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Author Topic: I-81 in Virginia  (Read 6875 times)

Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2018, 06:19:47 AM »

Who is saying that it is only the people living in the I-81 Corridor that do not want tolls, or that it is only those people who benefit from an increase in motor fuel taxes in those counties and cities for upgrading I-81?
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2018, 10:52:43 PM »

Who is saying that it is only the people living in the I-81 Corridor that do not want tolls, or that it is only those people who benefit from an increase in motor fuel taxes in those counties and cities for upgrading I-81?

It's a natural reaction in most of the United States to any suggested increase in motor fuel taxes or an imposition of highway tolls or increases in same. 

That's the reason that the federal per-gallon motor fuel tax has not been increased from 18.4˘ per gallon since the first Clinton Administration.
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Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2018, 11:45:52 PM »

Who is saying that it is only the people living in the I-81 Corridor that do not want tolls, or that it is only those people who benefit from an increase in motor fuel taxes in those counties and cities for upgrading I-81?
It's a natural reaction in most of the United States to any suggested increase in motor fuel taxes or an imposition of highway tolls or increases in same. 

To blame the people living in the counties that the highway passed thru for not increasing the taxes?  I hadn't heard that one.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #53 on: October 30, 2018, 07:27:39 AM »

Let's face the facts. When the federal gasoline tax hasn't been increased, funds will need to be derived from other sources, mainly tolls or public-private partnerships. As we've seen in other states, tolls are an easier solution to bite than proposing what is ultimately a political death wish. It's how the East End Bridge (KY-IN) got built at nearly $4 billion, and how the Brent Spence Bridge (KY-OH) is proposed to be built at nearly $2 billion. And how the I-69 Bridge (KY-IN) is proposed to be built at nearly $1 billion. It's fantasy to believe that without pegging the gasoline tax with inflation as Kentucky does with their state gasoline tax, that states can afford to build such expensive projects.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #54 on: October 30, 2018, 11:37:33 AM »

Winchester Star: Transportation official: Improving I-81 in Frederick County a 'real possibility'

Quote
There is a good chance that improvements to Interstate 81 from Exit 313 to Exit 317 (Winchester to Rutherford Crossing) will be recommended for funding, according to Dixon Whitworth, the area’s representative on the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

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Whitworth made the announcement at Frederick County’s fourth annual transportation forum, which was held Thursday night at Winchester Regional Airport. The forum gave citizens a chance to engage one-on-one with elected officials and transportation staff from various agencies. State delegates Wendy Gooditis, Chris Collins and Dave LaRock attended the meeting.

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Whitworth said that VDOT staff has determined significant savings could be made in certain I-81 projects planned for other localities. Because of these cost-savings, more money can probably be redirected to other projects — including I-81 in Frederick County.

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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2018, 11:46:22 AM »

To blame the people living in the counties that the highway passed thru for not increasing the taxes?  I hadn't heard that one.

That's where the big reaction comes from if a tax increase is targeted at a specific county or set of counties (in this context, county also includes an independent city).

Pennsylvania was able to secure a massive increase in state motor fuel taxes in part because staff people from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation's office compiled a (long) list of roads that would be posted with dramatically lower weight limits or entirely closed without a tax increase to pay for repairs, sorted it by legislative district for each member of the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and hand delivered those lists to every member, with the warning that they would be getting phone calls from angry constituents about postings or total closures caused by deficient or unsafe bridges.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 11:49:28 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2018, 03:59:06 PM »

To blame the people living in the counties that the highway passed thru for not increasing the taxes?  I hadn't heard that one.

That's where the big reaction comes from if a tax increase is targeted at a specific county or set of counties (in this context, county also includes an independent city).

Pennsylvania was able to secure a massive increase in state motor fuel taxes in part because staff people from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation's office compiled a (long) list of roads that would be posted with dramatically lower weight limits or entirely closed without a tax increase to pay for repairs, sorted it by legislative district for each member of the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and hand delivered those lists to every member, with the warning that they would be getting phone calls from angry constituents about postings or total closures caused by deficient or unsafe bridges.

