.

This is a strong need - as much as I would love to see I-81 get improved without tolling, it's just never going to get the billions it needs in improvements through traditional funding mechanisms. Also, it doesn't put a burden on local traffic as I-81 is mainly long-distance traffic, and larger urban areas have their own local freeways (Blacksburg - US-460, Roanoke - I-581, Winchester - VA 37). Local traffic should also be allowed an annual fixed rate pass for those who have to use it, similar to how the trucks could get one.

Another question is where tolling would be setup? The I-77 & I-64 overlaps and areas between close urban areas, such as between Blacksburg and Roanoke, etc. shouldn't have tolls, instead put them in rural areas where traffic is less-likely to shunpike, and it's less-likely to affect local traffic.

I merged this post with the true I-81 thread since it was the only one that is not a duplicate.  -Mark
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 08, 2019, 05:28:38 PM
One question and one observation:  will the multiplexed sections with I-64 and I-77 be somehow exempt (i.e., not installing gantries along those sections)? 

And if all of I-81 within VA is subject to this tolling measure, then for longer-distance travel SW from the Baltimore/DC areas it's likely that US 29 will become the shunpiking corridor of choice, with traffic destined for E. TN cutting over US 460 from Lynchburg to Roanoke to minimize out-of-pocket costs.  As stated upthread, this is a measure designed to extract revenue from commercial and out-of-state drivers (I'm assuming the major passes will be accepted) and minimize fiscal exposure for the in-state voting public.  As far as NOVA reaction is concerned, their response is likely to be along the lines of "well, we pay tolls, why not everyone else?" 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: PHLBOS on January 08, 2019, 05:50:04 PM
Is there still a rule that Interstates can't be tolled or has that been thrown out the window?

They can be tolled, but then they won't receive federal funding.

----

What about tolling trucks only, like I-95 in Rhode Island recently started doing?
Going by memory here, the tolling option for existing Interstates (not counting the building of additional toll lanes) dates back to TEA-21 initiative that offered up to three slots for states to do such under strict conditions regarding where the toll revenue would go (such was why PA's initiative to toll I-80 was shot down more than once by the feds a decade ago).

The three states that initially applied for it never acted/implemented such (i.e. left the offer on the proverbial table).

With regards to RI's truck tolls; the feds likely approved such because the money was going the bridges & overpasses along each tolled facility and the fact that only trucks (semis) would be tolled, not passenger cars or light trucks.  Although, there is at least one lawsuit filed against the State of Rhode Island by trucking groups or companies that could if successful send RI, and some degree, back to the drawing board.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 06:02:39 PM
One question and one observation:  will the multiplexed sections with I-64 and I-77 be somehow exempt (i.e., not installing gantries along those sections)? 

The TEA-21 ISRRPP would allow the whole of a state's corridor to be tolled, i.e. all of VA I-81 including overlaps.

And if all of I-81 within VA is subject to this tolling measure, then for longer-distance travel SW from the Baltimore/DC areas it's likely that US 29 will become the shunpiking corridor of choice, with traffic destined for E. TN cutting over US 460 from Lynchburg to Roanoke to minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Looks like it would be much longer and much slower, so no.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 06:08:43 PM
One question and one observation:  will the multiplexed sections with I-64 and I-77 be somehow exempt (i.e., not installing gantries along those sections)? 

And if all of I-81 within VA is subject to this tolling measure, then for longer-distance travel SW from the Baltimore/DC areas it's likely that US 29 will become the shunpiking corridor of choice, with traffic destined for E. TN cutting over US 460 from Lynchburg to Roanoke to minimize out-of-pocket costs.  As stated upthread, this is a measure designed to extract revenue from commercial and out-of-state drivers (I'm assuming the major passes will be accepted) and minimize fiscal exposure for the in-state voting public.  As far as NOVA reaction is concerned, their response is likely to be along the lines of "well, we pay tolls, why not everyone else?"
One question and one observation:  will the multiplexed sections with I-64 and I-77 be somehow exempt (i.e., not installing gantries along those sections)? 

The TEA-21 ISRRPP would allow the whole of a state's corridor to be tolled, i.e. all of VA I-81 including overlaps.

And if all of I-81 within VA is subject to this tolling measure, then for longer-distance travel SW from the Baltimore/DC areas it's likely that US 29 will become the shunpiking corridor of choice, with traffic destined for E. TN cutting over US 460 from Lynchburg to Roanoke to minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Looks like it would be much longer and much slower, so no.
From what I've heard, six gantries would be placed in rural areas that would capture mainly thru-traffic. Areas such as the overlap and between Blacksburg and Roanoke would likely not get tolled.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 06:15:04 PM
I find it odd that this plan is only a "partial" I-81 overhaul. It's to implement the $2 billion in improvements recommended in the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, which interestingly doesn't even widen all of I-81. About 132 miles out of the 323 total would be widened to 6 lanes. Those areas include -

- Between Exit 7 and Exit 10 (extension of existing Bristol six lane section) ($32 million)
- Between Exit 114 and Exit 150 (Blacksburg - north of Roanoke) ($833 million)
- Between Exit 221 and Exit 317 (I-64 northern split to Winchester) ($511 million)

If this is being toll financed, wouldn't it make the most sense to do a full build-out of the over $4 billion in proposed improvements, including widening of all 323 miles? The tolled areas will likely be tolled indefinitely, so in my mind would make sense.

I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan - https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/richmond.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/4f/c4f56a84-ecc6-59df-ad84-a00761c3ae89/5c3521d86274e.pdf.pdf
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 08, 2019, 07:35:11 PM
Quote
- Between Exit 221 and Exit 317 (I-64 northern split to Winchester) ($511 million)

I think you misread these.  This entire segment is not being widened...just 3 smaller segments within it:  221 to 225, 243 to 248, and 313 to 317...basically Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 07:48:35 PM
Quote
- Between Exit 221 and Exit 317 (I-64 northern split to Winchester) ($511 million)

I think you misread these.  This entire segment is not being widened...just 3 smaller segments within it:  221 to 225, 243 to 248, and 313 to 317...basically Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester.
Yep, looks like I did. I was wondering why it was only $511 million haha. So that's even less I-81 widening... if they're going to toll it they need to widen all of it, from border to border.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 08, 2019, 08:29:55 PM
^ Given the cost to do such, it would require a much higher toll and/or gas tax that neither drivers nor locals would be happy with.  The recommended projects spend close to $1.5 billion in order to widen about 51 miles (just over $29 million per mile).  Using that as an average, widening all of I-81 in Virginia to a consistent 6 lanes would run close to $9 billion.  Probably north of $9B when you factor in the New, James, and Maury River bridges.  Even using an average $25 million a mile like Beltway has mentioned in other threads would run the cost north of $7 billion.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 09:09:12 PM
^ Given the cost to do such, it would require a much higher toll and/or gas tax that neither drivers nor locals would be happy with.  The recommended projects spend close to $1.5 billion in order to widen about 51 miles (just over $29 million per mile).  Using that as an average, widening all of I-81 in Virginia to a consistent 6 lanes would run close to $9 billion.  Probably north of $9B when you factor in the New, James, and Maury River bridges.  Even using an average $25 million a mile like Beltway has mentioned in other threads would run the cost north of $7 billion.
Well then it's not going to fix the recurring traffic delays that happen in rural areas that so many people complain about. All I'm seeing in this project is some urban area relief, a few auxiliary lanes here and there, and a $30 (car) - $55 (truck) toll on I-81 to fund it. For paying that much, I'd expect a full build-out like what was proposed years back with the P3.

Both the New River Bridge and Maury River Bridges are designed to accommodate a 3rd lane in each direction. The James River Bridges are only 500 feet long and wouldn't be a huge task to widen / replace.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 09:11:46 PM
I find it odd that this plan is only a "partial" I-81 overhaul. It's to implement the $2 billion in improvements recommended in the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, which interestingly doesn't even widen all of I-81. About 132 miles out of the 323 total would be widened to 6 lanes. Those areas include -
...
If this is being toll financed, wouldn't it make the most sense to do a full build-out of the over $4 billion in proposed improvements, including widening of all 323 miles? The tolled areas will likely be tolled indefinitely, so in my mind would make sense.

It will cost a lot more than $4 billion to widen the whole route, maybe twice that.  The $2 billion is a first stage to provide relief in various places distributed along the whole route. 

I say get the ISRRPP slot approved, and then use tolling to get this first stage built, and then plan the second stage later, or sooner when deemed financially feasible.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 09:18:33 PM
I find it odd that this plan is only a "partial" I-81 overhaul. It's to implement the $2 billion in improvements recommended in the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, which interestingly doesn't even widen all of I-81. About 132 miles out of the 323 total would be widened to 6 lanes. Those areas include -
...
If this is being toll financed, wouldn't it make the most sense to do a full build-out of the over $4 billion in proposed improvements, including widening of all 323 miles? The tolled areas will likely be tolled indefinitely, so in my mind would make sense.

It will cost a lot more than $4 billion to widen the whole route, maybe twice that.  The $2 billion is a first stage to provide relief in various places distributed along the whole route. 

I say get the ISRRPP slot approved, and then use tolling to get this first stage built, and then plan the second stage later, or sooner when deemed financially feasible.
Kind of what I was thinking along the lines of... hopefully after this first phase gets built, they can move onto a 2nd phase in about 10 years (assuming this starts in the next couple) to widen the rural sections of the route in phases, if not all at once. Federal & state money could also help back some of the project costs to an extent, while still being mainly financed with tolling.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 09:22:09 PM
It will cost a lot more than $4 billion to widen the whole route, maybe twice that.  The $2 billion is a first stage to provide relief in various places distributed along the whole route. 
I say get the ISRRPP slot approved, and then use tolling to get this first stage built, and then plan the second stage later, or sooner when deemed financially feasible.
Kind of what I was thinking along the lines of... hopefully after this first phase gets built, they can move onto a 2nd phase in about 10 years (assuming this starts in the next couple) to widen the rural sections of the route in phases, if not all at once. Federal & state money could also help back some of the project costs to an extent, while still being mainly financed with tolling.

Hopefully it will be a lot less than 10 years, but simply "breaking the barrier" with approving an ISRRPP toll pilot would open the way for $2 billion in improvements.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 09:25:29 PM
It will cost a lot more than $4 billion to widen the whole route, maybe twice that.  The $2 billion is a first stage to provide relief in various places distributed along the whole route. 
I say get the ISRRPP slot approved, and then use tolling to get this first stage built, and then plan the second stage later, or sooner when deemed financially feasible.
Kind of what I was thinking along the lines of... hopefully after this first phase gets built, they can move onto a 2nd phase in about 10 years (assuming this starts in the next couple) to widen the rural sections of the route in phases, if not all at once. Federal & state money could also help back some of the project costs to an extent, while still being mainly financed with tolling.

Hopefully it will be a lot less than 10 years, but simply "breaking the barrier" with approving an ISRRPP toll pilot would open the way for $2 billion in improvements.
Definitely. Judging by this project taking a few years to probably get started, with design and engineering work having to happen, I wouldn't see them starting any future phases until after 10 years. It would certainly be nice, especially if extra funding rolls in. Having a 6-laned I-81 by 2030 is the likelihood, but sooner would be nice.

If this, I think third tolling attempt at I-81 actually gets somewhere unlike the previous ones, I see construction starting by 2022, and opening the 3-lane segments by 2025. If they can get a full build-out funded by 2025, construction on the rest 270 miles would likely not get completed until 2030-35 at minimum because the amount of widening required. Plus, traffic would likely be restricted down to 55 MPH on the entire corridor for years on end, and there's issues with that - paying up to $30 to drive 55 with walls up on both sides for 200+ miles.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 09:28:33 PM
Judging by this project taking a few years to probably get started, with design and engineering work having to happen, I wouldn't see them starting any future phases until after 10 years. It would certainly be nice, especially if extra funding rolls in. Having a 6-laned I-81 by 2025 - 2030 would be nice.

The 2035 traffic predictions are such that they will have a disaster on their hands on any remaining 4-lane section.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 09:31:21 PM
Judging by this project taking a few years to probably get started, with design and engineering work having to happen, I wouldn't see them starting any future phases until after 10 years. It would certainly be nice, especially if extra funding rolls in. Having a 6-laned I-81 by 2025 - 2030 would be nice.

The 2035 traffic predictions are such that they will have a disaster on their hands on any remaining 4-lane section.
Edited the above post w/ more stuff.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: RoadPelican on January 08, 2019, 10:14:12 PM
I think this is a terrible plan.  A better one would be to allow tourists to pay for I-81 improvements.  After all, I-81 is the worst in the summer months as people come from the NE or the Deep South to see the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.

Instead of tolls, how about charging a lodging tax similar to what Georgia does ($5 a night) and a sales tax on dining out and Amusements such as the price of Admission to Caverns or Museums in the area.  The sales tax on dining and amusements is how Myrtle Beach pays for most of it's road improvements.

Finally, I think if this plan goes thru the Republicans are TOAST in Virginia, they will become the minority party in Virginia for at least 50 years.  I-81 runs thru a very rural blue collar and conservative area and this would really kill the VA GOP's base.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 10:51:15 PM
I think this is a terrible plan.  A better one would be to allow tourists to pay for I-81 improvements.  After all, I-81 is the worst in the summer months as people come from the NE or the Deep South to see the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.

Instead of tolls, how about charging a lodging tax similar to what Georgia does ($5 a night) and a sales tax on dining out and Amusements such as the price of Admission to Caverns or Museums in the area.  The sales tax on dining and amusements is how Myrtle Beach pays for most of it's road improvements.

Finally, I think if this plan goes thru the Republicans are TOAST in Virginia, they will become the minority party in Virginia for at least 50 years.  I-81 runs thru a very rural blue collar and conservative area and this would really kill the VA GOP's base.
The only issue is it would not generate nearly enough revenue to pay for improvements - plus a majority of traffic on I-81 is traffic that enters from Tennessee then three hours later leave into West Virginia, maybe stopping once or twice to use the restroom, refuel, or get food. They have no intention of being in Virginia, they just have to come through.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2019, 10:51:55 PM
Washington Post: Next on Virginia’s toll network: Interstate 81
Gov. Northam and lawmakers announced a bipartisan plan to use tolls to fund $2.2 billion in improvements to the I-81 corridor. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/01/08/next-virginias-toll-network-interstate/?fbclid=IwAR0W81ZMJFccoZCCxXPcBSpum6UZcFBnz0j14Q3baOv7iFc5bCr86BRQubQ&utm_term=.f3bc9fc59b5b)

Quote
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) joined Republican lawmakers Tuesday in announcing a proposal to toll Interstate 81 to generate money to pay for $2.2 billion worth of improvements needed along the corridor that serves as main street for western Virginia and a major economic artery for the state.

Quote
The plan, to be introduced in the Virginia General Assembly session that starts Wednesday, would establish tolls as a source of revenue for “critical improvements” identified in a state study of the route that stretches 325 miles between the Tennessee and West Virginia borders and suffers from major safety and reliability problems.

Quote
With the proposal, Northam and lawmakers representing the western part of the state are choosing to push a toll system over establishing a regional gas tax to pay for the I-81 improvements and in doing so declaring broader support for expanding the state’s toll network. The state in recent years has significantly increased its toll network, establishing systems along several major highways, including Interstates 95, 495, 66 and 64.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2019, 11:04:08 PM
I really like the emphasis that VDOT has placed on improving operations in the I-81 corridor, such as expanding Safety Service Patrol (SSP) coverage (freeway service patrols) and improvements to parallel routes when there is serious incident or a hard closure on I-81.

These are relatively cheap and will provide significant benefit to I-81 users and can be deployed quickly.

This describes the planned improvements: Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan (https://drive.google.com/file/d/19wDQUVyJrAoqLjNatCQXlfWcVVPmlbdq/view) (large document, 12.34 MB).

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: oscar on January 08, 2019, 11:04:56 PM
Instead of tolls, how about charging a lodging tax similar to what Georgia does ($5 a night) and a sales tax on dining out and Amusements such as the price of Admission to Caverns or Museums in the area.  The sales tax on dining and amusements is how Myrtle Beach pays for most of it's road improvements.

The I-81 corridor is not as much of a tourist destination as Myrtle Beach. For out-of-staters, it's mainly a way to get from Pennsylvania to Tennessee. And Virginia's part of I-81 is short enough to dodge much of your suggested taxes (except for some fuel and food), by planning on lodging and filling up the gas tank in either West Virginia or Tennessee.

Besides, while tolls can be locally unpopular (as illustrated by the failed attempt to toll I-95 in southern Virginia -- you can still see empty trailers along the freeway painted with anti-toll slogans), tax increases can be even more toxic, and seem to require a lot of anguish and hand-waving to make them work politically in Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 08, 2019, 11:07:50 PM
Instead of tolls, how about charging a lodging tax similar to what Georgia does ($5 a night) and a sales tax on dining out and Amusements such as the price of Admission to Caverns or Museums in the area.  The sales tax on dining and amusements is how Myrtle Beach pays for most of it's road improvements.

The I-81 corridor is not as much of a tourist destination as Myrtle Beach. For out-of-staters, it's mainly a way to get from Pennsylvania to Tennessee. And Virginia's part of I-81 is short enough to dodge much of your suggested taxes (except for some fuel and food), by planning on lodging and filling up the gas tank in either West Virginia or Tennessee.

I can transit Virginia from Maryland to Tennessee (I-495 to I-66 to I-81) and not need to stop for fuel anywhere in the Commonwealth (especially in the truck) though I generally do, because like many others on this forum, I like Sheetz, which has several stores along I-81 in Virginia, including one not far from the Tennessee border near Bristol.

Besides, while tolls can be locally unpopular (as illustrated by the failed attempt to toll I-95 in southern Virginia -- you can still see empty trailers along the freeway painted with anti-toll slogans), tax increases can be even more toxic, and seem to require a lot of anguish and hand-waving to make them work politically in Virginia.

Agreed.  Not just in Virginia either.  There was a lot of anti-toll hysteria in North Carolina when NCDOT proposed tolling all of it to fund a pretty large reconstruction and widening effort. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 08, 2019, 11:23:01 PM
Besides, while tolls can be locally unpopular (as illustrated by the failed attempt to toll I-95 in southern Virginia -- you can still see empty trailers along the freeway painted with anti-toll slogans), tax increases can be even more toxic, and seem to require a lot of anguish and hand-waving to make them work politically in Virginia.
If positioned correctly, it would only affect thru-traffic and not local traffic. Tolling local traffic has a burden on many, whereas thru traffic goes through once or twice, pays their toll, and moves on with their day. Hopefully this tolling attempt will play out right and actually become reality - improvements on I-81 are badly needed and traditional funding sources will not fund them for 10+ years and by then it will be a major need.

Agreed.  Not just in Virginia either.  There was a lot of anti-toll hysteria in North Carolina when NCDOT proposed tolling all of it to fund a pretty large reconstruction and widening effort.
The beauty with that is NCDOT decided to go with a traditional funding approach - now we're getting about 40 miles of 8-laning on I-95 done with no tolls down there. Hopefully the 2020 - 2029 STIP coming out this month will fund more 6-laning on that corridor.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2019, 11:29:18 PM
The beauty with that is NCDOT decided to go with a traditional funding approach - now we're getting about 40 miles of 8-laning on I-95 done with no tolls down there. Hopefully the 2020 - 2029 STIP coming out this month will fund more 6-laning on that corridor.

Out of 181 miles on I-95 … nevertheless NC is getting its toll roads, two currently in operation, and another planned, plus a tolled bridge.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: roadman65 on January 08, 2019, 11:54:02 PM
The beauty with that is NCDOT decided to go with a traditional funding approach - now we're getting about 40 miles of 8-laning on I-95 done with no tolls down there. Hopefully the 2020 - 2029 STIP coming out this month will fund more 6-laning on that corridor.

Out of 181 miles on I-95 … nevertheless NC is getting its toll roads, two currently in operation, and another planned, plus a tolled bridge.
Where is the money coming from to fund free I-73, I-74, and now both I-87 and I-42? 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: davewiecking on January 08, 2019, 11:57:04 PM
From what I've heard, six gantries would be placed in rural areas that would capture mainly thru-traffic. Areas such as the overlap and between Blacksburg and Roanoke would likely not get tolled.

6 gantries, with a minimum of 40 miles between them, would indeed allow them to effectively not toll the overlaps. But if the objective is to raise money... (I'll let someone else project where along the 325 mile route to place the gantries for maximum revenue.)

The document linked in reply 38 above has a list of improvements starting at about PDF page 40, but it doesn't seem to show gantry locations...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 09, 2019, 12:39:48 AM
One question and one observation:  will the multiplexed sections with I-64 and I-77 be somehow exempt (i.e., not installing gantries along those sections)? 

The TEA-21 ISRRPP would allow the whole of a state's corridor to be tolled, i.e. all of VA I-81 including overlaps.

And if all of I-81 within VA is subject to this tolling measure, then for longer-distance travel SW from the Baltimore/DC areas it's likely that US 29 will become the shunpiking corridor of choice, with traffic destined for E. TN cutting over US 460 from Lynchburg to Roanoke to minimize out-of-pocket costs.

Looks like it would be much longer and much slower, so no.

I doubt whether US 29 would be substantially slower that right down US 11 (or US 340 for that matter) would be considering the sheer number of towns along the route, plus the ability to effectively bypass Lynchburg and much of Roanoke.   And effective exemption for the multiplexed segments could be realized by simply, as previously iterated,  by keeping the gantries away from those segments.  If not, I for one would expect blowback from commercial interests well beyond what would be expected from any tolling proposal.  Without universal consensus regarding the appropriateness of tolling existing facilities, VDOT needs to know when to wield a scalpel rather than a machete!  While the "political class" has arrived at the conclusion that tolling is a necessary evil -- the left presumes it will more accurately reflect the real costs of road usage (and possibly reduce automotive trips in the process) while the right applauds the shift from indirect tax revenues being used for transportation purposes to a user-fee based approach (i.e. "we don't use this road, so we aren't paying taxes for it!"  And those caught in the middle (a pretty large segment of the driving public) are wondering "WTF?  We didn't vote for this shit!" 

I've got this strange feeling that this isn't anywhere near over; there will be backlash -- and not just from folks lacking political clout.  It'll be an interesting show!
 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 09, 2019, 12:58:13 AM
Looks like it would be much longer and much slower, so no.
I doubt whether US 29 would be substantially slower that right down US 11 (or US 340 for that matter) would be considering the sheer number of towns along the route, plus the ability to effectively bypass Lynchburg and much of Roanoke. 

US-11??  We weren't discussing that, and of course it would be slow.

Washington, D.C. to Christiansburg
I-66, US-29, US-460, I-81 -- 4 hrs 42 min
I-66, I-81 -- 4 hrs 5 min

Using Google Maps aerial. 

That doesn't take into account rush hour traffic.  Whoville is a major bottleneck on US-29 and will remain so, another consequence of The Punk.  It wouldn't take much diversion before US-29 got seriously bogged down.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 09, 2019, 02:18:41 AM
^^^^^^^^^
For those of use who aren't privy to VA jargon, WTF is Whoville and who the hell is The Punk?  (Rough guesstimate: Whoville = Charlottesville, while the Punk could be any number of pols out of some parties' favor).  Seriously, I though part of this discussion was an overview of shunpiking possibilities, which due to topology are practically limited to roughly parallel routes (and I'm certainly not considering the Blue Ridge Parkway!!!!!).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: wxfree on January 09, 2019, 02:19:51 AM
This project sounded unique, so I found it interesting and read the presentation.  Regarding legal authority, it says "Tolls may be imposed on existing toll-free highways, bridges & tunnels so long as variable pricing is used to manage demand. No formal federal approval process other than NEPA."  It also mentions the three slots for conversion to toll roads, but since they plan to charge lower rates at night, the project qualifies under the demand management provision needing only environmental approval.

It doesn't give toll point locations, but it says they will be between urban areas.  This would make travel across cities toll-free.  It also says "Commuters travel first two gantries free."  I thought about whether that refers only to some kind of qualified commuter, but I concluded it probably includes everyone.  Since there are so few toll points, each one will be quite expensive.  It would be unfair to enter the Interstate and take the next exit a mile later and get charged for 50 miles of road just because you happened to cross a toll point.  Similarly, you could cross two toll points driving as little as 40 miles and be charged for about 100.  They could remove that inequity by charging only if you go through three points.  There's still some potential inequity, but the proportionality is reduced, so that it's in the range of overcharging encountered on other barrier-type toll roads.  However, it then says "Auto Annual Pass could eliminate commuter/non-commuter distinction."  This suggests that "commuter" means "commuter" and that severe overcharging for a short drive will be possible.

The presentation also mentions intersections with other Interstates, suggesting the toll points might just happen to end up within concurrencies if they do charge for passing a single toll point.  It also mentions "near state borders" which has an obvious meaning.

Other interesting points: "Toll rates generate sufficient revenues to finance the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan; but is not a revenue maximization strategy."
"Establish toll rates and other programs that discourage diversion."  Low rates and possibly lower speed limits and disruptive traffic controls on parallel routes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 09, 2019, 02:38:31 AM
If tolls wouldn't be charged until at least 2 gantries were passed, the problem of gantries within the two Interstate multiplexes would be obviated.  Nevertheless, with the suggested distance between the gantries themselves, an alternate way to deal with the 31-mile I-64 multiplex would be with one gantry to the north between Staunton and Harrisonburg and another further south between Lexington and Buchanan.  The relatively short 10-mile multiplex with I-77 would be much easier to address. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: adventurernumber1 on January 09, 2019, 02:47:44 AM
It is very intriguing to hear this news. I feel that it could indeed hopefully be an effective way to get more money to fund the work on Interstate 81 in Virginia in the near future that is very badly needed.


Basics: $30 annual pass for unlimited use. Lower tolls overnight, but a truck driving the whole length would pay about $55.

Anyone else find it odd that an annual pass would cost less than driving the entire length (or half of it round trip) just once?

I do. I think it would be reasonable to at least have the annual fee at a higher price than is the fee for driving the whole thing once. It does seem incredibly bizarre to me that the annual fee is that low (though I am not advocating for it to be too much higher - just at least a little bit higher than the cost for driving the whole thing one way). While raising the price of that specific fee may understandably cause some backlash, it would definitely make it even more effective to fund the work that must be done on I-81.


I think this is a terrible plan.  A better one would be to allow tourists to pay for I-81 improvements.  After all, I-81 is the worst in the summer months as people come from the NE or the Deep South to see the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.

Instead of tolls, how about charging a lodging tax similar to what Georgia does ($5 a night) and a sales tax on dining out and Amusements such as the price of Admission to Caverns or Museums in the area.  The sales tax on dining and amusements is how Myrtle Beach pays for most of it's road improvements.

Finally, I think if this plan goes thru the Republicans are TOAST in Virginia, they will become the minority party in Virginia for at least 50 years.  I-81 runs thru a very rural blue collar and conservative area and this would really kill the VA GOP's base.
The only issue is it would not generate nearly enough revenue to pay for improvements - plus a majority of traffic on I-81 is traffic that enters from Tennessee then three hours later leave into West Virginia, maybe stopping once or twice to use the restroom, refuel, or get food. They have no intention of being in Virginia, they just have to come through.

While my family and I have been to West Virginia a few times (our route including I-81 (from Tennessee) and I-77 (North) in Virginia), I suspect that those traffic movements (though I am far from certain) constitute a smaller percentage of the total traffic that uses I-81 through the state. While I am not completely sure, I am guessing that much of the traffic using Interstate 81 in Virginia are long-distance drivers (including many truckers).





