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Author Topic: Virginia plans to toll I-81  (Read 13819 times)

hbelkins

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #325 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.
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SoCal Kid

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #326 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
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #327 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 10Ę a gallon, if that, and thereís no way he uses less than a gallon in a 45-mile roundtrip. But he refuses to believe heís 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 thatís different. But this guy drove out there specifically to buy gas.)
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #328 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!
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famartin

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #329 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 ;)
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #330 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
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VTGoose

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #331 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 donít 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 Fridayís 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.

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ixnay

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #332 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?

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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #333 on: June 25, 2019, 12:23:47 PM »

Report calls plan to widen parts of Interstate 81 a 'boondoggle'
Quote
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) ó 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.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 12:26:19 PM by sprjus4 »
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sparker

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #334 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!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 12:00:54 AM by sparker »
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #335 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!
Letís 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!
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sparker

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #336 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!
Letís 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! 
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #337 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!
Letís 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!
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #338 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".
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #339 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.

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RoadMaster09

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #340 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!
Letís 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.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #341 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
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #342 on: June 27, 2019, 10:21:09 AM »

When might we see some tenative improvement list?
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froggie

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #343 on: June 27, 2019, 11:35:41 AM »

^ Most likely the list that was posted upthread.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #344 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!
Letís 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.   
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Evan_Th

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #345 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.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 12:47:18 AM by Evan_Th »
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #346 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.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 09:10:41 AM by AlexandriaVA »
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tolbs17

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #347 on: July 27, 2019, 10:30:11 PM »

Why does I-81 need tolls?
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #348 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.
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tolbs17

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #349 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!
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