Hence the many TRUCK and ALT TRUCK routes I have to deal with now.  (even with the tax increase)
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Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2018, 06:45:39 PM »

To blame the people living in the counties that the highway passed thru for not increasing the taxes?  I hadn't heard that one.
That's where the big reaction comes from if a tax increase is targeted at a specific county or set of counties (in this context, county also includes an independent city).

I haven't heard that I-81 taxes would be targeted at cities and counties that it passed thru.

Tolls would affect them, but the latest proposal would provide them an annual pass for $25, a very small cost.
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davewiecking

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2018, 08:15:15 PM »

I haven't heard that I-81 taxes would be targeted at cities and counties that it passed thru.
(See reply #34 above for details.)
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VTGoose

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #59 on: October 31, 2018, 09:28:02 AM »

To blame the people living in the counties that the highway passed thru for not increasing the taxes?  I hadn't heard that one.

That's where the big reaction comes from if a tax increase is targeted at a specific county or set of counties (in this context, county also includes an independent city).

As someone who lives in one of those counties that could be targeted (Montgomery), this is a double-edge sword. Yes, those living along and using I-81 are well aware of the need to fix the highway. But the road serves more than just the localities that it passes through -- people from across Virginia use the interstate (or benefit from it) as do people from across the country. Unlike Tidewater and Northern Virginia, where specific taxes help remedy road problems in those regions, I-81 doesn't fit that mold. To burden just residents of those counties with an extra tax isn't a fair solution. Tolls would spread the cost of improvements across all those who use the road (or benefit, such as those who eventually/ultimately receive goods shipped by truck). If set up properly, tolls could be acceptable if regional trips weren't tolled (such as New River Valley to Roanoke or around Harrisonburg and Winchester) but trips outside those regions did have a toll (i.e., someone traveling from Blacksburg to Richmond would pay a toll somewhere along the way), residents might be more accepting of the toll plan.

However it works out, one project on the proposed list that should be moved high on any list is adding another lane to I-81 northbound between Christiansburg (MP 118) and Roanoke (MP 150). This is a major problem area, mainly the long downhill portions between exit 118 and Ironto. It doesn't take much for flatlanders and/or truckers to get into trouble and the resulting wrecks can block the whole road and cause backups for miles. An extra lane may not eliminate all the wrecks but may make it easier to keep traffic flowing.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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vdeane

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2018, 12:39:36 PM »

I would think a gas tax increase would absolutely hit the people traveling through.  It's a 300 mile corridor - someone driving the length of it is going to be getting food, gas, and, depending on when they pass through, lodging.  It's just too long not to.
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Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2018, 05:45:27 PM »

However it works out, one project on the proposed list that should be moved high on any list is adding another lane to I-81 northbound between Christiansburg (MP 118) and Roanoke (MP 150). This is a major problem area, mainly the long downhill portions between exit 118 and Ironto. It doesn't take much for flatlanders and/or truckers to get into trouble and the resulting wrecks can block the whole road and cause backups for miles. An extra lane may not eliminate all the wrecks but may make it easier to keep traffic flowing.

Given the high local and thru traffic volumes between Christiansburg (MP 118) and Troutville (MP 150), that should be the first segment to be widened.  I doubt that six lanes will be adequate for 20 years into the future, so they should make that eight lanes (4 each way) and upgrade the interchanges to a 20 year design.
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Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2018, 10:37:43 PM »

Adding tolls to Interstate bridges and tunnels has been done in some selected cases.
Adding tolling to a whole rural Interstate corridor is another matter. 
The ISRRPP three toll pilot projects were authorized in TEA-21 back in 1998, and three states applied for and obtained provisional approval for a project.  None have advanced toward an implementation.
If this is any indication of the "popularity" of this, then it doesn't look good at all as far as getting the public and elected officials to agree to it.

Maybe if someone actually does one of these projects for the first time, then maybe that will 'break the ground'  for getting a few more done.

VA I-81 would be a good place to start, but they will need to carefully build consensus with the public and officials and lobbying groups.