I suspect this might indeed cause some shunpiking along alternative north-south routes through Virginia, such as US 29 or US 11 (as noted). Although while being more out of the way, US Highway 29 would probably be a better optimized alternative route in this case.

It will indeed be tricky due to the massive cost of it all, but hopefully Virginia can use this toll plan (and more) to get the money needed to fully widen I-81 through the state before the situation becomes even more dire a couple of decades from now. But this is a great start, and I am very excited about it. Hopefully I-81 will be a much smoother drive after some time and work.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 09, 2019, 07:40:00 AM
^^^^^^^^^
For those of use who aren't privy to VA jargon, WTF is Whoville and who the hell is The Punk?  (Rough guesstimate: Whoville = Charlottesville, while the Punk could be any number of pols out of some parties' favor).  Seriously, I though part of this discussion was an overview of shunpiking possibilities, which due to topology are practically limited to roughly parallel routes (and I'm certainly not considering the Blue Ridge Parkway!!!!!).
Whoville is Charlottesville, and the Punk I’m pretty sure was not constructing the northern Charlottesville bypass but instead wasting hundreds of millions on spot improvements. Complete waste IMHO.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 09, 2019, 07:57:48 AM
For those of use who aren't privy to VA jargon, WTF is Whoville and who the hell is The Punk?  (Rough guesstimate: Whoville = Charlottesville, while the Punk could be any number of pols out of some parties' favor).  Seriously, I though part of this discussion was an overview of shunpiking possibilities, which due to topology are practically limited to roughly parallel routes (and I'm certainly not considering the Blue Ridge Parkway!!!!!).
Whoville is Charlottesville, and the Punk I’m pretty sure was not constructing the northern Charlottesville bypass but instead wasting hundreds of millions on spot improvements. Complete waste IMHO.

The Punk was responsible for killing both the Charlottesville US-29 bypass extension and the US-460 freeway project Petersburg-Suffolk.

The "U.S. 29 Solutions" package was crafted by the local politicos to benefit local traffic circulation, not thru traffic.  The Rio Road grade-separated intersection, the Berkmar Drive extension, and the Hillsdale Drive extension, serve to provide local circulator roads parallel to US-29, and a grade separation over US-29 to benefit local traffic that wants to cross US-29, and Rio Road connects to those new local circulator roads. 

These projects provide very little benefit to thru traffic, where the US-29 8-lane arterial still has at least 5 multi-phase signalized intersections that cause a lot of delay, which will only get worse in the future.  These projects cost more to build than the Charlottesville US-29 bypass extension would have cost.

Addition at 11:45 pm 1-9-2019 --
I drove these completed projects last summer.  I was convinced that this a local circulator system as I said above.  If the Hydraulic Road intersection is rebuilt to a grade-separated intersection, and a flyover is built to carry NB US-29 from the existing bypass to US-29 Emmett Street, that will provide some improvement to thru traffic (includes inter-regional traffic), but IMO this is primarily more of the above, will connect to extensions of Berkmar Drive and Hillsdale Drive and provide another grade-separated crossing over US-29 for the benefit of local traffic, to have north-south and east-west local connectivity around the US-29 Emmett Street area.  This project will cost at least $200 million and once again provide little benefit to thru traffic, with at least 4 multi-phase signalized intersections that cause a lot of delay, which will only get worse in the future.  This makes me feel like puking in a trash can.  Of course the state government starting in 2013 facilitated these projects with large amounts of state and federal highway funding.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 09, 2019, 08:42:32 AM
Well then it's not going to fix the recurring traffic delays that happen in rural areas that so many people complain about. All I'm seeing in this project is some urban area relief, a few auxiliary lanes here and there, and a $30 (car) - $55 (truck) toll on I-81 to fund it. For paying that much, I'd expect a full build-out like what was proposed years back with the P3.

I-81 is a strange road with schizophrenic tendencies. You can be driving in a large slug of traffic at one point and a mile down the road it has all disappeared (or dispersed, even though there are no exits of note along the way). In most cases, two lanes are adequate for the level of traffic except at certain times (typically when college students along the way are leaving for or returning from a break). There are also sections with low accident rates, as opposed to say, Christiansburg Mountain with its wreck-a-day or sections in Botetourt County. While a third lane may not have an effect on the wrecks, having more room to get around all but the worst of the wrecks can help reduce the delays (although even with three lanes it is still possible to jam traffic for miles).

Sure, it would be nice to have six to eight lanes from one end to the other, but that isn't going to happen any time soon. This "baby step" to take care of some known and long-time problem areas is a way to ease into the major construction needed to fix the whole problem.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 09, 2019, 12:18:10 PM
^ Given the cost to do such, it would require a much higher toll and/or gas tax that neither drivers nor locals would be happy with.  The recommended projects spend close to $1.5 billion in order to widen about 51 miles (just over $29 million per mile).  Using that as an average, widening all of I-81 in Virginia to a consistent 6 lanes would run close to $9 billion.  Probably north of $9B when you factor in the New, James, and Maury River bridges.  Even using an average $25 million a mile like Beltway has mentioned in other threads would run the cost north of $7 billion.
Well then it's not going to fix the recurring traffic delays that happen in rural areas that so many people complain about. All I'm seeing in this project is some urban area relief, a few auxiliary lanes here and there, and a $30 (car) - $55 (truck) toll on I-81 to fund it. For paying that much, I'd expect a full build-out like what was proposed years back with the P3.

As Mike Tantillo explained on Facebook, there is not much in the way of recurring congestion on I-81, and those areas that do experience it are where they're targeting the currently proposed widening.  The vast bulk of the delays on 81 are due to crashes and crash response.  Improved incident management is one of the items that will be funded via this program and will greatly reduce the delays caused by crashes and their "hours-on-end" lane and road closures.

Quote
Both the New River Bridge and Maury River Bridges are designed to accommodate a 3rd lane in each direction. The James River Bridges are only 500 feet long and wouldn't be a huge task to widen / replace.

Regardless, it will cost north of $9 billion to widen the entire roadway by the time you get the financing in place.

Bottom line:  the type of widening you want costs money.  A LOT of money.  You're only going to get that in "10 years" from much higher tolls than are currently proposed or a considerably higher gas tax.  And at the same time, VDOT has needs elsewhere that will also need funding....you yourself have mentioned 64 and 95.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 09, 2019, 01:09:08 PM
Too many posts to quote and respond to, so some general observations:

"The Punk" is Terry McAuliffe. That's been Limbaugh's pet name for him since Bill Clinton was in office.

Regarding the comments on the I-77 to I-81 movements between West Virginia and Tennessee, no one is going to get gas in WV if they can do so in VA. Gas in WV is usually significantly higher due to taxes. There's typically a differential of 30 to 50 cents a gallon between Princeton, WV, and Bluefield, Va. Gas is usually close to the same price in Virginia and Tennessee, but Tennessee levies ungodly sales taxes on food and lodging. Besides, there's already a four-lane shunpike of that route -- US 23 and US 119 through Kingsport, Norton and Pikeville to Charleston. It also avoids the WV Turnpike, where tolls are going up as well. And another shunpike is US 19 and US 460 from Bristol/Abingdon to Bluefield.

I don't know what the major issues on I-81, as noted in some of the studies, are. I haven't read the studies. But my own personal observations are that I-81's biggest problems are micropassing trucks on some of the hills, which climbing lanes would alleviate; and substandard entrance ramps with short acceleration lanes/merge areas. Some of those in the Abingdon area have been addressed over the years already.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 09, 2019, 01:12:39 PM
Quote from: hbelkins
and substandard entrance ramps with short acceleration lanes/merge areas. Some of those in the Abingdon area have been addressed over the years already.

According the the proposed project list, several of these would be addressed as well.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 09, 2019, 04:23:35 PM
As Mike Tantillo explained on Facebook, there is not much in the way of recurring congestion on I-81, and those areas that do experience it are where they're targeting the currently proposed widening.  The vast bulk of the delays on 81 are due to crashes and crash response.  Improved incident management is one of the items that will be funded via this program and will greatly reduce the delays caused by crashes and their "hours-on-end" lane and road closures.

The problem is, that it is much easier for an incident itself, as well as for the response to the incident, to block 2 lanes, a 10-foot right shoulder and a 3-foot left shoulder, than it is to block 3 lanes and a 12-foot right shoulder and a 12-foot left shoulder, and modern shoulders are much more sturdy and able to temporarily carry traffic.  If you lose one lane of traffic out of two lanes, you only have one lane open; if you lose one lane of traffic out of three lanes, you still have two lanes open.  A truck wreck could block the whole thing, but at least there is a lot more space to work with.

Like I have said before, the biggest problems on I-81 (all of it TN-Harrisburg) are exacerbated by the high volumes on at least 20 weekends (Fri-Sun inclusive) per year.

VDOT's own traffic projections for 2035 are in the 50,000 to 70,000 AADT range, and they are going to have a disaster on their hands if any part is still 4 lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 10, 2019, 10:30:23 AM
I don't know how incident management is handled in Virginia -- and I understand that they recently held an IM workshop that a few of the folks who participate here attended -- but in Kentucky, it's being stressed not to close more lanes than required in order to keep traffic moving. If you have to close all lanes, do so only if absolutely necessary, but that's not the preferred response.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 10, 2019, 02:14:06 PM
I don't know how incident management is handled in Virginia -- and I understand that they recently held an IM workshop that a few of the folks who participate here attended -- but in Kentucky, it's being stressed not to close more lanes than required in order to keep traffic moving. If you have to close all lanes, do so only if absolutely necessary, but that's not the preferred response.

That is the standard for highway incident management everywhere.  But it doesn't take much to block two lanes of traffic, a multi-vehicle accident that leaves the vehicles undrivable can do that for at least an hour or two. HAZMAT incidents and truck wrecks can do a lot worse.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 10, 2019, 03:51:33 PM
I don't know how incident management is handled in Virginia -- and I understand that they recently held an IM workshop that a few of the folks who participate here attended -- but in Kentucky, it's being stressed not to close more lanes than required in order to keep traffic moving. If you have to close all lanes, do so only if absolutely necessary, but that's not the preferred response.

That is the standard for highway incident management everywhere.  But it doesn't take much to block two lanes of traffic, a multi-vehicle accident that leaves the vehicles undrivable can do that for at least an hour or two. HAZMAT incidents and truck wrecks can do a lot worse.

That may be the standard, but it's not always done in practice. We have a lot of fire departments that want to shut down the entire road for a fender-bender.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 10, 2019, 04:39:38 PM
I don't know how incident management is handled in Virginia -- and I understand that they recently held an IM workshop that a few of the folks who participate here attended -- but in Kentucky, it's being stressed not to close more lanes than required in order to keep traffic moving. If you have to close all lanes, do so only if absolutely necessary, but that's not the preferred response.

That is the standard for highway incident management everywhere.  But it doesn't take much to block two lanes of traffic, a multi-vehicle accident that leaves the vehicles undrivable can do that for at least an hour or two. HAZMAT incidents and truck wrecks can do a lot worse.
There was an accident here on I-664 about a month ago, and they shut the entire highway down at VA-164 during rush hour. I watched for a while on the traffic cameras, and they were all spread out blocking all the lanes, mainly the fire trucks & police. They could've easily only blocked 1 lane and not caused that major backup that it did. The disabled vehicles were over by the left shoulder.

It's a practice that's standard, but sometimes not always used.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 10, 2019, 06:25:25 PM
That is the standard for highway incident management everywhere.  But it doesn't take much to block two lanes of traffic, a multi-vehicle accident that leaves the vehicles undrivable can do that for at least an hour or two. HAZMAT incidents and truck wrecks can do a lot worse.
There was an accident here on I-664 about a month ago, and they shut the entire highway down at VA-164 during rush hour. I watched for a while on the traffic cameras, and they were all spread out blocking all the lanes, mainly the fire trucks & police. They could've easily only blocked 1 lane and not caused that major backup that it did. The disabled vehicles were over by the left shoulder.
It's a practice that's standard, but sometimes not always used.

How do you know why it was handled that way?  A multi-alarm fire response could indicate HAZMAT, or injuries, or leaking gasoline, or several other possibilities that would require closing all lanes for a period of time.  FDs nowadays are trained in EMS so their presence doesn't necessarily mean fire.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 10, 2019, 06:27:34 PM
That is the standard for highway incident management everywhere.  But it doesn't take much to block two lanes of traffic, a multi-vehicle accident that leaves the vehicles undrivable can do that for at least an hour or two. HAZMAT incidents and truck wrecks can do a lot worse.
There was an accident here on I-664 about a month ago, and they shut the entire highway down at VA-164 during rush hour. I watched for a while on the traffic cameras, and they were all spread out blocking all the lanes, mainly the fire trucks & police. They could've easily only blocked 1 lane and not caused that major backup that it did. The disabled vehicles were over by the left shoulder.
It's a practice that's standard, but sometimes not always used.

How do you know why it was handled that way?  A multi-alarm fire response could indicate HAZMAT, or injuries, or leaking gasoline, or several other possibilities that would require closing all lanes.  FDs nowadays are trained in EMS so their presence doesn't necessarily mean fire.
As far as I'm aware it was between a few passenger vehicles. Granted, I'm just assuming and shouldn't try to assign blame. There could've been something that warranted all the lanes shut down. What I said above were just my observations from watching the traffic cameras and traffic backed up for 4 miles.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 10, 2019, 06:32:50 PM
There was an accident here on I-664 about a month ago, and they shut the entire highway down at VA-164 during rush hour. I watched for a while on the traffic cameras, and they were all spread out blocking all the lanes, mainly the fire trucks & police. They could've easily only blocked 1 lane and not caused that major backup that it did. The disabled vehicles were over by the left shoulder.
It's a practice that's standard, but sometimes not always used.
How do you know why it was handled that way?  A multi-alarm fire response could indicate HAZMAT, or injuries, or leaking gasoline, or several other possibilities that would require closing all lanes.  FDs nowadays are trained in EMS so their presence doesn't necessarily mean fire.
As far as I'm aware it was between a few passenger vehicles. Granted, I'm just assuming and shouldn't try to assign blame. There could've been something that warranted all the lanes shut down. What I said above were just my observations from watching the traffic cameras and traffic backed up for 4 miles.

Well, I wouldn't presume from watching traffic cameras to know why it was managed that way.  FDs don't have the resources to sent fire trucks (plural) to a site unless there is a need for it; that is what I meant by 'multi-alarm fire response'.  PDs are under much pressure from the public to open roads as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 10, 2019, 07:12:17 PM
Well, I wouldn't presume from watching traffic cameras to know why it was managed that way.  FDs don't have the resources to sent fire trucks (plural) to a site unless there is a need for it; that is what I meant by 'multi-alarm fire response'.  PDs are under much pressure from the public to open roads as soon as possible.
It really depends... I was talking to someone from state university the other day, and they told a funny story:
Since the organization is tax exempt, the city is unhappy about providing free services - so they worked out a pay-per-use agreement (charged after that many calls a year or so).
Billing is per truck, so whenever there is a call - it is all hands up to bill as much as possible....
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 10, 2019, 08:48:36 PM
I don't know how incident management is handled in Virginia -- and I understand that they recently held an IM workshop that a few of the folks who participate here attended -- but in Kentucky, it's being stressed not to close more lanes than required in order to keep traffic moving. If you have to close all lanes, do so only if absolutely necessary, but that's not the preferred response.

[Full disclosure - I know some of VDOT's Northern Virginia Incident Management staff personally, and I have deep respect for them]

Virginia (mostly in the  form of VDOT) has superb incident management (that includes VDOT's Safety Service Patrol), at least in the Northern Virginia District, where traffic is as bad as anywhere else in the Commonwealth.

VDOT will dispatch one or more Incident Management units to the scene of an incident that is classified by the MUTCD as Class A (Major, expected time to resolve over 2 hours); or Class B (Intermediate - expected duration of 30 minutes to 2 hours).  The incident managers are empowered to request and get whatever assets are needed to expedite getting an incident cleared (without having to ask for permission), such as dump trucks with sand, wheel loaders, light plants and other things.

There are two other partners that also provide freeway service in the Northern Virginia District: Transurban (concession owner that runs the express (HOV/Toll) lanes along I-495, I-95 and soon I-395); and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which provides  such service on VA-267 (Dulles Toll Road); unsigned VA-90004 (Dulles Airport Access Road) and on the public roads and streets within the Dulles Airport property.

Regarding lane closures, at the scene of a traffic incident, responders will close at least one lane adjacent to an incident at the scene of a crash with injury (usually for a total of two) until injured patients have been removed; completely close lanes if there's a vehicle fire (not generally in the opposite direction) and completely close lanes if there's a fatality to allow a death investigation and reconstruction to be performed (sometimes only on the side with the fatal crash, sometime a hard closure in both directions, but that is unusual).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 10, 2019, 10:31:05 PM
Fire and rescue may shut down a roadway if they perceive a safety risk from drivers.  One of my former sailors was an EMT in Westchester County, NY before he joined the Navy...he told me how one day he had to shut down the New England Thruway (he was also a trained/qualified on scene leader) because traffic was speeding recklessly past his crash scene (a multi-vehicle crash on the northbound side).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 10, 2019, 11:14:05 PM
Fire and rescue may shut down a roadway if they perceive a safety risk from drivers.  One of my former sailors was an EMT in Westchester County, NY before he joined the Navy...he told me how one day he had to shut down the New England Thruway (he was also a trained/qualified on scene leader) because traffic was speeding recklessly past his crash scene (a multi-vehicle crash on the northbound side).

I have not driven that part of I-95 as much as you, though I have done it all, and while it might not be a good idea to close it all down, there are certainly time when that  is  appropriate. 

There is now reasonably standardized Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training, and it is required or expected that all responders have TIM training.

IMO, things get worse on the D.C.-area National Park Service parkways, where paved shoulders are narrow (and beyond that pavement there is sometimes a wall, sometimes a different barrier, and sometimes just grass) - and frequently drivers passing by the scene at 70 MPH on roads that have a posted limit of 55 MPH or less (and a design speed well below 70).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ixnay on January 11, 2019, 08:02:32 AM
Like I have said before, the biggest problems on I-81 (all of it TN-Harrisburg) are exacerbated by the high volumes on at least 20 weekends (Fri-Sun inclusive) per year.

Moving this back closer to the topic: how big are weekend volumes on 81 *north* of HBG?  (I asked this on the general Pennsylvania thread but I wanted to get this thread back near the topic so I repeat it here)

ixnay
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 11, 2019, 08:54:43 AM
There is now reasonably standardized Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training, and it is required or expected that all responders have TIM training.

There is training and good practice and there is reality. Given the recent spate of incidents where State Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances have been hit while at a scene, it is no wonder that traffic is shut down. Lt. Brad Clark, a firefighter in Hanover County, was killed and three others firefighters were injured after their firetruck was rear-ended on I-295 in Hanover County back in October.

The TIMS training (I've taken it, I'm an extrication tech with the rescue squad) covers how to set up a scene with cones, flares, and equipment staging to warn oncoming traffic and protect people on the scene, but when a tractor-trailer comes barreling into the scene at speed, all bets are off. This was the case in Hanover, with the truck driver being charged with reckless driving and having inoperable brakes. The feeling is it is better to shut down all lanes until most of the scene is clear, then let traffic start moving when most of the danger to responders is over.

Adding a lane to I-81 northbound down Christiansburg Mountain would help in a lot of the incidents that occur, by providing that much more space to work in and to have more room to allow one lane (or shoulder) to open quicker to get traffic moving again.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 11, 2019, 09:02:16 AM
There is now reasonably standardized Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training, and it is required or expected that all responders have TIM training.

There is training and good practice and there is reality. Given the recent spate of incidents where State Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances have been hit while at a scene, it is no wonder that traffic is shut down. Lt. Brad Clark, a firefighter in Hanover County, was killed and three others firefighters were injured after their firetruck was rear-ended on I-295 in Hanover County back in October.

The TIMS training (I've taken it, I'm an extrication tech with the rescue squad) covers how to set up a scene with cones, flares, and equipment staging to warn oncoming traffic and protect people on the scene, but when a tractor-trailer comes barreling into the scene at speed, all bets are off. This was the case in Hanover, with the truck driver being charged with reckless driving and having inoperable brakes. The feeling is it is better to shut down all lanes until most of the scene is clear, then let traffic start moving when most of the danger to responders is over.

Adding a lane to I-81 northbound down Christiansburg Mountain would help in a lot of the incidents that occur, by providing that much more space to work in and to have more room to allow one lane (or shoulder) to open quicker to get traffic moving again.

Bruce in Blacksburg


But that is a bit of overkill.  Once traffic jams, the threat of a high-speed vehicle ramming into the scene doesn't exist.  Closing the highway also seriously congests other roads, and frustration often leads to other accidents.

If they can handle incidents in NoVA without shutting down the entire roadway (imagine if the Capital Beltway was shut down for every minor accident), then they should be able to handle incidents properly elsewhere in the state.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 11, 2019, 10:23:58 AM
The TIMS training (I've taken it, I'm an extrication tech with the rescue squad) covers how to set up a scene with cones, flares, and equipment staging to warn oncoming traffic and protect people on the scene, but when a tractor-trailer comes barreling into the scene at speed, all bets are off. This was the case in Hanover, with the truck driver being charged with reckless driving and having inoperable brakes. The feeling is it is better to shut down all lanes until most of the scene is clear, then let traffic start moving when most of the danger to responders is over.
Bruce in Blacksburg

I do volunteer work for a city PD, and one of our duties is providing traffic control at accident scenes, plus things like marathons and local events.  I am quite aware of how many distracted and otherwise inattentive drivers are out there, and how even with marked cars and flashing blue lights and uniformed officers with reflective safety vests, you have to watch traffic like a hawk at all times when you are directing traffic, if you want to stay safe.

A state trooper was killed a few years ago while directing traffic at the intersection on VA-30 in front of the state fair grounds.  I never heard the exact details but from what I did hear it may have been a moment of inattention by the officer, plus an inattentive driver.  Not a high-speed situation.  Not an accident scene, but anytime you are on an active roadway you are at risk.

But that is a bit of overkill.  Once traffic jams, the threat of a high-speed vehicle ramming into the scene doesn't exist.  Closing the highway also seriously congests other roads, and frustration often leads to other accidents.
If they can handle incidents in NoVA without shutting down the entire roadway (imagine if the Capital Beltway was shut down for every minor accident), then they should be able to handle incidents properly elsewhere in the state.

Another one of these "one size fits all" statements?  If I'm standing on a roadway I don't want a 4,000 pound car running into me at even 5 mph.  Likewise a 80,000 pound truck even at 5 mph can pile up some cars before it comes to a stop.

A 2-lane roadway has a lot less space to work with than a 4-lane roadway with full shoulders on both sides.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 11, 2019, 11:08:39 AM
There is now reasonably standardized Traffic Incident Management (TIM) training, and it is required or expected that all responders have TIM training.

There is training and good practice and there is reality. Given the recent spate of incidents where State Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances have been hit while at a scene, it is no wonder that traffic is shut down. Lt. Brad Clark, a firefighter in Hanover County, was killed and three others firefighters were injured after their firetruck was rear-ended on I-295 in Hanover County back in October.

Agree that responders and response vehicles getting hit at the scene is an ongoing and serious problem, in  part since TIM training is not provided to the driving population. 

We heard about the death of Fire Lt. Clark up here too.  Sounds like the driver of the striking truck was guilty of distracted or drowsy driving, or maybe both - and definitely reckless driving.

The TIMS training (I've taken it, I'm an extrication tech with the rescue squad) covers how to set up a scene with cones, flares, and equipment staging to warn oncoming traffic and protect people on the scene, but when a tractor-trailer comes barreling into the scene at speed, all bets are off. This was the case in Hanover, with the truck driver being charged with reckless driving and having inoperable brakes. The feeling is it is better to shut down all lanes until most of the scene is clear, then let traffic start moving when most of the danger to responders is over.

I have no disagreement with a total shut-down .- at least until the patient or patient has been transported, perhaps especially if it is a "middle of the night" incident, when traffic volumes are lower but speeds are higher.

Here in Montgomery County (Maryland), a Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad ambulance was struck at a crash scene on the  Inner Loop I-495 a few miles north of Virginia a few years ago.  And on I-270 in 2017, we had a Maryland State Fire Marshal and an FBI special agent who had stopped at the scene of a crash to render assistance  (the fire marshal was also a volunteer firefighter) and both were killed by a reckless driver who drove into the scene). 

Maryland's reckless driving laws make it hard for police to charge and the states' attorneys to convict on reckless driving, even in egregious cases like this, thanks to obstruction by ex-Delegate Joseph F. "Joe" Vallario Jr. (D-23B), who was the chair of the House Judicial Committee for many years.  Vallario was (and is) an attorney that represents drunk and reckless drivers in the state courts, and also felt he should represent them in the Maryland General Assembly, but fortunately he was defeated for re-election last year (2018 primary election), and I hope that there will be efforts to toughen reckless and drunk driving laws now that he is gone from Annapolis.

Adding a lane to I-81 northbound down Christiansburg Mountain would help in a lot of the incidents that occur, by providing that much more space to work in and to have more room to allow one lane (or shoulder) to open quicker to get traffic moving again.

Might also be nice southbound for similar reasons. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Flint1979 on January 11, 2019, 11:32:50 AM
Is there still a rule that Interstates can't be tolled or has that been thrown out the window?
I think there is. The one's that are tolled were grandfathered in.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Alps on January 11, 2019, 11:41:15 AM
Is there still a rule that Interstates can't be tolled or has that been thrown out the window?
I think there is. The one's that are tolled were grandfathered in.
It's under increasing reconsideration thanks to decreasing gas tax revenues.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 11, 2019, 12:38:53 PM

Adding a lane to I-81 northbound down Christiansburg Mountain would help in a lot of the incidents that occur, by providing that much more space to work in and to have more room to allow one lane (or shoulder) to open quicker to get traffic moving again.

Might also be nice southbound for similar reasons.

There are three lanes southbound (up the mountain) from the Ironto exit (128) to the Christiansburg exit (118) after a project several years ago that extended the lanes from the top of the first grade from Ironto all the way to Christiansburg. But wrecks on that side are fewer than the ones on the northbound/mainly downhill side. Since there are no exits between 118 and 128, once committed to continuing/getting on I-81 north in Christiansburg, you are pretty much stuck when something happens in that stretch. That is one of the most critical needs in the Salem district on I-81, adding that third lane. There is also an upgrade northbound just past the Ironto rest area that would benefit from an additional lane.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 11, 2019, 04:50:20 PM
That is one of the most critical needs in the Salem district on I-81, adding that third lane.

At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 11, 2019, 04:53:26 PM
That is one of the most critical needs in the Salem district on I-81, adding that third lane.

At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville.
The plan for the I-81 Improvements include this section for three lanes, costing almost $1 billion. Would be built under the tolling plan.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 11, 2019, 04:59:04 PM
At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville.
The plan for the I-81 Improvements include this section for three lanes, costing almost $1 billion. Would be built under the tolling plan.

The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 11, 2019, 05:29:32 PM
At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville.
The plan for the I-81 Improvements include this section for three lanes, costing almost $1 billion. Would be built under the tolling plan.

