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Author Topic: I-66 HO/T Lanes  (Read 60137 times)

1995hoo

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #375 on: December 17, 2017, 04:54:32 PM »

If the toll was too high, it will go back down when people don’t pay it, right? Isn’t that what happened? It seems to me if it goes “too high,” it’s doing what it’s supposed to because at lower points presumably people were willing to pay.
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Rothman

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #376 on: December 17, 2017, 05:41:56 PM »

So there are just as many cars on the road as before, the travelers are just getting bilked for it.
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oscar

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #377 on: December 17, 2017, 06:29:51 PM »

So there are just as many cars on the road as before, the travelers are just getting bilked for it.

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

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

VDOT could narrow the HOV exemption to HOV-3, as it has long warned might be necessary at some point. But if that happens, that will likely to keep two-person carpools from congesting I-66 (not happening yet), rather than to reduce tolls for solo drivers.
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1995hoo

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #378 on: December 17, 2017, 06:48:32 PM »

They had previously announced—prior to the HO/T projects—that I-66 inside the Beltway was to change to HOV-3 in 2020. It’s now scheduled to become HOV-3 for the free ride when the outside-the-Beltway HO/T lanes open (estimated 2022).
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

1995hoo

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #379 on: December 18, 2017, 07:15:46 PM »

We used I-66 under the HO/T rules for the first time this afternoon just after 5:30. The sign on the Roosevelt Bridge listed an $8.75 toll to the Beltway, although the next sign said $7.75. We didn't pay anything, of course, since we put the switch in HOV mode. It felt like about the same amount of traffic there was under the old rules but with a steadier speed—it was pretty much 55–65 mph the whole way, whereas before it usually slowed to about 45 passing underneath that parking structure just east of Glebe Road.

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

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

All in all, it confirmed my overall position that if you used it as an HOV before, all the hubbub is a tempest in a teapot because nothing changes for you until 2022 when the free ride requirement goes to HOV-3.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

AlexandriaVA

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #380 on: December 18, 2017, 07:54:09 PM »

All in all, it confirmed my overall position that if you used it as an HOV before, all the hubbub is a tempest in a teapot because nothing changes for you until 2022 when the free ride requirement goes to HOV-3.

An HOV-2 fam-pool can become HOV-3 as early as late 2018  :)
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mrsman

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #381 on: December 19, 2017, 12:49:24 AM »

Given that the Silver Line has all but emasculated the Blue Line through DC (and at the existing Rosslyn station), I think there'd be some independent utility in building a 2nd Rosslyn metro station even without the new tunnel.  The Blue Line could then terminate at Rosslyn and more Blue, Orange, and Silver Line trains could be run, with the additional Orange and Silver Line trains replacing the Blue Line from Rosslyn into/thru DC.


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

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

It seems that the idea of building a 2nd Rosslyn would be to facilitate transfers of those staying within Virgina.  People from Alexandria transferring to Rosslyn-Ballston corridor or Tysons.  If yellow trains would serve both F/S and Huntington along the bridge toward L'Enfant, then there can be a blue line shuttle servicing from National Airport to 2nd Rosslyn.  All travelers headed from F/S or Huntington to Foggy Bottom or Farragut West will transfer to the blue and then transfer again to a frequent silver/orange train.  Not ideal, but it does seem to be a waste that current blue line trains are basically empty beyond McPherson Square (whereas the silver and orange are still somewhat occupied).
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1995hoo

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #382 on: December 19, 2017, 07:28:09 AM »

What you describe is precisely the sort of thing they've said they don't want because they believe—probably with some justification—that they'll lose riders if they implement something like that requiring people to change trains to get downtown, especially if it requires them to change twice. (Some people would do so, of course. I used to work with a guy who hated Gallery Place so much that he rode the Yellow to L'Enfant Plaza, changed to an SOB, rode that to Metro Center, then changed to the Red to Dupont Circle. He never had an answer when I asked him why he didn't just ride to Farragut West and walk, since our office was between Dupont and Farragut West, but I guess it's the DC mentality of having to use the closest stop.)
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

mrsman

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #383 on: December 20, 2017, 08:00:50 PM »

What you describe is precisely the sort of thing they've said they don't want because they believe—probably with some justification—that they'll lose riders if they implement something like that requiring people to change trains to get downtown, especially if it requires them to change twice. (Some people would do so, of course. I used to work with a guy who hated Gallery Place so much that he rode the Yellow to L'Enfant Plaza, changed to an SOB, rode that to Metro Center, then changed to the Red to Dupont Circle. He never had an answer when I asked him why he didn't just ride to Farragut West and walk, since our office was between Dupont and Farragut West, but I guess it's the DC mentality of having to use the closest stop.)

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

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

One of the problems with the rush=plus system was that it meant that blue line would only be in service once every 12 minutes.  A separate station means that this leg can operate more frequently, but with the cost of a transfer at Rosslyn.  For those going from Alexandria to Rosslyn-Ballston, this is a much better arrangement.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #384 on: December 20, 2017, 08:12:07 PM »

I think issue of transfers on its own accord. After all, most commuters already "transfer" from either a bus or park-and-ride lot anyways before getting on Metrorail.