They don't necessarily have to toll the whole route, they could take each Segment of Independant Utility (SIU) thru its Tier II EIS/location study, and then decide on each how exactly it will be funded and whether it will have toll revenue bond funding.  IIRC VA I-81 had eight SIU identified in the Tier I EIS/location study about 12 years ago.  Also prioritization will occur as to when each SIU gets built, some may come soon and some may be well into the future.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 10:40:34 PM by Beltway »
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #63 on: May 14, 2019, 01:54:55 PM »

I-81 in Virginia, which I had the privilege of driving yesterday, definitely leaves a bit to be desired:
(a) Six lanes would be nice.
(b) A bigger differential between the speed limit and "reckless driving" would be nice.
(c) Less cops running radar would be nice.

There are signs posted stating that trucks must use the right lane when operating below 70 mph, which basically means they may only use the left lane at exactly 70 mph, in order to comply with both said signs and the speed limit. I can't say I had ever seen anything quite so contradictory on the same roadway before!

I've also never driven on a 70 mph highway on which I was so hesitant to exceed 80 mph. I wouldn't bat an eyelash about doing 85 on most other 70 mph highways, say in PA or Ohio. But the heavy police presence, the "speed enforced by aircraft" signs, and the "over 80 mph constitutes reckless driving" had me really nervous to cruise at 85 or even 82-83.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #64 on: May 14, 2019, 04:50:56 PM »

I-81 in Virginia, which I had the privilege of driving yesterday, definitely leaves a bit to be desired:
(a) Six lanes would be nice.
(b) A bigger differential between the speed limit and "reckless driving" would be nice.
(c) Less cops running radar would be nice.

There are signs posted stating that trucks must use the right lane when operating below 70 mph, which basically means they may only use the left lane at exactly 70 mph, in order to comply with both said signs and the speed limit. I can't say I had ever seen anything quite so contradictory on the same roadway before!

I've also never driven on a 70 mph highway on which I was so hesitant to exceed 80 mph. I wouldn't bat an eyelash about doing 85 on most other 70 mph highways, say in PA or Ohio. But the heavy police presence, the "speed enforced by aircraft" signs, and the "over 80 mph constitutes reckless driving" had me really nervous to cruise at 85 or even 82-83.

Ditto on all those three points. The "trucks use right lane when operating below 70 mph" is meant to prevent micropassing, which can definitely occur on some of the uphill grades along I-81, when you get a truck going 65 trying to pass a truck going 60.

Virginia has some pretty scenery, but the ban on radar detectors makes me dislike driving in that state.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #65 on: May 14, 2019, 05:07:02 PM »

I-81 in Virginia, which I had the privilege of driving yesterday, definitely leaves a bit to be desired:
(a) Six lanes would be nice.
(b) A bigger differential between the speed limit and "reckless driving" would be nice.
(c) Less cops running radar would be nice.
Agreed on all points. Six lanes is desired, but the issue is cost and the fact we're dealing with VDOT - a broke state transportation agency. Maybe the fuel tax increase recently passed will get us somewhere - after it adds up in 20 years. Virginia has tried to raise the reckless driving threshold to 85 MPH on 70 MPH stretches, though it fails. I'll easily push up to 82-83 MPH usually (and still get passed on the left), but I will almost never exceed 79 MPH in Virginia. Too risky. Virginia State Police love enforcement and police trapping. Same with certain localities. You'll find them on any interstate really. I-95 from the state line to Stony Creek is a hot spot for both state and local police and same with I-295 around Hopewell, that stretch being enforced by Hopewell's police department, not State Police. I take I-295 often, I never once have not seen them hiding out in the median. They generally will wait till you exceed 80 MPH though, so they can slap that hefty fine on there for reckless driving.

Always good to have Waze on at all times, especially through VA. It's really helpful to know where the cops hide out. Just stay right and stick to 70 MPH (or whatever the speed is) when passing an enforced area, then continue back up to 75 - 80 MPH once away from the enforced area.

It's crazy, above 80 MPH is reckless in Virginia, yet in Texas, 85 MPH is the posted speed on one highway. The reckless threshold should be 85 MPH for 70 MPH stretches. Most would agree.

There are signs posted stating that trucks must use the right lane when operating below 70 mph, which basically means they may only use the left lane at exactly 70 mph, in order to comply with both said signs and the speed limit. I can't say I had ever seen anything quite so contradictory on the same roadway before!
Also agree. There's signage in Chesapeake on I-64 before the High Rise Bridge indicating the same thing - use right lane when operating below 60 MPH (the speed limit here). Wondered the same before.