The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
The project sheet has the following projects -
- Widen to three lanes from MM 116 to Exit 128 ($201,210,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 128 to Exit 137 ($185,958,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 137 to Exit 141 ($231,005,000)
- Widen to three lanes from MM 144 and Exit 150 ($232,595,000)

There's a 3 mile gap in the widening just south of I-581, but from I-581 (Exit 143, MM 144) to Exit 150 it's back to six lanes. I feel like this "gap" is extremely useless, it will only cause congestion.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 11, 2019, 05:31:51 PM
The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
The project sheet has the following projects -
- Widen to three lanes from MM 116 to Exit 128 ($201,210,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 128 to Exit 137 ($185,958,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 137 to Exit 141 ($231,005,000)
- Widen to three lanes from MM 144 and Exit 150 ($232,595,000)

But are all for widening in both directions?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 11, 2019, 05:40:14 PM
The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
The project sheet has the following projects -
- Widen to three lanes from MM 116 to Exit 128 ($201,210,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 128 to Exit 137 ($185,958,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 137 to Exit 141 ($231,005,000)
- Widen to three lanes from MM 144 and Exit 150 ($232,595,000)

But are all for widening in both directions?
I would assume, it does not specify. Judging by the costs however, I would say yes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 11, 2019, 05:57:34 PM
At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville.
The plan for the I-81 Improvements include this section for three lanes, costing almost $1 billion. Would be built under the tolling plan.

The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
The project sheet has the following projects -
- Widen to three lanes from MM 116 to Exit 128 ($201,210,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 128 to Exit 137 ($185,958,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 137 to Exit 141 ($231,005,000)
- Widen to three lanes from MM 144 and Exit 150 ($232,595,000)

There's a 3 mile gap in the widening just south of I-581, but from I-581 (Exit 143, MM 144) to Exit 150 it's back to six lanes. I feel like this "gap" is extremely useless, it will only cause congestion.

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 11, 2019, 06:09:15 PM
At least between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville.
The plan for the I-81 Improvements include this section for three lanes, costing almost $1 billion. Would be built under the tolling plan.

The entire 32 miles would be 3 lanes each way?  I thought it was just a couple sections of roadway that would be widened to 3 lanes.
The project sheet has the following projects -
- Widen to three lanes from MM 116 to Exit 128 ($201,210,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 128 to Exit 137 ($185,958,000)
- Widen to three lanes from Exit 137 to Exit 141 ($231,005,000)
- Widen to three lanes from MM 144 and Exit 150 ($232,595,000)

There's a 3 mile gap in the widening just south of I-581, but from I-581 (Exit 143, MM 144) to Exit 150 it's back to six lanes. I feel like this "gap" is extremely useless, it will only cause congestion.

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2019, 10:43:44 AM
Or you could go to the project website and see exactly what they have planned.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 04:17:51 PM
Or you could go to the project website and see exactly what they have planned.

Isn't that what Sprjus4 detailed in his last two posts?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2019, 04:29:53 PM
^ I don't think so.  His post #80 suggests he was completely unaware of the Exit 141-143 auxiliary lane project until I mentioned it.  His post #84 looks like a lot of theory about how the widening south of 141 would tie into the planned auxiliary lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 12, 2019, 05:32:26 PM

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.

Someone didn't think through this project. Per VDOT, "The southbound auxiliary lane will extend the exit 143 on ramp and become the new inside through lane. The existing outside through lane will become an exit only lane that will end at the exit 141 off-ramp."

For reference, exit 141 is the VA 419 exit for Salem and exit 143 is the I-581 exit for Roanoke.

The current configuration has I-581 traffic heading south on I-81 merging from the left. A number of years ago, this ramp was extended to make it easier to merge into the fast lane. If this lane is extended, then life is good for those coming off I-581, but traffic already on 81 will have to make a lane shift from the right through lane into what is now the left lane (and will be the right through lane when this is complete). Should someone want to go from 581 to get off on 419 (in either direction, there are two off ramps) he would have to cross the right through lane to get into the exit only lane.

If there was more money, it would make more sense to shift the southbound through lanes to a new alignment closer to the northbound lanes (which would require a bridge over the 581 ramps) and make the ramps and former through lanes a C-D lane. Then extending the outside lane would make sense since 581 traffic could either merge from the right or continue to exit at 419.

Bruce in Blacksburg
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 05:44:23 PM
They really should go to 4 lanes each way between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville, plus any needed interchange upgrades.  Built for the future.

This I-81 segment also carries overlaps of the traffic of two major cross-state arterial corridors, US-460 and US-220; not to mention the inter-regional traffic around Roanoke, Christiansburg and Blacksburg.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 06:34:46 PM

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.

Someone didn't think through this project. Per VDOT, "The southbound auxiliary lane will extend the exit 143 on ramp and become the new inside through lane. The existing outside through lane will become an exit only lane that will end at the exit 141 off-ramp."

For reference, exit 141 is the VA 419 exit for Salem and exit 143 is the I-581 exit for Roanoke.

The current configuration has I-581 traffic heading south on I-81 merging from the left. A number of years ago, this ramp was extended to make it easier to merge into the fast lane. If this lane is extended, then life is good for those coming off I-581, but traffic already on 81 will have to make a lane shift from the right through lane into what is now the left lane (and will be the right through lane when this is complete). Should someone want to go from 581 to get off on 419 (in either direction, there are two off ramps) he would have to cross the right through lane to get into the exit only lane.

If there was more money, it would make more sense to shift the southbound through lanes to a new alignment closer to the northbound lanes (which would require a bridge over the 581 ramps) and make the ramps and former through lanes a C-D lane. Then extending the outside lane would make sense since 581 traffic could either merge from the right or continue to exit at 419.

Bruce in Blacksburg

They really should go to 4 lanes each way between US-460 at Christiansburg and US-220 at Troutville, plus any needed interchange upgrades.  Built for the future.

This I-81 segment also carries overlaps of the traffic of two major cross-state arterial corridors, US-460 and US-220; not to mention the inter-regional traffic around Roanoke, Christiansburg and Blacksburg.

To sum it up... this whole thing is going to be a mess.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 07:20:31 PM
… like when you blow your groceries?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 74/171FAN on January 12, 2019, 07:28:12 PM

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.

Someone didn't think through this project. Per VDOT, "The southbound auxiliary lane will extend the exit 143 on ramp and become the new inside through lane. The existing outside through lane will become an exit only lane that will end at the exit 141 off-ramp."

For reference, exit 141 is the VA 419 exit for Salem and exit 143 is the I-581 exit for Roanoke.


This is pretty much the same thing that PennDOT did with I-81 between PA 114 (Exit 57) and PA 581(Exit 59).  The WB on-ramp from PA 581 became the left lane for I-81 SB while the existing right lane now is an exit-only lane for PA 114.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 07:49:41 PM

The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.

Someone didn't think through this project. Per VDOT, "The southbound auxiliary lane will extend the exit 143 on ramp and become the new inside through lane. The existing outside through lane will become an exit only lane that will end at the exit 141 off-ramp."

For reference, exit 141 is the VA 419 exit for Salem and exit 143 is the I-581 exit for Roanoke.


This is pretty much the same thing that PennDOT did with I-81 between PA 114 (Exit 57) and PA 581(Exit 59).  The WB on-ramp from PA 581 became the left lane for I-81 SB while the existing right lane now is an exit-only lane for PA 114.


The "gap" (between I-581 and VA 419) already has an auxiliary lane planned for 2021.
The widening could assume a third lane will be added in the median. Said lane would likely end at Exit 141 going north, with the left (new) lane merging right into the two existing lanes. A third lane would pickup at the ramp entrance on the other side on the right and extend to I-581, but it's not continuous for mainline traffic.

Or, the "new" lane would become the exit lane at Exit 141 heading north, but again, still not continuous for mainline traffic even w/ the auxiliary.

Someone didn't think through this project. Per VDOT, "The southbound auxiliary lane will extend the exit 143 on ramp and become the new inside through lane. The existing outside through lane will become an exit only lane that will end at the exit 141 off-ramp."

For reference, exit 141 is the VA 419 exit for Salem and exit 143 is the I-581 exit for Roanoke.

The current configuration has I-581 traffic heading south on I-81 merging from the left. A number of years ago, this ramp was extended to make it easier to merge into the fast lane. If this lane is extended, then life is good for those coming off I-581, but traffic already on 81 will have to make a lane shift from the right through lane into what is now the left lane (and will be the right through lane when this is complete). Should someone want to go from 581 to get off on 419 (in either direction, there are two off ramps) he would have to cross the right through lane to get into the exit only lane.

If there was more money, it would make more sense to shift the southbound through lanes to a new alignment closer to the northbound lanes (which would require a bridge over the 581 ramps) and make the ramps and former through lanes a C-D lane. Then extending the outside lane would make sense since 581 traffic could either merge from the right or continue to exit at 419.

Bruce in Blacksburg


Wait, so is this going to become how I-295 merges with I-95 south of Richmond? The I-295 lane merges with I-95 on the left and becomes the southbound left thru lane. The right lane turns into an exit lane.

I can see issues with this, it works better with I-95 / I-295 because an equal amount of thru traffic is coming from I-295 bypassing Richmond, with local / some thru traffic coming on I-95 from Richmond.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 09:04:44 PM
Wait, so is this going to become how I-295 merges with I-95 south of Richmond? The I-295 lane merges with I-95 on the left and becomes the southbound left thru lane. The right lane turns into an exit lane.

That design goes back to the original plan where what is I-295 would have been a relocation of I-95.

I-95 between downtown Petersburg and the new bypass, would have become I-795.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 09:06:06 PM
Wait, so is this going to become how I-295 merges with I-95 south of Richmond? The I-295 lane merges with I-95 on the left and becomes the southbound left thru lane. The right lane turns into an exit lane.

That design goes back to the original plan where what is I-295 would have been a relocation of I-95.
I know, I'm just trying to get an example of what is planned for the I-81 / I-581 interchange, and this so happens to be one.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 09:08:32 PM
I know, I'm just trying to get an example of what is planned for the I-81 / I-581 interchange, and this so happens to be one.

It needs to have the left hand ramps relocated to right hand ramps.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 09:18:26 PM
I know, I'm just trying to get an example of what is planned for the I-81 / I-581 interchange, and this so happens to be one.

It needs to have the left hand ramps relocated to right hand ramps.
Agreed. They need to build a bridge over I-81 southbound to bring I-581 traffic in on the right, then turn that into an exit lane. The mainline should be 3 continuous lanes as well.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 09:21:57 PM
I know, I'm just trying to get an example of what is planned for the I-81 / I-581 interchange, and this so happens to be one.
It needs to have the left hand ramps relocated to right hand ramps.
Agreed. They need to build a bridge over I-81 southbound to bring I-581 traffic in on the right, then turn that into an exit lane. The mainline should be 3 continuous lanes as well.

I will leave it up to the engineers to finalize a design, but I would think that there should be no lane drops on I-81, all ramps are semi-directional and 2 lanes wide, and that long transitions would be utilized to transition the ramps into the mainlines.  Probably will need more right-of-way.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 10:12:59 PM
I will leave it up to the engineers to finalize a design, but I would think that there should be no lane drops on I-81, all ramps are semi-directional and 2 lanes wide, and that long transitions would be utilized to transition the ramps into the mainlines.  Probably will need more right-of-way.
Here's a design I came up with. They could relocate a mile of I-81 Southbound and leave the existing ramps in place. This would allow for both the left exit and entrance to / from I-581 to be on the right instead. It would also stay in existing right of way. For lane configuration, the ramp from I-581 NB to I-81 SB has two lanes, and once meeting I-81 will lose a lane. That remaining lane would continue 2 miles to Exit 141 where it would finally exit. On I-81 NB, the ramp from Exit 141 would come on, continue two miles down, and exit onto I-581 SB. In this whole thing, mainline I-81 would also have 3 continuous lanes in each direction, with that 4th auxiliary lane between Exit 141 and I-581.

(https://i.ibb.co/VWPzF6P/I-81-Interchange.png)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 12, 2019, 10:16:11 PM
That is pretty much what I envisioned.

Nice drafting tool … what did you use?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 12, 2019, 10:19:44 PM
That is pretty much what I envisioned.

Nice drafting tool … what did you use?
https://www.scribblemaps.com/

I've used in the past for other conceptualizations I've done, including upgrading U.S. 58 to I-85, U.S. 17 in Chesapeake, etc. on this forum. It's a neat website and it's free & easy to use.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 13, 2019, 12:53:13 PM
That is pretty much what I envisioned.

Exactly! So has this idea even crossed someone's desk at VDOT? This makes more sense than the plan being put forth.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 13, 2019, 01:00:09 PM
That is pretty much what I envisioned.

Exactly! So has this idea even crossed someone's desk at VDOT? This makes more sense than the plan being put forth.
I don't know, but it took me about 30 minutes to come up with that whole concept. It took them a year to come up with ideas on the official plan, and even some of those don't make sense.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 13, 2019, 02:21:02 PM
What doesn't make sense to you about it?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 17, 2019, 10:08:52 AM
What doesn't make sense to you about it?

The plan proposed by VDOT has the right through lane change into an exit-only lane while the left entrance ramp becomes the left through lane. That's some odd lane shifting that will have to take place in a short distance. It may work most of the time, but when traffic is heavy (a lot of times on that section) there could be a lot more wrecks.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 17, 2019, 10:25:56 AM
The bills to add fees (not a toll, says Obenshain) to travel on I-81 have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly.

From the Roanoke Times:
Quote
Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, and Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson, as well as Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt, submitted legislation in the Senate and House of Delegates that would authorize the Commonwealth Transportation Board to impose tolls on Virginia’s 325-mile stretch.

The initial toll would be set at 17 cents per mile for trucks and 11 cents per mile for other drivers, but is subject to increases. Toll amounts on trucks and through traffic would be cut in half between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. People living in and outside of Virginia could purchase an annual pass, which is likely to cost $25 to $30. The legislation states that the annual pass cannot exceed the cost of a full-length round-trip using the per-mile toll . Passes will not be offered to trucks.

Obenshain said the plan anticipates six overhead gantries 50 miles apart in each north-south interstate direction that will scan license plates or annual passes.

He said it’s possible for commuters to never have to pay a toll, because drivers without an annual pass will be able to travel 100 miles within 24 hours on the interstate without having to incur a toll . Drivers can have a free pass through one gantry each way on every day of the year.

“It’s easy for this to be characterized as a toll bill, but it’s not,” Obenshain said.

Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, who is opposed to tolls, filed his own bill, SB 1470, that would increase the statewide wholesale gas tax to 5 percent. Edwards said his proposal would generate $850 million annually, with $300 million set aside for I-81.
https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/lawmakers-unveil-bills-that-would-establish-tolls-on-interstate/article_13466ec1-70d5-505e-b625-e2b8ee81ea6e.html

The interesting comment in the article is from Obenshain, who said "he believes the scheme [100 miles of free travel] will provide less incentive for people to avoid tolls by driving instead on U.S. 11, which parallels I-81. However, he said there will be video monitoring systems to identify and penalize vehicles that exit and re-enter I-81 in order to avoid tolls." The bill calls for that monitoring:
§ 46.2-819.3:2. Video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with all electronic toll collection, toll avoidance.

The operator of a vehicle that the Board determines is through traffic or that is subject to a through travel restriction pursuant to § 46.2-809 shall be considered to be in violation of § 46.2-819.3:1 if the operator (i) exits the interstate highway to travel on a parallel route in proximity and prior to a toll collection point and (ii) re-enters the interstate highway after the same toll collection point that demonstrates the routes traveled were selected to avoid paying the toll at such toll collection point, determined by the Board.

The Board may develop policies and related systems to identify vehicles in violation of this section.

with that last sentence leaving things pretty open ended as to how that monitoring will be done.

The Senate bill summary (with links to the full text), "SB 1716 Interstate 81; tolling, Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund" is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+SB1716

The House bill summary, "HB 2718 Interstate 81; tolling, Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund" is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+HB2718

Edward's bill, "SB 1470 Motor fuels; imposes an additional tax on sale of gasoline, etc." is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+sb1470


Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 17, 2019, 11:38:26 AM
What doesn't make sense to you about it?

The plan proposed by VDOT has the right through lane change into an exit-only lane while the left entrance ramp becomes the left through lane. That's some odd lane shifting that will have to take place in a short distance. It may work most of the time, but when traffic is heavy (a lot of times on that section) there could be a lot more wrecks.


Was moreso asking sprjus (since he said things didn't make sense to him).

As for the proposed southbound lane configuration, there's enough traffic coming on from 581 to warrant that 581 traffic getting its own lane.  My hunch is that this is also a placeholder until the segment south of 141 gets widened.  You're right that it's not optimum, but unless/until VDOT can extend a 3rd lane south of the 141 exit or they reconfigure the 581 interchange as proposed (which would be A LOT more money than extending the 3rd lane would be), I think this is the best they can do.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jim on January 17, 2019, 01:13:15 PM
The interesting comment in the article is from Obenshain, who said "he believes the scheme [100 miles of free travel] will provide less incentive for people to avoid tolls by driving instead on U.S. 11, which parallels I-81. However, he said there will be video monitoring systems to identify and penalize vehicles that exit and re-enter I-81 in order to avoid tolls." The bill calls for that monitoring:
§ 46.2-819.3:2. Video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with all electronic toll collection, toll avoidance.


I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 02:31:38 PM
The interesting comment in the article is from Obenshain, who said "he believes the scheme [100 miles of free travel] will provide less incentive for people to avoid tolls by driving instead on U.S. 11, which parallels I-81. However, he said there will be video monitoring systems to identify and penalize vehicles that exit and re-enter I-81 in order to avoid tolls." The bill calls for that monitoring:
§ 46.2-819.3:2. Video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with all electronic toll collection, toll avoidance.
I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

I was at the CTB meeting on Tuesday where the I-81 presentation detailed the current status of the program.  When I saw that the legislation would include penalties for shun-piking, I knew that corks would pop and fuses would blow, when people found out about this!   :-]   Bottom line is that with current technology an automated system could do this.

I talked to Nick Donohue and asked about the federal approval process for tolling I-81.  He said there are 3 different usable tolling mechanisms, the ISRRPP with its 3 pilot projects, the dynamic pricing program, and the bridge reconstruction program (as in I-95 in Rhode Island).  IOW it could be approved under one of these.

At this point I would give this about 90% probability of happening.

2019 General Assembly Update
http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2019/jan/pres/8_legislative_update.pdf
Nick Donohue, Deputy Secretary of Transportation
January 15, 2019

Excerpts:

Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program and Fund
• Governor Northam along with a bipartisan group of legislators announced last Tuesday legislation to fund and implement the Board’s adopted I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan
• Legislation will be introduced today
• Establishes a special, non-reverting fund for 81 Corridor supported by tolls
• Authorizes Board to impose tolls subject to caps and requirement to offer annual pass
• Revenues may only be used for identified improvements in Board adopted Plan
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
• Establishes Interstate 81 Committee of the Board with 13 voting members and 2 ex-officio
  – 5 PDC chairs 
  – 5 General Assembly members
  – 3 CTB members
  – VDOT Commissioner and DPRT Director
• Board is required to
  – Annually adopt 81 Corridor Improvement Program
  – Annually report on safety, congestion, and incidents on I-81 as well as status of projects and balance of the 81 Corridor Improvement Fund
• Allows toll rates to be increased after a period of 8 years if
  – Board updates the 81 Corridor Improvement Plan to identify new needs and prioritize potential solutions
  – Increase may not be greater than the increase in CPI since the tolls were imposed
  – The Interstate 81 Committee approves the increase
• Tolls may also be increased if necessary to support existing debt service commitments for a previously adopted Plan 
  – Increases are limited to the amount necessary to ensure appropriate debt service coverage
• Prohibits the imposition of regional taxes for the purposes of improving I-81 while tolls are being collected
• Establishes a program for users that can demonstrate a disproportionate burden
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 06:54:06 PM
What doesn't make sense to you about it?

The plan proposed by VDOT has the right through lane change into an exit-only lane while the left entrance ramp becomes the left through lane. That's some odd lane shifting that will have to take place in a short distance. It may work most of the time, but when traffic is heavy (a lot of times on that section) there could be a lot more wrecks.


Was moreso asking sprjus (since he said things didn't make sense to him).

As for the proposed southbound lane configuration, there's enough traffic coming on from 581 to warrant that 581 traffic getting its own lane.  My hunch is that this is also a placeholder until the segment south of 141 gets widened.  You're right that it's not optimum, but unless/until VDOT can extend a 3rd lane south of the 141 exit or they reconfigure the 581 interchange as proposed (which would be A LOT more money than extending the 3rd lane would be), I think this is the best they can do.
What VTGoose said is what I meant.

§ 46.2-819.3:2. Video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with all electronic toll collection, toll avoidance.

The operator of a vehicle that the Board determines is through traffic or that is subject to a through travel restriction pursuant to § 46.2-809 shall be considered to be in violation of § 46.2-819.3:1 if the operator (i) exits the interstate highway to travel on a parallel route in proximity and prior to a toll collection point and (ii) re-enters the interstate highway after the same toll collection point that demonstrates the routes traveled were selected to avoid paying the toll at such toll collection point, determined by the Board.

The Board may develop policies and related systems to identify vehicles in violation of this section.

That is absurd, and should be outright illegal. Penalizing drivers for using exit ramps.... ridiculous. For one, there's no way to prove they're avoiding the toll. What if they get off at one end of the toll collection area, stop at a mom and pop store along the shunpiking route, then hop back on I-81 at the other end of the tolling point? Also, I understand ramp tolling, that's perfectly fine. But sending a violation and a fine for using a "shunpiking" route should be illegal, and is wrong. That removes having "a free alternative" and forces interstate users to pay tolls or face a hefty fine. It could also have a negative impact to any businesses on any designated "shunpiking" route.

I'm trying to imagine the VA-168 here in Chesapeake having that system. If you exit the highway at Exit 10 or 8 and re-enter south of the toll, you receive a violation and fine in the mail. Completely unreasonable.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 17, 2019, 07:00:53 PM
In all likelihood, that "shunpiking penalty" concept will be the first to be discarded; the legal challenges will be many and likely winners -- too much precedent regarding free use of the road, regardless of who actually owns them.  In any case, it'll probably be delayed by such legal actions; it just may be years -- or even decades -- before a penny of toll is collected.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 07:10:14 PM
That is absurd, and should be outright illegal. Penalizing drivers for using exit ramps.... ridiculous. For one, there's no way to prove they're avoiding the toll. What if they get off at one end of the toll collection area, stop at a mom and pop store along the shunpiking route, then hop back on I-81 at the other end of the tolling point? Also, I understand ramp tolling, that's perfectly fine.

Given the number of interchanges on I-81 (75 IIRC in Virginia) the simplest solution would be to have a gantry every 5 miles or 10 miles, that would be inexpensive and would tend to make it infeasible to avoid tolls if you wanted to make decent time.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jmiles32 on January 17, 2019, 07:31:58 PM
That is absurd, and should be outright illegal. Penalizing drivers for using exit ramps.... ridiculous. For one, there's no way to prove they're avoiding the toll. What if they get off at one end of the toll collection area, stop at a mom and pop store along the shunpiking route, then hop back on I-81 at the other end of the tolling point? Also, I understand ramp tolling, that's perfectly fine.

Given the number of interchanges on I-81 (75 IIRC in Virginia) the simplest solution would be to have a gantry every 5 miles or 10 miles, that would be inexpensive and would tend to make it infeasible to avoid tolls if you wanted to make decent time.

Two problems there:
1. Adding a toll gantry every 5 to 10 miles would drastically increase the cost of tolling I-81
2. The tolling is suppose to target out of state and a long distance traffic, not local

I think after around a year of getting used to, shun-piking on I-81 won't really be an issue. And if people do wanna shun-pike I-81 and stop at a Mom and Pop shop along the way(helping the local economy), I have no problem with that.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 07:52:39 PM
That is absurd, and should be outright illegal. Penalizing drivers for using exit ramps.... ridiculous. For one, there's no way to prove they're avoiding the toll. What if they get off at one end of the toll collection area, stop at a mom and pop store along the shunpiking route, then hop back on I-81 at the other end of the tolling point? Also, I understand ramp tolling, that's perfectly fine.

Given the number of interchanges on I-81 (75 IIRC in Virginia) the simplest solution would be to have a gantry every 5 miles or 10 miles, that would be inexpensive and would tend to make it infeasible to avoid tolls if you wanted to make decent time.
The more gantries, the higher the costs. They're already estimating close to $50 million for the 6 toll gantries alone and collections, etc. Also, it goes back to the local/thru situation. You penalize locals if you do this.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 17, 2019, 07:56:19 PM
Seriously, that idea to prohibit people from using exits as they so choose is absolutely draconian and outrageous.

• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?

That is absurd, and should be outright illegal. Penalizing drivers for using exit ramps.... ridiculous. For one, there's no way to prove they're avoiding the toll. What if they get off at one end of the toll collection area, stop at a mom and pop store along the shunpiking route, then hop back on I-81 at the other end of the tolling point? Also, I understand ramp tolling, that's perfectly fine.

Given the number of interchanges on I-81 (75 IIRC in Virginia) the simplest solution would be to have a gantry every 5 miles or 10 miles, that would be inexpensive and would tend to make it infeasible to avoid tolls if you wanted to make decent time.

Two problems there:
1. Adding a toll gantry every 5 to 10 miles would drastically increase the cost of tolling I-81
2. The tolling is suppose to target out of state and a long distance traffic, not local

I think after around a year of getting used to, shun-piking on I-81 won't really be an issue. And if people do wanna shun-pike I-81 and stop at a Mom and Pop shop along the way(helping the local economy), I have no problem with that.
They could still accomplish the same ends even with more frequent gantries.  It might take more complicated code, but it would certainly be doable.  The Thruway managed with its annual permit plan holders, for example (for $88/year, the first 30 miles of all Thruway trips are free, with a $0.65 surcharge for crossing the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge if applicable).  Although as I mentioned on the US 301 thread, I despise tolling plans that specifically target out of state motorists.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 09:27:33 PM
Given the number of interchanges on I-81 (75 IIRC in Virginia) the simplest solution would be to have a gantry every 5 miles or 10 miles, that would be inexpensive and would tend to make it infeasible to avoid tolls if you wanted to make decent time.
The more gantries, the higher the costs. They're already estimating close to $50 million for the 6 toll gantries alone and collections, etc. Also, it goes back to the local/thru situation. You penalize locals if you do this.

Whaa??  $8 million per gantry?  No way.  Probably not more than a couple hundred thousand per gantry.

With frequent enough gantries, there would be an electronic record that would clearly differentiate a local user from a thru user, and besides there will be an annual pass system for locals, so they should be unrestricted in how the use the highway.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 09:33:04 PM
Quote from: vdeane
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?

If they build it out to 6 or more lanes on the entire route, that will probably take at least 10 years and there will be more bond issues, probably $8 billion or more, and it will be a loooong time before all the bonds are paid off.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 17, 2019, 09:40:31 PM
The "shunpiking penalty" thing is absurd. I have no clue how the courts would view it, but it seems like a stupid way to deal with the issue. Why not just toll the next interchange or two to either side of the tolling points to reduce the advantage one might gain from exiting?