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

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #385 on: December 20, 2017, 08:57:48 PM »

I think issue of transfers on its own accord. After all, most commuters already "transfer" from either a bus or park-and-ride lot anyways before getting on Metrorail.

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

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

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

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

If you think you can convince millions of people that transferring is ok, good luck.  People do it because they have to, not because they want to.  If there's a way to avoid it, then it should be heavily considered.
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froggie

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #386 on: December 21, 2017, 08:55:00 AM »

^ In this case, and given my experience with DC commuters and the Metro, I think most commuters would accept a transfer at Rosslyn if it meant 6-minute Blue Line headways instead of the current 12-minute.  Would also mean that Metro could run more Orange and/or Silver Line trains because they're no longer competing with the Blue Line through the Rosslyn Tunnel.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #387 on: December 21, 2017, 04:14:58 PM »

^ In this case, and given my experience with DC commuters and the Metro, I think most commuters would accept a transfer at Rosslyn if it meant 6-minute Blue Line headways instead of the current 12-minute.  Would also mean that Metro could run more Orange and/or Silver Line trains because they're no longer competing with the Blue Line through the Rosslyn Tunnel.

There are people that transfer on the Washington Metro every day, and they presumably do it without much thought.  I once used to transfer frequently at Metro Center (when I worked near Farragut West and did not want to walk from or to Farragut North, usually when it was raining or snowing; and when I worked at L'Enfant Plaza), with the trip starting or ending at Silver Spring.  Working at Farragut West was nice when the Red Line broke down, which it did somewhat frequently even in the 1980's when it was less than 10 years old, because I could use the 16th Street, N.W. buses instead.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 06:58:29 PM by cpzilliacus »
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1995hoo

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #388 on: December 21, 2017, 05:40:50 PM »

All I was saying is that WMATA management have repeatedly said they don't think riders want to change trains (regardless of whether that is true or false, and certainly different commuters will have different tolerances for what they're willing to do).
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #389 on: December 21, 2017, 06:57:54 PM »

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

I have not been on I-66 during HOV times in HOV mode (yet), but I know that on the Transurban HOV/Toll lanes on I-495, a red light flashes as you  drive under the transponder readers if the device is in HOV mode.  At least on I-495, this is very  obvious if you drive there with  the transponder in HOV mode in the dark.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #390 on: December 21, 2017, 07:08:50 PM »

All I was saying is that WMATA management have repeatedly said they don't think riders want to change trains (regardless of whether that is true or false, and certainly different commuters will have different tolerances for what they're willing to do).

When using computer models to estimate current and future demand for transit, there is a transfer penalty assumed (which makes transit less-attractive for patrons) if those patrons have to transfer between rail lines, or between bus lines, or between rail and bus, and that penalty increases if there are two (or more) transfers required, which reduces the "attractiveness" of the trip, especially for "choice" riders who own a car and where parking is not an issue.
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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #391 on: December 22, 2017, 10:05:59 AM »

^ Which depends largely on frequency.  If you have higher frequency, the reality is that the "transfer penalty" is lower.
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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #392 on: January 08, 2018, 06:26:44 PM »

http://potomaclocal.com/2018/01/08/the-money-virginia-officials-stand-to-lose-if-changes-are-made-to-i-66-tolls/
Quote
ARLINGTON — A state official warns any changes to toll collection on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway could force changes to the highway improvement project taking place outside the ring road.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #393 on: January 15, 2018, 10:38:15 PM »

While this article helps explain why the tolling hours are what they are, IMO at least for now, VDOT should lower the targetted express lanes speed from 55mph to either 50mph or 45mph(the federal minimum) in order to lower tolls and maximize road use when at the moment slugging along the I-66 corridor isn't exactly common or easy.

Slugging has grown up already in the I-66 corridor already since tolling started last month. In particular, there are new slug lines in the VA-267 (Dulles Toll Road) corridor that were not there in the "free" HOV-2 era on I-66 inside the  Beltway.
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Jmiles32

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #394 on: January 21, 2018, 09:58:24 AM »

While this article helps explain why the tolling hours are what they are, IMO at least for now, VDOT should lower the targetted express lanes speed from 55mph to either 50mph or 45mph(the federal minimum) in order to lower tolls and maximize road use when at the moment slugging along the I-66 corridor isn't exactly common or easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new legislation also addresses rates on the Dulles Toll Road and directs the state Department of Transportation to draw up a plan adding tolls to the Dulles Airport Access Road in order to make the road toll-free to drivers by 2030
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #395 on: January 23, 2018, 12:21:43 PM »

They certainly know their constituency.

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

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

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jeffandnicole

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #396 on: January 23, 2018, 12:28:36 PM »


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


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

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #397 on: January 23, 2018, 12:52:02 PM »


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


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

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

Can we end the dogma on this board that roads are self-funding in this country?
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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #398 on: January 23, 2018, 01:33:12 PM »

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: I-66 HO/T Lanes
« Reply #399 on: January 23, 2018, 01:49:12 PM »

Funny to see the desperation of all the exurban communities now that their days of free riding on infrastructure are coming to an end.
Wasn't even a legal free (unless they were using the clean vehicle exemption).  It's amazing how many former HOV lane violators now have the audacity to complain.  If VA had enforced the requirements enough that it wasn't profitable to violate them, perhaps there wouldn't be so much complaining now.

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