I've also never driven on a 70 mph highway on which I was so hesitant to exceed 80 mph. I wouldn't bat an eyelash about doing 85 on most other 70 mph highways, say in PA or Ohio. But the heavy police presence, the "speed enforced by aircraft" signs, and the "over 80 mph constitutes reckless driving" had me really nervous to cruise at 85 or even 82-83.
For police presence, try to stay at about 78 - 79 MPH and use Waze. For speed enforced by aircraft, that program was terminated years ago. Don't worry about that, there's nobody in the air enforcing. They never removed it, probably just another way for Virginia State Police to lure drivers to slow down.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #66 on: May 14, 2019, 06:28:41 PM »

That means on I-4 in Florida over 90 percent of the drivers between US 27 and Tampa are reckless drivers. :bigass:
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2019, 06:30:51 PM »

However this is from a state where radar detectors are illegal.  49 states say they are normal to have and even in transit (going from MD to NC where both states allow them) you could face a citation and I am guessing confiscation.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #68 on: May 14, 2019, 06:32:19 PM »

However this is from a state where radar detectors are illegal.  49 states say they are normal to have and even in transit (going from MD to NC where both states allow them) you could face a citation and I am guessing confiscation.
You can only get a citation and confiscation if the device is actively in use. If it's turned off and stowed away, then there's nothing illegal about it, nor can the police do anything about it.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #69 on: May 14, 2019, 06:34:24 PM »

That means on I-4 in Florida over 90 percent of the drivers between US 27 and Tampa are reckless drivers. :bigass:
I'd agree, and put that to any rural interstate highway that serves long-distance traffic.

It's easy to push 80 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. A lot of drivers are comfortable about 82 - 83 MPH when pushing over, and generally keeping with the flow of traffic (not the one crazy guy doing 95 MPH, in and out of lanes, etc)

That's why I'd support reckless driving charges start at 85 MPH or above, not 80 MPH.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #70 on: May 14, 2019, 06:35:59 PM »

Interesting. :)

No wonder why Waze is important to have here. :D
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #71 on: May 14, 2019, 06:37:42 PM »

Interesting. :)

No wonder why Waze is important to have here. :D
I have a phone holder in my car, I mount my phone on it, plug it in, and turn Waze on for hours on any road trip.

I don't play any games when dealing with any police, in any state.

But especially Virginia State Police, Emporia Police, and Hopewell Police.
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Beltway

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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #72 on: May 14, 2019, 06:41:04 PM »

Virginia has some pretty scenery, but the ban on radar detectors makes me dislike driving in that state.

The fact that you can't just set your cruise control to 79 mph makes you dislike driving in a state?  How fast do you want to go anyway … 90+?
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #73 on: May 14, 2019, 06:45:20 PM »

Virginia has some pretty scenery, but the ban on radar detectors makes me dislike driving in that state.

The fact that you can't just set your cruise control to 79 mph makes you dislike driving in a state?  How fast do you want to go anyway … 90+?
82 - 83 MPH is the ideal speed for most. Pull them over for speeding sure, but no need for a reckless driving charge. If I'm pulled over for doing 73 MPH in a 60 MPH, I don't get a reckless driving charge. But at 83 MPH in a 70 MPH, I do. Anything above 85 MPH on the other hand is reckless, and I 100% agree a reckless driving charge is warranted for that.

But that's illegal in Virginia, and you can't use a radar detector to identify where police traps are. Every other state in the country permits is, why Virginia doesn't is beyond. Seems like a revenue stream, that's what.
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Re: I-81 in Virginia
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2019, 06:45:33 PM »

Virginia State Police love enforcement and police trapping. Same with certain localities. You'll find them on any interstate really. I-95 from the state line to Stony Creek is a hot spot for both state and local police and same with I-295 around Hopewell, that stretch being enforced by Hopewell's police department, not State Police. I take I-295 often, I never once have not seen them hiding out in the median.

Horseballs.  I drive those highways frequently and 9 times out of 10 I don't see a single stopped police car.
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