Other thing is, normally with toll roads or toll crossings there's a sign telling you when you hit the last exit before a toll. If you impose a shunpiking penalty, then wouldn't the Commonwealth want to AVOID posting that information? That is, you post the "last exit before toll" to allow people who don't want to pay the toll to exit, right? If you're going to try to find a way to charge them anyway, then not only do you not want to post the sign, but arguably the sign becomes misleading, because "last exit before toll" instead becomes "if you exit, you'll pay more."
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 09:54:17 PM
It is pending legislation.  If you don't like some part of it then contact the sponsors and tell them.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: adventurernumber1 on January 17, 2019, 10:11:01 PM
I concur with sentiments strongly against the shunpiking penalty. Besides, as mentioned, there's absolutely no way of knowing for a fact whether someone is actually "shunpiking" or not. There's the stopping at a restaurant example that was mentioned, and other things, like what if someone is crossing through Virginia on a road trip, but they want to take a quick detour being off the interstate briefly to visit family in the area. When I was a young kid (before she passed), we would always visit my great aunt a little ways off I-75 in Macon whenever we were on roadtrips coming back from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. We would typically get off on one exit, then when we were done, get back on I-75 at the next exit. And then all the other possible, countless, similar scenarios like that.

There are much more humane and efficient ways to ensure toll revenue is effectively collected than that. As has been noted, there could be exit ramp tolls, or they could try to install many toll gantries at the most efficient price of installation possible - and even putting tolls on the ramps of the exits in between a significant toll gantry on the interstate could be acceptable in my opinion. But these funds do not need to be spent on the "shunpike spying device."

I was really excited about Interstate 81 in Virginia being tolled (and still am, so long as this specific thing is not followed through with), so that it could be widened and worked on, which it certainly desperately needs. I don't want this to soil this project that really has so much potential, and could do a lot of good in the long-run.


Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadgeekteen on January 17, 2019, 10:12:58 PM
The bills to add fees (not a toll, says Obenshain) to travel on I-81 have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly.

From the Roanoke Times:
Quote
Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, and Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson, as well as Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, and Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt, submitted legislation in the Senate and House of Delegates that would authorize the Commonwealth Transportation Board to impose tolls on Virginia’s 325-mile stretch.

The initial toll would be set at 17 cents per mile for trucks and 11 cents per mile for other drivers, but is subject to increases. Toll amounts on trucks and through traffic would be cut in half between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. People living in and outside of Virginia could purchase an annual pass, which is likely to cost $25 to $30. The legislation states that the annual pass cannot exceed the cost of a full-length round-trip using the per-mile toll . Passes will not be offered to trucks.

Obenshain said the plan anticipates six overhead gantries 50 miles apart in each north-south interstate direction that will scan license plates or annual passes.

He said it’s possible for commuters to never have to pay a toll, because drivers without an annual pass will be able to travel 100 miles within 24 hours on the interstate without having to incur a toll . Drivers can have a free pass through one gantry each way on every day of the year.

“It’s easy for this to be characterized as a toll bill, but it’s not,” Obenshain said.

Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, who is opposed to tolls, filed his own bill, SB 1470, that would increase the statewide wholesale gas tax to 5 percent. Edwards said his proposal would generate $850 million annually, with $300 million set aside for I-81.
https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/lawmakers-unveil-bills-that-would-establish-tolls-on-interstate/article_13466ec1-70d5-505e-b625-e2b8ee81ea6e.html

The interesting comment in the article is from Obenshain, who said "he believes the scheme [100 miles of free travel] will provide less incentive for people to avoid tolls by driving instead on U.S. 11, which parallels I-81. However, he said there will be video monitoring systems to identify and penalize vehicles that exit and re-enter I-81 in order to avoid tolls." The bill calls for that monitoring:
§ 46.2-819.3:2. Video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with all electronic toll collection, toll avoidance.

The operator of a vehicle that the Board determines is through traffic or that is subject to a through travel restriction pursuant to § 46.2-809 shall be considered to be in violation of § 46.2-819.3:1 if the operator (i) exits the interstate highway to travel on a parallel route in proximity and prior to a toll collection point and (ii) re-enters the interstate highway after the same toll collection point that demonstrates the routes traveled were selected to avoid paying the toll at such toll collection point, determined by the Board.

The Board may develop policies and related systems to identify vehicles in violation of this section.

with that last sentence leaving things pretty open ended as to how that monitoring will be done.

The Senate bill summary (with links to the full text), "SB 1716 Interstate 81; tolling, Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund" is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+SB1716

The House bill summary, "HB 2718 Interstate 81; tolling, Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund" is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+HB2718

Edward's bill, "SB 1470 Motor fuels; imposes an additional tax on sale of gasoline, etc." is here: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?191+sum+sb1470
Penalties for exiting? Where is Virginia, North Korea?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 17, 2019, 10:18:09 PM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 10:24:30 PM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2019, 11:23:02 PM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 11:23:32 PM
This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2019, 11:29:39 PM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.
So are we now going to restrict people to be required to pay tolls? If someone opts to get off a roadway to avoid a toll, then they should be able to do that with no penalty or toll charge. If you really want them to pay, then toll the entire interstate. But it's been said before, Virginia does not want to do that.

The best solution would be to toll rural "segments" of I-81, distances of about 20-25 miles in rural areas. Pick areas where U.S. 11 goes through different towns and toll mainline I-81 and ramp tolling in that segment. Make the "toll-free" alternative less convenient, but don't fully block it. It would obviously draw more people to stay on I-81 rather than go 25 MPH through 2-3 downtowns of small towns, but they would still be allowed to.

On the contrary, the issue with tolling a rural segment that also has 55 MPH U.S. 11 running parallel to it, is it would be only a little less convenient to avoid. So tolling areas that the parallel route is less convenient, slow, and not preferred is better.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 18, 2019, 07:36:29 AM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.

I wonder, though, at what point does it then stop? Should they also try to charge the toll for people who use the parallel route for as long as possible when the obvious reason is to avoid the toll? The example that comes to mind is I-295 in New Jersey—we all know it’s quite common for people to use I-295 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge up towards Trenton and then enter the Turnpike at either Exit 7 or Exit 7A. Should those people be charged the Turnpike toll (assuming, for discussion purposes, that New Jersey law were to authorize this little stunt) because they presumably used I-295 to avoid the toll? (To be clear, I’m assuming I-295 would otherwise remain free, so if you used it to go to, say, Trenton, you wouldn’t pay.)

I find the whole idea peculiar because when you designate a particular spot for collecting tolls, I don’t see how it can possibly be a “toll violation” to avoid that spot. If you don’t want people avoiding it, you have more toll collection spots. That’s what North Carolina was proposing for I-95 before they dropped the idea: Toll gantries were to be in places where it was a longer distance between interchanges, and they also planned to toll the ramps at the next interchange or two to either side of the mainline gantries. (This is basically what sprjus4 suggests.)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadsguy on January 18, 2019, 11:48:08 AM
Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.

I wonder, though, at what point does it then stop? Should they also try to charge the toll for people who use the parallel route for as long as possible when the obvious reason is to avoid the toll? The example that comes to mind is I-295 in New Jersey—we all know it’s quite common for people to use I-295 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge up towards Trenton and then enter the Turnpike at either Exit 7 or Exit 7A. Should those people be charged the Turnpike toll (assuming, for discussion purposes, that New Jersey law were to authorize this little stunt) because they presumably used I-295 to avoid the toll? (To be clear, I’m assuming I-295 would otherwise remain free, so if you used it to go to, say, Trenton, you wouldn’t pay.)

I find the whole idea peculiar because when you designate a particular spot for collecting tolls, I don’t see how it can possibly be a “toll violation” to avoid that spot. If you don’t want people avoiding it, you have more toll collection spots. That’s what North Carolina was proposing for I-95 before they dropped the idea: Toll gantries were to be in places where it was a longer distance between interchanges, and they also planned to toll the ramps at the next interchange or two to either side of the mainline gantries. (This is basically what sprjus4 suggests.)

The simple answer is to charge every driver pulled over for any reason east of the Mississippi River a $4 toll for shunpiking. :colorful:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 18, 2019, 12:00:37 PM
Well....it looks like it may well be litigation time in the Commonwealth.  The ATA, which is actually based in VA (Arlington), has hinted, according to the article cited below, that they may file suit against VDOT, claiming that the toll structure proposed constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce.  They've even got a very specific website up to elucidate (as well as promote) their position.  Look for yourselves:

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-I-81-tolls

and the ATA site on the subject:  www.keeptollsoff81.com

Let the fun begin!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 18, 2019, 12:09:33 PM
Well....it looks like it may well be litigation time in the Commonwealth.  The ATA, which is actually based in VA (Arlington), has hinted, according to the article cited below, that they may file suit against VDOT, claiming that the toll structure proposed constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce.  They've even got a very specific website up to elucidate (as well as promote) their position.  Look for yourselves:

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-I-81-tolls

and the ATA site on the subject:  www.keeptollsoffI-81.com

Let the fun begin!
Doesn't work for me.
Page not found and site not found respectively.. Is the fun over?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Takumi on January 18, 2019, 12:10:23 PM
I’m getting bad links for both of those.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 18, 2019, 12:12:14 PM
OK, first link:
https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html (https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html)
Hopefully it works
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 18, 2019, 12:38:34 PM
OK, first link:
https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html (https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html)
Hopefully it works

So it seems that they don't want tolls on 81, yet their main complaints are that truck tolls are excessive compared to car tolls and the proposed annual pass.  So they're not really complaining about tolls existing; they just want fairer tolls.

Anyway, the trucking groups have filed numerous lawsuits in the past all around the country.  Nearly all of them have failed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 18, 2019, 12:53:10 PM
^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 18, 2019, 01:45:11 PM
^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
Well, they need some negotiating room - so demand a lot to give some and get some middle ground. Nothing new.
However if I were to fight against uncontrollable tolls - I would try to push for limitations on how tolls are spent (Penn turnpike, hello!) and for some "fair" ratios between in-state, out-of state, truck and car tolls.
Taxation without representation is the favorite american thing, and insisting on locals bearing some share of the burden ensures some representation - e.g. politicians cannot set rates without feedback. Same with truck-car ratios (maybe push to have them fixed across the board?) to make sure pressure against too high tolls is applied by a wider group - car drivers outnumber truck drivers by a lot... 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 18, 2019, 02:33:23 PM
Quote from: vdeane
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?

If they build it out to 6 or more lanes on the entire route, that will probably take at least 10 years and there will be more bond issues, probably $8 billion or more, and it will be a loooong time before all the bonds are paid off.
Except the bullet point doesn't say "all".  It says "any".

Unrelated to the language of the bullet point, aren't the tolls for the specific recommendations in the study, not a general widening of the entire road?

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html

The only one I can find if I-90 in Indiana, and that's only after staring at Google Maps and noticing that the covered the entire barrier system with pervasive ramp tolls.  It probably would have been easier to just add ramp tolls to whatever new interchanges they wanted to add rather than convert from the ticket system for how pervasive they made it, so I can see why it would be unexpected.

I'm not counting more minor sections - otherwise you could add I-276 as well.  Most of the interstates on the large toll roads have free sections on the toll road and/or exit at some point.

Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.
So are we now going to restrict people to be required to pay tolls? If someone opts to get off a roadway to avoid a toll, then they should be able to do that with no penalty or toll charge. If you really want them to pay, then toll the entire interstate. But it's been said before, Virginia does not want to do that.

The best solution would be to toll rural "segments" of I-81, distances of about 20-25 miles in rural areas. Pick areas where U.S. 11 goes through different towns and toll mainline I-81 and ramp tolling in that segment. Make the "toll-free" alternative less convenient, but don't fully block it. It would obviously draw more people to stay on I-81 rather than go 25 MPH through 2-3 downtowns of small towns, but they would still be allowed to.

On the contrary, the issue with tolling a rural segment that also has 55 MPH U.S. 11 running parallel to it, is it would be only a little less convenient to avoid. So tolling areas that the parallel route is less convenient, slow, and not preferred is better.
Or put the tolls everywhere and set up a commuter plan that people could sign up for if they make a certain minimum of trips each month allowing them to ride the first 50-100 miles per day for free.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 18, 2019, 04:09:44 PM
Quote from: vdeane
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?
If they build it out to 6 or more lanes on the entire route, that will probably take at least 10 years and there will be more bond issues, probably $8 billion or more, and it will be a loooong time before all the bonds are paid off.
Except the bullet point doesn't say "all".  It says "any".

Wording problems in their sentence.  If say they issue 5 toll revenue bond issues, and when one of them gets paid off, I seriously doubt that they meant to remove tolls then.

Unrelated to the language of the bullet point, aren't the tolls for the specific recommendations in the study, not a general widening of the entire road?

Yes, that widening of the entire route was my comment; but my way of saying that there will be more issues of toll revenue bonds to continue with the widenings after the initial $2.2 billion program is completed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 18, 2019, 04:14:01 PM
^^^^^^^^
Looks like the Bristol Herald-Courier no longer has the article available.  However, I did correct the listing for the "keep tolls off I-81" site; it now works fine:
                                  www.keeptollsoff81.com
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 18, 2019, 04:53:54 PM
^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
Sort of agree, but you have to see both sides of the story. Those tolls are expensive on truckers, $55 one-way. Sure, they might get subsidized for other things, but the tolls come out of their pockets, or shipping prices increase. I disagree with the concept of a tolled I-81, but at the same I can understand why it is needed. If increasing taxes could help bring funding in though, I would say they should go that route, or at least study it and see what the differences are.

But them designating drivers that drive around the tolled section as toll violators, and charging fines is absolutely ridiculous, and I don't think federal law would back that. If they want to though, install ramp tolls for all, except w/ a pass, that's fine. But specifically targeting thru-traffic is absurd, even if they are just getting charged normally. If a free alternative is available, they should not be allowed to designate you as a toll violator and charge you fines for using it, or even the toll simply because you skipped the mainline.

^^^^^^^^
Looks like the Bristol Herald-Courier no longer has the article available.  However, I did correct the listing for the "keep tolls off I-81" site; it now works fine:
                                  www.keeptollsoff81.com

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 18, 2019, 07:07:50 PM
This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Evan_Th on January 18, 2019, 07:43:11 PM
This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95.
I-90 in Massachusetts and Indiana is fully tolled, as is I-335 in Kansas. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadsguy on January 18, 2019, 07:46:27 PM
This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95.

I-276 ends at 95, so it is still tolled along its entire length, though this briefly wasn't true after they implemented the electronic westbound-only bridge toll (13 to 130 is free).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 18, 2019, 07:52:48 PM
I-90 has had a rotating cast of free sections in MA.  Exits 1-6 were free for cars for a time, as was exits 16-17.  Currently the areas around Springfield and Worcester are free.  I-335 strikes me as being in a different league than I-81 through VA, as it's basically a 3di connector between I-35 and I-70 that exists so the Kansas Turnpike can be entirely on the interstate system.

Yes, that widening of the entire route was my comment; but my way of saying that there will be more issues of toll revenue bonds to continue with the widenings after the initial $2.2 billion program is completed.
Are they allowed to expand the scope after the initial program is completed?  I was under the impression that they're strictly limited to what's recommended in the study, no ifs ands or buts.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 18, 2019, 10:39:38 PM
^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ixnay on January 19, 2019, 08:31:33 AM
OK, first link:
https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html (https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html)
Hopefully it works

It works for me, as does the ATA link.

ixnay
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 19, 2019, 10:06:43 PM
^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.

Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 19, 2019, 10:17:27 PM
^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.

Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
I don't know. If the article is trying to say they couldn't find any other examples like I-81, then this works because like I-81, only certain sections would be tolled, but all toll-supported.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 19, 2019, 11:09:37 PM
^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.
Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
I don't know. If the article is trying to say they couldn't find any other examples like I-81, then this works because like I-81, only certain sections would be tolled, but all toll-supported.

The Maryland and Delaware turnpikes. 

Only certain sections are tolled, but all toll-supported.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 19, 2019, 11:20:27 PM
Barrier systems are weird.  I tend to think of the MassPike as being similar to the Thruway, with the free sections being analogous to the free portion in Buffalo outside the ticket systems.  I also tend to think of VA's I-81 proposal as being most similar to the Garden State Parkway, without the half interchanges.  Maryland I-95 I think of as a toll bridge, and Delaware is, well, Delaware.

Also worth noting that even going by a "toll supported" definition (which is not what the sentence said in the article we're talking about), Maryland and Delaware's toll sections of I-95 don't span the state.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 19, 2019, 11:32:12 PM
^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.

Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.

Tell that to the trucks on the Mass Pike...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 02 Park Ave on January 20, 2019, 04:16:05 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 20, 2019, 04:43:09 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
And whoever considers avoiding toll should be prosecuted for thoughtcrime.
But fortunately, this is not how things work.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Takumi on January 20, 2019, 04:44:12 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
Slippery slope much?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 20, 2019, 04:48:33 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
Slippery slope much?

Yes, it snows and ices over in the mountains of Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 20, 2019, 04:57:10 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
Damn, way to strip the free use of the public ramps and roadways. Should we make every surrounding road private, put gates at the exit, and check and make sure everybody exiting is local traffic?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 20, 2019, 05:01:17 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadgeekteen on January 20, 2019, 05:06:55 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
I sense obvious sarcasm.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 20, 2019, 05:18:08 PM
I sense obvious sarcasm.
Problem is that these days one person sarcasm is another guy campaign promise.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 20, 2019, 05:24:23 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
50 years in prison, you're a criminal. You chose not to pay the $10 toll and instead use other, free, public roads.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Takumi on January 20, 2019, 05:36:19 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.
Slippery slope much?

Yes, it snows and ices over in the mountains of Virginia.
(https://i.giphy.com/media/ac7MA7r5IMYda/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: adventurernumber1 on January 20, 2019, 05:50:43 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
I sense obvious sarcasm.

I was hoping that there was simply just a forgetfulness to use the sarcasm font. I hope.  :-|
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 20, 2019, 06:40:47 PM
Second offense, you have the Ghaack Noose applied to your neck.
:hmmm: :hmmm:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 20, 2019, 08:35:14 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 20, 2019, 08:53:24 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

I propose that all replies after (but not including) #150 be deleted, and that this thread remain open.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Roadgeekteen on January 20, 2019, 09:05:16 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
I sense obvious sarcasm.

I was hoping that there was simply just a forgetfulness to use the sarcasm font. I hope.  :-|
I think that's obvious enough to not have the font needed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 20, 2019, 10:36:06 PM

I've never heard of anything like this.  Why in the world would I not have the right to exit the highway and re-enter wherever I want, regardless of whether it's to avoid a toll or not?  Are there places that such monitoring is in place?  If so, is there some kind of fine applied?

If one is willfully avoiding a toll, one should be prosecuted.  If there is a passenger in the vehicle, conspiracy charges should be brought.

I've never once heard you say that when it comes to all the people that talk about avoiding the $4 toll on Delaware.

If I'm using 295 instead of the NJ Turnpike, am I willfully avoiding a toll and should be sentence to prison?
I sense obvious sarcasm.

I was hoping that there was simply just a forgetfulness to use the sarcasm font. I hope.  :-|
I think that's obvious enough to not have the font needed.

Its hard enough to type on a phone (and with constant autocorrecting stuff that's not wrong!). /Sarcasm overlooked!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 21, 2019, 11:11:21 AM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

To keep it road-related, maybe VDOT should toll Gallows Road in Fairfax County to snag people trying to avoid Beltway slowdowns without using the HO/T lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 21, 2019, 12:19:57 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

To keep it road-related, maybe VDOT should toll Gallows Road in Fairfax County to snag people trying to avoid Beltway slowdowns without using the HO/T lanes.
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2019, 12:59:04 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

To keep it road-related, maybe VDOT should toll Gallows Road in Fairfax County to snag people trying to avoid Beltway slowdowns without using the HO/T lanes.
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....
Boom, let's put a toll on gas purchases. They don't like tax increases, so let's call it a toll and they'll love it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 21, 2019, 01:04:16 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

To keep it road-related, maybe VDOT should toll Gallows Road in Fairfax County to snag people trying to avoid Beltway slowdowns without using the HO/T lanes.
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....

I used to work with a black guy (his color is relevant for reasons I will explain) who initially thought a tax based on the miles you drive would be a good idea. Then I pointed out how that would require GPS monitoring or similar in order to determine what jurisdiction(s) you need to compensate, and I then suggested this could have a sinister downside: “Mr. Stewart, you’re black. Why were you driving through that all-white neighborhood at two in the morning?” His eyes got very wide and he decided maybe a mileage tax isn’t a great idea!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 21, 2019, 01:15:46 PM
This whole thread is headed to the gallows...

To keep it road-related, maybe VDOT should toll Gallows Road in Fairfax County to snag people trying to avoid Beltway slowdowns without using the HO/T lanes.
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....

I used to work with a black guy (his color is relevant for reasons I will explain) who initially thought a tax based on the miles you drive would be a good idea. Then I pointed out how that would require GPS monitoring or similar in order to determine what jurisdiction(s) you need to compensate, and I then suggested this could have a sinister downside: “Mr. Stewart, you’re black. Why were you driving through that all-white neighborhood at two in the morning?” His eyes got very wide and he decided maybe a mileage tax isn’t a great idea!
eah, mileage tax would be a great idea if it could be reasonably implemented...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 21, 2019, 07:53:31 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Thing 342 on January 21, 2019, 10:52:25 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 21, 2019, 10:56:40 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...

But what if I was In Idaho with my car for 11 months during that year? VA gets the money even though I drove in another state the entire time.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Thing 342 on January 21, 2019, 11:30:03 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...

But what if I was In Idaho with my car for 11 months during that year? VA gets the money even though I drove in another state the entire time.
For the same reason you'd still be paying income and property tax back to the Commonwealth of Virginia even though you've been mostly using other state's services? I can't see this being a common use case.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 21, 2019, 11:54:02 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...

But what if I was In Idaho with my car for 11 months during that year? VA gets the money even though I drove in another state the entire time.
For the same reason you'd still be paying income and property tax back to the Commonwealth of Virginia even though you've been mostly using other state's services? I can't see this being a common use case.

If you own property in VA, the tax is for that property. There's still services that assist you even if you're not in the house. The police will still come; trash will still be picked up, etc (ie: you rent the house).

Income tax, depending on the state, isn't the same thing either. You may wind up paying income tax to Idaho but crediting it against your VA tax return.

Idaho wouldn't be happy they won't receive gas tax revenue because it's going to VA.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 22, 2019, 02:53:45 AM
^^^^^^^^^
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading and subtract a "standard deduction" of something like 10 or 12.5% which would be placed in a co-operative pool.  50% of that pool would be divided up among the states adjoining the fee collector (or, in the case of the Northeast, any state within 150 miles of the state line), with the remainder distributed equally to the more far-field states.  It likely wouldn't cover outliers like the VA/ID situation posed upthread, but it would apply to a large percentage of the driving public.  This would obviate the expense -- and the privacy concerns -- endemic to vehicle tracking.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 07:08:43 AM
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 07:28:14 AM
^^^^^^^^^
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading and subtract a "standard deduction" of something like 10 or 12.5% which would be placed in a co-operative pool.  50% of that pool would be divided up among the states adjoining the fee collector (or, in the case of the Northeast, any state within 150 miles of the state line), with the remainder distributed equally to the more far-field states.  It likely wouldn't cover outliers like the VA/ID situation posed upthread, but it would apply to a large percentage of the driving public.  This would obviate the expense -- and the privacy concerns -- endemic to vehicle tracking.
And there will be a lot of workarounds. WHo sets "toll" rates? If it is a state - a state could benefit from lowering toll to get more vehicles in. ANother option is to charge a higher registration fee (not shared) instead of shared toll, or some other workarounds would pop up.
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.

Not that big of a deal if rates are adjusted annually and there is one collection a year. Property taxes work somewhat similar.
Use mileage at a time of sale to compute the toll due at registration (what about out of state transactions, though?).
Odometer tampering may be a bigger issue.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 07:38:56 AM
Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.
Not that big of a deal if rates are adjusted annually and there is one collection a year. Property taxes work somewhat similar.
Use mileage at a time of sale to compute the toll due at registration (what about out of state transactions, though?).
Odometer tampering may be a bigger issue.

Isn't odometer tampering practically impossible with today's systems?  Property taxes don't involve reading a metered device.  So rather than having one place to read it (inspection station), there would need to be a reading for both vehicles at the time of transfer.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 08:00:49 AM
Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.
Not that big of a deal if rates are adjusted annually and there is one collection a year. Property taxes work somewhat similar.
Use mileage at a time of sale to compute the toll due at registration (what about out of state transactions, though?).
Odometer tampering may be a bigger issue.

Isn't odometer tampering practically impossible with today's systems?  Property taxes don't involve reading a metered device.  So rather than having one place to read it (inspection station), there would need to be a reading for both vehicles at the time of transfer.
If it can be made by human being, it can be modified by another human being. It's a matter of price and benefit. Mostly additional benefit of sale with mileage below actual.
As for official readings - in NY mileage at the time of sale is reported to DMV as part of the transaction, with two signatures - seller and buyer. Any discrepancy will be taken care of during next inspection anyway; and in NY that inspection is due within 10 days after private party sale, or at the time of sale by a dealer.
Vehicle disposal may be a bit more interesting, though.
If OBDII had the ability to read mileage and possibly detect tampering, things would be even more  interesting.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 22, 2019, 08:59:10 AM
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....
Boom, let's put a toll on gas purchases. They don't like tax increases, so let's call it a toll and they'll love it.

The Virginia GOP is good at that. In many localities when you pay "court costs" for a traffic ticket or other offense, there are hidden "fees" in that total bill, used to provide security in the courthouse, help maintain the courthouse, and support programs that have nothing to do with a traffic ticket. These "fees" are actually taxes on citizens but charged in a way that allowed legislators to avoid using that "tax" word. See https://www.roanoke.com/news/dan_casey/saturday-column-reprise-with-traffic-tickets-they-get-you-one/article_e655724a-f649-5269-9b60-89683ee6cf73.html

The General Assembly did the same thing a few years ago when it raised the gas tax. Instead of increasing the tax directly at the pump, the tax was put on the wholesale price of gas, which was passed directly to consumers who weren't fooled.

It will be interesting to see if the General Assembly caves to pressure from the trucking lobby and reduces or removes tolls and sticks the cost of improvements to I-81 localities with special fuel taxes, lodging and entertainment taxes, or other fees.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 10:22:21 AM
Each and every inch travelled should be tolled. We can apply toll either to total mileage travelled - or it may be easier just to toll via gas purchases. Just add that many cents to price of gas and call it toll.
Oh wait....
Boom, let's put a toll on gas purchases. They don't like tax increases, so let's call it a toll and they'll love it.

The Virginia GOP is good at that. In many localities when you pay "court costs" for a traffic ticket or other offense, there are hidden "fees" in that total bill, used to provide security in the courthouse, help maintain the courthouse, and support programs that have nothing to do with a traffic ticket. These "fees" are actually taxes on citizens but charged in a way that allowed legislators to avoid using that "tax" word. See https://www.roanoke.com/news/dan_casey/saturday-column-reprise-with-traffic-tickets-they-get-you-one/article_e655724a-f649-5269-9b60-89683ee6cf73.html

The General Assembly did the same thing a few years ago when it raised the gas tax. Instead of increasing the tax directly at the pump, the tax was put on the wholesale price of gas, which was passed directly to consumers who weren't fooled.

It will be interesting to see if the General Assembly caves to pressure from the trucking lobby and reduces or removes tolls and sticks the cost of improvements to I-81 localities with special fuel taxes, lodging and entertainment taxes, or other fees.
Nothing beats NY driver assessment program
Even officially there is nothing else but a fee to be paid: https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/pay-driver-responsibility-assessment
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Thing 342 on January 22, 2019, 10:32:45 AM
^^^^^^^^^
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading and subtract a "standard deduction" of something like 10 or 12.5% which would be placed in a co-operative pool.  50% of that pool would be divided up among the states adjoining the fee collector (or, in the case of the Northeast, any state within 150 miles of the state line), with the remainder distributed equally to the more far-field states.  It likely wouldn't cover outliers like the VA/ID situation posed upthread, but it would apply to a large percentage of the driving public.  This would obviate the expense -- and the privacy concerns -- endemic to vehicle tracking.
And there will be a lot of workarounds. WHo sets "toll" rates? If it is a state - a state could benefit from lowering toll to get more vehicles in. ANother option is to charge a higher registration fee (not shared) instead of shared toll, or some other workarounds would pop up.
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.

Not that big of a deal if rates are adjusted annually and there is one collection a year. Property taxes work somewhat similar.
Use mileage at a time of sale to compute the toll due at registration (what about out of state transactions, though?).
Odometer tampering may be a bigger issue.
Virginia already has laws against odometer tampering: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter1/section46.2-112/
Would be fairly easy to ratchet up the penalties involved in order to deter potential mischief.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 10:40:32 AM
Virginia already has laws against odometer tampering: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter1/section46.2-112/
Would be fairly easy to ratchet up the penalties involved in order to deter potential mischief.
I think there are such laws everywhere; actually it is a felony in federal  law.
However,
Quote


NHTSA estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings. This crime costs American car buyers more than $1 billion annually.
Actually I think I bought a clunker with adjusted odometer some years ago. Ultimately it turned out not so bad at the end of the day, but for completely different reasons.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2019, 11:10:49 AM
Isn't odometer tampering practically impossible with today's systems?  Property taxes don't involve reading a metered device.  So rather than having one place to read it (inspection station), there would need to be a reading for both vehicles at the time of transfer.
If it can be made by human being, it can be modified by another human being. It's a matter of price and benefit. Mostly additional benefit of sale with mileage below actual.

To answer my own question, it is indeed possible to tamper with and change today's electronic odometers.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a21946562/odometer-tampering-a-crime-of-the-past-leaps-into-the-future/

"Odometer tampering is still possible, and not just on older cars.  Today, the act is the confluence of high-tech fraud and good old-fashioned records falsification.  NHTSA estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with falsified odometer readings, costing car buyers in the U.S. over $1 billion. "
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: MikieTimT on January 22, 2019, 11:23:08 AM
Isn't odometer tampering practically impossible with today's systems?  Property taxes don't involve reading a metered device.  So rather than having one place to read it (inspection station), there would need to be a reading for both vehicles at the time of transfer.
If it can be made by human being, it can be modified by another human being. It's a matter of price and benefit. Mostly additional benefit of sale with mileage below actual.

To answer my own question, it is indeed possible to tamper with and change today's electronic odometers.

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a21946562/odometer-tampering-a-crime-of-the-past-leaps-into-the-future/

"Odometer tampering is still possible, and not just on older cars.  Today, the act is the confluence of high-tech fraud and good old-fashioned records falsification.  NHTSA estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with falsified odometer readings, costing car buyers in the U.S. over $1 billion. "

Then again, the age-old larger diameter tire trick that also serves to skew mileage (and indicated speed) downward will become popular with a larger financial incentive to those for whom ethics are more fluid than the rest of us.  Not really a good way to prevent that "tampering" as there are no changes to the vehicle other than tires.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 22, 2019, 11:29:44 AM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...

But what if I was In Idaho with my car for 11 months during that year? VA gets the money even though I drove in another state the entire time.

If you were in Idaho for 11 months out of the year, Idaho would probably consider you to be a resident and insist you register your car and get your driver's license from that state, and transfer them from Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 12:22:52 PM

Then again, the age-old larger diameter tire trick that also serves to skew mileage (and indicated speed) downward will become popular with a larger financial incentive to those for whom ethics are more fluid than the rest of us.  Not really a good way to prevent that "tampering" as there are no changes to the vehicle other than tires.
and ba
You can gain what, 10% in wheel diameter for 10% lower tax?
Righ now, federal tax is below 1 cent a mile, combined fuel taxes in NY - which is at the top of high tax states list - is 2-2.5 cents a mile, and average toll is about 6 cents per mile.
So for average US annual 13kmiles, we are talking existing $300 fuel tax in NY, $780 at toll rate.
10% of that is the savings,  $30 and $78 a year, and those need to offset reduced fuel economy, higher cost of bigger tires, and cost of work. Probably would break even after alll..   
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Mapmikey on January 22, 2019, 12:53:44 PM
But is it even POSSIBLE to reasonably implement a mileage tax?  Either everything goes to your home jurisdiction no matter what, or some centralized tracking method is needed.
Virginia requires annual safety inspections, so I don't see why they couldn't simply log the odometer each year and calculate the tax from that...

But what if I was In Idaho with my car for 11 months during that year? VA gets the money even though I drove in another state the entire time.

If you were in Idaho for 11 months out of the year, Idaho would probably consider you to be a resident and insist you register your car and get your driver's license from that state, and transfer them from Virginia.

A better example would be someone in or retired from the military who can have their car registered in a state not where they currently live for an indefinite period.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 22, 2019, 01:20:24 PM
^ That's allowed for active duty military who are on "official orders" stationed in a given area if they're retaining residency in another state.  It is not allowed for retired military.

This is how I was able to avoid Virginia's car tax and the equivalent (personal property tax on vehicles) in Mississippi, because I retained my Minnesota residency while I was active duty.  That said, I did register my vehicle in whatever state I was stationed in.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2019, 01:56:53 PM
^ That's allowed for active duty military who are on "official orders" stationed in a given area if they're retaining residency in another state.  It is not allowed for retired military.

This is how I was able to avoid Virginia's car tax and the equivalent (personal property tax on vehicles) in Mississippi, because I retained my Minnesota residency while I was active duty.  That said, I did register my vehicle in whatever state I was stationed in.
I believe you can keep other state's plates if you maintain residence in that state.
We had someone in NY who was officially on assignment from OR - for 3 years or so. OR payroll taxes, driver license, and and OR registration for a new car purchased in NY.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 22, 2019, 02:39:39 PM
Given the number of people who maintain out of state car registrations in NY, I wonder how enforceable it it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 22, 2019, 02:54:52 PM
Given the number of people who maintain out of state car registrations in NY, I wonder how enforceable it it.

Very, if the state decides to do a crackdown. Kentucky has done a number of "Freddie Freeroader" enforcement campaigns. They allow a grace period for people to register vehicles improperly registered in another state, then go after violators. Anonymous reports are (or were) encouraged. If you're mad at your neighbor/ex/boss/whomever, and they are driving a car registered in another state primarily in Kentucky, it's a good way to get back at them.

That being said, state licensing requirements vary. I know at least one couple that owns a condo in Sevier County, Tenn., and they have at least one of their vehicles registered there. I don't know how Tennessee charges for vehicle registration, but Kentucky charges both the flat fee and annual property tax, both of which must be paid to renew a plate. I'm also not sure what the residency requirements are for either state, but I'm pretty sure the couple I know are violating Kentucky law, because they maintain their primary residence here (they actually had to move because a highway project eminent domain'ed their house, so they built a new one a couple of counties away) and only go to Tennessee on occasion, and it's not their primary residence. Their driver's licenses and voter registrations are in Kentucky.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 22, 2019, 10:13:38 PM
^^^^

I once reported a car that belonged to a guy who used to live across the street from us. He had left a vulgar note on my wife’s car when he didn’t like how it was parked. I figured out who did it and I reported his unregistered car that had expired New Jersey plates. The county not only added it to the tax rolls, they also dinged him for the $100 “No Plate Tax” that applies to cars that are required to have Virginia plates but don’t.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on January 23, 2019, 12:35:34 AM
^^^^

I once reported a car that belonged to a guy who used to live across the street from us. He had left a vulgar note on my wife’s car when he didn’t like how it was parked. I figured out who did it and I reported his unregistered car that had expired New Jersey plates. The county not only added it to the tax rolls, they also dinged him for the $100 “No Plate Tax” that applies to cars that are required to have Virginia plates but don’t.

Guess the lesson here is that if you're trying to skirt laws that'll cost you $$, don't be an overt asshole!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 23, 2019, 09:01:17 AM
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.

Don't know if this is a widespread standard practice in other localities, but Montgomery County a few years ago implemented a new policy for personal property tax (the "car tax"). It used to be that you received a tax bill in December, based on assessed value, for vehicles owned as of January 1 of that year. Someone figured out that if someone traded or purchased a newer, higher value car after January 1, they got to skate for a year on paying a higher tax. Now, using DMV info, the county will send a bill for pro-rated taxes when there is a change in vehicles.

Since mileage is recorded as part of a title transfer, it wouldn't be that difficult to deal with partial-year mileage -- not that such a plan to collect tax that way makes any sense. There is just too much Big Brother to it, since it wouldn't be much of a stretch to go from tracking mileage to tracking where people actually go. We already see the fiction of crime shows using GPS data and live tracking to find criminals. Joe Everyman might not want someone to be able to see and wonder why he was at the No-Tell Motel or cruising through the 'hood far from his suburban neighborhood.
 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 23, 2019, 09:12:58 AM
^^^^

I once reported a car that belonged to a guy who used to live across the street from us. He had left a vulgar note on my wife’s car when he didn’t like how it was parked. I figured out who did it and I reported his unregistered car that had expired New Jersey plates. The county not only added it to the tax rolls, they also dinged him for the $100 “No Plate Tax” that applies to cars that are required to have Virginia plates but don’t.

I guess this had to be a number of years ago, since NJ got rid of the short-lived plate sticker in 2006 I believe!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 23, 2019, 01:03:20 PM
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.

Don't know if this is a widespread standard practice in other localities, but Montgomery County a few years ago implemented a new policy for personal property tax (the "car tax"). It used to be that you received a tax bill in December, based on assessed value, for vehicles owned as of January 1 of that year. Someone figured out that if someone traded or purchased a newer, higher value car after January 1, they got to skate for a year on paying a higher tax. Now, using DMV info, the county will send a bill for pro-rated taxes when there is a change in vehicles.

Since mileage is recorded as part of a title transfer, it wouldn't be that difficult to deal with partial-year mileage -- not that such a plan to collect tax that way makes any sense. There is just too much Big Brother to it, since it wouldn't be much of a stretch to go from tracking mileage to tracking where people actually go. We already see the fiction of crime shows using GPS data and live tracking to find criminals. Joe Everyman might not want someone to be able to see and wonder why he was at the No-Tell Motel or cruising through the 'hood far from his suburban neighborhood.
 
Not to mention, who wants to pay another large, lump sum tax bill?  I rent, so I currently don't have any (NY doesn't have a property tax on cars, and I've gotten an income tax refund every single year since college).  Having to pay a large tax based on how much one drives (rather than a largely invisible gas tax) would seem to be to be a disincentive to driving, which I suspect is the reason why many people support it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 23, 2019, 01:13:15 PM
Without resorting to vehicle tracking or other "micromanagement" of driving habits, one of the potential solutions for out-of-state driving would be to simply take a yearly odometer reading

Still a fairly crude measure of mileage to only have one reading per year.  Then the question arises as how to track partial year such as selling one car and buying another.  Also the fact that the 12-month  inspection cycle doesn't go from January to December, it starts the month the car is licensed.

Don't know if this is a widespread standard practice in other localities, but Montgomery County a few years ago implemented a new policy for personal property tax (the "car tax"). It used to be that you received a tax bill in December, based on assessed value, for vehicles owned as of January 1 of that year. Someone figured out that if someone traded or purchased a newer, higher value car after January 1, they got to skate for a year on paying a higher tax. Now, using DMV info, the county will send a bill for pro-rated taxes when there is a change in vehicles.

Since mileage is recorded as part of a title transfer, it wouldn't be that difficult to deal with partial-year mileage -- not that such a plan to collect tax that way makes any sense. There is just too much Big Brother to it, since it wouldn't be much of a stretch to go from tracking mileage to tracking where people actually go. We already see the fiction of crime shows using GPS data and live tracking to find criminals. Joe Everyman might not want someone to be able to see and wonder why he was at the No-Tell Motel or cruising through the 'hood far from his suburban neighborhood.
 
Not to mention, who wants to pay another large, lump sum tax bill?  I rent, so I currently don't have any (NY doesn't have a property tax on cars, and I've gotten an income tax refund every single year since college).  Having to pay a large tax based on how much one drives (rather than a largely invisible gas tax) would seem to be to be a disincentive to driving, which I suspect is the reason why many people support it.
If it comes in monthly bills (although a bit more difficult to manage), then it is not worse that monthly MTA pass in NYC or monthly rent/mortgage.
ALthough yes, another layer of complexity.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: vdeane on January 23, 2019, 01:34:29 PM
And another bill.  Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to having one LESS bill to pay when my student loans are paid off.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 23, 2019, 06:41:34 PM
Kentucky charges a specific tax on vehicle purchases. It's 6 percent of 90 percent of the vehicle's value -- either MSRP or purchase price (not sure which) if new, or from a defined, accepted source (Kelley's blue book, I imagine) for used vehicles. That counts for the first year of the property tax. The property tax is assessed on the vehicle's owner on the taxable value of the car as of Jan. 1, and is payable when the owner registers the vehicle in their birth month. The state, counties, school districts, and other taxing bodies all levy property taxes on vehicles.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 24, 2019, 09:32:29 AM
The Virginia General Assembly has done what it does best with bills it doesn't like -- buried them in committees where they may or may not be discussed. If a bill isn't approved in a committee vote, it doesn't make it to the full House or Senate for debate and a vote. From Thursday's Roanoke Times (

Quote
SB 1716, sponsored by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, was set to be heard before the Transportation Committee on Wednesday but has been rerouted to the Finance Committee.

Obenshain’s bill focuses on tolls to generate the funds to go toward $2 billion in upgrades identified by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, filed SB 1470, which would increase the statewide wholesale gas tax to 5 percent. His bill has been referred to Senate Finance but also has not yet been scheduled to be heard.

Meanwhile, in the House of Delegates, HB 2718, from Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, is sitting in the House Rules Committee, whose chairman is House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights. Cox’s spokesman, Parker Slaybaugh, said it was referred there because it is considered “legislation with major policy implications.”

“It will be referred to committee at the appropriate time,” Slaybaugh said Wednesday.
(https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/general-assembly-notebook-i--legislation-delayed-tannerite-bill-a/article_2aa55a6a-38ba-5fb5-b552-a989133b6dd9.html)

The deadline for the House and Senate to pass their own bills is Feb. 5. After that date, the bills cross over to the opposite chamber to be voted up or down. Unless quick action is taken, it looks like the toll plan will be dead for another year (likely, given this is an election year).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 24, 2019, 05:15:19 PM
Does anyone have high hopes that the bill to toll Interstate 81 will pass? I am leaning on the side of skeptism.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2019, 05:32:26 PM
Does anyone have high hopes that the bill to toll Interstate 81 will pass? I am leaning on the side of skeptism.

I'm surprised because when I was at the CTB meeting last week they seemed upbeat and positive about the legislation.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2019, 05:35:32 PM
Does anyone have high hopes that the bill to toll Interstate 81 will pass? I am leaning on the side of skeptism.

I'm surprised because when I was at the CTB meeting last week they seemed upbeat and positive about the legislation.
Here's the thing though. Weren't they all upbeat and positive about it when the initial ones for I-95, and I-81 were proposed many years ago?

Until they can get this farther than other proposals went, I'm not going to believe any of this happening. I'm against tolling, but I do support this to an extent if it truly will do a "Phase 1" improvements, which is currently planned, and then later a "Phase 2" build out of the entire corridor to 6 lanes, and 8 through urban areas, with tolls only collected in rural, "remote" locations.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2019, 05:57:11 PM
I'm surprised because when I was at the CTB meeting last week they seemed upbeat and positive about the legislation.
Here's the thing though. Weren't they all upbeat and positive about it when the initial ones for I-95, and I-81 were proposed many years ago?

I was doing my job in the VDOT IT Division on the floor above, not at the CTB meetings, so I can't say.  But I don't recall any serious legislative proposal then.

Until they can get this farther than other proposals went, I'm not going to believe any of this happening. I'm against tolling, but I do support this to an extent if it truly will do a "Phase 1" improvements, which is currently planned, and then later a "Phase 2" build out of the entire corridor to 6 lanes, and 8 through urban areas, with tolls only collected in rural, "remote" locations.

None of the 3 ISRRPP pilots from TEA-21 ever went forth beyond FHWA conditional approval.  This will be a first if they actually do the first phase projects and tolling.  So we shall see...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 25, 2019, 07:53:17 AM
The question isn't when I-81 is going to get tolled the "real" question is will VA remove the tolls once the money is paid back.  Based on the social environment in VA today, if the trend continues.  I-81 will be tolled and never removed and would not be surprised if the other Interstates get tolled as well being that the tech is there for high speed tolling and cheap to implement.  Can't wait for the Teamsters, truckers, to get upset and then get told to not bring attention to the future fleecing of the people.  Oh well, my $.02.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 25, 2019, 07:55:34 AM
Oh well, my $.02.

The tolls won't be that low. Even HOT lanes in the middle of the night are more than that.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 25, 2019, 08:03:12 AM
The question isn't when I-81 is going to get tolled the "real" question is will VA remove the tolls once the money is paid back.  Based on the social environment in VA today, if the trend continues.  I-81 will be tolled and never removed and would not be surprised if the other Interstates get tolled as well being that the tech is there for high speed tolling and cheap to implement.  Can't wait for the Teamsters, truckers, to get upset and then get told to not bring attention to the future fleecing of the people.  Oh well, my $.02.

Tolls should be removed when traffic stops growing.  The purpose of the toll is to fund expansion and maintenance.  If drivers are willing to live with congestion after the latest round of improvements exceed their lifespan, then remove the tolls.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 25, 2019, 08:59:41 AM
Oh well, my $.02.

The tolls won't be that low. Even HOT lanes in the middle of the night are more than that.

Even if the toll was that low they still won't get it from me.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 25, 2019, 09:05:58 AM
The question isn't when I-81 is going to get tolled the "real" question is will VA remove the tolls once the money is paid back.  Based on the social environment in VA today, if the trend continues.  I-81 will be tolled and never removed and would not be surprised if the other Interstates get tolled as well being that the tech is there for high speed tolling and cheap to implement.  Can't wait for the Teamsters, truckers, to get upset and then get told to not bring attention to the future fleecing of the people.  Oh well, my $.02.

Tolls should be removed when traffic stops growing.  The purpose of the toll is to fund expansion and maintenance.  If drivers are willing to live with congestion after the latest round of improvements exceed their lifespan, then remove the tolls.

Key word is "should" even if congestion is relieved, the law can be changed and tolls can stay. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 09:12:49 AM
Oh well, my $.02.

The tolls won't be that low. Even HOT lanes in the middle of the night are more than that.
2 cents, meaning his words. It's an expression.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 09:14:43 AM
The question isn't when I-81 is going to get tolled the "real" question is will VA remove the tolls once the money is paid back.  Based on the social environment in VA today, if the trend continues.  I-81 will be tolled and never removed and would not be surprised if the other Interstates get tolled as well being that the tech is there for high speed tolling and cheap to implement.  Can't wait for the Teamsters, truckers, to get upset and then get told to not bring attention to the future fleecing of the people.  Oh well, my $.02.
Hopefully North Carolina stays relatively clean of tolls, the exception being the few new toll roads being built. Hopefully the trend of building new interstates and freeways is mostly w/out tolling, and no existing interstate gets tolling. I was glad to hear the state is going the toll-free route on widening I-95 to eight lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 25, 2019, 09:21:42 AM
The question isn't when I-81 is going to get tolled the "real" question is will VA remove the tolls once the money is paid back.  Based on the social environment in VA today, if the trend continues.  I-81 will be tolled and never removed and would not be surprised if the other Interstates get tolled as well being that the tech is there for high speed tolling and cheap to implement.  Can't wait for the Teamsters, truckers, to get upset and then get told to not bring attention to the future fleecing of the people.  Oh well, my $.02.
Hopefully North Carolina stays relatively clean of tolls, the exception being the few new toll roads being built. Hopefully the trend of building new interstates and freeways is mostly w/out tolling, and no existing interstate gets tolling. I was glad to hear the state is going the toll-free route on widening I-95 to eight lanes.

Not holding my breath just yet, NC has the highest gax tax in the Southeast and it is capped.  When going to wife's hometown in the Motor City, always wait until we get to Whyteville and I-81/77 reversal route to fill up to get through WV's ridiculous prices.  If these tolls go into place, will resort to US 52 as a backup to avoid I-81.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 25, 2019, 09:41:17 AM
Not holding my breath just yet, NC has the highest gax tax in the Southeast and it is capped.
At least the results are showing all over the state. New freeways, 4-laning all over the state, these major beltways being built, the massive expansions proposed on I-95, the massive expansions which have already happened on I-85, etc. I can't say much about Virginia other than U.S. 58 HR to I-77, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and North Virginia. I-64 is finally getting widened, but only because of the HRTPO and HRTAC, the rural areas are not. I-95 still sits at 6-lanes south of DC with 200,000+ AADT and all that's proposed are more $20 HO/T lanes. The rest of the state gets ignored.

Speaking of HO/T lanes, the toll here reached $15 on I-64 and people freaked out. There, people freak out when it skirts $40.

When going to wife's hometown in the Motor City, always wait until we get to Whyteville and I-81/77 reversal route to fill up to get through WV's ridiculous prices.  If these tolls go into place, will resort to US 52 as a backup to avoid I-81.
I don't think you'll have to worry about the tolls, it looks like your route would be on I-77 mostly. The overlapped sections of I-81 with I-64 and I-77 will not include tolls. Only the portions solely I-81 and in rural locations.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 25, 2019, 11:36:43 AM
Not holding my breath just yet, NC has the highest gax tax in the Southeast and it is capped.
At least the results are showing all over the state. New freeways, 4-laning all over the state, these major beltways being built, the massive expansions proposed on I-95, the massive expansions which have already happened on I-85, etc. I can't say much about Virginia other than U.S. 58 HR to I-77, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and North Virginia. I-64 is finally getting widened, but only because of the HRTPO and HRTAC, the rural areas are not. I-95 still sits at 6-lanes south of DC with 200,000+ AADT and all that's proposed are more $20 HO/T lanes. The rest of the state gets ignored.

Speaking of HO/T lanes, the toll here reached $15 on I-64 and people freaked out. There, people freak out when it skirts $40.

When going to wife's hometown in the Motor City, always wait until we get to Whyteville and I-81/77 reversal route to fill up to get through WV's ridiculous prices.  If these tolls go into place, will resort to US 52 as a backup to avoid I-81.
I don't think you'll have to worry about the tolls, it looks like your route would be on I-77 mostly. The overlapped sections of I-81 with I-64 and I-77 will not include tolls. Only the portions solely I-81 and in rural locations.

Good to know but, have backup routes just in case.  Discovered by accident when the I-77 tunnels closed one year.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 27, 2019, 11:26:43 PM
Yes, the real answer is use police & speed enforcement to fund the billions of dollars of I-81 improvements. Not to mention, he mentions widening the interstate won't help any safety issues. Is this guy stupid?

"The State of Virginia could probably fund the entire I-81 project (and increase safety exponentially) by issuing speeding tickets on the highway. I rarely see State Police pulling anyone over or even parking in the median as a deterrent. Making I-81 wider won't solve our highway safety problems because both truck and car drivers will still speed like demons and no one will stop them until speed limit enforcement increases significantly."

https://www.newsleader.com/story/opinion/readers/2019/01/25/speed-real-problem-interstate-81-not-number-lanes-tolls/2656377002/

If they went on a spree to ticket every driver doing anything over 70 MPH (or whatever the speed limit is on a particular stretch), they'd be causing a safety issue themselves. I can only imagine if they set up strict speeding enforcement, the amount of accidents the police officers themselves would cause on I-81.

I could see some enforcement to get people going way faster than the "flow of traffic", whipping in and out of lanes recklessly, etc, but this guy seems to be proposing to ticket anybody speeding.
Title: MOVED: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Alps on January 28, 2019, 12:35:17 AM
Split off useless naysaying.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 12:45:09 AM
Split off useless naysaying.

How about deleting #218 as well?  That is what started it.
Thanks,
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 12:46:25 AM
Split off useless naysaying.

How about deleting #218 as well?  That is what started it.
Thanks,
How so? My comment was related to I-81, and my response to someone's opinion. I'll remove the Emporia police enforcement part if that would make you happy though, since that's just a fairy tale I came up with, and totally has never been mentioned, or factually proven before.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 01:04:06 AM
Split off useless naysaying.
How about deleting #218 as well?  That is what started it.
Thanks,
How so? My comment was related to I-81, and my response to someone's opinion. I'll remove the Emporia police enforcement part if that would make you happy though, since that's just a fairy tale I came up with, and totally has never been mentioned, or factually proven before.

The thing I found offensive is that notion that police routinely issue speeding tickets for 5 miles over when that is the only issue, and then later posts reduced that claim to one over.

I have over 1,000,000 miles of driving over 50 years to base various observations and opinions upon.  I also do volunteer work for a city PD, which BTW does not carry any arrest powers, but I am concerned when I see claims like that.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 01:12:47 AM
The main thing I found offensive is that notion that police routinely issue speeding tickets for 5 miles over when that is the only issue, and then later posts reduced that claim to one over.

I have over 1,000,000 miles of driving over 50 years to base various observations and opinions upon.  I also do volunteer work for a city PD, which BTW does not carry any arrest powers, but I am concerned when I see claims like that.
For the most part, police departments and Virginia State Police do not ticket for simply 5 over. The thing is that the city of Emporia's police department, along with the city of Hopewell's police department, are well known to heavily enforce their highways (U.S 58 and I-295 respectively) and ticket, sometimes for as little as 5 over. If there's light traffic, and somebody speeds through at 65 MPH in a 60 MPH, and a police unit is out on radar patrol, they will initiate a traffic stop. I've seen many different stories of this for those two cities. It's factual that they do generate significant revenues for speed trapping on those two highways, Hopewell I mentioned rings in over $2 million each year. Every time you drive through Emporia on U.S. 58 coming from Norfolk, not I-95 from Richmond, there's usually at least 2 units on patrol waiting for somebody to cluelessly come through speeding. There's no safety concern, nobody is act risk, there's no reckless driving, weaving all over the road, etc. But there's still a ticket written, simply so Emporia can make some money. You go anywhere else on U.S. 58, and you rarely see patrols out, and can easily get away with doing 65 - 70 MPH.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 01:26:24 AM
Police departments do not routinely ticket for 5 mph over.  The courts would be overloaded and would object big time.  There is plenty of "harvest" at 20+ mph over.  A Ford Police Interceptor has no difficulty getting someone at 100 mph or more.  I rarely see speeding enforcement in US-58 or on I-295.  Speedaholics have been making these claims for decades, and if they were true the state government would have put a stop to it years ago.


Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 01:29:30 AM
Police departments do not routinely ticket for 5 mph over.  The courts would be overloaded and would object big time.  I very rarely see speeding enforcement in US-58 on on I-295.  Speedaholics have been making these claims for decades, and if they were true the state government would have put a stop to it.
How often do you use US-58? From Richmond, I wouldn't imagine that often, or ever. I-95 takes you through. I use it plenty, and I see police enforcement all the time. I know somebody who utilizes I-295 twice a week, and they almost always see at least 2 police officers setting up radar. AAA has called that speed trap out before for making over $2 million per year.

It's not "speedaholics" making the claims about enforcement, it's facts. If in theory you were to set up cameras on the US-58 bypass and record over a 24 hour period, you would see the heavy enforcement, the numerous of people pulled over, etc.

And when you use the term "speedaholics", you make the claim sound like a reckless driver, in which, I rarely see on US-58. All the traffic stops I'm aware of, and I've spoken to people who have been pulled over for doing only 5-7 over, were not in any way reckless, just simply around 65 - 67 MPH, which might I say, that highway can safely handle 70 MPH. It's 90's design, wide curves, limited-access, wide lanes, and wide shoulders. There's no safety concern, it's revenue generation.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 01:36:35 AM
Hopewell -


2:26, people pulled over on both sides of the highway, extremely dangerous.


0:35, a whole video about it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 01:39:26 AM
Where do you get these obsessions that are manifesting in several different areas here?  Are you Rush Wickes?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 28, 2019, 06:27:58 AM
Police departments do not routinely ticket for 5 mph over.  The courts would be overloaded and would object big time.  I very rarely see speeding enforcement in US-58 on on I-295.  Speedaholics have been making these claims for decades, and if they were true the state government would have put a stop to it.
How often do you use US-58? From Richmond, I wouldn't imagine that often, or ever. I-95 takes you through. I use it plenty, and I see police enforcement all the time. I know somebody who utilizes I-295 twice a week, and they almost always see at least 2 police officers setting up radar. AAA has called that speed trap out before for making over $2 million per year.

It's not "speedaholics" making the claims about enforcement, it's facts. If in theory you were to set up cameras on the US-58 bypass and record over a 24 hour period, you would see the heavy enforcement, the numerous of people pulled over, etc.

And when you use the term "speedaholics", you make the claim sound like a reckless driver, in which, I rarely see on US-58. All the traffic stops I'm aware of, and I've spoken to people who have been pulled over for doing only 5-7 over, were not in any way reckless, just simply around 65 - 67 MPH, which might I say, that highway can safely handle 70 MPH. It's 90's design, wide curves, limited-access, wide lanes, and wide shoulders. There's no safety concern, it's revenue generation.

However, I used US 58 quite regularly when I was stationed in Norfolk and I had more trips WITHOUT seeing cops than I did with.  Emporia has a reputation, but my experience never jived with that reputation...I've seen more Greensville County cops than I did Emporia cops.  And even when I'd see a cop, they'd ignore me when I was going 6-8 over the limit.

As for I-295, the City of Hopewell is what has the reputation for setting up the "speed trap" there.  Though I couldn't say much about that because I've only taken 295 a few times.

My one speeding ticket in the state of Virginia (in 10 years of living or being stationed there) happened in Charles City...and that's because I turned onto VA 5 thinking it was 55 MPH when it was really 45 MPH.  It was during my court hearing that I learned (as I sat and listened to other traffic cases) that the 20 MPH over reckless driving isn't automatic...it's at the discretion of the ticketing officer.

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 28, 2019, 10:40:56 AM
Hopewell -


2:26, people pulled over on both sides of the highway, extremely dangerous.


This is what I saw:

Guy in middle lane, failing to keep right.

Guy possibly holding camera while driving, rather than just keeping both hands on the wheel.

Guy passing stopped cars on the left and right shoulder.  We don't know if there was a minor accident, registration issues, or if speeding, the speed at which they were pulled over.  If they were doing 97 mph, then it wasn't a speed trap.  They were just driving too fast.

As far as pulling over on both shoulders, the officer has no control over how the car is going to pull over.  Once they're stopped, it's better to leave them on the shoulder they're on, rather than trying to get them to cross over onto the other side of the highway.

Love the assumptions though.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on January 28, 2019, 10:47:33 AM
Hopewell -


2:26, people pulled over on both sides of the highway, extremely dangerous.


This is what I saw:

Guy in middle lane, failing to keep right.

Guy possibly holding camera while driving, rather than just keeping both hands on the wheel.

Guy passing stopped cars on the left and right shoulder.  We don't know if there was a minor accident, registration issues, or if speeding, the speed at which they were pulled over.  If they were doing 97 mph, then it wasn't a speed trap.  They were just driving too fast.

As far as pulling over on both shoulders, the officer has no control over how the car is going to pull over.  Once they're stopped, it's better to leave them on the shoulder they're on, rather than trying to get them to cross over onto the other side of the highway.

Love the assumptions though.

This is not an assumption, the "Move Over" law is strictly enforced in VA, had one of those tickets despite having a vehicle next to me, stupid Dinwiddie County Mounty.  If you travel through VA make sure you pull over 1 lane or have a ton of traffic around you and slow down.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 28, 2019, 11:44:07 AM
I’ve never seen the “Move Over” law enforced in Virginia.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 28, 2019, 11:54:09 AM
This is not an assumption, the "Move Over" law is strictly enforced in VA, had one of those tickets despite having a vehicle next to me, stupid Dinwiddie County Mounty.  If you travel through VA make sure you pull over 1 lane or have a ton of traffic around you and slow down.

You didn't view the video, did you? 

This has nothing to do with moving over for a cop.  The driver was in the middle lane for the entire 3 minute video.  A truck even passed him on the right, then moved into the middle lane when he approached the cop on the side of the road.

So, the driver disobeyed the keep right except to pass courtesy/law.  And because the center lane is a truck's passing lane, the trucker was forced to pass this car on the right. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 12:01:49 PM
Fluor Virginia Inc. had a proposal in 2003 to add two lanes in the median of I-81 for $1.8 billion by 2011 for the entire length of the route, under the TEA-21 ISRRPP pilot project, and to pay for it entirely with tolls on cars and trucks.  Too bad that it wasn't supported enough to go forward.  Now they are looking at least $7 billion for a project like that due to the astronomical increases in highway construction costs.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: jeffandnicole on January 28, 2019, 12:21:27 PM
Fluor Virginia Inc. had a proposal in 2003 to add two lanes in the median of I-81 for $1.8 billion by 2011 for the entire length of the route, under the TEA-21 ISRRPP pilot project, and to pay for it entirely with tolls on cars and trucks.  Too bad that it wasn't supported enough to go forward.  Now they are looking at least $7 billion for a project like that due to the astronomical increases in highway construction costs.

Honestly, I couldn't see it being that cheap back just 15 years ago.  I think that would've been a very lowball estimate that would've caused a lot of negative issues when it couldn't be completed for that amount.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: LM117 on January 28, 2019, 12:30:55 PM
Police departments do not routinely ticket for 5 mph over.  The courts would be overloaded and would object big time.  There is plenty of "harvest" at 20+ mph over.  A Ford Police Interceptor has no difficulty getting someone at 100 mph or more.  I rarely see speeding enforcement in US-58 or on I-295.  Speedaholics have been making these claims for decades, and if they were true the state government would have put a stop to it years ago.

The General Assembly did try to stop it with a budget amendment in 2012 that reduced the amount of ticket revenue localities could keep, but Hopewell and other revenue-starved towns made such a stink about it that the spineless General Assembly eventually repealed that amendment after Hopewell delegate Riley Ingram pushed for it.

https://www.progress-index.com/news/20161001/another-chance-for-hopewells-million-dollar-mile (https://www.progress-index.com/news/20161001/another-chance-for-hopewells-million-dollar-mile)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: oscar on January 28, 2019, 12:44:54 PM
This has nothing to do with moving over for a cop.  The driver was in the middle lane for the entire 3 minute video.  A truck even passed him on the right, then moved into the middle lane when he approached the cop on the side of the road.

So, the driver disobeyed the keep right except to pass courtesy/law.  And because the center lane is a truck's passing lane, the trucker was forced to pass this car on the right. 

Virginia law doesn't prohibit camping out in the middle lane, so long as other drivers can pass on either side. See https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-842.1/ (drivers in left lane, and abreast of other traffic, must yield to overtaking traffic when safe to do so); https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-842/ (drivers must move right for overtaking traffic unless passing on the right is possible and permitted); https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title46.2/chapter8/section46.2-841/ (governing when passing on the right is permitted).

Whether courtesy calls for drivers to stay out of the middle lane except when passing is another story. But if there is such a courtesy rule, it's not widely known or obeyed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: WillWeaverRVA on January 28, 2019, 01:38:56 PM
I’ve never seen the “Move Over” law enforced in Virginia.

Chesterfield County Police has set up "move over traps" in various places within the county over the past few weeks to enforce the law.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on January 28, 2019, 01:55:00 PM
I’ve never seen the “Move Over” law enforced in Virginia.

I have seen it enforced by Fairfax County Police and  by the VSP.  Note that I did not turn around and go back to the officer doing the stop and inquire as to the reason for it, but I think my assumption is reasonable.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on January 28, 2019, 02:16:04 PM
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t saying they don’t enforce it, just that I’d never seen it enforced, and the reason for that comment was because of goobnav’s post implying that it’s somehow enforced in a draconian manner.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 02:48:13 PM
Police departments do not routinely ticket for 5 mph over.  The courts would be overloaded and would object big time.  There is plenty of "harvest" at 20+ mph over.  A Ford Police Interceptor has no difficulty getting someone at 100 mph or more.  I rarely see speeding enforcement in US-58 or on I-295.  Speedaholics have been making these claims for decades, and if they were true the state government would have put a stop to it years ago.

The General Assembly did try to stop it with a budget amendment in 2012 that reduced the amount of ticket revenue localities could keep, but Hopewell and other revenue-starved towns made such a stink about it that the spineless General Assembly eventually repealed that amendment after Hopewell delegate Riley Ingram pushed for it.

https://www.progress-index.com/news/20161001/another-chance-for-hopewells-million-dollar-mile (https://www.progress-index.com/news/20161001/another-chance-for-hopewells-million-dollar-mile)
No, it's all baloney. Remember, no locality in Virginia speed traps.  :no:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 02:51:50 PM
Guy passing stopped cars on the left and right shoulder.  We don't know if there was a minor accident, registration issues, or if speeding, the speed at which they were pulled over.  If they were doing 97 mph, then it wasn't a speed trap.  They were just driving too fast.
Once again, people are pulled here on a daily basis. I don't see that anywhere else on Virginia interstates. You think that registration issues or minor accidents only happen right here out of the entire state? This stretch of I-295 is fairly safe, and has no safety issues. There's no reason for the constant patrolling. Not to mention, it's Hopewell Police patrolling, not even Virginia State Police. Seems odd to me. And when you're out on a daily basis clocking everybody's speed and making over $2 million per year in speeding revenue, that's called a speed trap in case you don't know.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: PHLBOS on January 28, 2019, 03:03:09 PM
In an effort to steer this thread back on topic.

POLL: 92% of Southwest Virginians Opposed to I-81 Tolls (http://appalachianmagazine.com/2019/01/28/poll-92-of-southwest-virginians-opposed-to-i-81-tolls/?fbclid=IwAR3apbWVrudJ9FhR9j71YnBLQdukT2YPf15JyLyvkCNCrHB8m2wF0bkDBt8)

Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.

Of the 367 respondents (based primarily in Wythe & Smyth Counties) to the Appalachian Magazine-sponsored online poll, featured here, who were asked, “Virginia legislators are considering placing tolls on I-81. What is your opinion?” 92% of them answered “I oppose tolls on I-81”, while only 8% answered “I support tolls on I-81”.

The poll comes after considerable debate initiated by Ralph Northman, Governor of Virginia, who is pushing a $2.2 billion proposal for critical improvements along the 325-mile stretch of Interstate highway in a bid to make what supporters declare as “necessary improvements” to the roadway.
  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 03:05:56 PM
In an effort to steer this thread back on topic.

POLL: 92% of Southwest Virginians Opposed to I-81 Tolls (http://appalachianmagazine.com/2019/01/28/poll-92-of-southwest-virginians-opposed-to-i-81-tolls/?fbclid=IwAR3apbWVrudJ9FhR9j71YnBLQdukT2YPf15JyLyvkCNCrHB8m2wF0bkDBt8)

Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.

Of the 367 respondents (based primarily in Wythe & Smyth Counties) to the Appalachian Magazine-sponsored online poll, featured here, who were asked, “Virginia legislators are considering placing tolls on I-81. What is your opinion?” 92% of them answered “I oppose tolls on I-81”, while only 8% answered “I support tolls on I-81”.

The poll comes after considerable debate initiated by Ralph Northman, Governor of Virginia, who is pushing a $2.2 billion proposal for critical improvements along the 325-mile stretch of Interstate highway in a bid to make what supporters declare as “necessary improvements” to the roadway.
  :popcorn:
The tolling will likely go nowhere for many years, as much as they want to push for it. This will be fun to watch  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 28, 2019, 03:10:15 PM
How many of those 92% would support a toll on I-95 in Virginia? And then ask Richmond about I-95 and I-81. In Richmond, I-95 will have 8% support, while I-81 will have higher support (although probably still below 50%).

I am also wondering who will be blamed if it passes. The legislature is Republican, but the governor is a Democrat (and actually has power unlike the governor of North Carolina).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 03:16:44 PM
Moderators, can you please move all the speeding posts to somewhere else?

Thanks,
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 03:21:53 PM
Fluor Virginia Inc. had a proposal in 2003 to add two lanes in the median of I-81 for $1.8 billion by 2011 for the entire length of the route, under the TEA-21 ISRRPP pilot project, and to pay for it entirely with tolls on cars and trucks.  Too bad that it wasn't supported enough to go forward.  Now they are looking at least $7 billion for a project like that due to the astronomical increases in highway construction costs.
Honestly, I couldn't see it being that cheap back just 15 years ago.  I think that would've been a very lowball estimate that would've caused a lot of negative issues when it couldn't be completed for that amount.

I could.  Remember, that was 16 years ago.  Highway construction costs have skyrocketed since about 2005.

Fluor Virginia may have factored in a substandard median over about 10% of the route.  With that addressed by outside widening, the costs would have risen some and the completion date may have been later than 2011.  But today we would have a 6-lane I-81 from end to end, only small amounts of SYIP funding would be needed for I-81 in the future, and then perhaps highways like I-73 might be under construction by now.

Virginia would have gotten some criticism for doing this, but by now 3 to 5 more states would have followed suit, with more to follow.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 03:26:07 PM
Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.

"Polls" are an inherently bad way of measuring anything, are often wrong, particularly by a magazine that is not a recognized polling organization in the first place.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 03:42:35 PM
Moderators, can you please move all the speeding posts to somewhere else?

Thanks,
Just because you disagree with something does not mean it should be moved. The topic veered slightly off topic, and is now back on topic. I see no issues.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 03:48:14 PM
Moderators, can you please move all the speeding posts to somewhere else?
Thanks,
Just because you disagree with something does not mean it should be moved. The topic veered slightly off topic, and is now back on topic. I see no issues.

The speeding posts have nothing to do with I-81.  They belong in a different thread, probably under Off Topic.

After all, a moderator already -deleted- a whole slew of these type posts yesterday, and then the same type posts started up again!

I can run an Online Flame Thrower with the best of them … but I don't want to do it here.  :pan:  :clap:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1 on January 28, 2019, 03:50:03 PM
Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.

"Polls" are an inherently bad way of measuring anything, are often wrong, particularly by a magazine that is not a recognized polling organization in the first place.

8% support is low enough that even if it is an intentionally biased poll, I can't see the actual number being above 25%.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 04:02:40 PM
Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.

"Polls" are an inherently bad way of measuring anything, are often wrong, particularly by a magazine that is not a recognized polling organization in the first place.

8% support is low enough that even if it is an intentionally biased poll, I can't see the actual number being above 25%.
Agreed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 28, 2019, 04:31:19 PM

8% support is low enough that even if it is an intentionally biased poll, I can't see the actual number being above 25%.
And even then it is a bad question to ask.
-Would you support such and such improvements of I-81?
-Would you still support those improvement if that means tolling?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cl94 on January 28, 2019, 05:00:57 PM
As someone who conducts surveys as part of work, the question is phrased in a way that is designed to elicit a "no" response. The question is: Virginia legislators are considering placing tolls on I-81. What is your opinion?. Of COURSE people will answer "no" because it's not providing the full story here! The tolls would be in order to fund improvements, which the question nor the post containing it does not mention. An unbiased question could be: Virginia legislators are considering placing tolls on I-81 in order to fund improvements, potentially including roadway widening and improved incident response. What is your opinion?

It should be noted that this is a highly-unscientific poll conducted using Facebook by a page whose target audience will be opposed to increasing the cost of anything. Facebook polls are VERY easy to manipulate. Heck, there are groups on Facebook that exist to swing Facebook polls in one direction or the other! Because of how the poll was done and the demographic that responded, I'm going to dismiss the results as not representative of the population. Come back with an unbiased survey that's representative of the population and my opinion may change. Again, as someone who does this for a living, I wouldn't even think about using something as easy to manipulate as a Facebook poll.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 28, 2019, 05:02:05 PM
Quote from: Appalachian Magazine Article
A new poll conducted by Appalachian Magazine between the dates of January 25-28, reveals that the overwhelming majority of respondents are opposed to a bipartisan proposal, which includes support from the state’s Democratic governor, as well as leading Republicans, that will effectively turn Interstate 81 into a toll road.
"Polls" are an inherently bad way of measuring anything, are often wrong, particularly by a magazine that is not a recognized polling organization in the first place.
8% support is low enough that even if it is an intentionally biased poll, I can't see the actual number being above 25%.

If it is an "intentionally biased poll", then the reality could just as logically be the opposite, or could be 60% or more in favor.  Best thing to do is to disregard it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 28, 2019, 07:21:35 PM
I think you'll find that any poll, scientific or not, will result in the majority of people along the I-81 corridor being opposed to tolls, even if it's stated that the tolls will be used to fund improvements. I'd say most of those people will say to reprioritize existing funding and quit spending so much on NoVa.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 07:23:46 PM
I think you'll find that any poll, scientific or not, will result in the majority of people along the I-81 corridor being opposed to tolls, even if it's stated that the tolls will be used to fund improvements. I'd say most of those people will say to reprioritize existing funding and quit spending so much on NoVa.
I can agree to that with some extent, there needs to be more transportation funding coming towards I-81. But I-95 is way higher of a priority than I-81. I-81 has an AADT of around 50,000 and is 4 lanes, generally runs smoothly, but still has recurring delays occasionally. Mainly has safety concerns. I-95 has an AADT of over 200,000, only 6 lanes, and has hours on end of traffic jams daily, and needs at least $1 billion for 8 lanes to Fredericksburg, along with interchange improvements, enhanced operations, etc. The only fix now is a band-aid fix, slapping some HO/T lanes in the median. It will not fully solve the issue of traffic as much as interchange reconfigurations, auxiliary lanes between interchanges (10 lanes total in these sections), and continuous 8 lanes in each direction would.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cl94 on January 28, 2019, 07:59:25 PM
I'd say most of those people will say to reprioritize existing funding and quit spending so much on NoVa.

Well, do keep in mind that 30% of the state population lives in Northern Virginia. Add in Richmond and Hampton Roads and you have 2/3 of the population. Of course transportation funding will generally be spent in those areas because that's where the people are!

Most of the recent NoVA projects are P3s and/or funded by the regional gas tax (as improving transit/carpool access). Want to get stuff in the rest of the state done faster? Maybe introduce a P3, because that's how stuff is getting done in VA right now.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 28, 2019, 08:22:21 PM
I'd say most of those people will say to reprioritize existing funding and quit spending so much on NoVa.

Well, do keep in mind that 30% of the state population lives in Northern Virginia. Add in Richmond and Hampton Roads and you have 2/3 of the population. Of course transportation funding will generally be spent in those areas because that's where the people are!

Most of the recent NoVA projects are P3s and/or funded by the regional gas tax (as improving transit/carpool access). Want to get stuff in the rest of the state done faster? Maybe introduce a P3, because that's how stuff is getting done in VA right now.
Its a whole different topic, but distributing transportation funds according to population counts is not always logical.
It may be a good metrics for commute related funding of urban roads, but long haul stretches through sparsely populated areas need a different consideration. And that is exactly what we're talking about - a long haul stretch amounting to lots of travel mileage, not proportional to local population numbers and with a different car/truck ratio.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cl94 on January 28, 2019, 08:35:56 PM
And that is exactly what we're talking about - a long haul stretch amounting to lots of travel mileage, not proportional to local population numbers and with a different car/truck ratio.

Which is precisely why tolls would be useful - a lot of users along I-81 are not local. Pass the funding burden along to the trucking companies, etc. But due to various laws, you can't only toll out-of-state drivers, hence why they'd offer a "season pass".
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 28, 2019, 08:54:47 PM
And that is exactly what we're talking about - a long haul stretch amounting to lots of travel mileage, not proportional to local population numbers and with a different car/truck ratio.

Which is precisely why tolls would be useful - a lot of users along I-81 are not local. Pass the funding burden along to the trucking companies, etc. But due to various laws, you can't only toll out-of-state drivers, hence why they'd offer a "season pass".
WHich is again only part of the story as all vehicles pay gas tax - often not exactly where that gas is burnt. Under the assumption that gas is still in-state (may or may not be true), and if road budget is funded by gas taxes (which may only partially be true), more traveled areas should get more budget funding regardless of population counts as those roads are where actual taxable activity occurs. Total benefit for population - as in goods transportation - is another way of looking at it.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 09:09:08 PM
And that is exactly what we're talking about - a long haul stretch amounting to lots of travel mileage, not proportional to local population numbers and with a different car/truck ratio.

Which is precisely why tolls would be useful - a lot of users along I-81 are not local. Pass the funding burden along to the trucking companies, etc. But due to various laws, you can't only toll out-of-state drivers, hence why they'd offer a "season pass".
The only issue with passing the burden to "trucking companies" is, A) the truckers themselves have to pay the tolls, the companies don't, and B) the cost of the tolls will now pass onto the consumer in higher shipping costs.

Also, I find it funny how we can't toll out-of-state only, but we can place a an expensive toll evasion fine on those exiting and re-entering around tolling points.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 28, 2019, 09:36:26 PM
Quote from: sprjus4
B) the cost of the tolls will now pass onto the consumer in higher shipping costs.

Countered by the lower transportation costs that the improvements will provide.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 28, 2019, 09:40:50 PM
Quote from: sprjus4
B) the cost of the tolls will now pass onto the consumer in higher shipping costs.

Countered by the lower transportation costs that the improvements will provide.
How? I-81 isn't parked for half the day moving 5 MPH. It's, for the most part, an efficient corridor. The improvements won't "lower transportation costs", you're only adding a $55 toll one-way. And there's no guarantee that the interstate still won't have issues. It's not widening it all to 6 lanes. It's not eliminating the common "wreck of the day" blocking the interstate. It might reduce wait times in those instances, but this is no full make-over on I-81, and even if it was, it wouldn't do much in "lowering transportation costs" in any way.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on January 29, 2019, 09:27:44 AM
Moderators, can you please move all the speeding posts to somewhere else?
Thanks,
Just because you disagree with something does not mean it should be moved. The topic veered slightly off topic, and is now back on topic. I see no issues.

The speeding posts have nothing to do with I-81.  They belong in a different thread, probably under Off Topic.

After all, a moderator already -deleted- a whole slew of these type posts yesterday, and then the same type posts started up again!

I can run an Online Flame Thrower with the best of them … but I don't want to do it here.  :pan:  :clap:

Can we get the whining about speed trap posts moved somewhere else? Somewhere off the coast of Virginia Beach would be a good spot.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 29, 2019, 09:54:21 AM
Moderators, can you please move all the speeding posts to somewhere else?  Thanks,
Just because you disagree with something does not mean it should be moved. The topic veered slightly off topic, and is now back on topic. I see no issues.
The speeding posts have nothing to do with I-81.  They belong in a different thread, probably under Off Topic.
After all, a moderator already -deleted- a whole slew of these type posts yesterday, and then the same type posts started up again!
I can run an Online Flame Thrower with the best of them … but I don't want to do it here.
Can we get the whining about speed trap posts moved somewhere else? Somewhere off the coast of Virginia Beach would be a good spot.

Your whining needs to go to somewhere like Antarctica, you can enjoy their 'summer'.

BTW, I was the one who attempted to pull things back on topic with my post about the 2003 Fluor Virginia Inc.  proposal for a $1.8 billion project to widen the entire I-81 highway to six lanes by 2011, to be financed with tolls thru the TEA-21 ISRRPP mechanism.  This shows how costly that delay can be, given the massive increases in highway construction costs since 2005.

The same thing happened with the parallel Midtown Tunnel and MLK Freeway extension project.  There was a proposal in 2000 to build the project for $600 million supported by tolls on both tunnels.  When they finally built it 2012-2016 it cost $1.4 billion for the same construction, with concomitant impacts on the toll levels.

The major rehabs on the Downtown tunnels IIRC were not in the 2000 proposal, but that only added about $100 million, so my overall point remains.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on January 29, 2019, 10:40:51 AM
Are there any figures available on gas tax revenues collected by county? Even though "all the people" are in NoVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads, do those areas generate a percentage of gas tax revenues anywhere near their percentage of the population? I'd say not, because commute distances are probably shorter, and lots of people use public transportation.

At any rate, I'm one of those who prefers that DOTs get away from spending on congestion mitigation in urban areas in favor of safety improvements and economic development/accessibility.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 29, 2019, 10:49:39 AM
Are there any figures available on gas tax revenues collected by county? Even though "all the people" are in NoVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads, do those areas generate a percentage of gas tax revenues anywhere near their percentage of the population? I'd say not, because commute distances are probably shorter, and lots of people use public transportation.

That would suggest that average annual odometer mileage per automobile is less in the major metro areas as compared to the lesser populated areas, and I don't think that is the case.  Outside of New York City the U.S. metro market share of transit is 5% or less.  Many commute trips in metro areas are on local arterials with many traffic signals and the fuel mileage is lower than on highway trips and more fuel is consumed per mile.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: kalvado on January 29, 2019, 10:54:29 AM
Are there any figures available on gas tax revenues collected by county? Even though "all the people" are in NoVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads, do those areas generate a percentage of gas tax revenues anywhere near their percentage of the population? I'd say not, because commute distances are probably shorter, and lots of people use public transportation.

That would suggest that average annual odometer mileage per automobile is less in the major metro areas as compared to the lesser populated areas, and I don't think that is the case.  Outside of New York City the U.S. metro market share of transit is 5% or less.  Many commute trips in metro areas are on local arterials with many traffic signals and the fuel mileage is lower than on highway trips and more fuel is consumed per mile.
$45M of gas taxes for transit in NoVA is not that big of a number, but still noticeable...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on January 29, 2019, 12:51:03 PM
Quote from: sprjus4
B) the cost of the tolls will now pass onto the consumer in higher shipping costs.

Countered by the lower transportation costs that the improvements will provide.
How? I-81 isn't parked for half the day moving 5 MPH. It's, for the most part, an efficient corridor. The improvements won't "lower transportation costs", you're only adding a $55 toll one-way. And there's no guarantee that the interstate still won't have issues. It's not widening it all to 6 lanes. It's not eliminating the common "wreck of the day" blocking the interstate. It might reduce wait times in those instances, but this is no full make-over on I-81, and even if it was, it wouldn't do much in "lowering transportation costs" in any way.

You're completely ignoring the impact of incidents, which are a regular occurrence on I-81.  Incident management (clearing incidents faster) and safety improvements (which will reduce the likelihood of many incidents) are part of the package and will reduce transportation costs associated with incidents and their subsequent delays.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 29, 2019, 01:06:02 PM
Quote from: sprjus4
B) the cost of the tolls will now pass onto the consumer in higher shipping costs.

Countered by the lower transportation costs that the improvements will provide.
How? I-81 isn't parked for half the day moving 5 MPH. It's, for the most part, an efficient corridor. The improvements won't "lower transportation costs", you're only adding a $55 toll one-way. And there's no guarantee that the interstate still won't have issues. It's not widening it all to 6 lanes. It's not eliminating the common "wreck of the day" blocking the interstate. It might reduce wait times in those instances, but this is no full make-over on I-81, and even if it was, it wouldn't do much in "lowering transportation costs" in any way.

You're completely ignoring the impact of incidents, which are a regular occurrence on I-81.  Incident management (clearing incidents faster) and safety improvements (which will reduce the likelihood of many incidents) are part of the package and will reduce transportation costs associated with incidents and their subsequent delays.
As far as I'm aware, most trucks make it through just fine, occasionally one has a huge accident tying traffic up, but other than that, it's fine as is. It's not a daily occurrence. For the most part, nothing will change with the exception of higher shipping costs due to $55 tolls.

When there's a huge accident, incident management can help to some extent, but it's still going to take a while to clear.

I'm not saying I'm against the proposed improvements, I'm just saying it's not going to reduce shipping costs in most occasions, because most of the trucks who have an easy drive through Virginia will continue having that easy drive + $55 toll. Those tied up by an accident or in one every once in a while will see slight reduction, but not everyday will that happen.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cl94 on January 29, 2019, 02:57:19 PM
Let's put it this way: Google gives an estimated travel time of 4:30 - 5:30 to travel the length of I-81 VA based on normal traffic conditions on a weekday. That amount of variation is ridiculous for a mostly-rural corridor and that's just considering normal traffic.

Is I-81 always bad? No. But when it is bad (far more often than a typical rural freeway), it is BAD. I've been stuck in standstill traffic on that thing on multiple occasions and I don't travel I-81 VA particularly often.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 29, 2019, 03:21:49 PM
For the most part, nothing will change with the exception of higher shipping costs due to $55 tolls.

Um, no.  The proposed truck toll is 10 cents per mile, so that would be $33.  Much less than your figure.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 29, 2019, 06:05:38 PM
For the most part, nothing will change with the exception of higher shipping costs due to $55 tolls.

Um, no.  The proposed truck toll is 10 cents per mile, so that would be $33.  Much less than your figure.
You might want to check your facts. The initial truck toll rate is 17 cents per mile, and cars is 11 cents per mile. $55 for trucks, $36 for cars.

That initial toll rate will also eventually increase as years progress...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 29, 2019, 06:38:44 PM
For the most part, nothing will change with the exception of higher shipping costs due to $55 tolls.
Um, no.  The proposed truck toll is 10 cents per mile, so that would be $33.  Much less than your figure.
You might want to check your facts. The initial truck toll rate is 17 cents per mile, and cars is 11 cents per mile. $55 for trucks, $36 for cars.  That initial toll rate will also eventually increase as years progress...

The exact figure has not been determined yet.  The proposed numbers presented at the monthly CTB meeting (I was there) two weeks ago were 7 cents per mile for cars and 10 cents per mile for large trucks.  For the entire 325 miles that would be $22 and $33 rounded respectively.   The annual pass for corridor residents may be as low as $25.

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on January 29, 2019, 06:44:22 PM
For the most part, nothing will change with the exception of higher shipping costs due to $55 tolls.
Um, no.  The proposed truck toll is 10 cents per mile, so that would be $33.  Much less than your figure.
You might want to check your facts. The initial truck toll rate is 17 cents per mile, and cars is 11 cents per mile. $55 for trucks, $36 for cars.  That initial toll rate will also eventually increase as years progress...

The exact figure has not been determined yet.  The proposed numbers presented at the monthly CTB meeting (I was there) two weeks ago were 7 cents per mile for cars and 10 cents per mile for large trucks.  For the entire 325 miles that would be $22 and $33 rounded respectively.   The annual pass for corridor residents may be as low as $25.
From what I've seen everywhere else, the figure was 17 cents per mile for trucks, and 11 cents for cars. I've never heard anything about 7 cents for cars, and 10 cents for trucks. Do you have a link to the monthly meeting documents online?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on January 29, 2019, 06:50:57 PM
The exact figure has not been determined yet.  The proposed numbers presented at the monthly CTB meeting (I was there) two weeks ago were 7 cents per mile for cars and 10 cents per mile for large trucks.  For the entire 325 miles that would be $22 and $33 rounded respectively.   The annual pass for corridor residents may be as low as $25.
From what I've seen everywhere else, the figure was 17 cents per mile for trucks, and 11 cents for cars. I've never heard anything about 7 cents for cars, and 10 cents for trucks. Do you have a link to the monthly meeting documents online?

Newspapers often have a difficult time with getting the data correct on many subjects, including highways.  The monthly meeting documents are on the CTB website, but they don't list the toll rates, I checked them before I posted. 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Duke87 on January 29, 2019, 09:02:55 PM
Are there any figures available on gas tax revenues collected by county? Even though "all the people" are in NoVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads, do those areas generate a percentage of gas tax revenues anywhere near their percentage of the population? I'd say not, because commute distances are probably shorter, and lots of people use public transportation.

I'm not finding any, but let's approach this issue a slightly different way.

New Jersey, a state dominated by urban and suburban areas which is the most densely populated in the union, collected $535,550,000 in gas tax revenues in 2015 (source) (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/statistics/motor-fuel-tax-revenue) with a 14.5 cent/gallon tax and a population of 8.96 million. This maths out to about 412 gallons of gas purchased per resident.

Wyoming, a very rural state which is the least populous in the union, collected $118,639,000 in gas tax revenues in 2015 (same source as NJ) with a 24 cent/gallon tax and a population of 582,102. This maths out to about 849 gallons of gas purchased per resident.

So yes, at a glance it would appear that the per capita contribution of rural areas to gas taxes is greater than that of urban areas, potentially by a factor of about 2. This is likely explained both by the greater distances needed to travel in rural areas and the greater tendency of people in rural areas to drive larger vehicles that are less efficient.

The variable this is not controlling for is the fact that a state with a low population that's spanned by a major transcontinental corridor is likely going to sell a greater percentage of its gas to people from out of state than a small, densely populated state is. And this would hold true on a smaller scale too - any gas station located off of I-81 in VA is going to sell more gas to non-locals than a gas station in Arlington is. The source of the revenue will not always match the contributor's residence.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on February 01, 2019, 09:00:49 AM
And as expected in an election year, the Virginia General Assembly is "kicking the can down the road" on fixing I-81. Tolls and taxes are pretty much dead and yet another committee is going to study the problem interstate.

Quote
Legislation that once called for installing tolls along Interstate 81 has warped into a study to produce funding for safety and congestion fixes."

Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, and Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, pitched revised bills to separate General Assembly panels on Thursday that would establish the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund. Landes’ HB 2718 and Obenshain’s SB 1716 also would create a committee focused on fixing the 325-mile highway.

The Interstate 81 Committee would be composed of 15 people under Landes’ bill, while Obenshain’s bill includes an additional person. Members would be lawmakers along I-81’s corridor as well as representatives from planning districts.

The bills do not specify a funding source, which will be determined later. Landes says all options are on the table.

The fund would collect revenues and apply them toward I-81 improvements. The legislation specifies that the money would be used on $2.2 billion of identified projects that have been endorsed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Under the revised bills from the lawmakers, the new committee would study various funding sources and receive public comment throughout this year. By Dec. 15, it will provide an update, including a funding proposal, to the General Assembly.

https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/revised-legislation-on-fixing-i--doesn-t-include-tolls/article_165dec7e-de34-53dd-baeb-cad26358f1c3.html

At various hearings and in newspapers around the region, lots of people have said they want to see improvements to the road but they want someone else to pay for them. Given that the entire General Assembly is up for election in November, the December report date makes political sense -- incumbents who want to keep their seat can claim they are working on fixing the problem while at the same time touting how they have toed the line against more taxes. Weasels, all of them!

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Mapmikey on February 01, 2019, 02:17:26 PM
Here is the entire list of Virginia Assembly bills related to transportation.  Up through slide 6 is about the I-81 toll proposal and the remainder is the list of other bills out there...

http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2019/jan/pres/8_legislative_update.pdf
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Thing 342 on February 01, 2019, 11:44:18 PM
And as expected in an election year, the Virginia General Assembly is "kicking the can down the road" on fixing I-81. Tolls and taxes are pretty much dead and yet another committee is going to study the problem interstate.

Quote
Legislation that once called for installing tolls along Interstate 81 has warped into a study to produce funding for safety and congestion fixes."

Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, and Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, pitched revised bills to separate General Assembly panels on Thursday that would establish the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund. Landes’ HB 2718 and Obenshain’s SB 1716 also would create a committee focused on fixing the 325-mile highway.

The Interstate 81 Committee would be composed of 15 people under Landes’ bill, while Obenshain’s bill includes an additional person. Members would be lawmakers along I-81’s corridor as well as representatives from planning districts.

The bills do not specify a funding source, which will be determined later. Landes says all options are on the table.

The fund would collect revenues and apply them toward I-81 improvements. The legislation specifies that the money would be used on $2.2 billion of identified projects that have been endorsed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Under the revised bills from the lawmakers, the new committee would study various funding sources and receive public comment throughout this year. By Dec. 15, it will provide an update, including a funding proposal, to the General Assembly.

https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/revised-legislation-on-fixing-i--doesn-t-include-tolls/article_165dec7e-de34-53dd-baeb-cad26358f1c3.html

At various hearings and in newspapers around the region, lots of people have said they want to see improvements to the road but they want someone else to pay for them. Given that the entire General Assembly is up for election in November, the December report date makes political sense -- incumbents who want to keep their seat can claim they are working on fixing the problem while at the same time touting how they have toed the line against more taxes. Weasels, all of them!

This, combined with the fact that the current governor's career is pretty much on life support, suggests that the tolling plan is dead.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on February 01, 2019, 11:51:12 PM
And as expected in an election year, the Virginia General Assembly is "kicking the can down the road" on fixing I-81. Tolls and taxes are pretty much dead and yet another committee is going to study the problem interstate.

Quote
Legislation that once called for installing tolls along Interstate 81 has warped into a study to produce funding for safety and congestion fixes."

Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, and Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, pitched revised bills to separate General Assembly panels on Thursday that would establish the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund. Landes’ HB 2718 and Obenshain’s SB 1716 also would create a committee focused on fixing the 325-mile highway.

The Interstate 81 Committee would be composed of 15 people under Landes’ bill, while Obenshain’s bill includes an additional person. Members would be lawmakers along I-81’s corridor as well as representatives from planning districts.

The bills do not specify a funding source, which will be determined later. Landes says all options are on the table.

The fund would collect revenues and apply them toward I-81 improvements. The legislation specifies that the money would be used on $2.2 billion of identified projects that have been endorsed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Under the revised bills from the lawmakers, the new committee would study various funding sources and receive public comment throughout this year. By Dec. 15, it will provide an update, including a funding proposal, to the General Assembly.

https://www.roanoke.com/news/local/revised-legislation-on-fixing-i--doesn-t-include-tolls/article_165dec7e-de34-53dd-baeb-cad26358f1c3.html

At various hearings and in newspapers around the region, lots of people have said they want to see improvements to the road but they want someone else to pay for them. Given that the entire General Assembly is up for election in November, the December report date makes political sense -- incumbents who want to keep their seat can claim they are working on fixing the problem while at the same time touting how they have toed the line against more taxes. Weasels, all of them!

This, combined with the fact that the current governor's career is pretty much on life support, suggests that the tolling plan is dead.
Likely. I had somewhat of a feeling this wasn't going anywhere.

Well, the highway will continue performing good at most times throughout the day. Nothing better I can say if the tolling plan is dead.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: LM117 on February 02, 2019, 09:58:41 AM
This, combined with the fact that the current governor's career is pretty much on life support, suggests that the tolling plan is dead.

I’m sure Ed Gillespie is smiling right now...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: epzik8 on February 10, 2019, 11:02:32 AM
This is my first time hearing about this. WTF.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Thing 342 on February 11, 2019, 11:42:41 AM
This is my first time hearing about this. WTF.

I wouldn't sweat it, given the reasons above.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on February 11, 2019, 11:50:23 AM
This is my first time hearing about this. WTF.

I wouldn't sweat it, given the reasons above.

Agree, the state of the Commonwealth, they'll be looking for a new Lt. Gov pretty soon and the Gov and the AG could be next, priority for the House of Delegates to pass I-81 tolling legislation has fallen on to the back burner. :popcorn:
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on February 11, 2019, 01:54:20 PM
The I-81 tolling legislation has already failed for this year regardless of the other distractions.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jmiles32 on March 28, 2019, 06:14:20 PM
One more last-ditch effort to do something about I-81 this year. No tolls involved this time likely indicating that yes, that idea is dead.
https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/northam-with-i--in-salem-as-backdrop-pushes-for/article_8b960cb0-165b-5202-b458-f32ca926f5cd.html
Quote
Northam is proposing an increase in tractor-trailer registration fees to begin later this year. He also wants to increase the diesel tax to 2.03 percent of the statewide average wholesale price per gallon, which would begin in July 2021. The revenue generated would be distributed to projects statewide.

Also, in the localities that line the I-81 corridor, the regular gas and diesel tax paid would go up, with a 2.1 percent wholesale tax added. That revenue would go directly for I-81.

Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine estimates this would generate about $150 million a year for I-81. It's just a fraction of the $4 billion of road needs that the Virginia Department of Transportation identified last year.

The General Assembly will convene Wednesday to take up these amendments along with proposed changes to legislation and vetoes. Republicans command a slim majority in the House of Delegates and Senate, and a majority is required to pass the amendments.

Northam is amending legislation from Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, and Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, which traveled sharp turns throughout the six-week legislative session and passed the General Assembly without any way to raise money.

Those bills first started with putting tolls on I-81, charging 17 cents per mile for trucks and 11 cents per mile for other drivers. Car drivers — but not truckers — could purchase a $30 annual pass. Neither Obenshain nor Landes attended the event Thursday.

Instead, those bills landed on the governor's desk with the purpose of establishing the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund and creating a committee focused on fixing the highway. The committee — made up of state legislators and local officials — will hold public meetings throughout this year and report an update to the General Assembly in December.

Valentine said those elements of the legislation are important "but not impactful without the funding."

Separately, Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, put in a bill that would have increased the wholesale motor fuel tax for the whole state.

The legislation pitted lawmakers from the regions across Virginia against one another. Northern Virginia lawmakers expressed discontent over the idea that tolls would be much lower along I-81 than its own highways. Even along the I-81 corridor, legislators on the southern end said it was unfair for them to pay tolls when their road projects were valued at less than repairs along the rest of the highway.

"We have built our transportation funding structures with different rules of the road," said Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William, who was not a fan of the tolling plan.

So the legislation stalled — much like the tractor-trailer on the side of the highway yards away from Northam. Lawmakers removed the funding mechanisms from the final legislation and inserted a request for studies on highway funding.

The amendments Northam proposed should be of some satisfaction to lawmakers in Northern Virginia. Some of the money raised through the registration fees and statewide diesel tax will go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This would restore funding the region lost last year as part of a funding agreement to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system by pulling money from regional transportation projects.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 28, 2019, 06:17:38 PM
One more last-ditch effort to do something about I-81 this year. No tolls involved this time likely indicating that yes, that idea is dead.
https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/northam-with-i--in-salem-as-backdrop-pushes-for/article_8b960cb0-165b-5202-b458-f32ca926f5cd.html
Quote
Northam is proposing an increase in tractor-trailer registration fees to begin later this year. He also wants to increase the diesel tax to 2.03 percent of the statewide average wholesale price per gallon, which would begin in July 2021. The revenue generated would be distributed to projects statewide.

Also, in the localities that line the I-81 corridor, the regular gas and diesel tax paid would go up, with a 2.1 percent wholesale tax added. That revenue would go directly for I-81.

Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine estimates this would generate about $150 million a year for I-81. It's just a fraction of the $4 billion of road needs that the Virginia Department of Transportation identified last year.

The General Assembly will convene Wednesday to take up these amendments along with proposed changes to legislation and vetoes. Republicans command a slim majority in the House of Delegates and Senate, and a majority is required to pass the amendments.

Northam is amending legislation from Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, and Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta, which traveled sharp turns throughout the six-week legislative session and passed the General Assembly without any way to raise money.

Those bills first started with putting tolls on I-81, charging 17 cents per mile for trucks and 11 cents per mile for other drivers. Car drivers — but not truckers — could purchase a $30 annual pass. Neither Obenshain nor Landes attended the event Thursday.

Instead, those bills landed on the governor's desk with the purpose of establishing the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Fund and creating a committee focused on fixing the highway. The committee — made up of state legislators and local officials — will hold public meetings throughout this year and report an update to the General Assembly in December.

Valentine said those elements of the legislation are important "but not impactful without the funding."

Separately, Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, put in a bill that would have increased the wholesale motor fuel tax for the whole state.

The legislation pitted lawmakers from the regions across Virginia against one another. Northern Virginia lawmakers expressed discontent over the idea that tolls would be much lower along I-81 than its own highways. Even along the I-81 corridor, legislators on the southern end said it was unfair for them to pay tolls when their road projects were valued at less than repairs along the rest of the highway.

"We have built our transportation funding structures with different rules of the road," said Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William, who was not a fan of the tolling plan.

So the legislation stalled — much like the tractor-trailer on the side of the highway yards away from Northam. Lawmakers removed the funding mechanisms from the final legislation and inserted a request for studies on highway funding.

The amendments Northam proposed should be of some satisfaction to lawmakers in Northern Virginia. Some of the money raised through the registration fees and statewide diesel tax will go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This would restore funding the region lost last year as part of a funding agreement to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system by pulling money from regional transportation projects.
I say go for it. If increasing the taxes can get some of these much needed road projects completed without tolling, I think it would be more popular.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Jmiles32 on March 28, 2019, 06:28:58 PM
I say go for it. If increasing the taxes can get some of these much needed road projects completed without tolling, I think it would be more popular.

Agreed. Probably not a sufficient long term funding plan obviously, but at least it allows for the very worst parts of the interstate to get improvements(although at this point it's more like bandaids). Also in another article, under the plan, I-81 would receive $151 million, I-95 would receive $40 million, I-64 would receive $28 million, the NVTA would receive $20 million and $43 million would be reserved for investment in other interstates annually. Definitely can get behind that.
https://wcyb.com/news/virginia-news/gov-northam-announces-2-billion-i-81-improvement-plan-footed-by-truck-drivers-motorists
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 28, 2019, 08:44:37 PM
The amendments Northam proposed should be of some satisfaction to lawmakers in Northern Virginia. Some of the money raised through the registration fees and statewide diesel tax will go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This would restore funding the region lost last year as part of a funding agreement to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system by pulling money from regional transportation projects.
I say go for it. If increasing the taxes can get some of these much needed road projects completed without tolling, I think it would be more popular.

We'll have to see if Governor Northam can get the General Assembly to approve these increases, and then see how much funding is actually available for I-81 improvements.  It would certainly help if more funding can be found for these projects.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 28, 2019, 08:54:57 PM
The amendments Northam proposed should be of some satisfaction to lawmakers in Northern Virginia. Some of the money raised through the registration fees and statewide diesel tax will go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This would restore funding the region lost last year as part of a funding agreement to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system by pulling money from regional transportation projects.
I say go for it. If increasing the taxes can get some of these much needed road projects completed without tolling, I think it would be more popular.

We'll have to see if Governor Northam can get the General Assembly to approve these increases, and then see how much funding is actually available for I-81 improvements.  It would certainly help if more funding can be found for these projects.
If this indeed were to pass, and $150 million was available to I-81 exclusively annually, couldn't the entire project be constructed as one, and operated like a toll road with bonds and loans, but instead of tolls, that $150 million tax money annually is used instead?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Alps on March 28, 2019, 09:32:32 PM
NO POLITICS
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 28, 2019, 09:33:18 PM
If this indeed were to pass, and $150 million was available to I-81 exclusively annually, couldn't the entire project be constructed as one, and operated like a toll road with bonds and loans, but instead of tolls, that $150 million tax money annually is used instead?
A lot of people in Virginia call him Governor Blackface.  I see that Alps edited our posts.  PFTC.
I agree... but about the question I asked...
He shouldn't be defended for what he did... I say call him Blackface... but now this is getting political.

If $1.5 billion could be channeled over 10 years then I suppose those annual increments could be utilized to service a revenue bond issue of $1 billion (or whatever per the amortization schedule).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 28, 2019, 09:38:28 PM
If this indeed were to pass, and $150 million was available to I-81 exclusively annually, couldn't the entire project be constructed as one, and operated like a toll road with bonds and loans, but instead of tolls, that $150 million tax money annually is used instead?
A lot of people in Virginia call him Governor Blackface.  I see that Alps edited our posts.  PFTC.
I agree... but about the question I asked...
He shouldn't be defended for what he did... I say call him Blackface... but now this is getting political.

If $1.5 billion could be channeled over 10 years then I suppose those annual increments could be utilized to service a revenue bond issue of $1 billion (or whatever per the amortization schedule).
If these tax increases got passed, and indeed $150 million per year was allocated to I-81, I'd say go ahead with it, get the expansions completed in one project, and pay it off over the years. It could also be used with an 6-lane expansion thru-out. Without any toll collection.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 28, 2019, 09:39:06 PM
NO POLITICS
Is the caps necessary?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 28, 2019, 09:41:04 PM
NO POLITICS
Is the caps necessary?

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[managed lanes sign color]
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 28, 2019, 09:44:08 PM
NO POLITICS
Is the caps necessary?

Probably not …  but the purple is! 

[managed lanes sign color]
HOV 3+ is free!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on March 29, 2019, 09:01:24 AM
We'll have to see if Governor Northam can get the General Assembly to approve these increases, and then see how much funding is actually available for I-81 improvements.  It would certainly help if more funding can be found for these projects.

The plan spreads money all across the state instead of other plans that just covered funding for I-81. It will be interesting to see if members of the General Assembly go for the plan (which raises taxes) or if some stick to ideology and have an eye on upcoming elections and back away from voting for it.

The toll plan got heavy opposition lobbying from the trucking industry. At least this time around there is some support. From the Roanoke Times article:

     Dale Bennett, president and CEO of the Virginia Trucking Association, said he was supportive of all the amendments.

     “Under this plan, the trucking industry is stepping up to the plate to pay a large share of cost of improving I-81 and other interstates in Virginia,” he said.

Even if this is approved and just carries over for one year until replaced with something else, it is a better start than where it was left at the end of the General Assembly with yet another study and report on the problems.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on March 29, 2019, 03:31:23 PM
The amendments Northam proposed should be of some satisfaction to lawmakers in Northern Virginia. Some of the money raised through the registration fees and statewide diesel tax will go to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. This would restore funding the region lost last year as part of a funding agreement to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system by pulling money from regional transportation projects.
I say go for it. If increasing the taxes can get some of these much needed road projects completed without tolling, I think it would be more popular.

We'll have to see if Governor Northam can get the General Assembly to approve these increases, and then see how much funding is actually available for I-81 improvements.  It would certainly help if more funding can be found for these projects.

Does Northam have any political capital to get anything done? He's faded out of the national news, but I'd think that anything that's going to happen in Virginia in terms of revenue would have to originate in the legislature, given the headlines of a few weeks ago. The initiative proposed by some of the I-81 corridor legislators seems to be dead.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 29, 2019, 11:25:53 PM
Does Northam have any political capital to get anything done? He's faded out of the national news, but I'd think that anything that's going to happen in Virginia in terms of revenue would have to originate in the legislature, given the headlines of a few weeks ago. The initiative proposed by some of the I-81 corridor legislators seems to be dead.

I would say that he probably does not.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Gnutella on March 29, 2019, 11:28:13 PM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 30, 2019, 12:06:51 AM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.

The I-81/I-64 overlap carries about the same volumes as I-81 on either side of the overlap.

The I-81/I-77 overlap was built with 6 lanes when completed in the late 1980s.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 30, 2019, 12:18:42 AM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.
Depends. If one interstate has an AADT of 20,000, and the overlapping interstate has 10,000 AADT, there's no real good reason to six-lane it. 30,000 AADT on a four-lane interstate works. Now, if the numbers are higher than 35,000 or 40,000 AADT, then I do agree.

Also consider that, for instance, traffic from I-64 west overlaps with I-81 south, but when I-64 west splits off, that traffic stays with I-81 south. That's a common maneuver, traffic from Hampton Roads, Richmond, Charlottesville and everything in between heading southwest would stay on I-81, not continue to I-64 west. Of course, there's some traffic that would stay with I-64 west and leave I-81, though it's significantly less. It depends on traffic flow, and traffic counts mostly.

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 30, 2019, 12:29:39 AM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.
Depends. If one interstate has an AADT of 20,000, and the overlapping interstate has 10,000 AADT, there's no real good reason to six-lane it. 30,000 AADT on a four-lane interstate works. Now, if the numbers are higher than 35,000 or 40,000 AADT, then I do agree.

I've argued that all of I-81 needs at least 6 lanes between I-40 and I-78.

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.  I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ilpt4u on March 30, 2019, 12:35:37 AM

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.  I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.
I would wonder about the Indiana Toll Road I-80/90 overlap. Don’t know the Traffic Counts, tho. 6 lanes would be nice due to the short triples and long doubles truck traffic allowed on the Toll Road
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on March 30, 2019, 01:54:41 AM
I've argued that all of I-81 needs at least 6 lanes between I-40 and I-78.
I agree.

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.
I-20 / I-59 between Meridian, MS and Tuscaloosa, AL only has about 20,000 AADT. About 95 miles. It handles fine with only 4 lanes and 70 MPH. The other 60 miles of the overlap between Tuscaloosa to Birmingham on the other hand see 40,000 - 50,000 AADT counts.

I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.
Not all of it needs it, at least immediately. In the long term, maybe.

Between Cabin Creek, WV and Beckley, WV, traffic counts are between 25,000 - 30,000 AADT. For the time being, that 50 mile stretch operates fine with only 4 lanes. The other areas of the I-77 / I-64 overlap indeed could use a widening, with 40,000 - 50,000 AADT.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on March 30, 2019, 07:36:20 AM
I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.
Not all of it needs it, at least immediately. In the long term, maybe.
Between Cabin Creek, WV and Beckley, WV, traffic counts are between 25,000 - 30,000 AADT. For the time being, that 50 mile stretch operates fine with only 4 lanes. The other areas of the I-77 / I-64 overlap indeed could use a widening, with 40,000 - 50,000 AADT.

That gets back into my "20 weekends per year and holiday weekends" rule.  All of it needs 6 lanes then.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ixnay on March 30, 2019, 08:29:28 AM

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.  I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.
I would wonder about the Indiana Toll Road I-80/90 overlap. Don’t know the Traffic Counts, tho. 6 lanes would be nice due to the short triples and long doubles truck traffic allowed on the Toll Road

How about the the OH Turnpike I-80/90 overlap between the IN line and exit 59 (U.S. 20) near Toledo where it widens to 6 lanes?

ixnay
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Strider on March 30, 2019, 04:36:05 PM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.
Depends. If one interstate has an AADT of 20,000, and the overlapping interstate has 10,000 AADT, there's no real good reason to six-lane it. 30,000 AADT on a four-lane interstate works. Now, if the numbers are higher than 35,000 or 40,000 AADT, then I do agree.

I've argued that all of I-81 needs at least 6 lanes between I-40 and I-78.

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.  I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.


I'd say I-81 needs to be 6 laned from I-40 to I-84/I-380.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on March 31, 2019, 06:20:01 AM
Every Interstate concurrency should be at least six lanes.
Depends. If one interstate has an AADT of 20,000, and the overlapping interstate has 10,000 AADT, there's no real good reason to six-lane it. 30,000 AADT on a four-lane interstate works. Now, if the numbers are higher than 35,000 or 40,000 AADT, then I do agree.

I've argued that all of I-81 needs at least 6 lanes between I-40 and I-78.

I wonder if there are any Interstate overlaps that don't need 6 lanes today.  I-77/I-64 does, granted it would be very expensive to construct.


I'd say I-81 needs to be 6 laned from I-40 to I-84/I-380.

Getting PA to add another lane to I-81 would be like trying to convert a TV from black and white to color while it is on and never having to turn it off.  Just the rehab of 81 between Wilkes-Barre to the 84/380 interchange is costing a ridiculous amount and that's without adding a lane.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on April 03, 2019, 04:57:34 PM
Quote
Area drivers will pay an estimated 7 cents more per gallon for gasoline to fund improvements to Interstate 81.

Legislators accepted the new regional tax as part of a budget amendment offered by Gov. Ralph Northam.

The improvement laundry list, crafted through a series of public hearings up and down the I-81 corridor in the past year, originally were to be funded by tolls along the interstate. Legislation to that effect was unveiled by Northam, Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave and Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, shortly before the start of this year's General Assembly session.

But the tolling plan in that bill was roadkill after trucking companies complained, leaving the a bill full of intent and devoid of funding.

Then came Northam's amendment to the bill, restoring funding but from different sources. That's what cleared the General Assembly on Wednesday with trucking industry support.

Motorists along the I-81 corridor will pay a special 2.1% fuel tax, which is estimated to raise gas prices by 7 cents per gallon. Truck registration and the statewide diesel fuel tax also will increase.

The amendments provide $151 million in dedicated funding for the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, according to a release from the governor. The amendments mean the $2 billion, multi-year program approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December 2018 will be implemented, while also generating revenue for interstates across the Commonwealth, the release said.

The improvements include truck lanes, longer ramps, rest areas and other traffic flow adjustments that are far less expensive than widening the entire highway.

“We can’t wait another year to find a solution — I am pleased to offer amendments that will establish dedicated funding sources to support improvements that will lead to a major reduction in crashes and travel delays," said Northam in the release last week.

Opponents said the legislature was rushing through a major tax hike without sufficient public input.

The General Assembly accepted the governor's amendments to Senate Bill 1716 and House Bill 2718.

Originally, the bill was stripped of the funding mechanisms in its substitute bill in late January. The only item left was the provisions to allow funding sources for the interstate to be studied for an additional year.

The amendments also establish funding for other Virginia interstates: Interstate 95, Interstate 64 and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

I-95 will be allocated $40 million
I-64 will be allocated $28 million
Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will be allocated $20 million
$43 million is reserved for investment in other interstates as prioritized by the Commonwealth Transportation Board
https://www.newsleader.com/story/news/2019/04/03/no-tolls-interstate-81-funding-come-fuel-tax-increase/3351902002/

Updated to include a more detailed article.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on April 03, 2019, 10:08:21 PM
Quote
Quote
Motorists along the I-81 corridor will pay a special 2.1% fuel tax, which is estimated to raise gas prices by 7 cents per gallon. Truck registration and the statewide diesel fuel tax also will increase.

'Along the I-81 corridor' meaning in all the counties that it passes thru? 

I'll bet they will be thrilled to hear that.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on April 03, 2019, 10:48:10 PM
Quote
Quote
Motorists along the I-81 corridor will pay a special 2.1% fuel tax, which is estimated to raise gas prices by 7 cents per gallon. Truck registration and the statewide diesel fuel tax also will increase.

'Along the I-81 corridor' meaning in all the counties that it passes thru? 

I'll bet they will be thrilled to hear that.
That's correct.

This appears to be a more favorable option for most people as opposed to tolling however. It will be felt once the hike happens, though over time, it'll sink in and those people will adjust. In the long run, it'll positively benefit all of those counties as they will get the $2 billion I-81 improvements, and no tolls will be needed.

We've had tax increases here with the HRTAC and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. They've since positively benefited the areas with the completion of many needed projects using the fuel taxes, and minimal tolling. Hampton Roads only has 5 tolls - the Midtown Tunnel, Downtown Tunnel, US-17, VA-168, and Jordan Bridge. The vast majority of the freeway/interstate system here is being improved upon / has been / planned to be without tolling. The almost $4 billion HRBT expansion is a good example. The Third Crossing may be constructed without tolling as well in the next 10-20 years. Northern Virginia only has 1 toll road - VA-267.  I-66 outside the beltway is receiving a major $2+ billion overhaul currently, without tolling.

I think it will be a bit of adjusting for the areas being impacted, but will overall have a positive outcome.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on April 03, 2019, 11:36:00 PM
Quote
Quote
Motorists along the I-81 corridor will pay a special 2.1% fuel tax, which is estimated to raise gas prices by 7 cents per gallon. Truck registration and the statewide diesel fuel tax also will increase.
'Along the I-81 corridor' meaning in all the counties that it passes thru? 
I'll bet they will be thrilled to hear that.
That's correct.
This appears to be a more favorable option for most people as opposed to tolling however. It will be felt once the hike happens, though over time, it'll sink in and those people will adjust. In the long run, it'll positively benefit all of those counties as they will get the $2 billion I-81 improvements, and no tolls will be needed.

IIRC the local volumes reported in the 2004 studies were in the 20-25% range.  There are plenty of towns and cities along the route and it has been over 40 years since the last segment was completed, so while traffic growth has been slow it has had a long time to grow.  So local users (as in the 10 to 50 mile trip range) will definitely benefit from capacity improvements.

We've had tax increases here with the HRTAC and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. They've since positively benefited the areas with the completion of many needed projects using the fuel taxes, and minimal tolling. Hampton Roads only has 5 tolls - the Midtown Tunnel, Downtown Tunnel, US-17, VA-168, and Jordan Bridge. The vast majority of the freeway/interstate system here is being improved upon / has been / planned to be without tolling. The almost $4 billion HRBT expansion is a good example. The Third Crossing may be constructed without tolling as well in the next 10-20 years. Northern Virginia only has 1 toll road - VA-267.  I-66 outside the beltway is receiving a major $2+ billion overhaul currently, without tolling.

Northern Virginia does have tolled express lanes on 4 Interstate routes and I-66 outside the beltway will have tolled express lanes, but as noted VA-267 is the only one with tolled general purpose lanes.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on April 04, 2019, 12:31:44 AM
IIRC the local volumes reported in the 2004 studies were in the 20-25% range.  There are plenty of towns and cities along the route and it has been over 40 years since the last segment was completed, so while traffic growth has been slow it has had a long time to grow.  So local users (as in the 10 to 50 mile trip range) will definitely benefit from capacity improvements.
Agreed. I had misinterpreted your initial response as being sarcastic (as in those towns now will have higher taxes), that's the position my response came from.

Northern Virginia does have tolled express lanes on 4 Interstate routes and I-66 outside the beltway will have tolled express lanes, but as noted VA-267 is the only one with tolled general purpose lanes.
Express lanes or not, there's still a free freeway option. The I-66 outside the beltway widening will benefit everybody, as interchanges will be fully reconstructed, reconfigured, expanded, etc. to handle more traffic volumes, the gap between I-66 and the VA-28 freeway will finally be closed, etc.

The Springfield Interchange expansion, Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement, etc. benefited everybody, and those were completed before the Express Lanes.

Now, if they could find funding to add another GP lane to I-95 and do the same thing happening to I-66 but on I-95 down to Fredericksburg, or at least Stafford. The tax increase providing $40 million annually to I-95 could help accelerate that. $400 million in 10 years could help speed up a massive I-95 expansion to 8-lanes, as that's $400 million less needed from traditional sources over a 10 year period. For 25 miles (Occoquan River to I-95 C/D lane project in Fredericksburg), if it's $50 million per mile (a base estimate for adding one 12 foot lane and 12 foot shoulder in each direction in the median), it'd be about $1.25 billion. If subsidized by $400 million in a 10 year period, that's now down to $850 million. It's certainly going to be needed in the next 10-15 years, it's tolerable to some extent now, but it's just gonna get worse.

Obviously, an actual project would likely feature interchange expansions, etc. and be more costly, but for a basic 8-lane widening / relief project similar to what's happening with I-64 on the Peninsula (simply adding a lane for congestion relief, no actual interchange improvements), it could be close.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 04, 2019, 09:15:09 AM
When I drive from Morganton to Pittsburgh, I try to set my needed fill ups for the I81 stations between the 77's.  Gas is sooooo much cheaper on that short stretch that even with a 7 cent increase, it's still 40 cheaper than anywhere in WV or PA.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: goobnav on April 04, 2019, 12:46:32 PM
Whyteville is the bomb!!!  Always stop there when going to see the in-laws in Motown or my stepson in Indy.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on April 04, 2019, 02:09:44 PM
For 25 miles (Occoquan River to I-95 C/D lane project in Fredericksburg), if it's $50 million per mile (a base estimate for adding one 12 foot lane and 12 foot shoulder in each direction in the median), it'd be about $1.25 billion. […]
Obviously, an actual project would likely feature interchange expansions, etc. and be more costly, but for a basic 8-lane widening / relief project similar to what's happening with I-64 on the Peninsula (simply adding a lane for congestion relief, no actual interchange improvements), it could be close.

I would think that the average bid would be a lot less than $50 million per mile, especially since the 12-foot left shoulder would not be a "stealth future traffic lane" like seen in some instances of VDOT widening from 2 lanes to 3 lanes.  Maybe as low as $25 million.

Plus the 1980-1987 6-lane widening of 58 miles between Ashland and Triangle featured 62% of the length where it was widened on the outside and they widened it enough to leave a future 12-foot lane and 3-foot shoulder on the inside.  So they could add 9 feet to the left shoulder and widen the grassed roadside and be finished.  There is 17 miles between US-17 and VA-619; based on quick review of GMSV it doesn't look like any of that has the current 15-foot shoulder, but those benefits are available on 36 miles of the Ashland-Triangle segment.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Rothman on April 04, 2019, 03:05:23 PM
Whyteville is the bomb!!!  Always stop there when going to see the in-laws in Motown or my stepson in Indy.
Um.  Why?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2019, 06:48:51 AM
^ Cheap gas and Sheetz MTO?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 05, 2019, 08:15:19 AM
So, it this legislation a done deal and passed.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on April 05, 2019, 01:00:00 PM
^ Cheap gas and Sheetz MTO?

The Sheetz at Wytheville is a relatively new store. It's also located one exit west of the I-77 north/I-81 south (Bluefield/Bristol) split, at the US 21/US 52 exit off I-81, so it would be out of the way for anyone traveling the I-77 corridor.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on April 07, 2019, 09:41:54 PM
Quote
The Sheetz at Wytheville is a relatively new store. It's also located one exit west of the I-77 north/I-81 south (Bluefield/Bristol) split, at the US 21/US 52 exit off I-81, so it would be out of the way for anyone traveling the I-77 corridor.

You'd be surprised how many people actually go out of their way for cheap gas and food, even (especially?) if they don't realize it (as is the case in numerous areas across the country).
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on April 07, 2019, 10:10:34 PM
Quote
The Sheetz at Wytheville is a relatively new store. It's also located one exit west of the I-77 north/I-81 south (Bluefield/Bristol) split, at the US 21/US 52 exit off I-81, so it would be out of the way for anyone traveling the I-77 corridor.

You'd be surprised how many people actually go out of their way for cheap gas and food, even (especially?) if they don't realize it (as is the case in numerous areas across the country).
I do it quite frequently. As long as it's only 1 mile or 2 off, and easily accessible back to the main route, I have no issues. But if it was like 6 miles west of the I-77 split, that'd be a bit different.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: hbelkins on April 07, 2019, 11:12:38 PM
Quote
The Sheetz at Wytheville is a relatively new store. It's also located one exit west of the I-77 north/I-81 south (Bluefield/Bristol) split, at the US 21/US 52 exit off I-81, so it would be out of the way for anyone traveling the I-77 corridor.

You'd be surprised how many people actually go out of their way for cheap gas and food, even (especially?) if they don't realize it (as is the case in numerous areas across the country).
I do it quite frequently. As long as it's only 1 mile or 2 off, and easily accessible back to the main route, I have no issues. But if it was like 6 miles west of the I-77 split, that'd be a bit different.

I'm starting to find that Sheetz isn't the low price gas leader that it used to be. I'd say the stations along the 77-81 concurrency are pretty competitive with their pricing, so I'm doubtful that a whole lot of folks are deliberately going to Sheetz there unless they have an addiction to the MTO food.

I can't remember if there's a Walmart/Murphy gas station across US 21, but if there is, I wouldn't be surprised if it's not cheaper than Sheetz. The last few times I've been through Weston, WV, the Walmart has been cheaper than Sheetz.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: SoCal Kid on April 07, 2019, 11:17:53 PM
https://www.nbc29.com/story/39885997/i-81-improvements-bill-moves-forward-without-toll-option

Toll has been canceled... (sorry if someone already mentioned this, I looked through and no one directly said it
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 1995hoo on April 08, 2019, 07:51:26 AM
Quote
The Sheetz at Wytheville is a relatively new store. It's also located one exit west of the I-77 north/I-81 south (Bluefield/Bristol) split, at the US 21/US 52 exit off I-81, so it would be out of the way for anyone traveling the I-77 corridor.

You'd be surprised how many people actually go out of their way for cheap gas and food, even (especially?) if they don't realize it (as is the case in numerous areas across the country).
I do it quite frequently. As long as it's only 1 mile or 2 off, and easily accessible back to the main route, I have no issues. But if it was like 6 miles west of the I-77 split, that'd be a bit different.

Heh. I know a guy who lives between Exits 64 and 66 of I-66 who insists that he saves money on gas by driving out to Manassas (Exit 47). The price differential between there and Falls Church where he lives is almost never more than maybe 10¢ a gallon, if that, and there’s no way he uses less than a gallon in a 45-mile roundtrip. But he refuses to believe he’s losing money in the form of the gas he wastes making the drive. (Now, if he had another reason for going to Manassas and bought gas while there, of course that’s different. But this guy drove out there specifically to buy gas.)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 09, 2019, 05:10:30 AM
https://www.nbc29.com/story/39885997/i-81-improvements-bill-moves-forward-without-toll-option

Toll has been canceled... (sorry if someone already mentioned this, I looked through and no one directly said it
Excellent news!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: famartin on April 09, 2019, 05:13:04 PM
https://www.nbc29.com/story/39885997/i-81-improvements-bill-moves-forward-without-toll-option

Toll has been canceled... (sorry if someone already mentioned this, I looked through and no one directly said it

That photo looks familiar ;)
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on June 09, 2019, 11:27:03 PM
It's official now. $2.2 billion worth of improvements for I-81 fully funded. No tolls. Construction on some of the smaller projects will begin as soon as next month, with the larger projects beginning over the next couple of years.

Northam comes to Salem to sign I-81 improvement legislation
Quote from: WDBJ7
SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was at VDOT headquarters in Salem Friday to sign legislation aimed at improving Interstate 81.

Several local delegates and senators were alongside him, including Delagates Chris Hurst, Sam Rasoul, Steve Landes and Terry Austin, Senators Creigh Deeds and Bill Carrico.

Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation for Virginia, was also there.

The governor said the changes will support Virginia's number one priority, which he says is the economy. The bipartisan legislation will kick start $2.2 billion worth of projects along I-81. Drivers can see some of the primary work begin in July. Those include message boards and traffic cameras.

That work, he said, is necessary, especially considering the Governor was caught in traffic due to an accident on I-81 while heading to the signing event.

"It's an interstate that runs north to south. So many accidents it becomes so inefficient and dangerous to drive on and so this is an important area of our commonwealth - Salem, Roanoke," he said. "So we just thought it was a good place to sign our pieces of legislation today."
https://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Governor-Northam-comes-to-Salem-to-sign-I-81-improvement-legislation-510993261.html
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: VTGoose on June 10, 2019, 09:18:13 AM
It's official now. $2.2 billion worth of improvements for I-81 fully funded. No tolls. Construction on some of the smaller projects will begin as soon as next month, with the larger projects beginning over the next couple of years.

Stephen Brich, Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner, almost missed the event because he experienced one of the daily wrecks on I-81 that blocked traffic.

Quote
"With southbound travel slowed by three crashes involving eight vehicles, Brich faced the possibility of missing a news conference about breakthrough I-81 legislation designed to reduce traffic jams like the one ahead."

"But the Ford Explorer, which was also carrying two deputy secretaries of transportation, reached the function before it started thanks to an enhanced detour strategy . . ." They were helped by an enhanced "incident management" plan that is being tested, using flaggers to help manage detour traffic.

"The new taxes will expand these systems, and will add personnel to go out to the highway and choreograph detours. The flaggers can step in so that if heavy interstate traffic runs smack into unbroken traffic on U.S. 11, motorists don’t face endless waits for a gap to cut in.

The flaggers will have authority to halt Virginia 11 traffic, making space for vehicles trying to get off the interstate. This technique created a functional detour for southbound interstate drivers affected by Friday’s wreck at mile marker 196 Rockbridge County without unduly delaying non-interstate traffic on U.S. 11, Brich said."

"Once the taxes kick in, officials have planned a new era of incident management. VDOT plans to establish a system to temporarily adjust the timing of traffic lights at key local intersections during interstate closures.

"That way, weaving together interstate and local traffic should be even easier, officials said. Crews will widen intersections on U.S. 11 that might currently be a tight squeeze for a tractor-trailer pulling up from an interstate exit. Safety patrol trucks will patrol the highway in greater numbers, according to the plan.

Details of the plan can be found online at www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2019/apr/pres/3_i81.pdf."

See https://www.roanoke.com/business/wreck-snags-vdot-team-heading-to-i--news-conference/article_07df0fb6-7bab-5764-bba5-dd25894c6df0.html

This may work along some of the more rural sections of I-81 and/or where U.S. 11 is fairly close to I-81. But if there is a wreck between Dixie Caverns (exit 132) and Troutville (exit 150), all bets are off. Even with traffic management, there is no good way to get around/through Salem and Roanoke -- even for locals who know back ways and shortcuts. I imagine the same holds true for Harrisonsburg and Winchester. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, it will just be unworkable in some areas and other improvements (like a third lane) will be needed to reduce the delays from the daily wrecks.

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ixnay on June 10, 2019, 03:03:17 PM
Details of the plan can be found online at www.ctb.virginia.gov/resources/2019/apr/pres/3_i81.pdf."

Soooooo.... where will the first of the projects be?

ixnay
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on June 25, 2019, 12:23:47 PM
Report calls plan to widen parts of Interstate 81 a 'boondoggle' (https://www.whsv.com/content/news/Report-interstate-widening-proposal-511746081.html)
Quote
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — A joint report by an advocacy group and think tank criticizes proposals by the Commonwealth of Virginia to widen portions of Interstate 81.

The improvements, recommended by the Commonwealth Transportation Board last year, were mentioned in this year's Highway Boondoggles report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group. The report identified nine highway projects across the country which it described as "budget-eating" and said would "harm communities and the environment."

While Matt Casale, one of the publication's authors, approved of parts of the improvement plan pitched by state transportation officials last year, including adding more changeable signs and patrols, he was unconvinced adding lanes to portions of the interstate would increase safety.

"Our position is, you do all those operational things, you're going to see safety improvements and you're going to do it for a lot less money and then you're not going to have that additional burden of widening the highway, bringing more cars to the road," Casale said.

In addition, his report warned of "societal and environmental costs" of widening Interstate 81, including impacts on Civil War sites (like New Market) and increased pollution.

The publication also pointed to the decision to increase the speed limit along the roadway to 70 mph, which it said "likely exacerbated the corridor's safety issues."

State lawmakers approved funding mechanisms to help pay for the $2.2 billion in recommended improvements earlier this year through higher truck registration fees and gas tax increases.

Del. Tony Wilt (R-Va. 26th) was recently appointed to a committee designed to identify and prioritize suggested projects for I-81. He was not convinced by the argument over the negative environmental impact of widening the roadway.

"I can appreciate the position, I don't agree with it at all that any construction improvements aren't going to be beneficial. That's nonsense," he said.

Wilt also responded to the suggestion to decrease the permitted traffic speed.

"I did some research on my own and talked to some experts who said just the opposite. If we were to reduce the traffic speed, with the sheer volume of the traffic that we have, it would not improve safety," he said.

Virginia's U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also issued letters on Monday calling for more federal funding to support I-81 improvement projects.

I mean, seriously? Trust me, I-81 is far from a boondoggle project. If anything, the current project isn't enough. It ultimately needs to be widened to 6-lanes throughout, and at least the key areas are being tackled by the current project.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on June 25, 2019, 11:58:00 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on June 26, 2019, 12:20:38 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Let’s tear down I-81 for all 325 miles and it a surface boulevard with a 45 mph speed limit, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a narrow median!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sparker on June 26, 2019, 09:07:55 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Let’s tear down I-81 for all 325 miles and it a surface boulevard with a 45 mph speed limit, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a narrow median!

Nah -- they'd just say tear down the freeway, replace it with a monumental bike path -- or possibly HSR -- and let traffic use old US 11, since folks don't really need all that stuff that trucks bring -- if it takes a bunch of additional hours slogging through Roanoke and Lexington, so be it! 
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on June 26, 2019, 09:17:31 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Let’s tear down I-81 for all 325 miles and it a surface boulevard with a 45 mph speed limit, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a narrow median!

Nah -- they'd just say tear down the freeway, replace it with a monumental bike path -- or possibly HSR -- and let traffic use old US 11, since folks don't really need all that stuff that trucks bring -- if it takes a bunch of additional hours slogging through Roanoke and Lexington, so be it!
And don't even think of widening US-11 to more than 2-lanes. And the parts it is 4-lanes, and the US-460 overlap, road diet with bike paths to 2-lanes and on-street parking!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Beltway on June 26, 2019, 09:35:38 PM
And don't even think of widening US-11 to more than 2-lanes. And the parts it is 4-lanes, and the US-460 overlap, road diet with bike paths to 2-lanes and on-street parking!

Most "road diets" are more like "road anorexia nervosa" or "road bulimia".
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on June 27, 2019, 12:24:13 AM
And don't even think of widening US-11 to more than 2-lanes. And the parts it is 4-lanes, and the US-460 overlap, road diet with bike paths to 2-lanes and on-street parking!

Most "road diets" are more like "road anorexia nervosa" or "road bulimia".
No kidding. They're a joke most of the time - it's even better when they take a four-lane divided road that already has a sidewalk or multi-use path, and they still cut out a lane and add a nice "green" bike path alongside the existing multi-use path or sidewalk.

Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: RoadMaster09 on June 27, 2019, 01:05:41 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Let’s tear down I-81 for all 325 miles and it a surface boulevard with a 45 mph speed limit, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a narrow median!

More like a 15 mph speed limit, since they want it to be pedestrian friendly.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: 74/171FAN on June 27, 2019, 07:05:23 AM
Please stick to talking specifically about I-81 in VA.  We already have enough threads about freeway removals and road diets throughout the forum already where this conversation is more relevant.  -Mark
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on June 27, 2019, 10:21:09 AM
When might we see some tenative improvement list?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on June 27, 2019, 11:35:41 AM
^ Most likely the list that was posted upthread.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: cpzilliacus on July 17, 2019, 11:22:35 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
The U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is vehemently anti-freeway, pro-boulevard, anti-mobility, etc., etc. ad nauseum.  They regularly publish "Top Ten" lists of (a) freeways they would like razed, often in favor of the "boulevard" approach, and (b) proposed road improvement projects they'd like to see cancelled.  Pretty much any and all future Interstates occupy their "seats of shame" in the latter list.  And don't try to argue with these folks (there's a few Venn diagrams linking this group to the John Norquist "tear it down" crowd and the editorial staff at Atlantic Cities -- and I've had decades of "go-arounds" with a few of those folks -- particularly the NYC-based magazine writers).   No elucidation of facts seem to sway them from their a priori positions -- particularly in regards to issues related to commerce and freight transportation -- they seem to be more than a bit anti-capitalist/consumer as well, and clearly don't give a shit about disturbing or sabotaging commerce in their selected areas of interest.  For an old-timey classic liberal like myself, it all seems a bit quixotic -- at least until someone's economy gets shafted!
Let’s tear down I-81 for all 325 miles and it a surface boulevard with a 45 mph speed limit, curb and gutter, sidewalks, and a narrow median!

Nah -- they'd just say tear down the freeway, replace it with a monumental bike path -- or possibly HSR -- and let traffic use old US 11, since folks don't really need all that stuff that trucks bring -- if it takes a bunch of additional hours slogging through Roanoke and Lexington, so be it! 

A bike path (with no intersections at-grade) and a 325 mile light rail line from Bristol to Winchester.   
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Evan_Th on July 19, 2019, 12:43:24 AM
A bike path (with no intersections at-grade) and a 325 mile light rail line from Bristol to Winchester.
Speaking of which, the Virginia Creeper Trail's great, and they recently extended the Northeast Regional service to Roanoke.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: AlexandriaVA on July 19, 2019, 09:06:38 AM
I think those are somewhat strawman arguments. However, it's interesting to note that recent state-supported bus service (Virginia Breeze) focused on the I-81 corridor has eclipsed ridership estimates and is going to be expanded: https://wamu.org/story/19/07/18/a-bus-from-southwestern-virginia-to-d-c-is-so-popular-the-state-is-adding-more-routes/

I think most reasonable people would agree that expressways like I-81 are probably the best conduit for rural long-distance public transit, particularly where rail isn't an option. Not that there hasn't been bus service in this corrirdor before, but it was either in the context of universities (e.g. JMU, Radford and VT) or as feeder routes to Amtrak. By marketing it as general-service transit, I think it will help ridership.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: mrhappy1261 on July 27, 2019, 10:30:11 PM
Why does I-81 need tolls?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: sprjus4 on July 27, 2019, 10:32:22 PM
Why does I-81 need tolls?
It's not getting tolled anymore. It was a proposed way to fund $2.2 billion worth of improvements along the corridor. Instead, they've gone ahead and increased the gas tax along the corridor in order to fund improvements, along with other revenues.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: mrhappy1261 on July 27, 2019, 10:36:08 PM
Why does I-81 need tolls?
It's not getting tolled anymore. It was a proposed way to fund $2.2 billion worth of improvements along the corridor. Instead, they've gone ahead and increased the gas tax along the corridor in order to fund improvements, along with other revenues.

Ah, very nice. Highways do need improvements so they can look fresh!
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on July 28, 2019, 10:51:51 PM
^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: mrhappy1261 on July 28, 2019, 10:55:13 PM
^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: froggie on July 28, 2019, 10:58:56 PM
It means you should try reading the threads before commenting.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: famartin on July 28, 2019, 11:20:24 PM
It means you should try reading the threads before commenting.
+10000000
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: Alps on July 28, 2019, 11:28:02 PM
^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
If you don't have something to add, don't comment.
Title: Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
Post by: mrhappy1261 on July 28, 2019, 11:33:10 PM
^ Did you not read upthread?  There was plenty of discussion about why I-81 "needed tolls" and what the General Assembly did instead...

So, that means this thread is probably going to die? Or should I put more discussion on I-81 about this?
If you don't have something to add, don't comment.

Alright. I will only post if i have something to add.